THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The Lord Jesus is coming soon. We know that. The thousand-year Kingdom Age, the Millennium, will be a reality on the earth in the near future.
Most believers in the Lord Jesus Christ may understand this is true. What we may not understand is the kind of events that take place when God moves from one creative day to the next; what we can expect to happen during the period in which we are living.
Whenever we pass from one “day” of God’s working to the next there is a season of preparation. The Spirit of God broods on circumstances that are chaotic in terms of what God envisions as being His eternal purpose in Christ. There is a period of unsettledness and sometimes tribulation and persecution.
There also is the appearance of two witnesses. The witnesses proclaim the new day at hand.
It is the purpose of Christ in the Church to bring the rule of God into the personality of every saved person on the earth. This is the work of the Kingdom—the bringing about of the doing of God’s will in the earth as it now is performed in Heaven.
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THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND
Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. (Isaiah 42:9)
The Lord Jesus is coming soon. We know that. The thousand-year Kingdom Age will be a reality on earth in the near future.
Most believers in the Lord Jesus Christ may understand this is true. What we may not understand is the kind of events that take place when God moves from one creative day to the next; what we can expect to happen during the days in which we are living.
When we state that the Kingdom of God is at hand, that the Lord Jesus is coming soon to set up His rule on the earth, we are saying we are entering the period of transition from the fifth day of creation to the sixth day of creation. By day of creation we mean a period or segment of God’s working as He proceeds toward the attainment of the eternal purpose He has determined in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The original six days of creation of the universe, and the seventh day of Divine rest, are a foreshadowing of the seven eras of God’s plan. Let us think for a moment about the days described in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis:
- The creation of the heaven and the formless earth, the creation of light, and the separating of the light from the darkness.
- The creation of the firmament, the separating of the waters below the heaven from the waters above the heaven.
- The gathering together into one place of the waters, the appearance of the dry ground, and the bringing forth of vegetation.
- The creation of the sun, moon, and stars to separate the day from the night, for signs and seasons, to give light, to rule the day and the night.
- The creation of fish and birds.
- The creation of land animals, and mankind—male and female, the assigning of fruitfulness and dominion to man.
- God rested.
This is the description of the creation of the physical universe and also is an advance notice of what God intends to do, from the creating of the physical universe to the coming down from the new heaven of God in His tabernacle to dwell among mankind on the new earth.
The central characteristic of each of the seven days is as follows:
- The heavens and the earth, light, and the separating of the light from the darkness.
- The firmament of heaven, the separating of the lower waters from the upper waters.
- The gathering together of the waters, the appearing of dry ground, and vegetation.
- The sun, moon, and stars to separate the day from the night, for signs and seasons, to give light upon the earth, and to govern the day and night.
- Fish and birds.
- Land animals, mankind in God’s image, male and female, fruitfulness, dominion.
- The rest of God.
Drawing out what we believe to be the essence of these seven concepts we would set forth the seven eras of God’s eternal plan as follows:
- The day of unveiling.
- The day of separation.
- The day of dry ground.
- The day of revelation.
- The day of life.
- The day of image and union
- The day of rest.
- Saved man will witness the unveiling of God’s purpose.
- Saved man will submit to separation from what is animal and from what is evil.
- Saved man will receive dry ground on which to stand.
- Saved man will experience the revelation of God—who He is, what His will is, and what is man’s relationship to Him.
- Saved man will be filled with eternal life.
- Saved man will be formed in the moral image of Christ and brought into restful union with God.
- Saved man will enter the day of rest.
Whenever we pass from one “day” of God’s working to the next there is a season of preparation. The Spirit of God broods on circumstances that are chaotic in terms of what God envisions as being His eternal purpose in Christ. There is a period of unsettledness, and sometimes tribulation and persecution.
There also is an appearance of two witnesses. The witnesses proclaim the new day at hand. The witnesses embody the new day and are the matrix from which the new day comes into being. The Divine heralds bring Divine understanding, Divine revelation, Divine light.
There must be an exercise of the power of God in order to bring to pass what the light (the two witnesses) reveals to be the purpose of God. The new day is born in the creative wisdom and energy of God Almighty.
The work of the new day begins and continues until all the Father has determined in advance has been accomplished to His standard of perfection.
The pattern of the seven days of Divine working is true of mankind and also of the individual Christian.
Perhaps if we examine the seven days we may gain a helpful understanding of what is taking place in our time.
The Day of the Lord, the sixth day, the day of making man in God’s image and bringing him into restful union with God, the Millennium, the thousand-year Kingdom Age, is now at the door. A new day is at hand, and whenever a new day is at hand there is a season of unsettledness and preparation, a heralding of the new day, a bringing to pass of what has been proclaimed, and then the carrying out of the work of the new day throughout the creation.
The Day of Unveiling
The concept of unveiling is that of moving from what is unknown (darkness) to what is perceived (light). The counsels of God are hidden in His mind until He reveals them to Christ, and through Christ to us. Prophecy announces future circumstances but often in a puzzling form. We see in a mirror dimly. It is the actual coming to pass of the vision (the unveiling) that shows us clearly the Father’s intention.
We have termed the first day the day of unveiling. As we examine the first chapter of the Book of Genesis we can see there was a time of preparation. The Spirit of God brooded on a formless earth. Then there was a spectacular exercise of God’s power: light came into being and was separated from the darkness.
In the physical realm, darkness is the absence of light, so it is difficult to understand how light was separated from the darkness. Perhaps the spiritual and physical realms were in union in some manner, as evidenced by the presence of light for the first three days while as yet there were no sun, moon, or stars. Also, the spiritual tree of life grew from the material ground of Eden—another indication of the union of the spiritual and physical realms.
In the spirit realm, darkness and light dwell together and light must be separated from the darkness. When we come to the Lord Jesus, God creates light in us and then separates it from the darkness in us.
God knows all things from the beginning. Before any aspect of the material creation came into existence, God envisioned all He would do, including the creation of sons in His image.
The host of the spirit Heaven gathered in awe as they realized something new was to be brought into being.
God spoke! The physical heaven came into existence. The earth was summoned into being, covered with a blanket of water. God spoke again! The pure light of God flashed in the darkness and was separated from the darkness.
The heavenly host cried out in joy as the Father unveiled what was in His mind.
The firmament, space, invaded the waters so that part of the waters covered the surface of the earth and part were lifted above space to an incomprehensible distance.
The unveiling continued.
The waters on the surface of the earth were drawn together and land appeared. From the land, vegetation sprang forth.
Still the host of Heaven watched in awe, concentrating on the revelation of God’s intention.
The great and small of marine life surged through the seas and winged creatures of all sorts increased on the earth. Soon the air was alive with the sight and sound of a variety of birds.
So much had been unveiled! But more was to come.
Insects crawled on the ground. Domestic cattle, the members of the cat family, and the huge land mammals milled about, claiming their territories.
The angels observed all this in joyful astonishment.
But the purpose of everything had not been revealed.
From the dust of the ground appeared the man. Then the woman from the man. Creatures in the image and likeness of God, as intelligent as the angels but having a soul like the Soul of God, able to have fellowship with God, to judge like God, to unite with God in a manner possible to no angel.
Now the angels had a small understanding of God’s intention. The holy angels worshiped. The dark angels began to scheme.
The “two witnesses” of the unveiling, Adam and Eve, were fashioned from the dust of the ground. God had in mind to bring forth creatures in His own image, capable of union, destined to be fruitful and to possess dominion over the material creation.
God’s intention in creating the material realm was shown in bringing forth Adam and Eve. Otherwise, the material creation has no significance. Apart from human beings, the creation of the earth and the firmament has no meaning, no hope, no joy. Adam and Eve were the heralds of the new day—the first day of the seven with which we are dealing.
Adam and Eve embodied in themselves the new day and were the matrix, the mold in which the new day was formed.
God proclaimed that Adam and Eve would multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it. His power has brought into being the accomplishment of His eternal Word. Mankind has filled the earth and is in the process of subduing it.
The work of the first day, the day of unveiling, is continuing until the present hour. Every day, that which God has in mind becomes clearer. There yet are many surprises ahead for all of us—angels and men alike. The revealing of the sons of God, at the time Jesus returns to earth, will be the greatest unveiling of God’s mind since the atonement made on the cross of Calvary. But there still will be more to come.
The first day will attain its consummation in the seventh day, the day of rest. The day of rest is the day of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. The greatest unveiling of all will be the descent of the Bride of the Lamb through the new sky to be settled forever on the new earth. This is the coming of the Throne of God to the earth, the clothing of the life and joy of Paradise with material form.
Whether there will be subsequent unveilings after that remains to be seen.
The product of the first day is the coming forth of what is in God’s mind.
The significance and joy of the material creation is found in people. The material creation, including the people that are the reason for its existence, will be present throughout the day of rest, the day of eternity. The body of the Lord Jesus Christ that was raised from the dead, and the resurrected bodies of the saints, will live forever.
The material creation is the house, the clothing of the Kingdom of God. It is a dead house, inanimate spiritually, without light, life, or joy until Christ enters it. Then it becomes wonderful and eternal.
The material form of the eternal Kingdom of God was created on the first day and will persevere through to the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord Jesus.
The product of each of the first six days is eternal and will find its consummation, its meaning, its joyful realization, in the seventh day, the day of rest.
The Day of Separation
The concept of separating is that of removing what is heavenly from what is earthly, what is more of God from what is less of God.
On the second day the firmament of heaven was created, and the firmament separated the waters under the firmament from the waters above the firmament.
One of the separations mankind experiences involves the members of the royal priesthood. They have been marked out from the beginning of the creation. At some point in the life of each of the elect, the Spirit of God separates him from the remainder of mankind. He is added to the church.
Another separation, related to the first, takes place in every individual whom God saves. It is the removal of all that is of God and Heaven from all that is animal and lawless. Each day, some aspect of the removal of eternal life from darkness and death takes place in those whom God has called to be the judges of the world and who are cooperating with their calling.
As soon as Christ is born in us our new inner nature ascends to dwell in Christ at the right hand of the Father. Our personality is divided into two parts by the spiritual Heaven. Part of us is on earth while the reborn part of us is in Heaven with Jesus.
When the Lord returns, the resurrected part of our personality will return with Him and take up our flesh and bones. Heaven will have been joined to earth. This is the Kingdom of God.
The waters under the firmament symbolize human life, the life of the flesh. The waters above the firmament represent the eternal resurrection life of Christ. Heaven, so to speak, is keeping Christ, and those whose life He is, separate from the nations of the earth. Soon He and His holy ones will return to be glorified together in the eyes of mankind.
The term church means “called-out from” (separated from). All those who are of Christ are not of the world. They have been called out from the world and now are an integral part of Christ.
The two witnesses of the second day, the day of separation, are Abraham and Sarah. Abraham and Sarah were called out of Ur. Abraham and Sarah embodied in themselves the day of separation and were the matrix, the mold of the new day.
The second day is that of the division between the world and the Church of Christ. It is the day of Divine election, of the Israel of God.
