IN THAT DAY
An excerpt from What I Have Learned From the Lord.
Copyright © 2012, by Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
The spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles comes after the fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost. Some of us have experienced Pentecost. Now we need to move forward to Tabernacles. When we do, our testimony will be in harmony with the twelfth chapter of the Book of Isaiah.
In that day you will say: “I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me.” (Isaiah 12:1)
“That day.” That day is the Day of the Lord. You always can tell when That Day is here, because the Lord alone is exalted.
I think sometimes religion gets exalted. People refer to this religion and that religion. But religion is no more than people trying to figure out how to please God. But Jesus Christ is the Lord, and when we move from Pentecost into the Tabernacles experience we exalt the Lord!
“I will praise you, O Lord.” Not matter what happens to us during our discipleship on the earth we are to keep praising God. We are to have faith that God loves us; that He is seeking our welfare; that He has the power to give us the desires of our heart, and He will do so if we delight ourselves in the Lord.
“Although you were angry with me.” If you are following the Lord Jesus, and have made some progress in spiritual maturity, you are going to go through a period of God’s anger. Everything will seem to go wrong. You pray, and pray, and pray, and your prayers seemingly are not answered.
You can remember when you sang the happy songs of Zion and you were on your way to Heaven. Now what has happened? You are not having fun any longer. You are confused. Your friends are not sure what has happened to you. There are problems upon problems.
Jeremiah experienced this anger, didn’t he, as he complained about being born.
Is God angry with you, even though you are serving Him with all your heart? Yes, He is. What is He angry about? He is angry about you, yourself, your personality. You are filled with self-love, fear, jealousy, anger, the love of pleasure, hatred, meanness, unforgiveness, and anything else you can think of.
So now you are afraid, disappointed, and confused. You thought you were God’s darling (and actually you are!) and now you do not know what to think. So what should you do, run away from God like Jonah? Or draw closer to God and take your scoldings as well as you can?
I am here to tell you that it is no fun going through a period of God’s anger. But it has to be. Before we may have had faith. Now what is left is trust. While we have faith we have victory. But trust leaves us clinging to God. Like Jacob, we will not let go of God until He blesses us.
Is all this confusion and darkness necessary? Of course. God never does anything just to watch us suffer. He brings grief only when it is necessary. The grief that comes from God, if we bear with it patiently, leads to the knowledge of the Lord. Remember the end of Job.
“And you have comforted me.” Now the sorrow is past and God is comforting us. Believe me, God knows how to comfort. And, as I said, we know the Lord as we never have before. Prior to this we were confident we knew God. What we knew was some facts of our religion.
Now we have moved past the house of God to God Himself, El Bethel—the God of the house of God. Now you know Him instead of just about Him.
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)
“Surely God is my salvation.” Here. Right here is the heart of the matter. God has become your salvation. In another place it refers to “the Lord our righteousness.”
The is a problem in current Christian thinking. The problem is one of “belief” and “identification.” It is Christian schizophrenia.
We claim to be righteous because we are identified with Christ’s righteousness. We are an overcomer because we believe in Christ, the
Overcomer. We are not actually righteous nor does God see us as righteous. We are not actually an overcomer nor does God regard us as being an overcomer. We do not behave righteously nor are we living a victorious Christian life.
I get excited when I think about the fantasy land Christians live in. I begin to yell at the congregation. “You are not righteous unless you are behaving righteously! You are not an overcomer unless you are overcoming sin through Christ.” My yelling does not accomplish anything except relieve my frustration somewhat.
Would you start yelling if everyone was smiling assuredly and stating that two plus two equals sixteen?
When the Bible says “surely God is my salvation,” or refers to “the Lord our righteousness,” it does not mean we are saved because we believe in God or we are righteous because we believe in Christ. It means God Himself is dwelling in us and directing our thinking, speaking, and acting. It means the Lord Jesus is living His Life in us with the result that we behave righteously. Yell. Yell. Yell.
It is the person who behaves righteously who is righteous, not the person who holds to his religious beliefs and then acts like the devil (which has happened enough times throughout history!).
