THE INNER AND OUTER KINGDOM
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The Kingdom of God always is an inner kingdom. The outer form of the Kingdom is a manifestation and effect of the Person and rule of God in Christ, established in the personalities of the individuals making up the Kingdom.
The coming of the Lord Jesus in the clouds of glory will be a revelation, a manifestation of a marvelous creation that already is in the earth but not visible as yet.
Table of Contents
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God
The Inner Kingdom of God
Man being received of God—the feast of Unleavened Bread
Man living and working by God’s Spirit—the feast of Pentecost
Man becoming the habitation of God—the feast of Tabernacles
The Outer Kingdom of God
THE INNER AND OUTER KINGDOM OF GOD
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God
The central topic of the Scriptures is the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. (Psalms 96:11-13)
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:14,15)
In the beginning God walked on the earth with Adam and Eve. God then withdrew from the earth because of their disobedience. Since that time, God has revealed through His prophets and apostles that He will return to dwell on the earth forever. God will return to the earth in His Kingdom, dwelling in His holy Tabernacle (Ephesians 2:21,22; Revelation 21:3).
The eternal Tabernacle of God consists of Christ, the supremely exalted Head, and the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is made up of the saints in whom Christ has been formed and in whom Christ dwells. The Body remains throughout eternity in perfect, complete union with the Head, always receiving its total being and life from the Head (Ephesians 4:13-16).
The Kingdom of God always is an inner kingdom. The outer form of the Kingdom is a manifestation and effect of the Person and rule of God in Christ established in the personalities of the individuals making up the Kingdom (John 3:3-5).
The coming of the Lord Jesus in the clouds of glory will be a revelation, a manifestation of something that already is in the earth. We are talking about the portion of Christ that is here now in the personalities of the victorious saints. It is true also that in that day Jesus Himself—He who today is at the right hand of the Father in Heaven—will be revealed to the peoples of the earth.
Notice in the following passages that sometimes the inner kingdom is stressed. At other times there is more of an emphasis on the outer manifestation, or coming, of the Lord:
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:20,21)
And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. (Matthew 20:23)
There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. (Luke 13:28,29)
Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Luke 13:18-21)
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)
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)
Because the Kingdom of God is an inner kingdom, no human being can see or enter the Kingdom until he has been born again. The natural man, the descendant of Adam, cannot possibly enter the Kingdom of God. Only the new creation, that which has been born of Christ, can enter the Kingdom (I Corinthians 15:50).
The Kingdom of God must be born in us. It is the Kingdom of God that is born in us when we are born again. The Cornerstone of the Kingdom is the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the King of the Kingdom. Jesus is the Being, the Substance, the Authority, the Power, the Glory, the Truth, the eternal Life, of the Kingdom of God.
Whoever is not a part of Christ is not a part of the Kingdom of God. He may be being governed by a rod of iron of the Kingdom, but He himself is not part of the Kingdom until Christ has been born in him and rules in him.
The adamic race is not an eternal race. When the present earth and Heaven are gone the race of Adam will have come to an end (Revelation 20:11). Only those descendants of Adam who have been permitted to eat of the tree of life, that is, of Christ, will live on the new earth.
To be “saved” means many things. One aspect of salvation is to be among those who will live on the new earth. The people who live on the new earth will not be of the race of Adam as we know it today. They will be a new creation, having been raised from the dead (Luke 20:35,36).
The new race will still be “man.” The people of the new race will have all the essential qualities of humanity. Divinity will have entered their humanity making their humanity incorruptible and eternal.
Most important of all is that God in Christ will be governing them from within their personalities. They are being transformed into the likeness of God and no longer are warring against God. They are becoming totally reconciled to God. God is becoming All in all in them (I Corinthians 15:28). God will gather all saved personalities into His Christ for the creation of one new Man. This is the Kingdom of God.
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)
The design of the Tabernacle of the Congregation plus many passages of the Old and New Testaments suggest that the inhabitants of the new earth will consist of three domains of glory, of authority, of nearness to God.
The first domain is that of the “mighty men,” the firstfruits of the Church—those who attain the first resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:11; Revelation 14:1; 20:4-6).
The second domain is that of the balance of the Church. The principal purpose of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, as we understand it, is the perfecting of Israel, of the elect, the Church, the Wife of the Lamb, the Body of Christ (Hosea 6:2; Luke 13:32).
The first and second domains of glory are portrayed by the Most Holy and Holy places of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The two places make one Tabernacle. The Most Holy and Holy places form a picture of the holy Jerusalem, the glorified Church.
Some types in the Scripture point toward a temporary separating of the Church into a militant vanguard of “mighty men,” a “Zion,” and then a body that will take part in the victory won by the more aggressive company.
One of these types is the separating of the Ark of the Covenant from the remainder of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. This division speaks of the selecting out from the Church of the Lord’s “firstfruits”—those who are typified by the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle.
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4)
The remainder of the Tabernacle (as we understand the symbolism) represents those of the Church who are not of the same election and maturity as the firstfruits. King David placed the Ark (representing the firstfruits) in his city of Zion within the larger city of Jerusalem (II Samuel 6:17). The remainder of the Tabernacle remained at the high place in Gibeon (I Chronicles 16:39).
Another type of the temporary division of the Church is the rule of David over Judah for seven and one-half years before he became king over all Israel (II Samuel 2:11).
The one Church of Christ will be divided into these two domains of glory, of which we have spoken, in order to aid the establishing of the Kingdom of God. The “mighty men” of the Lord Jesus will be the first to regain their bodies, their “white robes” of incorruptible, righteous conduct. They will return to earth with the Lord and govern the nations.
