CHRIST WILL COME TO THE BELIEVER

Christ Will Come to the Believer

Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

After we have been saved and filled with the Spirit of God the Lord Jesus comes to us in the Spirit. The world cannot see this revelation. Christ wages war against the sin that is in us, helping us identify the compulsions to sin that reside in our flesh and spirit. When we allow Him to enter our personality He dines with us, we on His body and blood; He on our obedience and worship.

I believe the Spirit is saying that now is the time for us to receive Christ and enter the marriage of the Lamb. We need to prepare our hearts for His coming to us in this manner.

CHRIST WILL COME TO THE BELIEVER

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. (John 14:21)

I believe the Lord Jesus Christ will come to the believer before His historic coming in the clouds with the saints and holy angels, and that this is an experience that comes after the baptism with the Holy Spirit. I base my belief in the coming of Christ to His saints, before He appears to the world, on the following six passages:

Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. (Isaiah 66:8)

"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, And the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years. (Malachi 3:1-4)

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." (John 14:18-23)

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27,28)

She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (Revelation 12:5)

At the beginning of the twentieth century there were people at different places in America who were guided by the Holy Spirit into believing that speaking in tongues is for today. They had never experienced speaking in tongues nor had they heard anyone speak in tongues. They noticed in the New Testament that whenever people received the Holy Spirit they spoke in tongues. So they began to pray earnestly for this experience.

As they prayed, the Spirit bore witness that this blessing would come to them.

Suddenly the baptism of the Spirit fell upon them and they spoke with tongues. Isn’t this remarkable? Actually we might refer to the twentieth century as the "Pentecostal Century," for speaking in tongues spread throughout the world, along with other gifts of the Spirit.

According to the Jewish festivals, Pentecost comes fifty days after Passover, showing that after we by faith apply the blood of the Lamb, Christ Jesus, to our life we are eligible for the Pentecostal experience.

So much for the twentieth century.

Now we are in the twenty-first century. I believe it is the Holy Spirit who is guiding our thoughts to a Jewish feast that comes after Pentecost. It is the feast of Tabernacles.

I have been teaching about the feast of Tabernacles for over fifty years. But I did not understand how and when the experience would take place. I know we will experience a work after Pentecost, but its timing and manner of fulfillment I could only conjecture.

I am pastor of a church in Poway, California. It is part of the Foursquare denomination. During the past several years, different ministers that have come through have told us to the effect that something is being birthed in our church. This has been supported by prophecies given in the church, although we have not been clear what it is that is being brought to birth.

During the past two weeks there seems to have been an increasing emphasis on the idea of something being brought to birth. Yesterday (Sunday, October 13th, 2002) the Assistant Pastor and worship leader, Stan Josephsen, brought the morning message.

It is my custom to every so often glance upward to see if I can observe anything in the spirit realm. Do you do that? Why not try it and see if you have this ability.

Before Stan preached, having no idea what his topic would be, I glanced upward. I think John Beck, the youth pastor, was leading us in congregational prayer at the time.

I could not make out exactly what I was seeing. It seemed like there were one or two beings involved in some kind of situation or posture. It came to me clearly that something was being birthed.

Now mind you, I had no idea what was on Stan’s mind.

He mounted to the pulpit and began to read in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation about the Male Son. He spoke of Christ being born in us. The fact that I had just "seen" a birthing process and now Stan preaching was about Christ being born in us actually was more extraordinary than it appears as I am writing the account. It indeed was remarkable!

While I was pondering this "coincidence" later in the day, I felt the Lord speak to me: "The Lord whom you seek shall suddenly come to His temple."

I knew this was a passage in Malachi, and I have written about it. I don’t believe, however, that I previously had associated it with John 14:18-23. (I may have. I have written so much by now that someone in the future may find that I had made the association.)

Another factor enters the equation. It recently came to my mind, as I was considering the witness to be given by the two witnesses of the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation (whom I hold to be Christ and His Body), that the testimony will be the image of Christ in the witnesses. The two witnesses of the eleventh chapter are the sixth such set of two witnesses that have appeared before a major addition to the plan of redemption.

That they are the sixth pair means symbolically they will testify concerning the need to make man in God’s image, man being created on the sixth day. Since the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Man ever to walk the earth in the fullness of God’s image, I came to the conclusion that the two witnesses will testify concerning the moral image of Christ.

