ISAIAH, CHAPTER TWELVE
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Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Isaiah chapter 12 is very meaningful to me. This is because it tells of the spiritual fulfillment of the seventh Levitical celebration, the feast of Tabernacles.
The end product of the Christian redemption is the settling down to
rest of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the Christian. The result is,
the Christian becomes a tree of life and a fountain of the water of eternal
Life. Through the Christians, the royal priesthood
In that day you will say: “I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me.” (Isaiah 12:1)
“In that day.” That “day” is the Day of the Lord, the day when we have been set free from all idols, the day when the Fullness of God has settled down to rest in us.
The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. (Isaiah 2:11)
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:20)
And to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
As we move forward in Christ, we find that God is angry with our self-love. All true saints experience this period of anger. We receive double for all our sins. But if we do not give up, there will come that wonderful Day of the Lord when God comforts us. He comforts us with His Presence. Now we no longer are playing volleyball against God. We are on the same side of the net.
It is one matter to know about the things of the Lord. It is another matter to go through the night and find God for ourselves, as Job did. Day after day is filled with religious speech of all sorts. But the knowledge of the Lord comes in the night, as we are pressed beyond measure and discover the faithfulness of God.
“I will trust and not be afraid.” While we are approaching maturity, there come seasons when the waters of trouble seem to be ready to go over our heads. It is then we learn what it means to trust God when the future is grim and forbidding. We have the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.
We reject fear! When fear and dread approach us, we keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus. We ask Him to remove every evil spirit from our vicinity and give us His peace. I have yet to experience a circumstance when God did not answer that prayer. Every time fear comes, though it be several times a day, we are to pray that Christ will remove the evil. Each time we pray, the spiritual darkness flees from us.
Do not rebuke the devil; resist the devil.
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)
“Surely God is my salvation.” Right here is the central idea of the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. God Himself has become our salvation, our strength, our song, our righteousness. It is not that God gives us salvation, strength, a song, or righteousness; He Himself is all of this to us. It is because Christ has been formed in us, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are living in the Divine Nature of Christ that has been formed in us.
I think it is at this point that today’s scholars have misinterpreted the nature of the Christian salvation. They realize we cannot save ourselves through our religious efforts or by obeying the commands of the Law of Moses. So they have invented a sovereign grace which contains the idea that God overlooks our behavior, seeing us through Christ. They say we need not make any attempt to live righteously; Christ has done in our place all the work of pleasing God.
If you went to a psychologist or other behavioral professional, and asked him or her what kind of person would result if you told the believer that he did not need to make any effort to live righteously because Christ has done in our place all the work of pleasing God, what do you think his response would be? The behavioral professional would say that, given the temptations of our culture, the believer would be an undisciplined and immoral person. That in fact is what the current teaching of “grace” is producing.
Today’s Christian teachers reason that since we cannot save ourselves by keeping the Law of Moses, or by any other code of righteous behavior, it must be that God has offered Christ in our place and our task is to believe that God has done this. However, that alternative will not meet the demands of the New Testament concerning righteousness of behavior.
There is another alternative, an alternative that God has provided. It is that we, having received the atonement made on the cross, and receiving the Spirit of God, follow the Spirit as He guides us in putting to death the works of our sinful nature.
In order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)
For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:13,14)
We see, therefore, there are three methods of gaining righteousness:
- First, by obeying the commands of the Law of Moses or of some other code of righteous behavior.
- By believing that Christ has done it all for us, and our task is to keep on believing this.
- By being led by the Spirit in putting to death the actions of our sinful nature.
It is the third method that leads to our being fashioned as a new creation in the image of God.
As we follow the Spirit in putting to death the actions of our sinful nature, our adamic nature is replaced with the Divine Nature of Christ. When this work has been accomplished, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit make Their eternal home in us. This is how the Lord becomes our salvation and our righteousness.
It is not a case of receiving righteousness by identification with the righteousness of the Lord Jesus. Rather, it is a case of being able to actually live by His Life at every moment of the day and night.
Can you see the enormous difference between being righteous because we believe in Christ’s righteousness, and being righteous because our behavior comes from Christ who is dwelling in us?
