PRESSING PAST PENTECOST: SIX
PRESSING PAST PENTECOST: SIXCopyright Š 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
("Pressing Past Pentecost: Six" is taken from The Feasts of the Lord, copyright Š 2011 Trumpet Ministries, found in the Kindle Library)
We also may be familiar with the fourth aspect, the "Pentecostal" or "charismatic" experience. The Holy Spirit is moving and blessing today wherever individuals will receive Him.
What, then, is the fifth aspect? The fifth aspect is the trumpet that announces the coming of the King and the forming of His army.
The creation of fish and birds.
The organizing of Israel into an army.
The Altar of Incense.
The Blowing of Trumpets.
The fifth aspect of redemption should be of interest to charismatic worshipers because it is the part of the Divine program that immediately follows the receiving of the Holy Spirit.
The fifth aspect is "New Year's Day" of the calendar of events that ushers the Kingdom of God, the doing of God's will, into the earth. It is the heralding of the fullness of Christ, the fullness that is at hand.
The creation of fish and birds was the beginning of animal life on the earth. Prior to this, vegetation had come into existence but no animal life of any kind.
On the fifth day God created animals on the earth, preparing the way for the creation of man.
The creation of "fish" is symbolic of the fact that as the Kingdom of God approaches the earth (as announced by the trumpets of the Lord) there will be a tremendous gathering of souls ("fish") into the Kingdom (Ezekiel 47:9,10).
The creation of "birds" indicates that after the Holy Spirit has been poured on us and we begin to walk in the Spirit we become increasingly conscious of God, of Heaven, of the things of Heaven. The Presence and role of angels become known to us.
Paul the Apostle was aware of the role of angels in God's working in the earth and made references to them. The Lord Jesus alluded to the importance of angels. The Book of Revelation, which describes the Day of the Lord, contains many references to angels.
It appears as we grow closer to the coming of the Lord we shall become much more knowledgeable of the part that angels, cherubim, and other nonhuman creatures of God play now and will play in the ages to come.
After the Israelites had constructed the Tabernacle of the Congregation and had left the Sinai region on their journey toward Kadesh Barnea, they began to march as an army. The tribes had left Egypt in martial array, but their discipline and their marching order had not been established. However, as soon as the Tabernacle had been constructed, and the Aaronic priesthood set in order, the twelve tribes were organized into a battle formation with the Ark of the Covenant in the center of the line of march.
The organization of Israel into an army at this point teaches us that one of the major preparations for the return of the King, Christ, to the earth will be the organizing of the members of the Body of Christ into the army of the Lord.
The Hebrews learned to go out and come in at the sound of the silver trumpet. The nearer they came to the land of promise the more threatening became the environment. Soon they would be fighting their way into the land that God had given to them. Victory in war would not be possible as long as the people of Israel remained disorganized and undisciplined.
The trumpet of the Lord is sounding in the churches in the days in which we are living. The time is near for the Lord's vengeance on His enemies.
The Altar of Incense, the fifth of the furnishings of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, represents man's communication toward God, just as the golden Lampstand, the fourth furnishing, portrays God's communication toward man.
The holy incense of the Altar speaks of the Life of the Lord Jesus Christ worked into the fiber of every saint until fervent prayer, thanksgiving, and praise begin to ascend before the Throne of God. The Altar of Incense is the voice of Christ calling out in constant adoration and supplication to the Father in Heaven.
The Altar of Incense portrays the finish of the Moses-type ministry. The Altar of Incense stands just before the holy veil of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The veil is associated in symbolic meaning with the Jordan River. Both the veil and the Jordan symbolize death to our self-will and self-centeredness. Moses cannot cross over Jordan or pass through the veil, to speak figuratively because of the presumption of the flesh.
When we arrive at the Altar of Incense we have come to a new power in righteousness. It marks the beginning of our life as a king and priest of the Lord God of Heaven.
Just before Christ returns, the Spirit-empowered prayer of the Body of Christ will attain such intensity that the plea that ascends to God will bring back the Lord Jesus. The Bride will cry, Come! So intense, so single-minded, so holy, so loving, so powerful will be that supplication in the Spirit that Heaven no longer will be able to hold the Lord Jesus. He will return to the earth.
The Altar of Incense and the Blowing of Trumpets (both number five in a series of seven elements) go together, as we may notice in the eighth chapter of the Book of Revelation. The six trumpets of God must sound, and then the Lord will return at the last (seventh) trumpet.
It is the holy incense coming up from the prayers of the saints that causes the seven trumpets to begin to sound. The coals from the Altar of Incense before the Throne of God in Heaven are thrown into the earth. Wherever the fiery coals touch the world there will be judgment and destruction. When they touch the incense of Christ, which is in the saints, the holy perfume will come up before the Lord God as a pleasing fragrance.
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (Revelation 8:5,6)
The Blowing of Trumpets, as we have stated previously, marks the beginning of the new agricultural year. The religious year begins with Passover. The religious year is symbolic of the redemption that is in Christ, of the program of removing from the believer every trace of what is satanic so he can be reconciled to his Father in Heaven.
The agricultural year, which begins with the Blowing of Trumpets, represents the coming of the Kingdom of God, and of the King of the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is the rule of God, the observance of His laws, the performance of His will in the earth.
