WHERE WE HAVE BEEN, WHERE WE ARE, WHERE WE ARE GOING

WHERE WE'VE BEEN, WHERE WE ARE, WHERE WE ARE GOING (Trumpet Ministries, Inc. / Word of Righteousness)

WHERE WE HAVE BEEN WHERE WE ARE WHERE WE ARE GOING  AN EXPLANATION OF THE CHRISTIAN SALVATION Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Altar

Basic Salvation

The Lampstand

The Spirit-filled Life

 

 

 

 

 

The Booth

The Fullness of God

THE GOSPEL THAT WE PREACH VIEWS THE SALVATION OF MAN IN THREE GREAT DIMENSIONS:

The first dimension may be referred to as basic salvation. At this level the individual is saved from wrath through the blood of the Lord Jesus, leaves the world, and enters the Kingdom of God.

God wants all mankind, beginning with His Church, to understand that man was created to worship God. To praise and serve God in righteousness is the first duty of every person born on the earth.

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 6:16

The second dimension could be termed the Spirit-filled life. At this level the individual has been saved from wrath through the blood of the Lord Jesus and now is learning to rely on the Spirit of God for his thoughts, his words, and his actions. Speaking in tongues helps us press into the rest in God's Spirit.

God desires that all mankind, beginning with His Church, understand that man is not to live his life and perform his roles by his natural strength and wisdom but by the Spirit of God. If we learn now to live in God's Spirit, when the Lord comes we will be given a body that also lives in and by God's Spirit.

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: Deuteronomy 16:16

The third dimension may be thought of as the fullness of God.

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God Ephesians 3:19

The fullness of God is the goal of the Christian salvation. The atoning blood of the Lord Jesus gives us the authority to press toward the goal. The Holy Spirit of God gives us the ability to press toward the goal. The goal of our salvation is not a change in location but a change in personality.

God desires that all mankind, beginning with his Church, understand that man was designed to be the throne of God. To man is given to rule all the works of God's hands. But man cannot sit on the throne of his own personality until first the Father and the Son sit there in undisputed sovereignty.

In the feast of unleavened bread,

And in the feast of weeks,

And in the feast of tabernacles: Deuteronomy 16:16

Thus far we have presented salvation as being in three dimensions: Forgiveness through the blood of the cross, Life through the Holy Spirit, The fulfillment of the program of salvation as the Father and the Son settle down to rest in us--the fullness of God.

These same three dimensions are portrayed symbolically by the three great symbols of Judaism--the Altar, the Lampstand, and the Booth. The Altar symbolizes forgiveness through the blood of the cross. The Lampstand symbolizes life lived through the Holy Spirit. The Booth symbolizes the fulfillment of salvation, the fullness of God which is God in Christ coming to dwell in us.

The Christian Church, the Body of Christ, is to experience these three dimensions and then bring them to all of saved mankind.

When the Church has experienced the fullness of salvation, the glorified Church, the new Jerusalem, will descend from Heaven to serve as the royal priesthood over the saved nations of the earth.

The Church is approaching the third dimension now and shall continue to be perfected throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age.

We have portrayed the program of salvation in three dimensions: forgiveness through the blood (the Altar), life lived in the Holy Spirit (the Lampstand), and the fullness of God (the Booth).

Though the program of salvation is clearly seen in these three dimensions, it is portrayed in greater detail when the three dimensions are subdivided into seven phases.

The first dimension, forgiveness through the blood (the Altar), can be subdivided into three phases: The Atonement Water Baptism The Born-again Experience

The second dimension, life in the Spirit (the Lampstand), stands alone. We have identified this phase as: The Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The third dimension, the Fullness of God (the Booth), can be subdivided into three phases: The Call to War Reconciliation Rest and Union with God In Jesus

SEVEN PHASES OF SALVATION:

Forgiveness through the blood (the Altar)  1 The Atonement  2 Water Baptism  3 The Born-Again Experience   The Spirit-filled life (the Lampstand)  4 The Baptism in the Holy Spirit   The Fullness of God (the Booth)  5 The Call to War  6 Reconciliation  7 Rest and Union with God

As we have seen, the program of salvation can be viewed in three great dimensions: forgiveness, life in the Spirit, and the fullness of God. The three dimensions are symbolized by the Altar, the Lampstand and the Booth.