The first does not create a person in the image of God. The second does create a person in the image of God. Righteousness and praise will not spring forth before the nations because we believe in Christ’s atonement. Righteousness and praise will spring forth before the nations if we reveal Christ in our behavior.
Then people who see us will glorify God. Jesus told us that if people saw our good works, they would glorify God; not that if people heard about our religious beliefs, they would glorify God. Isn’t that so?
The concept of a sovereign grace, an imputation of righteousness to us independently of our behavior, is taught in numerous Christian churches. Yet, the Apostle Paul insisted that if we behave according to our sinful nature, we shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.
I have not studied contemporary theology sufficiently to understand how devout scholars, who claim to adhere to the plenary verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, maintain we are saved (brought to Heaven when we die, according to the current view of salvation) regardless of how we behave, when many passages of the New Testament warn us concerning continuing in sin. How do they reconcile the “grace” teaching with the warnings of Scripture?
Of course, it is plain that the modern theologians view Paul’s use of the term “works” to mean efforts to live according to the ordinary concept of decent, godly behavior. They claim we are made eligible for Heaven and fellowship with God by our profession of belief in Christ independently of how we behave.
But Paul did not mean that at all. If Paul, when he stated we are saved by grace through faith rather than by “works,” meant we go to Heaven by professing belief in Christ even though we are behaving wickedly, he would be grossly inconsistent. He would be stating we are saved independently of our behavior, and later saying that if we behave sinfully, we will not inherit the Kingdom.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
By “works”, Paul meant obeying the commands of Moses, which include the laws governing circumcision, the Sabbath (about which there is confusion to this day) the stoning of witches, and numerous other statutes and regulations. Paul is maintaining that under the new covenant we do not obtain righteousness by obeying Moses, but by obeying the Holy Spirit. There is a stark difference between obeying Moses and obeying the Holy Spirit as He leads us in paths of righteousness.
How then do we find fellowship with God (which is the actual goal of salvation, rather than living eternally in a mansion in Heaven) if it is not by obeying Moses, or by “accepting” Christ while we live in our sinful nature? We obtain fellowship with God and righteousness by keeping the commands of Christ. As we do so, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit make us Their eternal Tabernacle.
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)
We absolutely must obey Christ’s teaching, including the teaching He gave through His Apostles, if we are to be filled with the Fullness of God. When we are filled with God, then we behave righteously. Eternal life always follows righteous behavior.
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Romans 6:22)
Under the Law of Moses, life came to us as we obeyed the Law. Under the new covenant, righteousness comes to us as we follow Christ and He guides us and enables us to obey His Words.
I must say, the fact that today’s scholars have given the Christian people the idea that professing belief in Christ is an acceptable substitute for the bringing forth of a new creation of righteous behavior is shameful. Can we walk about in the lusts and passions of the flesh and have fellowship with God? We ought to know better than this! We ought to know better than to preach that God almighty will have fellowship with people who say they believe in Jesus, but who are not following the Spirit of God in the task of purging themselves from all filthiness of behavior.
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (II Corinthians 7:1)
If we insist “we will go to Heaven anyway by grace even though we do not obey Paul in II Corinthians 7:1,” we indeed are false prophets. Sooner or later, the Lord Jesus will deal with us accordingly.
The Divine covenants began with Adam and Eve, and have been added to from time to time. But every covenant requires godly behavior if God is to be pleased. The difference in the covenants is they become increasingly demanding and provide increasingly great wisdom and power so we are enabled to fulfill the increasing demands.
In our day, the Holy Spirit is ready to bring us through the spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical Day of Atonement, in which we are completely reconciled to God in all aspects of our personality. Only then will we be qualified and competent to enter in the experience of Tabernacles in which God Himself becomes our salvation, joy, strength, song, and righteousness.
The demands on us now are total, requiring that we present our bodies as living sacrifices. The available wisdom and power are unprecedented, guiding and enabling us to put all of our idols on the altar of God until we are filled with His Fullness, until there is no lie in us.
