THE PATTERN SON by Bill Britton

By Bill Britton

by Bill Britton

In these days we are hearing much about signs and wonders. Many of these, of course, are spurious and false . . . tricks of the enemy to deceive and mislead God's people, to magnify the flesh and glorify man, and to sidetrack us from the main purpose of God in the earth today. But not all signs are of the devil. The very fact that there is a counterfeit proves that there is a real, for no one counterfeits that which does not exist. In our time, as in the New Testament Church, God is showing forth His power and making known His Presence by many signs and wonders. The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that this glorious Gospel "at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with SIGNS and WONDERS, and with divers MIRACLES, and GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST, according his own will. . " Mark 16:17 says, ". . SIGNS shall follow them that believe. . " Notice that it does not say that believers follow after signs . . too much of this is being done today. Our first job is to preach the Gospel in the power of His Spirit and let the signs follow according to His will. Verse 20 says that they went everywhere preaching the Word, and the Lord worked with them, "confirming the Word with signs following. " There is nothing in this to be ashamed of or to hide, as some so-called preachers would try to make us believe. Signs are given to be seen and heard about. Daniel 4:2-3 says, "I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation."

But I would not speak of the many signs and wonders that God is giving forth in this hour, and there are many. Some would take a particular sign that has been given to them, magnify it all out of proportion, and build a doctrine and a sect around this one sign, signifying that God has thus confirmed them as THE CHOSEN PEOPLE. This attitude is wrong, and leads to grievous error. We thank God for all His signs and want to see more of them among His people--the healing of the sick, casting out devils, speaking in tongues, oil in the hands, crosses of blood, fire and pillars of smoke. All of these things can tee used to the glory of God if we have the wisdom of God to guide us. But a greater sign than all these has been given and it is this marvelous and glorious wonder, God's greatest sign, that I wish to speak to you about today. . .

JESUS is God's greatest sign! In Isaiah 7:14 the prophet cried out, " Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. " Now, beloved, get your Bibles, for I want to show you that the Sign was not the virgin who brought forth. It was not the swaddling clothes he was wrapped in, nor was the miraculous birth itself the promised Sign, but rather it was the One who was born and brought into the world in such a manner. He was and still is God's greatest Sign. Now a sign is that which points to something, and this man Jesus, His birth, life, death and resurrection points unerringly to that great thing which God is doing in the earth, His eternal Purpose in Christ Jesus!

Now turn in your Bibles to Matthew, chapter 1, verses 18-23, and you will see plainly that the Sign was not fulfilled when Jesus was born. Now I said it was not fulfilled. At this time it was given. The prophet has promised that God would give them a sign. God gave them this sign when He gave them Jesus there in Bethlehem's manger. Now a sign is not fulfilled when it is given. It is fulfilled when that which it points to comes to pass. That baby lying there in Mary's arms is the greatest sign God ever gave to the earth, and it shall not fail. That which it points to shall most surely come to pass, Glory to His Mighty Name! The angels spoke to the shepherd s in the field on that glorious night, "Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. "AND THIS SHALL BE A SIGN UNTO YOU." And then they went on to tell them where to find the child. In Luke, chapter two, that old prophet of God, Simeon, came by the Spirit into the temple and there he found Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus. Here we find hands being laid on Jesus and prophecy going forth over him at the tender age of six weeks. For Simeon took Him up in his arms and began to prophesy. Hear, my friends, what the Spirit said about Him: "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and FOR A SIGN which shall be spoken against. " Yes, beloved, this child is for a sign. See what He says about Himself in Luke 11:29-30: "this is an evil generation; they seek a sign, and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of Man be (a sign) to this generation. " Now Jonah was a sign pointing to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This sign was given to the Ninevites when Jonah came forth after 3 days in the belly of the whale. The sign of Jonah was fulfilled when Jesus came forth from the tomb. Jonah's sign pointed unerringly to the Truth, it did not fail. And now a greater sign than Jonah is given. Let us hear Christ speak once again through the mouth of the prophet: In Isaiah 8:18. . "Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and wonders. . " We discover in Heb. 2:13 that the One who spoke these words was actually our Lord Jesus. And He says that He is for a Sign. And so are the children (Sons) that God hath given Him, those who are to be conformed to His image, the Body of Christ, the Overcomer. Hallelujah! Thank God for His eternal plan and purpose!

Now our minds begin to wonder. . if Jesus is the Sign, and the Scriptures most plainly show that He is, then who or what is the fulfillment of that Sign? Our precious Lord does not leave us in doubt, for the Bible very plainly reveals this great mystery. This is the glorious mystery that was revealed to Paul the apostle, which he calls "my Gospel". For it was Paul who saw the wonderful truth of the Body of Christ, the "Perfect Man", the Sons of God, the many membered Man that God was making after His own image. And don't you ladies worry, for God's Man is neither male nor female, Jew nor Gentile, bond or free . . he is made up of many members, and we are all one in Him. And if you are called into this High Calling of God in Christ Jesus, chosen of God to be made in His image, and faithful through the fiery test, then you can be a member of the Perfect Man regardless of who you are.