The Church of Christ has been taken from the people, the “waters” of the world. But the Church no longer is of the world. The world hates the Church because it is not of the world. The highest, most impenetrable wall in the universe of God is the wall between the world and the Church. It is the massive, ornate wall surrounding the new Jerusalem.
The churches (with some exceptions) always are seeking to be joined to the world. This is why they have only a little spiritual power and testimony. We can be strong, like Samson, and of benefit to the Kingdom of God only as we are willing to be separated to God for His special purposes.
When Paul spoke of grace, of election, of the Israel of God, he often referred back to Abraham and Sarah. The Gospel of Christ, of the Kingdom of God, was preached to Abraham before the Law of Moses was given. Christ is the Seed, the Recipient of the promise made to the faithful Abraham. The Law of Moses was a guard against sin until the Seed, to whom the promise was made, came into view.
Before God spoke to Abraham the nations were in chaos. The language barrier had been erected by the Lord so that disorganization and confusion would attend the efforts of people to build their own kingdom apart from the Kingdom of God—the Kingdom that God will bring into being during the sixth day, the day of image and union.
Then God created the Church:
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)
The work of separation of the second day continues to the present hour. Now there are two days working simultaneously. The day of unveiling is working. The mystery of God, which is Christ in us, is unfolding continually. People still are being born and then born again. The seals are being removed from the Scriptures and from the hearts of people. Understanding of the eternal purpose of God is being given to the godly remnant of believers.
Also, the work of the second day, the separating of the firstfruits of the Bride from the remainder of God’s Israel, the calling of God’s Israel from the ranks of mankind, and the lifting of the new nature of the believers to the right hand of God, are all proceeding.
Both of these days will find their consummation, their joyful realization, in the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
And the city [the Church, the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb] had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the Glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. (Revelation 21:23,24)
The Day of Dry Ground
The concept of dry ground is that of the strength to walk uprightly before the Lord.
On the third day the waters were gathered together into one place and the dry land, the earth, appeared. Also, vegetation and fruit trees came forth from the earth. The earth and its fruitfulness are emphasized.
Every righteous human being must submit to the separation from evil, darkness, and death. In addition, every righteous human being must receive dry ground on which to stand.
Righteous behavior requires strength and is possible only to the degree that we are strong in the Lord. Dry ground and nourishing food give man the foundation and strength to walk uprightly before the Lord.
Food came into being on the third day of creation. An even more important food is the Word coming continually from the mouth of God.
And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. (Deuteronomy 8:2,3)
Man is to live by the food, the commandment, the expression from the mouth of the Lord.
The third aspect of the sojourn of Israel from Egypt to Canaan was their setting out from the east bank of the Red Sea. The children of Jacob had been on “sinking sand” while in Egypt. They had no strength of purpose, nothing firm to stand on as a race. Moses and Aaron led them into the wilderness. In spite of the forbidding environment, the Israelites in the wilderness were now a nation. This was the beginning of their “dry ground.”
At this time the manna began to fall from the heaven and continued until they were ready to enter Canaan.
And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. (Exodus 16:15)
The relationship between manna (food) and the law of God is seen in the New Testament.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (John 6:32,33)
Man can keep the eternal moral law of God only as the Lord Jesus, the Bread of God, is formed in him. As we eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood, His Substance, Virtue, and Life are formed in us. In this manner, the Torah of God, God’s law, is engraved in our mind and heart. Then we keep the eternal moral law of God by nature.
Man can live uprightly only as he has dry ground (Christ born in him) to stand on, and the Word of God (Christ) to feed on continually.
Sinners often make resolutions to “do better,” to stop this behavior or that behavior. But they soon fall back into their old habits. The reason is, they have no “dry ground” on which to stand and walk. They may attempt to stand and do what is right but the ground under their feet is marshy. They have little strength to support their purpose.
Saved man receives dry ground to stand on and Divine food to eat.
Abraham looked for a city that has foundations.
The earth is that on which mankind walks. Before the waters under the heaven were gathered into one place there was no earth on which to walk or from which vegetation could grow. There must be earth before the food of the material creation can be brought into being.
The manna stopped falling when the Israelites came to the land of promise. They could not grow food in the wilderness but lived by a miracle. They were given angel’s food, the corn of Heaven. When they came to the “dry ground” of their inheritance they were able to grow food.
And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full. (Psalms 78:24,25)
And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. (Joshua 5:12)
The Scriptures have much to say about uprightness, about righteous behavior. With the exception of the presentation of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the subject of upright behavior, of adherence to the eternal moral law of God, may be the main topic of the Scriptures. Satan has stung mankind in the heel so people cannot walk uprightly.
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed [shunned] evil. (Job 1:1)
What was true of Job that God considered him to be “perfect and upright”?
This expression signifies that Job, who lived before the day of Moses, was adhering to the eternal moral law of God. Before the Ten Commandments were issued the moral law was written in the conscience of mankind.
The moral law is based on spiritual realities. The moral law is the Nature of God Himself. It expresses God’s Character.
Satan, the chief of the fallen angels, is the father of liars and murderers. God is Truth and Love. Before the earth was created, some of the angels of Heaven, including personages of high rank, decided they would practice behavior contrary to the righteous and holy Nature of the most high God. The Ten Commandments are God’s judgment on the actions of Satan and his followers.
The Ten Commandments are an initial witness to the earth of the coming rule of the Kingdom of God, of what has been and always will be the Character of God.
The desire of every righteous man and woman of God from the time of Abel has been to please God, to walk uprightly before Him. The path of the righteous has been a shining light leading to the day when there is a new world in which righteousness prevails in every creature.
The Apostle Paul cried out for deliverance from the power of sin, from the waters of evil. The heroes of faith always look for the city that has foundations. The righteous always are restorers of paths to walk in.
The earth and its resources, and all its inhabitants, belong to the Lord. But He has founded the earth on the seas and floods.
The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. (Psalms 24:1,2)
There is no solid foundation in the swirling waters of the material creation. The only true path, the only enduring way for the feet of people is the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot gain our moral footing until we rest our trust on the Lord Jesus. Everything and everyone else is transitory and shifting—completely unreliable.
The land of Egypt was in moral chaos. Hundreds of demon gods were being worshiped. The Egyptians led a sensuous existence, similar in many respects to the wealthy nations of our own time.
Suddenly the “waters were gathered together” and two witnesses appeared—Moses and Aaron. They bore a powerful testimony before the creatures of Heaven and earth of the Nature of the one true and living God (Deuteronomy 32:1; Ephesians 3:10).
Mount Sinai groaned in travail and the awful Word was brought forth. The moral law, the Nature of God written in the conscience of mankind, was engraved by the finger of God in two tables of stone.
Now the race of mankind had solid moral ground on which to walk, a means of walking uprightly before the Lord in spite of the counsel of rebellious angels. The fruit of righteousness came forth from this newly exposed “earth” as the righteous and holy Nature of the Lord was revealed in the Law, in the priesthood, and in the structure and activities of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
The moral law, the Character of God, was in existence before the universe was created. The eternal moral law ruled the conscience of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel. Its negative dimension was written clearly in the Ten Commandments, which are a judgment on angels and men.
The new covenant provides forgiveness of sins—sins against the eternal moral law of God, and also Divine virtue and power (in the body and blood of Christ and the Holy Spirit of God) by which the believers become able to refrain from doing what is forbidden by the holy law and able also to practice that which God’s moral Nature requires—the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23).
The moral law of God is fulfilled in loving God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. These are the two great laws of the Kingdom of God. These principles always are disobeyed by Satan and his followers, and their disobedience always brings them into the bondage of the chains of eternal darkness.
The Ten Commandments and the accompanying ordinances, which are based on the two great laws of the Kingdom of God, were solid ground given to people so they could walk uprightly in the Presence of the Lord.
The eternal moral law governs us today. It has governed all God’s creatures from eternity and will continue to govern them to eternity because it proceeds from God’s eternal Nature. The greatest possible catastrophe would be for God’s eternal Nature to change in any manner.
Whoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (I John 3:4)
The destructive error of contemporary Christianity is the belief that the grace of God in Christ somehow diminishes the force of the eternal moral law of God; that Christians, because of their identification with Christ, are not bound to obey the principles of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God.
All Christians who do not obey the moral law, that which is written in the conscience of mankind and set forth in the Ten Commandments, the unadulterated worship of God, honesty, truthfulness, kindness, mercy, moral purity, the love of God and of one’s neighbor, are judged by the Lord and suffer because of their sins.
The Ten Commandments are a guide to us and a judgment on our conduct until we enter Christ and He enters us. Christ is an infinitely more comprehensive expression of the eternal moral law than is true of the Ten Commandments.
The new covenant does not do away with the Ten Commandments. Rather, it is the placing of the law of God, in a marvelously amplified form, in our minds and the writing of it in our hearts.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (Hebrews 8:10)
The moral law of God will continue to govern men and angels, finding its complete manifestation in the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. There the law of God is embodied in the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb. The holy city, the center of government of the Kingdom of God, the visible, tangible expression of the holy Character of God Almighty, will illuminate the material creation forever.
The first three days are working simultaneously. The day of unveiling still is developing. The day of separation, of the calling out of the elect from the ranks of mankind, still is developing. The day of dry ground, of giving God’s creatures the strength to live righteously, still is developing.
The Day of Revelation
The fourth day we have termed the day of revelation.
The concept of revelation is that of perceiving God and our relationship to Him.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. (John 1:6,7)
John was not of the fourth day, the day of revelation. John was of the third day, the day of dry ground. John was of the Law of Moses.
John and Jesus were on the earth at the same time. There is a period of transition when one creative day is blending into the next. This is why the present hour is so significant: it is the period of transition from the fifth creative day, the day of life, to the sixth creative day, the day of image and union.
In the time of John there was the usual chaotic situation and time of preparation. The Roman Empire was governing the land of Israel. John was part of the Divine preparation for the introduction of a new era. The fourth creative day, the day of revelation, was at hand.
The two witnesses of the fourth day appeared. The two witnesses of the fourth day, the day of revelation, are the Father and the Son:
It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. (John 8:17,18)
The fourth day of creation, as described in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, included the bringing forth of the sun, the moon, and the stars. These lights are for signs and seasons and govern day and night.
Speaking figuratively, Christ is the sun, the Church is the moon, and the conquering saints—those who turn many to righteousness—are God’s stars. All this light proceeds from God in Christ in the saints.
Throughout the long night of earth’s history it has been the saints, not the Church, who have guided men. The moon illumines the earth at night and sheds light on our pathway. But men find their direction from the stars. We think of Noah, Abraham, Daniel, Moses, Elijah, Peter, Paul, James and others. These are God’s eternal witnesses. They are the “stars” who have guided us through the long night that precedes the dawning of the Day of the Lord. They are the examples whom we use to teach people the righteous ways of the Lord.
The sun, moon, and stars remind us of the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation. The all-important issue of Christianity is the bringing forth of the Son, Christ, in the personalities of the members of the Body of Christ. The ministries of the Church are in travail today as Christ is being formed in us. Christ is the Light of the world. We shall become the light of the world, the eternal Light the new Jerusalem is, when Christ has been formed in us.
