THE THREE WORKS OF GRACE
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Multitudes of Christians are acquainted with the first work of grace, that is, basic salvation through the blood of the cross. A smaller number have received basic salvation and also a second work of grace, the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Now God is ready to bring us through the third work of grace. The third work of grace may be referred to as the rest of God.
The blood of the cross gives us the authority to enter the purpose of God. The Holy Spirit gives us the power and wisdom to accomplish the purpose of God. The authority, the power, and the wisdom of God enable us to enter the purpose of God, which is the third work or area of grace. The third work of grace is the creation, through Christ, of a living house for God in which He can rest for eternity.
Table of Contents
The third work was finished from the beginning of the worldJohn, Chapter Fourteen Describes the Third Work
The third work is the eternal Sabbath
The third work requires war
Ephesians, Chapters Two and Three Describe the Third Work
THE THREE WORKS OF GRACE
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? (Isaiah 66:1)
Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? (Acts 7:49)
In my Father’s house are many rooms: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22)
What you are about to read suggests that we have come to an epochal change in our understanding of the Christian salvation. It is not a “new revelation.” The Lord gave the Apostles of the first century the full revelation of salvation.
It appears the Spirit of wisdom and revelation departed with the death of the early Apostles and the human mind took over the task of explaining the new covenant. The Church fathers began to write books about redemption and the Kingdom of God, and the writing of commentaries continues until the present hour.
While commentaries on the Bible can be helpful to the student they usually do not reflect the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: (Ephesians 1:17)
At some early point in the Christian Era the spirit Paradise, Heaven, became the goal of salvation. Perhaps this was because human reasoning had replaced the Spirit of revelation. We are saved to go to Heaven it was stated. To this day in Christian thinking the blood of the Lord Jesus is viewed as our ticket to Heaven.
Because it is not true that eternal residence in the spirit Paradise is the goal of salvation, our understanding of the process of redemption and our response to that understanding misses the Divine mark. We are looking toward the wrong goal and so our efforts are often misdirected. Christian thinking is not in accord with the mind of God.
The actual goal of salvation is not a change of where we are but of what we are. Salvation is not a movement of the individual from one place to another, from earth to Heaven, but a transformation—spirit, soul, and body—of the believer until he is God’s servant wherever he is. Our statement concerning a change of goal may seem at first glance to be obvious and to have no real impact on Christian thinking. Actually it is revolutionary and has significance for the entire Christian movement.
There most assuredly is a Heaven where God, Jesus, the saints, and the holy angels reside in the present hour. But the residence of God and His creatures in the spirit Paradise is temporary. Heaven (the Presence of God and Christ) is coming to the earth in the form of the holy city, the new Jerusalem. Earth, not the spirit Paradise, is the eternal home of man—and God!
We are not going to the city, the city is coming to us.
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (Hebrews 13:14)
We are not going to Heaven to live in the city that has foundations. Rather the city that has foundations is coming to the earth. The writers of the New Testament had no intention of going to live forever in the spirit realm. They did not view Heaven as eternal life or as the Kingdom of God.
It is God’s desire that throughout eternity man realize he is the servant of God and that his life must be addressed to God as God’s servant. Man must learn to live in and by the Spirit of God. The heart of man was designed to be the throne room of God, and until his heart is God’s throne, man is not man.
The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s idea of what man is to be. Paradise will be restored as man becomes what man was meant to be.
Salvation is not a change in location which will occur when we die. Salvation, the transformation of our personality from the image of Satan to the image of God, is to take place every day of our life through the various aspects of grace that God gives us through Christ. Salvation is the change in us. This is what redemption is, and it is not for the purpose of going somewhere when we die.
Our salvation is not established until we finish our course.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (Hebrews 3:14)
To partake of Christ, to be part of His house, requires that we continue in joyous expectation throughout our discipleship. In terms of current Christian thinking, the concept that our salvation is not established until we finish our course is totally revolutionary.
It is obvious from several passages of the Book of Hebrews that the experienced saints to whom the Book of Hebrews was written were in serious danger of falling away from the Lord.
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; (Hebrews 2:3)
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Hebrews 3:6)
For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:7,8)
It is a sad commentary on current Christian scholarship that no footnotes of the Bible editions we have read recognize that the sixth chapter of the Book of Hebrews is referring to backsliding Christians. The internal evidence of the text of the Book of Hebrews is clear that the believers being addressed were experienced believers who were not pressing forward in Christ but were beginning to neglect their salvation. They were in danger of dying in the wilderness, so to speak.
Many of today’s preachers and teachers apparently are unwilling to face the numerous exhortations of the New Testament concerning righteous behavior, to present clearly the dire warnings of the Lord and His Apostles addressed to the “lazy slave.” This can be nothing else than the influence of the philosophy of Humanism—the love of man for himself instead of for God. Satan is behind much of the contemporary preaching of “God’s love.”
The warnings in the Gospels and the Epistles—in fact throughout the entire Scriptures for the most part—are not addressed to the Gentile nations (although some are) but to the Lord’s elect, His chosen people, both physical Israel and Christians.
We invite the reader to consider a change in his understanding of salvation as being a ticket for admission to another place, to a change of his personality into the image that God has planned for him. Our present generation of Christians may be so imbued with the traditional concept of the ticket to Heaven that such revolutionary change in thinking is impossible. Perhaps we must look toward today’s children as being the ones who will cross Jordan, who will move forward into the rest of God.