The Kingdom of God will attain completion in four stages: (1) in Christ Himself who is the King of the Kingdom; (2) in the victorious saints of the Lord who press forward in Christ until they, through His virtue, are able to rule in righteousness; (3) in the whole Church of Christ; and (4) in the performing of God's will throughout the earth.
The coming of the Kingdom of God is announced by the blowing of the trumpet of God.
We noticed before that the first three of the seven feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits, are grouped together in a period of seven days. They are a unit and represent the basic salvation experience.
Pentecost stands by itself, symbolizing the work of the Holy Spirit in perfecting the Wife of the Lamb, and in bearing witness of Christ throughout the earth.
The three concluding feasts, Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles, also are grouped together. They portray the entrance of the power of Divine Presence into us to such an extent that we are able to reveal God and perform His will throughout the universe, ages without end.
When we receive salvation our sins are forgiven and we commence the journey to eternal life, having been accepted of God through the blood of Christ. As we enter the last three feasts we begin actually to leave all that is satanic and enter the Presence of God. Through the Holy Spirit's enabling wisdom and power we learn to conquer the accuser, the world, and our own fleshly lusts and self-will.
Now we are on our way toward full victory in Christ, which includes being saved in the Day of Wrath, entering glory when we die physically, and gaining increased ability to attain joy and liberty in the presence of our enemies.
The Blowing of Trumpets announces the last two feaststhe Day of Atonement and the feast of Tabernacles. These two follow the Blowing of Trumpets in the same month.
The kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets will occur at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ from Heaven with His holy angels. As far as the saints are concerned, the trumpet of the Lord is sounding in the present hour in the spirit realm.
The Church has tarried at the "tongues" experience long enough. It is time now to pack up the Tabernacle and move forward with God. The Ark of the Covenant is in its place in the middle of the column, being wrapped in the veil and in its cloth of blue. It has been placed on the shoulders of the Kohathite Levites.
The cloud has lifted from the Most Holy Place. The Lord God of Hosts is taking His journey northward, toward the land of promise. Let us press on behind Him. There is nothing here that interests us after God has moved forward.
The creation of animals; the creation of mankind in God's image.
The crossing of Jordan and the conquest of the Canaanites.
The Ark of the Covenant.
The Day of Atonement.
There were three types of animals created on the sixth day: (1) domestic animals; (2) creeping things; and (3) the wild beasts. After these three kinds of animals had been created, God turned His attention to the creating of man in God's image.
The animals and mankind were created precisely and literally as described in the first chapter of Genesis.
However there is some interesting symbolism here. A human being, before he is reborn in Christ, has much in common with the animal kingdom. In the science of zoology He is classified as a mammal.
Each human being possesses the characteristics of the three types of animals. He (or she) has the capacity for being "domesticated," for serving and loving a master, whether the master be the Lord God or Satan.
He has the tendency to "creep on the earth," to bury himself in the tasks of survival and in the filthiness of the flesh, almost forgetting he has been destined to become one of the stars of God.
Also, every human being has a wildness of nature. We can observe this in the wildness and rebellion of our own nature, and also in the unending wars of mankind as people slay each other in rage.
Each healthy person has the capacity for loving and serving someone, has part of his nature that "creeps on the earth," and has in himself a streak of savagery.
God has in Himself the burden-bearing nature of the ox and the savagery of the lion. We are in God's image. We always shall have both a burden-bearing nature and a savage, conquering nature. Redemption does not remove these from us but brings them to peace so one does not destroy the other and so they can be led by a little child.
There is no place in God, in His children, or in the Kingdom, for "creeping things." Creeping things are necessary for the ecological functioning of our present earth but may be needed no longer when the Kingdom comes.
All of this is in preparation for the creation of mankind. From the members of mankind will be formed the Wife of the Lamb and also the rulers of the world to come. The sons of men can become, through Christ, the sons of God.
The Wife of the Lamb is to be a helper suited to God's only begotten Son. She cannot be an animal. She must be a Divine creation possessing the many varied attributes and characteristics of the Son of God Himself. She must be in His image and of His nature and Substance. Then she will be able to become one with Christ in God.
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13)
The sixth aspect is a time of war, of the Presence of Christ the King, and of the forming of the sons of God into the image of Christ.
"Moses," to speak figuratively, can bring us through only five of the seven aspects of redemption. "Joshua" must take us past this point. Moses represents the Lord Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd, leading His flock through the tribulations and dangers of the wilderness. Joshua represents the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lord of Hosts.
As we have known the Good Shepherd, Christ of the Twenty-third Psalm, so also shall we come to know the Lord strong and mighty in battle, Christ of the Twenty-fourth Psalm.
We find in the Twenty-fourth Psalm that the earth belongs to the Lord and that if we are to ascend into the hill of the Lord (Mount Zion) and stand in His holy place we must have clean hands. It is time now for the Lord to come to us and give us clean hands.
Our hands have been clean by imputed (legally given) righteousness, but imputed righteousness is not the Kingdom. The Kingdom includes hands that practice clean behavior. Hands that practice clean behavior are the hands of the Lord Jesus being formed and dwelling in our hands.
The King of Glory desires to enter through the everlasting doors of our personality. Let us lift up those doors in preparation for His conquest of us, and through us His conquest of the whole earth.
Between the fifth and sixth aspects of redemption, between the Altar of Incense and the Ark of the Covenant, an ornate veil was hung that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. The symbolic counterpart of the veil is the Jordan River, which separates the wilderness from the land of promise.