In the first three days the two witnesses were two people: Adam and Eve; Abraham and Sarah; Moses and Aaron. The two witnesses of the fourth day, the day of revelation, are the Father and the Son. The two witnesses of the last three days will be God and man, as we shall see.
The significance of the fourth day is that the Godhead was revealed. We learn to refer to God as our Father. We learn also that Christ is the Eternal Life who has been with the Father from eternity.
Every saved human being must witness the unveiling of God’s purpose, must submit to separation from evil, and must receive dry ground on which to stand. He also must experience the revelation of God—who He is, His will for mankind, and His will for the individual person.
The fourth day is the revelation of God. It was not Jesus who originated the words of the Sermon on the Mount, it was the Father dwelling in Him who conceived those universal Words and who worked the miracles. In the Lord Jesus Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. In Christ we behold the Person and Life of the Father.
The angels themselves desire to look into the things of the Gospel, for God has appeared in the flesh. The appearing of Christ to the world is the most important event of the history of mankind. It also is a revelation to the spirit realm—to the elect angels and to the fallen angels as well.
The fourth furnishing of the Tabernacle of the Congregation was the solid gold Lampstand, the light of the Holy Place. The witness of the fourth day is purely Divine (solid gold). It is the manifestation of God Himself: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Mankind has seen the God of Heaven in Christ. Now we understand much more about our Creator. We are commanded to be baptized into the name of the Father because we are His children. We are commanded to be baptized into the name of the Son because He is our Lord and Savior. We are commanded to be baptized into the name of the Holy Spirit because He is the eternal resurrection Life in us—the third Person of the Godhead.
Four days are working simultaneously:
- The day of unveiling of the purpose of God is continuing. We are drawing near to the return of the Lord Jesus. The setting up of the Kingdom of God is clearer, more real to us. The mystery is unfolding in the Church.
- The day of separating the Church from the world, the eternal from the temporary, the heavenly from the animal and satanic, is continuing. People still are being called out of the world to follow Jesus.
- The day of dry ground is continuing. Christ is being formed in the saints. The godly remnant are learning to lean on the Lord in every matter. The saints are growing in righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God.
- The day of revelation of the Divine Godhead is looking forward to the goal—the first resurrection. The Spirit of God is calling the firstfruits of the Bride to come away with the Lord. We understand God’s intention to be that we enter total union with the Lord Jesus, becoming an eternal part of Him.
The mystery of the Godhead still is unfolding. We can state there are three Gods in One and one God in Three. But we cannot understand the Three in One because in the material realm in which we live it is impossible for three to truly be one.
The Jews have a problem with the “threeness” of God because the unchanging, incorruptible Word states that God is One. How then can He be Three? A logical question, and difficult to answer because of the limitations to our understanding imposed by our experience.
The understanding will be given to us, not in the form of an improved theological statement but by experience. As Christ is formed in us, and we become one in Him in the Father, we comprehend how we retain our identity and uniqueness even though we lose our individuality (our own will and life apart from Jesus).
The revelation of God can come to us only as we experience God. It is in the experiencing of God that we know in our spirit that God totally is One and totally is Three. More importantly, the awareness comes that we are in Christ and Christ is in God.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (John 14:20)
The Lord Jesus teaches us of the Father:
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Matthew 11:27)
As we demonstrate our love for Christ by doing what He commanded, the Father and the Son enter us and make Their abode with us. It is by the indwelling that we understand the mystery of God.
The fourth day, the day of revelation, will have its fulfillment in the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, as the Fullness of God and of His redemption and Kingdom is revealed in the new Jerusalem.
The Day of Life
The concept of life is that of filling our spirit, soul, and body with the incorruptible resurrection Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit and the Apostles are the two witnesses of the day of life. The Holy Spirit and the Apostles of the Lamb are bearing witness to us through the written Word in the hour in which we are living.
And we [the apostles] are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Acts 5:32)
The work of the fifth day is to bring eternal life to each of the elect, to each individual whom the Father has given to Christ. We receive eternal life by eating the Bread from Heaven—Christ. When we believe in Him and receive Him we pass from death to life. This is the Word given by the Holy Spirit through the Apostles, and to us through the Epistles of the Apostles.
On the fifth day of creation, as described in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, fish and birds were brought forth. The fish symbolize the Gospel work of fishing for the souls of men. For two thousand years the net has been let down. Multitudes have been touched with eternal life. Christ makes us fishers of men.
God views the saved as being fish drawn from the sea of mankind.
Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. (Isaiah 60:5)
When the Lord Jesus returns to earth, the fountains of living water will be opened in those in whom the Father and the Son are dwelling, those who have become the Throne of God and of the Lamb. The water of life will flow from them into the dead sea of mankind and all that is in the sea will live.
And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. (Ezekiel 47:9)
But what of the birds during the fifth day, the day of life?
Whenever Christ is born in us our new inner nature is lifted to the right hand of God, as we noticed in the day of separation. Our life is hidden with Christ in God. During the past two thousand years of the Gospel message there has been a planting of the heavens with Christ. Christ is being enlarged in Heaven as each believer is added to Him.
It is the Lord’s will that after we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit we walk in heavenly places with Christ, placing our interests and hope there with Him at the right hand of God. At one time we dwelled in the natural world, but now the Lord would draw us upward as part of Christ’s resurrection from the dead and ascension to the right hand of God.
When Christ appears we shall appear with Him in glory provided He indeed is our life (Colossians 3:4). Christ who appears the second time will be greatly enlarged in comparison with His first appearance to the world, for now He is both in and with a vast company whose Life He is. He is our Life. Our new Life already is in Heaven in and with the Lord Jesus, the result of the day of separation (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1-4).
The Lord Jesus came to bring us eternal life in spirit, in soul, and in body. The goal of the Christian salvation is the redemption, the adoption, the resurrection of the mortal body.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11)
And not only they [the material creation], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:23)
Paul was striving to attain the first resurrection from the dead—the resurrection to bodily righteousness, immortality, and glory.
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection [Greek, out-resurrection] of the dead. (Philippians 3:11)
The saints of today have been sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption, the day when God is ready to adopt our mortal body by making it alive with His Holy Spirit. We have the “firstfruits of the Spirit” meaning we shall be the first of mankind to experience eternal life in spirit, soul, and body.
If we Christians after having been sealed by the Lord continue to live in the appetites of our body we will be clothed with corruption instead of eternal life in the Day of the Lord.
Speaking to the saints in Galatia:
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8)
One of the main purposes of the present age is to produce a group of saints who have attained to the early resurrection from the dead. These will appear with the Lord when He returns. They will judge the nations of the earth and also the sinners of the churches.
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (I Corinthians 6:2)
To execute judgment upon all [sinners in the churches], and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jude 1:15)
If we are willing to allow the Lord to sow our present body to the death of the cross, a robe of righteousness will be formed as the resurrection life of Jesus enters us. Then, when He returns, our resurrected mortal remains will be clothed with righteousness, immortality, and glory.
The fifth day, the day of life, is working now as men are saved from the waters of mankind and are sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day when their bodies will be made alive by the Spirit. The fifth day will have its fulfillment in the new heaven and earth reign of Christ as the “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal” proceeds “from the Throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1).
In addition to being representative of our life in the heavenlies, the birds of the fifth creative day suggest the ministry of angels which, no doubt, will become increasingly prominent as we approach the Day of Christ. Angels were mentioned several times by the Apostle Paul and are active in the events described in the Book of Revelation. The more our life is focused on the heavenlies the more we become aware of angelic activity.
In the present hour, five creative days are working:
The day of unveiling.
The development of the material creation still is being carried forward by the almighty power of the word of God. People are being born. Earthquakes, volcanoes, erosion, continental drift, are shaping the contours of the land. Mankind is learning how to subdue nature, how to cope with such problems as harmful bacteria and food shortages.
The wheat and the tares are coming to maturity. What is in Satan’s heart and mind is being unveiled in the increasing perversity and wickedness of the nations of the earth. The self-centeredness of the believers in Christ is causing them to want to be little gods, to use the gifts and graces of Christ for their own pleasure and security, to sell what they have received to buy the favor of the world.
The true saints are determined to overcome the world, Satan, and their own self-will. They have the goal of the first resurrection before them and they are bearing their cross behind Jesus. The line is being drawn between those who belong to the Lord and those who do not.
The outlines of the plan of God concerning the restoration of physical Israel can be seen more clearly.
The wisdom of God is being unveiled.
The day of separation.
There is confusion today in the relationship between the Church and the world. The way of the Lord has not been made straight as yet, but the coming persecution and Divine glory will result in the separating of the Wife of the Lamb from the world spirit. Following the example of Abraham our father, we are not to take a shoestring from the world. We are not of the world.
The day of dry ground.
There is confusion concerning the development of the third day, the day of dry ground. Extremism in the teaching of Divine grace has left numerous Christians with the impression that God is overlooking the sins of the believers. The Gospel of the Kingdom is seen as a means of evading moral responsibility rather than what it is—the opportunity for forgiveness coupled with the Divine wisdom and power to enable us to keep the moral law.
Much deception is abroad in the land but Christ in His goodness is picking out disciples from every church and bringing us back to the original Gospel of the Kingdom, in which the cross is central to our viewpoint—not only the cross of Jesus but also the personal cross of the disciple. The Lord Jesus is giving us the desire to forsake all and follow Him—even to death.
The day of revelation.
The day of revelation is continuing as Christ is being formed in us. We understand by experience how the Father and the Son are One because we are being created part of that Oneness. The devout saint is beginning to realize that marriage to the Lord is the highest of all callings.
One destructive error of our time is the belief that the Lord Jesus is our servant. Self-love is creating a new gospel in which Christ is compelled to do what we say. The Lord Jesus is seen as the servant of the churches—someone who exists in order to cater to our every desire. We need to behold the galactic Christ who holds the angels of the churches in the right hand of His omnipotence.
Faith is being advanced as a supernatural principle by which we can gain material advantages. God is seen as love only and not wrath. The severity of God is not being presented adequately. As a result the believers are not working out their own salvation with fear and trembling. Suffering is regarded as an abomination that never should fall on the believers. In actuality, however, suffering is part of the redemptive process.
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (I Peter 4:1)
We must have a fresh revelation of the majesty of the Godhead. Let us pray God grants one before multitudes of “believers” awake to the terrifying awareness they are in the hands of the consuming Fire of Israel, the memory of whom causes the demons to cry out in fear.
The day of life.
We now are in the day of life. Much Gospel work is being carried forward in our own day. There is considerable chaos and confusion as the “sheep” are subjected to the teachings of one group and then another. Some are entertaining the sheep. Others are warning them of the wrath to come.
There also is a return to the concept of true, cross-carrying discipleship. This is part of the Divine preparation of the saints who will give the worldwide testimony, and also of the army of Christ that will invade the earth in the Day of the Lord.
We have a better understanding today of the message of eternal life. The traditional goal of salvation has been eternal residence in Heaven. Now we can see that the message of Christ and His Apostles is not eternal residence in Heaven but eternal life. Our eyes are fixed on the coming of the Lord and the day of resurrection rather than on dying and going to Heaven. The emphasis is on the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth, not the flight of the Church to Heaven.