As old as we may be, however, we still can be a Joshua or a Caleb. At least we can give our children the best possible opportunity to become all that God envisions for them.
We may find that God finally will defeat the enemy by ordaining wisdom and strength from the mouth of the little ones. No doubt it is time to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers, for the great and terrible Day of the Lord is at hand.
Concerning our entrance into the purpose of God for us, the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, speak of three works of grace. The first work might be referred to as basic salvation. The second work is the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
The third work of grace is not nearly as well known. We could term the third work the rest of God, in line with the fourth chapter of the Book of Hebrews.
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)
We have been preaching and teaching the third work of grace for more than fifty years, the Lord having spoken to us on this subject in the late 1940s. The Lord seemed to be pointing out to us what He was going to do after the restoration of the Pentecostal experience. The central thought given at that time was Christ in you, and this continues to be the emphasis.
We have written many books and booklets on the various aspects of Christ in you. Of late the third work of grace appears to be becoming increasingly clear and so we shall attempt to set forth what we hope will provide additional clarity for the reader.
Three Works of Grace
The major types of the Scripture point toward three areas of salvation rather than the two that are familiar to us—salvation and the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The following are some examples:
- The Courtyard, Holy Place, and Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
- The three levels of Noah’s Ark.
- The three divisions of Gideon’s army.
- The three major stages of the journey of Israel—Egypt, Mount Sinai, Canaan.
- The waters to the ankles, knees, and loins of Ezekiel, Chapter 47.
- The three anointings of King David.
- Then we have the three days of Hosea, Chapter Six:
- And the three days during which the Lord will “walk”:
- There are three areas of the heavenlies.
- Three levels of fruitbearing.
- Three means by which we overcome the accuser of our brothers.
- We understand also the Lord Jesus, as is true of all the sons of God, was tempted in three ways: living by bread alone, worshiping Satan, and acting presumptuously.
- In addition, the expressions “after three days,” “on the third day,” and so forth occur repeatedly throughout the Scriptures.
After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. (Hosea 6:2)
And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. (Luke 13:32)
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. (II Corinthians 12:2)
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. (Matthew 13:8)
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)
Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the Lord your God giveth you to possess it. (Joshua 1:11)
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: (John 2:1)
To our knowledge, nowhere in the Scriptures is there an implication that the work of the Kingdom of God is performed in two days. Three consistently is the number employed to signify the work of God.
The Three Convocations of Israel
One of the most revealing of the illustrations of the three works of grace is recorded as follows:
Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty: (Deuteronomy 16:16)
Here we find a portrayal of the three stages of the Divine salvation:
- The feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover).
- The feast of Weeks (Pentecost).
- The feast of Tabernacles.
The spiritual fulfillment of the three convocations of Israel (above) includes the three works of grace we are discussing:
- Basic salvation through the blood of the cross.
- The baptism with the Holy Spirit.
- The rest of God.
Each of the three convocations, Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, has a historical fulfillment and then a personal fulfillment. The historical fulfillment does not profit us until we experience the personal fulfillment.
The historical and personal fulfillments.
Let us think for a moment about the historical and personal fulfillments of each of the three convocations of Israel.
The Passover week speaks to us of the basic salvation experience. Included in the basic salvation experience are the blood of the Lamb, repentance, water baptism, and the born-again experience.
The historical fulfillment of the Passover week took place when the Lord Jesus died on the cross of Calvary, descended into the earth, and then was raised on the third day.
Our personal fulfillment of the Passover week occurs as we put our faith in the blood of the Lamb for salvation, repent of our sins, are baptized in water, and then are born again of the Spirit of God.
Do you see that the personal fulfillment takes place after the historical fulfillment and that the historical fulfillment does us little good until we experience the personal fulfillment?
The historical fulfillment of the feast of Weeks, or Pentecost occurred when the Lord Jesus poured the Holy Spirit on the disciples waiting in the upper room. The Holy Spirit could not be poured out until the “day of Pentecost was fully come,” that is, until the day of the Jewish feast of Pentecost had arrived.
Our personal fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost is experienced as we look to the Lord Jesus to fill us with His Spirit. Ordinarily we speak in tongues when we are filled with the Spirit. However, even after we speak in tongues we still should look to the Lord each day for more of the Spirit of God. Speaking in tongues is our entrance into the rest of God (Isaiah 28:12).
Again, do you see that the personal fulfillment of Pentecost takes place after the historical fulfillment and that the historical fulfillment does not benefit us until we experience the personal fulfillment?
Now we come to the third work of grace, to the climax, the omega of redemption. The Passover blood gives us the authority, and the Spirit of Pentecost gives us the wisdom and power, to participate in the third work of grace.
The third work of grace is the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles. The spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles is the goal of the Christian salvation.
The first work of grace forgives our sins and brings us into the Kingdom of God.
The second work of grace gives us the wisdom and power, through the Spirit of God, to live a holy life and also to bear witness of the atoning death and triumphant resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
The third work of grace is the coming of the Father and the Son to take up Their eternal abode in us.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)
Unlike the first two works of grace, the historical fulfillment of the third work, in some of its aspects, will follow the personal fulfillment.
The personal fulfillment of the third work of grace is, as we have said, the coming of the Father and the Son to take up Their eternal abode in us.
The ultimate historical fulfillment of the third work is the coming down from the new heaven of the new Jerusalem, the glorified Church of Christ, to abide forever among the saved nations that are inhabiting the new earth.
