WHAT HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD ME?: SIX (EXCERPT OF THE TEMPLE OF GOD)
“What House Will You Build Me?: Six” is taken from The Temple of God, copyright © 2011 by Trumpet Ministries, found in the Kindle Library.
Copyright © 2013 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.
Table of Contents
A New Heaven and a New Earth
The Thousand-year Kingdom Age Is Davidic in Character
The Ark Is Placed in Solomon’s Temple
Fulfillment of the Levitical Feasts
The Feast of Tabernacles
Judgment Must Begin at the House of God
Those who have a part in the first resurrection have gone through a prior judgment before being assigned positions of authority and ministry in the Kingdom of Christ. The prior judgment of God’s saints is more exacting than the standards of conduct required of the rest of mankind.
God never “winks” at the sins of His people, only at the ignorance of the nations (Acts 17:30). Jerusalem always receives of the Lord’s hand “double for all her sins” before her warfare is accomplished and her sin and rebellion pardoned (Isaiah 40:2).
As we have pointed out before, the events of the last days are taking place in the Christians now. The closer we walk with Christ, with the Lord of all judgment, the sooner the Day of the Lord is brought to pass in us.
Of all our experiences that foreshadow the Day of the Lord, none is more current than that of judgment. It is time now for judgment to begin with the house of God (I Peter 4:17). God judges both the living and the dead (I Peter 4:5).
We who are seeking the Lord with a full heart, in all fervency of spirit and desire, are drawing near to Him who is the consuming Fire. The closer we come to Him the more our sins are magnified.
As the Holy Spirit points out to us our sins of action, of word, of imagination, we are to confess them to God—and sometimes to Christian brothers or sisters as well if this seems to be the way the circumstances and the Spirit of God are leading. The fire of the Presence of Christ is holy.
Being saved “by grace” means we are accepted of God even though we are clothed in filthiness of behavior. We are accepted of Him if, when He comes to us in the Spirit and begins to teach us His ways, we act in obedience.
To claim we are saved by grace and then to ignore the admonitions of the Holy Spirit regarding purity of conduct, stating that we have no sin because of “grace,” is to walk in deception.
Those who continue to practice the uncleanness of the flesh will never inherit the Kingdom of God, whether or not they name the name of Christ (Galatians 5:21). To believe otherwise is to be deceived. If we will not judge ourselves by the Word and Spirit of God, God will judge us (I Corinthians 11:31,32).
If we are willing and obedient we will “eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19). The Holy Spirit is dealing with the saints in the present hour and revealing to us our sins. Our part is to confess our sins (I John 1:7-9), obtaining forgiveness and cleansing. Then we are to submit ourselves to God and resist the devil (James 4:7).
Little by little we obtain release from the bondages of the flesh and by this means enter Christ’s Kingdom. “The Kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
Sometimes God must heat up the furnace “seven times more than it was wont to be heated” before our bondages are burned through (Daniel 3:19; I Peter 4:1,2).
If we examine our behavior now, by the wisdom, power, and joy of the Holy Spirit, not in the gloom and despair of self-criticism, we will not be condemned with the world (I Corinthians 11:31,32; Romans 8:13). It is God’s will that we be made holy through our contact with the risen Christ.
Christ possesses the authority and power to tear down every point of rebellion in our life and to set us free. If we will allow Him to do that we will have our part in the first resurrection from among the dead.
Those who participate in the first resurrection from the dead can rest with Christ in the day of the great white throne judgment, while the dead are being judged from “the things that were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). If we overcome Satan, and are created in Divine love “we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in the world” (I John 4:17).
Finally death itself and Hell will be cast into the Lake of Fire. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (I Corinthians 15:26).
And anyone not found written in the book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)
This is the termination of the first creation. All evil and all evildoers have been destroyed. The Day of Judgment has been completed. The curtain is rising on a scene so glorious our imaginations of the present hour cannot grasp it.