These three dimensions can also be subdivided into seven aspects or phases of salvation. When subdivided into their seven phases and grouped three-one-three, the three dimensions accurately portray the program of salvation.

These seven phases of salvation are clearly portrayed in the Scriptures in the form of four great types. The four great types, each of which has seven parts, reveal the program of salvation, which is change from the presence and image of Satan to the Presence and image of God.

Thus we have three major dimensions of salvation: Forgiveness through the blood of the Lamb. Life through the Holy Spirit. Rest in God in Christ and union with God in Christ--the fullness of God.

The major dimensions of salvation are symbolized by the Altar, the Lampstand, and the Booth.

The three major dimensions can be viewed in seven phases. The seven phases are grouped together three-one-three: The Blood Atonement, Water Baptism, and the Born-again Experience (the Altar). Baptism in the Holy Spirit (the Lampstand). The Call to War, Reconciliation, and rest and union with God (the Booth).

These seven phases are embodied in each of four major types of Scripture.

Each of the four major types of Scripture portray the program of salvation, which is:

The process of change from the presence and image of Satan to the Presence and image of God.

SATAN                                     (The program of redemption)                                GOD We now will employ four great types to describe in detail the seven phases through which we pass as we leave the presence and image of Satan and make our journey toward the Presence and image of God.

The four major types of Scripture are:

I THE SEVEN DAYS OF CREATION II THE TABERNACLE OF THE CONGREGATION III THE FEASTS OF THE LORD IV THE MOVEMENT OF ISRAEL FROM EGYPT TO CANAAN

Each of these four types consists of seven phases. The seven phases are then arranged into three main groups, each group portraying one of the dimensions of salvation.

For example, one of the four great types is the Feasts of the Lord. There are seven feasts within the Feasts of the Lord and they are grouped together three-one-three.

The first three feasts compose the Passover week and symbolize the first dimension--forgiveness through the blood of the cross.

The fourth feast, Pentecost (feast of Weeks), is celebrated fifty days after Passover week and stands alone. It symbolizes the second dimension, life in the Spirit.

The last three feasts occur in one month and compose the feast of Tabernacles, symbolizing the third dimension, the fullness of God.

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 Christian salvation can be seen in these seven parts. Salvation is the program of change from Satan to God. The four great types help us understand our progress through this transformation.

Using another type as an example, the movement of Israel from Egypt to Canaan, we have the first group of three, symbolizing basic salvation: leaving Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, and commencing the pilgrimage on the east side of the Jordan River.

Then by itself we have the Law from Mount Sinai, which symbolizes life lived in the Spirit.

Finally there is the third group of three which symbolizes rest in God: the forming of the army of the Lord, the invasion of Canaan, and rest in the land of promise.

Each of the four types can be arranged into three groups in this manner. The three groups portray the three dimensions of the Christian salvation.

It will be impossible for the student to understand our syllabus until the concept is grasped that the Christian salvation is not a ticket to Heaven.

The Christian salvation is the transformation of the believer until he or she is in the moral image of the Lord Jesus and at rest in the Father through Jesus. The Kingdom of God is a NEW CREATION.

THE DAYS OF CREATION

1 Day one--the creating of light, the dividing of the light from the darkness, and the naming of the light and the darkness. 2 Day two--the placing of a firmament in the midst of the waters, and the use of the firmament to divide the waters that were under the firmament from the waters that were above the firmament. 3 Day three--the pulling back of the waters under the firmament to allow dry land to appear, the naming of the land and the waters under the firmament, and the creating of vegetation on the dry land.  

4 Day four--the creating of the sun, moon and stars in the firmament to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and night, to divide the light from the darkness, the day from the night, and for signs.   5 Day five--the creating of fish in the water, and birds to fly in the firmament. 6 Day six--the creating of animal life on the earth, and of man in the image of god, male and female, and the assigning to mankind of fruitfulness, and of dominion over all the works of God's hands. 7 Day seven--the ending of God's work, and his rest.