You see, beloved, in Genesis, chapter 1, we find that God began a creation. Even in the first day we find the substance of which man was made was present. Yes, the dust of the earth and the breath

of God were there, but man had not yet been formed. The first day was the day light was given. It was the day of beginnings. In the third day there was a harvest of fruit in the earth. Then in the sixth day God brought forth His Man to rule over the earth, and on the seventh day God rested while Man ruled. Now, we know that Jesus was the light of the world .. John 1:9 tells us: "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. " Salvation, or justification, is the beginning of eternal life for us. This is pointed out beautifully in the types and shadows God gave in the Old Testament Law. At the time of the Passover, God said that this should be the beginning of months for them. Everything starts with the sprinkling of the blood on the doorposts. The death angel passes over them and the children of Israel are safe from the judgments of God. Then in the third month they are to bring forth the first-fruits of the harvest, and on the fiftieth day following the Passover Sabbath comes the feast of Pentecost. Just as the Passover was fulfilled in Jesus spilling His own precious blood on Calvary and rising from the Tomb, just so was the feast of Pentecost fulfilled when He sent back the Holy Spirit upon the waiting Church, bringing forth a great harvest in the earth, a harvest which actually is only the first-fruits of what God is going to do in the seventh day at the great Feast of Ingathering. For in the seventh month, in the end of the civil year, comes the great feast which has never yet been fulfilled. .the great Feast of Tabernacles, or Ingathering, reserved for the end of this age. Friends, we are now in the sixth day when God is forming His Man, His Body in the earth, and bringing it to completion. The ministry of Apostles and Prophets is once more arising from within the Church for the perfecting of the Body, until we all come unto "a Perfect Man", unto the -measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Is there any wonder why the devil and all the forces of hell are joining forces in Communism, atheism, false religions, ecclesiastical systems, dead modernistic denominations, and much demon activity..trying to kill the Manchild as soon as he is born? Note how Herod tried to kill Jesus while still a babe. Yet God protected Him.

Everything about the life of Jesus points to the Body of Christ, of which He is the Head, as well as filling the whole Body. He is the divine sign, and that which is coming forth to rule and reign with Him in God's Eternity must follow that Sign, and fulfill it to the letter. Now open your heart, for I'm going to show you God's Sign. Knowing and following the right Sign Will keep You from being deceived in this hour of tremendous and marvelous revelation, both real and false.

See how His coming is revealed in the written Word, the Bible, even the Old Testament Law. Beware of those who would tell you that because what they have is not spoken of in the pages of that book, that the Bible is dead letter and no good to us today. Flee from them as you would from before a viper that would strike you dead. For they would do worse than kill you, they would steal your soul and destroy your hope in God. If it is not found in the Bible, it is not true. Isaiah the prophet said, "To the Law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them. " Yes, the mystery of the Body of Christ is hidden to them that are lost, but nevertheless, it is in the Word of God, and is now being made manifest to His saints; to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery.

See next how He was born of a virgin! You better believe this. It is very important, both to the nature of Who He is, and also as a Sign. For that which God is bringing forth is conceived by the Holy Ghost, and shall not come by the will of man or from the efforts of man, nor shall it come through any of the harlot systems of religion which are married to man and under man's headship. God is separating the woman now, a Church, and cleansing her even as a virgin. He will soon bring her into travail, worse than she has ever known in her young life, that she might bring forth the Manchild into the earth. The Manchild is even now a part of her, but has not yet been formed into the complete Body. "For I would have thee know, my people, that I have already sent forth my Word, and my Spirit has overshadowed the daughter of Zion, and my Life hath gone forth into her womb, so that the one of low degree hath been exalted, and my mercy hath been extended to her. Yea, for the world would look upon her with scorn, and though she hath not known a man, yet they would say, 'Look now upon her, for she is with child, and she hath no husband. Shame, shame upon her. ' But behold the handmaiden of the Lord, even the virgin whom I have chosen, saith the Lord, and see how she bears her shame with quietness of heart and joy of soul, for the promise of the Lord hath been given to her, and the anointing of the Lord doth rest upon her. Yea, for her hour doth come quickly upon her, and when her travail is over she shall rejoice when she shall have brought a Man into the world. " Glory to God!