Before we can pass from the fifth aspect of redemption to the sixth aspect we must proceed past the veil; we must cross over the River Jordan. Both the veil and the Jordan symbolize our death. Resurrection always must be preceded by death, and the land of promise is resurrection ground.
What kind of death? There are at least six deaths mentioned in the Scriptures:
Physical death, the separation of our spirit and soul from our body.
Spiritual death, the separation of the Life of Christ from our personality.
The "second death," the eternal separation of God from our personality and the casting of our personality into the Lake of Fire.
The death of the cross, the initial separation of our reborn inward personality from the world and from our adamic nature, dramatized by faith as we enter water baptism.
Death to sin, the separation of our personality from the lusts of the flesh, as we walk in the Holy Spirit.
Death to our self-will, the final separation of our personality from our personal hopes and ambition so the will and purposes of God may be carried out in us without distraction. This is the separation of our reborn spiritual nature from our soul so we are able to deny and put to death, through God's Personality and Virtue, the deepest springs of our adamic personality. It is the final crucifixion of the "I" that was begun in water baptism.
Since the first three deaths (cessation of breathing, the absence of spiritual life, and the Lake of Fire) are understood fairly well by Christian people, let us dwell for a moment on the remaining three deaths. The final death of the remaining three, which is death to our self-will, is the one typified by the veil of the Tabernacle, and by the Jordan River.
The three deaths now under discussion are symbolized by the three hangings of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
The gate leading into the Courtyard.
The door leading into the Holy Place.
The veil leading into the Most Holy Place.
The first hanging was the gate of the linen fence. It led into the Courtyard area in which were located the bronze Altar of Burnt Offering and the Laver.
The "death of the gate," which is our initial acceptance of the atonement in salvation, can prove to be a difficult step for the person who has struggled, whether in observance of Jewish law or in conscience and personal code of morality and honor, to lead a life pleasing to God and worthy of His acceptance and eternal life.
To be required to forsake of all one's attempts at righteousness in order to embrace the blood of the cross, putting one's self down on the same level with thieves and prostitutes (who also are required to embrace the cross), is more than some people can bear. Their personal pride prevents their coming to God by way of the cross.
So they plow onward in life attempting to please God apart from Christ, which is a hopeless endeavor.
Every human being is in need of redemption because of the sin of Adam and Eve. No human being possesses the price with which to pay the mortgage that Satan holds on him because of the original sin of Adam's disobedience.
No person possesses enough spiritual wisdom and power to overcome the wiles of the devil. Only the Holy Spirit can conquer Satan, and the Holy Spirit is given only to individuals who obey God by believing in Christ and being baptized in water. The "oil" is put on the "blood."
Coming to Christ and forsaking one's own righteousness is death to our first personality, death to the world, death to all our attempts to save ourselves by our own righteousness. The cross is death for the well educated, death for the ignorant, death for the wealthy, death for the poor, death for the black person, death for the white person.
There is a resurrection that follows the death of the gate. It is the freeing of one's soul from the guilt of sin and a joyous welcome into the Presence of the Father, into His Kingdom. If we do what God has commanded we do not have to worry any longer whether or not we have been pleasing to the Father. Christ has pleased the Father by His obedience. We stand before God clothed with the righteousness of Christ.
The gate of the Courtyard symbolizes death to our old life, as our first personality by faith is assigned to the death of the cross of Christ. The death of our old life is explained in the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans. It is death to our self-righteousness, death to the Law of Moses, death to the first creation.
In water baptism we demonstrate that by faith we are sharing in the death of Christ and sharing in His resurrection from among the dead. The death of the cross is the Divine sentence executed on the god of the world, on our past, ignorant actions in the darkness of the present evil age.
At this point we place our entire adamic personality on the cross so the "body of sin," which is part of our first personality, may be rendered incapable of successful resistance to our reborn nature.
By assigning our old self to the cross of Christ we become legally and actually free, through the authority of the redemptive blood and the power of the Holy Spirit, to choose to serve righteousness. Our spirit comes under subjection to the Holy Spirit. Our new Christ-filled nature rises to be hidden with Christ in God.
This is real death and real resurrection. It is portrayed in our water baptism, and then fashioned in actual experience as we live each day in the faith that we were buried with Christ and have risen with Him and in Him.
The death represented by the gate of the Courtyard of the Tabernacle is our crossing of the Red Sea. The armies of Pharaoh, attempting to follow us, are destroyed by the judgment that closes in on them.
The death of the gate results in our being raised with Christ. It is an instant death and resurrection that are accomplished through our faith. We are lifted up to be "hid with Christ in God." Egypt, the world, forever is behind us. We have been separated from Egypt by the "Red Sea" of water baptism, so to speak. The light of Christ in us has been divided eternally from the darkness of the world.
The death of the gate is associated with the Altar of Burnt Offering and the Laverthe receiving of the blood of the Lamb and water baptism.
The end result of the death of the gate is that we walk in the righteousness of Christ which is imputed to us, receiving eternal resurrection life. We now are free from condemnation through accepting Christ by faith.
The second hanging was the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The door was a curtain which covered the eastern end of the Tabernacle building. The priests of Israel stepped through the door into the Holy Place.
The door of the Tabernacle typifies death to the deeds of the body. We are baptized into the working of this death when we are baptized with the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit we are to put to death the works of the flesh (Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:16; I John 1:7-9; 3:3; II Corinthians 7:1).