After the thousand-year period has been completed the two domains will be reunited just as the Ark and the remainder of the Tabernacle were reunited in Solomon’s Temple (I Kings 8:4). The two domains, the militant Zion and the balance of God’s Israel, will form the one new Jerusalem.
Revelation 3:12 is a basis for believing that those who have become “pillars” in the Temple of God will remain pillars forever. Once a mighty man always a mighty man, although the militant, holy remnant are part of the one Israel of God. There will be those who are greatest in the Kingdom of God and they are servants of all.
The third domain of glory of the inhabitants of the new earth is the “nations of the saved.” The members of the nations of the saved must come up to Jerusalem to “keep the feast of Tabernacles,” that is, to be renewed in the Divine Life of Christ dwelling in the saints (Isaiah, Chapters 60, 61; Zechariah 14:16; Matthew 25:34; Revelation 21:24).
We see in the design of the Tabernacle of the Congregation a model of the Kingdom of God. The model suggest that there will be some who reap Christ a hundredfold, some, sixtyfold, and some, thirtyfold (Matthew 13:8). There will be no more “sea” of people in whom Christ is not ruling (Revelation 21:1; compare Revelation 13:1).
The individuals who today have been born again of Christ are a firstfruits of the nations of people whom the Lord God one day will save into His everlasting Kingdom (James 1:18).
Every human being who is permitted to live on the new earth must partake of Christ to some extent. It is the responsibility of the royal priesthood to bring each saved person into God’s rest, that is, into joyous obedience to God’s will; also to guard against the arising of sin among the nations of the saved. Gone will be the “sea” of people, as we have said, who are tossed about by self-will, rebelling against God’s holy will and ways. There will be a righteous and just government. God’s servants shall rule over the new righteous creation (Revelation 22:5).
The Inner Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God is an inner kingdom. It is the rule of God in Christ in the saints.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Colossians 1:27)
There are three great symbols of ancient Judaism: the altar of sacrifice, the Lampstand, and the booth of the feast of Tabernacles.
Parallel to these symbols are the three great facts of salvation: God’s Lamb on the cross, the Presence of God’s Spirit, and the dwelling of God and His Christ in man.
The symbols and the facts are one and they make up the three Divine concepts that are the foundation of hope and motivation for every person who loves God and seeks to do His will.
Corresponding to the three symbols and three facts are the three major areas of redemption that are involved in the developing of the Kingdom of God in man. The third area includes two aspects. Following are the three major areas and the two parts of the third area:
- Man being received of God—the altar of sacrifice.
- Man living and working by God’s Spirit—the lampstand.
- Man becoming the habitation of God—the booth:
- The transformation of the saint; and
- The coming of the Father and Christ to dwell in the transformed saint.
The three major areas of redemption are portrayed, as we have observed, in the three symbols of Judaism. The three symbols reveal God’s plan for mankind: that man meet God at the cross of Christ; that man live and work in God’s Spirit rather than by his own resources; and that man become the eternal habitation of God and His Christ. We enter God’s rest as we begin to grasp the fact that we have been created for these purposes, that these are our eternal role and destiny.
No human being has found his reason for existence until he loses his individuality (not his uniqueness or identity) and becomes an integral part of God through Christ. We humans are of temporary significance in the universe until we become part of God. We were created to be an inseparable part of God, the expression of a greater Person. As long as we remain as an unattached individual we are without eternal significance.
Let us look at the typology of the seven feasts of the Lord to better understand the three areas of redemption. The seven feasts of the Lord were grouped into three important gatherings.
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)
- The feast of Unleavened Bread—man being received of God.
- The feast of Weeks (Pentecost)—man living and working by God’s Spirit.
- The feast of Tabernacles—man becoming the habitation of God and His Christ.
Man being received of God—the feast of Unleavened Bread. The feast of Unleavened Bread typifies our being received of God initially. God always meets man at the cross, at the place of the shedding of blood.
Through the Lord Jesus, God has done for man something man cannot do for Himself. Almighty God has reached down from Heaven and through Christ has provided a way for all who are willing to enter the reconciliation of man and His God.
The first gathering, that of the week of Unleavened Bread, consists of three observances:
- Passover (Leviticus 23:5).
- Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6).
- Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:10).
The Passover. The Passover story is well known to Jews and Christians alike. We Christians have received Christ as our Passover Lamb who was slain for us. We eat His flesh and drink His blood, becoming one with Him. This is the beginning of the development of the inner kingdom of God.
Notice how every step in the creation of the Kingdom of God involves an initial provision and invitation of God, and then a necessary step of obedient faith by man. Faith is obedience to the unseen God. The hope that saves us is hope in the fulfillment of God’s promises—promises found in the Scriptures and then applied by the Spirit to us personally.
To refuse to respond in faith when God makes the provision and gives the invitation is to be rebellious, slothful, unbelieving, stubborn, and disobedient. The result of disobedience is separation from God.
To not wait for God’s provision and leading, “stepping out in faith,” as it is sometimes termed, attempting to do “big things for God,” is presumptuous and rash. This kind of aggressive faith is not found in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews—the chapter that defines the statement “The righteous shall live by faith.” Attempting to exercise faith apart from God’s provision and leading is a dangerous misuse of “scriptural principles” in order to accomplish one’s own ends. Such personal ambition can lead only to deception, to the pride of Satan, to the False Prophet.
Unleavened Bread. The concept of Unleavened Bread includes the removal of all malice, wickedness and worldliness from us and the embracing of sincerity and truth (I Corinthians 5:8). We are to take the position that we have been crucified to the world and the world to us. As far as we are concerned, Adam and all his descendants (including ourselves) died on the cross in Christ. Thus, we are pilgrims and strangers in the present world.