There is the awesome realization that we are entering a period of transition that will bring mankind from one creative day to the next. Such a transition means we can expect much Divinely appointed preparatory work, chaos, confusion, and also murderous opposition from people who are deriving satisfaction from the old day. Some of us will gain an appreciation for the people of past eras who stood firm during the uproar that always accompanies climactic changes in the Kingdom of God.
Can you imagine how the Jewish fishermen felt when Jesus informed them they had to eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to live? They had been taught from childhood that it is an abomination to the Lord for people to drink blood.
Can you imagine how Paul felt when the Holy Spirit impressed him that circumcision no longer was part of God’s covenant with man? Or how the other Jews felt when they heard Paul teach?
As undoubtedly was true of the people of past time, we never thought we would be faced with radical change.
But the transition from day five, the day of life, to day six, the day of image and union, is beginning now. The Kingdom of God is at hand.
In order to keep from being shipwrecked during a period of transition we must be careful to stay close to the written Word of God, the holy Scriptures.
Perhaps the first concept we need to establish from the Scriptures is the coming emphasis on God’s Kingdom, rule, and will. The work of the two witnesses who announce the day of image and union will be different from the type of Gospel ministry to which we are accustomed. The stress will pass from how people are being benefited to how God is being benefited, how His will is being brought into view in the earth. The two witnesses will proclaim a total change of the government of the world.
The people of today may be willing to receive the good news of the blood atonement. The atonement is something that benefits man. But receiving the lordship of Christ is another matter. It is not obvious how submission to the kingship of Christ benefits us. In fact, such submission to the will of God in Christ does away with our so-called liberty. The humanists of today recognize this and resist Christianity with all their power.
Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. (Psalms 2:3,4)
Mankind is bent on freeing itself from every inconvenient rule. How willing will it be to become the bondslave of Christ? Are the Christian people of today willing to become the bondslaves of Christ? Is the Wife of the Lamb ready to accept Jesus as her unqualified Lord? Or does she expect to direct the Lord by her will?
It is ironic that the “New Age” teaching, which proclaims a counterfeit of the Kingdom Age that is coming, also teaches union—union with God and nature. The “New Age” teaches also that man is a god and can become an integral part of God Almighty. The difference in the New Age teaching and the Gospel of the Kingdom is that the Gospel requires stern, total obedience to Christ while the New Age doctrine stresses absolute liberty to follow every inclination of the “god” who is in us, that is, the god that is our self.
The end result of the Gospel of the Kingdom, the Gospel that teaches stern obedience to Christ, is the liberty of the children of God, a liberty, joy, and glory that exceeds all the hopes and dreams of mankind.
The end result of the New Age gospel, the gospel that teaches we are free to do as we please, is the chains of sin, Satan, and our self-will. In addition, the future of those who disobey Christ is terrifying beyond human comprehension.
Satan promises liberty to those who follow him. The truth is, Satan and those who follow him already are in chains and shall continue to be in chains throughout eternity.
The thousand-year Kingdom Age, which has been termed the Millennium, will be one of spreading the rule of Jesus to the nations of saved peoples of the earth. The holy city will not descend to the earth until first there has been an age of image and union during which the nations of the saved, and God’s elect as well, are brought into total submission to the will and moral image of God as expressed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The process of producing image and union involves suffering. It is through suffering that we cease from sin and self-will and become submissive to the will of God.
The concept of the kingship of Christ is beginning to enter the Christian Church. We conceive of Christ as the loving Savior, the Helper, the gentle Shepherd. It is difficult for us to receive Jesus as a real King with absolute authority.
Human beings, including the elect of God, are deeply rebellious. Men want to be the kings of the churches. We can observe this characteristic of religious leaders throughout the history of the denominations, and in the present-day multitude of kingdoms, great and small, that name the Name of Christ.
God’s elect often are not willing to accept His total dominion over every facet of their lives. This is evident in the Christian community. Anyone who presents the claims of the Lord is considered “harsh.”
It is not uncommon to hear “Christians” say they know what the Lord’s will is but they are not doing it.
If the believers of today had any idea of the terror of the Lord or of the consequences of rebellion they never would permit such open defiance of the God of Heaven to proceed from their mouths. They have been misled by their teachers and pastors who are making merchandise of them.
The pastors of today who are making merchandise of the people, using them as a means of monetary gain, have little concept of the fiery furnace toward which they are heading with their followers.
No individual will be accepted by the Lord God until he has received Jesus as his personal Lord.
The nations of the earth must be smashed to pieces before they will bow the knee and confess that Jesus is Lord of all. The thousand-year period will not be the paradise the term Millennium has come to signify. Rather, it will be a “Davidic” reign of warfare in which people slowly are brought under the rule of Christ.
It is only as people accept the rule of Christ that the curse will be lifted from the earth; that the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord will cover the earth; that the child will lead the wild and domestic animals in peaceful coexistence.
We understand from the Scriptures that radical changes are coming to the earth in the near future. The Scriptures teach plainly that the day will arrive when God enters the earth and judges and rules the nations. This is the sixth day of creation.
the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. (Psalms 67:4)
The Day of Image and Union
The concept of image and union is that of bringing every aspect of our personality into perfect submission to the will of God.
Each human being has come into the world in a state of lawlessness. God does not deal thoroughly with the lawlessness in the believer until the individual has received Christ and been filled with God’s Spirit.
After the Levitical feast of Pentecost comes the observance of Trumpets, and then the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27—the Day of Image and Union). This means that after we are forgiven through the blood of the atonement and filled with the Spirit of God, it is time for the Lord Jesus to come and tear down the idols of our personality, bringing us into Christ’s moral image, and union with the Father.
No Christian understands the depth of rebellion in his own personality until the Lord begins to bring him into submission to the Father. Often much suffering is involved as our will is broken and we learn to say, “Not my will but Yours be done.”
One of the main purposes of the great tribulation, according to our understanding, is to purify the Bride through suffering. The Bride is a firstfruits of mankind and must demonstrate her obedience before she can expect to bring the nations into obedience with a rod of iron.
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. (II Corinthians 10:6)
Christ learned obedience through suffering. He in turn judges and purifies through suffering the firstfruits of His Church. When He returns, the firstfruits, having been reconciled to God through suffering, will judge men and angels. All who are to be saved (brought forward to the new heaven and earth) must learn to submit to God’s will.
The Day of Atonement (Day of Image and Union) is a period of intense conflict as the rebellious soul of man seeks to be reconciled, to be married, to the Lord. The Kingdom of God is designed to ensure that God’s will is done on earth as it is performed in Heaven. Heaven is the Throne of God. The Throne of God is coming to the earth in the new Jerusalem. The will of God is coming to the earth. This is the goal of the day of image and union.
The two witnesses who usher in the day of image and union are described in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation. Although these witnesses give their prophecy before Christ returns from Heaven, their testimony is accompanied by miracles different from those to which we have become accustomed. The two witnesses still are in the Church Age, the day of life, but they are performing acts of destruction—works that will characterize the Davidic-type conquests of the thousand-year period.
Some have speculated that the two witnesses are two men who have been raised from the dead—men who lived under the old covenant such as Moses and Aaron. Or perhaps they are Enoch and Elijah who have returned from Heaven.
But in view of our study of the relationship of God’s witnesses to the days they heralded, it is quite unlikely God would return to the old covenant saints in order to provide examples of the coming thousand-year period or to serve as molds in which the thousand-year Kingdom Age will be developed.
The two witnesses are lampstands, and lampstands in the Book of Revelation are the Christian churches.
The Lord Jesus prophesied that the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations and then the end will come. After the witness of the coming Kingdom has been brought to every nation, the end of the present age will be here.
Does it appear likely that the Lord Jesus would remove His Church, the light of the world, from its role of witnessing of the coming Kingdom of God and bring back two saints from the old covenant to perform this momentous and essential task? Is the Church, the Body of Christ, such a wretched failure, such a blemished bride, that Christ must return to an inferior covenant in order to produce the witnesses of His coming?
The two olive trees of the eleventh chapter of Revelation are the double portion of the Spirit of God poured on the saints so they can prepare the whole earth for the return of the King.
The Scripture reveals to us that a new kind of witnessing will appear in the earth before Christ returns from Heaven. This new testimony will affect all the nations of the earth, warning them of the overthrow of all secular government and the establishing of Christ’s saints in all positions of authority; demonstrating before their eyes what they can expect should they decide to resist the Lord Jesus as He takes over the governments of the world.
Every individual who believes and is baptized will be saved from God’s wrath, if such belief and baptism are accompanied by an enduring attitude of repentance and obedience to Christ. But the rebellious and unbelieving will be punished in that Day. The coming advent of Christ is one of thick darkness and wrath. The present inept, people-pleasing “Christian witness” is a weak, unclear testimony of the Day of the Lord that is at hand.
The testimony of the two witnesses of the day of image and union will be clothed in the sackcloth of repentance, a refreshing contrast to the current pretty “gospel” message of our time. The flames of Divine judgment will roar from the mouths of the witnesses and consume their enemies.
The two witnesses of Revelation, Chapter 11 possess the authority to use the key of Hell and the key of death. They command droughts and turn waters to blood. They strike the whole earth with plague after plague until the world staggers from the chaotic conditions just as Egypt reeled when Moses and Aaron demanded that Pharaoh release Israel from slavery.
The end-time witness of the Kingdom will differ from that to which we have been accustomed (the ministry of the day of life). However, it will be a true witness of the thousand-year reign of Christ—the smiting of the nations with a rod of iron.
These two prophets will torment the people who dwell on the earth.
Does the Scripture, the written Word of God, actually state there will come such a witness of the Kingdom of God before the Lord Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom? Indeed it does. We can see in our time the need for the exercise of such fierce judgments on the nations of the earth.
This type of destructive witness, which we can observe in the flood of Noah, the plagues on Egypt, the testimonies of Elijah and Elisha (two strong types, or forerunners, of the end-time witness), the judgment on Ananias and Sapphira, and Elymas the sorcerer, has been present but not prominent during the Church Age, the day of life. The destructive witness will return to the earth as a warning of the wrath of God to be poured out in conjunction with the fiery descent from Heaven of the Lord Jesus and His army of saints and holy angels.
The sixth day, the day of image and union, the era we are approaching in the present hour, will be the greatest change mankind has had to undergo. It will be a giant step toward the rest of God—the seventh and last day. However, the age of image and union will not be the kind of change the churches are expecting.
The thousand-year Kingdom Age will be a continuation of the Church Age, in that the travail to form Christ in His creatures will continue. We believe this because of the following statement:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (Ephesians 4:13)
If the apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers are to minister until every believer arrives at the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God; if the “man” (Christ) is to be perfect composed of perfected members; then the work of the ministry must continue throughout the Kingdom Age, the age of image and union. Maturity and perfection have not been attained during the Church’s pilgrimage on the earth.
The thousand-year period will not be the paradisiac age often suggested by the term “Millennium” but a prolonged battle against human nature. The victorious saints who return with Christ will participate with Him in the forming of the new creation. All the faith, hope, courage, patience, and love developed in them during their discipleship on the earth will prove to be necessary for the tasks of ruling, shepherding, and teaching assigned to them.