When we are baptized with the Holy Spirit we come under the law of the Spirit of life. Through the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit, and the authority of the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are enabled to sit in judgment on the sins of our personality.
We judge our own actions so we should not be judged. We judge the sins of deed, word, imagination, and motive that we are committing as Christians. We do so, not in self-accusation and gloom but in joy and strength as the Holy Spirit leads us into such judgment.
The purpose of the death of the door is the destruction of the power of sin over our members, the breaking of the hold of sin on us. It is a step-by-step overcoming of sin, and a step-by-step march into a progressively greater freedom in the Holy Spirit.
The end result of the death of the door is the conquest of evil spirits by the power of the Spirit of God. It is a throwing off of every chain which compels us to worship Satan in the committing of sinful deeds.
The third hanging of the Tabernacle was the veil that separated the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place. The veil typifies death to our own will and obedience to God's will. When we pass through the veil we become the servant of the Lord.
Coming through the veil into the Most Holy Place results from our dying to the opinions of our own proud mind, a mind that is the enemy of God and cannot be made subject to the Law of God. By faith we bring down our natural, soulish self-centeredness and carry our cross after the Master.
It is amazing how effective our personal cross is in dealing with our self-love and self-will. Crucifixion is the best antidote in the world for the poisonous self-seeking of our original personality. We struggle, kick, and complain as our cross works death in us. The end is death to the desires of our soul, and growth in Christ's Life that is coming to maturity in us.
It is through the cross we carry that we share in Christ's sufferings and also in the power of His eternal, incorruptible resurrection life.
Coming through the door to the Holy Place speaks of death to the commonly committed sins of the believers, such as spiteful words, unforgiveness, unclean deeds, filthy words, jealousy, pride, wrath, and so forth. The Holy Spirit points out to us the sins we are practicing in action, in words, and in thought.
Through the Spirit we learn to deal with the specific deeds, words, motives, and imaginations that the Scriptures term sin. We are to confess our sins in a specific manner and bring the authority of the blood of Christ and the power of the Spirit of God against them.
One by one our sins of conduct and imagination are brought to our attention by the Holy Spirit. One by one we confess our sins to the Lord and repent of them, obtaining His forgiveness and cleansing. Through the Holy Spirit we put to death the deeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13). In this manner we overcome our sins through the Spirit of God.
Going through the veil is the deepest death of all. The goal of the death of the veil is to make us a servant of the Lord, one of Christ's warriors.
The purpose of the death of the gate is to turn our minds toward God's salvation and to divide the light from the darkness that is in us. The death of the gate destroys the ability of the natural man to force us to live according to the spirit of the present age.
The purpose of the death of the door is to enable us, through the Holy Spirit, to gain victory over the sins we commit. Deliverance from sin is part of our personal transformation into the image of Christ.
The purpose of the death of the veil is to enable us to serve God and to see Him. Even the most righteous person, such as Job, could not see God and have full fellowship with Him when that individual, though righteous, still was filled with his own ways.
The death of the veil is death to serving Christ in our own wisdom and power. It is death to self-achievement, including self-achievement in the work of the Kingdom of God.
The fourth chapter of Second Corinthians relates how Paul continually was pressed out of measure and struck down as he attempted to serve Christ. Paul had the sentence of death in himself that he should not trust in himself but in God who raises the dead (II Corinthians 1:9).
The death of the veil gives us the heart of a servant and the willingness to be God's "worm." The death of the veil results in our resurrection into the flowing of the glorious Person, will, way, and purposes of the Father.
Part of the death of the veil is the coming of judgment upon us as a person, a stern and exacting measurement of all that we are, a chastening according to the will of God. As many as the Lord loves He rebukes and chastens.
After we have been judged to God's satisfaction and have been brought more fully into the image of Christ we are raised into His Presence and experience joy. A personal knowledge of God and union with Him are our chief rewards.
The death of the veil is a protracted death as God brings us into the sufferings of Christ. We are being transformed into His Glory. We proceed from death to life, death to life, death to life, day by day, week by week, year by year.
To enter the work of judgment with Christ, destroying sin and rebellion from the earth and installing the Kingdom of God, requires that we enter the death of the veil. The death of the veil is symbolized in the Old Testament by the crossing of the Jordan River. It occurs just prior to the destruction of the Canaanites and the possessing of the land of promise.
The death of the veil brings us into what is typified by the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat. It is fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Christ. It is a walk in triumphant, glorious victory as an obedient king of righteousness, and as the Lord's servant in intercession and ministry as a priest. It is full participation in the rest of God.
To stand eternally in the Presence of the Almighty requires more than righteousness and holiness, although these are necessary. It demands further death to our original personality. It requires the work of Divine fire that burns to the core of our being.
The death of the veil penetrates the deepest areas of who we are and what we are, and there it transforms and transfigures. God cuts and burns His way into every atom of our personalityspirit, soul, and body. The result is pure, refined goldtransparent through and through. The Divine fire leaves nothing but the finest, purest gold.
The believer who has pursued this final route with God cannot be hurt of any further death. He is dead. He is alive eternally because it is Christ, the Fire of God, who is living in him. This is the final death, and beyond the veil is a resurrection in God Himself so glorious, so holy, so wonderful, so eternal, so incorruptible, that the believer will be able to stand in the Presence of the Father forever, to see His face and to serve Him.