The first two works of grace took place historically apart from any action on the part of the saints. They were sovereign gifts of God Almighty. However, according to our understanding, the historical fulfillment of some parts of the third work will not be a sovereign work but will proceed from what is being accomplished in the believers as they work with the Holy Spirit in the transformation of their personality.
For this reason the historical fulfillment of the third platform of redemption must of necessity take place along with and as a result of, and not before, the personal fulfillment.
As we understand what the Lord God is doing, the personal fulfillment of the third work of grace has begun now, will continue throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age, and will attain its climax in the descent of the Tabernacle of God to the earth, as described in the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation.
With respect to the first work of grace, we can say, “I have been saved,” meaning that our sins have been forgiven and God has touched us with Divine Life.
With respect to the second work of grace, we can say, “I have the Holy Spirit,” usually meaning I have spoken in tongues and now can worship God in the Spirit.
However, the third work of grace is such a vast work of transformation in us as we work out our own salvation that it will be a long time before we will be able to say, “I have received the Tabernacles experience.” This would be to state that all worldliness, fleshly sinfulness, and self-will have been driven from my personality; Christ has been completely formed in me; the fullness of the Father and the Son are abiding in me through the fullness of the Holy Spirit; and my flesh and bones have been raised from the dead and covered with my new body from Heaven, that gigantic, fiery house of righteousness and holiness that has been formed as I have sown to the Spirit throughout my discipleship.
One may wonder if such a fullness of redemption is possible. Not only is it possible but it is expected of every son of God. Only God Almighty can bring such a thing to pass in us, but the fact is He can and He shall if we will continue to take the small steps He places before us each day.
The feast of Tabernacles, the third of the three great convocations of Israel, the scriptural illustration of the third work of grace, includes three subfeasts:
- The blowing of Trumpets.
- The Day of Atonement.
- The feast of Tabernacles proper.
Each of these feasts typifies an aspect of the work of salvation. Read Leviticus, Chapter Twenty-three to find out about the seven feasts of the Lord.
The blowing of Trumpets has begun now and will climax with the return of the Lord. The trumpet call is sounding. The Lord Jesus is ready to confront the sin in the world, beginning with the sin that is in the saints who are closest to Him.
The historical fulfillment of the feast of Trumpets consists of the seven trumpets of the Book of Revelation. The personal fulfillment of the memorial of Blowing of Trumpets takes place as the Lord comes to us and confronts the enemy that remains in our personality. The personal fulfillment continues as He enables us to find our place in the army of the Lord.
It is time to organize the saints into the army of the Lord in preparation for the conflict of the ages, which even now is upon us. It is the army of God coming against the army of Satan.
The Day of Atonement is the reconciling of God’s elect, and then the saved people of the nations, to Himself. Every part of our personality is to be cleansed and made ready for the dwelling of God. The Day of Atonement will continue throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age and is the reason for the Kingdom Age. After the Kingdom Age there will be a new sky and a new earth. On the new earth will be living the glorified saints and also the members of the saved nations.
The complete historical fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles will take place in conjunction with the personal fulfillment experienced by God’s elect. This is because the historical fulfillment will not come into being by a sovereign act of God as in the case of Calvary and the Day of Pentecost, but as the saints work with the Holy Spirit in the driving of Satan from their own personality and then from the entire creation.
Let us explain. Notice the following passage:
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16)
It is our point of view that during the thousand-year Kingdom Age the saved nations will not go up to Jerusalem to dwell in booths, as in the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles. Rather, they will go up to Jerusalem to partake of the Glory of God that will be coming from the saints in whom the Lord will be dwelling.
As soon as the Father and the Son are living in untroubled union (tabernacling) in the sons of God, the world will believe God has sent the Lord Jesus and that God loves the saints as He loves the Lord Jesus. Because of their belief in the Lord Jesus and His saints the saved nations will partake of the Glory of God.
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:23)
“That the world may know”!
We think this is the manner in which the saved nations will observe the feast of Tabernacles and that this is why some of the aspects of the personal fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles must take place before the historical fulfillment, the historical fulfillment being the time when the saved nations go up to Jerusalem to keep the feast of Tabernacles.
Another example of the personal fulfillment followed by the historical fulfillment is as follows:
Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. (Ezekiel 47:7-9)
The “sea” is the “dead sea” of mankind. The “trees” are the saints. They have passed through waters to the ankles, waters to the knees, and waters to the loins, and now are living in the fullness of the waters of incorruptible resurrection life.
The saints begin their journey into the fullness of God by putting their faith in the atonement made by the Lord Jesus and then by receiving the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues.
Speaking in tongues is our entrance into the rest of God. We speak in tongues, and as we do we go forward in the Lord. Then we fall back as various tribulations come upon us. Our natural strength and wisdom fail and we learn to live in the Spirit of God. We are snared by the Lord. We finally are taken captive by the Lord and find ourselves living in the consuming Fire of Israel.
Such a change from Adam to Christ takes place command upon command, rule upon rule, as we press forward into the Spirit of God.
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:9-13)
Now we have entered the Tabernacles experience. The throne of God and of the Lamb has been created in us. From the throne flows the waters of eternal, incorruptible resurrection life.
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)
Pentecost is the Holy Spirit coming upon us and dwelling in us. Tabernacles is the creating of the Throne of God in us.