The two witnesses of the day of image and union will be a powerful light on the earth. They will perform the same works as Jesus, and the greater works the Lord prophesied to us (John 14:12). They will perform works of healing and of destruction, as did Elijah and Elisha.
As we have stated, the two witnesses of the day of image and union are described in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation. The Book of Revelation is the section of the New Testament that portrays the events leading up to the ushering in of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, followed by the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. The thousand-year period is the Day of the Lord, the day of image and union, the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, the period of the marriage of the Lamb, the era of bringing to birth God’s eternal purpose in Christ.
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. (Revelation 11:3)
The two witnesses are two olive trees, speaking of the fact that there is a double portion of the anointing of the Holy Spirit abiding on them.
The two witnesses are also lampstands. The golden Lampstand of the Tabernacle of the Congregation is regarded by scholars as being a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lampstand is Christ, the Anointed One of God.
The fourth chapter of the Book of Zechariah reveals that there was, at the time of Zechariah, one lampstand; two olive trees, but one lampstand. The second lampstand, the Church of Christ, had not been created as yet.
However, during the Church Age the second lampstand, the Body of Christ, has been created. There were seven lampstands symbolizing the “seven churches which are in Asia.” The one lampstand, the second lampstand of Revelation, Chapter 11, portrays the warlike remnant that has been and is now being drawn from the “seven churches.” This is our understanding.
We see two olive trees, the number two speaking of the power of the Holy Spirit to bear witness (“In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established”; “ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me”). In addition to the two olive trees of Zechariah, Chapter Four there now are two lampstands.
Lampstands are solid gold. They never can refer symbolically to human beings. Wood is used in the Scriptures as a type of humanity while gold is a type of Divinity. The Lampstand of the Tabernacle of the Congregation was pure gold beaten into shape.
In Revelation, Chapter 11 we behold two lampstands. These two lampstands portray Christ and the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is being built to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).
Christ working in and with His Body will herald the sixth creative day, the day of image and union.
The ministry of the two witnesses represents a change that will take place in the Divine testimony before Christ returns to earth. However, the fifth day, the day of life, the day of the Gospel work of bringing eternal life to those who believe, still will continue.
There will be, as we noticed before concerning John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth, a period of overlap. The heralds of the thousand-year Kingdom Age will be on the earth concurrently with the traditional ministry of the churches of Christ.
Into the midst of the ministries and gifts of the Body of Christ will be thrust an earth-shaking testimony of the imminent coming of the Kingdom of God, a testimony clothed in the sackcloth of repentance, tormenting the earth with plagues.
The two witnesses, which are Christ and His conquering saints bearing the witness of the Kingdom under a double anointing of the Holy Spirit, will incorporate all the aspects of the previous witnesses:
As was true of Adam and Eve, one of the two witnesses will be created from the other. Eve was created from Adam. The Body of Christ is being fashioned from Christ’ own body and blood.
As was true of Abraham and Sarah, the witness will come by grace as the true wife waits on the promise of God. The testimony will not be the work of man’s ambitions. “Hagar,” the babylonish (manmade, man-centered, man-directed) churches, will have nothing to do with it, will not be an heir with it.
As was true of Moses and Aaron, the two witnesses will be brothers. We are being created the brothers of Christ (Romans 8:29).
As was true of the Father and the Son, Christ will be in His Body. There will be the two witnesses—Christ and His Body; but the two will be one as the Father and Christ are One (John 8:18).
As was true of the Holy Spirit and the Apostles, the two witnesses will be God and God-filled people.
As will be true of the Father and His tabernacle (the two witnesses that will appear at the end of the thousand-year period and herald the day of rest), the two witnesses of the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation will be Christ and His tabernacle—the Body of Christ.
As was true of Joshua and Caleb, the two witnesses that bring in the day of image and union will go into the land of promise before the remainder of Israel and will bring back the fruit of the coming Kingdom Age for Israel to behold, while the Lord’s people still are wandering in the wilderness of the world.
As was true of Elijah and Elisha, the two witnesses will be a portion and a double portion of the Spirit of God manifested among men. Like Elijah and Elisha, the two witnesses will be a remnant, separated from Israel by their totally godly lives, healing and destroying by the Word of the Lord. Like Elijah and Elisha, the two witnesses stand before God and derive their authority from Him. They do not seek the approval of human beings.
The two witnesses that usher in the day of fulfillment are the two lampstands standing before the “God of the earth.” The earth is emphasized because the Kingdom of God is coming to the earth. The two witnesses do not speak of the Church going to Heaven; rather, they announce the coming of God in His Kingdom to the earth.
The two witnesses are two lampstands. Christ is the Light of the world. Now that He has gone into Heaven the saints are the light of the world. The saints are the light of the world because Christ, the only true Light of the world, is being formed in them and is dwelling and working in them, confirming His own Word with signs following.
The night is at hand when no man can work. The age of moral horrors is upon us. The day during which people can perform the work of the Gospel is nearly at an end. The testimony of the two witnesses is not the work of humans, it is supernatural. It is the testimony of God in Christ in the Church. What flesh no longer is able to perform the Lord God in His saints will accomplish. The testimony at hand will prepare the whole world, as well as the Lord’s people, for the glorious coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)
The purpose of the ministries of the Body of Christ is the building of the saints into the Head, Christ (Ephesians 4:15,16). This is how the second Lampstand is formed.
The purpose of the witness of the two Lampstands (Christ and His Body) is to prepare the nations for the coming of Christ from Heaven to govern the peoples of the earth. The testimony of Christ in the Church is a witness to all nations.
The purpose of the Christian ministry is to give eternal life to those whom the Father has chosen to bring to Christ, and also to build up in the most holy faith the members of the Body of Christ.
But the purpose of the two witnesses of the eleventh chapter of Revelation, the ministry of sackcloth and plagues, is to bear witness to all the nations of the world a tremendously powerful and effective witness of the immediate coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
There are many Old Testament passages that refer to the events surrounding the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth. We cannot be too specific concerning the time scheduling of these climactic spiritual happenings because the Hebrew Prophets did not speak in clearly outlined sequences. The Prophets tend to describe a wide tapestry they beheld in the Spirit without strict reference to the precise order of the events.
Therefore we must limit ourselves to the general nature of the day of image and union and of the supremely powerful testimony that will usher in the day of image and union.
We think it is clear in the Scriptures that before He returns in the clouds the Lord Jesus will reveal through the Christian Church what soon will be hurtling earthward in unrelenting power from Heaven. The two witnesses will embody in themselves the power and life of the coming Kingdom Age. Also, the two witnesses will be the mold in which the thousand-year Kingdom Age will be developed.
The true nature of the thousand-year period, the Day of the Lord, is entering now into the disciples as a “day star.” The day star (Christ—II Peter 1:19) heralds the worldwide Day of the Lord that is to follow.
It is not that we have resurrected bodies in the present hour or that the curse already has been lifted from the earth. It is not true that the sons of God are being revealed now. These blessings will come with the return of the Lord in glory. But the essence of the thousand-year Kingdom Age is the exalting of the Lord Jesus Christ to supreme lordship, and that can and must take place in the disciples today.
As we allow the Holy Spirit to dethrone king self and place Christ on the throne of our heart, the Day of the Lord begins in us. The thousand-year period, the sixth day, the day of image and union, is beginning now in the victorious saints—in each individual who allows the Holy Spirit to cast down every opposing rulership in his personality and exalt the Lord alone. The Lord alone shall be exalted in that Day. If we will allow Christ to become Lord in us He will abide with us throughout the oppressive era even now coming on the world.
Let us examine some of the passages of Scripture on which we base our hope:
The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:16)
When will the Lord “roar out of Zion”? When will God speak with such power out of His people? It is this tremendous manifestation of Christ in His saints that will characterize the Kingdom Age, and will characterize also the two witnesses who will announce the Kingdom by what they are and what they declare.
Notice the context of the Lord roaring out of Zion:
The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. (Joel 3:15)
We know that the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars are the signs of Christ’s return to earth. The Lord Jesus prophesied that these signs in the heavens would take place after the great tribulation but before He returns to gather together His elect:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:29,30)
It appears that God will “roar out of Zion” before the Lord Jesus returns from Heaven to sit on the Throne of David in Jerusalem.
The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. (Isaiah 42:13)
And in Chapter Sixty of Isaiah:
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:2)
The above passages are referring to the onset of the Kingdom Age. We have pointed out previously that each new day is preceded by two witnesses out of whom flows the new day and who embody in themselves the characteristics of the new day.
When will the Lord arise on His people and reveal His Glory on them? This will take place during the darkest hour of earth’s history.
The Glory of Christ will be given to His people in a time of spiritual oppression, and it would seem that this must occur immediately before the return of the Lord or else as an integral part of the return of the Lord.
The return of the Lord includes the resurrection of the bodies of His saints and a carrying up into the clouds of the royal priesthood to meet the Commander in Chief in the air.
Isaiah 60:2 is portraying the rising of God’s Glory on His Church in an hour of darkness, and the multitudes of the earth coming to the saints so they may partake of the Presence and blessing of God.
Micah prophesies of the nature of Kingdom Age ministry. It is quite different from the current Gospel ministry of building churches to house the Christian religion. The Gospel preached throughout the centuries, let us remember, is the Gospel of the Kingdom.
And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. (Micah 5:8)
The Kingdom Age witness will begin before the Lord returns. It will attain great power and revelation. It will be overcome for a brief season by Antichrist under the precise control of the Lord Jesus. Then it will be resurrected to greet the visible coming of Christ from Heaven, and through His Glory will usher in the Kingdom Age, the day of image and union—the thousand-year reign of Christ and His saints known as the “Millennium.”
When Revelation, Chapter 11 speaks of the Beast overcoming and killing the two witnesses it does not mean that Christ is killed or that the saints are separated from Christ. Christ cannot be overcome, and the members of His Body, when they are abiding in Him, cannot be separated from Him.
No power in Heaven or on the earth can accomplish that!
Rather, what is being portrayed in symbolic form in Revelation, Chapter 11 is the overcoming of the testimony for a season, according to the will of God. What is hindering the full revelation of Antichrist, as Paul teaches us in the second chapter of Second Thessalonians, will be removed from his path.
God will permit Antichrist to force the saints from the cities of the earth into hiding in wilderness areas until the coming of the Lord.
When sin has attained maturity in the world the Spirit of life from God will enter the persecuted saints. At that time their glory will be revealed. God will “roar” through them in fulfillment of the prophecies of Joel and Isaiah.
The enemies of Christ will be terrified because of the power of the Lord revealed in the raising and transforming of the saints:
And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. (Revelation 11:11)
The saints will be caught up in a cloud to meet the Lord in the air while their enemies watch them in helplessness. They will be gathered together with their Commander in Chief in preparation for their irresistible descent in the attack of Armageddon:
And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. (Revelation 11:12)
Here is the fulfillment of Psalms 23:5: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.”
The Kingdom of God will be installed on the earth in spite of the vicious opposition of all who hate Christ and His saints. The Lord will “cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies” (Isaiah 42:13).
