SALVATION: NINE (EXCERPT OF THREE DEATHS AND THREE RESURRECTIONS: VOLUME ONE)
Copyright © 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
(“Salvation: Nine” is taken from Three Deaths and Three Resurrections: Volume One, copyright © 2011 Trumpet Ministries)
Table of Contents
The First Anointing of David
Samuel and Saul
The Anointed King Approaches
The First Temptation of Christ
The Wilderness: a Place of Struggle
The “Bread” Temptation
Conclusion: The Area of Salvation
The First Anointing of David
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. (I Samuel 16:13,14)
David was anointed king on three occasions.
- The first anointing is described in the above passage.
- The second anointing occurred immediately after the death of Saul, when David was anointed king over the house of Judah (II Samuel 2:4).
- The third anointing installed David as king over the nation of Israel (II Samuel 5:3).
The three anointings of David typify the gradual extension of the power of the Lord Jesus in each of us, and also the extension of the power of Christ over the earth.
Samuel and Saul
Perhaps most of us are acquainted with the history of Judge Samuel and King Saul. The Israelites were not content with the rule of their judges and so they demanded of Samuel, the last of the judges and a prophet, that he anoint a king to rule them.
Samuel complied with their request but he did not approve of it. God mentioned to Samuel that Israel had not rejected Samuel but had rejected God Himself. (I Samuel 8:7)
Saul, a type of the rule of the flesh and soul, was anointed by Samuel and set up as king over Israel. Saul never was able to please the Lord. He was a rallying point for the people and provided them with someone to idolize and serve in place of their invisible God.
Saul managed to keep himself in trouble with God and with Samuel. His rule was wholly unsatisfactory, just as the rule of the human mind in the Christian churches is wholly unsatisfactory and always in opposition to the Spirit of God.
God rejected Saul as king over Israel and picked David as the Divine choice. David of Bethlehem was anointed by Samuel. God told Samuel that this was a royal anointing and that David was to be king over Israel. However, Samuel did not announce the significance of what he was doing when he anointed David in the midst of his brothers because Saul was the ruler at the time. Saul would have put David to death immediately had he realized that Samuel had anointed David king over Israel.
When we first become saved we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, not just as Savior but as Savior and Lord. It is a while before some of us understand what we have done—that we have chosen to become a bondslave of Christ.
We may acknowledge Jesus as Lord (or else we could not enter salvation), but several years may pass before we become willing to allow Christ to rule our conduct and our decisions. Many Christians live out their lives without allowing Christ to rule them.
When we begin as a Christian, the Lord Jesus has been anointed King over our heart, soul, mind, and strength, just as David was anointed king over all Israel by the prophet, Samuel. Yet our flesh and soul still may be dominating our behavior just as Saul remained in command over Israel even though David had been anointed king.
As was true in the case of Samuel and David, the anointing of the Holy Spirit has come upon Christ who has been born in us, although our flesh remains in the bondage of sin, and King Self is enthroned in our heart. We may attempt to use the things of Christ to bless our fleshly, self-centered rule, just as Saul used David as a captain and a court musician. We maintain Saul (our self-will) as lord of our life while endeavoring to use the Lord Jesus to help us accomplish our own ends.
From the moment Samuel anointed David, Saul’s removal from the throne was in sight. From the moment we accept the Lord Jesus Christ, our self-centered first personality is doomed. Our “old man” may cling to power for quite a while and cause our new nature much confusion and trouble. But from the time we accept Christ our natural life is scheduled for destruction.
After we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord we find that we now have two natures in us. There is the proud Saul, the flesh, who loves the praise of men. At the same time there is that “King David” in us who has been anointed and who is God’s choice as ruler over us. Saul prevails for a season but David is destined to emerge as the permanent king.
Early in our Christian experience it appears that Christ never will achieve His purpose of being Lord over us. We become aware of the powerful hold our fleshly nature has on us. But in spite of what may be true of our nature, God wisely and powerfully is moving us toward the place where Christ is not only our Savior but also our personal Lord.