The living water now coming from the saints will flow out to mankind. Those who come and drink at the invitation of the Spirit and the Bride will receive eternal life. They will be healed by the leaves of the Lord’s trees of life—His saints in whom He is dwelling. In this manner the historical fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles follows and results from the personal fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles in the saints.
When the saints have been cleansed and filled with the Father and the Son they will compose the Tabernacle of God that will descend from the new sky and wipe away the tears of mankind.
The spiral staircase.
One time, when a boy, the writer was in a lighthouse located at one end of a breakwater. Inside the lighthouse there was an iron, spiral staircase leading up to the great light.
The three works of grace we have been describing are like a spiral staircase leading up to the great Light. We start at basic salvation, receiving the atonement, and then climb upward to the baptism with the Holy Spirit—life lived in the Spirit of God.
We climb still further and labor to enter the rest of God, the place where our will and God’s will are working together instead of being in conflict.
We keep climbing and come back to basic salvation as we ascend the spiral. We are facing the original direction but at a higher level. Now the atonement, especially the body and blood of the Lord, becomes more meaningful to us. We find as we are pressed out of measure we can look to the Lord for “hidden manna,” for His body and blood to nourish and strengthen us and enable us to overcome evil with good.
Climbing further we find it is the Life of the Spirit that enables us to bear witness, to lead a holy life, and to do all else required of us in the present life.
Further upward and the rest of God is much more in our possession because we are much more in God’s possession.
Still we climb toward the light and receive a fuller understanding of basic salvation. Around and around we go, continually coming back to the same place but at a higher level.
We receive all that there is of God and of salvation when we first receive the Lord Jesus, for all the Fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him. But as we “climb the spiral staircase” the Divine Virtue that is in Christ begins to unfold in us. If we do not climb the spiral staircase of faith, the fullness of Divine grace contained in the salvation that is in Christ will never be experienced by us.
Doing the job.
Another interesting way of viewing the three works of grace is in terms of an individual being employed by a factory. In order to enter the factory he must have a badge, an authorization that permits him or her to enter through the gates onto the grounds and into the factory buildings. The “badge” is the first work of grace, particularly the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power [authority] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)
After the new employee is authorized to enter the plant he then might go to the tool crib and become equipped with the tools necessary to perform the job he has been hired to do. The tools refer to the second work of grace, the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to bear witness of the Lord Jesus.
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)
The Holy Spirit gives us also the ability to overcome sin.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
The Holy Spirit is our Comforter who provides us with the wisdom and power to bear witness of the Lord Jesus and also to overcome the world, the lusts of our flesh, and our self-will and rebellion.
The worker now is authorized to do the job and he has the tools. So it is that when we are saved we are authorized to do the job. When we receive the Holy Spirit we possess the wisdom and power to perform the tasks required by the company.
Now we have come to the job. The job is to make our personality the house of God, to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus, to abide in untroubled rest in the Father through the Lord Jesus. When the job has been finished we are ready to enter all the roles and responsibilities that will be ours throughout eternity.
The Three Symbols of Judaism
The three major symbols of Judaism are the Altar, the Lampstand, and the Booth. God’s will for mankind, beginning with the elect, the saints, the true Israel of God consisting of both Jews and Gentiles, who are the firstfruits to God of mankind, is revealed in the Altar, the Lampstand, and the Booth.
First of all, God wants all people, especially His elect, to know He is God. The Altar means we have been created to worship God, not to go about as being gods ourselves. We are to bow the knee in worship in every aspect of our life.
We are to receive God’s plan of salvation through the blood of the cross and not attempt to create our own righteousness, whether by the Law of Moses or by any other moral code.
When an individual places the world first in his thoughts, emphasizing what he eats and drinks and wears, his sleep, his play, his work, his reproductive activities, he or she is little more than an animal. He may be brilliant and industrious, highly talented and personable, but he is little more than an animal.
Man was created to worship God. This is the meaning of the Altar. When a person does not center his life around the worship of God, presenting his body a living sacrifice that he may prove God’s will for his life, he or she is not man.
The first work of grace, salvation through the blood of the cross, depends on our choice—whether we are to find our own way in life or else to bow the knee to God and accept His rule over us through Christ.
The seven-branched Lampstand of Jewry is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and also of Christ—the One anointed with the Holy Spirit of God.
It is the will of God that people look to the Spirit of God to help them in every aspect of life as they seek to worship and serve God. The wisdom and energy man needs to conduct his affairs in a manner pleasing to God can come only from the Spirit of God. Human wisdom and energy can never enable us to serve God as we should.
God desires that we be just and upright. Only the Spirit of God can enable us to be just and upright in our dealings with people.
God desires that we be holy in personality and behavior. To be holy is to be set apart to God for His special purposes. Only the Holy Spirit can enable man to think, speak, and act in a manner that is of God and through God. The flesh and soul of man will always think, speak, and act in a spiritually unclean manner. Man cannot be in the image of God and part of God except as the Spirit of God makes possible such separation to God and His purposes.
God has given us the ability to speak in tongues so we might learn how to yield our spirit to the spirit of God and thus to enter the Sabbath rest of God. Tongues are the rest and the refreshing for those who look constantly to God for guidance and strength from His Spirit.
Now we come to the central desire of God for man. Man, especially God’s elect, His firstfruits from mankind, is designed to be the resting place of God, the House of God.
It is the author’s point of view that there is a firstfruits of the firstfruits, a holy, warlike remnant of saints who will become pillars in the eternal Temple of God. They will reap the indwelling of God a hundredfold.
