THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
When the meaning of the expression “the Lord our righteousness” becomes clear to us, then we understand the Divine salvation. Until we grasp this concept, Judaism and Christianity are religions consisting of various doctrines. The true salvation of the Lord is marriage, a union of God and the saint. The believer dies to the Law of Moses in order that he may be married to Christ. Marriage to Christ is the strictest bondage and the most glorious freedom available to mankind.
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness. (Jeremiah 33:16)
Jerusalem shall be called, “The Lord our righteousness.” It is as the meaning of the expression, “the Lord our righteousness,” becomes clear to us that we understand the Divine salvation. Until we grasp this concept, Judaism and Christianity are religions consisting of various doctrines.
The true salvation of the Lord is marriage—a union of God and the saint. The believer dies to the Law of Moses in order that he may be married to Christ. Marriage to Christ is the strictest bondage and the most glorious freedom available to mankind.
The Divine marriage is being preached today, and the firstfruits of the Bride will hear and come away in their hearts to the Lord. The remainder of the Lord’s people will continue in their struggle with God, and each will be judged according to the manner in which he or she has served the Lord.
Perhaps the Hebrew people at times understood the Divine salvation better than many Christians do. God spoke of being a Husband to them and they rejoiced in this relationship with the Lord. However, many Israelites became entangled in the letter of the Law of Moses. Their interpretations of the Law became their God in place of the Lord. They erred in their hearts. They missed the Lord’s intention.
We Christians also are in error. We have largely ignored the concept of marriage to the Lord, of union, of abiding, and have made the Christian salvation a profession of belief in certain doctrinal truths.
We exhort the unconverted individual to confess he is a sinner and receive the atonement made by the Lord Jesus. After this we point him toward residence in Heaven when he dies rather than toward marriage to the Lamb during his discipleship on the earth, missing the Divine intention as completely as did the Jews. It is as though we have died to the Law of Moses so we may go to live in Heaven rather than so we may be married to the Lamb.
Heaven is the present abode of God, Jesus, and the deceased saints. But going there does not result in Judah and Jerusalem being termed “The Lord our righteousness.”
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (Romans 7:4)
We must die to Moses that we may be lawfully remarried to Christ. How does the Divine salvation operate? It operates by marriage. All else is scaffolding.
The compelling love of God stirs in the Lord Jesus. He feels the love of God being directed toward an individual who, though ignorant of Christ at this point, is a member of the elect. Jesus, through the Spirit, invites the person to receive His salvation. The individual is drawn by the Father to Jesus and is prodded to repent and believe. If he does, the Lord Jesus spreads His righteousness over the sinner as Boaz spread his covering over Ruth.
The Lord sees clearly the worldliness, the filthy moral nature, the stubbornness and self-will of the believer. The adamic nature of human beings is a satanic monster compared with the holiness and purity of Christ.
The tremendous love of God moves in Jesus toward His Bride. Jesus embraces the unclean one and proceeds to make the sinner an eternal part of Himself. Because of the completeness of the atonement made by the Lord, the Father now considers the person to be righteous—as though he or she had perfectly fulfilled the Law of Moses. He is righteous with the righteousness of Jesus Himself. The Lord breathes eternal life into the new member of the Kingdom of God. He is born again of the Spirit of God.
The current teaching is that salvation has been completed at this point. This is not true. The Divine redemption does not end here; rather, it begins when we are born again and receive the righteousness of Christ.
The Lord Jesus is not destined to have a worldly bride filled with moral filthiness and stubborn self-love. His eternal complement will be without spot, wrinkle, blemish, or any defect whatever. Because the members of the Bride of the Lamb are in the Lord’s embrace, all of their blemishes are His blemishes. Their defects are now His defects. In this limited but significant sense, God has become blemished.
As the new Christian abides in Christ—and only as he abides in Christ—God proceeds to cleanse Himself by cleansing the individual who is in the Divine embrace. The Holy Spirit of God enables the believer to wash his robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.