A New Heaven and a New Earth
We have come now to the full manifestation of the new creation that God has created in Christ. All that God declared in the first chapter of Genesis concerning the creation of man has been accomplished.
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. (Revelation 21:1)
We can examine the relationship of the thousand-year Kingdom Age to the new heaven and earth reign of Christ by employing three figures from the Old Testament: (1) the Davidic and Solomonic kingdoms; (2) the incorporating of the Ark of the Covenant and the remainder of the Tabernacle of the Congregation in the Temple of Solomon; and (3) the Levitical feasts, in particular the Day of Atonement and the feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:27-44).
The Thousand-year Kingdom Age Is Davidic in Character
There are some parallels that can be drawn between the Kingdom of David and the thousand-year Jubilee, and between the Kingdom of Solomon and the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. The thousand-year Kingdom Age tends to be Davidic in character, with Christ being the fulfillment of King David. The new heaven and earth reign tends to be Solomonic in character, with Christ being the fulfillment of King Solomon.
It may be recalled that soon after Saul had failed to keep the commandments of the Lord (I Samuel 15:14), Samuel anointed David King of Israel (I Samuel 16:13). However, Saul continued as king over the nation and David had to flee for his life (I Samuel 20:33).
From then on, until the death of Saul in battle, David and his men were outcasts from Israel.
David and his fellow fugitives are a type of the present day. Saul is a portrayal of the rule of the fleshly nature over the people of the Lord. The death of Saul typifies the death of soulish self-seeking in the Christian churches.
This symbolism can be applied to us personally in that our self-seeking nature must die before Christ can rule in our life. We cannot see or hear the Lord until “the year that King Uzziah dies.”
The type also may be applied in a kingdom-wide sense. The rule of self-seeking men must be destroyed at Armageddon before the lawfully anointed King, Christ, can take over the government of His people and of the rest of the world.
The thousand-year Kingdom Age may be compared to the reign of King David, following as it does the destruction of the rule of Satan-filled flesh. The new heaven and earth reign, on the other hand, is comparable to the reign of Solomon in that it follows a thousand years of righteous government, just as Solomon followed the righteous government of King David.
The thousand-year Kingdom Age will be installed and maintained with force (the rule of a rod of iron).
The new heaven and earth reign of Christ will be dominated by the holiness, light, love, peace, and joy issuing from the holy city. The nations of the earth will be overpowered by the spectacle of the glory of the city of God (John 17:21) just as the Queen of Sheba was astonished at the magnificence of Solomon. When she beheld “his ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her” (II Chronicles 9:4).
During the new heaven and earth reign of Christ there will be no nations, such as Gog and Magog, that are able to be deceived nor will there be any more loosing of Satan to seduce the people. The new heaven and earth reign will be similar to the reign of Solomon, both being eras of peace.
David came into power as a man of war just as the Lord Jesus is coming as the Man of war to impose the Kingdom Age on the earth.
Jesus is coming as the Good Shepherd to His flock (Isaiah 40:11; Malachi 4:2). But as far as His enemies are concerned, Christ is coming into His Temple, the Body of Christ, as the Lord, strong and mighty in battle. He shall “prevail against his enemies” at that time (Isaiah 42:13).
The call to the Day of the Lord is as follows:
Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. (Psalms 24:7,8)
David took over the throne of Israel in the midst of bloodshed (II Samuel 3:1-5:4), just as the thousand-year Kingdom Age will be installed with violence because of the unwillingness of man to surrender to Christ the rulership over the nations (Revelation 19:15-21).
Solomon came into power relatively peacefully (I Kings 2:12). In the same manner the new heaven and earth reign of Christ will be ushered in by the sovereign power of God, the rebellion of the nations having been subdued by the rule of a rod of iron, and finally by fire from Heaven.
The destruction of Gog and Magog, which comes before the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, will not be a war similar to Armageddon. Rather, it will be a sovereign act of judgment, a prelude to the appearing of the white throne (Revelation 20:9).