The raising of the saints marks the conclusion of the day of life. The day of image and union now comes into view:
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)
Jesus now is revealed as supreme Lord.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
At this point we may profit from the careful consideration of a concept set forth in the seventh chapter of the Book of Daniel. This concept provides scriptural support for our assertion that the ministry of the two witnesses, and the work of God during the day of image and union, will come through Christ and His saints.
We are stating that there are two witnesses of the day of image and union—the Lamb and His Wife. The Father and the Son are two witnesses. Yet, we behold the Father and the Son as one Witness; and it appears likely the world, to some extent at least, will behold the Kingdom witness as one witness (John 17:21-23).
The oneness is set forth in the Book of Daniel:
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. (Daniel 7:13)
Who is the “one like the Son of man”? The one like the Son of man is our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man. Most assuredly this is the correct answer. Christ and none other is our lawful Sovereign.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14)
Observe carefully the following:
I [Daniel] came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. (Daniel 7:16)
The interpretation should have been, Christ will come and sit on the Throne of David.
But that was not the answer. The same answer was given three times:
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. (Daniel 7:18)
Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. (Daniel 7:22)
And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (Daniel 7:27)
It stands clearly in the Scripture that the “one like the Son of man” is the saints of the most High.
There is no doubt in our mind that the Lord Jesus is the true and only King and that the Father has chosen Him to inherit all things. But it is true also that the Body of Christ will be like Him and filled with Him. There will be two witnesses who are viewed as one manifestation of the Glory of God. It is the Son in the sons.
The Father and the Son are Two and yet One. The two witnesses of the day of image and union will be two and yet one. We would suggest that the two lampstands being filled eternally by the two “sons of oil” (olive trees) are Christ and His complement, His Body.
As was true of Adam and Eve, the Lamb and His Wife are two and yet one. On them will abide eternally the portion and the double portion of the Spirit of God. This is the Kingdom of God, the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the eternal Tabernacle of God. There is no temple in the new Jerusalem because God and the Lamb Themselves are the Temple dwelling in the personalities of the saints who together are the Wife of the Lamb.
There will be a period of time during which the more traditional ministry of the Church is continuing and also the Kingdom witness is coming into view. Since both of these ministries will proceed from the same group of people, the members of the Body of Christ, we do not expect to see an abrupt transition at which time the Lord’s saints suddenly change from their work of reaching the lost and building the Body of Christ, into a revelation to the world of the power of the coming age.
Rather, we would expect to see the members of the Body of Christ, as they continue to pray and seek the Lord in the present hour, begin to show in themselves evidences of the Kingdom witness, while at the same time continuing in their customary ministries. It is God’s way to prepare us carefully for higher planes of glory in Him.
Even though the transition will be accomplished slowly and attended by the gentleness and mercies of the Lord, the advent of the Kingdom will be a profound, radical change in Christianity.
Christianity commonly is viewed as a religion, as a group of churches of various understandings of the Scriptures that attempt to “save” people and to remind society of biblical moral values.
The concept of Jesus as King over the earth, and the coming forth from the womb of the churches of militant warriors who are prepared to destroy every institution, person, and spirit that opposes the absolute lordship of Christ, is new to Christians and new to the nations of the world.
There will be tremendous, violent upheavals in society as God reveals His intention to come and govern the earth through the despised saints. Let us not imagine that the nations, or most believers, are ready to give up their freedom of thought and action in favor of subjection to the Divine Emperor.
The philosophy of democracy and the religion of humanism are deeply entrenched in the minds and emotions of multitudes of earth’s peoples, including many Christian believers. The Kingdom of God, with its extreme emphasis on the unhindered rule of God in Christ, is the archenemy of democracy and humanism. The establishing of the Kingdom of God among the believers in Jesus and among the nations of the earth will be accompanied by very great conflict. God is coming to rule His creation and He will not permit any more delays.
God is gentle and loving. He also is terrible in His anger. God is the Author of the flood of Noah, and also of the crucifixion of His Son for the sins of the world. God is not a human being. God is a Spirit. As such, He does not respond as we humans do. The Christian churches of our day are giving a false witness of God. They are not portraying correctly the Creator, who is not flesh and blood, who was not born of human parents. At His pleasure He can and does view us as no more than dust.
When men seek to remove the constraints God in His love places on His creatures, God laughs in derision. In derision! (Psalms 2:4). God is not a religious toy theologians can play with at their desks or behind their pulpits. He is a Fire. He can destroy us or heal us according to His will. He is the Potter and we are the clay.
God has determined to come to the earth and rule His creatures through Jesus, whom He has made Lord and Christ. No power can prevent this. No amount of human resistance, entreaty, anger, ignorance, pride, rebellion, can prevent God from doing what He has purposed to do.
Because people, including Christians in many instances, are deeply, essentially rebellious, the future will be an agony—an agony for everyone who is determined to preserve his own way against Christ. God cannot, will not, be turned away from accomplishing His eternal purpose.
The wise person will make his peace with God now and accept the total lordship of Jesus over every aspect of his or her personality. Those who resist will be dashed to pieces as one might smash a piece of crockery with an iron bar.
The concept of the Kingdom of God is so different from the traditional understanding of Christianity it may take several years for there to occur in the minds of Christian people even the faintest understanding of what is coming to the world. But the rate of change from the world as it is now to the world of the Kingdom Age will be accelerated. God has determined to do a quick work on the earth. The transition period has begun and it will progress rapidly to its consummation.
The Gospel message always has contained a witness to the world of the coming of the Kingdom of God. This specially was true during the ministry of the Lord Jesus, as He sent His disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, and proclaim the coming of the Kingdom:
And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. (Luke 23:2)
Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. (Acts 17:7)
The preaching of Christ as the One who saves us from our sins has occasioned vicious persecution throughout the centuries of the Christian Era. But the preaching of Christ as the King who is coming to take over the governments of the earth will bring on us the full fury of Satan and the powerful and wealthy people of the world.
The Apostles were a witness in their own day of the power of the coming Kingdom Age. The witness of the Kingdom has been given throughout the two thousand years of the history of the Christian Church. However, the stress on the construction of church edifices and the building of large congregations of worshipers has eclipsed almost totally the vision of the inner kingdom—the kingdom that must be established in the personalities of the saints before the outer manifestation of the Kingdom can take place.
The dimension of Divine judgment we behold in the ministry of the two witnesses of Revelation 11 has not always been emphasized in Christian preaching. Yet the concept of Divine judgment is an integral part of the Christian Gospel, as we note in the fourth chapter of the Book of First Peter.
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)
Divine judgment is stressed in the ministry of the two witnesses of Revelation because the coming of the Kingdom of God will be accompanied by the destroying of all sinners and their sin from the earth. In order to be a true witness of the coming of the Kingdom of God, the end-time remnant will be empowered to “strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.”
We believe that during the thousand-year period (the sixth day) the preceding five days will continue to develop according to the wisdom and power of the original declaration of God. If this is correct, the following work will take place during the Kingdom Age, the Millennium, the day of image and union:
The day of unveiling will continue. The four aspects of the original declaration will continue to unfold: man will be changed into the image of God; man will enter union with Christ and with others of his kind; man will bear the fruit of Christ throughout the universe; man will exercise total authority over the works of God’s hands.
We may infer from Jesus’ remark about moving mountains that the form of the physical universe will be changed during the thousand-year period, and perhaps in advance of the thousand-years, according to the will (in Christ) of the sons of God.
The day of separation, the division between the world and the elect, and between what is animal and satanic and what is heavenly, will continue to operate as the Lord’s people are being perfected, and as the peoples of the earth understand that God has sent Christ and loves the saints as He loves Christ.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (Isaiah 2:2)
The day of dry ground, the bringing of the strength of righteousness to mankind, most certainly is one of the principal characteristics of the Kingdom Age.
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:11)
The day of revelation, the knowledge of God, His Being, His eternal purpose through Christ, His ways, His will, will be greatly enhanced throughout the thousand-year period.
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)
The day of life will be expanded throughout the day of image and union, the Kingdom Age. Saints filled with resurrection life, wearing the crown of life, will be trees of life standing on the banks of the River of Life. Whoever will choose to do so may come and partake of the Divine Life in the saints.
And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine. (Ezekiel 47:12)
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim. (Joel 3:18)
The five preceding days will continue to develop during the sixth day, the day of image and union. The wonderful concept emerging from this is that the coming Kingdom Age not only will bring fresh blessing from the Throne of God but also will incorporate all the worthy features of the history of mankind on the earth.
Only what is hurtful will be removed. There still will be lions and lambs and small children, but during the day of image and union they will be able to play together in peace. There indeed will be tigers and calves, but a little child will lead them.
The day of image and union will see the restoration of all that is worth saving; and all things will be centered and find their meaning in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 3:21; Ephesians 1:10).
On the sixth day of creation, as recorded in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, God made man in His image. He made him male and female. He gave man the power to be fruitful and replenish the earth. God then announced that man will govern the works of God’s hands.
Every human being who is born into the world is included in the Divine declaration. He possesses a spirit, soul, and body, he is male or female, he has the power to be fruitful, and he has the capacity to rule the works of God.
But until a person is born again he or she is capable only of a flesh and blood fulfillment of the four aspects of the Divine declaration, and flesh and blood cannot possibly enter the Kingdom of God. Indeed, even the flesh and blood fulfillment is impossible apart from the continual help of the Lord.
There is a spiritual counterpart of each of the four aspects. The spiritual counterparts can be brought into being only through our relationship with Christ.
The individual without Christ is dead spiritually. The Kingdom of God is not in him. But when he receives the Lord Jesus, the Kingdom of God begins to enter him and he into it. Then the true, the material-spiritual, fulfillment of the four aspects (image; male-female; fruitfulness; dominion) is made possible.
A person without Christ is a child of God, and in the image of God in that he is spirit, soul, and body. He or she has the capacity for union with God, which is not true even of the angels of Heaven. But these God-like potentials can be realized only on a human level until the individual is born again, receiving the Lord Jesus into his or her personality.
No individual is a son of God in the full, Kingdom sense of the word until he is born of woman, born of the Spirit, and born of the resurrection from the dead. When a person is baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ he is starting out on a path that leads to his becoming a part of the revelation of God to mankind.
The glory the Father has given to Christ is extended to each member of the Body of Christ. The people of the world will behold this glory and will recognize that God loves the Church as He loves His firstborn Son.
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:23)
Here we behold the distinction between the world and the Divine Seed, a distinction that will be carried forward throughout the day of image and union until it attains its most mature expression in the walled city, the eternal Tabernacle of God.
During the day of image and union, the Divine commission given to Adam and Eve will be developed among the members of Christ’s Body. It will be on a scale so transcendent, so glorious, so unimaginably wonderful, so Divine and spiritual, that we only are beginning to gain glimpses of that glory as the radiance of the coming Kingdom dawns on the horizon.
Consider for a moment the four dimensions of the Divine commission given to Adam and Eve, the commission to be fulfilled on a transcendent level in the Wife of the Lamb during the thousand-year period:
- Man will be in the image of God.
- Man will be male and female, which is to say, no person will be complete in himself or herself. The members of the Body of Christ will be made perfect in one in Christ in the Father.