The privilege of standing before the Father and seeing Him is so far beyond our comprehension that we can do no less than offer our body as a whole burnt offering, an ascending sacrifice, in the certain knowledge that what God has promised He will accomplish in us.
Paul states: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:.. ". (Galatians 2:20). Paul was a living dead man, one might say. Yet Paul was marvelously alive because Christ was in every part of Paul's deeds, Paul's words, his motives, and his imaginations.
In order for us to enter what is beyond the veil, into the fullness of service as a king and priest of Christ, we must meet the qualifications for the overcomer (Revelation, Chapters Two and Three).
We overcome the accuser by the blood of the Lamb (the gate of the Courtyard of the Tabernacle).
We overcome the accuser by the word of our testimony, by conformity to the Word of God that has been wrought in us by the Holy Spirit (the door of the Holy Place of the Tabernacle).
We overcome the accuser by loving not our life to the death (the veil leading into the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle).
The crossing of the Jordan River under the leadership of Joshua speaks of our final deathour final separation from the world, from sin, and from self-will and rebellion against God.
As soon as Jordan had been crossed the new generation had to be circumcised (Joshua 5:2-7). The reason for our circumcision and death at the time of the climax of the work of redemption is that we are being prepared for the battle of the ages, for Armageddon. Armageddon is the war between Christ and Antichrist.
The Battle of Armageddon is waged around one issue: obedience to the will of God versus disobedience to the will of God. When there is disobedience in the camp we lose our power against the enemy. We possess the strength of the Holy Spirit only as long as we are separated to God and obedient to God.
If we have received Christ as our Savior but never have gained victory over worldliness, sin, and disobedience, we may be saved in the Day of the Lord by the mercy of God. But we are worth nothing in the battle against God's enemies until we are strong and skillful in the ways of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to the Father.
The war of God concerns righteousness, holiness, and obedience. The Lord will not send immature believers into the warfare that involves the control of the earth and its people. The weaker believers must be kept safe somewhere and nourished by God's goodness until they grow stronger in the Lord and in the power of His might.
By the term "weaker believers" we do not mean the careless or lukewarm. They will be chastened severely by the Lord. We mean those who have obeyed the Lord in all that they know and understand but to whom much of the Kingdom has not been entrusted.
In the meantime, Christ's mighty men, His conquerors, His saints, are preparing to wage war against the armies of Antichrist. Christ is ready to assume His rightful throne as King of kings and Lord of lords over the whole earth.
Up to the present hour we have been required to take a defensive position, to a certain extent, while we learn to stand and hold our ground against the forces of Hell. When Jesus returns we shall change from defensive holding to offensive invasion and destruction of the enemy.
We now are being prepared for the battle and are learning to be obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Commander in Chief of His army.
The Ark of the Covenant represents the coming of Christ as the Lord strong and mighty in battle. The Ark of the Covenant typifies Mount Zionthe Lord's stronghold against the enemy.
If you wish, you may be in the Lord's army. Just give yourself to Him in unreserved discipleship. Follow Him in all the ways that He leads you. Love not your life to the death. Present your body to Christ as a whole burnt offering and He will do the rest.
Whoever chooses to do so may press toward the first resurrection from among the dead. We must become strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might if we expect to attain to the first resurrection and rule with Him in the present life and throughout the ages to come.
The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippor) is the most solemn day of the Jewish year. The Day of Atonement concerns sinits forgiveness and its removal from God's creation, beginning with the victorious saints.
When the sixth element of each of the four major types of redemption are put together we gain an overall concept of the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement. By means of war the Lord Jesus Christ will redeem (deliver) the peoples of the earth from sin.
The guilt of sin was forgiven on the cross of Calvary. The Lord Jesus now owns the earth and its peoples. Jesus holds the keys of Hell and death. All authority and power in Heaven, on the earth, and under the earth's surface, are His.
Satan, even though he has no more legal claim on the earth or on anyone in it, still keeps the nations in bondage. The mortgage has been paid in full but the mortgage holder will not let his prisoners go. Therefore the earth and its peoples will be taken from him by force. This is the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.
The complete fulfillment of the Day of Atonement (Day of Reconciliation) will take place during the thousand-year Kingdom Age and is, according to our understanding, the reason for and meaning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
There will be no further need for redemption after the thousand-year Kingdom Age, as symbolized by the lack of silver in the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. Silver symbolizes redemption. There is much gold (Deity) in the holy city but silver is not mentioned (Revelation, Chapters 21 and 22).
"When these things begin to come to pass," Jesus exclaimed, "then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).
We understand from this saying redemption (deliverance from all the works of the devil) is yet ahead of us. This means the fullness of the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is yet to come.
Paul refers to the coming day of redemption, in the eighth chapter of the Book of Romans (verses 21 and 23).
We are being kept by the power of God through faith unto the redemption that will come to us with the return of Christ to the earth. In that day, all the traces of Satan's works will be removed from our personalities. Then from us the deliverance will spread to all Israel and finally to the saved nations of the earth.
We understand also that the Day of Atonement, of Redemption and Reconciliation, is operating among us now. Every time an unsaved person receives Christ the atoning blood begins the work of redemption in him. Every time a believer gains victory over sin he is better prepared to enter the Presence of God. Every time a saint gives over the desires of His life to the will of Christ he is brought further into the Presence of God.
