THE PRESENT TRUTH
Copyright © 1994, 2011 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
While in Bible school many years ago, the author felt impressed that God was ready to take His people past Pentecost. The Present Truth includes the various concepts that have surfaced as the author has sought to explain the burden given to him in those early years.
There are seven feasts of the Lord. The Church has been as far as the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost, the fourth feast. Now it is time for the Church to press forward to the fullness of God, to the spiritual experiences portrayed by the feast of Tabernacles—the last great convocation of Israel. This is the present truth.
Table of Contents
The Facts of the KingdomSome Important Concepts
Belief in the Facts of the Kingdom as Distinguished From Salvation
Two Problems That Have Resulted From Incorrect Belief
Forcing Morality on the Secular Society
The Definition of Salvation
Born of God
The Bride of the Lamb
Brothers of Christ
Christ, Head and Body
The Coming of the Lord
The Continuity of the Covenants
The Day of Atonement
The Day of the Lord
The Feast of Tabernacles
The Feasts of the Lord
The First Resurrection
The Firstfruits of the Bride
The Four Aspects of the Divine Decree
The Four Great Types
The Goal of Redemption
Grace and Faith Versus the Law of Moses
The Great Tribulation
Image and Union
The Judges of Men and Angels
The Judgment Seat of Christ
The Kingdom of God
The Love of Money.
The Manifestation of the Sons of God
The Nations of the Saved
The New Covenant
Responding to the Vision of God
The Rest of God
The Royal Priesthood
The Second Death
Shattering the Power of the Saints
Suffering and Glory
Survival and Security, Worship, and Achievement
The Temple of God
The Thousand-year Kingdom Age
The Three Stages of Redemption
The Throne of God
The Two Beginnings
Two Kinds of Righteousness
The Two Witnesses
The Witness of God
Working Out Our Salvation
For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. (II Peter 1:12)
After I received the baptism with the Holy Spirit in 1948, the Lord saw fit to impress me that the next Divine move after Pentecost would have to do with the Church receiving a greater measure of Christ in us, and that before we receive a greater portion of Christ, the Lord must bring us through the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27). The thought came that the Levitical Day of Atonement portrays God’s judgment upon sin, beginning with His household.
At that time I knew very little about the seven feasts of the Lord or the Tabernacle of the Congregation, but soon both of these types became important to me. I began to see in them a pattern that applies in four areas:
- The Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The growth of the believer from chaos of personality to the image of God and complete union with God.
- The growth of the Church from a disorganized group of people to the unblemished Bride of the Lamb.
- The construction of the Kingdom of God from the laying of the chief Cornerstone, Christ, to the glorious new Jerusalem, the supreme government of the world.
The Gospel of the Kingdom that I am announcing has to do with the Lord forgiving all who repent and making them rulers and citizens of the new world of righteousness that is to come. This is God’s response to the rebellion of the angels and of the first world. The atoning blood of Christ has made possible this new creation, which is the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He who possesses Jesus possesses all that I am presenting, although for now the various elements of redemption may be in an early stage of development in his personality.
If you will keep in mind that all of God’s work is centered in the Lord Jesus, that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, you will not easily be led astray. The longer I live, the more I realize that all we need and desire is in Jesus and is Jesus. Whether our desire is wisdom or love or joy or righteousness or peace, all is found in Jesus and only in Jesus. The Lord Jesus is God’s Center and Circumference, Cornerstone and Capstone, of all things in the heavens and upon the earth. When the Lord Jesus is kept as the Center, all else of life comes together in harmony.
Salvation is the moral and finally physical transformation of the individual. Salvation includes removal from Satan’s image and from union with Satan, and entrance into Christ’s image and into union with Christ. There must be a change of image and a change of union.
- Image includes what we think, what we say, what we do, and how we appear.
- Union refers our abiding with and being one with Satan or Christ. Our goal is to abide in Christ, in oneness with Him in all we think, say, and do.
Salvation is the change from Adam to Christ. It is the journey from Egypt to Canaan; from chaos to perfect rest in God; from Passover to Tabernacles; from the bronze Altar to the golden Mercy Seat. This is what salvation is. The primary goal of salvation is not to bring us to Paradise. It is to make it possible for the believer to have fellowship with God and to fulfill God’s purposes concerning man—to be and to do what man is destined to be and do. When we make Paradise the goal, we come short of the Glory of God. We miss the mark. When we make the image of God and union with God our goal, Paradise follows naturally.
In order for a believer to make the transition from Adam to Christ, he must allow God to do His part, and then the believer must do his part. If God’s part or the believer’s part is omitted, the transformation never will take place.
My desire in my writings is not to talk about Jesus; it is to present Jesus Himself, as the Holy Spirit enables. When we have Jesus, we have everything of worth. When we do not have Jesus, we have nothing of true, eternal worth. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One of God, is Himself the Kingdom of God and eternal Life.
Belief Is Not Salvation
You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:19,20)
The Facts of the Kingdom. Knowledge plays an important role in the Divine salvation. People need to be aware of the following areas of the Kingdom of God:
- Knowledge of the existence of the Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and of the righteous and holy Nature of God.
- Knowledge of the aspects of the rebellion of the angels and of the entrance of sin into the world. Knowing these helps us understand the presence and results of sin in the human personality and the need for forgiveness and deliverance.
- Knowledge of God’s attitude toward sin and the covenants God has made with people because of their sin.
- The knowledge of God’s will for the individual as revealed in the Scriptures and also in personal revelation. God’s will for people includes their transformation into the moral image of Christ, their union with God through Christ, their readiness to build up the members of the Body of Christ, and their readiness to serve as the light of the world, beginning with their own neighborhood. In addition, the saints, the members of Christ, are being trained in spiritual warfare.
- Knowledge of the future resurrection of the dead in which each person receives the consequences of his or her behavior. Every human being needs to know about this resurrection and behavior-based judgment.
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” says the LORD of hosts, “that will leave them neither root nor branch. (Malachi 4:1)
- Knowledge of the forceful installation of the Kingdom of God on the earth. The Kingdom of God will be installed on the earth as Christ and His saints descend from Heaven and drive all sinners, spiritual and physical, from the earth. Justice finally will come to the meek of the nations.
Throughout the history of the Christian Church great emphasis has been placed on a correct understanding of the facts of the above areas of knowledge. Theologians have argued. Wars have been fought. Dissenters have been tortured and martyred. The attitude of the Christian leaders and organizations has been that people must agree with the positions and beliefs of the leaders and organizations. The individual who does not conform to the accepted statements concerning the areas of knowledge is cast from the group, organization, or movement, penalized in some manner, and sometimes tortured and slain.
The various Christian denominations exist because of the different understandings of the areas of knowledge associated with God and His Kingdom.
As we are approaching the coming of the Lord and His Kingdom to the earth, we are growing aware that belief in what is true in the Kingdom of God is not of itself salvation. The knowledge of the facts of the Kingdom of God serves as a basis and guide for the Divine salvation. Because the knowledge serves as a basis and guide it is important that it be accurate. But accurate knowledge, and a profession of belief in accurate knowledge, are not salvation. Salvation is not composed of what we know or believe.
The monumental error of current Christian thinking is that if one professes belief in correct doctrine, he is saved. Added to this confusion is the unscriptural position that being saved means he will attain permanent residence in Heaven when he dies.
God’s purpose behind all of His covenants is that people practice righteousness, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. By viewing God’s salvation as a profession of belief in the true facts of redemption, with the goal of spending eternity in the spirit realm, we have effectively undermined God’s desire to have righteous people who perform His will in the earth and who are able to bring deliverance and eternal life to others.
Belief in the Facts of the Kingdom as Distinguished From Salvation. The following passage is often used to emphasize that salvation is knowledge and belief, and that to make a profession of belief that conforms to this statement is to ensure one’s entrance into Heaven. It is important for you to understand that the concept of residence in Heaven as the purpose of salvation is not mentioned in Romans chapter 10, which is the context of the following passage, nor is entrance into Heaven mentioned one time in the entire book of Romans.
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)
If we were to remove this passage from the book of Romans and make it the only statement in the Scriptures, we could make a case for salvation as being belief in certain facts.
Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus. That Jesus is Lord and rightfully our personal Lord is a fact. Confession of this fact is essential to salvation.
Believe in your heart that God has raised the Lord Jesus from the dead. The physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead is the cornerstone of our faith. Apart from the physical resurrection of the Lord we have no hope for our own resurrection.
You will be saved. What it means to be saved must be determined from the entire Scriptures. Being saved has little to do with going to the spirit Paradise.
With the heart one believes unto righteousness. God counts us as righteous when we believe God has raised the Lord Jesus from the dead. With his mouth man confesses that Jesus is his Lord, and God saves him on the basis of this confession.
The above is an accurate statement concerning God’s plan of salvation. The statement serves as a basis and guide for the working out of our salvation. He who does not regard Jesus as his Lord and who does not believe God has raised Him from the dead is not likely to find the road to eternal life.
The problem today is that the above passage is lifted from its context and made to mean that if a person confesses Jesus is Lord and believes God has raised Him from the dead, he is saved and on his way to Heaven; not that he will be saved, as the Scripture states, but that he is saved. If there were no other verses in the Bible, we could defend the prevailing point of view. However, this would make salvation a mental position having little impact on life on the earth (which is exactly what Satan desires!). Let us look at a passage also from the book of Romans that reveals the folly of making the Divine salvation a mental position.
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)
Paul was speaking to Christians, certainly not to the unsaved because they cannot choose to live righteously and thus receive eternal life on the basis of their behavior. Paul tells us Christians that if we choose to obey sin, we will die spiritually. Let us say an individual believes that Jesus is Lord and that God has raised Him from the dead. After this profession of belief he is baptized in water into Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Then he chooses to sin. What then? He dies spiritually, according to the Apostle Paul!
We could give numerous examples from the New Testament that portray clearly the association of righteous behavior with salvation. Salvation is a not a profession of belief. A correct profession of belief is the basis and guide to salvation but the profession of belief is not salvation. Neither is residence in Heaven the goal of salvation. True salvation always produces righteous, holy behavior. Righteous, holy behavior brings us the most valuable reward of all, which is fellowship with God.
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. (I John 3:7)
Evangelical theology is far off course. As a result, sin is increasing rapidly throughout the Christian churches as well as the rest of the world. The work of demons is protected by law in the United States of America, for example. There is no standard, no plumb line. Why is there no plumb line? It is because God’s people view the Christian salvation as a doctrinal position rather than the re-creation of the individual.
Two Problems That Have Resulted From Incorrect Belief. Belief is redeeming when it serves as a base and guide for the actual Divine redemption, and when its tenets are accurate.
We already have referred to the fact that the sin in today’s society is caused by the doctrine in the Christian churches that salvation is belief. It is supposed that if one holds to correct beliefs, he is on his way to Heaven. But since faith apart from works is dead, and righteous works are not considered necessary by Evangelicals, the churches are filled with dead faith. It is stressed vigorously today that Christ performed a finished work of salvation and that any effort on our part to make righteous behavior a necessary aspect of salvation is an unrighteous attempt to add to the perfect work of Christ.
How Satan must rejoice over this concept! The effect of such an unscriptural concept has been to destroy nearly every bit of righteous, holy behavior from God’s people. The light of good works, which is the true testimony of the Church, has been extinguished by a faulty knowledge of the new covenant.
The irony here is that not only is belief stressed in place of behavior, but the belief itself is based on an inaccurate understanding because the true knowledge of the facts of the Kingdom reveals that belief itself is not salvation.
The result of dead faith in the Christian churches is, first of all, loss of the Presence of God from the churches. The Christian churches have much to say about God and about God’s plan of salvation through Christ. However, the churches are preaching about Christ rather than preaching Christ. To preach Christ is to bring the very Presence of God to people, not just a message about God and His Gospel. One can preach about God and Christ and still continue in unrighteous, unholy behavior. But one cannot bring the Presence of God and Christ apart from a righteous, holy, sternly obedient life.
The second problem resulting from the dead faith of the Christian churches is sin in the unchurched society. If the moral light goes out in the Christian churches, then the world has no moral light to live by. Because the necessity for righteous behavior has been removed from the Divine salvation, the historic Christian nations, such as America, England, France, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, have become addicted to lust and pornography. Every vile lust flourishes in the nations that at one time carried the Gospel light. Their judgment is soon to come and will be devastating beyond comprehension. They have failed the Lord.
Christians are concerned as they see the effect of their doctrinal confusion on the moral condition of the United States and the other nations. They are upset at the abortion, the child molestation, the gangs, the drugs. What do Christians expect when they no longer are doing good works but counting on flying away from trouble in a “rapture”?
Forcing Morality on the Secular Society. In spite of the Scriptures that exhort us to bear witness by letting the light of good works shine, we intend to heap confusion on confusion. We are going to go forth in our self-will (not with the Lord you may be sure) and force the secular community to stop the aborting of infants, to stop the sexual perversions, to cease permitting gang membership, and to put an end to drugs.
We are going to use force—guns, if necessary—and compel the unsaved population to do what we think is proper.
To employ force to compel sinners to behave according to Christian standards is to seek to bring in the Kingdom before the Lord returns. The Kingdom of God indeed will be installed by dreadful authority and power when the Lord Jesus appears. His enemies will be consumed by the fire of His holy Presence. But our task before the Lord returns is not to begin to employ force but to bear witness of God’s righteousness, of the covenant of water baptism available to every individual who hopes to avoid God’s wrath, and of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
The result of Christian militancy will be a terrible backlash. The unsaved community, which includes the majority of people, will rise up in fury and the persecution of Christians will be severe and widespread. Why? Because the Lord is not with us. The humanistic people today outnumber us. They are not going to bow down to our attempts to force our values on them—especially when the Christian churches themselves are filled with every sin of the flesh as well as self-will and self-love. The present government of the United States is an abomination to multitudes of politically conservative people. We yet may have an armed uprising by conservatives. The Christians are not to participate in an armed uprising. We may think that we have made a temporary gain by such action, but the end will be bitter.
From the beginning of the Church Age, various institutions, particularly the Catholic Church, have attempted to force their will on the unsaved community. The Lord alone knows how many good people were imprisoned, tortured and killed because they refused to conform to ecclesiastical notions. Only a few hundred years ago some of the Catholic monasteries were sending out “soldiers” to force the populace to be “Christians.” Have we learned nothing?
Evil cannot be overcome by evil, only by good. We are called to deliver and heal those for whom Christ died, not to kill them. It is only when our government commands us to sin that we are to resist the government, and then not by killing our opponents but by doing what good we can and by holding fast our testimony during imprisonment, torture, and death.
How many believers of today are true Christians? How many churchgoers have turned aside from their own life and are carrying their cross of self-denial behind the Lord? And the fleshly, self-willed believers intend to force the unbelievers to live a moral life? The Scriptures command God’s people, not the unsaved community, to repent and turn from their wicked ways! What are we thinking of?
The Lord Jesus taught us that if His Kingdom were of this world, His servants would fight, but that His Kingdom is not of this world. We are told we are not fighting against flesh and blood but against fallen lords in the heavenlies. We are informed that the weapons of our warfare are not of flesh and blood but mighty through the Holy Spirit to the pulling down of strongholds.
The Lord is not commanding the unsaved people to repent. He is commanding His own people to repent, for the Christian churches are filled with people who are sinning, who are leading spiritually lukewarm, worldly lives. They do not know the Lord’s will. They do not understand the new covenant. They believe in a silly “rapture” that will deliver them from suffering, as though suffering were not one of the characteristics of Christian discipleship throughout the centuries. They have heaped to themselves teachers to tickle their ears. They have not presented their bodies a living sacrifice. They are in love with themselves.
Now they are disobeying the Lord by running ahead of Him, attempting to set up the Kingdom of God by human means. Surely, God has sent a powerful delusion upon us because we do not love the truth (II Thessalonians 2:11-12). Truly, great suffering is ahead for the Lord’s people.
