Read: Isaiah 11:1-5, Matthew 24:9-14, II Cor. 3:4-11


Before the night of judgment which we know is soon to fall on this planet, there is one thing that must happen first:

The gospel of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole earth as a testimony, to all nations.

All nations will be shown the glorious Kingdom of Messiah more clearly than it has ever been manifested before and for the last time will be invited to enter it.

And this preaching of the gospel to all nations will not take years and years to accomplish. There won't be time to build schools and colleges and hospitals and churches and hope to gradually influence the people with the gospel. The thing will be done rapidly and with tremendous force.

In a matter of perhaps three, or three-and-a-half years from the time the message goes out, every city, town, village, swamp, mountain, prairie, desert, and valley on earth will have heard the call to repentance at the cross and the warning of coming judgment. Those parts of the earth that have been most lacking in the gospel will be the places where the mightiest things will happen.

- They will see everything that ever happened in Galilee.

- They will know that God the Son has come into their midst.

Nor will the job be done by a few religious celebrities standing before television cameras flanked by mammoth choirs calling men to Christ. It will be done by very ordinary men and women of God,

- who will stand right down among the people,

- who will have such authority that without publicity of any kind crowds will come together to listen just as they came to hear Jesus.

For indeed they will be hearing Jesus.

Men will walk off their jobs to come and hear the message. Mothers will bundle up their little ones and come. The bars and pool halls, brothels and dope houses will empty and fear will grip their hearts as they listen. Then, gradually, in many the fear will change to rage and they will beat and kill these heralds of the Kingdom.

After this hearing of the gospel, people will never be the same again. Those who repent will be new creatures, and those who harden their hearts will grow harder and harder against everything. Whatever love they ever had will turn to dry ice.

Then, when every soul in every nation has heard, it will be like a tropical nightfall. Suddenly there will be darkness. And every soul on this planet will know why.

Now there's a definite connection between this last covering of the earth with the gospel and all the strange things that have been going on among us and among others these last few years.

God is now mustering the army of saints that's going to do the job.

- God didn't deliver you from the hell you were into just so that you could go to Bible Studies every week for the rest of your life.

- God is giving you a ministry, a work in the Body at this eleventh hour which the prophets have waited 2500 years to see.

"You did not choose me, I chose you, and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit. And that your fruit should remain."

And just as you did not choose Jesus, so you do not choose where your ministry is going to be,

- or what it's going to be,

- or how it is to be done.

He chooses all that for you. He calls you, ordains you, puts you where He wants to, equips you as He sees fit, keeps you in this world as long as He wants to.

Nor is it for any of us to try to figure out where we will be a year from now - what kind of job God has for us in the future,

- as if the really heavy things were up ahead,

- as if all we can do now is mark time and wait.

It is rather for us to open our eyes and see that directly in front of us is a fantastic work that waits to be done now.

"Do you not say there are yet four months and then comes the harvest? I tell you, lift up your eyes and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper may rejoice together."

The fields are ripe.

The work is here.

The work to which you have been called, ordained, and anointed is even now before your face,

- wherever you are,

- regardless of your age or sex or I.Q.

But what seems to be bothering many believers who have begun to get a glimpse of what this last harvest is all about,

- of how disruptive it will be in the lives of all those involved,

- of the shock it will bring everywhere it goes,

- of how much more demanding it is than anything Churchianity ever asked for,

what bothers many believers who see all this is:

Am I up to it?

Do I have the power?

Can I take the strain?

Even the blustering ones among us who may talk as though they're so sure of themselves, so certain of God's miracle power, are inwardly plagued by the same uncertainty. Am I up to it? ... wondering whether they have what it takes, not just for some future time of persecution, but for right now.

Paul gives us the answer out of his own heart - an answer that many of us mouth but don't really believe - so we have to hear it again and again and again until it sinks in: The answer is that -

we are not competent of ourselves and never will be. Our competence is from God who has made us competent to be His ministers.