 

THE JOURNEY OF THE ISRAELITES FROM EGYPT TO THE LAND OF PROMISE

1 The Passover, and the judgment on the gods of Egypt. 2 The passage through the Red Sea. 3 The safe arrival on the east bank of the Red Sea, and the beginning of life in the wilderness.  

4 The giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, the ordinances, and the directions for the construction of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.   5 The organizing of Israel into an army, and skirmishes under the leadership of Moses. 6 The crossing of the Jordan, and the battle against the inhabitants of Canaan. 7 Rest in the land of milk and honey.

THE SEVEN ARTICLES OF FURNITURE OF THE TABERNACLE OF THE CONGREGATION

1 Altar of Burnt Offering 2 Laver 3 Table of Showbread   4 Lampstand   5 Altar of Incense 6 Ark of the Covenant 7 The Mercy Seat, the Cherubim, and He who dwelled between the Cherubim

THE FEASTS OF THE LORD

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

1 PASSOVER  (PASSOVER) 2 UNLEAVENED BREAD 3 FIRSTFRUITS   4 PENTECOST (WEEKS)   5 TRUMPETS  (TABERNACLES) 6 DAY OF ATONEMENT 7 TABERNACLES

The following section tells

WHERE WE HAVE BEEN

"At the place of basic salvation--deliverance from the wrath of God and entrance into the Kingdom of God..."

TAKING THE FIRST ELEMENT OF EACH OF THE FOUR TYPES, WE HAVE AS FOLLOWS:

1 The creating of light, the dividing of the light from the darkness, the naming of the light and the darkness 1 The Passover, and the judgment on the gods of Egypt 1 The Altar of Burnt Offering 1 The feast of Passover

The factors that stand out are:

The division between light and darkness Judgment on the gods of the world The blood of the Lamb as our protection from judgment The making of an atonement for our sinful condition through the shedding of blood

The Christian will recognize immediately the first step of salvation.

He was in chaos of spirit, soul, and body.

Then God spoke! Christ, the light of the world, shone in his heart.

He was confronted with the Passover Lamb of God. He became aware of the wretchedness of his condition and then was informed that God had already provided a covering for him.

God will meet man only "at the door of the tabernacle," meaning at the place of the Altar of sacrifice, of the shedding of blood.

All of the efforts of man to save himself are to no avail.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world John 1:29

For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved Acts 4:12

TAKING THE SECOND ELEMENT OF EACH OF THE FOUR TYPES, WE HAVE AS FOLLOWS:

2 The placing of a firmament in the midst of the waters, and the use of the firmament to divide the waters under the firmament from the waters above the firmament 2 The exodus from Egypt and the passing through the Red Sea 2 The Laver 2 The feast of Unleavened Bread

The main elements are:

The separation of the lower and upper waters by the firmament of heaven Passing through the Red Sea The washing of the priests in the bronze Laver The removal of leaven from the bread of the children of Israel

After the individual receives the blood covering of the Passover he is to be baptized in water.

Water baptism is an important part of basic salvation. When we are baptized in water we are saying we have repented of our former life in the world, the leaven of malice and wickedness, and are ready to enter the Kingdom of God.

When we go down into the water of baptism we are becoming part of Christ's crucifixion. Satan cannot follow us here.

Now our personality is divided by the "firmament of heaven." Our soul and body remain on the earth. Our new born-again nature is ready to take its place in Christ at the right hand of the Father.

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned Mark 16:16

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Romans 6:3

TAKING THE THIRD ELEMENT OF EACH OF THE FOUR TYPES, WE HAVE AS FOLLOWS:

3 The pulling back of the waters under the firmament to allow dry land to appear, the naming of the land and the waters under the firmament, and the creating of vegetation on the dry land 3 The safe arrival of Israel on the eastern bank of the Red Sea and the beginning of life in the wilderness 3 The Table of Showbread 3 The feast of Firstfruits

The main thoughts are:

The appearing of the land and vegetation The beginning of life in the wilderness The twelve Loaves of the Presence together with the drink offering of strong wine Offering to the priest the first sheaf of the barley harvest

The feast of firstfruits is fulfilled spiritually as we come out of the water of baptism. Our new reborn inner nature has ascended to the right hand of God with Christ as a firstfruits of the harvest of our entire personality.

