THE REVEALING OF THE SONS OF GOD
Copyright © 1996 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.
The creation is waiting eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. This one verse (Romans 8:19) changes our entire thinking concerning the Christian salvation. We understand now that God has saved us, not that we may go to Heaven and live in a mansion forever but so we can return with the Lord Jesus, lift the curse from the earth, and fill all saved people and all of nature with the eternal life of God.
Table of Contents
The Seed of AbrahamThe Revealing of the Sons of God The Sons of God as the Source of Life for Mankind The Sons of God as Members of the Anointed One The Ministry of the Servant of the Lord
The Abrahamic blessing
Pentecost and Tabernacles
The two witnesses and the Ruling Son
THE REVEALING OF THE SONS OF GOD
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:19-21)
Because of the above passage our understanding of what Christianity is all about is due for revision. Perhaps it was acceptable in God’s purposes in time past for the believers to view the goal of their salvation as being that of living forever in a mansion in the spirit Paradise (Heaven). But this concept never has been scriptural, and now that the coming of the Lord is at hand it appears our eyes are being opened to what the Bible actually teaches.
When Abraham was preparing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, God spoke to him from Heaven.
“blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.
“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:17-18)
“In your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”
The one Seed of Abraham is the Lord Jesus Christ and those who have become part of Christ.
The first aspect of the Abrahamic blessing occurs as the elect of the nations (the called-out people; the members of the Church) receive the righteousness of God by faith.
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8)
According to Galatians, the justified Gentiles become a part of Christ by receiving Him. They now are the one Seed of Abraham and have become an integral part of the One who blesses.
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)
If each member of the Christian Church is the one Seed of Abraham, then it also is true that through each true Christian the nations of the earth shall be blessed, in keeping with Romans 8:19.
While it is a fact that each consecrated believer can bear witness to the nations in the present hour, as the Lord enables, the revealing of the sons of God, which is the fullness of the blessing of Abraham, is a vision for the future. Throughout the Church Age we serve the Lord by means of the gifts and ministries given to us by the Holy Spirit. When the Lord appears, that which is perfect will have come. At that time we shall be the means through which the creation will be released into the liberty of the children of God. Then we will be revealed in the fullness of the power of the Spirit of God.
The Abrahamic blessing. Let us emphasize at the beginning of our booklet that the blessing that has been brought to us and that we share in the present, and that we shall bring to the nations in the future, is the Holy Spirit of God.
that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:14)
“The promise of the Spirit.” The Spirit of God is eternal life, which is the promised blessing.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)
The creation is dead because of the lack of the Spirit of God. As was promised to Abraham at the time of his remarkable obedience, God is ready to restore to the creation that which was lost through the disobedience of Adam and Eve—the Spirit of God.
We understand therefore that we have a ministry now, by the Spirit of God, and that at the coming of the Lord our service to people will be greatly enhanced because we will possess very much more of the Spirit of God—in fact, a crown of eternal life that will enable us to govern by the power of eternal life.
The Tree of Life located in the middle of the garden was and is Christ, that is, the Life-giving One who possess the Spirit of God without measure. What an incredible loss Adam and Eve suffered—and all mankind and all nature with them—by not obeying God!
Now Christ has come and is giving eternal life to the elect, as the Father directs.
“as you have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as you have given Him. (John 17:2)
God’s elect who have received the Spirit of God are to lay aside their adamic nature so they too can become life-giving spirits.
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (I Corinthians 15:45)
The point is, if we are to be revealed as sons of God at the coming of the Lord, then we must submit to the dealings of the Holy Spirit in the present hour. It is not sons of Adam who will be revealed, it is sons of God. We can do little of value while we are yet “Adam.” If we are to bring the blessing of the Spirit to mankind we must do so as sons of God.
Through Christ we have received authority to be children of God. Now we are to grow up until we are being led by the Spirit of God. It is those who are led by the Spirit who are sons of God.
We have some painful growing to do!
Pentecost and Tabernacles. We are passing now from the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost to the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. Let us explain what we mean by this.
There are seven feasts of the Lord. The seven are set forth in the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus.
The fourth feast, Pentecost (Jewish “feast of Weeks”), is known to us in that we have given this name to the experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit first was given to the Church on the day of the Jewish observance of the feast of Weeks.
The seventh feast, Tabernacles, is not as well known. Perhaps it will be better known in the days to come because in the present hour the Spirit of God is moving us from the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Pentecost to the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles.
The feast of Pentecost typifies the pouring of the Spirit of God on the flesh of man.