After David had entertained Saul for a while by serenading him, there came into view a giant by the name of Goliath. In spite of Saul’s height and imposing personality he was not able to overcome Goliath. All Israel trembled at the daily challenges and the armies of Israel hid in their trenches.
David did not tremble. He placed his trust in the God of Israel and killed the giant with a simple weapon, using no conventional armor.
So it is with us. The newly-born Christ in us is able to accomplish with ease the deeds that our puffed-up fleshly nature cannot perform although it is full of self-confidence and boasting. Our old nature begins to understand that its end has come and that there is a new nature in us.
It is this way with Christian churches. There has come an anointing of the Holy Spirit on the churches in the present hour. God has rejected the fleshly attempts of man to bring about the Kingdom of God and is teaching us and directing us to lay aside our own wisdom and resources and to look to Him for the building of the Church.
The flesh and the Spirit may dwell together in the churches for a season, but eventually it will be demonstrated in the members of the Body of Christ that the Holy Spirit of God can perform the works of the Kingdom that never were accomplished by human efforts.
Then persecution will come because religious flesh will not tolerate the removal of its own prestige and the giving of all the glory to Christ.
Christ will not dwell in peace with the rule of men. He is our King today and also our coming King. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. The day of the rule of flesh in the world and in the churches is rapidly coming to a conclusion.
We as individuals may attempt to use our experience in Christ to better our fleshly position. We may not be doing this deliberately but sometimes this is the case. Our religious endeavors may be serving self rather than the Spirit.
Jesus intends to be our Lord as well as our Savior and He demands unswerving allegiance and obedience from us. No longer are we to attempt to use Christ merely as a beneficial addition to our life. He is to become our life and we are to lay down our own plans and ambitions so His needs may be serviced.
There are many people in our day who have received Jesus as Savior but never have accepted the lordship of Christ.
Apparently Saul had not really given serious consideration to David until the victory over Goliath. Then he suddenly woke up to the fact that David existed. He asked: “Whose son art thou, thou young man?” (I Samuel 17:58). It began to enter Saul’s mind that David was a challenge to his preeminence.
After we have been Christians for a season and have entertained our flesh and soul with the things of Christ, our self-centeredness wakes up to the fact that Christ will interfere with our desire to build ourselves up and to adorn ourselves with the praise and approval of men.
“Whose son are you?” our flesh asks.
The answer returns: “I am the Son of God. I am your Lord.”
Soon after this the daughters of Israel began to sing about the “thousands” of Saul and the “ten thousands” of David. Saul exploded with envy and hurled his javelin at David. From then on Saul was determined that David must die.
We come to seasons in our pilgrimage of faith when our old self-seeking nature begins to realize that either it or Christ must prevail in our situation. There can be only one master of the house.
As Christ begins to come to maturity in the Christian churches, the denominational governments and forms may be pleased for a season. The gifts of the Spirit are attractive. The religious institutions will seek to use the things of the Spirit to serenade themselves. Eventually, however, the fleshly rule of the denominations will understand that it has its “thousands” but Christ has His “ten thousands.”
When the leaders of the denominations, and of the independent churches as well, recognize that Christ Himself intends to command the undivided allegiance of His saints, they may turn their attention to the task of attempting to destroy the Spirit of Christ. They may reject the Seed of Abraham, the elect of God who are in the Christian churches but who are not married to the churches.
The days ahead of us will witness the persecution of the saints by the religious organizations, by some of the men and women who today are prominent in Christianity. The Lord’s followers are not to be alarmed but are to stand fast in Christ. They are to keep their gaze steadfast on Him, knowing that the final, glorious victory has been assigned already to Christ and His true Church by the Lord God Almighty. We are more than conquerors through Christ.
David was forced to flee from the cities of Saul. He came to the cave Adullam (I Samuel 22:1). There David gathered to himself the distressed, the debtors, and the discontented—about four hundred men. Four is the number of the anointing.
The feast of Pentecost was the fourth of the Levitical feasts.
