FLIGHT FROM BABYLON
The Coming Salvation From The Works Of Collective Society
WHEAT OR CHAFF: WHICH AM I?
As bleak as the picture of American Christianity looks, all is not lost. God has not been thwarted from completing His Restoration or from leading His People into the salvation that will enable them to destroy the satanic drive for world control. On the contrary. God has used the darkness as a sieve for sifting His People, separating the true from the professing1 until as with Gideon, He has mustered the army that will go forth to bring salvation to the earth.2 Amidst the noise and confusion, God has preserved to Himself a people who have maintained teachability and stayed close to the Spirit of truth through a pure heart. They have learned from all the works of God's Restoration and have overcome the deceptions surrounding that work so they might enter into His next stage of salvation.
John the Baptist used a metaphor about wheat and chaff to illustrate this sifting process.3 Before wheat is come to maturity for harvest, it is surrounded by chaff and cannot be seen. When harvest is come, the wheat is threshed. The threshing removes the outer chaff to reveal the wheat within. The wheat is saved but the chaff is swept up and burned.
By analogy, the chaff with the wheat grain hidden within represents the total body of the professing Church. The wheat pictures those in that body who are the special objects of God's favour and preservation - "the elect".4 They are the objects of God's unfolding Restoration. The chaff pictures those in the body who partake of God's salvation, but yield to self-deceptions, fail to enter into all God would restore, and otherwise become stuck in their salvation. As the wheat persevere in obtaining complete salvation, they become separated out from those who manifest as chaff at some point. The points at which the wheat divide from the chaff are points of "threshing". Let's look more closely at the character sketches of wheat and chaff in the Church.
The wheat in the Church are those who always continue to move on in their salvation. They do not stop at a point of truth and say, "This is the ultimate revelation."
The wheat have an unquenchable desire to change and to grow in their salvation. They realize that they have not arrived and that there is always more to learn. Therefore they are not afraid to explore new areas of understanding. Overcoming their fears of the unknown, they trust the Spirit of truth to protect them from straying. They are not kept back by the hearsay and prejudice of others toward other believers.
The wheat realize that at the root of every deception is a seed of truth from which they can and must learn. Therefore they do not allow the deceptions surrounding any degree of God's salvation to throw them off track from their quest for Living Truth. They see through the deceptions, taking what is of God, and reject the abuses and excesses grown up as tares alongside the truth.
At the same time, the wheat do not allow the rejection by others of what truth they already have to become an excuse for abusing it to excess and becoming stuck in it.
The wheat do not make blanket judgments about ministries and movements. They do not say "This is all of God" or "This is all of the devil". They trust the Spirit to discern for them what is of God and what is not. They do not mock or speak evil of what they do not understand.
The wheat use God's light to lead them out of what remaining darkness they find in themselves. They use the Scriptures to judge their own unbelief. They focus on applying truth to themselves, not to others.
If there is one word that describes the wheat, it is "consistency". For the wheat, "consistency" means persistent change toward perfection. They believe that if one begins the Christian quest for salvation by grace, he can never justify ceasing to overcome all further challenges to dead works and unbelief.
For the wheat, unity is not measured in terms of their own visible ministry or by what they visibly see happening in the Church. They measure unity by the common desire to keep pure and to keep changing beyond all visible forms. They realize that "Here we have no continuing city."5
The wheat do not measure their sense of self-worth by what they understand or by their activity for God, but by Him Who is their Understanding and their Life. For them, truth ultimately rests in their relationship with the Spirit of truth.6
The chaff in the Church are those who begin the journey of faith but ultimately come to a resting place in their thinking beyond which they are unwilling to change.7 The chaff declare some point of God's revelation to be the final revelation and reject any further or other form of revelation outside what their understanding is willing to accept.
The chaff are inconsistent.8 Having begun to change by grace, they yield at some point to reason for holding onto a form of unbelief when confronted by the Spirit of truth.9
The chaff make blanket judgments about men, ministries, and movements.10 They label a thing "all of God" or "all of the devil". They judge by what they understand and speak evil of what offends their understanding.
The desire in chaff for change becomes quenched at some point. They become comfortable in their salvation. They come to trust in their understanding and no longer the Spirit of truth. Therefore they fail to overcome further fear of the unknown that they might keep growing. They are held back by the hearsay of others and become spreaders of that hearsay.