“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. (Joel 2:28)
The Apostle Peter referred to Joel’s prophecy.
“But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:16,17)
However, unlike the feast of Pentecost, the feast of Tabernacles speaks of the Holy Spirit coming from within the believer.
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)
The Lord Jesus spoke these words during the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles, not during Pentecost but during Tabernacles.
On the last day, that great day of the feast [Tabernacles], Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (John 7:37)
Pentecost is the water of the Spirit falling from Heaven on the flesh of the blood-washed believer.
Tabernacles is the water of the Spirit coming from within the personality of the believer. The location of the source of the water of life is a principal difference between the spiritual fulfillments of the two feasts.
If we are to be in the future (and in the present to a limited extent) a source of eternal life for the nations of the earth, then we must pass from the position where the only anointing of the Spirit we have is that which comes from above as a partial, temporary blessing, to the position where there is an eternal fountain of life within us.
If the Life of God is to come from within us, then our personality must be changed in order for this to take place. It is one matter to be blessed with the Life from above. It is another matter to have the source of that Life permanently abiding in us.
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 verse above (John 14:23) describes the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles.
The water of eternal life always flows from the throne of God, from nowhere else. If we are to be a source of life for the nations of the earth, then the throne of God must be established in our personality. Therefore the principal issue in passing from Pentecost to Tabernacles is the removal from our personality of all that does not obey God. Total obedience is necessary on the part of all who would have the throne of almighty God established within them.
The feasts of the Lord portray this issue in the two feasts that come after Pentecost and before Tabernacles. The two feasts are the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. These two feasts illustrate the coming of the Lord Jesus to us as the Lord of Armies. He wages war against all of His enemies residing in our personality. The end result of the battle is the undisturbed reign of the Father in us. Once our warfare has been accomplished we then are ready for the water of eternal life to go forth from our personality so the creation may be released into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
The Holy Spirit of Pentecost is a gift of God given to us because we have been sprinkled with the blood of Jesus. Pentecost requires some transformation of our personality in the direction of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God.
Tabernacles is formed in us and requires total transformation of our personality—total righteousness, total holiness, and total, stern obedience to the Father. Here is the new creation, the Kingdom of God. This is what the Lord Jesus came to establish in every member of His Body.
The two witnesses and the Ruling Son. We are experiencing both Pentecost and Tabernacles in the present hour.
The double portion of the Pentecostal blessing is portrayed in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation. The “two witnesses” are the Lord Jesus and the members of His Body testifying by the power of the Spirit to every nation of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
The forming of the Tabernacles experience, that which is to be revealed at the coming of the Lord, is portrayed in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation. Both chapters of the Book of Revelation are speaking of the same group of people. In the eleventh chapter the believers are seen as bearers of the power of Pentecost so a true witness may be borne to the nations of the earth. In the twelfth chapter the same believers are portrayed as a woman who is travailing in birth until the future ruler of the creation, the Lord Jesus Christ, is born in them.
She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. (Revelation 12:5)
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)
While we are rejoicing in the tremendous anointing that is to come in our day it will be important to remember that if we expect to appear with the Lord when He returns we must cooperate with the Spirit of God as He forms Christ in us. It is not enough to be powerfully used in ministry. Sad to say, it can be seen that some gifted ministers of the Gospel, although they are being greatly used in Gospel work, are not having Christ formed in them. They are ministering by a gift of the Spirit but they are not interacting with the Lord Himself.
In the day of the Lord they will expect great rewards because of the miracles they have performed. But the Lord Jesus will inform them that He does not know them. They have spent all their life in the ministry apart from the personal Presence of the Lord. It is entirely possible to minister by the Spirit and yet not be transformed into righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. If this is the case with us, then we have been rejected. We have been disqualified—that concerning which the Apostle Paul was so cautious.
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (I Corinthians 9:27)
The Revealing of the Sons of God
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)
All of us who are Christians need to look again at this verse. Notice that the material creation is not waiting for the revealing of the Son of God but of the sons of God.
We learn many things from this verse:
- We learn that we have been saved and built up in Christ so we may be a blessing to a cursed world.
- We learn that the people of the world are not doomed to destruction but have the hope of a kingdom that will come and save them from pain and death.
- We learn that when we disobey the Holy Spirit and remain as spiritual children we hinder the blessing that has been promised to the nations of the earth.
- We learn that the coming of the Lord is not so much to the Church as it is in and with the Church. The Lord will return in and with us and be revealed to the nations.