My line of reasoning caused me to conclude that Christ would come to a much greater fullness in His saints so they would bear a true witness in their personality of what it means for man to be made in God’s image, and not just talk about it.

Added to this is the statement in the tenth chapter of the Book of Revelation that at the time when the seventh angel begins to sound, the mystery of God will be finished. The mystery of God is "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Much of the idea of Christ being formed in us, plus the idea of the feast of Tabernacles coming after Pentecost, has been known to me for some time. But, as I said, I did not know exactly how or when this inner revelation of Christ is to take place.

Yesterday it all seemed to click. The Spirit has been saying that something would be brought forth in Mount Zion, our church in Poway. I think that "something" is a fuller experience of Christ in us. I believe further that this experience is available to all Christians who will obey the commandments of Christ and His Apostles, not succumbing to the contemporary grace-rapture-Heaven evasion of the writings of the New Testament.

As I woke up this morning I thought, "I had better write on this subject. Perhaps it will encourage many believers to pray for a greater experience of Christ in us, just as took place at the beginning of the previous century as faithful saints prayed for the experience of speaking in tongues.

It is difficult to believe for an experience we have never had or have seen in others. We have to keep emphasizing what the Bible says and keep praying for the faith to receive. Meanwhile we are to remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit so we will understand just how He wants to go about fulfilling the Word.

Previously I mentioned six passages of the Scriptures that appear to support the idea that Christ will appear in His Church in a definite experience that is to come after we have been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. The first of the six passages is as follows:

Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. (Isaiah 66:8)

The above passage has often been used to mean that Israel suddenly became a nation in 1948, with the vote of the United Nations. I don’t believe this is a true application. The United States of America also suddenly became a nation with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

I believe Zion speaks of the Christian Church; and her children are those in whom Christ is being formed. The nation is the Church, which Peter refers to as a "holy nation."

I do not see that the holy land was in travail and brought forth Jews. The land at that time was occupied by Jews and Arabs, and they did not travail to bring forth children of Israel, or of Zion. Nor was the state of Israel brought forth "in a moment." The moment the Jewish state was validated by the United States there was a bloody war, a fierce struggle, as the Arabs fought to gain control of Jerusalem.

Do with this as you will; but I think in the light of other passages a clearer interpretation speaks of a sudden forming of the Body of Christ, from the members of the Christian churches throughout the world.

The Book of Hebrews informs us that we Christians have come to Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem. The Apostle Paul told us that the heavenly Jerusalem is Sarah, while the earthly Jerusalem is Hagar and is in bondage with her children.

The next passage follows:

"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, And the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years. (Malachi 3:1-4)

The Lord whom we are seeking will suddenly come to His temple. I cannot see that Christ has come suddenly to His people, His temple, at any previous time in the history of the Christian Church. Can you?

Yet, the Bible tells us that Christ shall suddenly come to His temple.

This is not speaking of basic salvation or of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, as far as I am concerned.

Notice that the result of the coming of Christ is the cleansing of His temple. If anything is needed today in the Christian churches it is a cleansing from all worldliness, all lust, and all self-will. We are not nearly ready to bear the last great testimony to the world. We are not nearly ready to be caught up to meet the Messenger of the covenant. He is not a nice Jesus who is ready to bring all his carnal believers up to the great Sunday-school picnic in the sky. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Refiner’s Fire. He is strong Lye Soap. He is the Refiner, the Purifier, who demands righteous behavior on the part of His people.

We have institutionalized disobedience with our teaching of sovereign grace.

This morning a man called me from another state. His grandmother brought him to her church. The Sunday school teacher is a lawyer. He said to the class to the effect: "In my work I twist the truth all the time, but the words of the Bible are not to be twisted."

Doesn’t he realize that by so saying he is twisting the words of the Bible, because he is implying that the Bible condones lying? This episode characterizes the state of Christian thinking in America. This lawyer is "saved by grace," he believes, so why should he trouble himself to tell the truth during his law practice?

We need to be refined. We need the sin burned out of us in the refiners fire. We need to be scrubbed with strong lye soap if we are to bear a true witness of Christ to the people of the world; if we are to be able to be raised from the dead and stand in His Presence when He returns with His holy angels.

What struck me yesterday was the word "suddenly." Based on this I believe we are ripe for a sudden work of grace that will reveal the moral Nature of Jesus Christ in us.