The Definition of “Salvation.” We have said that salvation is not composed of understanding and professing belief in facts about God’s kingdom. “The righteous shall live by faith” has to do with how the righteous live, not with their profession of belief in the facts of redemption. The righteous live by trusting in God and not in themselves, by obeying the Lord in each decision of life. Well then, if salvation is not a statement of “faith”, just what is salvation? First, salvation is deliverance from the wrath of God that will be poured out in the last days.
and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (I Thessalonians 1:10)
After that, salvation is our change from Satan to God. The purpose of delivering us from wrath is to authorize us to begin the transformation of personality that is salvation.
‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ (Acts 26:18)
- Deliverance from the wrath of God.
- The opening of the individual’s eyes.
- The turning of the believer from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.
- The forgiveness of the believer’s sins.
- An inheritance among those who are sanctified [set apart to God as holy] by faith that is in the Lord Jesus.
Salvation is the change from the bondage of Satan to the moral image of Christ and to untroubled union with the Father through Christ.
This is what salvation is. It is a change of what we are. It is a new creation. The first man, Adam, must be crucified. The new Man is Christ, who Himself is the Kingdom of God.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. (Galatians 6:15)
The mainspring of the Christian salvation is death and resurrection. If we wish to experience the new covenant, we must enter the death of the Lord and enter the resurrection of the Lord. The degree of the Divine inheritance assigned to a son of God depends directly on his or her willingness to enter the death and resurrection of Christ.
Through the salvation that is in the Lord Jesus Christ we obtain:
- Deliverance from sin, and healing.
- Change into the image of the Lord.
- Union with the Father through Christ.
- A redeemed body.
Divine Grace. God’s grace is the power and presence of Christ that produces the salvation described above. Grace is the Divine enablement that creates salvation. Grace consists of the following elements:
≻The body and blood of the Lord Jesus. The body and blood of the Lord Jesus provide:
- Protection from Divine judgment.
- The forgiveness of sin.
- Deliverance from sin.
- Nourishment for the new man.
≻The born-again experience. When we truly receive Christ as our Lord and Savior, He is conceived in us. After that, He must continue to be formed until He comes to maturity in us.
≻The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us:
- Eternal Life.
- Power and wisdom to overcome sin.
- Power and wisdom to bear witness.
- The written and personal Word of God. These include:
- The Old and New Testaments.
- The wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.
- The gifts of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives ministries and gifts to every member of the Body of Christ.
≻Tribulation and offenses, ordered by God. We usually do not think of offenses and tribulation as being part of the grace of God under the new covenant. However, the various chastenings that come upon us are a very important tool that the Lord uses to purge us from sin and to bring forth in us the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, (I Peter 4:1)
These elements of grace make possible the changing of our image into His likeness, our union with Him, and our participation in the roles and functions of the Kingdom of God, which we shall mention in a moment.
Saving ourselves. Every element of grace is necessary if we are to save ourselves and those who hear us.
Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (I Timothy 4:16)
Current evangelical doctrine has no place for the concept of saving ourselves by the things we do. Therefore current evangelical doctrine is not taking into consideration the whole counsel of God. Today’s preaching is not a balanced presentation of God’s plan of salvation. We are to save ourselves by examining ourselves in terms of the doctrine taught by the Apostles of the Lamb to determine whether or not we actually are doing that which has been commanded by Christ through His apostles and prophets. Saving ourselves and those who hear us means bringing us from the bondage of Satan all the way to the moral image of Christ and to untroubled union with the Father through Christ.
The Kingdom. The following are roles and functions in the Kingdom of God that are possible to us only to the degree that we are in the image of Christ and in untroubled union with the Father through Christ. We are being prepared by the Spirit of God in order that we may serve in these roles:
- A member of the Bride of the Lamb (Revelation 21:9).
- A 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 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 Himself—God in Christ in the saints (Revelation 3:12).
A thoughtful consideration of the above roles will help you understand why the current emphasis on a flight to the spirit realm is so destructive of God’s plan for man. Instead of sons of God and brothers of Christ, we have the vision of untransformed people lounging in mansions with their jewels and golden slippers.
The truth is, the purpose for bringing the members of the Body of Christ to maturity (as measured by the standard that is the fullness of Christ) is that these members may return with Christ and bring justice to the meek peoples of the earth. The meek shall inherit the earth, but it will require Christ and His Body to make it possible for decent people to inherit the works of God’s hands. It appears that we do not as yet really understand the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, the coming of justice to the earth.
Today’s concept of salvation is that we must believe and profess the facts pertaining to the Kingdom of God, with the goal of going to live eternally in the spirit Paradise when we die. This wrong concept has prevented the Christian people from bearing witness and affecting society as they should. Satan has managed to put out the light of good works. The supreme goal of God under all covenants is to produce people who behave righteously, love mercy, and walk humbly with God, doing His will in the earth. This goal has been thwarted by today’s teaching and preaching.
We are in a time of reformation of Christian thinking. The coming of the Kingdom of God is at hand. God is ready to meet every person who seeks Him with a pure heart and to bless him or her with the wisdom and strength necessary to grow in Christ’s image and to serve his or her own generation according to the will of God.
The harvest field is white. Everywhere we go, we find people who are depressed, whose sons or daughters are in jail or have run away from home, who are distraught because of sickness or their job, who have AIDS, who are confused about where they stand with God. Multitudes are perishing for lack of the Spirit of God. If we will seek the Lord and obey Him, we most likely will soon find ourselves working in some corner of the Kingdom.
Let us turn from the false teachings, the evangelical fables of our day, and follow the Lord Jesus to the fullness of salvation and ministry.
Some Important Concepts
Following are some of the concepts that have emerged as the burden of “Christ in you” and the removal of sin through the process of judgment began to unfold in my heart and mind. Each of these concepts is elaborated in the books and booklets I have written. Perhaps the main theme of my message is, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The vision of the eternal Temple of God, the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles, has always been at the forefront of my thinking.
Born of God. The first concept I shall present is that of being born of God. The necessity for being born of God is one of the major areas of my doctrine. If we have been born of God, we truly are sons of God and brothers of Christ. The new life that has been born in us is from God and over the untold eons of eternity will bring forth the likeness of the Parent from whom it came.
The parables of the Kingdom that the Lord Jesus taught us, such as the parable of the sower, have to do with planting the Divine Seed in human beings. It is Christ who has been born in us who is the Kingdom of God.
One of the central misunderstandings of the Christian faith is the idea that salvation is bringing the adamic man to Heaven. We want to be “saved” as we are and brought up to Paradise. However, the destiny of the adamic nature is the cross, not Paradise. It is our new inner nature that is saved and is the Kingdom of God. The new man who has been born in us finds his way at once to the right hand of the Father in Christ. The following two concepts are one of the bases of all of my writings:
- Our old nature is not saved, but is assigned to the cross of Christ.
- The new nature is Christ formed in us, which is both salvation and the Kingdom of God.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. (Galatians 6:15)
The Bride of the Lamb. The Bride of the Lamb is the eternal complement of Christ, being made one with Him by eating His flesh and drinking His blood, and living by Him as He lives by the Father. There is no more important event in the mind of God than the joining of the Bride to His Divine Son.
The concept that there are two brides, a Gentile bride in Heaven and a Jewish bride on earth, is part of the set of Evangelical mythical beliefs.
The Bride must be as the Lord Jesus is: born of Divinity and born of humanity. Like must be united with like in the economy of God. The fact that the Bride of the Lamb is a wife but not a “queen” must become clear to the victorious saint as he or she climbs the “secret place of the stairs.”
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. (Ephesians 5:29)
Brothers of Christ. The elect are destined to be brothers of Christ. We truly are brothers in that we have been born of the same Father. There are several such promises that have to do with the impartation of Divinity and glory to God’s family. We are not to stagger at these but to recognize fully, and certainly without any sense of grasping or self-glorifying, that the Lord Jesus—the Lord of Glory—is the Firstborn among many brothers, many sons of God.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
Christ, Head and Body. Christ is the Servant of the Lord whose task it is to bring justice to the nations of the earth. Most Jewish and Christian scholars understand that Christ is to come to the world. What is not as commonly realized is that Christ consists of the great Head, the Lord Jesus, and also a Body composed of the saints.