- We learn that God is creating a company of brothers for Christ who will be coheirs with Him of the nations of the earth.
We see, then, that by calling our attention to Romans 8:19 God is giving us an increased understanding of the significance of our salvation.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; (Romans 8:20)
When the first people sinned the Holy Spirit of Life left the earth. The material creation, including mankind, was made subject to uselessness and corruption. Entrance to the Tree of Life was sealed off.
All of nature became corrupt and dead. The life of human beings was restricted to that which comes from corruptible blood. The human body always is moving toward weakness and death. The Divine Life has left our planet.
The life that comes from human blood is not very satisfactory. The Life of the Holy Spirit, the incorruptible holy Presence and energy of the Godhead placed in every aspect of our personality, is highly desirable.
because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)
At the coming of the Lord the material creation will experience the wonderful Life of God. That which is now cursed with destruction and death will become a storybook land of love, joy, and peace. The most vicious of animals will be harmless. The trees of the field will clap their hands. Sickness, pain, and death will be a thing of the past.
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:22)
All of nature, including mankind and the animals, is struggling for existence in a world that at one time had been a garden of delight. Humans and animals alike experience pain. What a lesson the past six thousand years have been, teaching angels and people the folly and madness of disobeying the Father!
Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:23)
Here is one of the key verses of the Scriptures. We can see so much in it.
We Christians ought to be groaning within ourselves, eagerly looking forward to the day when the Lord God fills our mortal body with the eternal Life of God.
The great problem with the doctrines of our day, such as the rapture to escape tribulation, the use of faith to make money and be successful, the stress on escaping Hell and going to the spirit Paradise to live forever, the use of Christ to solve all the problems of our work, marriage, ownership of property, and so forth, is the lack of emphasis on the perfecting of our inner personality. We shall never be clothed with a glorified body like that of the Lord until our inner nature has attained the spiritual resurrection from the dead.
It must be obvious to us that a worldly, sinful, disobedient inner nature will never be raised into the fullness of resurrection life in the body. Such a hope is neither scriptural nor logical.
Speaking to Christians:
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:7,8)
It is at the time of the resurrection of our body that we reap either eternal life or corruption.
God is calling today for repentance and renewed consecration. It is the inner nature of God’s people that is being called to further salvation. We must turn once more to the Lord, humble ourselves, repent of our worldliness, sin, and disobedience, and obtain the moral deliverance that is being offered to us as we enter the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament Day of Atonement.
It is vain to look toward an external Kingdom and Paradise when the internal kingdom is not moving toward the fullness of God.
Paul says that we of the Church have the “firstfruits of the Spirit.” From the context we know that Paul is explaining that the sons of God have a beginning portion of that which one day will be theirs in much greater measure, and by which they will be able to install the Kingdom of God on the earth.
Our inner nature has been born of God. Our outward form must be adopted. It is adopted by being redeemed from physical death. It is redeemed from physical death by being filled with the Spirit of God, that is, by eating of the Tree of Life, Christ.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11)
“Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54)
The reason we of the Church do not groan for our adoption as sons of God, that is, for the redemption of our body from physical death, is that we are immature in our inner nature. We are immature in our inner nature because we have been occupied with external blessings, such as being carried to Paradise to live forever.
We need to understand that if we were fortunate enough to be carried to Paradise it would not accomplish that for which we are hoping. Physical death and movement to the spiritual Paradise cannot change our personality. Until our inner personality has become a new creature through Christ we will continue as a self-willed, rebellious creature. Sin and self-will began around the throne of God in Heaven, so going to Heaven will not solve the problem of spiritual uncleanness in our personality.
Notice that the creation is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. The common teaching of the Church is that when the Lord returns we shall be changed from what we are into mighty rulers of the universe. It is supposed that we shall be entrusted with great power and glory in the Day of the Lord.
The truth is, the Day of the Lord will bring a revealing of what we are in our inner nature. Our outer form will reflect that which is true of our inner nature. All will be transparent in that Day!
To occupy ourselves with externals, even with ministry, and not to cultivate the growth of our inner nature, is to prevent our entrance into the Kingdom of God.
This is what the Spirit is saying to the churches in the present hour.
When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
Here again we find we shall appear with Christ in the Glory of God. However, this is true for those whose life Christ is. Christ does not become our life except as we are being crucified with Him. As our adamic nature is brought down to the death of the cross, and we turn to the Lord for help in our time of need, the eternal Life of Christ lifts us up and enables us to become more than a conqueror in every situation of life.