The feast of Firstfruits. The feast of Firstfruits typifies the resurrection of Christ and our spiritual resurrection and ascension with Him to the right hand of the Father. God has received Christ—the Firstfruits of the Kingdom, of the new creation of God. God also has received, in Jesus, our newly born spiritual nature—the firstfruits of the redemption of our entire personality.
The first stage of development of the inner Kingdom of God is that of being received by the Lord. We eat of the Passover Lamb, Christ. We are baptized in water, dramatizing sincere repentance from our worldly wickedness and our determination to serve God from that point forward.
Because we have received God’s Lamb, the Holy Spirit makes alive our spiritual nature, planting in us the Divine Seed of God. We are born of God as His child. Our new spiritual man then takes his place in Christ at the right hand of God, far above all other spiritual personages (Ephesians 1:19-2:6).
Man living and working by God’s Spirit—the feast of Pentecost. Pentecost, the feast of Weeks, is the second annual gathering. The feast of Pentecost typifies the role of God’s Holy Spirit in the plan of redemption.
It always has been God’s intention that every aspect of the Divine program of redemption not be carried out by the resources of man but by the Spirit of God. This has been difficult for human beings to accept. Religious people have been driven by various ambitions and fears. They have been led astray because of lack of experience in following the leading of God’s Spirit. They have sought through the centuries to build the Church of Christ. The result of such human desires and attempts has been, and will continue to be, religious Babylon (man-directed Christianity).
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)
The Holy Spirit is God. He is here with us now while the Lord Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. The Holy Spirit is our Helper in every aspect of redemption.
Through the Holy Spirit we have eternal life but apart from the Spirit we are in the deadness of the flesh. Through the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit we are able to achieve victory over the world, over every lust of our flesh, and over our self-will. Apart from the help of the Spirit we remain in our chains.
The Holy Spirit has charge of every operation of Christian ministry. Ministry that is performed in the Holy Spirit brings forth eternal fruit, but Christian ministry performed by the wisdom, talents, and power of the flesh bears no lasting fruit in the Kingdom of God.
The Holy Spirit is as Eliezer of Damascus who was given the responsibility for obtaining a bride for Abraham’s son. The Spirit speaks to the churches but only the true Bride of the Lamb has ears to hear.
It is the Holy Spirit who is building the eternal Temple of God, the Body of Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who is the Power and Law of the Kingdom of God. To have the inner kingdom of God developed in us we must permit the Spirit of God to deliver us from all worldliness, the lusts of our flesh, and our self-will and self-centeredness.
If we sow to the Spirit of God, cooperating with Him as He establishes the rule of God in us, we will reap eternal life in God’s Kingdom. If, after having been received of God through the atonement made by Christ, we keep on living in the flesh, not putting to death through the Spirit the deeds of our flesh, we will succeed in preventing our own resurrection to Divine Life.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:11-14)
The first step in the development of the inner kingdom of God is that of being received of God. Man cannot reconcile himself to God. The Father first must draw him. The Father has provided through Christ all that is necessary for the reconciling of man to God. Man must respond in faith to the Divine invitation, performing diligently all that God has commanded.
The pattern of God providing and inviting, and man responding in faith, operates at every level of redemption. God gives us every place that our foot treads provided we tread where God directs.
The second step in the development of the inner kingdom of God is man living and working by God’s Spirit. The Kingdom of God is built by God’s Spirit, not by human resources. Because of the lusts and self-seeking that have become part of the human personality it is exceedingly difficult even for the most faithful believers to learn to live and work in the Spirit of God. Much crucifixion of our adamic nature must occur before we are able to follow the Spirit of God.
The Christian churches of today often operate by the will, wisdom, and energies and talents of religious people rather than by the Holy Spirit. The Christian leaders often rely more on money and music than they do on God’s Spirit, or so it appears.
God is not waiting for all the believers to put to death their soulish behavior and learn to live and work in the Spirit. Instead God is pressing forward to the next platform of redemption—the completing and occupying of His living temple. Those who have ears to hear will understand and respond in faith to that which God is communicating.
Man becoming the habitation of God—the feast of Tabernacles. First, the initial, legal reconciliation through the atoning blood of the cross. Second, life lived in the Spirit of God. Third, the dwelling of the Father and His Christ in the personality of the saint. These are the three great actions that compose the Divine salvation.
We shall see as we proceed that the process of creating man as the Temple of God has two phases. First, the transformation of the human personality. Second, the coming of the Father and the Son through the Spirit to make Their abode in the transformed personality.
First, the creating of the temple. Second, the occupying of the temple. Both the creating and the occupying are of, by, and for the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father in Him. The operations take place by means of the Holy Spirit.
As was true of the first gathering, the third gathering, which is the convocation of Tabernacles, consists of three observances:
- The Blowing of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24).
- The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27).
- The feast of Tabernacles proper (Leviticus 23:34).
The Blowing of Trumpets. The Blowing of Trumpets heralds the coming of the King, the formation of the army of the Lord, the resurrection of the dead, and the Divine judgment of sin.
In the case of the nations who are not of God’s elect, the individual is raised bodily from the dead, his works are judged, and then he is assigned to eternal life in the new world or else to the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:13-15). If he is assigned to eternal life in the new world he will come under the rulership of Christ (Ephesians 1:10).
With God’s elect, His Church, the members of the new Jerusalem, the order is somewhat different. The individual is raised from the dead and ascends spiritually (when he receives Christ) and enters immediately into the program of redemption, that is, into the process of preparing him to be a room in God’s house and a member of the royal priesthood.
The resurrection and ascension:
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 2:6)
And then the preparation:
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the Glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:18)
When the process of redemption has been completed in a member of the elect his body is raised from the dead and clothed with eternal glory. He now is part of the new Jerusalem and his task is to serve God in all matters and to rule over the creation of God.
