1.The Bible says: “That which was from the beginning, which we have HEARD, which we have SEEN with our eyes, which we have LOOKED upon, and our hands have HANDLED, of the WORD OF LIFE” [1 John 1:1] The WORD OF LIFE which the apostles HEARD, SAW, LOOKED UPON and HANDLED was the MESSAGE and the MESSENGER rolled into ONE. The MESSAGE and MESSENGER is God manifest in Jesus Christ to give ETERNAL LIFE to those who come to Him. Jesus Christ was the MESSAGE in Eden, sealed in the TREE OF LIFE. He was the MESSENGER in the SPOKEN WORD, calling man to choose EVERLASTING LIFE and forsake DEATH and ETERNAL DAMNATION, as it is written: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” [Genesis 2:16-17] The MESSAGE and the MESSENGER were ONE but SIN separated man from God; we were reconfigured to hear God through MESSENGERS, even as Israel said to Moses: “…SPEAK THOU TO US, and we will hear: but LET NOT GOD SPEAK WITH US, lest we die” [Exodus 20:19]
2. The Bible says: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners SPAKE UNTO THE FATHERS BY THE PROPHETS, Hath in these last days SPOKEN UNTO US BY HIS SON,…” [Hebrews 1:1-2] All the PROPHETS who spoke before Jesus Christ were MESSENGERS and not the MESSAGE. Incapacitated by SIN and limited by DEATH, they could neither give ETERNAL LIFE to themselves nor to those who believed their REPORT. At the appointed time, the MESSAGE and MESSENGER was manifest among us, as it is written: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” [John 1:14] Jesus Christ is the MESSAGE and at the same time the MESSENGER like no other before or after Him, because in Him ““…dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” [Colossians 2:9] He is the TREE OF LIFE which if any man EAT, he shall LIVE FOREVER, as the Bible says: “…Verily, verily, I say unto you, EXCEPT YE EAT THE FLESH OF THE SON OF MAN, and drink his blood, YE HAVE NO LIFE IN YOU” [John 6:53] In Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to God and have access to EAT the FRUIT of the TREE OF LIFE. This is the MYSTERY of the ages; God was manifest in FLESH as the MESSAGE and MESSENGER of ETERNAL LIFE, as it is written: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: GOD WAS MANIFEST IN FLESH…” [1 Timothy 3:16]
3. The Bible says: “But YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER, after that the HOLY GHOST IS COME UPON YOU: and YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH” [Acts 1:8] Having restored our access to the TREE OF LIFE through His DEATH and RESURRECTION, the Lord Jesus Christ commissioned a peculiar army of MESSENGERS to proclaim the MESSAGE in all nations. The New Testament MESSENGER is primarily a TRUE WITNESSES of God manifest in FLESH to OFFER ETERNAL LIFE in Jesus Christ. The PROOF of a TRUE WITNESS is the POWER and PRESENCE of God dwelling inside bodies of FLESH and BLOOD. So then, we carry in our earthly bodies a deposit of TREASURES of ETERNAL LIFE, as the Bible says: “But we have this TREASURE IN EARTHEN VESSELS, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” [2 Corinthians 4:7] The NEW Testament MESSENGER is not by any means a MASTER or RULER but in every sense a STEWARD, through whom God works to perfect His PURPOSE. As STEWARDS, let us be faithful, knowing fully well that the Lord shall return at a time no one knows and will cast “…the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” [Matthew 25:30]
4. The Bible says: “But there were FALSE PROPHETS also among the people, even as there shall be FALSE TEACHERS among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,…” [2 Peter 2:1] Listen carefully, every MESSENGER is defined by his MESSAGE. The MESSAGE is not what the MESSENGER says, it is who he is. When the Serpent said “…Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” he was a MESSENGER alright but had no MESSAGE because ETERNAL LIFE was not in Him. I caution you, there are many LIARS and DECEIVERS in the world masquerading as MESSENGERS. It is your duty to separate WHEAT from CHAFF. Thus said the Lord: ‘Wherefore BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM” [Matthew 7:20] The FRUITS refer to the TREE OF LIFE, that is, the LIFE of Jesus Christ. If any man claims to be a MESSENGER of Jesus Christ and does not LIVE and SPEAK as Jesus Christ did, he is a LIAR and DECEIVER. The LIFE of Jesus Christ was replicated in the Apostles and the early Church as FRUIT of the TREE OF LIFE. They were so much like Jesus Christ, they were nicknamed CHRISTIANS in Antioch [Acts 11:23] The Apostles were not lords but servants over the Church. They were not famous for their wealth but had the TESTIMONY that they OVERCAME SIN and DEATH, as the Bible says: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” [Revelation 12:11]
5. The Bible says: For there shall arise FALSE CHRISTS, and FALSE PROPHETS, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, THEY SHALL DECEIVE THE VERY ELECT” [Matthew 24:24] The ELECT will not be deceived because they know the MESSAGE and the MESSENGER are ONE. The ELECT have the FRUITS of ETERNAL LIFE in them and will not be MANIPULATED by CARPETBAGGERS whose sole claim to ministry is the PROSPERITY OF FOOLS [Proverbs 1:32] I exhort you to EXAMINE the MESSAGE in your HEART and APPRAISE the MESSENGER in your life. Are they ONE? Do not be DECEIVED by those SPEAK with “…Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau” [Genesis 27:22] Beloved, the coming of the Lord is at hand when He shall appear suddenly and many shall be caught unawares, as it is written; “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” [Matthew 7:22-23] Remember, the MESSAGE is Jesus Christ and the MESSENGER is God WORKING right now, “…in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” [Philippians 2:13] Amen.