The Church, the Bride of the Lamb, the sons of God, are terms that speak of the several relationships that exist between God and His saints, His elect, His Israel.
The eternal Servant of the Lord, described in the book of Isaiah, is Christ—Head and Body. To the Apostle Paul was given the revelation that Christ, the Anointed One of God, consists of the exalted Head, the Lord Jesus, and also of a Body made up of those who are called, chosen, and proven faithful. Christ is the perfect Deliverer who is being fashioned by the ministries given by the ascended Lord.
The churches are the raw material from which the members of the Body of Christ are drawn. Christian organizations often assign leaders to the churches who have been trained by the denomination and voted in by a majority of people. However, because of the Divine Nature and purposes of the Body of Christ, only the Holy Spirit of God can correctly assign and direct the gifts and ministries needed to build the Body to the perfection required if it is to serve the Head adequately. For this reason the churches of today must begin to emphasize ministry by the Spirit of God rather than by organizational assignment. The Christian organizations must become very much more sensitive to the mind of the Spirit.
Bible schools and seminaries cannot create apostles, prophets, or gifts of healing. They can inform the mind and create an environment that is holy and set apart from the world. But the leaders of the churches must look to the Holy Spirit to establish the ministries of the Body. When they do they will discover the riches latent in the local assemblies.
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles [nations]. (Isaiah 42:1)
For as the [human] body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. (I Corinthians 12:12)
The Coming of the Lord. The concept that there will be a secret pre-tribulation coming of the Lord to “catch away a Gentile bride” is an error. There is no “Gentile bride,” only the one new Man, who consists of all Jews and Gentiles who are part of Christ. There will be no Jewish kingdom on earth. There is but one second coming.
Great confusion exists concerning the Lord’s coming. Satan has impressed the Church that the Lord’s coming means our going to Paradise to reside forever in a golden mansion. Satan may desire that we leave to go to Heaven, but that will not take place. The Lord’s coming is just that—His coming. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming with His saints as King of all kings and Lord of all lords. The kingdoms of this world are to become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ—Head and Body.
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30)
The Continuity of the Covenants. God’s work from the beginning of time has been one progressive movement toward the new world of righteousness that is to come. The present heavens and earth are temporary.
Dispensationalism is the concept that God keeps changing His method of dealing with man, and it includes teachings such as the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church and the division between the Jewish elect and the Gentile elect. Dispensationalism has made logical, clear, straightforward Bible interpretation impossible. It is difficult to imagine a model of interpretation more destructive to the Kingdom of God than Dispensationalism. It has destroyed the moral strength of the believers and has prevented the Christian people from understanding God’s purposes for the physical land and people of Israel.
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, (Ephesians 2:19,20)
The Day of Atonement. The Levitical Day of Atonement (Leviticus chapter 16) portrays both forgiveness of sin and deliverance from sin. We are forgiven our sin through the blood of atonement shed on the cross of Calvary. We are delivered from sin as God judges the works of the enemy found in our personality.
The Church of the twentieth century has come as far as Pentecost. Before the Church can attain the rest of God (described below), it must pass through the work of reconciliation portrayed by the Day of Atonement.
The trumpet of the Jubilee was blown on the Day of Atonement revealing the relationship between restoration, and forgiveness and deliverance from sin. The coming thousand-year Kingdom Age will be the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
The Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord will be characterized by war: God against Satan; the Holy Spirit against the False Prophet; Christ against Antichrist. The wisdom and power of human beings is as nothing compared with these galactic spiritual forces.
The Day of the Lord will dawn in fire. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The heavens and the earth will be shaken. Here is God’s answer to the great rebellion that took place before the world was created. Only that which is established in Christ will stand the shaking of the Day of the Lord. Numerous so-called “believers” in the Lord Jesus will be terrified, being tossed about as straw in a hurricane. All their works and most of their personality will be burned away, if the Lord judges them worthy of salvation. The churches are hoping for a “rapture” that will carry them into the Presence of the Lord in their worldliness, sin, and self-seeking. To be brought into the Presence of God in their condition would result in unbearable torment.
The Day of the Lord is characterized by a large, powerful army of holy people—the saints of all ages. The judgment of God will be administered through them, resulting in the cleansing of the heavens and the earth and the filling of the whole earth with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.
and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,
in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (II Thessalonians 1:7,8)
The Disciple. There is a difference in kind between the average church attender of today and a true disciple. Multitudes of believers attend church. Of these believers, it appears that only a handful are disciples. A disciple is someone who has laid down his life, taken up his cross, and is following the Lord Jesus each day. Only the disciple is a true Christian.
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26,27)
Eagles’ Wings. God carries us until we learn to walk uprightly. Much is given to us when we are spiritual babies. As we mature in the Lord, Christ is able to assign more difficult tasks to us. The Lord does all the fighting when we come out of Egypt, but we must participate in the battle when we enter the land of promise.
‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. (Exodus 19:4)
I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; (I Corinthians 3:2)
But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)
The End-time. Babylon, Laodicea, the False Prophet, and Antichrist are four areas of deception the saint of the last days must be aware of.
- Babylon is the great Christian organization and may finally be located on the bank of the Euphrates River at the site of ancient Babylon.
- Laodicea speaks of Christians who have been overcome by a government that speaks comfortably to them and supports them but is not itself governed by the Lord Jesus. The Laodicean believers are occupied with their “rights.”
- The False Prophet is the attempt of believers to use the power of Christ before they have been crucified with Him.
- Antichrist is the striving of man to be his own God.
The False Prophet is man-centeredness in the spirit realm. Antichrist is man-centeredness in the political realm. Babylon is man-centeredness organizational realm. Laodicea is man-centeredness in the church realm.
Power will be given to Antichrist to overcome the saints in the last days and he then will be free to bring forth the fullness of lawlessness in the earth.
It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. (Revelation 13:7)
Eternal Life. Eternal life is a kind of life. Biologic life is the life of the animal. Eternal life is the Life of God. Until a human being is given a portion of eternal life from the Lord, he or she is little more than an intelligent animal. All flesh is as grass, destined to perish with time.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Faith. Scriptural faith is that which depends on God for all things. “The just shall live by faith” has little to do with the acknowledgment of theological facts concerning Christ. The just shall live by faith means righteous people live by depending on God rather than on their own resources.
True faith is neither belief in doctrine nor the effort of the soul to manage the spiritual realm by believing what the Scriptures declare.
There is, however, a true militant faith that includes the bold declaration of that which God has stated. However, this is not an attempt to work miracles by attempting to believe. It is a call to the Lord for help. There is a total difference between attempting to use the Scriptures to work magic and calling upon the Lord Jesus in faith. One is of the False Prophet. The other is the faith of the prophets and apostles.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
The Feast of Tabernacles. The feast of Tabernacles is the last and greatest of the seven feasts of the Lord. During one week of each year the people of Israel are to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles by living in a booth constructed outside of their house or apartment.
The spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles is the climax of the work of redemption. After all of the graces and provisions of God have operated in our life, the Father and the Son will come through the Holy Spirit and make Their eternal abode in us. This is the Kingdom of God and the goal of all our efforts in Christ.
“Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. (Leviticus 23:34)
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him. (John 14:23)
The Feasts of the Lord. The seven feasts of Israel, found in Leviticus chapter 23, are an excellent set of types which a believer can study and thereby gain some concept of the beginning, the program, and the goal of salvation. Many Christians think of salvation as something that took place in their life years ago, which they remember, and on the basis of which they hope to be taken to Paradise when they die. It has never been made clear to them that the Divine redemption is a process that must be taking place every day of the disciple’s life.
With the exception of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, the seven feasts of the Lord well may be the most important scriptural picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, the growth of the Christian from birth to maturity, the development of the Church into the Bride of the Lamb, and the creation of the Kingdom of God.
“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. (Leviticus 23:2)
The First Resurrection. Although the expression, “the first resurrection,” is found in the Scriptures, its implications have not always been pursued. The expression indicates there is no resurrection of believers prior to the one described in Revelation 20:4-6.