David was a man of war; Solomon was a man of peace.
“but the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight.
‘Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. (I Chronicles 22:8,9)
Much of David’s time and energy went into overcoming the enemies of the kingdom of Israel. His reign was marked by the conquest of the tribes that had made a practice of invading the borders of Israel. The Lord loved David and gave him success in his battles.
Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around,
that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.” (II Samuel 7:1,2)
Notice how the concept of the habitation of God came to David as soon as his enemies had been put down. This is true of us also. As soon as the Holy Spirit has enabled us to begin to put down the sin in our life we receive the desire for a greater portion of the indwelling of the Father and the Son (John 14:23).
The thousand-year Kingdom Age is the time of the establishing of the government of God throughout the whole earth. As soon as this has been done there will be a cry in the Spirit for the coming down to earth of the holy city, the new Jerusalem.
At the time of the ascension of Solomon to the throne of Israel the conquest of Israel’s enemies had been accomplished. The extension of Israel’s power, in accordance with the boundaries established by the Lord (Joshua 1:4), had taken place during the rule of David, just as the extension of God’s rule over His creation will take place during the thousand-year Kingdom Age (I Corinthians 15:24).
Solomon is known for the construction of the Temple of God. The new heaven and earth reign of Christ will be distinguished by the coming down to earth of the “tabernacle,” the eternal dwelling place of God (Revelation 21:3).
David’s reign was characterized by the mighty men with whom he surrounded himself (I Chronicles 11:10-40). One of the first achievements of David upon his ascension to the throne of Israel was the capture of Mount Zion from the Jebusites (II Samuel 5:7).
The capture and building of the fortress, Zion, has prophetic significance (Psalms 102:16). Mount Zion represents the overcoming saints, the conquering strength of the Church of Christ. Mount Zion is the camp (fortress) of the saints (Revelation 20:9).
The Lord Jesus Christ in our day (while He is in exile because of the reign of “Saul,” so to speak) is gathering together His mighty men, His personal bodyguard (Revelation 14:1-5; 17:14).
Christ is getting ready to take control of the most heavily fortified positions of the enemy. He will tear down all the “rulers of the darkness of the world” (Ephesians 6:12) at the time of His coming and His Kingdom.
In the hour in which we are living, Christ is preparing a company of victorious saints—disciples who have overcome the accuser by the blood of Christ, by the word of their testimony, and who love not their lives to the death (Revelation 12:11). He will place His Glory in these victorious saints. From this stronghold (spiritual Zion), which will serve to protect the Kingdom of God from attack and invasion, just as fortress Zion served to defend Jerusalem against attack and invasion, Christ will extend His dominion over the earth.
All such fighting and overcoming will have been completed by the time of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
The new heaven and new earth will be under the reign of eternal peace, love, and joy. Solomon sat on a “great throne of ivory” overlaid with gold (I Kings 10:18). This brings to our minds the white throne, “overlaid” with the Divine Presence of God Almighty that appears just before the reign of peace of the new heaven and earth.
When King David was not occupied with putting down enemies along the borders of Israel he collected material for the temple that he was not allowed to build (I Chronicles 29:2-5). This suggests to us that preparation will be made during the thousand-year Kingdom Age for the holy city, the new Jerusalem, that will come down from Heaven as soon as the new heaven and earth have been created.
It seems likely that much of the effort and activities of the thousand-year Kingdom Age will be directed toward preparation for the coming new heaven and earth rule of the Lord Jesus Christ. When all has been made ready, “then shall the Son also himself be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (I Corinthians 15:28).
There will be no more “God and Magog” uprisings after the new heaven and earth reign begins.
The Ark Is Placed in Solomon’s Temple
Another Old Testament incident that reveals the relationship of the thousand-year Jubilee to the new heaven and earth reign of Christ is the incorporating of the Ark of the Covenant, and the rest of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, in the Temple of Solomon (I Kings 8:3-6).