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: (Revelation 22:3)
The coming of the Lord, resurrection, and judgment, already has commenced for the victorious saints, for those who are pressing toward the “mark,” which is the first resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:10-14; compare Revelation 20:4-6).
The Divine judgment began immediately after Christ rose from the dead and will continue in its several stages until every human being has been judged.
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)
Before any person can find rest in the feast of Tabernacles he first must pass through the Divine judgment, as represented by the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement.
The seven feasts of the Lord, Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles, depict the program of redemption. After having come as far as the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) we are ready now for the spiritual experiences typified by the remaining three feasts.
Our goal is the rest of God—the place of perfect abiding in Christ. This is the “Tabernacles” experience. Before we can find rest in the feast of Tabernacles we first must pass through the Divine judgment. The fifth and sixth feasts, Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, portray the Divine judgment through which the Church must pass in order to become the unblemished Bride of the Lamb.
The judgment of an individual takes place according to his or her calling and spiritual development. It is possible to pass through judgment during our lifetime if we will press forward in the Spirit of God. People are judged after they die, according to the Scripture. If we are willing to die in the Lord, even though yet alive in the flesh, we will be judged at that time.
It is important for the reader to understand that we are not speaking now of the judgment of the guilt of our sins, for the judgment concerning the guilt of our sins took place on the cross. We are considered to be guiltless provided we walk throughout our lifetime in the light of God’s will (I John 1:7). We are without condemnation as we “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). Our guiltlessness depends on our abiding in Christ (John 15:2,6; Hebrews 3:6,14).
Neither are we referring to the judgment of the choices that we make and our resulting actions, as God calls us to various levels of glory in Himself, or to ministry, or to other acts of obedience. We are not speaking of the integrity or faithfulness of our family or business decisions.
The rewards or punishments to be given to us in terms of our choices and actions cannot finally be determined until we die physically. The appraisal of our personality is not valid until we die. We must finish our course before our score can be assigned to us; and our rewards or punishments will be given to us when Christ comes, at His Judgment Seat.
There is considerable confusion about the manner in which Christians will be judged. The current Christian teaching that, unlike the remainder of mankind, the Christian will not be rewarded precisely according to his works, is based on a misapplication of John 5:24 and is unscriptural, misleading, dangerous, and destructive (II Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 2:23; 22:12; I Corinthians 4:5).
Carefully consider the following:
Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, (Romans 2:6-8)
The judgment that commences with the Blowing of Trumpets is a different form of judgment. The Blowing of Trumpets portrays the coming of the Lord to exercise judgment, not on the guilt of our sins, or on the choices that we make and the deeds that follow those choices, but on the spiritual darkness that dwells in us.
While there are definite seasons of judgment, the Divine judgment of the wickedness that dwells in us takes place when we have come to the level of redemption where we possess enough faith, spiritual strength, and experience for such a cleansing to occur. We cannot go directly into spiritual warfare when we first come out of Egypt, so to speak. We must endure the training of the wilderness before we are ready to enter Canaan and drive out the unclean spirits that are dwelling in our inheritance.
First we must be received of God through the blood of the Lamb.
Next we must enter the realm of life lived in the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God enters us and prepares the way for the coming of the Lord (John 14:17; Ephesians 3:16).
Now we are ready for the Lord Jesus Himself to come and summon the various parts of our personality, judging and removing what is not approved of God and infusing with His own Divine Life that which is to be brought into the Kingdom of God.
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (I John 3:8)
Lazarus being summoned from the dead illustrates the spiritual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets in that the King, Jesus, appeared and revived the dead man on the fifth day. Then there must take place the removal of the graveclothes, symbolizing the judgment of the spiritual death that binds us. Lazarus was alive but the bondages of death still hindered him.
And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. (John 11:44)
The Day of Atonement. When discussing the judgment typified by Trumpets and the Day of Atonement we are not referring to the Divine condemnation because of the guilt of our sins or to the rewards or punishments that will be given to us when the Lord returns.
The eternal judgment symbolized by Trumpets and the Day of Atonement is the judgment of the sin that dwells in us. It is the redemption, the salvation that the Scriptures promise, and it has begun today.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)
We now are in the “last time” and the process of redemption has begun. The salvation (deliverance) that has begun now will culminate in the redemption of our body at the coming of Jesus. It is necessary that spiritual redemption take place for the royal priesthood before the Lord returns.
The judgment of the Day of Atonement is not the judgment of our choices and resulting actions but the judgment of our sinful nature, of that part of Satan that has access to our personality. One might ask, How can we distinguish between our choices and resulting actions on the one hand, and the satanic factors of our personality on the other hand?
The Apostle Paul has made this distinction for us:
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (Romans 7:17)
In Romans 7:17 a distinction is drawn between “I,” and “sin that dwelleth in me.” The blame for our perverted behavior is shifted from “I,” that is, from the choices that we are able to make, to the satanic bondages that enslave us and press us to perform acts apart from our conscious choices.
God desires that we see the distinction between the “I” and the sin that dwells in us so that we hasten to present ourselves as candidates for His redemption, His salvation: that is, for deliverance from the chains of sin.
The Divine judgment of our choices and resulting actions has to do with the integrity and faithfulness of the “I” as it exercises faith and obedience in responding to the opportunities that God gives. The “I” will be rewarded or punished according to its actions, its works. This is true of every human being—Christian and non-Christian.
Let us sum up this extremely important concept. It is the responsibility of the “I” to respond diligently to every provision and invitation that God presents. To respond in faith is something the “I” can do (as God gives the desire and grace, for even these must come from Him).