God alone is our Salvation. We offer praise to Him continually for all of our experiences, painful and joyous. We do not quit when we are in the Lord’s prisons. We take up our cross of denial and press forward in Christ.
There simply is no new dispensation in which people can ignore God’s commandments and have fellowship with Him. This lie is so unscriptural, so foreign to our sense of God’s Personality, that it indeed is a marvel that many intelligent people believe it. It probably is the greatest heresy ever to enter the Christian churches.
God Himself has become our salvation. He does more than save us from Satan and God’s wrath; God Himself helps us overcome our sinful compulsions and self-love, and replaces our adamic nature with His Divine Person and will. Now we are a new, transcendently-human person. We retain our unique identity, but there is a new creation in which all parts of us have become new and all things are of God.
This is salvation at its fullest — and it is God Himself! He Himself has chosen to be our righteousness. I think this is what today’s scholars sense when they emphasize that salvation does not come by means of our own wisdom and energy, but Christ Himself is our salvation. But they misapply the Scriptures by teaching that professing belief in Christ is a substitute for, an alternative to, an actual change in our personality such that we increasingly are changing from sinful flesh to the Word of God.
The Word is written in our minds and hearts so that we resolutely reject all that is not of the image of God and embrace fervently all that is of the image of God.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)
Notice the fulfillment of the verse above:
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:37,38)
So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. (I Corinthians 15:45)
We are being made, not only in the image of the Lord Jesus, but also an inseparable part of Him. He is the Source of eternal Life. That Life flows from the Throne of God, who dwells in His Fullness in Christ. Because we are part of Him, and He is abiding in us, we also become a source of eternal Life. We will serve dead mankind by enabling people to drink from the eternal Life that dwells in us. Our greatest joy will be to give people to drink of the Water of Life.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17)
The Bride of the Lamb is filled with the Spirit of God. She and the Spirit Himself offer the gift of eternal Life to whoever will receive it.
In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.” (Isaiah 12:4)
Here we are at “In that Day” again. That day begins in our life when we have resolved to be part of Christ rather than a partner of Christ. Then we will give thanks to the Lord. Then we will call on His name. Then we will tell the nations what Christ has done. Then we will proclaim that His name is exalted.
You may not have noticed it, but Christian organizations point to themselves rather than to Christ. They say they are lifting up Christ. But if you watch carefully, you will see that they plan and scheme rather than giving thanks to the Lord. They call on His name to help them accomplish their programs. They announce to the world the good they believe they have done. They often proclaim their own name.
Why is this? It is because each organization sees itself as a partner of Christ rather than a part of Christ. Religions around the world seek to obey and please God. This is as true of the Christian religion as it is of any other. Often they seek to please God so they can accomplish some goal of their own.
There is nothing wrong with seeking to please God so we will have a better resurrection. But our efforts should be directed toward learning to listen to the living Jesus, rather than ignoring Him and trying to do what we think is His will.
The spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles is the third great work of redemption, the goal toward which all of God’s work from the beginning of time is pressing. What is this goal, and what must we do to reach it?
Each of us has a unique personality. We are who we are, and that will never change — not even when we die. In the third work of Divine grace, God accepts our unique personality. After all, He created us as a unique person. What God does not accept, if we are endeavoring to enter the spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical feast of Tabernacles, is our desire to remain an independent person. It is our self-will, self-love, self-centeredness, self-direction that get in the way of God’s plan for us.
We have been saved through the blood of Christ on the cross. We have been baptized with the Spirit of God. Now God is requiring something additional of us — a demand that numerous Spirit-filled people may reject. It is that we give over our lives to Christ just as He has given over His Life to the Father.
Christ thinks the thoughts of God. Christ speaks the words of God. Christ acts as He sees the Father acting. Christ can say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” because when Christ speaks and acts, it is the Father who is speaking and acting. Jesus Christ is not the Father. Rather, Christ lives by the Father.
Now it is our turn. We are to seek Christ continually so we think Christ’s thoughts, speak Christ’s words, and perform Christ’s actions. We are not speaking of imitating Christ’s words and actions. Rather we are referring to living by the Life of Christ so that we are speaking when He is speaking. We are acting when Christ is acting. This is the spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical feast of Tabernacles.