After all, we always have taught that the world is to see Jesus in us. The coming experience will bring to reality what we have sung about; what we have hoped for.

I remember when Brother Fullerton told us Bible students, many years ago, that there is an experience after Pentecost. I thought I would be caught up to God right then and there!

The critical passage is the next one:

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." (John 14:18-23)

Previously in this same chapter the Lord told the disciples that the Holy Spirit was with them and would be in them.

Then, I am convinced, Christ spoke of an experience subsequent to that of receiving the Holy Spirit.

Notice carefully the statements:

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." I don’t think He is referring to the Holy Spirit. There is no confusion among the members of the Godhead. Jesus Christ is a Person. He is not the Father, although He is in total union with the Father. He is not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the Bridegroom of the Church. The Persons of the Godhead, although One in the Divine Substance and Nature, are unique, clearly identifiable Persons.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God; the Prophet of God; the Priest of God; the Servant of God. Christ learned obedience to the Father by the things He suffered during His pilgrimage on the earth.

"Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. The Lord Jesus is telling us that although the world will not see Him, we will see Him. I don’t think we have this experience as yet, but I believe it is coming.

"Because I live, you also will live." This means that we will sense His Life within us to a greater extent than we have known. I am for this. How about you? The Bible says "When Christ who is our life appears, we will appear with Him." I think numerous passages of the New Testament that we have assumed are promises to all who profess faith in Christ, actually are directed toward those believers who are living as fervent disciples, carrying their cross and following the Lord each day.

"On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." On what day? It sounds as though we are speaking of a definite experience. Do you realize that Christ is in His Father and you are in Him, and He is in you? I don’t, not to the extent I would like to.

If the Christian theologians really had such an experience they would not be as muddled about the relationship of Christ to His Father as they seem to be. They would know about the Godhead because they would be experiencing the Godhead. Does this sound reasonable to you?

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me." As I have already stated, with our contemporary teaching of grace we have institutionalized disobedience. We teach that we do not have to obey the commandments of Christ and His Apostles because we are saved by a sovereign grace based on God’s unconditional love. Thus we have made the Words of Christ of no effect. We have rendered them irrelevant, incompetent, and immaterial.

If we love Christ we keep His commands. If we do not keep His commands we do not love Him and He will not reveal Himself to us. It is as simple and direct as this.

"He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." Here we see the clear distinction between the Father and the Son. So it is reasonable to say Christ is not merely repeating what He stated earlier in Chapter Fourteen about the Holy Spirit dwelling in us forever. I would say, rather, that it is the Holy Spirit who guides us in the keeping of Christ’s commandments until the Father and the Son are ready to make Their home with us.

We show our love to Christ by keeping His Word. When we do this the Father loves us. Furthermore, Christ will love us and show Himself to us.

Here is the point of the present essay. Christ has said He will show Himself to us.

I can remember the big argument that took place when Pentecostal people insisted they had received more than basic salvation. The fundamentalists maintained vigorously that anyone who had received Christ had automatically received the Holy Spirit and that was the end of it.

But the people who had spoken in tongues knew better. They knew they had more fluency in worship than had been true before they spoke in tongues.

I think the same argument will take place in our day. People who have been saved and have spoken in tongues will insist they have Christ and the Father also.

It truly is a waste of time to argue with people who do not wish to believe. But to those who are not this hard of heart I would suggest that you settle the argument by going to the Lord Himself and asking His opinion. He will show you the truth if you are a faithful saint.

We in Pentecost used to say: "You’re too late. I have already experienced the Holy Spirit."

"Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?" It is clear from Judas’ question that Christ was telling His disciples that He was going to show Himself to them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think many of us have had the experience of Christ showing Himself to us. But I believe it will take place sooner or later, especially if we pray and believe.

"Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." I have emphasized John 14:23 (above verse) for many years. It is more real than ever today. This verse is, to my way of thinking, the most explicit fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles.

We need to have the Father and the Son make their eternal home with us. This is the Kingdom of God and the consummation of redemption (if you include the redeeming of our physical body).

I have written previously that we are approaching an age of physical and moral horrors. We are going to need to be filled with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit if we are to stand in victory and assist those around us. The salvation experience we have to this point will not be adequate to cope with the spiritual darkness to come, I believe. God has kept the best wine until now, because the other wine is going to run out.