The Christian must confess his sins as the Lord points them out. He must continue to abide in the Lord and obey Him in every detail. As he does, the Spirit brings the believer through experiences that crucify the adamic nature.
During the process of sanctification, the blood atonement continues to cover the unreconciled aspects of the disciple’s personality, meaning that God sees the righteousness of Christ rather than the sin and rebellion that are present.
How does the Lord become the individual’s righteousness?
- By covering him with the Lord’s own righteousness—the imputation (assignment) of righteousness to the unrighteous—on the basis of the blood of Calvary.
- By driving from him every aspect of sin and rebellion and keeping it out of his personality.
- By renewing his mind through the Scriptures, and by teaching him through gifted people and through the experiences of life.
- By transforming every aspect of his personality and behavior. This is accomplished as the Lord infuses the person with the Lord’s own Substance and Virtue, resulting in a change in the believer’s personality. The old personality dies and is replaced by the new.
- By marrying him, entering union with him, with the result that guiltlessness is perpetuated; sin is walled out; the eternal moral law of God is created in his mind and heart; his personality is transformed; he is exposed to the Divine Glory for eternity. The Lord Himself always is present with him so that whoever examines the righteousness of the individual finds he is examining God Himself.
We are not required to transform ourselves. Our responsibility is to remain willing to cooperate with the Spirit as He brings us into the perfect image of the Lord and into complete union with the Lord. This is our salvation. In this manner, Jesus Himself becomes and remains our salvation, our righteousness.
The Divine salvation, the marriage, is for the Jew first. The eternal name of Jerusalem is, “The Lord Our Righteousness.” Originally the Gentiles were not part of the Divine covenant made with Judah and Jerusalem. However, God in His great love and wisdom has called some of the Gentiles to participate in the marriage, the union with God. As soon as the full number of elect Gentiles have been grafted on the Olive Tree, on Christ, God will turn again to the Jews, spread His covering of righteousness over them, and then, by the power of His Spirit, remove the darkness that is in them.
The Scriptures serve as a guide for our conduct and enable us to test the spirits—whether or not they are from God. When we receive the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, we are to study the Scriptures and obey them with Christ’s help, for they are a light to guide our thoughts, words, and actions.
However, our eternal salvation, our righteousness, is neither in obedience to the Law of Moses nor in adherence to correct theology concerning the Lord Jesus. Our salvation is in the Lord Himself. He Himself is our Righteousness and Salvation.
In order to better appreciate that the Lord Himself is our righteousness, we may consider the fact that we are heirs of God.
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:17)
Christ is the Heir of God and we also are heirs of God. Ordinarily an inheritance is not received until the death of the one who made the will. How, then, can Christ be the Heir of God, and we with Him, if God has not died?
Death is a pouring out of life. God has determined to cease living by Himself alone. He has poured Himself into Christ. In effect, this is a death. God has ceased to exist apart from Christ, in a manner of speaking.
It no longer is possible to approach God as an individual. God can be found only in Christ. We may say that God Himself is the Life and Righteousness of Christ.
The complete union of God and Christ has come about because of the intense love of the Father for the Son. Love is the desire to give of oneself to another. The pouring of the Father into the Son in such totality has resulted in “confusion” of Personality, from our point of view. When we deal with Jesus we do not understand clearly whether we are approaching Jesus or God. The union of the Father and the Son is difficult for theologians to explain.
God in Christ is the Kingdom of God. Thus the Kingdom is filled with the Righteousness of God’s own Person. Jesus now is repeating the love of God. He is “losing” His Life in people. The Kingdom of God is being enlarged. We observe the same “confusion” of personality occurring in people.
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)
Was Paul living or was Christ? Or was God the Father? Could we say that Paul and Christ were both heirs of God in that God cannot be seen any longer apart from Jesus and Paul?
The Jew, Paul, was seeking the righteousness that is by faith in Christ. Paul possessed a certain amount of righteousness in terms of the Law but rejected this earned righteousness as garbage. Paul was endeavoring to lay hold on the righteousness that can come only through union with Christ, who is an inseparable part of God.