At this point in our discussion of the destiny of the Temple of God we are associating the Ark of the Covenant with the thousand-year reign of Christ, and the Temple of Solomon with the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
Christ will rule after the manner of David, and then He will rule after the manner of Solomon. Christ is the fulfillment of the eternal realities of which both King David and King Solomon are types.
“I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David:
‘Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations.’” Selah (Psalms 89:3,4)
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16)
‘Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days.
‘He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ (I Chronicles 22:9,10)
Both David and Solomon are types of Christ in His Kingdom, and the placing of both the Ark and the Tabernacle of the Congregation in the Temple of Solomon portrays the transition from the Davidic rule of Christ to the Solomonic rule of Christ.
The reader may recall that the Ark of the Covenant at one time was part of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. In fact, the Ark was the holiest item of the Tabernacle and the first piece of furniture that God called to the attention of Israel (Exodus 25:10).
The Tabernacle of the Congregation with all its parts was “one tabernacle” (Exodus 36:13). It was never contemplated that the Ark of the Covenant should be removed from its location in the Holy of Holies and located somewhere else (Exodus 40:21).
Sin intervened. The two wicked sons of Eli the Priest, Hophni and Phinehas, removed the sacred Ark of the Covenant from the Most Holy Place and brought it to the scene of the battle between Israel and the Philistines.
The Ark of God was captured at that time (I Samuel 4:17). It never again was returned to its rightful place in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
After an eventful trip through the land of the Philistines, and a few subsequent stopovers, the Ark of the Covenant was brought by David to Zion, the fortress of the city of Jerusalem. David did not restore the Ark to its proper place in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle but instead pitched a special tent for it (I Chronicles 16:1). This tent became known as the Tabernacle of David (Amos 9:11).
The remainder of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, with the bronze Altar of Burnt Offering, Laver, Table of Showbread, Lampstand, and Altar of Incense, was located at the “high place that was at Gibeon” (I Chronicles 16:39). “High places” were centers of idol worship.
According to our present understanding of the plan of God, the separation of the Ark of the Covenant from the Tabernacle of the congregation is symbolic of the condition of the Christian Church. The removal of the Ark and its capture by the Philistines depicts the departure of the Glory of God from the Church of Christ (I Samuel 4:22).
The Glory that rested on the apostles and prophets of the early Church, with the accompanying revelation of the Word and the signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit, began to leave the Church soon after the end of the first century. Ichabod (“no glory”) was written on the churches of Christ.
Throughout the hundreds of years that followed, the Christian faith, in some instances, became just one more of the many religions of the world. Christianity possessed its priests and temples, its sacred vessels, its special rites and ceremonies. The Glory of the Presence of Christ had long since departed. The historical account of the nature and operations of the early Church began to seem more like a legend than a factual record.
Then, through the Protestant Reformers, the Holy Spirit commenced the restoration of the “Tabernacle of the Congregation,” to speak figuratively: justification by faith in the blood of Christ (Altar of Burnt Offering); water baptism by immersion, and holy living (Laver); the reality of the born-again experience (Table of Showbread); baptism with the Holy Spirit (Lampstand); Spirit-filled prayer and worship (Altar of Incense).
Even though these elements of the Body of Christ have been recovered from the dead, as it were, it appears that the churches in many instances still are showing signs of being located at the “high place in Gibeon” in that the “services” are a mixture of the Holy Spirit and the fleshly nature of people (I Kings 3:2-4; II Chronicles 1:3-6).
It may be true that God, meanwhile, will form Christ in a militant remnant drawn from the churches, as symbolized by David’s Tabernacle. This would be fortress Zion, the conquering strength of the Church, the “camp of the saints.”
When the remnant of the Church is ready to go into battle with the Lord, Jesus will appear and Armageddon will be fought. The Lord and His army will emerge victorious and the Kingdom of Heaven will be brought down and installed on the earth.