The Lampstand was the fourth of the holy vessels of the Tabernacle and dominated, by its light and its ornamentation, the Holy Place of the Tabernacle.
These four hundred men were the beginning of David’s army, his mighty men, those who were trained by him in the wilderness and who later came into power with him.
Notice that it was the distressed, the debtors, and the discontented. So it is in the churches today. Many are at ease in Zion. Then there are those whose hearts yearn toward Christ, toward the Life of the Spirit of God.
They are distressed because the Presence and power of Christ are not more in evidence in the churches. They are debtors because they have not succeeded too well under the present regime. They are discontented because their own lives are coming short of the holiness and fruitfulness they desire and hope for.
These are people who do not fit the present system of Christianity. They gather themselves together with their Lord, who also is out of the camp of acceptability at this time. It is from this group of misfits that Christ is forming His mighty men, His heroes of faith. When He comes into glory they will come into glory with Him.
It always has been so. There was a large, well-established religious organization in Israel while John the Baptist and Jesus were bearing witness of the Person and will of God. The priests and Pharisees did not run out to join themselves with Christ. They were succeeding well in their society. They made sure that they were not in distress, in debt, or discontented, even if it meant robbing widows and orphans in order to maintain their own prosperity. Those whom Christ called were not, for the most part, prominent in the social structure of Israel.
Saul made several attempts to destroy David but to no avail. God watched over David. God through Samuel had anointed David king over Israel. Fleshly Christianity, whether of an organization or of an individual, eventually will fail. Christ who is being formed in us is destined to reign at the right hand of God for eternity.
Christ must remain “in the wilderness” for a season even though He has been anointed King. Let us go outside the camp with Him, bearing His reproach. When He is revealed we shall be revealed together with Him.
There is much to be accomplished while we are wandering in the wilderness. The army of the Lord is being formed and trained now in preparation for the return of Christ to the earth.
Saul drifted further and further from the Presence of the Lord and finally was slain in battle. Saul was not slain by David but in a war with the Philistines. We Christians are not to fret ourselves concerning the conduct of the wicked of the earth or the blind religious people. We are not to attempt to harm other people. God will execute all judgment in His own time and in His own manner.
David could not return to receive his rightful kingdom until Saul had been slain. Christ’s lordship over our lives cannot be established until our old nature has been brought down to defeat by the circumstances into which the Holy Spirit leads us. The reign of human nature over the Church of Christ is coming to an end. Saul, the flesh, has had his day. The head of man cannot be placed on the Body of Christ.
Our Lord Jesus stands at the door of our heart, requesting that we receive Him as King. Will we do it? Will we open up the everlasting doors that the King of Glory may enter?
The Anointed King Approaches
God has chosen the Lord Jesus as the rightful King over all God’s creation. Christ has been anointed King. Even though it appears at times that Christ always will remain on the fringes of the affairs of the earth, God cannot be mocked. The King that God has anointed is waiting patiently until His enemies have been made His footstool.
When the Day of Christ arrives there will be no authority or power in the heavens or on the earth that will be able in any manner to prevent Christ from ascending His rightful throne.
In our hearts Christ has been anointed King. Now He may be in exile in the wilderness of our life, abiding in the cave Adullam while Saul, our self-centered nature, rules our motives, words, and deeds. Our fleshly nature may be reigning over us but Christ is our God-appointed Lord.
How long will we permit this unlawful state to continue? Why do we not “speak a word of bringing the King back?” Why don’t we choose now to go outside the camp with Him and become one of His mighty men? If we do, we will sit at His table in His Kingdom just as Christ promised His mighty men, His apostles.
Sooner or later every other leader, every other rulership, must yield to Christ, whom God has appointed. The yielding will be either voluntary or by the force of His iron rod of righteousness. David was terrible in battle because God was bringing his enemies under his feet. Saul made a strong start but proceeded to lose in battle because his heart was not steadfast with God.