God always gives enough grace for us to be able to do what He commands. We can pray. We can study the Scriptures. We can gather with the saints. We can arrange our priorities so that Christ is receiving the best part of our time and strength, not the dregs that are left over after we have spent our energies in the world. These are things we can and must do if we expect to inherit the Kingdom of God.
God will not violate the sovereignty of the “I” by forcing it to serve God; neither will God Himself sovereignly make the choices of diligent Christian service for the “I,” although the “I” may—and should—ask God for the wisdom and strength to make the right choices.
The satanic bondages in us cannot be removed by our own striving. Release from sin can be accomplished only by the Lord. The judgment symbolized by the Day of Atonement is the judgment of the nature of Satan that holds our personality in bondage. Only Christ can destroy the works of the devil. He is ready now to judge Satan and bring release to us. Our work is to follow Jesus in stern obedience so He may bring about such judgment and deliverance in our personality.
It is the purpose of God through Christ to release the human personality from the satanic forces that drive it. This release is something the “I” cannot do. God through Christ through the Holy Spirit shall bring about such release provided the “I” responds in faithful obedience to the provisions and invitations to salvation that God presents through Christ.
We are not rewarded for delivering ourselves, for making ourselves righteous. Rather it is the deliverance itself that is our reward for responding in diligent faith to God. The white robe of righteous conduct is our reward for obeying God, for making the choices that are in our power to make. God rewards us by releasing us from sin, and then subsequent rewards flow from the righteous conduct that God has created in us. If we are diligent, faith leads to more faith and righteousness leads to more righteousness until we stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
As we follow the Spirit of the Lord, God forgives our sins and enables us to gain the upper hand over our worldliness, the lusts of our flesh, and our self-will. The ability to break these chains is our reward for receiving Christ and then obeying the Spirit of the Lord in our daily walk.
The breaking of the chains of sin enables us to lead a righteous, holy, and obedient life. Therefore, God gives us eternal life because we are leading a godly life. There is no limit to the blessings of God that will be given to the individual who responds in obedient faith to God’s provisions and invitations. The exercise of faith results in more faith. The exercise of righteousness results in more righteousness. The exercise of eternal life results in more eternal life. Each blessing brings another as we follow the Lord. He who is faithful in the least will be entrusted with the greater.
The Divine judgment represented by Trumpets and the Day of Atonement is the Year of Jubilee, of deliverance for us, but the eternal judgment of our captor—Satan.
The trumpet of the Jubilee was sounded on the Day of Atonement each fiftieth year (Leviticus 25:8,9), signifying that the Holy Spirit (fiftieth year—fifty being symbolic of Pentecost) will release us from our chains in accordance with the judgment and vengeance of Christ on the sin that dwells in us.
The Divine judgment exercised on the satanic factors of our personality, as is true also of the judgment of the cross on the guilt of our sins, is a sovereign act of grace. It is a purifying judgment. It is a cleansing of us. It is an eternal judgment of Satan and all of his works in our personality (Hebrews 6:2).
The Scriptures declare that there is to come a day of redemption, of release from Satan. Redemption will begin with the firstfruits of the Church. It then will extend to the entire Church and the nations of the saved of earth. The work of salvation through Christ will not have been concluded until the presence and memory of sin have been driven from the creation.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be straw: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. (Malachi 4:1)
And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them. (Deuteronomy 7:24)
The day of redemption is the day of God’s vengeance on His enemies The day of redemption will result in liberation for the members of Zion as they become trees of righteousness.
… and the day of vengeance of our God;…. (Isaiah 61:2)
The Divine judgment of Satan begins at the house of God, with those who are living righteous lives in Christ.
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)
Notice that the context of I Peter 4:17 (above) concerns the fiery sufferings that fall on God’s people. These sufferings are the Divine judgment of Satan so he may be driven from our personality. When we suffer we cease our sinning. Satan is driven from us provided our suffering causes us to turn to the Lord in prayer, confession of sin, and repentance.
… for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (I Peter 4:1)
Even the righteous are delivered from Satan with difficulty, so deeply have worldliness, lust, idolatry, and self-will become ingrained in human nature.
And if the righteous scarcely be saved [is saved with difficulty], where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:18)
Our sinful personality now is shielded from God’s sight by the blood of the cross. But the day must come when the wicked factors are judged and cast from us.
The Christian redemption includes both the forgiving and also the removing of our lawless behavior. It is not enough for God to forgive us, He also must remove the forces that urge us to sin, and teach us so we know how to cooperate with His Spirit and are willing to follow His Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit of God we overcome sin (Galatians 5:16).
If God only forgives us, but does not remove the forces of sin that dwell in us, and does not teach us and make us willing to obey His Holy Spirit, then our glorification is an impossibility.
God never will clothe spiritual lawlessness with a body fashioned from incorruptible resurrection life. We expect to be crowned with life and power as members of the royal priesthood. We will be crowned, but not until we learn righteousness, holiness, obedience, humility, faith, patience, and majesty.
It is not possible for God to issue eternal life to our physical body until all His enemies have been overcome in our moral, spiritual nature. First, the victory in our inner, spiritual nature. After that, the victory in our outer, physical nature. Victory in the outer nature must come after the redemption of our inner nature. Victory over death in the physical body is the last enemy that will be overcome.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (I Corinthians 15:25,26)
The Kingdom of God does not consist of sinful, self-centered, spiritually bound and ignorant people whose personality and conduct are hidden from God’s eyes by the blood of His Son. This condition of spiritual bondage exists at the time of the initial receiving of the Lord Jesus but the Spirit of God sets about immediately to remedy it. The normal Christian discipleship is a lifelong battle against the forces of darkness that strive unceasingly to turn us away from the guidance of the Spirit of God who is in us. The Christian life is a warfare.