During the Kingdom-age reign of Christ, the Holy Spirit will work with all members of the Church of Christ, as we understand it, although only the Lord’s firstfruits will possess glorified bodies. It is the firstfruits who will be instrumental in bringing about the rule of Christ in the earth.
We see in Revelation the camp (fortress) of the saints (possibly the warlike remnant, the firstfruits), and also the “beloved city.” The beloved city may be the earthly city of Jerusalem because the new Jerusalem, which is the Church, the Wife of the Lamb, will not descend from Heaven until the thousand-year Kingdom Age has been completed (Revelation 20:9, 21:2).
The Ark of the Covenant in its special tent was the “Tabernacle of David” of which James spoke:
‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up;
So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the LORD who does all these things.’ (Acts 15:16,17)
We understand from the fact that the above verses were placed in the Book of Acts that the Ark of the Covenant, apart from the remainder of the elements of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, has an especially prominent role in symbolizing the establishing of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
At the time of the sounding of the seventh angel, which is the hour of the Lord’s appearing and the raising from the dead of the bodies of His victorious saints, “the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament” (Revelation 11:15-19). This means the holiness and power of the Ark of the Covenant has been established in the hearts of the warlike remnant of the last days.
The Ark of the Covenant, which has been lost from the possession of mankind for more than two thousand years, will again be seen when Christ is ready to set up His Kingdom on the earth. But now the Ark of the Covenant will be the throne of God and of the Lamb that has been created in the personalities of the victorious saints.
“Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,” says the LORD, “that they will say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.
“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 3:16,17)
The Ark of the Covenant is associated with the victorious remnant of saints who will be a tool in the hand of God to bring the Kingdom to Christ. Being a conqueror and marching in the army of the Lord is available to every Christian who will prepare himself or herself to march with Christ. The Kingdom of Heaven is waiting today for those who will take God at His Word and lay aside all else in order to grasp Christ.
If we do not become a member of Christ’s firstfruits, His remnant, it is our fault, not His. God has given us the opportunity to press into Christ, to gain complete victory over sin and self-seeking. If we do not avail ourselves of the grace of God in Christ we have no one to blame but ourselves.
We are associating the Ark of the Covenant and the remainder of the Tabernacle of the Congregation with the present hour as well as with the thousand-year Kingdom Age; and we are associating the Temple of Solomon, which was constructed on the same pattern as the Tabernacle but on a grander scale, with the new heaven and earth rule of Christ.
As soon as the Temple of Solomon had been completed the Ark of the Covenant was brought up from Zion, the city of David. The remainder of the Tabernacle of the Congregation was carried from Gibeon to Jerusalem. Then the vessels of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, including the Ark of the Covenant, were placed in the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem.
As we understand the significance of this event, the inclusion of the vessels of the Tabernacle of the Congregation in the Temple of Solomon typifies the merging of the Kingdom-age reign of Christ with the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, in Jerusalem, that they might bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD up from the City of David, which is Zion. (II Chronicles 5:2)
The bringing up of the Ark and the other furnishings of the Tabernacle of the Congregation with the intention of placing them in the new temple was an event of the most extraordinary importance in the history of Israel. Solomon understood this fact, and so he brought together in solemn assembly the eldership and the people of the nation.
Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with the king at the feast, which was in the seventh month. (II Chronicles 5:3)
The “feast which was in the seventh month” refers to the feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43). The new heaven and earth reign of Christ is the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles and is identified especially with that feast.
When we consider the many aspects of the feast of Tabernacles, and then read the Twenty-first and Twenty-second chapters of the Book of Revelation, we discover several concepts that are common to the feast of Tabernacles and the new heaven and earth reign of the Lamb of God and His Wife.
So all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark. (II Chronicles 5:4)
God had ordained that only the Levites were to carry the Ark. Solomon was following the ordinances of the Lord in this matter.