As we Christians follow the Lord Jesus each day we must learn to walk in the open confession of our sins before the Lord (I John 1:9). If we are sensitive to the will of God and are walking in the light of His Presence the Holy Spirit will point out to us the sins of deed, word, motive, and imagination we are committing.
As the Holy Spirit makes us aware of specific sins in our behavior we are to confess them as sin. By confession, repentance, forgiveness, and cleansing, the Day of Atonement is at work continually in the Christian disciple.
It is through the blood of Christ that we are able to wash ourselves from the sins we practice. We keep obtaining forgiveness and cleansing. As we steadfastly draw near to God, the Lord helps us to resist the enemy and to quit our sinning.
Through the authority of the blood and the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit of God we are able to gain victory over sinful behavior. This is the individual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.
The Day of Atonement will have a kingdom-wide fulfillment, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which the whole earth will be delivered from sin. Also there is a current, individual fulfillment taking place now as we receive the blood of atonement in initial salvation, and then as we confess our sins throughout our Christian discipleship as the Holy Spirit points them out to us.
The Day of Atonement, by its eternal authority and power in destroying the sinful practices and the self-will and self-centeredness from our life, is contributing to our transformation into the image of Christ. Man is being created in the image of God during the "sixth day" of the plan of redemption.
God's working always is clear-cut, decisive, well-planned, and carried through to perfection. God is not vague. He is forthright and precise in all He does. His way is perfect. His work is well-defined. Redemption has a specific beginning, a specific program, and a specific conclusion.
There is one area of growth in our lives that will continue for an unimaginably great period of time. As we, who are the Lord's servants, are drawn to Him to stand in His Presence, to see His face, we will be transformed as the face of Moses was transformed. The longer and closer is our association with Him the more we shall become like Him.
Because of the indescribable, indefinable greatness of God, we can state the process of transformation will continue throughout eternity as we become more and more like our heavenly Father in every way. However, such eternal transformation is our growth as sons of God; it is not the process of redemption, of deliverance from the control of the enemy.
As we have pointed out, there is no "silver" in the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. The absence of silver indicates that redemption has ceased and the status and role of each of the creatures of God has been determined.
Let us review the four illustrations of the seventh aspect of redemption:
God rested from all His works.
Rest in the land of promise.
The Mercy Seat.
The feast of Tabernacles.
The "rest of God" is the subject of the fourth chapter of the Book of Hebrews and the four great Bible types speak to us of progress toward the rest of God.
The rest of God is the mark, or goal, of the plan of redemption.
The rest of God is the "mark" toward which the Apostle Paul was pressing. The knowledge that there indeed is a goal at which we can aim strengthens our desire to press forward in Christ. There is a finish line. We are pressing toward a specific objective.
We find after God had created the heavens and the earth, the vegetation, the heavenly bodies, and the inhabitants of the earth, He pronounced them to be "very good"a fine, acceptable piece of work. God approved of His creation.
Then God set apart the seventh day as belonging especially to Himself and He sanctified that day. His work was ended. God rested from all His work of creation.
There were no evening and morning of the seventh day because the seventh day represents the day of eternity that has no end.
On the sixth day of creation, God created man in His own image. Adam and Eve were in the image of God in the sense that they had been formed by the Lord and portrayed in their personalities the characteristics of God, particularly the faculty of intelligent moral judgment.
Of supreme importance was their ability to be in union with God and with one another, a characteristic possessed, apparently, by no other creature of God. Adam and Eve had the ability to love God, to communicate with God, and to feel, think, and act like God to an extent true of no other creatureangelic or animal.
However, Adam and Eve, as they existed in the garden of Eden, were a rudimentary, weak reproduction of the Lord God of Heaven. There is an infinitely greater fulfillment of the work of the sixth day that is yet to come.
It is Christ and His brothers who are the fulfillment of the declaration of the sixth day. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Person who has lived on the earth in the fullness of the image of God. All the rest of the descendants of Adam were and are weak, undeveloped images of the Lord.
Christ is the image of the Father. He who beholds Christ beholds the Father, not because Jesus is the Father, but because He is the image of the Father and the Father dwells in Him.
When God declared that His work was completed, and He sanctified the seventh day and rested in it, being pleased with His work, He was working, speaking, and resting in a timeless vision.
God's way is to speak of things as being accomplished when they have not been accomplished from our point of view. God has pronounced us glorified in Christ (Romans 8:30). We do not see ourselves in a glorified state. God has envisioned great glory for us but we do not see the fulfillment as yet.
God's sends forth a creative Word and then rests while the Word is being carried out. When we learn to believe in the working of God in us as He conforms us to the image of Christ, we enter God's rest. He who believes enters rest.
We behold Jesus. He is the only Person the world has ever seen who is in the image of God. But there is more to come. God created "them" male and female in His image.
"Male and female created He them." The Divine work of creating man in God's image has not been completed as yet. In the sense in which we now are speaking, Christ will not be complete until His Bride has been created in the image of God and brought into union with Him. Jesus and His Wife are one "man." "Male and female created He them."
Christ came to the earth and was made perfect through the things He suffered. Then God caused a "deep sleep" (Calvary) to fall on Christ. God is drawing out from the Person of Christ His body and blood. On this body and blood the Lord God is creating the Wife of the Lamb.