Christ also is terrible in battle, as His enemies soon are to discover. Let us not be enemies of Christ. Let us gladly and willingly accept His lordship over our life. Then we shall be able to rejoice when He receives the nations for His inheritance and the farthest reaches of the earth for His possession.
Christ will receive His Kingdom just as certainly as David received his. One day He will be King of kings and Lord of lords over this earth. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.
The First Temptation of Christ
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, if thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Luke 4:1-4)
The three temptations of Christ, as recorded in Luke, include the three major ways in which each son of God is tested. These three trials correspond to the three deaths and resurrections that are the topic of this book. Each son of God is tested concerning the issue of:
- physical comfort and survival on the earth,
- serving sin or serving righteousness,
- personal achievement and steadfast obedience to the Father’s will.
These three tests become progressively more difficult and pursue us throughout our lifetime just as they pursued Christ throughout His lifetime. Christ was tested in all the areas in which we are tested.
We are applying the meaning of the three testings of Christ only to those sincere Christians who are doing their best to serve the Lord each day. Jesus was walking in the Spirit, not in the appetites of the flesh, when He was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness of temptation. If you are walking in disobedience your troubles are resulting from your sinning and are a judgment from the Lord (I Corinthians 11:32).
As soon as we are set apart by the Holy Spirit as Christians we are led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness of testing and instruction, not into the fullness of fruitfulness and rulership promised us in the Scriptures.
When the Holy Spirit, the Anointing of the Servant of the Lord, came upon the Lord Jesus, He returned from the place of the anointing and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Notice that it was the Holy Spirit who led Christ into the wilderness. It is not the devil who leads us into fiery trials it is the Spirit of the Lord.
Do not make the mistake of blaming people or circumstances for your problems. You have been directed into your present distresses by the Lord provided you are following Him in daily discipleship. Do not become angry or discouraged because of what people do or what happens to you. These problems are necessary for your growth in Christ.
If you lash back at people and fight against your circumstances you only will cause harm to yourself and those around you, just as Peter caused harm when he cut off the ear of Malchus at the time of Jesus’ capture. Peter accomplished nothing by so doing, and you will accomplish nothing if you lift the hand of the flesh against your enemies except to “cut off their ear so they cannot hear”.
Look to God and learn the lessons that accompany each trial and are the reason for the trial. Then you will blame neither people nor circumstances and your heart will remain free of bitterness and discouragement.
The Wilderness: a Place of Struggle
Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness of testing. Christ was tested by the devil, not by the Holy Spirit. Although it is the Spirit who leads us into the problem area, the testings are caused by the devil.
The wilderness of temptation is a struggle for our inheritance in the Lord. It is not a place to be foolish or careless. We are sifted by the devil and much comes out of our nature for examination. Our eternal destiny is determined by our responses in the wilderness of testing.
Christ ate nothing in those days, indicating that the wilderness is not a place of comfort and ease. No chastening for the present seems joyous but grievous. We must arm ourselves with a mind to suffer. It is good to be very cautious, not indulging ourselves, when we are under pressure.
If we cannot accept the thought of suffering and are unwilling to suffer for the sake of the Kingdom of God, it is impossible for us to reign with Christ. If we are to know the power of His resurrection we also must experience the fellowship of His sufferings.
Afterward Christ was hungry.
Our struggle in the wilderness leaves us famished for the good things of life—and for life itself. It is a period of deprivation. Sometimes our friends cannot share the burden of our situation. We are the only ones who feel the thorns. The lack of sympathy and understanding from other people makes the experience even more painful.
During the time of hunger the devil came to Jesus. Satan began to speak after the forty days of fasting had been completed. The devil speaks to us when we are weak. He waits until we have been weakened by circumstances. Then he moves in with his counsel.
And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, … (Luke 4:3)
Satan did not say, Since you are the Son of God, but If you are the Son of God.
He approaches you and me in the same manner. He always raises the question of our position in God, hoping to deceive us into reacting in some unholy way, either in doubt, discouragement, fear, anger, or presumption. Our trial begins with the raising of the question of our calling and our relationship to our Father in the heaven. But the Word of God remains true: “As many as received him, to them gave he power (authority) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).