Then they brought up the ark, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up. (II Chronicles 5:5)
The incorporating of the vessels of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, including the Ark of the Covenant, in the Temple of Solomon, suggests that every member of the Body of Christ, the Christian Church, will be created a part of the new Jerusalem.
From the Apostles of the Lamb, whose names are in the foundations of the wall of the holy city (Revelation 21:14), to the “little sister enclosed in cedar” (Song of Solomon 8:8,9), every true saint will be brought to perfection through the Holy Spirit of God.
The new Jerusalem will be perfect in every detail (Isaiah 42:3; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 13:21).
Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. (II Chronicles 5:7)
The furnishings in the Holy and the Most Holy Places of the Tabernacle of the Congregation were ornate. The articles either were solid gold or covered within and overlaid with gold. The ceiling was decorated elaborately and of great beauty (Exodus 36:8). The walls were acacia wood covered with gold. The articles in the Holy Place were illuminated at night by the light from the golden Lampstand.
For the most part, the glory and beauty of the Tabernacle were visible only to a few persons—the priests of Israel. The Holy and the Most Holy Places were covered with a protection of animal skins. The intricate craftsmanship of the interior could be viewed only by those who were engaged in the service of God.
Speaking of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, Isaiah proclaims: “for upon all the glory shall be a defence” (Isaiah 4:5).
One wonders if the Glory of God that will rule the earth throughout the Kingdom Age will be hidden in some manner to all except the members of the Church of Christ—the kings and priests of God (I Peter 2:9).
If it should prove to be true that the glory and beauty of the Wife of the Lamb are concealed to a certain extent during the Kingdom Age that is just ahead, this will not be the case during the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
Just as the Temple of Solomon was a structure of such surpassing external beauty that the Queen of Sheba was left without spirit upon beholding it, so will it be true that the new Jerusalem, the holy city, will be revealed in such breathtaking glory and beauty that “the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it” (Revelation 21:24).
Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they had come out of Egypt. (II Chronicles 5:10)
Originally there were three articles in the Ark of the Covenant: (1) the golden pot containing manna; (2) Aaron’s rod that budded; and (3) the Tables of the Covenant—the Ten Commandments (Hebrews 9:4).
By the time the Ark was placed in the Temple of Solomon, Aaron’s rod and the jar of manna had disappeared. Only the tables of stone remained.
Here is a forceful reminder that although the heaven and the earth pass away, as they do before the coming down from the new heaven of the Wife of the Lamb, yet the Word of God shall never pass away.
The old will have passed away and all things will have become new. The manna, the remembrance of the period when God sustained His people with a daily miracle for forty years in the wilderness, teaching them that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, will then be a thing of the past. Every member of the Body of Christ, the Wife of the Lamb, will be living by the Word coming continually from God.
Aaron’s rod, representing God’s endorsement of those whom He has chosen in the sight of the spiritually ambitious of Israel who would seek preeminence for themselves, will have disappeared from sight. Self-seeking no longer will be found among the saints.
The righteousness of the moral law, which has been embodied forever in the transformed character of the victorious saints, will pass unchanged into the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. The moral law will be in force forever and the saints will govern the creation forever, because it always will be possible for any person or any angel to sin against God.
There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)
“They shall reign forever and ever.”
The Ten Commandments bring to our mind the righteousness and holiness of God. The incorporating of the Ark of the Covenant containing the Covenant itself (the Ten Commandments) in Solomon’s Temple emphasizes the fact that the Presence and holiness of God was placed in the “oracle” (Most Holy Place) of the Temple.
In the new heaven and earth reign of Christ we behold the Presence and holiness of God everywhere we look.
Holy is the term that best describes the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. God and the Lamb are holy. The city is holy. The Spirit of the city is the Holy Spirit. The Wife of the Lamb is holy. Everybody and everything that enters the city must be holy.
Every person, relationship, circumstance, and thing found in the Father is holy. Any person, relationship, circumstance, or thing not found in the Father is not holy. This is the definition of holiness.