The chaff do not see through deceptions to learn from the truth hidden by them. Therefore they allow the abuse of truth by some to justify their total rejection of it. Meanwhile they allow the rejection by others of truth they have to justify their own abuse of it.
Because of secret impurity of heart, God's truth becomes to the chaff their stumblingblock and they become stuck in their salvation.11 They interpret the Scriptures by their unbelief. When God's light comes among them, they use it to justify what remaining darkness they find within themselves. They take God's light as a sign of His approval of their darkness.
Having lost their first desire to keep changing by faith into Christ's image, the chaff come to rest their sense of identity in some visible manifestation of what God is doing in the Church. This manifestation becomes their standard for defining unity. They seek to enforce unity based on their last stopping point in faith. The chaff come to measure their sense of self-worth by their ministry for God. For them, truth ultimately comes to rest in what they think they understand about how to worship God, or how the Church should meet, or what to believe about some issue. Then they are offended when any of these are shaken by the wheat who press on in their change. Then they become persecutors of the wheat.
"They Are Not All (New) Israel Which Are of (New) Israel"
Earlier in our study, we asked why God allowed the Restoration of His Church to be staggered over centuries allowing for division and persecution in the very midst of the body itself. Why did He allow a work mixing wheat and chaff? Why did He allow chaff in the first place? Why not just wheat? Why not a pure work from the start? Why the mixture? Why did He allow false kingdom teaching in the midst?
Nature itself teaches us why, for nature is patterned after spiritual reality. When we see wheat, we call it wheat. But it is really chaff and wheat. The outer chaff is not the wheat, but an outward body that hides the true wheat within it. Yet because it is what we see, we still call it "wheat". When we see corn in a field, we call it corn. But it is husk and corn. The outer husk is not the corn, but an outward body that hides the true corn within. Yet we still call it "corn", for that is what we see.
So it is with the Church. We see "the Church". But what we see is not the true Church. The true Church is hidden within the visible Church. From the time God chose to redeem to Himself a chosen People, He has preserved to Himself a true People hidden within an outward visible body called "His People". But as chaff is not wheat though outwardly we call it wheat, even so "They are not all Israel which are of Israel."12 Neither are they all the Church which are of the Church.
As the profitless chaff serves as a body that protects the true wheat til it ripens, even so the outward body of the Church, seething with division and turmoil by the efforts of many to enforce faith according to this world, serves to protect the faith of the true wheat from becoming corrupted. Listen to the prophetic word of the Lord:
"AS THE BODY OF CHAFF PROTECTS THE WHEAT UNTIL NOURISHED TO MATURITY, SO DOES THE OUTWARD BODY OF MY CHURCH THROUGH UNBELIEF NURTURE THE FAITH OF MY WHEAT IN HER MIDST - TIL MY WHEAT IS RIPENED AND READY TO BE REVEALED AS MY TRUE PEOPLE.
"THE DESIRE FOR THE VISIBLE UNITY OF MY CHURCH IS BORN IN FAITH BUT ENFORCED IN UNBELIEF. FOR IT IS ENCASED IN THE HUSK OF NATURAL EXPECTATION WHICH SEEKS TO ENFORCE UNITY IN THE NATURAL STRENGTH OF COMMON UNDERSTANDING. AS MY PEOPLE SEEK BY UNBELIEF TO ENFORCE THEIR PRESENT MANIFESTATION, THEY CREATE DIVISION. AGAINST THE TURMOIL, THE FAITH IN MY HIDDEN WHEAT IS EXERCISED. THEY LEARN THAT TRUE UNITY IS OF THE SPIRIT AND CANNOT BE OUTWARDLY ENFORCED. IT CAN ONLY BE PRESERVED FROM WITHIN AS THEY FOCUS ON ME, NOT IT. WHEN THEY TRY TO ENFORCE IT, IT DISINTEGRATES IN THEIR HAND. LEARNING BY THE CHAOS, THE FAITH IN MY WHEAT IS PERFECTED. THEY STAY CLOSE TO ME AND NOT THEIR IDEAS ABOUT MY KINGDOM. THEY ARE MATURED AND RIPENED INTO THEIR COMING MANIFESTATION AS MY TRUE CHURCH WHEN I TAKE THE CHAFF AWAY AT MY COMING.13 FOR IN THAT DAY THEIR FAITH WILL HAVE MADE THEM EQUAL TO THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THEIR MANIFESTING. THEY WILL BE ABLE TO STAND VISIBLY BEYOND DANGER OF CORRUPTION.