Notice next how Herod, representing the world systems, Babylon, with the doctor of religion at his right hand, tries to kill this child Jesus, but to no avail. Hallelujah, the Angel of the Lord has been given charge over him, and safely escorts Him to Egypt. But why Egypt? Because He was the Sign, and the prophet Hosea had already spoken how God had called Israel, "my son", out of Egypt as a child. Matthew 2:15 says that Jesus had to go to Egypt "that it might be fulfilled" what the prophet spoke in Hosea 11:1. You see, before it could happen to us, it had to be foreshadowed in Old Testament Israel and fulfilled in the Sign Son. God knew that in these last days He would find us in Egyptian bondage, bound by these old earthly ecclesiastical systems of religion, ruled over by man. And, dear one, if you are to be in God's great purpose in these last days, you must separate yourself from Egyptian bondage, be free from the harlot system, and "come out of her, my people." This is God's plan, God's Pattern, so let us follow the Sign. Oh, I know that there was a mixed multitude that came out of Egypt, and many of them still were full of lust and sin. And so it is with the Move of God today . . many are coming out of the religious systems, but are bringing a reproach upon what God is doing because of their sinful lives and their false doctrines and their greed and lust. This mixed multitude had to die out in the wilderness along with those they contaminated, but thank God there were Two Witnesses, true and faithful (Joshua and Caleb), and these went into the Promised Land to their inheritance along with God's new generation of wilderness born children of faith. Don't take lightly this part of the message, for it is very important. The Sign points plainly to an exodus from Egypt. You may say, "But if I come out of the system and earthly organization I'm in, out from under the headship of man, then where would I go, what would I come into? The answer to that is that you'll come into a wilderness where you'll think you're going to die a hundred times, where you'll think you're going to starve, or wander forever. In fact, the old carnal man will die out there in the wilderness, but thank God, He provides bread from heaven and water from the Rock! But though the natural man be in continual confusion and separation from all that he held dear. . . yet the spirit daily will grow stronger and more dependent upon Him who leads us by the cloud and the fire. "They that are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God." I don't promise a bed of roses, or that He will lead you where you would like to go, but I know He will lead you through the wilderness to a promised land of plenty, flowing with milk and honey, promised to the Seed of Abraham. But, Sons of God, you must come out of Egypt and break your alliance with and your slavery to Pharaoh. The Sign has pointed, we must follow, regardless of anything else.

Now I wish to speak plainly. I believe the glorious mysteries of God can be explained in plain and simple language. I have been so lost in the Spirit and the vision God has given me of the great Move, that I feel perhaps some of you do not fully understand the point of what I am saying. So I shall try to make it plain and simple. But unless God reveals the Truth to you by His Spirit, all of my explaining would be in vain. So pray sincerely and earnestly for spiritual understanding. For unto you that have ears to hear and eyes to see, would I make known the mystery of the Body of Christ.

You see, Jesus is a Sign. His life is a sign pointing to, and a pattern for, His Anointed Body. Those who are in His Body shall follow in His steps and be made into His image. This thing Jesus is a sign of is a body of believers, born again, filled with His Spirit, caught up into the purposes of God, and anointed for rulership. . to sit on the throne with Him. This body of people, though made up of a multitude of saints throughout the world and throughout the ages, yet is seen in the Bible as one Body, spoken of as God's Perfect Man, and the Overcomer. As we have already said, how this Body comes into existence and what happens to it can be learned by studying the Pattern, the Lord Jesus Christ. And although there will be unnumbered multitudes of people saved by the Grace of God through the precious blood of Jesus, and we do thank God for these dear ones, yet the real purposes of God are tied up in that group of saints who press their way to the mark for the prize of the High calling of God in Christ Jesus. They are the Hundred-fold of the Harvest, the Principal Wheat, the Precious fruit of the earth, brought forth by the latter rain. These are virgins who follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth, who are not defiled with women (harlot churches under man's headship). These are His Witnesses in the earth whom He has anointed by the Spirit without measure. They are the ones who put Satan under their feet, and gain back the inheritance lost by Adam, and much more beyond that. They are part of the Bride of Christ, the Holy City, New Jerusalem, but they are more than just part of the City which is known as the Temple of the Living God, filled with the glory and presence of God.

Would you like to know what is next in order for the people of God today? Would you like to have true prophetic revelation? Then study the Pattern, the Sign. See how this baby Jesus begins to grow to mature manhood. Except for one glimpse of the boy Jesus at the age of twelve, we know nothing of how he managed to grow from babyhood to manhood. Yet we know that He did. And though we cannot see the progress the Body is making today, yet we know it is growing and some day will come to full maturity and to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Let us look at the boy Jesus.

Where was He? What was He doing? See Him there, He is in the Temple, His mind upon the things of God . . astounding the doctors of the Law with His Knowledge of God and the depth of His revelation: while the other children are playing their religious games in the market-place. The doctors of the law cannot understand this Boy, who someday will be God's Man, and they cannot answer His searching question. See how He is about His Father's business, recognizing at least in a measure who He is and His divine calling. Yet see how submissive He is to the Woman.. Child of Grace, yet willing to obey the law and be in submission until the fulness of His time is come. Maker of the universe, yet willing to be in submission! Mystery of mysteries! How can this be? Oh, the depth of His humiliation and the extent of His stripping of Himself' Sons of God, now is the time to be searching for the Truth of God, understanding His eternal purposes, of knowing who we are and the greatness of our destiny. It is time to be about our Father's business. But also time to be submissive, to be humble and meek. The time is yet ahead when we shall sit down with Him in His throne. Now is the time to die to self, to our own ambitions and pride .. to submit to one another, even to those who do not have the calling which we have in Him. And as surely as Jesus came to the River Jordan, just as surely will the Sons of God mature and enter into a glorious ministry of life and authority. Would you like to know the kind of ministry that waits for the mature Man, the Overcomer? Time and space does not permit it here, but this truth is contained in another message beginning with the Pattern at the River Jordan and the baptism of Jesus. There we find Him receiving a special anointing, and we see the heavens opened unto Him.

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