The “Bread” Temptation
… command this stone that it be made bread. (Luke 4:3)
The “bread” temptation is the first problem many people encounter when the call of God comes to them: If I serve God, how will I eat? How will my children eat? Where will my clothes and my house come from? How will other people treat me? Who will take care of me if I do not use all my time and ability to take care of myself?
It is not a question of sin but survival that causes concern to many would-be disciples of the Lord Jesus. People often have refused to serve God because they have placed the acquiring of material goods, and their own safety and comfort, ahead of the seeking of the Kingdom of God. “After I figure out how all the expenses will be met I will serve the Lord.”
We are not advocating that people should quit their tasks in the world and trust God for food. The issue here is that of placing our lives and safety in the hands of God, making the serving of Him the first and most important consideration of our thoughts and actions, or else making our own survival and comfort the most important consideration of our thoughts and actions. Who is our God, money or the Lord?
Everyone has to eat, has to be clothed, has to support his family. God understands this better than we do. God has promised that He is to be depended on to provide our needs.
“Consider the lilies.”
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.”
We need to meditate on what Jesus has stated concerning the responsibility God has assumed concerning the material provisions for our survival and comfort, and then decide whether or not the Lord can be trusted (Matthew 6:24-34).
The first temptation is the issue of bread. Mankind seems determined to prove that people are animals whose business in life is that of working, eating, playing, sleeping, and reproducing. If these areas are taken care of, man is complete and satisfied.
Nothing could be further from the truth. This is the life of the animal. An animal eats, plays, sleeps, reproduces, and—in some instances—works. If it works, the dog does so in order that it may be able to eat, play, sleep, and reproduce. Man can reduce himself to the animal level if he chooses to do so. He can abide as a creature of the dirt and dwell in filth and degradation—far worse off than a well kept animal.
However, people are the offspring of God, not of apes. The Spirit of God calls men up from the dirt of the ground so they may ascend to their lawful place among the stars. God calls us up and up while the world and our flesh drag us down until we are living as hogs in a pen.
We make the choice. Can man live by bread alone? That is the issue. Can people have a significant life on the earth apart from the Life of God, apart from the fellowship and blessing of God their Father? Or is it necessary that people partake continually of the Substance of God so they may truly live in this age and possess eternal life in the ages to come?
“Command this stone that it be made bread,” says the tempter. “Turn all your God-given resources to the task of human survival. The most important aspect of life is the food you put into your mouth.”
Notice that Jesus demonstrated His faith in the Father by not commanding the stone to be made bread. This is somewhat different from the current “faith” teaching.
“Eat, drink, and play. This is the whole meaning and purpose of existence. Do not pay attention to God’s Word because He is not trustworthy and His desire for you is that you may be deprived of what is necessary and desirable for your stay on the earth.” Such is the counsel of the devil to us in the first temptation. How will we answer?
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Luke 4:4)
There is more to life than food. A human being possesses a body, a soul, and a spirit. Vegetables and meat nourish the human flesh; but in addition to these calories and nutrients people must receive the nourishment that comes from the Divine Life of God. When people do not receive on a consistent basis the nourishment that comes from God’s Presence, the soul and spirit wither and die, and the body itself suffers from lack of the healing, invigorating touch of the Lord.
Christ Himself is the Tree of Life. The fruit of the tree of life gives us eternal life and the leaves of the tree are for our healing.
As Christ is created in the Church, the members of the Body of Christ become part of the Tree of Life. They become life-giving spirits (I Corinthians 15:45). The fruit of the righteous person is a tree of life bringing forth fruit in season (Psalms One).
No person can live by natural food alone. If we do not partake of the Life of God there is no real life in us. We are as an animal that comes forth from the dust and returns to the dust—although our soul must give an account of itself to God.
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. (John 6:27)
God the Father has authorized His Son, Jesus, as the only One who can provide the true bread by which people gain eternal life.