But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of Life. (Revelation 21:27)
Fulfillment of the Levitical Feasts
We have examined the relationship of the thousand-year Jubilee to the new heaven and earth reign by studying the kingdoms of David and Solomon, and also the placing of the Ark of the Covenant and the remainder of the vessels of the Tabernacle of the Congregation in the Temple of Solomon.
These two Old Testament figures are rich in spiritual significance, yielding insight that can be applied to our personal experience of redemption as well as to the working of God in the Church, and also to the establishing of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
A third Old Testament figure that demonstrates certain aspects of the relationship between the Kingdom Age and the new heaven and earth reign is that of the feasts of the Lord, particularly the three feasts that occur in the seventh month. These three feasts are: the blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:23-44).
The three observances respectively are on the first day, the tenth day, and the fifteenth through the twenty-second day of the seventh month.
The seventh month of the Hebrew ceremonial year, the year that commences with the Passover, is the first month of the civil year.
The ceremonial year of the Hebrews begins with the month in which Passover is observed.
The civil (business; agricultural) year of the Hebrews begins on the seventh month of the ceremonial year, just as our fiscal year, July first through June thirtieth, begins on the seventh month of our calendar year.
Therefore the last three feasts, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles, are observed on the first, tenth, and fifteenth through twenty-second, of the first month of the civil year.
The fact that the last three feasts are celebrated during the first month of the civil year suggests that the three holidays typify a beginning of government and of doing business in the Kingdom of God.
The Hebrew ceremonial year, which runs approximately from March through February of our calendar year, may be thought of in connection with the creating of the Church of Christ from the body and blood of Christ.
The creating of the Church of Christ begins with the application of the Passover blood and attains completion with the celebration of Tabernacles, that is, with the dwelling of the Father and the Son in the faithful saints (John 14:23).
The Hebrew civil year, which extends approximately from September through August of our calendar, may be thought of in connection with the actual setting up of the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth.
The setting up of the Kingdom of Heaven begins with the blowing of the seventh trumpet, at the coming of Christ, and attains completion when the redemption of the cross has touched every saved person on earth.
The seven Levitical feasts are set forth in the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus. The last three feasts, Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the feast of Tabernacles, typify the Kingdom Age, and also the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
The blowing of Trumpets, the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn), Rosh Hashana of the Jews, is New Year’s Day and currently is celebrated as such by the Jewish people. In terms of the Scriptures, the trumpet is to be sounded on the first day of the first civil month and announces the new year.
When the trumpet of God sounds in the Church of Christ it signifies the beginning of a new year with God. It marks the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven in answer to the prayer that Jesus taught us: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
The trumpet of God will herald the return of the King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians who have experienced a personal Pentecost may enjoy knowing that Trumpets is the feast that follows the feast of Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit leads us to the King and into His Kingdom. The Holy Spirit gives us power to bear witness of the King and His Kingdom and to keep His laws.
The Blowing of Trumpets followed the feast of Pentecost just as the coming of Christ in His Kingdom follows the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This sequence of events holds true in our individual experience with Jesus as well as in the universal, kingdom-wide sense.
The last three feasts, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles, are to be experienced personally by Christians immediately after receiving the Holy Spirit. Also, these three Old Testament holidays will be fulfilled under the new covenant in earth-transforming glory and power, on a kingdom-wide scale, at the coming of Christ in His Glory.
The Day of Atonement is divided into two major areas. The first part of the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Day of Atonement occurred on the cross of Calvary where the blood of God’s offering, the righteous Jesus, was “shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28; see also Hebrews, Chapters Nine and Ten).
The blood of Christ was offered once for all persons and for all time as the atonement for our sins, and “not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2).
At Calvary, all legal authority was transferred to Christ including the possession of the keys of Hell and death (Revelation 1:18). Satan possess no authority whatever except the portion that Christ assigns to him so the Bride may be perfected by enduring testing and tribulation. All authority in Heaven and on the earth is held by the Lord Jesus Christ.