It appears there are to be two main resurrections, one at the beginning of the thousand-year period and one at the end. The first resurrection must be attained by the believer (Philippians 3:11) and is reserved for the blessed and holy members of the royal priesthood. The second resurrection is the general resurrection of the dead in which all persons will participate, with the exception of those were called up by the Lord at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This [living again] is the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power [authority], but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:5,6)
The Firstfruits of the Bride. The Bride of the Lamb includes all of God’s elect—the whole family of God from the time of Abel. There is a firstfruits of the Bride, a specially dedicated, warlike remnant of people who will, as we understand it, be raised when the Lord appears. We think that the balance of the Bride will not appear until the end of the thousand-year period.
There are major scriptural types that portray the firstfruits of the Bride meeting the Lord when He appears. One type is Gideon’s three hundred. Another major portrayal is the separation of the Ark of the Covenant from the remainder of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. A third major portrayal of the firstfruits is the rule of David over Judah prior to His rulership over all Israel.
Our understanding is that the entire Church will not be united until the holy city descends from Heaven and is established upon the new earth.
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” (Revelation 19:7)
The Four Aspects of the Divine Decree. God always understands the full significance and aspects of all He does. In the beginning God gave four decrees concerning man: man is to be in the image of God; man is to be male and female; man is to be fruitful; and man is to exercise dominion. These decrees of image, gender, fruitfulness, and dominion shall never be altered. They constitute what man is.
Adam and Eve were a prototype, a preview of what man is destined to be. The fullness that God has in mind concerning man is as follows:
- Image: The Lord Jesus and those who are like Him and part of Him are true “man.”
- Gender: The Lord Jesus and His Bride are what God means by male and female.
- Fruitfulness: The spreading of the Divine Vine, the Olive Tree, the Seed of Abraham throughout the universe fulfills the edict concerning fruitfulness.
- Dominion: The Lord Jesus and His victorious saints, the sons of God, shall be seated forever upon the Throne of almighty God, governing all the works of God’s hands. Man was created to be the throne of God.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (John 15:16)
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:21)
The Four Great Types. There are four great types in the Old Testament:
- The Tabernacle of the Congregation.
- The Feasts of the Lord.
- The journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan.
- The days of creation.
Each of the four types is divided into seven segments that correspond to the seven segments of the other three types. The four major types reveal seven aspects of the Lord Jesus Christ, and also seven aspects of the growth to maturity of the individual believer, the Church, and the Kingdom of God.
Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (I Corinthians 10:11)
The Goal of Redemption. The goal of salvation is to bring human beings into the image of God and into complete, untroubled union with God through Christ.
There are several Divinely assigned roles for which man is being prepared. At the beginning of this book we listed fourteen roles and functions for which salvation prepares us. The Divinely ordained roles and functions are possible only to those who are in the moral image of Christ and who are in a state of complete, total oneness with the Father and the Son to the degree that they have become an essential, integral, eternally incorruptible part of the revelation of the Father to His creation.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
“that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that you sent Me. (John 17:21)
Grace and Faith Versus the Law of Moses, not Versus Righteous Behavior. When the Apostle Paul contrasted faith and works, he was not speaking of a profession of doctrinal belief versus godly behavior. Yet this interpretation of Paul has persisted mightily since the Reformation.
- By “faith”, Paul means a life lived in dependence on God, not a doctrinal position. The righteous shall live by faith means by humble dependence on God rather than by independence of thought and action (the American ideal).
- By “works”, Paul means the works of the Law of Moses, such as circumcision. He is not referring to honesty, faithfulness, and truthfulness.
We are justified by placing our faith in Christ and living in Him rather than by obeying the statutes of the Law of Moses. But it is erroneously taught that we are justified by doctrinal belief. This misunderstanding of Paul has destroyed the moral strength of the Christian churches. A careful study of Romans and Galatians will reveal clearly that Paul is not seeking to turn people away from righteous behavior but from the works of the Law of Moses. In other passages Paul insists that if we do not live righteously we will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, (Romans 3:21)
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified [declared righteous] by faith apart from the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:28)
envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21)
The Great Tribulation. The Bride of the Lamb must be without blemish. It is obvious that in the present hour the Bride is filled with division and blemishes of every sort.
During the closing days of the present age the Lord Jesus will give of His Glory to His Bride and also purify her in the fires of the great tribulation. The great tribulation will separate the Bride from the Christian organizations and purge her from sin and self-will until she comes up from the wilderness leaning on her Beloved. In the Valley of Achor, the place of judgment, the Lord will minister to His Bride until she knows Him as her Husband.
When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, (Isaiah 4:4)
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; (I Peter 4:12)
Image and Union. None of the Divinely ordained roles can be assigned to a believer until he or she has been conformed to the image of the Lord and has been brought into untroubled union with the Lord. Oneness with the Son in the Father is the highest attainment possible for the human being.
We have been predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. However, image apart from union is not desirable. To be like Christ but not married to Christ could lead to the pride of Satan, who seeks to be like God but not part of God.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
“I in them, and you in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that you have sent Me, and have loved them as you have loved Me. (John 17:23)
Israel. God’s Israel is one. The Church is one, beginning with Abraham and Sarah. The olive tree is one.
The new covenant is not a change of the religion of Judaism to a new religion of Christianity. Both the old covenant and the new covenant are made with Israel. To participate in the new covenant, a Gentile must become part of the Israel of God.
The Divine redemption is given as one progressive revelation of God to Man. Christianity is the giving of eternal, Divine Substance and Life to the Altar, the Lampstand, and the Booth of Judaism. There is no Gentile church and no Jewish church. There is only the one new Man. The Christian Church and the physical people and land of Israel are on a converging course. The form of Israel is on the earth. The spiritual nature of Israel is in Zion in Heaven, in righteous people made perfect. When Christ appears the spiritual nature of Zion will come to earthly Zion.
God in the last days will turn once more to physical Israel. All that the Prophets have declared will come to pass in fullness. Jerusalem will become the center of government of the world. All nations on the earth will come to Jerusalem to receive instruction from the Lord, who will be dwelling there. The eternal moral law of God will be enforced throughout the creation by the rod of iron, the strength of the Spirit of God.
Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion [body of Christ] shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)
The Judges of Men and Angels. The first creation, beginning with the angels, has risen in rebellion against the Lord God. God made man for the purpose of judging the rebels, both angelic and human. After the judgment has been completed it will be man’s responsibility to govern the universe, both spiritual and physical, that God has created.
Man was created to be the throne of the Judge of Heaven.
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? (I Corinthians 6:2,3)
The Judgment Seat of Christ. The Judgment Seat (“beema” in Greek) of Christ is not an awards ceremony, it is a court where accused criminals are brought to trial. Each Christian, along with everyone else, will be revealed before the Judgment Seat and rewarded according to his works.
Divine grace does not change what we reap but what we sow. It is God’s way to bring us into situations where the hidden elements of our personality cause us to act. Then God judges our actions.
It is of the utmost importance that God’s people understand clearly that they will be rewarded according to what they have done while living in the world. They will receive eternal life if they have practiced good and lashes if they have practiced evil.
We are to confess our sins now and repent of each of them. As we do, God forgives our sins and cleanses us from them (I John 1:9). In that case they will not be held against us in the Day of the Lord.
Let no person—Christian or otherwise—think that he or she will not face the Judge. Each of us indeed will face the Judge one day, and it is a cause for trembling.
For we [Christians and everyone else] must all appear [be revealed, manifest] before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (II Corinthians 5:10)
The Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is coming to the earth. Heaven is coming to the earth. The Divine Throne is coming to the earth. The Day shall come when Jerusalem will be referred to as the Throne of the Lord. In that Day people will pray to God in Jerusalem, for Jerusalem then will be all we associate with Heaven.
There is an inner Kingdom and an outer Kingdom. The outer Kingdom cannot appear to the world until the inner Kingdom has been created in the hearts of God’s elect. The inner Kingdom is established in us when the only lawful King, Christ, is firmly seated upon the throne of our personality.
The Lord alone shall be exalted in that Day!