The reason for all this shakiness inside is that we've been trying to make ourselves feel secure by hanging on to things in ourselves and in our circumstances that are about as stable as a dish of Jello.

It's not our status in other people’s eyes that make us ministers of God.

It's not how well we can memorize scripture that makes us ministers of God.

It's not our intelligence or our talents or our personalities that make us ministers of God.

We are ministers of God because;

- God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise.

- God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.

- God chose what is low and despised in the world even things that are not to bring to nothing things that are.

God put His hand on us and said, "Come, you're mine". That's why we're up to the job that lies in front of us - and that's the only reason. God has made us competent.

But notice, - we are not competent to be great orators,

- we are not competent to be teachers of religion or interpreters of the Law,

- we are not competent to set up the New Testament Church,

- we are not competent to straighten out everybody elses life,

- we are not competent to pass judgment on one soul.

We are competent to do three things.

l. We are competent to be ministers of the New Covenant. Servants of the New Covenant - the new agreement God made with the human race when He took away our sins by the death of His Son.

"Take and drink, this is the blood of the new covenant, shed for your sins."

God has made us competent to go out and tell the world what He has done at Calvary. God has made us competent to tell the world who Jesus is and what happened on the Cross.

A competent minister is a minister who gets results. If we're competent this means that when we proclaim Jesus crucified and risen things happen. The Spirit of God stirs inside the hearts of the people we're talking to and they know that they are hearing the truth and those who want the truth draw near and receive forgiveness.

2. God has made us competent to be ministers of the Spirit. Servants of the Spirit.

The Spirit is not our servant.

We are His servants.

It is not for the Spirit to jump when we snap our fingers. It is for us to be obedient to His leadings, that our very words will be not our own, but His.

When we are servants of the Spirit then our words about the Cross are always followed by miracles. Whether we see it or not, the Spirit does something to the person who hears. For the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life. And if we are competent ministers of the Spirit, this means that we bring life, not dead rules, not religious ideas, but life from God.

“It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail.  The words which I have spoken to you are Spirit and Life.”

Now Jesus speaks through us and those who hear live!

3. God has made us competent to be ministers of a splendor that will never fade.

When Moses came down from the mountain, the people couldn't stand to look at his face - it caused pain and fear - because his face was still radiating the splendor of God he had absorbed up there during those 40 days. So Moses wore a veil. But after a while the splendor of God on Moses' face faded and Moses was back to normal and could take off the veil. That is the splendor of the old covenant of Sinai. The new covenant which came on Calvary has a splendor that never fades.

Only the angels of God could then see the splendor that began to radiate from the face of Jesus as He hung on that Cross. Indeed, if men had been permitted to see that splendor the very sight of it would have killed them. And the splendor that came to the Son of Man then, rose with Him from the grave and has never left Him.

Our eyes are still not capable of bearing the sight of it. But one day soon they will be. Meanwhile, Satan can see that splendor and it causes him anguish. The hosts of wickedness are troubled by it because they know that it will never fade, and they are already fading.

When we serve Jesus, we serve that splendor.

When we minister the forgiveness of Jesus to others, we minister that splendor.

It is that splendor that we are now to take out to every shadowy corner of this earth until there is not a crevice on the globe that has not been searched by it.

Then, God's night will fall, and every kind of splendor but this will fade into that night and be no more.

Arise, shine, for your light has come.

For behold darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people.

But the Lord shall arise upon thee and His glory shall be seen upon thee.

And nations shall come to thy light and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

                                                                        Isaiah 60:1-3

Meanwhile, there's work to be done. God has called us and is sending us, along with saints everywhere, to cover the earth with the gospel of the Kingdom beginning where we are.

The time has come to put out of our minds all these doubts about whether we're up to it. We're up to it!

Our competence is from God who has made us;

- competent to be ministers of the New Covenant,

- competent to be ministers of His Spirit,

- competent to be ministers of a splendor that will never fade,

so let's get on with it.