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. (John 6:57)
Notice that the Apostle Paul was living in this manner:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
This is the “rest of God” spoken of in Hebrews chapter four. Think of it! “I no longer live.” Who then is living? “Christ lives in me.”
“I live by faith in the Son of God.” When we decide to live by the Life of Christ rather than our own lives, we must make a decision moment by moment: “Am I hearing from Jesus and obeying Him completely?”
Sometimes we are led in pleasant paths. Other times our paths are not so pleasant. But by faith we keep pressing forward in Christ; we keep pressing forward, pressing forward in Christ.
Because the Christian institutions are still at Calvary, or at Pentecost, they do not understand this way of living. Consequently, they keep pointing to themselves — in some instances competing for members against other Christian organizations. They tend to exalt themselves, not the Lord.
There are many noble, self-sacrificing individuals in Christian organizations. It is not my purpose to condemn anyone. Rather, I believe the Lord Jesus has called me throughout the preceding 65 years to tell people that He has an experience for us that follows the Pentecostal work. It is not that we forsake Calvary and Pentecost. Rather, we build on them. They are the foundation for the superstructure which we are endeavoring to build.
We must know we have been forgiven by the blood of the Lord Jesus. We must know we must follow the Spirit of God rather than our own religious ideas. We must be founded in these first two works of redemption if we are to be able to press forward into the third work of grace, the rest of God.
It is time now to move past Pentecost to the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. We must pray that Christ gives us ears to hear what the Spirit of God is saying today to the Christian churches.
Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. (Isaiah 12:5)
When we are living in the rest of God, our eyes are fixed on the Lord Jesus. We sing about the glorious things He has done. We tell the world about Jesus, not about our religious doctrines. We glorify the Lord and not ourselves.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. (Isaiah 61:11)
When we are young in the Lord, we do well to imitate Christ. But if we are to reach maturity, we must learn to live by His Life. We can manufacture an apple with clay and coat it with wax, and use it as a decoration. But we cannot eat it. A true apple must be grown. True maturity in Christ must be grown.
The whole idea is to be part of Christ rather than a partner of Christ. It is similar to Adam and Eve. Eve was not a separate individual attempting to look like Adam. Eve was made from Adam. In actuality, she was Adam in another form. Eve could not have married another, because it would have been Adam marrying that other person.
So it is with us. A religion may get us started and help us along the way. But in our mature state, we no longer are part of that religion. It has done its work. Now we are free to be married to the Lamb so we no longer are independent, religious people. We are members of the very Body of Christ, and as such are controlled by the Head.
It is a worthy and sometimes fruitful effort to attempt to imitate Christ. But it is infinitely more wonderful to be an integral part of Christ and to live by His Life.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you. (Isaiah 12:6)
You know, the mystery of the Gospel is Christ in us, the hope of glory. That truth was written by the Apostle Paul 2,000 years ago. It is a mystery to the present day. We almost never hear a pastor, teacher, or evangelist speak of Christ in us, much less tell us of the formation of Christ in us, and then that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will come and dwell for eternity in what has been formed in us.
We celebrate the birth of Christ in the celebration of Christmas. We celebrate the resurrection of Christ in Easter ceremonies. We have a number of translations of His Words. We glorify His Lordship in our hymns and choruses. All of these activities speak of Christ with us. But the mystery of the Gospel is not Christ with us. It is Christ in us.
Why do you suppose God’s purpose that Christ live in us is still a mystery? My opinion is that it has not been time for us to understand this. There has been much Christian work that has been necessary to bring us to the time when some of God’s people will be willing and able to take the third great step of redemption.
The following verse may be relevant:
But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets. (Revelation 13:7)
The seventh angel sounds the last trumpet. Paul told us that at the last trumpet, our bodies would be changed from mortality to immortality. I believe that we are living in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet. If this is true, the “mystery of God” will be accomplished. What is the mystery of God? Is it not that God intends to live in us, to make us living stones in His eternal Tabernacle, to make us members of the very Body of the Messiah, an integral part of Messiah we might say?