These will be followed by the remainder of the elect, of the Church of Christ, who also will be part of God’s Temple. They will reap the indwelling of God to a sixtyfold extent.
Then there are the members of the saved nations who are not part of the elect. They will dwell on the new earth and will be governed by the city of God, the new Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb. They also will serve as the House of God but to a lesser extent than is true of the Israel of God, possessing Christ to a thirtyfold extent.
The point is, everyone who is saved, who is made a part of the new world of righteousness, will have God through Christ dwelling in him or her to a greater or lesser extent. God is to be in all of mankind.
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (Ephesians 1:10)
Notice how this concept is expressed in the following passage:
For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (I Corinthians 15:27,28)
All things must be subdued under the Lord Jesus before God can find rest in mankind. The “all things” include Satan, the fallen angels, the demons, and the worldliness, lust, and self-will that fill each individual.
The Booth, then, is seen as God’s ultimate intention.
The first work of grace emphasizes the Altar. In order to be a part of man the individual must worship and adore God in every aspect of life and not seek to be a God over his own heaven and earth.
The second work of grace emphasizes the Lampstand. In order to be a part of man the person must learn to find his life in the Spirit of God and not seek to go about in the wisdom and energy of the flesh in order to achieve his own goals—even when his goals are God’s goals for him!
The third work of grace emphasizes the Booth. In order to be a part of man the individual must understand that his personality, especially his body, is not his own possession. His personality belongs to God to be used for God’s purpose. God purpose is to dwell in the human personality, to be the supreme Lord thereof.
We cannot govern our own personality, we cannot sit on the throne of our own life, until we are one with God.
The throne of the life of each person was designed to be the throne of God, of the Lamb, and of the individual. As long as the person reigns supreme on the throne of his life he is in slavery to Satan and sin. When he invites the Lord Jesus to enter his personality and be Lord thereof, the Lord prepares him to be the throne of God.
When God and the Lamb are perfectly in control of the personality, then the believer is invited to sit with Them on the throne of his own life. Such perfect rulership and rest marks the omega of redemption.
Man was created to be the throne of God and the Lamb and to govern all the works of God’s hands, but only as he or she has become an eternal part of God and the Lamb.
In order to attain perfect rulership and rest the individual must open the everlasting doors of his personality to the Lord Jesus, who is the Lord of Glory, the Lord of Armies. He must dine with the Lord on the body and blood of the Lord. Then, through the body and blood of the Lord, he must overcome all worldliness, all of the passions of the flesh, and all of the rebellious self-will that fills his soul.
Attaining the throne of one’s own personality is discussed in the following passage:
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Revelation 3:20,21)
The Altar, the Lampstand, and the Booth. The Booth portrays the desire of God to find His rest in the sons whom He is bringing forth, and ultimately in every saved person.
Three Aspects of the Third Work
- The third work was finished from the beginning of the world.
- The third work is the eternal Sabbath.
- The third work requires war.
The third work was finished from the beginning of the world.
For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. (Hebrews 4:3)
The works of God have been finished from the time of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis. The historical fulfillment of Passover was accomplished from the beginning of the world. The Lord Jesus is the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world.
The pouring out of the Holy Spirit also was “finished” from the beginning of the world, being spoken of in advance by the Prophet Joel.
Every aspect of the Kingdom of God, every part and inhabitant of the new Jerusalem, was established for eternity from the beginning of the world.
Every human being born into the world sets about to create his own heaven and earth. God desires that each of us cease striving to achieve his own security, pleasure, and works of prominence and enter that which He has planned for us. We are not to press toward our own mark. We are to press toward the mark that God established for us long before we were born.
We cannot enter the rest of God until we are willing to cease from our own efforts to gain security, joy, and prominence. We must trust that God will keep us by His power, give us the joy we desire, and bring us to the usefulness, fruitfulness, and rank in His Kingdom for which we were created.
As long as we are striving to save our own life, grasp our own desires, and accomplish our own goals, we will find it impossible to enter untroubled rest in God’s Presence. The works were finished from the foundation of the world. Let us rest in that fact, understanding that if we look to God every moment of every day, His Word will bring us to the fullness of salvation.
The third work is the eternal Sabbath.
For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. (Hebrews 4:4)
The Ten Commandments were the Covenant of God with His chosen people, Israel. The Fourth Commandment was an important part of the Covenant.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8-11)
The Fourth Commandment is derived from the eternal moral law of God, which is much more comprehensive than the Law of Moses. The Prophet Isaiah presents the full intention of the Sabbath rest of God, the Sabbath of the eternal moral law:
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 58:13,14)
The third work of grace, the rest of God, the building of the eternal House of God, requires that the following become our experience:
- That we perform the Lord’s pleasure twenty-four hours of every day of our life throughout eternity.
- That we delight to perform the Lord’s pleasure rather than our own.
- That we choose to be holy, that is, to dwell in the Center of the Consuming Fire.
- That we esteem such participation in God’s will as honorable rather than a despised task we are forced to do.
- That we honor God by not following our own paths, not seeking our own pleasure, not even speaking our own words but speaking as the oracle of God as much as possible.
This is how the Lord Jesus lives eternally.
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:10)
If we would move past Pentecost into the third work of grace, then we must press into the Sabbath rest of God where we take pleasure in the fact that God and Christ are expressing themselves in us rather than we seeking to express ourselves and to live our own life as we see fit.