One of the greatest misunderstandings of current Christian thinking is that the grace of God is a new manner in which God deals with His creatures, an alternative to actual righteousness of behavior and personality. It is taught that God is content for us to remain unchanged indefinitely in order that His “grace” may shine more brightly. The concept is that God continues to receive us in spite of our unwillingness to abide in Jesus and bear the fruit of the Divine image. God’s receiving of us while we continue to sin reveals (according to the current delusion) His mercy and love toward us.
It is incomprehensible that a doctrine could be created and then accepted that would be so contrary to the true plan of Divine redemption. Yet, this perversion of the teaching of the Apostle Paul abounds in Christian thinking. It promotes the moral chaos that exists in the Christian churches and in the nations that look to them for moral guidance.
Whoever believes that God is pleased to accept continually in Christ those who are not living in obedience to the Master is ignorant of the program of salvation. The scriptural truth is, the believers who do not bear the fruit of God’s moral image will be cut out of the Vine (John 15:2).
The writer knows something of the mercy and longsuffering of God, having ignorantly made a multitude of hurtful errors during his pilgrimage. God’s mercy and longsuffering are extended to us as long as we repent of our sins and continue to move forward in the plan of redemption, that is, toward the removal of spiritual darkness from our personality. The heavenly Farmer demands fruit. Our acceptance by the Lord depends on our bearing fruit.
The scriptural principle that our salvation depends on certain actions on our part is being denounced today by Christian scholars. The current teaching is that God’s “grace” (whatever is meant by that!) “saves us” (whatever is meant by that!) apart from our response to the admonitions and exhortations of the Lord’s Apostles and Prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.
The teaching of “unconditional grace” is not the true doctrine of the new covenant. The new covenant places God’s law in our minds and inscribes it in our hearts. To do away with the need for righteous behavior is an erroneous interpretation of Paul’s teaching in the first few chapters of the Book of Romans. This interpretation has destroyed the spiritual life and strength of the churches that have received it.
Christian people have understood from early days that if we would gain the heavenly prize there is a race to be run; there are enemies to overcome. In these last days the believers, being lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, have embraced teachers who, for the love of money, preach what their listeners desire to hear.
The Divine Word stands immovable. We must be cleansed before we are glorified.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope [of being like Him at His appearing] in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (I John 3:2,3)
Perhaps Christian people realize instinctively, sensibly, and logically that we must be delivered from sin before we can be glorified in the outward man. However, religion has a way of making instincts, common sense, and logic of none effect. The Christian religion is no exception.
The Lord Jesus is coming to His Church now to set up His Kingdom in us. His coming must be established in us before we appear with Him in His revelation to the world (Colossians 3:4).
The Day of Atonement typifies the judgment and cleansing of the human personality. The sins in us are brought to light by the fire of the Holy Spirit. We are baptized with fire, with the Spirit of burning (Isaiah 4:4; Matthew 3:11,12).
As our sins are exposed we are to confess them. We are to judge them as being evil, fit only for the Lake of Fire. We are to ask God’s help in casting them out and resisting them. We are to put them to death through the Spirit of God (Romans 8:13). In this manner we purify ourselves, we wash our robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.
We are to show no mercy toward our love of the world, the lusts of our flesh, or our self-love and self-will. As Christ by various means calls forth each element of our deeds, our words, our imaginations, our motives, we are to denounce and resist through the Spirit the aspects of our personality that are condemned by the Scriptures.
The process of forgiveness, deliverance, and reconciliation to God, will continue until our entire personality has been dealt with, the evil slain, and that which is worthy filled with eternal resurrection life.
Now we are ready for the Father and His Christ to enter us and find Their rest in us, and for our mortal body to be clothed with immortality. These two events must take place before we appear with Christ in glory.
Judgment begins with the house of God, with the royal priesthood. The Lord Jesus will come in the Spirit to His priesthood before He is revealed as Judge of the world.
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:1-3)
The firstfruits of the royal priesthood will be judged and God and His Christ will take up Their abode in them. Then the Lord Jesus will come and raise and glorify their mortal bodies. The warlike remnant will be “changed.”
After that, the Lord’s firstfruits will be placed on the thrones of judgment to judge the world. This is the first resurrection from the dead.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)
Throughout the thousand-year period the Body of Christ will be perfected. The program of judgment, and the entering of the Father and Christ into the personality, will continue, we believe, until the entire Body of Christ has been brought to perfection and is ready for its descent to earth as the new Jerusalem. This is the new-covenant promise to the Israel of God.
And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. (Hebrews 8:11)
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (Ephesians 4:13)
The cleansing of the royal priesthood and of the land of Israel is portrayed in the third chapter of Zechariah.
And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree. (Zechariah 3:1-10)
Several aspects are present here:
- Joshua, the High Priest of Israel, representing the Body of Christ, the members of the royal priesthood.
- The resistance of Satan to the royal priesthood.
- The Lord’s rebuke of Satan. God desires that we resist Satan by choosing to walk in righteousness. God Himself will do the rebuking of Satan.
- The Lord’s selection of Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem is today, as it has been and always will be, the focal point of God’s interest and working.
- The brand plucked out of the fire, representing God saving from the wickedness of the present world.
- The filthy garments of the royal priesthood, that is, the worldliness, lusts, and self-will of those whom God has called to be His priests (I Peter 2:9-11).
- The sovereign action of God in removing the sinful nature from the priesthood.
- God’s declaration to the priesthood that He has cleansed His Body and will clothe the members of His Body with new clothing.
- The placing of the headdress, the authority of the priesthood, on those who have received the cleansing, and the putting of new clothing on them.
- The exhortation to righteousness and obedience and the promise of installation as judges of Israel and exaltation to the company of God’s princes who stand before Him.
- The bringing forth of Christ, the Branch.