Because the firstfruits is holy our whole personality is holy to the Lord.

For the first time in our life we are two people--Adam born of flesh and blood is alive in us and Christ is alive in us. Our human nature and the Presence of God in Christ are both dwelling in us.

There is in our personality a beginning of spiritual fruit. We have eternal Divine life as well as biologic life.

Satan cannot follow us through the Red Sea of water baptism. We now have the authority through the blood of the cross to choose to become the slave of righteousness.

God's gift to us is eternal life--eternal life that produces righteousness and also results from our willingness to become the slave of righteousness and to live in holiness before the Lord.

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life Romans 6:4

We have just finished discussing what might be referred to as the Altar phase of salvation.

The individual has repented and has been baptized in water. He or she has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

The old adamic nature has been crucified with Christ, as portrayed in the drama of water baptism. The new reborn inner nature has been raised with Christ to the right hand of the Father, far above every name that is named in this world and in that which is to come.

This is the first great phase of the Christian salvation. All who would be saved must appear here.

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

The following section tells

WHERE WE ARE

"At the place of Pentecost, the Lampstand--life lived in the Spirit of God..."

TAKING THE FOURTH ELEMENT OF EACH OF THE FOUR TYPES, WE HAVE AS FOLLOWS:

4 The creating of the sun, moon and stars in the firmament of heaven to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and night, to divide the light from the darkness and the day from the night, and for signs 4 The giving of the Law on Sinai with the Levitical statutes and ordinances, and the directions for the construction of the Tabernacle of the Congregation 4 The solid-gold Lampstand with its seven lamps 4 The feast of Pentecost

The main aspects are:

The creating of the sun, moon and stars The Law from Sinai and the design and construction of the Tabernacle of the Congregation The Lampstand The waving of the two loaves of wheat signaling the end of the wheat harvest

Pentecost is the fourth of the seven feasts and is referred to as the feast of Weeks in that it takes place a week of weeks (fifty days) after Passover week.

Pentecost speaks of the giving of the Holy Spirit of God.

The first three feasts are grouped together in one week. Pentecost stands by itself fifty days later. Finally the last three feasts take place in the seventh month of the religious year, but actually the first month of the civil year.

Whereas the Altar phase grants us the authority to press toward the fullness of God, Pentecost (the Lampstand phase) furnishes us with the ability, the power and wisdom, to enter the fullness, the rest of God. The Spirit gives us the power to bear witness of the Lord Jesus. The Spirit gives us also the ability to overcome the lusts of our flesh and soul.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8

This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

We have just set forth what might be termed the Lampstand phase of salvation.

It is God's will that every saved individual on the earth learn that each detail of life is to be conducted "not by might nor by power but by my Spirit."

The Christian Church is the firstfruits of mankind. It is our privilege and responsibility to learn to live in the Spirit in advance of the remainder of the peoples of the nations of the earth.

Even our mortal bodies will be made alive in God's Spirit at the coming of the Lord provided we are diligent in putting to death the deeds of our flesh.

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 (Pentecost),

The following section tells

WHERE WE ARE GOING

"To the fullness of God, the rest of God, the omega of the plan of salvation..."

TAKING THE FIFTH ELEMENT OF EACH OF THE FOUR TYPES, WE HAVE AS FOLLOWS:

5 The creating of fish in the water and birds to fly in the firmament 5 The organizing of Israel into an army, and skirmishes under the leadership of Moses 5 The Altar of Incense 5 The blowing of Trumpets

The points that stand out are:

The beginning of animal life in the waters under the firmament, and the creating of birds to fly in the firmament Organizing for spiritual warfare Perfume from the burning of incense The festival of Trumpets announcing the first day of the new agricultural year

The fifth aspect of the plan of redemption should be of great interest to us because it is the next step after the Pentecostal, or Charismatic experience.