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)
Many of the Jews began to follow the Lord Jesus when they realized He had the power to multiply loaves and fish. It was not the fact of the miracle that attracted them but the desire to have a ready supply of food. Jesus reproved them for their shortsightedness and presented Himself as the food and drink that a person must receive if he is to live in the Kingdom of God.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:53,54)
Christ Himself is the Word of God made flesh. He is the Substance of God Almighty. When we by faith partake of the body and blood of Christ we are partaking of the Life of God.
The Life Substance of God nourishes our being. The Life of God creates eternal life in our spirit and soul and will extend to our mortal body in the Day of Christ. The revealing of the eternal Divine Life that is in us will take place with the appearing of our Lord and Savior, Christ.
There is no true life apart from Christ. Whoever has not received the body and blood of the Lord Jesus is dead. He may possess a beating heart and walk in conscious existence on the earth. He may be highly educated, talented, wealthy, handsome, personable, and athletic.
But he is dead! His “life” proceeds from vegetables, grains, animal flesh, and dairy products. He is as the grass of the field—a fine show for a brief period but destined soon to wither and pass away. All flesh is as grass. It flourishes for a short time and then perishes (Isaiah, Chapter 40).
The combined efforts of the nations of the earth to improve the human condition are useless. People apart from Christ are little more than highly intelligent animals. Civilization is a pitiful spectacle of the helpless groping of mankind for light and peace.
God loves His offspring even though He always punishes them for their sins. Man was created in the image of God. He is destined to sit on the highest throne of the universe. However, this ascent is possible only through the Lord Jesus Christ. People remain in darkness and death until they eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood.
Christ is eternal Life. When we eat Him and drink His blood we receive into ourselves the Divine Substance of God. Just as natural food builds muscle and bone, so the Word of God in Christ builds spiritual substance in the human personality. We cannot live by natural food alone. We are so constituted that we must partake of the Substance of the Lord God or we soon dissolve back into the dust of the ground.
Christ is that Bread from the heaven.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (John 6:57)
Christ lives by the Father.
When we humans go several days without food we become listless. The vital force leaves us and we drag about in misery. We, in this sense, live by food. Without food we pass away.
So it is in the spirit realm. We must keep on partaking of Christ. We are to eat Him and live by Him. As we keep ourselves in the place where Christ can come to us and nourish us, our spiritual life grows healthy and strong. We receive the body and blood of Christ by prayer, by meditation in the Scriptures, by the ministries and gifts of the Holy Spirit, by fellowship with other Christians.
As believers we are to make a conscious effort to seek Christ and to receive His Life on a continuing basis or we will turn away and devote our energy and attention to pursuing the things of the flesh.
The most important task of the Christian discipleship is to abide in the Vine, in Christ. Abiding in the Vine requires ceaseless diligence and giving ourselves to the mind of the Spirit of God. Being a saint is a full-time business.
When we are faithful in seeking the Lord, He keeps on nourishing our personality with His body and blood. This is the true food and drink of mankind. The body and blood of Christ are eternal Life.
People are concerned about their survival, particularly in the area of food and drink. Satan attempts to occupy us solely with the pursuit of the survival and comfort of our flesh. Soon we may find ourselves working at two or three jobs, leaving no time for Christ.
We may justify our excessive concern with material provisions by claiming that our family needs the money for this thing or that situation. The fact is, we have deprived ourselves and our loved ones of the one requirement of life—the Presence of Christ, the living Word of God.
It is better for us to possess little of the substance of the world if poverty will help us to be rich in the blessings of God.
The Lord Jesus has stated that God will ensure we are provided with food, clothes, and shelter. It is our responsibility to spend part of each day in the diligent seeking of the Lord. If we do not spend time seeking the Lord we truly have robbed ourselves and those who depend on us of the elements of spiritual survival. We shall be seen in the end to have wasted our lives, having turned aside from the glorious inheritance the Lord has offered to us.
How foolish and tragic! Such a needless impoverishment of a human being when the Lord Jesus stands ready to supply the spiritual food by which we obtain eternal life!