Entering the third work of grace requires the deliberate, verbalized choice to give up our own life in favor of having the Father and the Son live Their lives in us. Apart from such a deliberate, spoken choice, a decision made in the fullness of joy, it is impossible to move past the sixtyfold experience into the hundredfold experience.
Those who are willing to make such a choice have been known from the beginning. However, to enter the fullness of God is available to “whosoever will.”
The third work requires war.
The third aspect of the third work has to do with war.
For if Jesus [Joshua] had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. (Hebrews 4:8)
Joshua led the children of Israel into the conquest of Canaan.
Here we confront one of the revolutionary concepts associated with the third work of grace.
The revolutionary concept of which we are speaking is that Canaan, the land of promise of the Hebrews, is not a type of Heaven. This ought to be obvious to all Christians in that we assuredly do not fight our way into Heaven one city at a time. We do not have to drive out God’s enemies from Heaven in order to occupy Heaven, as Israel had to drive out the Philistines from Canaan in order to occupy Canaan.
Remember, when we came out of Egypt, the world, the Lord did all the fighting. He died on the cross, making an atonement for our sins. In order to do this He, the mighty Christ, had to stand alone against all the forces of Satan. But when we enter our land of promise we drive out the enemy as the Lord guides and helps us.
If Canaan is not a type of Heaven, then the land of promise is not Heaven. If the land of promise is not Heaven, if entering Heaven is not the goal of our pilgrimage in the world, then our thinking concerning the program and goal of salvation is in need of revision.
Right here the reader must make a choice. He can say, “Oh well, what does it matter? Heaven, the land of promise, the goal, Canaan, the rest of God—it is all the same thing. Let’s get souls saved and on their way to Heaven. We can worry about the fine points later.”
Such an attitude could be compared to a giant industry saying, “We don’t care what our objective is. As long as the girls are happy and have enough coffee breaks we will get along fine.”
Do you know what would happen? A more diligent industry would soon drive the careless industry out of business.
What if a runner exclaimed, “I am not sure where the finish line is; I am in good health and well trained and so I’ll keep running to the best of my ability”? Do you know what would happen? He soon would tire and give up because he doesn’t know where the mark is.
Suppose a family set out on a fine sunny day to travel to a distant city. The automobile was running well. The highway had little traffic. Everyone was well fed, healthy, and comfortable. They were looking forward to meeting friends whom they had not seen for several years.
Father is driving. The ten year old daughter in the back seat exclaims, “We should have taken the last turnoff. We missed our exit.”
The Father responds, “Don’t bother me. The weather is beautiful. The highway has little traffic. The car is working perfectly. There are several rest stops along the way where we can eat and refresh ourselves. Let’s keep going.”
This is the way it is in the churches. One older minister who for many years had preached the pre-tribulation “rapture” of the saints was confronted with the numerous inconsistencies associated with this doctrine. His response was, “Why don’t you just let an old man be happy?” Another minister said, “We could not have been wrong all these years.”
If you don’t know where you are going you have no way of knowing when you get there. Also, you have no way of measuring progress. You don’t know what you are doing!
This is the condition of the Christian churches of our day. They do not know where they are going. They have no idea there is a finish line let alone where it is. They have no way of measuring progress. Therefore they accept erroneous doctrines.
The enemy knows exactly what he is doing. He has been able to keep the churches in chains throughout Church history.
Because we do not know what the goal is we have no way of measuring the worth of any doctrine or spiritual movement, such as the doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture, the prosperity doctrine, the “laughing revival,” or the current emphasis on repentance. We go forth to get people “saved” but have little idea what this means. We cannot measure spiritual growth and so growth is not emphasized very often, except growth in numbers. Our emphasis on growth in numbers results from the fact that we associate multitudes with success. Yet we do not know whether or not multitudes are desirable because we do not know what the Lord is emphasizing.
Today there is a revival of repentance in the United States among Bible-school students. Yet we have no way of measuring the worth of this. If we go to Heaven by grace, if God sees us only through Jesus and for eternity He will be showering “grace” (whatever that is) on us up in Heaven, then a revival of repentance is desirable but not actually critical.
We do not know what God’s purpose is. As a result, we do not know what we are doing. The result of this confusion is the moral destruction of the United States and the resulting civil strife, because secular governments have only the Christian churches to give them moral guidelines.
Canaan is not a type of Heaven. Canaan is a type of the rest of God. The rest of God is not Heaven and has little to do with Heaven. The great rebellion against God began in Heaven. The rebels do not reside in the highest Heaven now because God cast them away from His presence into the lower heavens. It is from their vantage points in the air above us that the deposed heavenly nobles corrupt the earth.
To enter the rest of God is to work with the Spirit of God until all worldliness, all lust, and all self-will have been driven from our personality. Perfect obedience must be created in the personality of each son of God. No disobedience of any kind, small or great, to the Father’s will is permitted.
To enter the rest of God is to have Christ fully formed in the personality.
To enter the rest of God is to have the Father and Christ make their eternal abode in us and to delight ourselves continually in our closeness to Them as They express Themselves in us.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
To enter the rest of God is to receive back our flesh and bones from the grave and to be clothed upon with a marvelous spiritual body that reflects our years of crucifixion on the earth.
To enter the rest of God is to inherit all that God has created.
But, as in the case of Canaan, our land of promise is occupied by an enemy who is fiercely determined to prevent our entering our inheritance. Our inheritance has been paid for by the blood of the cross. But the enemy will not surrender the property he holds illegally. The only solution is war!