The second phase of the Day of Atonement is the actual judgment and deliverance of the nations of saved peoples of the earth. Every individual who is willing to accept Christ as Savior and Lord shall be saved from sin. The kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Day of Atonement will be the complete removal of the bondages of sin from the face of the earth.
The fulfillment of the Day of Atonement will produce an earth in which there exists neither the guilt nor the power nor the practice nor the effects of sin (II Peter 3:13). There will be no sin whatever, either covered or uncovered.
The presence of sin will be gone!—destroyed!—removed! The earth, in that day, will be as pure as Paradise in Heaven is now. “Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
The Lord will go one step further with His Church, the new Jerusalem. The Church will be not only free from sin but also will be the image of Christ in spirit, in soul, and in body and in complete, untroubled union with the Father through Christ.
Deliverance from the guilt and power of sin is the negative side of the atonement, bringing us to a state of cleanliness and right standing with God. Release from sin means we no longer can be compelled to sin by wicked forces acting through the weaknesses of our flesh. We shall be pure, without condemnation, guiltless before God, able to conduct ourselves in a righteous, holy manner.
We shall be restored to the moral condition of Adam and Eve before their disobedience.
However, there is more included in the atonement (reconciliation) than the removal of the guilt and power of sin. It is not enough that we be restored to the original moral innocence of Adam and Eve.
In order to prevent future sin and rebellion it is necessary that there be developed in each saint a militant, vigorous, diligent righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God’s laws such that we shall not be led astray and deceived; such that we shall love righteousness and hate sin and disobedience. If Christ had been formed in Adam and Eve after this fashion they would not have sinned against God.
The conquering saint is immersed in the will and service of God. There is being created in him a spirit of obedience that will serve God under every condition. There is a disposition to perform good works and an ever-broadening compassion and understanding regarding the people with whom the saint comes in contact. Such character formation is a very necessary aspect of the atonement.
Transformation into the image of Christ and a consuming desire to be in total union with God are the positive side of the atonement. We not only do not sin but we become filled with Divine love, joy, and peace. There is a growing patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance in our personality as well as a militant love of righteousness and hatred of sin.
The love of God and for God is increasing in our heart.
The Day of Atonement includes every phase of our reconciliation to God the Father, from our beginning in chaos of spirit, soul, and body all the way to our transformation into the image of Christ and our abiding in perfect oneness in the Father through the Son.
The Day of Atonement is the sixth convocation, and man was created in the image of God on the sixth day of creation. We are associating the complete atonement, the reconciliation to God through Christ, with the thousand-year Jubilee.
As individual believers we can enter an ever-increasing reconciliation to God each day of our discipleship on the earth. There is coming also a kingdom-wide work of reconciliation that will affect all the nations of the earth.
We are not suggesting that everyone ultimately will be reconciled to God. Reconciliation to God depends on our willingness to receive Christ, to receive the atonement and redemption that is of, in, and through the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Feast of Tabernacles
The feast of Tabernacles is the seventh and last convocation. We are associating this last and greatest of the feasts of the Lord with the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest.
‘You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, (Leviticus 23:39,42)
The feast of Tabernacles, being the seventh of the feasts of the Lord, typifies the completion and perfection of all that God has purposed concerning the redemption and reconciliation of mankind. The twenty-first and twenty-second chapters of the Book of Revelation describe that perfection, the glorious beauty which is the spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical feast of Tabernacles.
Eight concepts common to both the feast of Tabernacles and the new heaven and earth reign of Christ are as follows:
- The dawning of a new age.
- The completion of God’s purpose.
- The dwelling of God in His elect among the nations.
- A time for rejoicing.
- Holiness, righteousness, and obedience to God.
- God’s Israel is the light of the world.
- Rivers of living water.
- The separated royal priesthood.
(“What House Will You Build Me?: Six”, 3518-1)