“I will trust and not be afraid.” Trust in the faithfulness of God is so very important! When all about us is confusion and chaos, we place our trust in God. We may not feel His Presence but we trust Him who said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” We just never quit trusting in the faithfulness and goodness of Jesus Christ!
“The Lord is my Strength and my Song.” It is one matter for the Lord to give us strength and a song. It is another for the Lord Himself to be our Strength and our Song.
The change from our holding God’s hand to God holding our hand is difficult to explain until we experience it, but it is real enough. When we are walking near a precipice it is better to have God holding our hand than for us to be holding God’s hand.
I describe the change by saying that at first we are playing volley ball with God. We do this and God does that. Then we cross over until we are on the same side of the net.
Arriving at the place where we are part of God comes, I suppose, as we keep desiring the Fullness of God. My prayer, as I stated previously, is that I will think as the living Christ is thinking; I will speak as the living Christ is speaking; I will act as the living Christ is acting.
To be part of God rather than a partner of God is available to anyone who truly desires this transformation and prays earnestly for it.
“He has become my Salvation.” At first God saves us by helping us escape the power of the world and of sin. Later He Himself becomes our salvation.
As I said, God Himself becoming our salvation is the very heart of the Tabernacles experience. He “becomes” our salvation as we press forward in Christ. I don’t suppose one percent of the current Christian population has attained to such union with God. But it is available to the sincere seeker. Perhaps the coming chaos in America will drive numerous church-goers to the true union, the true salvation.
In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. (Isaiah 12:4)
“In that day.” The Lord Jesus spoke of “that day.”
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:20)
The Lord alone shall be exalted in our life when we realize that Christ is in His Father, and we are in Christ, and Christ is in us. This is the Tabernacles experience. It is the ultimate goal of redemption toward which The Spirit of God is leading us.
In that Day we will say, “Give thanks to the Lord.” It is important that we pray continually. Each time that God answers prayer we are to take a moment and thank God for that particular answer. God does like to be thanked for answering our prayers.
“Call on His name.” We make a great mistake when we look to our spiritual formulas to gain our desires. I keep telling the congregation: “Call on the Lord. Call on the Lord. Call on the Lord!”
People keep coming up with new formulas: if you do such and such, God will heal you. If you need money, give the evangelist your purse and you will get back ten times the amount of money. Say you are healed when you still are waiting for healing. On and on the booklets, tapes, and CDs go with their advice.
If you want an answer to prayer, do not answer it yourself. Do not “put legs on your prayers” unless the Lord specifically tells you to do so. A prayer with legs is like an eagle wearing shoes.
Call on the Lord Jesus and keep calling on the Lord. He will direct you to the answer.
“Make known among the nations what He has done.” God has called us to be His witnesses. A witness does not announce what he has concluded, he testifies what he has seen, heard, or experienced.
What we call witnessing today is not witnessing, it is preaching–often about our religion. God spends many years making one witness of Himself, like Elijah, Daniel, Jeremiah, or the Apostle Paul.
Personally I am sick to death of religion and its ways–all religions. We have made evangelism, getting souls saved, the main goal of Christians. This is not scriptural. God is well able to get His Word out and to add people to the churches. What God wants us to concentrate on is getting the sin and rebellion out of our own life.
We have thousands of voices in the United States proclaiming the way of salvation (that is, the way of salvation we have invented). But how many witnesses of God are there? The public is disenchanted with the treacherous ways of much of the ministry.
It does little good to preach Christ until people can see Christ in us. When the Father is in Christ, and Christ is in us, and we are in Christ, then the world will believe–and not until.
Christian leaders preach about our having a “passion for souls.” This is so unreal! I do not see evidence that they have a passion for souls. The only passion they have is to get as many souls into their buildings as they can.
I myself have experienced a God-given love for people that God wants me to pray for or work with. But the only lasting passion I have is to do God’s will perfectly and completely.
The expression “passion for souls” sounds phony to me. I think it is more of the useless, “Go forth and save a lost and dying world.” If we “go forth” without hearing from Christ, we probably will get diarrhea instead of saving a lost and dying world.