We are entering the spiritual fulfillment of the blowing of Trumpets, typified also by the fifth day of creation, the organizing of Israel into an army, and the Altar of Incense of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.

In the present hour the Lord Jesus is standing before the heart of each saint. He is asking for entrance. He wishes to dine with us on His own body and blood, for it is His body and blood that are our resurrection life.

We have known the Lord Jesus as the Shepherd of the Twenty-third Psalm. Now He is becoming the Lord of Armies of the Twenty-fourth Psalm.

The feast of Trumpets is Rosh Hashanah of the Jews. Rosh Hashanah is New Year's day, the beginning of the agricultural year, also referred to as the year of kings and contracts.

The Kingdom of God is at hand, ready to enter the earth. The Lord Jesus is asking us to allow Him to sit on the throne of our personality. He is the King of Glory.

The feast of Trumpets points toward the sixth and holiest of the observances, the Day of Atonement, the day of reconciliation.

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 Revelation 3:20.

TAKING THE SIXTH ELEMENT OF EACH OF THE FOUR TYPES WE HAVE AS FOLLOWS:

6 The creating of animal life on the earth, and man in the image of God, male and female, and the assigning of fruitfulness and dominion to man 6 The crossing of the Jordan River and the battles against the inhabitants of Canaan 6 The Ark of the Covenant 6 And The Day of Atonement

The principal aspects are:

The appearance of animal life on earth, and then man, male and female, in the image of God Warfare against the inhabitants of the land of promise The Ark The sprinkling of the blood of atonement upon and before the Mercy Seat

The Day of Atonement is the heart of the work of redemption. The atoning blood gives us the authority to enter the work of the Day of Atonement. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to enter the work of the Day of Atonement.

Man was made in the image of God on the sixth day. The sixth stage of the wilderness wandering was the crossing of the Jordan River and the battles against the Canaanites. The sixth item of furniture of the Tabernacle was the Ark of the Covenant.

The Day of Atonement (of reconciliation) speaks of the reconciling of God's creatures to Himself, beginning in our day with the firstfruits of the Church and extending throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age.

Reconciliation to God involves two areas of the human personality. The first area is that of the guilt of sin. The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ shed on the cross of Calvary made a complete atonement (reconciliation) for the guilt of mankind.

The second area of reconciliation to God concerns the sins that dwell and are active in our personality: our love for and trust in the spirit of the world, the passions of our flesh and soul, and especially our self-will and rebellion against God's will.

For two thousand years the Gospel of reconciliation for the guilt of sin has been preached by God's ministers. While the atonement for the guilt of our sins has been made, the Day of Redemption, that is, the removal of sin from our personality, is yet ahead of us.

The twofold nature of atonement is revealed in the ceremony of the Day of Atonement. During the Day of Atonement two goats were used in order to reconcile Israel to God. The blood of the first goat was sprinkled upon and before the Mercy Seat in order to appease the wrath of God concerning the sins of His people.

The second goat was not slain. The sins of Israel were confessed and symbolically laid on the living goat. The living goat then was led out of the camp into the wilderness, symbolizing the removal of the presence of sin from the people.

We now are entering the hour for which the creation has waited and groaned. It is the Jubilee of release, the deliverance of all who will come to Christ for salvation. The work is beginning in those of God's people who will permit the Lord to reveal His enemies in their personality. As the enemy is exposed the saint is to confess the darkness that has been brought to the light and to wash his robe in the blood of the Lamb.

The second work of reconciliation has begun today--the removal of the presence of sin.

The Day of Atonement, of Reconciliation, the period during which all that is of Satan is removed from us and all that is of God is added to us, is the promised redemption to which we have been sealed.

