TWO FINAL LEVELS
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
We have been saved. We have been filled with the Holy Spirit. There are two more (and final) levels of the Spirit of God to attain to.
TWO FINAL LEVELS
And to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
The river portrayed in the Book of Ezekiel reveals four levels of the Holy Spirit.
As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross.
Water that was ankle-deep.
Water that was knee-deep.
Water that was up to the waist.
Water deep enough to swim in.
The following is my understanding:
- The water represents the amount of the Holy Spirit we have.
- The water that was ankle-deep represents our initial experience of salvation.
- The water that was knee-deep represents our being filled with the Holy Spirit.
With the exception of an individual here and there throughout Church history, this is as far as we have come. We have been saved. We have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Many of us have spoken in tongues, have prophesied, and have performed other works of the Spirit.
But we may not be clear as to the purpose for our being forgiven and filled with the Spirit, other than to bring us to Heaven to live in a mansion forever. Right now that sounds pretty good to me; but I know this is not God’s plan. There is something better than laying around in a mansion, doing nothing of significance. I could stand a good rest, say for a month or two. But after that I would be bored.
So we have two more levels of the Spirit to attain to:
- Water that is up to the waist. The water that is up to the waist represents the final act of redemption.
- Water deep enough to swim in. The water that is deep enough to swim in represents our eternal ministry as part of the Throne of God.
The water that is up to the waist represents the final act of redemption. We have been forgiven through faith in the blood atonement. We have been filled with God’s Spirit so we might have the wisdom and power necessary if we are to overcome sin. We have the authority and the power to move forward to God’s eternal purpose for our life.
However, if you stop to think about it, neither forgiveness through the blood nor the pouring out of God’s Spirit on our flesh signifies a fundamental change in what we are as a person. There is no new creation as yet, only an improved old creation. Our self remains intact.
Redemption is deliverance from the power of Satan. If our redemption is to be complete it must include more than forgiveness, more than pouring out God’s Spirit on our flesh. We ourselves—what we are as a distinct will and consciousness—must be crucified with Christ and raised with Christ.
Water that is up to the waist speaks of the move of redemption that goes past the salvation and Pentecostal experiences and deals with our strength and our reproductive ability. God wants our strength to be His strength rather than the strength of the adamic human being. God wants our fruitfulness to bring forth the image of Christ rather than the image of the fallen Adam.
Basic salvation, forgiveness through the blood of the cross, is an act of God. Our part is to receive it by faith.
Being filled with the Spirit is an act of God; but in order to remain filled with the Spirit we have to deny our sinful nature each day and choose to live in the Spirit of God. We can lose that which was given us of the Spirit, as dramatized by the five foolish virgins whose lights were going out at a crucial time.
Moving forward to water that is up to the waist, that is, to the substitution of God’s strength for our strength and the substitution of God’s fruitfulness for our fruitfulness has to be performed by the Lord Himself. The reason for this is that the third level of the Spirit involves the crucifixion of self, and self cannot crucify self. To attempt to do so would only create spiritual pride.
God moves us forward by bringing us into various kinds of prisons—into situations where our most fervent desires are denied for a season; where we are required to remain in unpleasant circumstances until our self-will has been demolished.
The step forward into death to self is typified by the Veil of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and by the crossing of the Jordan River. In the feasts of the Lord death to self is represented by the Day of Atonement. In the six days of creation our passing from the life of Adam to the Life of God is seen in the sixth day—the creating of man in the image of God.
Those of us who have been saved and filled with the Spirit are at a point of decision, aren’t we? We have not been challenged to this extent previously. Such total demands have never before been placed on our personality.
As God begins to deal with us concerning death to self, we have an option. We can choose to escape from God’s prison. But in order to escape from God’s prison we have to break God’s laws.
You can see at once that a believer who does not have integrity is not going to wait patiently for the Lord to deliver him. He is going to take the path that will bring him the most pleasure. He will never submit to patient, cross-carrying obedience to God.
Moving from our strength and wisdom to God’s strength and wisdom is the final act of redemption. What remains for us is the coming of the Father and the Son to take up Their eternal abode in us, and then an eternity of growing into the image of God.
The water that is deep enough to swim in represents eternal ministry as part of the Throne of God. Now that we have been redeemed by means of the three great acts of redemption we are ready to serve God according to His eternal purpose in redeeming us.
Traditional Christian thinking is that Jesus Christ came to forgive us so we can go to Heaven when we die. I am not certain how this belief came into existence, unless it was through the influence of Gnosticism in the first century. Or, it may be true that the early Christian churches adopted some of the ideas of other religions of the Roman Empire at that time. In any case, there is not a shred of scriptural support for the idea that Jesus Christ came to earth to forgive people so they can go to Heaven when they die.
The original problem was the rebellion of some of the angels against God’s will. The creation of man was in response to that rebellion. How would God’s problem of rebellion be solved by the entrance into Heaven of millions of people who still are children of Adam, never having become new creatures in Christ. They have been forgiven but never transformed. They have not as yet learned stern obedience to God!