We are to tell the nations what God has done, not what we think He should do or will do. We are to tell the world about God and His works, not about our religious ideas or plans. We are to lift up Jesus Christ to the world. He will draw all men to Himself.
Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. (Isaiah 12:5)
“Sing to the Lord.” The Christian life is not to become a drudgery. The Lord Jesus scolded the angel of the church in Ephesus because the people had left their first love. What was their first love? Their first love was their love for Jesus. What had happened? They became immersed in Christian activities. That is enough to cause anyone to quit loving Jesus!
Our discipleship is to be first and foremost a love story. Oh, we go through some difficult experiences all right. “Many dangers, toils, and snares.” It is easy to lose our love for the Lord if we do not pray continually. Not work continually, but pray continually.
I saw a cartoon recently in which a man was on his knees. The Lord was trying to speak to him. The man said, “Lord, can’t you see I am busy praying?”
That is about it. After we have served the Lord for ten or fifteen years, and are involved in some sort of Christian work, it is easy to forget the Song of Solomon. We become a busy church-goer. After a while we are so tired of Babylon cracking the whip over us that we wish we could stop being a Christian for a while and enjoy ourselves.
Sing to the Lord before you try to work for the Lord. After all, Christ has all authority and power in Heaven and on the earth. He really doesn’t need your help. It makes me think of a father giving his daughter some money so she can buy a Father’s Day present for him.
God can do what He wishes without our help. He has chosen to use us to accomplish some goal of His so we can enter His joy. He shares the inheritance with us. He does not have to do this. He is the mighty Christ! But He wants us to share His joy.
So when you find yourself all worn out with your Christian duties, ask the Lord to give you His song. To show you how to dance with Him through your duties. Do not look to people for your reward or even thanks. Focus on Jesus, and your song and love will return to you. He will give you to eat from the Tree of Life, and you shall be renewed.
“For He has done glorious things.” Everything the Lord Jesus does is glorious. It becomes glorious when He does it. If He uses you to accomplish something, then your work is glorious. Everything is glorious. The whole earth is filled with His Glory.
Many evil practices are taking place in America today, in the public schools and elsewhere. Do what you can to help, but only as Christ leads you. He is seeking to draw the Christian people back to Himself by permitting them to see that the world is not their friend. Throughout all of this, the whole world is filled with His Glory. The nations are to Christ as one drop is to a bucket of water.
Why should you be all bowed down. Christ spoke the galaxies of stars and planets into existence. Consider the heavens. They are telling you the Glory of God. Man is as nothing. His breath is in his nostrils; and without Christ he will return to the dust from which he came.
“Let this be known to all the world.” Cease cursing people who do not think and act as you would like them to speak and act. When you have an opportunity to speak to people, do not tell them how terrible they are. Tell them rather what glorious things Christ has done, and will do for them if they will ask Him to.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you. (Isaiah 12:6)
“Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion.” Are you doing this? Or are you worrying about the filthy practices of the world, or about something else? Did Paul in prison tell us to rejoice always and to think about that which is lovely and of good report?
Well if Paul did write that, then that is what we are supposed to do.
Why do we worry and live in dread? Because we are attempting to pursue our discipleship in our own strength. When God is our Strength; when God is our Joy, our Righteousness, our Peace, our Song, then we can shout aloud and sing for joy. For this reason we must press into the Tabernacles experience. Then we will stand throughout the coming days of Divine judgment in America. Also, we shall be able to help other to stand.
“For great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” When we are pressed beyond our strength, then we are to, as Paul did, have the sentence of death in ourselves. We are to count we were crucified when Christ was crucified. Now we are alive in His resurrection Life. No power in the heavens or upon the earth can overcome the resurrection Life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We who are living the Christian life can be overcome if we are pressed hard enough. But God cannot be overcome. When we are filled with God, in the Tabernacles experience, and living by the Life of the Lord Jesus Christ, remembering how great He is, we then can sing and dance in the heights of Zion.
(“In that Day”, 3785-1)