Day by day we die and day by day we live. We are transformed as we give over our adamic nature to crucifixion and receive the Life of Jesus in return. The Kingdom of God appears first in the inner nature of the believer, and after that in external revelation and power. Taken as a whole the churches of today are not ready to be revealed with Christ at His return. The adamic nature is prominent, and the fallen creation is not waiting to see our adamic nature revealed.
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
Colossians 1:27 truly is a staggering statement.
The Jewish people are awaiting the coming of Messiah. To Paul, the Jew, it was revealed that Messiah is being formed within us. It appears that none of the other writers understood this mystery as clearly as the Apostle Paul.
We would suggest that after two thousand years of Church history the concept that Christ is in us is still a mystery. The emphasis has been on escaping Hell and going to Heaven. The importance or purpose of Christ being in us has not been understood or emphasized.
The truth is, the fact that Christ is being formed in the Church is all-important. The inner formation of Christ is the Kingdom of God.
The Lord could have established His Kingdom on the earth two thousand years ago. He could have called upon legions of the most powerful angels to crush any resistance to His rule. He could have placed His apostles and other followers on thrones of tremendous authority, bringing the nations of the earth under His perfect control.
Why did God permit the two thousand years of the Church era to take place, centuries of persecution and agony, when He could have prevented all of this with one Word?
It is because the inner kingdom had not been formed in His followers.
It is the inner kingdom formed in the Church that will be clothed with external power and glory so the outer Kingdom of God can come to earth and establish justice and peace.
It was not enough that Peter, James, and John follow the Lord faithfully. These three men had to be transformed by having Christ formed in them; and now have to wait until the whole company of the brothers of Christ have had Christ formed in them.
When the predestined army of saints has come to maturity in Christ, then the Lord will return with them and set up His Kingdom on the earth.
The day in which we live is especially important. Many who are alive now will be first in the Kingdom. Christ will come to maturity suddenly in His Body. A holy nation of living stones will be formed at once. She who is in travail will bring to birth. The mystery of God, which is Christ in us, will suddenly be completed.
but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:7)
The Capstone, Christ, will be placed on the living Temple of God. The fullness of the grace of God will be revealed in that Day of days.
None of this will be accomplished by the wisdom or strength of human beings but only by the Spirit of God.
Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone [Christ] with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” (Zechariah 4:7)
We are in the time of the fulfillment of Hebrew Prophets. Let us take full advantage of it by seeking the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
II Thessalonians 1:10.
when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. (II Thessalonians 1:10)
The Lord Jesus Christ is to be glorified in His saints. When He is, the world will believe that it indeed is God who has sent Christ into the world.
“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)
The Sons of God as the Source of Life for Mankind
As we have stated, the world is bound in futility and corruption because the Life of God, the Holy Spirit of God, was removed from the earth due to the sin of Adam and Eve. God has created the Church in order to provide a source of life for the saved members of mankind.
Notice that the leaves of the Tree of Life, which is Christ and His Body, are for the healing of the nations, that is, of the nations of saved people living on the new earth (and perhaps on the present earth during the thousand-year Kingdom Age).
In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2)
The Lord Jesus prophesied of the saints becoming the source of eternal life.
On the last day, that great day of the feast [Tabernacles], Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (John 7:37)
The last day of the feast of Tabernacles was Simchat Torah, the rejoicing over the Law. It was a custom for the Priest during the feast of Tabernacles to draw water from the Pool of Siloam and pour it on the Altar of Burnt Offering. Meanwhile the twelfth chapter of the Book of Isaiah was chanted.
The Lord Jesus gave meaning to this ceremony by presenting Himself as the fountain of living water.
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)
After having drunk from the Lord Jesus ourselves we then are to become the source of eternal life for many people.
We believe that the “scripture” the Lord referred to was as follows:
Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)
The Lord Jesus is the great Well of Salvation. Whoever drinks of Him not only will never thirst again but will himself become a well of eternal life for spiritually dead mankind.
But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:39)
In order to become a well of living water we must pass from Pentecost to Tabernacles. We must not only be anointed as the Holy Spirit enables our ministry but we must become the throne of God and of the Lamb so the eternal Life of God will flow from within us.
What joy we shall experience as we draw water from the well of salvation within us and see the members of dead mankind enter eternal life in Christ!
Truly, the creation is not waiting in vain for the revealing of the sons of God.
The Prophet Ezekiel describes the saint becoming a tree of life, and then becoming a source of eternal life for the multitudes of the earth.
Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. (Ezekiel 47:1)
The “door” of the house is the Lord Jesus. The “house” is the eternal Temple of God, that is, Christ—Head and Body.