- The Stone, Jesus, who has the seven eyes—the seven Spirits of God.
- The engraving of God’s holy law in the minds and hearts of the priesthood.
- The removing of lawlessness from the land of Israel.
- The end result of the cleansing of the priesthood and of the land of Israel, which is love and peace throughout the creation of God.
The result of righteousness is peace. We cannot enter the rest of God or help others to enter the rest of God until God begins to deliver us from “the body of this death,” that is, from the sin that dwells in us.
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. (Isaiah 32:17)
As soon as God’s purpose for the thousand-year Kingdom Age has been fulfilled, Satan will be released and the nations of the earth will be tested.
After that, the earth and the heaven will flee from the Face of God, the dead will be raised, and each individual who was not raised in the first resurrection will stand before God and be judged according to his works.
The individual whose name is not in the Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire. The person whose name is found in the Book of Life will be saved to eternal life on the new earth.
God then will create a new heaven (sky) and a new earth. Down from the spiritual Heaven through the new sky will descend the entire royal priesthood, the Israel of God, Christ, now radiant in the beauty of holy, Divine glorification.
There will be no sin on the new earth, all the forces of sin having been confined in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. The nations of the saved will be given to eat of the tree of life, of the Divine Life of Christ that dwells in the saints.
The royal priesthood will bring the rule, Presence, blessing, and knowledge of God to the members of the nations of the saved, for the nations are the inheritance of Christ and His coheirs (Psalms 2:8).
The atonement made by the Lord Jesus Christ has two dimensions. The first dimension is the forgiving of the sins of the whole world. There is no need for this sacrifice ever to be performed again. God has accepted it for all people (whom Christ judges worthy of life) for all time.
And he is the propitiation [appeasement] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)
The second dimension of the atonement is the removing of the Presence and power of sin from the world, that is, the removing of Satan and his supporting spirits, and also of all worldliness and self-will from human beings. The removing of the presence and power of sin has begun already in the royal priesthood; also, God is requiring the saints to separate themselves from all worldliness. In addition, some of the saints are being brought into a deep crucifixion of their adamic nature. The inner crucifixion is an essential part of the preparation of those who are to be rulers and judges.
The reason for the crucifixion of the inner nature of the rulers and judges is that they may become perfectly responsive to God’s will. There is but one legitimate will in the universe—the will of God. All trouble comes from the exercise of wills other than the will of God. The Kingdom is the doing of God’s will. Therefore the rulers and judges of the Kingdom must be in perfect accord with the will of God.
As soon as we have been loosed from rebellion we can work with Christ in the releasing of other believers, as He leads and enables. The removing of the presence and power of sin from the elect, and then from the nations of the saved, will continue until all sin is contained in the Lake of Fire.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world [not who forgives the sins of the world but who takes away the sins of the world]. (John 1:29)
The Lake of Fire is the rightful home of Satan and his angels. The only people in the Lake of Fire will be those who choose Satan or their own self-will in place of Christ. When we resist the Holy Spirit of God as He presents Jesus to us there is no place for us in the Kingdom of God. We have chosen the darkness of separation from God.
The Christian salvation is not a matter of correctness of theology. Rather, the Christian salvation has to do with our decisions: do we choose to embrace the lusts of Satan and our own independence or do we choose to enter union with Christ? Blessed indeed is the human being who comes to understand that man has no significance apart from union with Christ.
The feast of Tabernacles. The goal of God’s workings is to bring the Kingdom of God, the rule of God, into those whom He has appointed to life. This is the meaning of the booth—the third great symbol of ancient Judaism.
God in Christ dwells in each person who is part of the Kingdom. It is the feast of Tabernacles that portrays the inner Kingdom, the inner rule, of God. We do not understand the Kingdom of God until we begin to move past Pentecost and enter the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.
The King comes to us and through the Spirit of God removes from us all that is not in harmony with God’s Person. As soon as the cleansing has been accomplished, the Father and the Son enter us and make Their eternal abode in us. Now we are in the rest of God and are prepared and ready to participate in all of the Divine purposes and programs. Now we understand the heavenly romance and the significance of the Song of Solomon.
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)
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 2:21,22)
As we have stated previously, there are two aspects of the dwelling of God and Christ in the believer. The first is the transformation of the believer’s personality—spirit, soul, and body. The second is the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell in the transformed personality.
- The transformation.
- The dwelling of God and Christ in that transformed personality.
Regarding the transformation of the saint:
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
The transformation of the human being from the race of Adam to the new spiritual creation is the heart of the new covenant.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:18)
The adamic race never will enter the Kingdom of God. It is the new creation, that which is born of Christ, that is the Kingdom. The new creation results from the entrance of Divine Substance and Life into the human personality. The corruptible elements of the human being wither and die and are replaced by the Divine Nature.
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening [life-giving] spirit. (I Corinthians 15:45)
It is a new race. The Kingdom of God is not a reforming or modifying of Adam. It is a crucifixion of Adam and the birth of a new kind of personality. The new personality is Christ in the sense that it is born of Christ, is of the Substance and Life of Christ, and is to be the eternal habitation of Christ.
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)
Christ is the Word, the personified Law of God. The new covenant is the placing of the law (Christ) in the mind and the writing of the law in the heart. The Christian salvation is not, except for an initial period during which the Word is germinating, an adapting of Adam to God’s law. Rather, it is a killing of Adam, a radical restructuring of the human personality.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (Hebrews 8:10)
It is a new humanity, a humanity in which all that is worthwhile of the human personality is permeated with Divine Substance and Life until the law of God is kept by nature. It is the flesh made the Word. Adam is crucified with Christ and henceforth it is Christ who is living. This is the heart of the new covenant.