They could not serve as living stones in the eternal Temple of God.
They could not serve as brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
They could not serve as members of the Body of Christ.
They could not serve as part of the Wife of the Lamb.
They could not serve as judges of men and angels.
They could not serve as trees of life from which the people of the world could draw healing and eternal life.
In other words, merely forgiving people and bringing them to Heaven would not solve God’s problem nor the problems of mankind on the earth. God’s problem is that He has no way of living in a friendly fashion with the people He has created. The problems of mankind on the earth include wars, thievery, rape, fraudulent practices, starvation because of the selfishness of the wealthy, sickness, and every other form of pain and dread. Forgiving the members of the royal priesthood and bringing them to Heaven before they have become new creations in Christ would solve none of the problems of mankind on the earth.
God’s plan is to bring people into total union with one another and with the Lord Jesus Christ, the same kind of union that exists between the Father and the Son. The Apostle Paul expressed this total union when he stated that he was not living but Christ was living in him. This did not mean Paul had vanished. It meant rather that a new creation had been formed by the union of the life of Paul and the Life of Christ.
Of course, Paul was still Paul. Yet at the same time Paul had become the Life of Christ. This is the same kind of union that exists between the Father and the Son, in that Jesus is still Jesus. Yet at the same time Jesus is the Life of the Father. The Two are One.
Such union indeed is waters to swim in. It is the fullness of the Spirit of God in human flesh.
Such union with Christ does not just happen. We have to ask for it. We have to be pressing forward like Paul to the resurrection from the dead. Then we have to accept the crucifying circumstances that God sends upon us as He works to answer our prayer that we might be one with Christ.
The world is groaning and travailing in pain until now. It is waiting for those who have the firstfruits of the Spirit of God to attain to the stature of the fullness of Christ. Once such maturity is attained, Christ and those whose life He is shall return and begin the work of driving all sin from the and establishing in its place the rule of Christ and His saints.
Paul said we are to change from Adam to life-giving spirits.
So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. (I Corinthians 15:45)
When you stop to think about it, this is an awesome change in the human personality. Yet, it is to this that God has called us.
We are going to have to learn how to live in the Spirit of God at all times if we expect to change from an adamic human being to a life-giving spirit. We can do it through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but it will require total dedication and total consecration.
How many believers will press past everything that hinders and attain to such glory I do not know. I do know, however, that total oneness with the Lord Jesus Christ is in God’s Word, therefore it shall come to pass for whoever is willing to lay aside all else in order to gain the fullness of Christ.
I do know the Bible teaches we are to be the Presence of God among the people of the world. I do know after we reach the level of water to swim we see trees of life along the bank of the river of life.
When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. (Ezekiel 47:7)
The Lord Jesus Christ is the great Tree of Life. He was in the Garden of Eden. Now there are to be other trees of life growing up from the roots of that one great Tree.
How wonderful it will be to have the Throne of God in us. We shall draw water from the wells of salvation in us—water that will bring eternal Divine Life to the saved peoples whom God brings into the new world of righteousness.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. (John 7:37)
The water of eternal life flows from only one place, and that is the Throne of God. In order to have the river of life flowing from us God’s Throne must be established in us. In order for God’s Throne to be established in us we must be willing to turn over our life completely to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb Down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. (Revelation 22:1-3)
The above is a symbolic picture of the Throne of God in the Christian personality, A clear river of eternal Life flows from the personality that has become one with God through Christ. The city is the glorified Christian Church. The “great street” is the way of faith.
The Tree of Life, Christ, is on both sides of the river of the Spirit, because Christ has been enlarged through the members of His Body.
The fruit is the Substance of Christ, of eternal Life, that is borne by the saints; just as the Apostle Paul, as he suffered so many pains and perplexities, became the source of resurrection life to those around him.
The “leaves of the tree” represent the Presence of God, the Glory of God, that brings healing to all the nations. “The knowledge of the Glory of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.” All of this knowledge and Divine Presence shall come from the Father through Christ through the saints.
The curse will be lifted from the earth at the hands of the sons of God. The Throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the members of the Christian Church. God’s servants will serve Him for eternity.
The Spirit stands with the Bride, with the members of the Church, and invite all who will to come and receive eternal life.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17)
So we see in the Book of Ezekiel that we:
- Are saved by the blood of Christ.
- Are filled with the Spirit of God.
- Exchange our adamic personality for a Christ-filled personality.
- Then proceed forward until we are living in the Fullness of God and bringing life to those to whom God brings us.
Now we are sources of eternal life and shall bring healing and life to the peoples of the nations whom God chooses to save into the new world of righteousness.
He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea. When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. (Ezekiel 47:8,9)
Such is your eternal destiny and mine. This is why God called us out of the world and showed us the Sin-offering He provided for us. This is why God gave us His Spirit. This is why God brings us through many pressures and dreads.
But we have to forsake all else in order to grasp that for which we have been grasped by the Lord.
(“Two Final Levels”, 3144-1)