Let us make sure we are not among those who are throwing away their lives by ignoring the Bread whom God has given. Let us rather seek first the Kingdom of God, being aware that He who cannot lie has advised us that all the necessities of life will be added to us if we put Christ in first place in all that we think and do.
Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Can you notice the immediacy here? God speaks and we live, moment by moment, moment by moment. We live because of Christ as Christ lives because of the Father. How does that sound to you? Is that kind of living something you desire?
Conclusion: The Area of Salvation
The concept presented in this book is that there are three areas of redemption. We have termed the first area salvation. The meaning of salvation, as we are using the word, is that we have been separated from the ranks of those who will be destroyed because of God’s wrath on sin. In the Scripture, however, the term salvation sometimes is employed to denote the entire scope of transformation into a son of God (Hebrews 2:3).
The concept of salvation is that of deliverance from destruction, whereas the entire plan of transformation includes not only deliverance from destruction but also the removal of the guilt, tendencies, and effects of sin from us; the creation in us of the image of the Lord Jesus Christ; and our incorporation into the Being of Christ in God.
One of the clearest types of basic salvation, as we have seen, is the story of Noah’s Ark and the flood. Noah and the flood portray in symbolic form the events attending the coming of our Lord and Savior, Christ. The destruction came from below and from above.
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of the heaven were opened. (Genesis 7:11)
The “six hundredth year” speaks of the time when the Church comes into the image of God, the number six being the day of creation when man was made in God’s image.
The citing of the exact day of the calendar (“the seventeenth day of the month”) refers to the fact that God is specific about the judgment to come—it is a precise day and hour and in no manner will be left to random occurrence. The demons will not be tormented “before the time.”
The “fountains of the deep” were broken up, indicating that the first part of the trouble will be the horrendous calamities and catastrophes that will result from the casting of Satan and his angels into the earth by the hand of Michael and his army (Revelation 12:12).
The “windows of the heaven were opened,” portraying the wrath of God that will be poured from above after the natural disasters of earth have wreaked havoc on the planet.
Noah’s Ark typifies all who are to be saved from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9). Those who are abiding under the blood of Christ need have no fear concerning the destruction that soon is to come on the world. The forces of judgment will serve to buoy up the believers in Christ.
Here, then, is the meaning of salvation in the Day of the Lord. Salvation is deliverance from the wrath that will be poured on the world because of its wickedness, and includes also the inheritance of peace and joy in Christ throughout the endless ages to come.
If we believe in Christ, are baptized in water, turn from our wicked ways, and serve God during the remainder of our years on the earth, we will be saved in the Day of Judgment. This is God’s promise to us. We will be spared as was Rahab of old.
We have discussed salvation, the first area of redemption, from several viewpoints: the gate and Courtyard of the Tabernacle of the Congregation; the first major convocation of the Levitical feasts; the exodus from Egypt; the first three days of creation; Ezekiel’s river to the ankles; thirtyfold bearing of the fruit of the Holy Spirit; the lowest level of Noah’s Ark; the blood of the Lamb; the first anointing of David; and the first temptation of Christ.
It is of the greatest importance that a person be saved from the Divine wrath—that he or she believe in Christ as personal Savior and Lord. Apart from a saving knowledge of Christ there is no opportunity for proceeding to become all that God has determined concerning us. Apart from Christ we face a dreadful future.
Let us assume that our reader has believed in Christ as Lord and Savior. Where do we go from here? Is there more to the Divine plan of salvation than escape from the wrath of the Day of Judgment?
Yes, there certainly is. Do you have the desire to press forward in Christ, in His plan of redemption? Let us go on from here and consider what the Lord God of Heaven has in store for us.
Christ asks you: “Will you be saved?”
If your answer is Yes, He will bring you through death to the world and resurrection with Him to eternal life.
You then will be able to escape the wrath that soon is to fall upon the world. You will be permitted to stand before the Son of Man. You will abide as one of God’s redeemed children throughout the measureless eons of eternity.
(“Salvation: Nine”, 3321-1)