The Kingdom of God is God in Christ in Paul (and in the other members of the Body of Christ). Because of the indwelling of God and Christ in Paul and in us, Paul and we begin to reveal in our personalities the righteous Nature of God.
The eternal righteousness of the Kingdom is not a righteousness declared legally by grace apart from our personal transformation. A declared righteousness, a righteousness by association with Christ, is necessary at the beginning of our redemption. But if a declared righteousness were the true Kingdom righteousness, the Lamb would have a blemished bride, and Israel and the world would continue in sin.
We have died to the Law of Moses that we lawfully may be married to Christ. The marriage brings forth the righteous thoughts, words, and actions of Christ, and these behaviors are righteous because they are the thoughts, words, and actions of God Himself.
God has promised to Judah and Jerusalem His Divine Life and Presence. The Lord Himself becomes our righteousness, our Sabbath, as we enter the rest of God: as we cease from our own thoughts, words, and deeds, choosing instead to abide in the thoughts, words, and deeds of God.
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: (Isaiah 58:13)
Marriage to the Lamb, the marriage in which He becomes our righteousness, is not as though the Lord possesses us in the manner of a spirit possessing a medium. Rather it is a slow, sometimes painful, substitution of a Divinely infused humanity for our adamic humanity.
God humbles us and causes us to hunger—often over a period of years. There are numerous desires in our adamic humanity. Some of these are worthy; many are not. Each human desire without exception must be intensely, thoroughly examined by Divine fire. Parts of our adamic humanity are burned away for eternity. Other parts die and are resurrected in Christ. In this manner the Lord becomes our righteousness of personality and behavior.
God Himself is the Righteousness who is in Christ. Jesus Himself is the Righteousness who is in each member of the Bride. God in Jesus is the Righteousness in the Bride, in Judah and Jerusalem.
As the believer enters the Life of Christ, he feels the same compulsion of love. He has the desire to “die”, to lose himself in the Life of Jesus. As the individual is willing to die in Jesus, he is raised by the Life of God. The overflow of the Life of God gives eternal life to the people to whom the believer ministers. In this manner the believer becomes an eternal part of the Kingdom of God, of the Oneness that is the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the members of the Body of Christ.
For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. (II Corinthians 4:11,12)
The Life of God is love. It is a love that gives itself that others may be filled with eternal life and with the righteousness of God Himself. It is one Kingdom, one Divine entity, flowing from the Father through the Son through the Body of Christ.
The Lamb and His Wife are heirs of God, but also the testators, the benefactors, with respect to the nations of the saved of the world. We are to continue in the love that comes from the Father through the Son.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. (John 15:8,9)
We understand from the preceding paragraphs that God Himself is being enlarged, molded, and refined. It is the Divine Gold being hammered into shape as the knowledge of the Holy One, which is obedience to God and trust in God, increases in us. This is the increase of the only true righteousness.
The process of embracing sinful creatures and then purging them, will continue until God is All and in all.
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (II Corinthians 15:28)
The Fullness of God dwells in Christ. Christ learned obedience by the things He suffered. God Himself became more complete, in this sense.
The Wife of the Lamb is the very Body, the fullness of Christ. She eternally is part of Christ. She is Christ in another form, having been fashioned from His body and blood, just as Eve was Adam in another form. We cannot possibly overemphasize the absolute oneness of the Bride and the Lamb. She is one with Him in the same manner and to the same extent that the Father and the Son are one.
Because she is an eternal part of God, the perfecting of the Bride of the Lamb is a perfecting of God Himself, in this special sense. An increase in her is an increase in the prevalence of God’s righteousness in the creation. Through the members of the Bride, who compose the royal priesthood, the Righteousness that God is will pour forth to the nations of the earth. In this manner God Himself will keep increasing and being perfected in His Kingdom for eternity.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9)
(“The Lord Our Righteousness”, 3371-1)