The Wife of the Lamb is being taken from the saved people of the earth. What is being created is not a shaping, a disciplining of our flesh-and-blood earthly life. What is being created is from God just as Christ is from God.
The Church is not being born from human blood or from the will of the flesh or from the wisdom and energy of men. The Church is being created by the Holy Spirit from the body and blood of Christ. The Church is of God because the Church is being formed from the Substance and Nature of Christ.
It is the Lamb and His Wife who are the fulfillment of God's edict: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."
The work of building the Church into the Wife of the Lamb is taking place now. When it is finished, at the commencement of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, God will rest in His love. It is true also that as an individual believes in God, and works with the Holy Spirit in the transforming of his personality into the Substance, nature, and image of Christ, God rests in His love in him or her.
We understand, then, that the sixth work of creation is continuing. We are being fashioned into the image of God.
Sometimes problems of Scripture interpretation arise when we attempt to place physical limitations of time and place on the spiritual working of God. Let us remember that God always is with us, always present, calling things that are not as though they are, bringing His purposes to pass in the earth without any power being able to prevent His doing do. He is God.
The "rest" of the land of promise is discussed in the Book of Hebrews, Chapters Three and Four. The possession of the land of promise, of Canaan is symbolic of our rest in Godthe rest that comes as we enter what God has spoken concerning us from the beginning of the world.
Israel entered Canaan by warfare. We also enter our land of promise by warfare. God "gives" the land to us as soon as we leave Egypt, as soon as we turn away from the spirit of the present evil world.
Before we can inherit the "gift" of the land of promise we must go to school in the wilderness of trials and temptations. Then we must follow the Ark of God (the Lord Jesus), fighting our way into the possession of the land of promise so we can obtain rest in our inheritance. The difficulty is that our land of promise, our inheritance, is occupied by formidable forces. We must fight our way in under the guidance of the Lord of Hosts.
It appears down through the centuries the Christian churches have assumed that Heaven is the land of promise and that crossing the Jordan River symbolizes physical death.
Certainly the hope of going to Heaven when we die has served as an inspiration and goal to countless saints as they have made their way through the wilderness of the world, bearing their cross, following the Lord Jesus Christ. Paradise is a real place in the spirit realm, and every true saint looks forward to going home to be with the Lord.
Now, as we draw near the closing of this age, we are beginning to understand the land of promise is the glory of Heaven brought down into the earth. It is the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth that is the Gospel message. The inheritance of Christ is in the earth and earth's peoples (Psalms 2:8).
Who is the "Canaanite enemy" against whom we are to fight? It is Satan, the god of the world. We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the wicked lords of darkness who influence the actions of people on the earth.
God's will has been established forever in Heaven. Now it is God's time for His Kingdom, His rule, His will, to come to the earth, and for God's KingChristto receive authority and power over the earth and to rule throughout the earth (Revelation 12:10, 11:15).
The earth and its peoples are the land of promise. The earth has been promised to the meek, to those who receive God's will in Christ. The invasion of Canaan and the destruction of the Canaanites represents our invasion of the spirit realm and the destruction of the wicked spirits in heavenly places who seduce and urge earth's inhabitants into sin and rebellion against God. Included in the fulfillment of the type is the consequent manifestation in the earth, beginning in Jerusalem, of this spiritual victory.
The earth is an important aspect of our land of promise. We are being prepared to serve God as kings and priests in the earth. The thousand-year period, in particular, will be a step toward the establishing of the Kingdom of God in the earth.
Finally, when all sin and rebellion have been dealt with according to the Lord's satisfaction, the new heaven and earth reign of Christ will commence. In that day the Throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the earth rather than in Heaven. The Divine Throne will be established for eternity in the new Jerusalem, which is the Wife of the Lamb, the Body of Christ, the Christian Church.
Our immediate concern is our own flesh. We have problems overcoming the enemy in our own "house"our own body and personality. Our first battle is with the lusts of our body and mind, with Satan and the world acting to intensify the lusts against which we are fighting.
We learn the way of the Lord by going to war against our own nature. The Battle of Armageddon will be nothing more than an earth-wide expression of our individual battle between God and Satan, Christ and Antichrist, good and evil, light and darkness, life and death, that goes on continually in the personality of the disciple of Christ.
If, through the ability that God gives, we make a success of gaining victory in our personal warfare, we will enter God's restinto our own Canaan, so to speak. Then, when God gets ready for His kingdom-wide moves we will be prepared to enter that major confrontation in order to assist numbers of people as they make their own attempts to enter the rest of God.
If we are not diligent and successful in our personal battles it is a deception to believe we will arise as one of God's mighty men in the Day of the Lord. This is not the way of the Kingdom. Our time of preparation is now.
If we go to battle in the Lord now, today, and gain victory by the blood of the Lamb, by our Spirit-guided faith in the Word of God, and by loving not our life to the death, we will be one of the Lord's mighty men, His victorious saints. We will be glorified together with Him at His appearing in glory with the holy angels.
There is no way to enter the land of promise, the rest of God, other than through war. The enemy is powerful, cunning, and fierce. God is immeasurably more powerful, cunning, and fierce. If we follow the Spirit of the Lord we have no need to fear.
Our biggest problem is not Satan or the lusts of our flesh but our lack of faith and obedience. If we will read the Scriptures, mix faith with what God has declared in the Scriptures, and obey the Spirit of God each day, we will find that Christ is wiser and more powerful than the enemy. We do not gain all our victories in one moment. Even Christ waits for God to make His enemies His footstool.