John, Chapter Fourteen Describes the Third Work
The fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John is one of the clearest of the New Testament passages that speak of the third work of grace, the goal of our redemption.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)
The Father’s House is the Lord Jesus Christ. The many rooms in the Father’s house are the members of the Body of Christ, the living stones of the temple of which Christ is the chief Cornerstone.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:3)
The Lord Jesus abides eternally in the Bosom of God. He wants each of the members of His Body to be with Him where He is, that is, in the very Center of the Being of the holy Fire of Israel.
In order to prepare a place for us in the eternal House of God, that is, in Himself, which is to bring us into the devouring Fire, the Lord Jesus first had to go to the cross to give us the right to enter God in this manner. Then the Lord Jesus had to go to Heaven and shed forth on each saint the Holy Spirit in order to make it possible for him or her to enter the rest, the House of God.
Christ is the eternal House of God. If we would be a part of that House we must work with the Holy Spirit of God, for it is not possible for man in his own wisdom and strength to become part of the House of God.
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Hebrews 3:6)
The Lord Jesus is coming to His people today to help us become a room in the House of God.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:18)
The Lord is standing at the door of each heart. He is knocking. If we will permit Him to do so He will enter our personality and dine with us on His own body and blood. In this manner we become the Wife of the Lamb and the throne of God and the Lamb.
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. (John 14:19)
This is not describing the Lord’s second coming in which every eye shall see Him. Rather, this is a coming in the Spirit to His saints so we may begin to live by Him as He lives by the Father. If we would be a participant in the first resurrection from the dead we must be living by the body and blood of the Lord Jesus as He lives by the Father.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (John 6:57)
We are entering a period of incredible spiritual darkness, an age of moral horrors. In order to survive we must be able to “see” the Lord and to walk in heavenly places with Him. We shall witness much bloodshed, perhaps the torture and death of our loved ones, and so we must become citizens of two worlds—the physical and the spiritual. Then we will not fear torture or death.
The saints who have gone before us have left bloody footprints in the snow. We are no more favored of God than they that we should be surrounded with every physical comfort and protected against all pain.
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. (John 14:19)
When the Lord comes to us in the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles we shall become more aware of the fact that the Lord Jesus is dwelling in His Father and we are living in Christ and Christ is living in us. In particular, the Father will become much more real to us.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (John 14:20)
If we would enter the feast of Tabernacles we must obey the words of the Lord and His Apostles.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)
Our love for Jesus is vastly more than an emotion. Our love for Him is the keeping of His commandments. When we are not keeping His commandments we are proving that we do not love Him, no matter what we are claiming with our mouth.
It is not a case of going to Heaven by imputed (ascribed) righteousness but of entering the Father and the Son so the Son is revealed to us. It is the indwelling of the Godhead that will keep us safe in the arms of Jesus throughout the great tribulation.
The tares will come to maturity in the nations of the earth. The wicked will not be able to perceive that God has entered His people.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? (John 14:22)
The Lord Jesus then expressly states the climax of the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)
Although the Godhead is One, there never is any confusion concerning the Persons thereof. The Father is the Father. The Son is the Son. The Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. We are baptized in water into the name of each of these Persons.
When the unchangeable Scripture states that the Father will love the individual who guards and obeys the words of Jesus, and that the Father and the Son will come to him and make their eternal abode with him, then this is precisely what shall take place.
Here is the omega of redemption, the goal of salvation, the third work of grace.
The holy blood of the cross gives us the right to enter the program of building the House of God.
The Holy Spirit gives us the wisdom and power to accomplish the program of building the House of God.
Now it is time for the seventh angel to sound. Now it is time to build the House of God. The mystery is finished. The mystery of the Gospel is Christ in us—the hope of the Divine Glory that will come into the Church and then flow out to the saved nations of the earth.
And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time [delay] no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:5-7)
The finishing of the House of God will not be accomplished by any ability of mankind but by the Spirit of God.
Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)
Ephesians, Chapters Two and Three Describe the Third Work
The stage is set by the declaration concerning the “one new man.”
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; (Ephesians 2:15)
The one new Man consists of the Jews and Gentiles who are part of Christ. All Christian teaching that would separate the Jews and Gentiles who are part of Christ, such as the doctrine of the catching up of a Gentile Church to Heaven while a Jewish kingdom is on the earth, the two brides of the Lamb, and so forth, are error. It utterly is impossible to understand the Scriptures when one holds to the two-kingdom concept or in any manner divides the one Body of Christ.
Next we notice God’s intention in the third work of grace:
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:20-22)
The eternal House of God is built on the foundation laid by the Christian Apostles and the Hebrew Prophets. God’s elect are one in Christ, one olive tree, one new Jerusalem.
Does the Scripture teach this?
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
Could any competent scholar deny that Paul is speaking here of the one new Man?—the Jew in Christ and the Gentile in Christ? Therefore Dispensationalism, with its Gentile Bride and Jewish Kingdom, is demonstrated to be a major source of confusion in Christian thinking.
Turning to the third chapter of Ephesians we note the process of creating the eternal House God, the manner in which it will be brought to the Divine standard, which is the stature of the fullness of Christ.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 3:14)
Paul is praying here for the family of God, for those who have received the atonement and have been partakers of the Spirit of God.
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, (Ephesians 3:15)
God’s family is His elect, that is, the Jews and Gentiles whom He has called in Christ.