I think the above passage is clear enough that there will come a time when the Father and the Son make Their home in us. We already have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, so this will result in our being filled with all the fullness of the Godhead.

The following verse has always been of interest to me:

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)

I seem to see a double work taking place here. First, Christ is formed in us. I believe the forming of Christ in us takes place as we steadfastly keep the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.

As Christ is being formed in us, which really is an eternal transformation of our personality as the sinful nature dies and the Divine Nature takes its place; as this is happening the Father and the Son come through the Holy Spirit and take up Their residence in us. So we ourselves have been transformed, and also have been occupied.

I think that what is happening here is that we are being made the Throne of God. Jerusalem is becoming the Throne of God, as Jeremiah prophesied.

This means we are becoming an integral part of Heaven, because Heaven is God’s Throne. There is nothing wrong with this, is there? It is greatly to be coveted. Christ is sitting on His Father’s Throne, and now we are there with Him.

Our becoming a part of the great Throne will prove to be of monumental importance when Antichrist is given, for a season, the authority that must be given him when the final testing of the creation takes place.

According to the Book of Daniel, Antichrist will be given the authority necessary to tear down every member of the heavenly host who is not totally obedient to the Father’s will.

The ability to be saved and to receive to the Holy Spirit will be driven from the major cities of the earth, once Antichrist and the Great Tribulation are unleashed.

But hidden away in the wilderness will be the elect Jews and Christians in whom will be dwelling the Fullness of God. The elect of Israel will be reconciled to Christ at that time.

As it is written, there shall be deliverance in Mount Zion and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.

Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! Aren’t you excited by all this? I certainly am. This means that our salvation will take on an unheard of dimension, surpassing all we could have hoped for or even imagined.

There is a passage in the Book of Hebrews that has intrigued me for years.

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27,28)

Notice the parallel thoughts:

"Man is destined to die once" is in parallel with "Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people."

"After that to face judgment" is in parallel with "He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."

First let us remark that the above coming is not the second coming of Christ that we have been looking for. In the historic second coming, every eye shall see Him. His coming as set forth above is to bring salvation only to those who are waiting for him.

But notice that the salvation that is to come to the believers is in parallel with "after that to face judgment."

I do not believe we would be far afield to link this passage with Malachi. In Malachi the Lord is coming suddenly to His temple to purify the priesthood from sin. In Hebrews His coming is to those who are waiting for Him. The salvation that will occur at this special coming is the salvation that results from purification from sin.

We ordinarily define salvation as going to Heaven to live forever. This is not a scriptural concept. The true definition of salvation is deliverance from the person and works of Satan, change into the moral image of Christ, and entrance into untroubled rest in the Father through Christ.

So to define the salvation that Christ will bring to those who are waiting for Him very well could be the same as the purification from sin mentioned in Malachi. This seems reasonable to me.

And then the passage that Pastor Stan preached from yesterday:

She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (Revelation 12:5)

To me it is quite clear that the woman who is in travail in the twelfth chapter is the Christian Church. What other woman is at issue in the Christian redemption?

She travails to bring forth Christ, which reminds us of Isaiah: "Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children."

What is produced by the travail of the Church is Christ in us. The Apostle Paul stated that he was travailing in birth until Christ was formed in the Galatians.

What is brought forth is the Male Son, the ruler of the nations with the rod of iron. Such authority is vested in Christ first, and then in all who live a victorious life through Him.

Our position, then, is that in the last days Christ will suddenly come to those who are looking for Him. He will reveal Himself to them in an unprecedented manner. He will cleanse them from sin. He and the Father will come to them and make Their eternal home with them. This is in fulfillment of the Lord’s Words that in His Father’s house, which is Christ and the Body of Christ, there are many rooms.

Just as in the case of initial salvation, just as in the case of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, we have to find the promise in the Bible. Then we have to believe such a thing is possible. Then we have to come to God, asking Him to fulfill the written Word in us.

After all, what we are seeking is more of Christ, and this is always a good thing to do.

But all depends on our readiness to keep the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.

As I have stated previously, we have institutionalized disobedience to Christ’s Words by our unscriptural teaching of Divine grace as an alternative to obeying the commands of Christ and His Apostles. Until we keep the commandments found in the New Testament we are not eligible for the appearing of Christ in us and all the accompanying Glory.

He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (John 14:24)