"YOU SEE THEREFORE, MY PEOPLE, WHY I COULD NOT RESTORE YOU IN A SINGLE GENERATION. NOT ONLY WAS IT MY JUDGMENT UPON YOU FOR YOUR FIRST INFIDELITY, BUT THERE WAS TOO MUCH TO BE RECOVERED. I TOLD ISRAEL I COULD ONLY DELIVER THE LAND TO THEM GRADUALLY AS THEY BECAME EQUAL TO THE ABILITY TO STEWARD IT RIGHTLY.14 LIKEWISE I COULD NOT RESTORE TO YOU YOUR COMPLETE SALVATION AT ONCE.
"BY LEAVING UNBELIEF IN YOUR MIDST, I GAVE MY WHEAT THAT AGAINST WHICH TO EXERCISE THEIR FAITH SO THEY MIGHT PRESS INTO THAT WHICH WAS NEXT AND NOT BECOME SATISFIED. BUT WHERE NO FRICTION IS, THERE CAN BE NO MOTION. AND WHERE THERE IS NO CHAFF, TRUE WHEAT CANNOT BE NURTURED, FOR IT COULD NEVER WITHSTAND THE ELEMENTS. THEREFORE I SAID TO YOU IT MUST BE THAT DIVISIONS COME, YET WOE TO THEM BY WHOM THEY COME.15 IN THE PROVING GROUND OF MY VISIBLE CHURCH, THE EXPERIENCES OF MY WHEAT OVER STRIFE THROUGH UNBELIEF VACCINATE THEM AGAINST THE WORLD'S UNBELIEF - AGAINST WHICH THEY COULD NEVER OTHERWISE STAND NOR GROW TO FINALLY OVERCOME."
We see by this that the visible Church is not God's true work. It only hides it. The visible Church, seething with corruption and division, has been for the protecting of the Lord's true Church. The hiding of the identity of the true Church is for Her own protection. To this day it is a classified secret. For it is as the People of God have thought themselves to be THE manifest People of God that they have become corrupted. That such corruption could occur is why it was allowed to occur, that the true hidden People might learn by the folly and be preserved.
This is the mystery of disguised blessing behind the ages- long subjection of the visible People of God to perpetual chaos, turmoil, and division. It is a lesson of nature. It is a mystery hard to be perceived. He that has ears to hear, let him hear.16
We have said all these things to say that, despite the apparently desperate state of the visible Church in North America, God has not been thwarted by the manifold deceptions of false kingdom teaching throughout the body. Only those who have allowed themselves to become as chaff have been deceived. The hidden wheat have continued on, faithfully advancing their salvation out of every form of dead works. They have been protected from unbelief by the chaos caused by unbelief. Because they have learned from the unbelief of the surrounding chaff, their hearts are not fixed in their understandings of God's ways. Therefore they will not be stuck as the next great phase of Restoration dawns to free God's People from babylonianism.
No. It is not to lament therefore the pitiful state of the visible Church. It is rather to know for certain where one stands in his heart: In the kernel? Or in the husk?
"Make Your Calling and Election Sure"
At this point I turn to you, Relative in Christ, to say: Now is the time to step back and take stock of yourself spiritually before the full threshing occurs and God's next stage of salvation is revealed. Now is the time to determine whether you are wheat or chaff with respect to the coming salvation. Now is the time to make your calling and election sure.17
You claim to be a "believer" in Jesus Christ? Well and good. The demons also believe - and tremble.18 If your participation in the various stages of God's salvation has ceased to lead you into ever-increasing conflict with fixed society and with those in the professing Church still married to it, then you may know that your faith has died. You are chaff to be burned at the time of threshing.