The “waters” refer to the Holy Spirit of God. “Eastward” speaks of the coming of the Day of the Lord.
He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side. (Ezekiel 47:2)
God must bring us to the place where we desire and then experience revival. All the works of God of the past have been marvelous. Ours is a new day. The Kingdom of God is at hand. The glory of the Lord will cover the earth in the near future. All of this will come forth through the Son and the sons. We must be prepared to be used of God in this manner. Let us lift up our eyes and see what God is doing in our day.
And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. (Ezekiel 47:3)
The man with the line in his hand portrays the judgment of God that deals with us every time we move forward in the forming of Christ in us. “Eastward” means the Church is judged with increasing intensity as we approach the Day of the Lord.
The first thousand cubits speak of basic salvation—waters “to the ankles.” So it is that when first we receive Christ we have a portion of eternal life given to us.
Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. (Ezekiel 47:4)
More judgment and more life. Waters “to the knees” represents the “Pentecostal” experience. We now have received more of the Holy Spirit than was true during basic salvation. We speak in tongues and other gifts and ministries of the Spirit may be in evidence.
Let us always keep in mind, however, that the final proof of our abiding in the Spirit of God is not the gifts of the Spirit but the fruit of the Spirit. Many people who speak in tongues manifest very little of the fruit of the Spirit, while others who do not speak in tongues bring forth love, joy, peace, and the other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit of God.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit a “tide pool” is formed in us containing the gifts and ministries that have been assigned to us. It is our responsibility to make certain that our “tide pool” keeps on being refreshed by the ocean of God’s Spirit. If it is not, our ministries and gifts will continue to operate but they will not contain the freshness of the Spirit of God. Soon the water of life will “evaporate” and our spiritual resources will dry up.
How many people of today spoke in tongues twenty years ago and not since, and do not realize the Holy Spirit has not refreshed them since that time?
Waters “to the loins” (waist) indicate cleansing, reproduction, and strength. Cleansing, reproduction, and strength are located in the hip area of man.
Basic salvation and being filled with the Spirit prepare us for actual entrance into the Kingdom of God, into the fruitfulness and dominion promised to human beings from the beginning. Our fruitfulness and dominion find greatest expression as we move past basic salvation and the Pentecostal experience and proceed into the water of God that is to the level of our waist.
When we are in water to our waist we are beginning to lose control of our own movements and are more at the mercy of the water. The deeper we go in the Lord the more we can say that it is not we who are living but Christ who is living in us.
Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. (Ezekiel 47:5)
Eventually we are at the mercy of the water, so to speak. We are so filled with the Spirit of God, with eternal life, that our adamic strength is minimized. This always ought to be our goal—that He must increase but we must decrease. What a glorious day it will be when there is no more of the adamic life left in us but our wisdom and strength come solely from the eternal Life of God!
But where does all this take us—to Heaven to recline in our mansion? No indeed! Our progress in eternal life makes it possible for us to awaken the dead creation. Notice the pattern.
He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river. (Ezekiel 47:6)
God brings us back to where we began. Down we come from the Mount of Transfiguration to minister to those bound with demons.
When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. (Ezekiel 47:7)
The “very many trees” are of course the saints who have been made trees of eternal life by being made part of the one eternal Tree of Life, Christ.
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalms 1:3)
We find our greatest joy when we understand that our spiritual progress has not been for our own elevation but so we may assist others. We have now become a tree planted by the rivers of life. Those who have no eternal life may live by the eternal life of God that comes from us.
Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. (Ezekiel 47:8)
The “sea” speaks of mankind. Mankind is sick and needs healing. Here is a picture of the revealing of the sons of God and the healing of spiritually dead mankind.
Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles [nations] shall come to your [God’s elect] light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3)
When God’s Glory is revealed in His sons the nations of the earth will come to be healed and blessed.
“And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. (Ezekiel 47:9)
The above verse is in exact parallel with Romans 8:21 concerning the revealing of the sons of God and the resulting liberation of the creation.
A great multitude of people (“fish”) will be healed. The river of life flowing from the personalities of those in whom the Father and the Son are tabernacling will bring eternal life to the nations of the world and all else of the creation.
“It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. (Ezekiel 47:10)
The fact that there will be “fishers” and many kinds of “fish” tells us the revealing of the sons of God will not be a great blanket of glory thrown over mankind. Just as is true today there will be many kinds of people and many kinds of saints to minister to their individual personalities and needs.