“At that time Jerusalem shall be called the Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts. (Jeremiah 3:17)
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 Love of Money. Covetousness is idolatry. Of all the gods in the world, the love of money is the greatest source of evil. Men hoard money in order to protect themselves in case God should prove to be unfaithful and undependable. From Balaam to Judas, from Gehazi to Ananias and Sapphira, the Scriptures teach us to trust in God rather than in money.
Where an individual’s treasures are, there his heart will be also. What we truly love is what we truly worship. The firstfruits of the Bride of the Lamb are free from marriage to other relationships, things, and circumstances. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes.
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5)
These are the ones who were not defiled with women [not married to the world], for they are virgins [spirits are pure]. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4)
The Manifestation of the Sons of God. It is God’s plan and delight to give the works of His hands to His sons as an inheritance. The first and greatest Son to receive the inheritance is the Lord Jesus.
When the Lord Jesus appears, those who live by His Life will be revealed together with Him. They will go throughout the creation (which they will inherit along with the Lord) judging, delivering, teaching, and blessing the peoples of the saved nations. The nations will continue in the bondage of corruption until the Son and the sons are revealed from Heaven.
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)
The Nations of the Saved. The nations of the saved are mentioned in Revelation 21:24, but it appears that modern theology does not know who these people are; they are unknown. Yet it is utterly impossible to understand the Kingdom of God until one realizes that there are two groups of saved people:
- The members of the Church.
- The nations of saved people.
The Bible has various terms for the Church, including “royal priesthood”, “the elect”, “the seed of Abraham”, “the Lamb’s wife”, and “saints”. Each term stresses an aspect of the saints. These are the first group of the saved.
The royal priesthood of God serves as Christ’s representative for the nations of the saved. The concept of Israel, of God’s elect, is not that these chosen people are destined to go to Heaven while the remainder of mankind is assigned to eternal torment in the Lake of Fire. Rather, the elect of God, the seed of Abraham, are those people whom God has chosen out of the world, whether Jewish or Gentile by physical birth, to represent Himself to the nations of the earth.
No doubt many people will be cast into the Lake of Fire because of the wickedness of their deeds. However, the majority of people who have been born on the earth will be raised from the dead and then brought into the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. These saved individuals will live on the earth and be ruled, guided, and blessed by God’s elect, by the Lamb’s Wife, by the members of the new Jerusalem. If this were not true, Christ and His saints would have no inheritance.
But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, they shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles [nations], and in their glory you shall boast. (Isaiah 61:6)
And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. (Revelation 21:24)
The New Covenant. The new covenant made with man by the God of Israel is probably the most misunderstood contract ever made. The new covenant is never made with a Gentile (non-Jew). A Gentile must become part of Israel through marriage to Christ if he or she is to participate in the new covenant.
The purpose of the new covenant is change—the change of the believer from a lawless individual into one in whom the eternal moral law of God has been eternally engraved (Jeremiah 31:33). Forgiveness is included in the new covenant, but the purpose of its forgiveness is to make possible the new creature who serves God by nature, not to perpetuate lawlessness and immorality.
The mainspring of the new covenant is death and resurrection. Our adamic nature must be assigned to the cross with Jesus and our new born-again spiritual nature must be assigned to the right hand of God in and with Christ. Any other approach or emphasis will lead only to the unproductive programs and activities of manmade religion.
The Divine grace of the new covenant is not God’s apology for the sins of man. Neither is Divine grace a new dispensation in which God, being discouraged with attempting to make man in His image, has decided to accept him in his sin and rebellion. Divine grace is the Presence of God made available through the Lord Jesus Christ so that every need and true desire that man has may be met perfectly and completely. However, the program of redemption is first of all for God’s benefit and only secondarily for man’s benefit. Man is transformed so he may worship and serve God. Divine grace, if it is not to be aborted, must result in actual righteousness and holiness of personality and behavior. It is the righteousness and holiness created in us by Divine grace that result in eternal life. This is in contrast to the Evangelical lawless-grace-rapture doctrine.
But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end [result is], everlasting life. (Romans 6:22)
Eternal life is both the source and the result of holiness of personality and behavior.
The concept that salvation is unconditional, that we cannot lose our salvation by willfully continuing in sin, is clearly unscriptural and has hindered the establishing of the Kingdom of God in the believers. The eternal moral law of God can never be altered in any manner. The purpose of the new covenant is to change what we sow (our behavior), not what we reap. The Kingdom law of sowing and reaping shall never be nullified. Salvation always is a season of opportunity; it’s always conditional based on our response.
The adamic race died on the cross. God is not saving our first personality. The Kingdom of God is the new personality that is born within us.
It appears that some of the Protestant reformers emphasized belief in doctrine at the expense of the moral transformation that is salvation under the new covenant. The moral and doctrinal chaos of the Christian churches of our day is the fruit of the incorrect emphases and myths of Catholic and Protestant theology. Faith without works is dead!
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Hebrews 8:10)
The Overcomer. All the promises of God are to the victorious saint, the one who is living in Jesus each day. There are no promises to the defeated believer except very stern warnings concerning lashes and outer darkness.
Satan always is conquered as we trust in the blood of the Lamb, as we stoutly, defiantly, consistently, diligently declare God’s Presence, Word, will, and eternal purpose in Christ, and as we cease grasping the things of this world (including sins) and follow Jesus into death to our self-centeredness and self-love.
If we do not trust in the blood of the Lamb, or if we declare something other than that which the Word declares, or if we grasp relationships or things or circumstances and do not place all our treasures on the altar of God, then it is impossible for us to live in victory. We will go down in defeat and are no longer eligible for the rewards assigned to the overcomer.
“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. (Revelation 3:12)
Responding to the Vision of God. God’s way is to declare a thing to be done. For example, He already sees the saints glorified—perfect in Christ. The problem is, how are we to respond to His timeless vision? How are we to address ourselves to that which God has declared to be true but we do not see to be true? The correct response to the prophetic vision ensures the successful attainment of all God has stated. An incorrect response leads only to confusion and emptiness.
- Romans chapter 6 advises us to count ourselves as dead to sin. Does this mean we are unable to sin? Not at all! Does this mean it does not matter whether or not we sin because God does not view our sinful conduct as being sinful? Not at all! How, then, are we to respond to the fact that God has declared us to be dead with Christ and risen with Christ?
- God has said we are a new creation in Christ, that we are crucified and Christ is living in us. Does this mean we are a new creation even though the people around us see the same old personality?
- The Scriptures state we were healed by the wounds of Christ. What if we still are sick? How are we to regard ourselves—as sick or healed?
The right response leads to glory. The wrong response leads to frustration and deception. The only correct way to work with the timeless Divine vision is to:
- Grasp the vision by faith, declaring it is so because God has said it is so.
- Recognize clearly that it isn’t a fact when it isn’t yet a fact.
- Understand that we have enemies in the spirit world that are determined that we never will possess the victory.
- Start out after God every day, following His every guidance.
- Remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
- Follow God’s timing.
- Let God modify your desire as He sees fit. Do not clutch anything (remember, you do not understand even your own desires).
- Endure in patience until you possess the promise in solid reality.
If you do these things, you will receive the Divine treasures. They shall be given to you. Cry out, “Give me this mountain!” If you do not quit, the mountain someday will be yours. With God, all things are possible. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). Never, never, never quit!
that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:12)
The Rest of God. God created all things in six days, and then He rested. “All things” include the eternal destiny of each of us through to our role in the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord Jesus. Our task in life is to strive to enter the rest of God, turning away from our own attempts to create heaven and earth according to our opinion of what is righteous and profitable.
As we seek the Lord Jesus, cooperating with Him as He strikes down our adamic nature and guides us in paths of righteousness and peace, we are increasingly able to find joy in the will of God. The individual whose supreme joy is to do God’s will has obtained the greatest good possible to a human being. He rests with Christ in God as God brings into view the wonderful world of righteousness He has envisioned from the beginning.
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)
Restoration. The story of the prodigal son is the basic story of human life. The story of the prodigal son is the story of God’s Israel, the story of Samson, of the Christian Church, of man himself. The story is:
- We are given a fabulous inheritance.
- We lose it because of lack of appreciation and experience.
- We gain it back to an even more glorious extent by hard work.