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (Ephesians 3:16)
We see from the above that it is the Holy Spirit who strengthens us in our inner spiritual nature in preparation for our entering the fullness of God.
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (Ephesians 3:17)
The entire process, from the time we first receive the blood atonement until we stand perfect and complete in all the will of God, depends on our faith. We must believe God can and will transform our personality.
The goal of redemption is marvelous beyond our comprehension. If it were left to our ability to accomplish we would come ridiculously short of the mark. But the source of our perfection is the riches of God’s Glory. Because of this we know we shall arrive at all God has promised. Let us never stagger at the promise of God but press forward in faith and stern obedience until we enter the rest of God.
The love of Christ spoken of here cannot be described. It is far, far above human love. Those who have experienced Christ’s love for Israel, or for a nation, or for a person, know how different Divine love is from human love. Divine love will never fail, but human love is self-serving and will turn quickly into hate when it is frustrated.
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (Ephesians 3:18)
The Divine salvation includes much more than what ordinarily is presented to the believer. It is time now for us to press forward to the fullness. The cloud and the fire are moving forward. Moses and the priests of the Lord are marching at the head of the army. The praisers (Judah) are ascribing majesty and glory to the Lord. The Ark of the Covenant, God’s eternal moral law, is in the center of the line of march. This is no time to camp at Pentecost (Mount Sinai).
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
In order for us to be filled with the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit we first must be strengthened in the inner man. To be strengthened in the inner man is to have Christ formed in us. Christ is formed in us as we learn to live by the body and blood of the Lord, continually looking to Him for Life as we are brought down to the death of the cross. We must come to know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.
When Christ has been formed in us, as we keep the words of Christ, then the Father and the Son will come and make Their abode with us in the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20,21)
The One who is able to bring us to the fullness of redemption is God the Father. His power and wisdom are so much higher than anything we can imagine in the present hour that all we can do is ascribe glory to Him. He is able to do all we have mentioned in this booklet. He shall perform the work completely and perfectly in every individual who will believe.
He shall perform the work of salvation completely and perfectly in you if you will permit the Lord to have all of your life. The only limit on what you can become will be placed by you yourself. You can keep on growing as long as you will allow the Lord to keep on pruning you. Of the increase of His government and of peace in you there will be no end.
Thus there are two gifts and a task. There is the gift of the atoning blood. Then there is the gift of the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him. The initial aspects of these two gifts can be experienced in one evening. On the same evening we can receive the Lord Jesus, repent of our sins, be baptized in water, be healed of all our diseases, speak in tongues, and prophesy.
Now we have the authority and power to enter the third work of grace, that is, to build the eternal House of God in our own personality and then in the personality of others as the Lord leads. This effort is the experience of a lifetime, not of one evening.
Believers who have had visions of the spirit realm have informed us that the present world is a preparation for the next; that we begin in the next life where we leave off in the present life. Experience with the Lord and logic suggest this is true. What we are, we are, and there will be no strange and marvelous changes in our personality because we have died physically. Death is an enemy, not our redeemer.
Our great hope is the grace that will be brought to us at the appearing of Christ.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (I Peter 1:13)
The grace that is to be brought to us at the revelation of Christ is the resurrection from the dead. Not just that we shall be raised from the dead, for all shall be raised—the wicked as well as the righteous. Rather, our hope is that we shall be raised to eternal life in the Kingdom of God. The first resurrection, the resurrection of the royal priesthood, was the goal of the Apostle Paul.
There is one extremely important aspect of the resurrection that seldom if ever is preached in the churches of today. It is that the kind of resurrection we will enjoy depends directly on what we sow. If we sow to our flesh we will be raised to corruption. If we sow to the Spirit of God we will reap eternal life.
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8)
The tribulations that confront us now are creating an eternal weight of glory, a body from Heaven that will be given to us in the day of resurrection. We will receive such a reward provided we faithfully are accepting the pains and pressures and, through the Holy Spirit, are translating them into the resurrection Life of the Lord.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (II Corinthians 4:17)
The preaching of grace that fills Christian churches is ninety percent inaccurate. The great work of redemption, which is the transformation of the individual, is seldom mentioned. Forgiveness, which is but one aspect of grace, is expanded to include every verse of the New Testament. Most Christians in America are unaware grace does not intervene in or affect the process of sowing and reaping. They suppose by grace they will be made powerful lords—rulers of the universe—at the appearing of Jesus even though they have not taken up their cross and followed the Lord.
The churches of America are in apostasy because of an overemphasis on the forgiveness aspect of grace. The footnotes of every edition of the Scriptures we have read perpetuate this error. Are the major publishers unaware there are other viewpoints?
What president of a denomination or seminary is courageous enough to stand up to the modern Goliath of super-grace and challenge him with the Word of God, deploring the excessive emphasis on “faith alone” arising from the reactionary nature of the Protestant Reformation?
What publisher of an edition of the Scriptures, in the footnotes pertaining to the sixth chapter of the Book of Hebrews, will dare to explain that the passage is addressed to backsliding Christians, stating that if they have been filled with the Word and Spirit of God and then fall away they are in danger of being cut out of the Vine?
We have the authority through the blood of the Lord Jesus to become the House of God. We have the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. Let us press forward into the fullness of the rest of God and thus join the ranks of the heroes of faith. They are waiting for us to reach forward toward the mark in order that they along with us may be made perfect in the Kingdom of God.
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:38,39)
(“The Three Works of Grace”, 3109-1)