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)
The coming of the Father and Christ to dwell in the transformed saint.
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)
The new creation is Christ formed in us. It is the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). It is the Father’s eternal dwelling place. It is the new Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God, the place where God’s will is performed.
When our personality has made the transition from Adam to Christ, the Father and Christ will enter us and make Their abode with us.
The entering of God and Christ into the firstfruits of the Church will take place, we believe, just prior to the return to earth of Christ. We think that one of the purposes of the great tribulation is to perfect that part of the firstfruits that will be on the earth when the Lord returns, for they will pass into immortality while still physically alive. This will not have been the case with the other members of the Body of Christ. Truly, many who are last in time will be first in the Kingdom of God.
When we discuss the entering of the Father and the Son into the Church we are not implying that Christ is not now in the heart of every true Christian or that God or His Spirit are not in us. We believe that the Spirit of Christ dwells in every true saint, but that a much fuller indwelling is at hand and will reach maturity toward the end of the tribulation period.
We think that the entering of the Father and the Lord Jesus through the Spirit into the firstfruits of the Church will be the necessary forerunner of the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven.
And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. (Revelation 11:11)
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (I Thessalonians 4:16)
The Lord will enter His saints in supreme revelation at the time of earth’s darkest hour, and then call up His radiant warriors to Himself as a great light filling the heavens and the earth.
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:1,2)
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24:27)
Then the Lord will descend with His glorified saints to the Mount of Olives.
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east,… (Zechariah 14:4)
The Lord Jesus is coming to us now in the spiritual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets. The Lord cleanses our temple in the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement. Then the Father and His Christ through the Spirit enter us and make Their abode in us in fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. This is the Kingdom of God, and it is in us.
The Outer Kingdom of God
The true Kingdom of God is the inner kingdom—it is Christ in us. The outer kingdom is the manifestation of that which is in us. The nations of the earth will experience the rule of the saints in whom the inner kingdom has been established.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2,3)
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:26,27)
As soon as the inner kingdom has been established in the firstfruits of the Church they will be raised from the dead and clothed in the white raiment of righteous, glorified bodies. This is their reward for overcoming, through Jesus, all the forces that have sought to turn them away from God. They have obeyed God through every terror, pressure, and trap.
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteous deeds] of saints. (Revelation 19:8)
The firstfruits will be called up from the surface of the earth to meet Christ in the clouds.
Then the Lord and His army will descend in terrible power. They will crush the nations that have come up against Jerusalem. Christ will be crowned King in Jerusalem. His saints will be placed on the spiritual thrones that govern the earth, the thrones occupied formerly by Satan and his angels.
Out from the personalities of the saints will flow the rivers of living water.
And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea [the nations of the east], and half of them toward the hinder sea [the nations of the west]: in summer and in winter shall it be. (Zechariah 14:8)
The waters of eternal life, of the Spirit of God, always flow from Jerusalem, from the throne of almighty God (Revelation 22:1).
The Holy Spirit will flow from Jerusalem to the eastern nations and to the western nations, in that Day, for the following reasons:
- The Lord Jesus is “Jerusalem.”
- Those who overcome are “Jerusalem” because God has made them one with Jesus and has written the name of Jerusalem on them (Galatians 3:29; Revelation 3:12).
- When the Lord Jesus and His saints descend and enter the city of Jerusalem it is the heavenly Jerusalem occupying the earthly land of Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant, the Throne of God, will enter Jerusalem and be the source of the living waters. This will make the city of Jerusalem the Throne of God; and the Ark, symbolic of our pilgrimage, will exist no longer (Jeremiah 3:16,17).
- When we open the door of our heart to the Lord Jesus, and He dines with us and we with Him, He establishes His throne, the Throne of God, in us. Then we sit with Him on the Throne of God which is our own heart.
- The living water flows from the saints who have entered the feast of Tabernacles. In them is the throne, the rule of God.
- The Lord Jesus spoke the words of John 7:38 (above) on the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles, referring to the covering of the dead sea of mankind with the Glory of the Lord. The firstfruits will be trees of life in that Day.
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)
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Revelation 22:1)
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 47:9)
The result of the Glory of God covering the dead sea of mankind will be the peaceable kingdom that Isaiah saw.
And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. (Isaiah 11:7)
All sin will be driven from the earth.
And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 4:3)
The sons of God will lift the curse from the earth.
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)
The nations of saved peoples of the earth will obey and serve the saints of God. The nations that do not obey and serve the saints will be destroyed by the Lord.
For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. (Isaiah 60:12)
The saints will rule the earth for one thousand years. This time of righteousness will result in a civilization of a magnificence unimaginable to us.
We believe that the central purpose of the thousand-year period is the perfecting of the Body of Christ, just as the central purpose of the two thousand years of the Church Era has been the calling out of the elect of God and the perfecting of the firstfruits of the Church. The firstfruits of the Church are the pillars of the eternal Temple of God, and their value in God’s sight could not be measured in universes of wealth and glory.
After the entire Church, the Wife of the Lamb, has been perfected, it will be time for eternity to begin. The members of the nations of the saved will be brought forward to life on the new earth. They then will begin to have the inner kingdom developed in them.
The eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles signifies the beginning of the week of eternity, the week that has no end. The Lamb and His Wife will rule over all the works of God’s hands forever, ensuring that never again will sin enter the Presence of God or His creatures.
And so unto the ages without end the new Jerusalem, which is the incarnation of the invisible God, will increase unceasingly in majesty and splendor.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:7)
But such unimaginable glory is based sternly on the suffering and obedience, first of the Lord Jesus, and then of those faithful saints who have cried out and who yet cry out in the pain of their testings, “Not my will but thine be done.”
(“The Inner and Outer Kingdom of God”, 3257-1)