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption Ephesians 4:30

TAKING THE SEVENTH ELEMENT OF EACH OF THE FOUR TYPES, WE HAVE AS FOLLOWS:

7 The ending of God's work, and his rest 7 Rest in the land of milk and honey 7 The Mercy Seat, the covering Cherubim, and He who dwells between the Cherubim 7 The feast of Tabernacles

The main considerations are:

The completion of God's efforts, His rest and joyous contemplation of His handiwork Possession of the inheritance with an abundance of good things The solid-gold atonement cover (Mercy Seat) and He who dwells between the Cherubim of Glory The completion of the harvesting of all things grown in the earth, as celebrated in the feast of Tabernacles

The spiritual fulfillment of the seventh area of redemption is the dwelling of the Father and the Son through the Spirit in the personality of the believer.

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

It is God's will that all saved people, beginning with His Church, become part of God's Person so God is all and in all.

And when all things shall be subdued unto him [the Lord Jesus], then shall the son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

I Corinthians 15:28

We have not been prepared to be the Booth of God until the preceding six stages of salvation have been accomplished.

The spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, the goal of salvation, and the completion of redemption is-- THE FULLNESS OF GOD!

We have just presented what could be termed the Booth phase of salvation.

The Booth phase is the fullness, the omega, the full attainment of the salvation of man.

We began in chaos of spirit, soul, and body. We have finished in the image of Christ and have entered untroubled rest in the Father through Christ.

We have become "man." We now know our role in life is to serve and worship God. We know no detail of life is to be accomplished by our flesh or fleshly mind. All must be wrought in the Spirit of God.

We now are an integral part of the Father and the Son. We now are ready for our eternal service to mankind as the Bride of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem.

"In the feast of unleavened bread, And in the feast of weeks,

And in the feast of tabernacles:"

We have learned that God's will for man is that he serve and worship God, that he think, speak, and act in God's Spirit, and that he become an eternal part of God through Christ.

We have learned that God's plan of redemption brings man all the way from union with Satan and the image of Satan to union with God and the image of God.

Satan                                    (The program of redemption)                                   God

We have examined the four great types of salvation in order to learn of the provisions God has made for our complete redemption.

As we of the Church pass through the seven great phases of redemption we attain the two primary goals set for the royal priesthood:

We are changed in personality into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We enter untroubled rest in the Father through the Son.

While all saved people on the earth eventually will be in the image of God and at rest in God, the members of the church, being the firstfruits of mankind, must be in the image of God and at rest in God before the remainder of mankind and to a greater extent than the remainder of mankind.

"And not only they [the creation] but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit..." Romans 8:23

The inheritance of the royal priesthood is God. We always will have access to the paradise that we ourselves will establish on the earth at the coming of the Lord. But the first and best inheritance of God's kings and priests is not a paradise but God Himself. God is the destiny of the royal priesthood.

Religious man has set as his goal the attaining of Heaven, that is, entrance into the spirit Paradise. This is not surprising for the Garden of Eden is in the subconscious memory of every human being. Our desire for Heaven is a wish to return to the Garden--the garden that was on the earth and shall in the near future come again to the earth as the Kingdom of God.

However--and God's people need to think about this -- IF GOD WERE TO BRING HIS CHURCHES INTO HEAVEN TODAY THEY WOULD DESTROY THE RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, AND JOY OF PARADISE.

The members of the Christian churches sometimes gossip, backbite, hate one another, lie, steal, vaunt themselves, covet material wealth, seek advantage at the expense of others, divorce their spouses, molest their children, and in every other manner exhibit the nature of Satan.

To put unchanged man back into Paradise would be to repeat the original disaster.

Dying and passing into the spirit realm does not change the nature of man. Sin began in Heaven around the Throne of God!

God's plan to redeem mankind began with the Lord Jesus and the atonement made on the cross of Calvary. The Lord Jesus was perfected in obedience to the Father by the things He suffered.

The next step in the redemption of mankind will be to bring a firstfruits of the Church through the seven phases we have discussed until each member is in the image of the Lord and in untroubled union with God.

When the Lord comes the firstfruits of the priesthood will appear with Him and begin the task of bringing the saved nations into the image of man as God intends man to be.

By the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age the entire Church, the elect, the royal priesthood, will have been made ready and will descend to the earth as the Bride of the Lamb. The responsibility of the royal priesthood then will be to govern the saved nations throughout eternity.