- Man will be fruitful.
- Man will rule the works of God’s hands.
The four dimensions of the Divine declaration are the endowment of every born-again human being and are, of course, the endowment of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who is God and Man. Christ is the embodiment of total image, total union, total fruitfulness, and total dominion.
The four aspects of the Divine commission will be fulfilled spiritually in the Church during the day of image and union. The spiritual development of the Divine commission in the Wife of the Lamb is one of the prime purposes of the day of image and union, as we understand it.
After two days [two thousand years] will he revive us: in the third day [the thousand-year Kingdom Age, the third day of the Church-Kingdom Age] he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. (Hosea 6:2)
God’s elect, His chosen, those who have been given to Christ by the Father, are being created and will continue to be created in the image of Christ. They are His younger brothers in that both He and they have the same Father. The act of the creation of Christ’s image will continue until perfect image has been attained. God finishes what He begins.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be changed into the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)
Each of God’s elect has been predestined to be fashioned by the Spirit of God into the image of Christ in spirit, in soul, and in body. This is our destiny, according to the Word of God.
God is good, faithful, truthful, loving, gentle, generous, kind. We are bad, faithless, not truthful, quick to anger and hatred, harsh, selfish, and unkind.
God has decreed that we will be in His image. Therefore He brings us through exercises every day—exercises designed to make us good, faithful, truthful, and loving.
God is patient, ready to overcome evil with good. By nature we are impatient and ready to attempt to overcome evil with evil of our own making.
Each day the choice is set before us. Shall we choose to serve the Lord and learn the lessons of godliness or shall we force our own way and will in an attempt to make a better life for ourselves (so we imagine)?
We are saved so we may enter the process of change into God’s image, and the process of being brought into perfect union with God through Christ. We are saved so God may bring to pass in our personality the four aspects of the original Divine declaration.
Perfect image and perfect union are the result of overcoming, through Jesus, the obstacles that seek to prevent change into God’s image and restful union with Him through Christ. It is a fight and the crown goes to the winner.
Why would God make it necessary for us to struggle so hard to attain what He has spoken concerning man? The reason is that character can be attained only as we struggle against ungodliness. God is desirous that we be not merely innocent and righteous but militantly righteous—able to rule in righteousness.
Also, we are pressed into perfect union with the Lord by various forces that come against us.
God will not be content until His children are in His image and in restful union with Himself. This will be true of all the saved no matter how long it takes. The victorious saints of the present era will prove to be a firstfruits of what one day will be true of all saved people, although the rank in the Kingdom the overcomer attains will no doubt be his throughout eternity.
It is God’s will in the present hour that each of His elect be made the complement (bride) of the Lamb of God. The Holy Spirit works with us until we realize we are nothing apart from the Lord Jesus. It is only as we abide in Him and He in us that the Kingdom of God is brought into being.
Image apart from union is Antichrist. Satan desires to be like God but he does not want to become a part of God’s Person or will. So it is today. Religious people desire image, or fruitfulness, or rulership, or power in prayer, apart from union with God. This is wickedness.
The Lord Jesus Christ did not come from Heaven in order to set people free and give them power so they can proceed to live their own lives, to achieve their own desires, to fulfill themselves according to their own wishes. Christ came from Heaven in order to make people His possession.
The concept we are discussing is one of the most troublesome of contemporary Christian thinking, and the working out of it will result in a division in the ranks of the believers. In the twentieth century we have come to believe that man is to use the grace of God to promote his own well-being and the well-being of others. We think we are to seek the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit in order to save, heal, and otherwise deliver people from Satan and especially from the consequences of satanic behavior.
This is an incorrect motive and will lead only to the False Prophet and Antichrist. It is the result of the blending of the values of humanism and the religion of Christianity.
We are to seek the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit only that we may do God’s will.
One may protest, “Isn’t it true that God desires to promote the immediate happiness and health of people? Isn’t this what Christianity is all about?”
No, Christianity is not the promotion of the immediate happiness and health of people. However, we may never convince the multitude of believers that God is not seeking their immediate pleasure. Therefore there will come a cleavage between a multitude of believers and the Wife of the Lamb.
The Kingdom of God does not have as its purpose the promoting of the immediate, apparent well-being of people, as people view well-being. The true well-being of people indeed is promoted as the Kingdom of Heaven enters them and they enter the Kingdom. But it is not unusual for the act of becoming a Christian to lead to imprisonment (literal or figurative), torture, martyrdom, rejection, pressure (as attempts are made to obey God), delayed gratification of fervent desires, and other kinds of distress. The Lord Jesus came to bring a sword!
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)
God’s intention is to abolish sin and rebellion. Human happiness comes after this in order of priority. It is not the pursuit of happiness that is important, it is the pursuit of righteousness.
It has been the case throughout history, and is true in some areas today, that becoming a Christian results in imprisonment, torture, or even death, rather than the apparent well-being of the convert.
“But isn’t it true that persecutions and tribulations are the work of an enraged Satan, and God has nothing to do with them since He desires only that we be happy?” No, this is not what is taking place. The Apostle Paul states that persecutions and tribulations come upon the saints as an indication of the righteous judgment of God so they may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God (II Thessalonians 1:4,5).
The Kingdom of God has as its purpose the doing of the will of God in the earth as it is in Heaven. The will of God is that all things be gathered together in Christ and find their center and significance in Christ.
The promoting of the immediate happiness of people is incidental to the centering of all creatures in Christ, the bringing of them into absolute subjection to the will of Christ.
Whether the bringing of a person into the will of Christ results in his suffering or his healing, his wealth or his impoverishment, his acceptance or his martyrdom, is relatively inconsequential (not that God is oblivious to our suffering). The only truly important result is that the individual come under subjection to Christ.
The Divine purpose will be accepted only by those who truly have been called of God to be part of the Wife of the Lamb. The majority of the believers, being coached and encouraged by Satan, will insist that God primarily is interested in the immediate and apparent happiness and health of people; that He loves them and has come to deliver them from all their problems.
The cross-carrying disciple will be willing to embrace the purpose of the Kingdom as the bringing of the creation into subjection to Christ. Numerous believers of today will reject this concept in favor of a view of the Kingdom as the promoting of the immediate joy of mankind.
Antichrist desires all the gifts and blessings of the Kingdom of God but he rejects the concept that he must do the will of Christ when there is no apparent gain for himself. We can see from this that the spirit of the False Prophet has pervaded the ranks of Christians—particularly the ranks of the Charismatics.
Antichrist is the false kingdom of God that will set itself up to govern the earth. The False Prophet is the spirit of delusion that proceeds from attempts to gain the power of the Lamb apart from union with the Lamb. In the last days the False Prophet will assist the governments that set themselves up in the name of peace and morality but which actually are a front for Satan.
The union of the spirit of delusion with democratic government can be seen today as Christian leaders seek to assist the spread of democracy and capitalism, supposing that democracy is a Christian form of government and capitalism is the preferred economic system. This blindness has occurred because of the prevailing theological errors, in particular the doing away with the personal cross of the believer—the teaching that Christians are not supposed to suffer because “Jesus has done it all.”
Until the concept of Christ-centeredness of the Kingdom of God assumes its rightful place in our thinking we shall continue to come short of the Glory of God. We never shall understand the importance of our union with Him, as distinguished from our attempts to get Him to do what we want—which is the current emphasis of Christian teaching.
The Christian must give back to God all he is, all he does, and all he possesses. The believer can then enter restful union with God through Christ.
What we are or do is of little consequence in the Kingdom of God. It is Christ alone who is of consequence in the Kingdom. God has commanded us to “hear Him.” It is only as we are part of Him, of the Lord Jesus, that we enter eternal life, into significance as a creature. Whenever we make any person or thing other than Jesus central to our theology or practice we miss God’s will and enter dangerous spiritual ground.
The Kingdom of God is the Lord Jesus Christ. When He is with us the Kingdom of God is with us. When He is in us the Kingdom of God is in us. We are not to attempt to use Christ in order to achieve our religious ambitions. This is to be a Judas. That is to be an Antichrist and a False Prophet. Many believers of today are attempting to make Christ and the Word of God their servants. They are on dangerous ground indeed. They are in deception.
All through history ambitious men and women have attempted to use God in order to gain their own ends. This is the False Prophet. Such individuals always will murder the true prophets—those who are being obedient to the Spirit of God.
It is union that is so extraordinarily important. During the thousand-year period the Wife of the Lamb will come into perfect union with Him. The thousand-year period is the kingdom-wide Day of Atonement, of image and union. It is the marriage of the Lamb.
We are so wrapped up in ourselves! We want to be something in Christ. But then the Lord in His own way breaks our heart. He gives us an inkling of the fierceness of Divine love. We understand that redemption is a love story. Apart from love and union there is little else of lasting value.
God has created us so we may become part of Himself. It is not our joy and rest that are so important, it is God’s joy and rest. We belong to Him. Religious exercises not directed toward entering union with the Father through Christ are not directed toward the eternal purpose of God.
The Kingdom of God is God in Christ in the saints ruling the creation.
God’s love is in Christ. Christ’s love is in us. The Divine love flows through us as Christ directs us toward those whom He is making part of Himself.
Love is the desire for union. Love is by far the strongest power in the universe. All other matters are insignificant compared to the Divine love, the creative, fiery love that is enlarging God’s Being. God never will give His Glory to another. It is only as we become an eternally inseparable part of Him that we receive the Glory He has given to Christ.
Love is central. The Gospel is a love story. The Kingdom Age will witness the marriage of the Lamb. At the conclusion of the thousand-year period the Wife of the lamb will descend from the new heaven, having attained total image and total union.
The third aspect of the Divine commission is that of fruitfulness. Each of God’s elect is a matrix, a mold for a multitude of people who will be created in the future.
A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time. (Isaiah 60:22)
He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. (Isaiah 27:6)
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:8)
Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:18)
To the degree we are willing to die and allow Christ to live in us—to that degree we bear fruit. As we enter union with the Lord Jesus, fruit is brought forth in our personality. The fruit is the moral image of the Lord Jesus in ourselves, and then in others toward whom the Lord directs us.
Each of God’s elect is being formed very carefully. The reason for such extreme care is that the called individual is the forerunner of a multitude of righteous children of God.
As Abraham’s offspring are so great in number as to be inconceivable, so will it be true of each saint who is willing to submit to the prolonged pruning of the Lord that his fruit will be beyond his ability to imagine at this time.
The marriage of Christ and the saint takes place. From this union flows the multitude of children of God of which we are speaking. It is apparent, then, that the six or seven thousand years of the history of mankind on the earth are but the briefest prelude to the fullness of fruitfulness the Father has in mind.
The Lord Jesus Christ must become the Center of all the creation. He will be as His Life is brought forth in and then through His saints.
Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles (wealth of the nations) shall come unto thee. (Isaiah 60:4,5)
All such promises are directed toward our Lord Jesus and worked out through the saints. They speak of His inheritance, and we are coheirs with Him if we are part of Him.
Christ owns every person on the earth. As God directs Him, He gives eternal life to individuals. He is born in them. They reveal His image in themselves. In this way He is multiplied.