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
We are suggesting that there is a time factor operating here. It is time now for the third work of redemption to take place. This has not been true previously. Therefore, God’s ministers have been laying the groundwork for the third work by telling us about the blood atonement and about the Spirit-filled life.
Saints, it is time to move forward with God to the accomplishment of the mystery of God. The mystery of God is that He is building an eternal Tabernacle. Jesus Christ is the chief Cornerstone of this Tabernacle. You and I are living stones in the Tabernacle.
The invisible God has made Himself visible in Jesus Christ. We call this the incarnation, the Word of God becoming flesh. This still is a mystery to many people. But the greater mystery is that this Tabernacle, this incarnation of God, is being enlarged. You are part of this expanded incarnation.
It is the plan of the invisible God to make Himself visible not only in the Lord Jesus Christ, but also in you and me. This does not mean we are taking the place of Christ or pretending to be equal to Him as to His Divine Nature or authority. But it does mean we are the flesh being made the Word.
Notice the new covenant:
“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” (Hebrews 10:6)
Now I ask you: “Does the above verse sound like the flesh is being made the Word? Is the Lord Jesus, who originally carved the Divine Law in granite, now carving it in our minds and hearts?” If so, then we are the flesh being made the Word of God. We must be the flesh made the word if we are to be the Body of the Messiah, the brothers of Christ. In God, like can only marry like. The living God does not like mixtures.
Now we have a new and more wonderful vision of what we are, more marvelous than that of merely being members of a religion. We are being made members of the Kingdom of God, the Divine government that one day will govern the people from the nations whom God has saved to citizenship on the new earth.
Because this is true, the Spirit of God works with us line upon line, command upon command, as our adamic nature is supplanted by the Divine Nature.
I am not writing such words to puff us up as though we were great ones. We have been commanded by the Apostle Paul to make ourselves of no reputation and to take on ourselves the form of a servant, as our Lord did. God will exalt us in due time, as He did our Lord.
We are not to regard our call to be part of Christ is something to be grasped and exploited in some manner. If we do, then we have returned to the religious ambition and boasting of the adamic nature.
Maybe you do not realize it, but I have just put an awesome responsibility upon you. It is to come with Christ when He next appears to the earth, and to work with Him in the stupendous task of installing the Kingdom of God upon the earth. You and I will need to exercise the patience of Job if we are to govern and bring justice to the people of the nations, who are accustomed to doing as they please. They are going to be compelled to do God’s will on the earth, for that is the nature of the Kingdom of God.
So our calling is nearly unbelievable, but perfectly possible to accomplish by Him who spoke the universe into existence. However, we must have faith if we are to survive the endless dealings of the Spirit of God as our original nature is supplanted by the Divine Nature.
Remember, the heart of the operation is that while we retain our identity as a unique personality, we lose our independence as a person separate from Christ. We follow the Lamb wherever He goes.
Christ is not an independent Person, but a part of God, and also part of us who follow Him at all times. We no longer are independent persons, because we are one with God and Christ and live by Their Life and not our own.
I trust as you read my words that you “shout aloud and sing for joy.” I do. I do not value my own life. I do not want to come from the dust and return to the dust, being a speck in the cosmos. I choose to be part of the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that this is a better destiny.
How about you? Do you want to be a partner of Christ or a part of Christ? What is your choice right now?
I suspect that not all Christians will be willing to set aside their own lives that Christ may live in them. But that does not matter to you or me. We have made up our minds that God will not make this offer to us in vain. We will be ravished with the thought and run to the Lord, that one day we can say, “He who has seen me has seen Christ, because it is He who is living in me.”
In that Day we will say to the people of the dead sea of mankind, “Come and drink freely of the water of eternal Life.” What a joy that will be!
As I stated previously, if our hearts are right, the thought of being part of Christ will not be a source of self-aggrandizement. Rather, we will rejoice that God has chosen us for this destiny.
It does not matter what others do. We are going to reach forward and lay hold on the everlasting prize. Can you say “Amen”?
(“Isaiah, Chapter Twelve”, 3523-1, proofed 20211116)