God has promised that all the locust has eaten will be restored. The glory of the latter house will be greater than the former. The latter rain, the greatest revival to date, is on the horizon. The glorifying of the Church that will take place at the Lord’s return is greater still. The new heaven and earth reign of the Lord will be many times more marvelous yet.
God gave man Paradise on earth. Man forfeited his right to the tree of life, to immortality. Now we have to gain back the Presence of God by centuries of agony and patience. But God will return in far greater glory than was true of Eden. God has kept the good wine until now.
“whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:21)
The Resurrection. The resurrection into the new world of righteousness, which is the central hope of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, has been so twisted and obscured by the unscriptural, destructive stress on the catching up of the saints (termed the “rapture”) that not one believer in a thousand has a clear understanding of the resurrection to eternal life—this most important act of redemption. The Scriptures do not emphasize the ascension of the saints. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament speak of the resurrection. The goal of redemption is the resurrection. The resurrection is the overcoming of the last enemy—physical death.
As Paul declared, the first resurrection, the resurrection of the royal priesthood, must be attained. The first resurrection, the resurrection that will take place at the Lord’s return, can be attained only as we press through to life lived in the power of Christ’s resurrection. The first resurrection, the resurrection out from among the dead, will occur at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, the historical Year of Jubilee.
Every human being who has ever lived will be raised from his or her place of decease at the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, with the exception of the blessed and holy members of the royal priesthood. Those who have practiced righteousness will be brought forward to the new world of righteousness. Those who have practiced wickedness will be cast into the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, where the wicked will be confined for eternity.
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice
“and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:28,29)
The Royal Priesthood. The Church, the Bride of the Lamb, is a royal priesthood destined to govern the saved nations of the earth. It can be seen today that self-seeking government has caused the moral and sometimes physical destruction of the inhabitants of the earth. Many people are plagued with overweight while multitudes of others are starving to death. There is no greater need than that of righteous kings and priests who through Christ will bring the Person, Word, will, compassion, wisdom, justice, and eternal purpose of God to the nations.
The physical nation of Israel was set apart by the Lord to be a holy priesthood—His representatives to the other nations of the world. It appears that the nation of Israel often has rejected this role, striving instead to make peace with other nations and dwell among them in the customary pursuits of life. Because many Jews have not obeyed the Lord’s will, they have suffered throughout the centuries.
Meanwhile, God has gone to the Gentiles and purchased a people for His name. A few of them are willing to serve God as a separate, holy people whose chief purpose in life is to worship and serve God, while the majority in the churches merely are church-attenders.
In the last days, the true saints will turn to the physical people and land of Israel and bring the Presence and blessing of the Lord to them.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (I Peter 2:9)
The Second Death. Revelation 20:14 refers to the Lake of Fire as the “second death.” It appears that the second death is eternal separation from God in an area of torment. Revelation 21:8 describes the kinds of people that will have their part in the second death—people who refused to be separated from the behaviors over which the Lake of Fire has authority. He who overcomes the world, Satan, and his own lusts and self-will will not be injured by the second death. As long as we practice the behaviors over which the second death has jurisdiction, the second death retains authority over that part of our personality. This is true whether or not we believe in Christ.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death [lake of fire].”’ (Revelation 2:11)
Shattering the Power of the Saints. The books of Daniel and Revelation inform us that the end will not come until first the witnessing-power of the saints has been overcome by Antichrist. Antichrist will wage war against the Spirit-filled witnesses of the last day. God will permit Antichrist to prevail until the Christian testimony has been destroyed from the cities of the earth. Then, when people are speaking of peace and safety, the Lord will appear and the glory of His appearing will destroy Antichrist and all the wicked of the earth.
We notice today in the United States of America that the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ has been destroyed because Christians view the new covenant as an unconditional forgiveness of the sins of the believers, with minimum emphasis placed on righteous, holy behavior. Thus the power of the saints already is being shattered by the skillful deceptions of the adversary.
Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered [crushed], all these things shall be finished. (Daniel 12:7)
Suffering and Glory. Because of the rise of the humanistic spirit, the “rights of people,” it has become fashionable to ignore the large role suffering plays in the redemption of God’s people. The emphasis today is on “positive” preaching, on preaching and teaching that appeal to the self-love of the listeners. Ours is the age of the ear-ticklers.
However, it remains true that God’s people have been and will continue to be “sheep for the slaughter” until the Lord comes and establishes His Kingdom on the earth.
Suffering in the flesh produces the strength of holiness in us, if it is accepted in faith and trust in the Lord and not in unbelief and bitterness. It is especially important that the chosen rulers suffer with Christ because suffering is the tool God uses to remove self-will and rebellion from us.
If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. (II Timothy 2:12)
Survival and Security, Worship, and Achievement. These are the pursuits of mankind on the earth. They are the areas in which every son of God is tested.
- Survival and Security: Physical life includes eating, playing, working, sleeping, and reproducing. We can seek to obtain survival and security for our physical life by trusting in the world spirit, or by looking to the Lord for all things. We do not as yet understand all the wonderful aspects of spiritual life that will be true of the world that is to come.
- Worship: Worship is whatever we cleave to in order to find joy. We can seek to obtain joy by obeying the lusts and passions of our flesh, or we can look to the Lord for joy.
- Achievement: Man was made to be fruitful and to have dominion. The healthy human being seeks to expand himself and to govern his circumstances. This is the realm of achievement. We can seek to be fruitful and have dominion, to achieve something of significance, by trusting in our own understanding and strength; or we can trust in the Lord that our life is worthwhile.
We are in the rest of God when our total life, our total worship, and our total desire for fruitfulness and dominion are found only in Christ. Remember that Jesus was tempted in these three areas:
And the devil said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” (Luke 4:3)
And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. (Luke 4:6)
Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle [gable, edge] of the temple, and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. (Luke 4:9)
The Temple of God. God is building a living house for Himself, which is the Christian Church. This eternal habitation of God is the reason for the existence of the Church. Through the Church, the God of Heaven will be able to minister to the needs of all His creatures.
The holy blood of the cross gives us the authority to be children of God. The Holy Spirit of God gives us the power to overcome unclean spirits and also to bear witness of God. The authority of the blood and the power of the Spirit have been given to us that we may become the living temple of the Lord. Our destiny is fulfilled as the Lord Jesus Christ comes with the Father and takes His place on the throne of our personality.
The Father and the Son dwelling in the fullness of the Spirit in the saint constitute the Kingdom of God. This is the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles—the omega of salvation.
There are two aspects to our becoming the eternal temple of God:
- Christ being conceived and then brought to maturity in us. Christ formed in us is the eternal temple of God.
- The Father and the Son coming to make their abode in the temple that has been formed in us, making it Their eternal dwelling place.
in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:21,22)
The Thousand-year Kingdom Age. The purpose of the thousand-year Kingdom Age is to perfect God’s Israel. During the Kingdom Age, the saved nations will be governed in righteousness. But the main purpose for the age, as we understand it, is to serve as an opportunity for growth from the present stage of development of the Church to the incredibly glorious state of the Church during the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. In the present hour, we believers are far too crude to experience the Divine Glory that will fill the new Jerusalem. The thousand-year period of fellowship with the Lord Jesus will help prepare us for the Glory that will be given to the elect of God.
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power [authority], but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
The Three Stages of Redemption. The Divine salvation includes three deaths and three resurrections:
- Death to the world and resurrection to citizenship in God’s Kingdom.
- Death to sin and resurrection to eternal life.
- Death to self and resurrection to fruitfulness and dominion.
Salvation takes place in three broad stages:
- The blood of atonement for sin gives us authority to participate in the Divine salvation.
- The anointing of the Holy Spirit gives us the power to participate in the plan of salvation.
- The entrance of the Father and Son into the believer is the purpose of salvation, and is also the Kingdom and rest of God.
Self-will is the most virulent poison in the human personality. God uses suffering to slay our self-will and to establish Christ on the throne of our personality. Religious pride and envy, the desire for prominence and exaltation, always is at the door of God’s Church. Some people whom God has not chosen carefully observe God’s elect with the intention of usurping, if they can, the glory and honor assigned to the saints. For this reason the elect must be on their guard constantly or they stand in danger of having their crowns of authority stolen from them. If each of us will remain on his guard, looking to Jesus at all times, the Lord will protect us from Korah, Absalom, and their fellow conspirators.