The enlarging of Christ will continue during the thousand-year period and no doubt throughout eternity. It will take place through us. A vine does not bear fruit. It is the branches that bear the fruit. Christ is the eternal Vine of God. It is we who are the branches, if we truly are abiding in Him and He in us. The fruit will be borne through us. Christ will be enlarged through us.
Those who are in the image of God, who are in union with God, and who are bearing the fruit of Christ in their personalities, are pressing forward toward rulership of such authority, power, and glory the human mind is not able to grasp its scope. The authority will be expressed during the ministry of the two witnesses, and then will be enlarged during the day of image and union. The reason we must be brought so low in the present world is that we are to be raised so high in the coming age.
There are many passages of the Scriptures pointing toward the rulership of the saints over the world. But there is one verse that declares the coming authority and power of the saints in such incredible terms it cannot be surpassed:
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Revelation 3:21)
Revelation 3:21 indeed is a fantastic promise. The throne of Christ is exalted to such a height that were we to behold it we would vanish into obscurity. We simply cannot comprehend such authority and power.
Each of God’s elect should go out at night from time to time and contemplate the grandeur of the physical universe. The sizes and distances we can observe in the firmament are so incredibly vast our minds can only speculate on them. In no manner are we able to grasp an expression of energy, mass, and space of this magnitude.
When we consider that Christ spoke the firmament into existence we are left in a mental spin. We cannot imagine the exercise of such power.
The throne on which the Lord Jesus sits governs all angels, all people, all energy and mass, all time, all life, all death, all things past, present, and future. The throne of Christ represents total authority, total power, total glory on a scale so stupendous that mankind is seen as the merest speck of dust on a mountain several billion miles high and wide.
It is well for us that it is a Man sitting on the high throne and not an angel!
Marvel of all marvels, God’s victorious saints are destined to share the throne of thrones with the King.
The thousand-year period is the day of image and union, the period of the restoration of all things spoken by the Hebrew Prophets. It is the day of the fulfillment of what was originally spoken to man by the Lord God who created him.
Total image. Total union. Total fruitfulness. Total dominion.
Now we have six days moving forward simultaneously, proceeding toward the attainment of all the Lord God, the Father, has purposed in Christ:
- The day of unveiling continues as all God has promised comes into being.
- The day of separation proceeds as the elect emerge as the rulers of the nations of the saved, and as the saints leave their animal nature completely and live in God.
- The day of dry ground brings increasing strength of righteous behavior to all of God’s Israel, and to the members of the nations of the saved as they are ministered to by the royal priesthood.
- The day of light reveals the oneness of the Father and the Son, and the Divine love brings the saints into that oneness. The Father and the Son dwell in the believer in fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.
- The day of life yields an outpouring of Divine Life on the earth that will continue until the waves of resurrection glory cover the multitudes of the saved as the waters cover the sea.
We now are in the season of the latter rain, of the kingdom-wide witness to every nation. The latter-rain of the next few years will be the most copious outpouring of God’s Spirit in the record of mankind. However, the latter-rain of the twentieth century is destined to be exceeded by the Pentecost of Pentecosts that will characterize the rule of Christ and the saints over the earth.
- The day of image and union will result in total image, total union, total fruitfulness, and total dominion in each member of the elect. Then the new Jerusalem will be ready to descend from the new heaven to its eternal resting place on the new earth.
The Day of Rest
We have come, in our study, to the seventh day, the day of rest. The day of rest is typified by the feast of Tabernacles of the Jews (Leviticus 23:33-43).
There is no “evening and morning” of the seventh day because the seventh day, the rest of God, represents the beginning of eternity.
The concept of rest is that of perfect joy in the will of God and the full achievement of all God has planned for us.
As is true of each of the other days, there will be a time of ferment, of chaos, toward the close of the sixth day:
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (Revelation 20:7-9)
“The camp of the saints.”
Here are the two witnesses that will appear in the sixth day, bearing witness of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, the seventh day, the day of rest. The two witnesses are God and His tabernacle.
God’s tabernacle at this time consists of the camp of the saints, Mount Zion, the fortress city, the warlike remnant, the firstfruits to God and the Lamb (as we find in Revelation, Chapter 14). God in Christ is dwelling in the saints bearing witness of the new heaven and earth to come. The Lord Jesus is on the Throne of David and the saints in whom He is dwelling are ruling with Him.
The firstfruits, those who were raised when the Lord returned to earth (Revelation 20:4-6), compose the camp of the saints, according to our understanding. The firstfruits are typified by the Ark of the Covenant of the old covenant. The “beloved city” refers to the earthly city of Jerusalem. These are the people of Israel who are alive during the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
The remainder of the Bride will remain in Heaven awaiting the descent of the new Jerusalem to the earth, according to our understanding at this time.
The Ark was separated from the Tabernacle of the Congregation in the days of Samuel (I Samuel 4:11). The Ark never was brought back into the Tabernacle. In the days of King Solomon, both the Ark and the Tabernacle were placed in the Temple of Solomon, being reunited in that exalted structure (II Chronicles 5:5).
As soon as the Lord Jesus returns to earth, at the time of His appearance as King of Kings, the Ark of the Covenant will be seen in God’s Temple in Heaven (Revelation 11:19). This signifies that the Lord Jesus and His firstfruits are as the Ark that David placed in a tent in Zion, the fortress city of Jerusalem.
At the beginning of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, it is not the Ark but the “tabernacle of God” that is emphasized (Revelation 21:3).
First the Ark, at the beginning of the thousand-year period, and then the Tabernacle, the new Jerusalem, at the beginning of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (Jeremiah 3:16,17)
The firstfruits, those who stand with the Lord on Mount Zion, will return with Him to establish the Kingdom by a Davidic-type warfare. This will take place during the Kingdom Age, the thousand-year Kingdom Age between the coming of the Lord and the descent of the new Jerusalem from the new Heaven.
As we understand the Divine plan, the remainder of the Church, those who are not of the firstfruits, will not be raised in the first resurrection. They will remain in Heaven during the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
After the thousand-year Kingdom Age has been concluded, all Israel, the whole Wife of the Lamb, the entire Tabernacle of God, will descend from Heaven as the new Jerusalem. The firstfruits still will be Zion. They will be the wall of defense around the new Jerusalem. This is why the wall is emphasized in Revelation to the extent that it is.
As portrayed by the uniting of the Ark and the Tabernacle in the Temple of Solomon, all of the Lord’s elect, having been made one eternal Tabernacle of God during the thousand-year period (some on earth and some in Heaven), will come together in the seventh day, the day of rest—the period typified, not by the violent reign of David but by the peaceful reign of Solomon.
The violence of David is necessary if we are to have the peace of Solomon, and so the Kingdom Age is a time of smashing the resistance of the nations with a rod of iron, subjugating them to the will of Christ.
We see, therefore, that the sixth day, the day of image and union, is the period of atonement, of the reconciling of man to God, of the marriage of the Lamb. Because of the work performed during the thousand-year Kingdom Age, the Bride now is prepared and adorned for her Husband (Revelation 21:2). She is not ready until this time, except that a firstfruits of the Bride will be ready at the beginning of the day of image and union (Revelation 19:7).
All Israel now is prepared to appear in a glorified state as the Wife of the Lamb, the center of government of the Kingdom of God.
The two witnesses at the end of the Kingdom Age are God, the one Witness, and the Lamb and the firstfruits of His Bride, the second Witness. The Lamb and the firstfruits of His Bride, who together compose the “camp of the saints,” will give their testimony on the earth just before God sends fire down on the rebellious nations. These two witnesses will prepare mankind for the seventh day, the day of rest—the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
There are many startling passages in the Word of God. But Revelation 20:7-9 certainly must rank with the most extraordinary of those statements.
To think that the peoples of the earth, having been ruled for a period of one thousand years by Christ and by the saints in whom Christ is dwelling, still could be deceived into making war against the King and His army! Incredible! Surely, man is filled with a nearly incurable rebellion against his Maker.
The termination of the day of image and union in chaos and war marks the conclusion of the physical universe. God’s plan has been carried out to perfection and the material creation now is tossed aside as a soiled garment.
Christ speaks the word. The earth and the firmament vanish in a galactic explosion.
Then Christ speaks again. There comes into being a new heaven and a new earth. His Wife, the elect angels, and the saved of mankind behold from their various positions in the spirit realm what Christ has created.
To the astonishment and unparalleled delight of the saints, the holy angels, and the saved of mankind, they find themselves gazing on a new heaven and a new earth so much larger, so much more glorious, than the old heaven and earth that even their redeemed and expanded consciousness is not able to comprehend the dazzling beauty of the new universe.
Then the Lord Jesus will turn and look at the face of His Bride to see if she is pleased with what He has spoken into being.
Now the new earth is ready for the eternal ministry of God and His Christ, His eternal Tabernacle. God’s Tabernacle, His house, is the Lord Jesus plus those who have become one with Him.
The nations of saved peoples of the earth stare in amazement at the most glorious spectacle of all. Down from the new heaven is descending the Father’s house, which is the Lamb and His Wife. She is His glory. Her beauty and radiance illumine the new earth. God the Father is moving from Heaven to the earth, there to dwell among His beloved creatures forever.
The Wife of the Lamb has attained total image, total union, total fruitfulness, and total dominion, during the Kingdom Age. Now she is ready, and Christ in her, and God in Christ, to be the manifestation of God among men, to be Immanuel—God with us.
Heaven has come to earth. The nations no longer will pray to God in Heaven. Rather, they will go up to the new Jerusalem to receive what they need from God in the saints.
Every creature has been brought into subjection to Christ. Christ now turns back the creation to His Father so God can be All in all. Obedience to the Father was perfected first in Christ, then in the firstfruits, then in all Israel, and finally will be perfected in every member of the nations of the saved.
God now can dwell in all His creatures, loving and blessing each one in untroubled rest and joy. It is the purpose of Christ in the Church to bring the rule of God into the personality of every saved person on the earth. This is the work of the Kingdom—the bringing about of the doing of God’s will in the earth as it now is performed in Heaven.
The day of unveiling has found its fulfillment in the new heaven, the new earth, and the new creatures who dwell therein.
The day of separation has found its fulfillment in the wall of the holy city, the wall that separates God’s elect from the remainder of mankind. The nations of saved peoples of the earth will live forever in the light of the new Jerusalem—the Wife of the Lamb.
The day of dry ground has found its fulfillment in the holy city and the rulership that goes forth from there. This is the city that has foundations.
The day of revelation has found its fulfillment in the Glory of God and the Lamb now residing in the Wife of the Lamb.
The day of life has found its fulfillment in the pure river of the Water of Life flowing from the Throne of God and of the Lamb.
The day of image and union has found its fulfillment in the fact that God is All in all His creation and the Lord Jesus is the Center and Circumference of all.
In the day of rest, all the other days find their significance and fulfillment.
All that is worthy will die and be raised in Christ and brought into the new world. All the creation will reveal Christ, having been glorified and made new in Him.
This is the beginning of the eternal reign of the Kingdom of God.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (Revelation 21:3-6)
(“The Kingdom of God Is at Hand”, 3722-1)