God's salvation has many phases and levels, levels of wheat and chaff, levels of threshing, and levels of burning. That which is wheat with respect to one degree of salvation may be chaff with respect to the next degree through unbelief. You may have been wheat concerning salvation from sin's penalty, "accepting Christ" as your saviour. You may have even been wheat concerning salvation from the works of the flesh, pressing on into the baptism of the Spirit and of fire. But if your faith in Jesus Christ has ceased to gear you for participation in the coming last confrontation between the Church and babylonianism, then it has become vain. You will not enter into God's last salvation for the Church. Instead, you will hinder those that would and you yourself will be burned as chaff by the lie of false kingdom teaching in your right hand.19
Perhaps you ask, "How may I know if I am wheat or chaff?" I will show you.
Simply ask yourself, "What phase of God's already restored salvation have I refused to enter?"
"To what revival of God's truth past or present have I become exclusively devoted at the expense of my pressing on into ALL His truth?"
"With what group of believers rooted in fixed society have I become exclusively identified and settled? "
"What other group of believers have I derided for their excesses as an excuse for my unwillingness to enter into the truth they have?"
"What truth held by other believers have I attributed to the `work of the devil'20 simply because I don't understand it21 or because they have rejected truth I have?"
"Concerning what truth of God have I stopped my ears22 and pointed my finger at the faults of those who hold it to justify my unteachableness?"
Your answers to these questions will determine whether you are wheat or chaff concerning God's next salvation. They will determine whether you will move on into the salvation from the kingdoms of this world, or whether you will persecute those who do and die at the hands of your favorite brand of false kingdom teaching.
If you count your spiritual descent from the Reformation or Anabaptists, have you rejected the message of a deeper holiness because it offends your understanding and exposes your dead works?
If you count your descent from the message of a deeper holiness, have you rejected the charismatic side to the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" because it offends the unbelief of your carnal mind? Or have you rejected the sovereign grace message of the Reformation because it has rejected you?
If you count your descent from the latest works of the Holy Spirit's renewals in faith, deliverance, and healing, have you rejected the faith of the Reformation with its foundational message of judgment, and the sovereignty and fear of the Lord? Or have you rejected the deeper life of self-denial which you so badly need and for lack of which your excesses are blasphemed by the rest of the Church?23
If your answer to any of these or similar questions is "yes", then you may surely know that you are chaff. You will be burned at the revelation of God's next salvation.
Fixation of faith, thought, and the fixation of collective society go together. If you have settled into a fixed faith rooted in a group of believers rooted in a collective society, there is no way you will heed the final call for flight from Babylon. Your settledness of faith has sealed your love for babylonian society. You will not be saved from the works of this "untoward generation"24 but will go down with them. The society you claim to be salting with your fixed faith and regressive evangelism will salt you (Remember Lot's wife).25 When the final call is issued, your kingdom lie will have trapped you and you will be unable to flee. It will be too late. You will not overcome26 in the coming last war between the Church and global society. You will be overcome. You will not secure yourself a place of rulership with Jesus at the inauguration of His true kingdom on earth.
Yes. This is how you may know whether you are wheat or chaff. But it is not too late. God's final salvation has not yet broken in fully upon the Church. Now is the time to do something about what chaff remains to you. Now is the time to swallow your religious pride and prejudices. Now is the time to fill in the missing gaps in your salvation. If you don't find salvation now from all the dead works for which salvation has already been restored, do you think you will find it from the works of fixed society waiting to be revealed?27
[12. WHILE THE CHURCH
[12. WHILE THE CHURCH SLEPT ]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
References:1 Mt 13:47-50
2 Jg 7:1-8
3 Mt 3:12
4 Rom 11:5
5 Heb 13:14
6 Jn 16:13
7 Jn 8:31 > Heb 10:38
8 Jms 1:8
9 Gal 3:3
10 Jn 7:24; 8:15
11 Rom 9:32; 11:7-10
12 Rom 9:6 (II Ti 2:19)
13 Mal 3:1-5; 4:1-3
14 Ex 23:29-30
15 Mt 18:7 (I Cor 11:18-19)
16 Mt 13:9
17 II Pt 1:10-11
18 Jms 2:19
19 Is 44:20
20 Mt 12:24
21 II Pt 2:12
22 Acts 7:57
23 Rom 2:24
24 Acts 2:40
25 (Mt 5:13 >) Gen 19:26;Lk 17:32
26 Rev 3:21
27 Lk 8:18; 16:10 Jn 3:12
[12. WHILE THE CHURCH SLEPT ]
TABLE OF CONTENTS