All saved human beings, including the members of the Church, God's elect, are to worship and serve God above all else.

All saved human beings, including the members of the Church, are to live in the Spirit of God rather than in the flesh.

All saved human beings, including the members of the Church, are to have Christ born in them and the Father and Christ dwelling in them.

The difference between the Church and the members of the saved nations is that the Church, being the firstfruits of mankind, will arrive at these ways of thinking, speaking, and acting before the remainder of mankind, and will be closer to God and possess more of God for eternity.

"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" Isaiah 2:2

The holy city, the new Jerusalem, is the Church, the Wife of the Lamb. As such the holy city is Israel, Christ of God--Head and Body.

The Church is not of the world but has been called out of the world in order to become through Christ the light of the world.

The wall surrounding the new Jerusalem represents the eternal division between the Church, which is the Seed of Abraham, and the remainder of mankind.

"They [God's elect] are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." John 17:16

God has many needs and mankind has many needs. In order to meet the needs of God and of mankind, God is creating the Church, the elect, the royal priesthood, to fulfill fourteen roles and tasks.

Let us emphasize that in order to be qualified and competent to perform these fourteen roles and tasks we must have diligently pursued the seven phases of the plan of redemption until two things are true of us:

First we must be in the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to this change of image that we have been predestined from the beginning of the world.

Second we must be in untroubled union with the Father through the Lord Jesus. It is not enough to be like the Lord, we also must become part of the Lord through marriage.

We are neither qualified (by the Word of God) or competent (through our experience with God) to serve God and mankind as a royal priest unless we are pressing forward to perfection in these two areas of personal development.

The following are the changes that must take place in us if we are to be qualified and competent to serve as a member of the royal priesthood.

We must be changed into Christ's image in spirit, in soul, and in body. Romans 8:29; Philippians 3:21

We must be brought into union with God and all saints through Christ. John 17:21-23

FOURTEEN POSITIONS, ROLES, AND TASKS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD

A member of the Bride of the Lamb Revelation 21:9 Part of the Temple of God Ephesians 2:22 A member of the Body of Christ I Corinthians 12:12 A part of the vehicle for the end-time revival Isaiah 60:1,2 A restorer of Paradise on the earth Romans 8:21 A member of the royal priesthood I Peter 2:9 A witness of God Isaiah 43:10 A son of God Revelation 21:7 A brother of Christ Romans 8:29 An overcomer of the accuser Revelation 12:11 A governor of the nations Revelation 2:26,27 A judge of men and angels I Corinthians 6:2,3 A wall of defense around the glory of God Revelation 21:14

A part of the revelation of the Father-- God in Christ in the saints Revelation 3:12

Paradise will come to the earth at the hands of the sons of God. When the Tabernacle of God, the glorified Christian Church, finally descends through the new sky to rest forever on the new earth, the peoples of the earth will experience all the blessings that God means for man to have.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:3,4

What can we expect in the future? The end of the successful battle against sin and rebellion will be rest, peace, and the possession of good things and circumstances.

In the days to come there will be battles until every rebellious spirit is destroyed out of me and you, out of the heavenlies, out of the entire earth.

Sin will be conquered in all saved persons everywhere.

The result will be a multitude of children of God who are in His image. Quietness, peace, and perfect rest and joy will prevail throughout the creation of God.

The presence of Satan always brings unrest, striving, tension, pressure, sickness, weakness, confusion, disorganization, heartache, worry, frantic activity, despair, gloom, pessimism, and every other evil work.

But the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The rule of Christ in and with His Body will result in righteous conduct on the part of the saved inhabitants of the earth.

Righteous conduct on the part of the inhabitants of the earth will bring peace. Peace will bring joy--the joy of the Lord.

This is the kingdom that is coming!

The only manner by which peace can be brought into the earth is through Christ's rule with the rod of the iron of God's strength.

The only manner by which Christ's rule with the rod of iron can be brought into the earth is through saints who have experienced... THE FULLNESS OF SALVATION.