No doubt numerous persons will find it difficult to accept the Glory of God that will be streaming from the saints. Perhaps also there will be saints praying that their relatives who are undecided will be willing to receive eternal life. Such skeptical people will have to be “caught” with skill so they can be brought into the Kingdom of God.
Sometimes Christian believers view the endtime events, such as the resurrection of the dead and the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth, as being massive interventions of God occurring with such power that what will take place will be inevitable. This is not a true picture of the dawning of the Kingdom Age. Remember Lot’s wife! Decisions can be made in the most critical times!
Then as now it will be a case of ordinary people making ordinary decisions. God will never force His will on anyone. Each individual must of his own choice open his or her heart to the Lord Jesus. This is true today and will be true for eternity. There will be fishers and there will be people who will be “caught” for the Lord’s purposes.
It may be true that one of the greatest of all surprises will be that at the coming of the Lord there are no surprises. God’s Word will remain the same. People will still be people. The events of the future will not bring change to us except that our outer form will be affected. But the inner nature will not be changed. Our inner nature will be revealed in the Day of the Lord.
It is important that we understand this because current teaching can leave us with the impression that somehow, somewhere, in some manner all will be changed when the Lord appears. Careless, lazy, indifferent, unfaithful believers will hear “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter the joy of your Lord.” Although the Scripture and our common sense tell us such could never take place, our fallible nature may cause us to hope that in spite of everything, all will be taken care of when the Lord comes. It is a fantasy.
The coming of the Lord will be “out of the frying pan into the fire” for all who have not taken up their cross and followed the Master with a pure heart.
“But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. (Ezekiel 47:11)
The “swamps and marshes” are people who are unstable, who lack integrity. Even today they cannot serve the Lord because of the corruption and instability that is in them. If they will call on the Lord Jesus He will bring them into fires and pressures that will burn away the “swamps and marshes” until steel is formed in them. As long as they continue without integrity they will not experience the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Kingdom of God.
The common understanding of the Kingdom of God is that people either are sent to Hell or go to Heaven when they die. There assuredly is a fiery Hell and there assuredly is a wonderful Heaven.
However, the Word of God does not always emphasize such extremes. Speaking of the “swamps and marshes” the Word does not teach that they all shall be cast into Hell but that they “will be given over to salt.”
Being “given over to salt” suggests a dry, barren existence similar to the fate of Lot.
We find a parallel passage in the last chapter of the Book of Zechariah.
And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. (Zechariah 14:17)
The saved nations of the earth, during the thousand-year Kingdom Age and also during the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, will be commanded to observe the feast of Tabernacles by going to Jerusalem to worship the Lord Jesus.
If they will not do so they are not cast into Hell, rather rain (whether physical or spiritual) is withheld from them.
We see therefore that we are not approaching a new age of fantasy but a world similar to our own in which some people are very close to God, others not so close, still others remaining skeptical, fearing to trust God. Hopefully the wicked, and those who absolutely refuse the Lord Jesus and must be cast into fiery torment, will be relatively few in number.
“Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.” (Ezekiel 47:12)
The “river” is the eternal Life of God, the Holy Spirit. The “trees” on this side and that are the saints who have become the throne of God. The “leaf” and the “fruit” are the Virtue of the Lord Jesus that has been imparted to the members of His Body as they have eaten His flesh and drunk His blood, and through them is now available to the nations of saved people.
The waters always issue from the “sanctuary,” that is from the holy throne of the Lord God. Therefore the “water” flowing from the saints is always fresh, always full of life and power.
God loves the nations of the earth. If they will receive Him they can be sustained and healed by His eternal Life. The purpose of the Church is to be the Presence of God among the saved nations of the earth—to be Emmanuel, God with us.
The Sons of God as Members of the Anointed One
To the Apostle Paul was given a revelation that may not have been as clear to the other Apostles. The revelation is that Christ will be formed in the saints so they are members of His very Body.
I Corinthians 12:12,27.
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)
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (I Corinthians 12:27)
Sometimes it seems as though the concept of Christ in us is still a mystery to Christians. The emphasis in Christian teaching appears to be on the external as though we are learning about an external Christ and serving an external Christ. Perhaps the mystery of Christ in us, the forming of the Kingdom of God in us, needs to be stressed in our day.
Paul compared the Body of Christ with the human body, emphasizing the fact that while believers have various personalities and ministries they still compose one body.
So also is Christ! Think of it! Messiah whom the Jews are expecting includes not only the glorious Head, the Lord Jesus, but also the members of His Body. The appearing of Christ, the Anointed One, will be the appearing of the Lord Jesus and also the saints in whom He is dwelling.