The third death, death to self-seeking and to the lust for preeminence, is the only route to the throne. But death to self-seeking is gained through the prolonged deferral of our most intense desires and prolonged immersion in distasteful circumstances. Patience, and the Kingdom of God!
“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. (Deuteronomy 16:16)
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another [with God], and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (I John 1:7)
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
The Throne of God. Hebrews 2:6 asks, What is “man” that God is concerned about him and visits him? Man has been created to be the eternal throne of God Almighty. Some of the lords of the spirit realm rebelled against the Father. The creation of man is the Father’s response to the rebellion. Through man God will govern all the works of His hands. Through man God will prevent all further rebellion against His will.
The victorious saints will rise to meet the Lord in the air when He returns in the clouds of glory. The reason the resurrected saints rise into the air is that they may replace the fallen lords on the thrones that govern the creation. The wicked rulers of the spirit world will be overcome by the saints who trust in the blood of the cross, who maintain a true testimony of the Person and Word of God, and who love not their own lives, take up their cross, and follow the Lord Jesus. Placing the victorious saints on the thrones in the air will cause the chains of futility and corruption of the earth to be broken and the Spirit of God to cover the earth. God’s Spirit is the Spirit of righteousness, peace, and joy, and He will cover the earth in waves of divine glory.
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)
The Two Beginnings. The Lord Jesus is the Firstborn, the Beginning of two creations of God. God through the Logos created all of the first creation. The first creation included the angels, the heavens, and the earth—all the spiritual creation and all the physical creation. The first creation rose in rebellion. The Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary brought to an end the first creation when He said, “It is finished.”
When Christ rose from the dead, He began a second creation. The second creation is what God has had in mind since before the first creation came into existence. God knows in advance all that will take place—God is that great!
The Lord Jesus is the Firstborn from the dead, the Beginning of the second creation. Every angel and every human who want to be saved into the second creation, the eternal righteous creation, must have the Lord Jesus as his Center and Circumference. The Father has been pleased to make Christ the Center and Circumference of the new world. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone and Capstone of the Kingdom of God and of every person who is part of the Kingdom of God.
Our response is to assign the first creation, that is, our first personality, to the cross with the Lord Jesus. Then we are free to be raised with the Lord into the new creation. To be “saved” is to be brought into eternal life in the second, eternal creation, the new world of righteousness.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:15,16)
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18)
Two Kinds of Righteousness. Two types of righteousness are presented in the New Testament:
- Actual righteousness of behavior, such as honesty, truthfulness, kindness, patience, mercy, is the subject of both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
- Imputed (assigned) righteousness, has to do with the manner in which the Lord regards us. Imputed righteousness was assigned to Abraham when he believed God’s promise. Imputed righteousness is assigned to us when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus instead of in our observance of the Law of Moses.
There is no greater misunderstanding in Evangelical thinking than that concerning the proper roles of actual righteousness of behavior and imputed righteousness. Imputed righteousness is given to us because we trust in the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Sin-offering. But imputed righteousness must lead us to actual righteousness of behavior. If it does not, it has not served its purpose. If we continue to sin after we have received the Lord Jesus, the Divine righteousness no longer will be imputed to us.
The continual—almost exclusive—emphasis on imputed righteousness has destroyed the moral strength, the testimony of the Christian churches.
and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. (II Peter 3:15,16)
The Two Witnesses. Just before the Lord returns, the greatest witness of all time will be borne to the nations. The two witnesses, Christ and the Body of Christ, will announce the coming of the Kingdom of God. They will be anointed with the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit as portrayed by the two lampstands of Revelation chapter 11.
The present-day ministry of the Spirit of God, including the judgment and deliverance that is cleansing the saints from the works of the flesh and from self-will, is preparing those who will be used of God to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to every nation under Heaven. No doubt the children of today will play a special role in the end-time revival.
Every era of history has had its two witnesses that have spoken in advance of the purpose of the era, and in whom has been demonstrated the purpose of the era and what was to take place during the era. Beginning with Adam and Eve, each of the seven “days” (eras) has contributed and keeps on contributing to the coming world of righteousness, and each day is eternal.
We now are approaching the sixth day, the day of the Kingdom of God. The two witnesses of the day of the Kingdom are Christ and His Body. They will bear witness under an unlimited anointing of the Holy Spirit, as portrayed in Revelation chapter 11. Christ and His Body reveal in themselves the righteousness and power of the coming sixth day.
The Zechariah chapter 4 announces the symbolism of the golden lampstands: “Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit, the Lord says.” The eternal temple of God will not be completed by the resources of the flesh of man but by the Spirit of God.
“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days [3½ years], clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:3)
The Wall. If the Paradise of God is to survive, it must be protected by a wall against sin and rebellion. Man was unable to keep possession of the garden of God because it was unwalled. The serpent had access to the beauty and wonder of God.
The wall of defense and the rod of iron are being created in the victorious saints in the present hour. The wall is the impenetrable, eternal wall of the new Jerusalem, the overcomer’s resistance to sin. The rod of iron is the stern discipline of those who obey God in every circumstance, under every adverse condition, throughout every pain and frustration.
Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” (Nehemiah 2:17)
Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: (Revelation 21:12)
War. The Kingdom of God will be established on the earth by violence, by war. To a world weary with wars and rumors of wars, this does not come as good news. However, wars will continue on the earth because there is war in the spirit realm.
The first creation of angels and men has risen in rebellion against the Father. The sin must be judged. The wicked must be removed from the creation. The righteous must be delivered and made invincible in righteousness so the will of God may be performed and the peace and harmony of the universe maintained.
The sin was judged, the atonement was made, the justice and wrath of God were appeased, on the cross of Calvary. But Satan and his followers are unwilling to acknowledge this. They are unwilling to surrender the creation to Christ even though He has paid for it with His blood. This is why war is necessary.
There will continue to be wars until the Prince of Peace comes with His armies and removes sin and sinners from the heavens and the earth. A description of the righteous army that will invade the earth is given several times in the Scriptures. The only manner in which Christ and His saints can gain their inheritance, the land of promise, is by unrelenting war.
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. (Revelation 19:11)
The Witness of God. There is a difference between ministering and bearing witness:
- To minister is to bring forgiveness and deliverance to people and to build them up in Christ.
- To bear witness is to faithfully reveal the Person, Word, will, and eternal purpose of God.
It requires many years of patient suffering to produce an eternal witness of God. Gifts and ministries can be assigned to an immature believer in a moment of time, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit do bear a true witness of God. However, gifts and ministries often are temporary and operate only during the lifetime of the individual. The witness borne by the personality and testimony of the individual who does God’s will is eternal, as in the case of the writings of the Apostle Paul.
A faithful witness of God always is eternal. Noah, Job, and Abraham are bearing witness to us today, not only because of their gifts but especially because of God’s dealings with them and their response.
There is much Christian ministry throughout the world today, for which we thank God. But the testimony in many instances has been destroyed because of the sinful, self-seeking behavior of God’s messengers.
The true testimony of God always is in supernatural power and always is clothed in righteousness, holiness, and stern obedience to God.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Working Out Our Salvation. One of the major misunderstandings of Evangelical theology is that the Christian salvation is a sovereign work of God; that the believer has little to do but believe. “The just shall live by faith,” the cry of the Reformers, has come to mean that the righteous go to Heaven because of their belief in theological facts concerning the atonement, the resurrection, and the lordship of Christ.
However, the Scripture does not support this one-sided position. Such statements as “in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (I Timothy 4:16) and “if the righteous scarcely [with difficulty] be saved” (I Peter 4:18) reveal clearly that the current program of salvation by mere mental assent is not at all what the New Testament teaches.
Let us turn away from the frivolous Christianity of our day, and by faithfully serving the Lord, save ourselves and those who hear us.
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.
Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.
Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (I Timothy 4:12-16)
(“The Present Truth”, 3507-1, proofed 20190311)