If the Lord were not going to create the Body of Christ He would have established His Kingdom two thousand years ago. We understand therefore that the purpose of the Church Age has been the creation of the Body of Christ. When the Body has been prepared, then the Head will appear with the Body and there will be one tremendous revelation of God for all nations to behold.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, (Ephesians 4:11)
The ascended Christ has given to His Body a multitude of varied gifts and ministries. The purpose of the gifts and ministries given to the Body is that each member may grow into perfection in the Head, Christ.
for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:12)
The Body of Christ is to be built up to maturity. The standard of maturity is not vague, it has been established clearly. It is the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Each son of God was predestined from the beginning of the world to be in the image of Christ and to be a brother of Christ.
till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of [maturity as measured by] the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Ephesians 4:13)
The gifts and ministries will continue to operate until each member of the body has arrived at the same faith and the same knowledge of the Son of God; not the same doctrinal belief but the same faith and knowledge that interact with the living Jesus. Each saint is to grow to maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ. If one member remained in immaturity then the Body of Christ would be imperfect, thus the entire Christ would be imperfect.
Such perfection is not possible to man but it is possible to God and it shall be accomplished.
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, (Ephesians 4:14)
To the present hour every believer must be careful to whom he or she listens. Sad to say there are numerous teachers of the Christian religion who seek to draw God’s sheep after themselves in order to gain support and money. Their God is not the Lord Jesus but their belly.
It is the believer’s responsibility to search the Scriptures and find out if what he or she is being taught is the Word of God. The believers who are fed lies will continue as children—useless as far as God’s Kingdom purposes are concerned.
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— (Ephesians 4:15)
The role of the evangelist is to bring the Gospel to people so the Holy Spirit may convict them and bring them to the Lord Jesus. After an individual has entered the Kingdom the Holy Spirit has provided a wealth of ministry that the person can grow up in the Head, Christ.
God has numerous roles and responsibilities planned for the future ages. However we are not qualified or competent to participate in these roles and responsibilities until we are in the moral image of Christ and resting in the Father’s will.
No individual, Christian or not, is qualified or competent to be a part of the Temple of God, a member of the Body of Christ, a part of the Wife of the Lamb, a judge of men and angels, while that person is still worldly, sinful, and self-willed. The adamic nature must be crucified and a new creation formed from the body and blood of the Lord Jesus.
from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:16)
The members of the Body of Christ possess numerous, varied ministries and gifts. The purpose of these, as we have said, is to bring each member of the Body to maturity as measured by the fullness of Christ.
The Body of Christ is God’s Lampstand. The Body itself has a ministry to the nations of the earth: first to bear witness in the present hour of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth, and after that, in the Day of the Lord, to remove the Divine curse from the earth and to fill the earth with eternal life.
It is our point of view that the Body is one whether the members are alive on the earth or alive in the spirit realm, having died physically. Perhaps it is true today that each member is being built up, whether in the spirit realm or alive on the earth, so when the time comes the dead saints can join together with those yet on earth and the whole can then be revealed in the fullness of the Glory of God.
The Ministry of the Servant of the Lord
The Servant of the Lord, which is Christ—Head and Body, has a major role to play in bringing righteousness, peace, and joy to the saved nations of the earth. The Servant of the Lord is composed of the Son of God and also of the sons of God who will be revealed to the world in the Day of the Lord.
“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)
Here is God’s Servant for us all to behold. But where is he? The Head had not as yet been born on the earth. The Body had not been formed from the members of the Church.
Christ—Head and Body—is God’s Servant and God upholds Him. The proper role of the saint is to be the servant of God. We in our day need to emphasize the majesty of God, how we are to serve God and fulfill all His needs and desires. When we prepare ourselves to serve the Lord with a perfect heart, then we shall find that the Lord will help us when we have need.
Christ and all who are part of Christ are God’s servants and God will strengthen and keep us as we serve Him. We are God’s elect, chosen from the beginning of the world.
God has put His Spirit upon us. This is so we may be part of the Body of the great High Priest, the Anointed One, Christ, the Servant of the Lord. God has anointed us with the Life and Power of the Spirit of God in order that we may bring justice to the nations.
The nations of the earth suffer injustice in our time. Everywhere we look we see national leaders vaunting themselves and amassing power and wealth while the people suffer hunger and poverty. The rulers bring us to war so they may have more power and territory. There is little justice on the earth.
The purpose of the coming of the Lord is to bring justice to the nations. This God will do through His Servant, Christ.
He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law.” (Isaiah 42:4)
Christian workers become discouraged when they attempt to build the Kingdom of God in their own strength. The Servant of the Lord never becomes discouraged because God is upholding Him. When we truly are serving the Lord and not ourselves we do not become discouraged.
No matter how Satan and his Antichrist deceive and destroy, the Lord Jesus will return with His saints, His brothers. There shall be no failure. There shall be no discouragement. Justice shall be established on the earth. The islands shall hope expectantly for God’s righteous laws to be brought to them. This is important for us to keep in mind today as we see on every side the wicked boasting themselves of their wicked deeds.
God left the earth for a season while His redemption is being prepared. God never changes His mind. He created man to be in His image, to be male and female, to be fruitful, and to govern the works of God’s hands. God will not cease working until the new Jerusalem has been established on the earth and the nations walk in its holy light.
Those who think the events of history will not conform to the scriptural account understand neither the greatness of God’s power nor the faithfulness of His Word.
The major acts of redemption to take place from now until the new Jerusalem descends to be located forever on a high mountain of the new earth are as follows:
- The Lord Jesus will declare war against His enemies.
- The personalities of God’s elect will be cleansed of all worldliness, sin, and rebellion against God.
- The Christian believers will receive a double portion of God’s Spirit so they may bring one last witness of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
- Christ will be formed in the members of His Body.
- The Father and the Son will come to dwell in the personalities of those who have been cleansed, formed in the image of Christ, and brought into untroubled rest in the Father’s Person and will.
- The Lord Jesus will appear with His saints and set up His Kingdom on the earth.
Ours is a special day in that the Lord is visiting His Church for the purpose of accomplishing the redemptive works listed above.
The sound of noise from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the LORD, who fully repays His enemies! (Isaiah 66:6)
The “city” and the “temple” refer to Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of God, the Church of the Firstborn (Hebrews 12:22,23)
The Lord Jesus will speak through His Church as He declares war against His enemies that dwell in His people. It is the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament blowing of Trumpets, one of the seven feasts of the Lord. This is the beginning of the putting of Christ’s enemies under His feet—the victory for which He has been so patiently waiting.
“Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child. (Isaiah 66:7)
The above verse refers to the birth of the Lord Jesus. He was brought forth of the virgin apart from any travail on the part of Zion.
Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children. (Isaiah 66:8)
The Church (the heavenly Zion) is entering the travail today to bring forth Christ in the saints. The forming of Christ in His people will take place suddenly. The chosen nation, the holy priesthood, will be born at once. The tares of wickedness are coming to maturity in our day. So also is Christ in His people.
Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the LORD. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God. (Isaiah 66:9)
For two thousand years the Christian Church has labored to do the will of the Lord. Have its efforts been in vain? Not at all. We now are in the climax of the ages and all that has gone before is serving to bring us to the final pains of childbirth. Christ is about to appear in His people.
Can any authority or power prevent the birth of the Son of God, the ruler of the ages to come, in His people? No! The program came from God the Father and God the Father will complete His own work in His own time.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
The Lord Jesus, the Ruler in Israel, who has been from eternity, was born in Bethlehem. But Christ has not as yet been fully born in His Body.
Therefore He shall give them [Jews] up, until the time that she who is in labor [Church] has given birth [to Christ in them]; then the remnant of His brethren [sons of God] shall return to the children of Israel. (Micah 5:3)
The Lord Jesus, according to God’s plan, has had to abandon, as it were, the Israelites until Zion has travailed and Christ’s brothers, the sons of God, have been born.
When the sons of God have been brought forth they will have an intense desire to return to the people and land of the nation of Israel. We see this happening today as many of the believers have a desire to return to Israel and to encourage the Jewish people.
And He shall stand and feed [or shepherd] His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God; and they shall abide, for now He [Christ] shall be great to the ends of the earth; (Micah 5:4)
We see, therefore, that our Christian salvation is directed not only toward receiving our own righteousness, peace, and joy in the Lord but also toward bringing righteousness, peace, and joy to the nations of the earth.
As we observe darkness filling the earth we are to rejoice. Earth’s pain is the travail caused by that which soon is to be born. A new age of eternal life is on the horizon and those who suffer in the course of their discipleship will be brought into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
Let us who continually are being tested by the Lord respond to the corrections given us by the Holy Spirit. Let us always remember that the solution to the suffering of mankind can come only as soon as we permit the Lord to create that solution in us. Otherwise we Christians are still part of the problem.
(“The Revealing of the Sons of God”, 3657-1)