There is victory available for the individual Christian and for the Church of Christvictory over the world, the flesh, and Satan. In the six days of creation God established the earth as the area of His working. The earth remains to this day as the place where God is working. In no manner has God altered what He set out originally to accomplish.
From the foundation of the world God beheld the finished workall the way to the glorification of the new Jerusalem and the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. Then God declared: "It is good. It is acceptable to Me, a very good work." Then God rested.
We humans are not able to behold the finished work. We do see the Lord Jesus, the chief Cornerstone of the new creation. Our responsibility and task is to follow the Holy Spirit each day, pressing ahead through the challenges and lessons being set before us. By so doing we are entering ever more perfectly into the Divine rest.
The term Mercy Seat is somewhat misleading. The word mercy should be "propitiation" (appeasement, conciliation, satisfaction) or "atonement" (reconciliation). The word seat should be "cover" or "lid."
It was the Propitiatory Cover or Lid of Atonement. It was the lid, the cover of the Ark of the Covenant. God did not sit on it. God dwelled between the wings of the golden Cherubim of Glory. Sitting implies the human characteristics of weight and tiredness. Antichrist one day may sit on the Mercy Seat in a reconstructed temple because Antichrist is a man. God has no weight, no attraction toward the earth. God is not tired.
God did not rest on the seventh day because He was tired. God rests in order to contemplate and enjoy His handiwork and to allow the power of His Word to accomplish what He has declared.
The Lid of Atonement, of Reconciliation, was solid gold, symbolizing the fact that the seventh aspect of redemption is the possession of God Himself.
The goal of the Christian redemption is God Himselfnothing less. Although God gives us joy indescribable and full of glory in all that He does in and for us, yet it is He Himself who is the best gift. The closer we draw to God the more we realize the deepest desire of our soul can be satisfied only by the possession of Him. The Lord Himself is the goal of our redemption. His rest is in us and our rest is in Him.
The Lid of Reconciliation and the two covering cherubim were beaten from one mass of pure gold. God dwelled between the Cherubim of Glory. The two golden cherubim represent the fullness of God's power and glory and also the fullness of His justice and mercy. The number "two" is associated with the power of the witness of the Spirit of God. Also, both fiery judgment and reconciling mercy flowed from the Lid of Reconciliation located in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
In order for us to come into the image of Christ we must have three Divine elements developed throughout our personality. The three Divine elements are typified by the three objects that were placed inside the Ark of the Covenant:
The tables of stone on which were inscribed the Ten Commandments (these were the Covenant, the Testimony, from which the Ark derived its name). These tables speak of righteous behavior.
The jar of memorial manna. Each true disciple of Jesus learns to rely at every moment on the grace of Christ. We become totally dependent on Him.
Aaron's rod that budded. Aaron's rod tells us that rank and responsibility in the Kingdom of God does not come by our striving or presumption but by the election of God.
The righteousness and holiness of the Divine Law must be created in us.
The Personality and Nature of Christ must be created in us. The Substance of Christ comes to us in His body and blood, the Bread from Heaven. We must live as part of Him just as He lives as part of the Father.
The members of the Royal Priesthood are chosen by the Father. They are called, then chosen, then esteemed faithful.
The above three elements are the necessary spiritual fulfillments in us of what the Ark of the Covenant typifies. The elements must have been created in us if we are to be ready to participate with Christ in the establishing of the Kingdom of God on the earth and in all the other areas of the inheritance that will be given to those who have been brought to the "perfect man," to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
If we are lacking in any of the three Divine elements we will not be prepared for the glorious appearing of the Lord from Heaven. We will not participate in the first resurrection from among the dead. We must have a righteous, holy nature. We must have Christ formed in us. We must be acting, speaking, and thinking in the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit.
As soon as we have been fashioned into the Ark of the Covenant, the eternal testimony, the dwelling place of the Lord of Hosts, we are ready for the Glory of God to settle down to rest in us. The Glory of God is represented by the solid gold Propitiatory Cover (Mercy Seat) with its two winged cherubim.
As soon as the moral nature of Christ has been developed in us, we are of the essence of His Being and in union with Him, and we are being moved by the same Holy Spirit that moves Him and are one with that Spirit, we then will receive as a crown of glory upon us the abiding Presence of God in Christ.
The Ark of the Covenant must be built in us, so to speak. The Ark will not be complete until the Glory of the Lord settles down to rest upon it. When God in Christ has come to rest in us, the fullness of the Divine redemption has been brought to pass in us.
The seventh of the feasts of the Lord is the feast of Tabernacles. The feast of Tabernacles represents the fullness of the Glory of God in and upon us. It is God's eternal purpose to dwell (tabernacle) among the peoples of the earth. God is creating the Church, the Body of Christ, for this reasonthat He may have a dwelling place, a tabernacle in and through which He can abide among the nations of the earth.
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. (Revelation 21:3)
The week of Tabernacles is a season of the greatest joy. The Israelites are commanded to dwell in booths. Their dwelling in booths typifies the dwelling of God in His people and their abiding in Him.
"Abide in Me," the Lord Jesus invites His disciples. If we abide in Him and He abides in us we will bring forth much fruit. Abiding in Christ and He in us is the spiritual fulfillment of God's people dwelling in booths in observance of the feast of Tabernacles.
The feast of Tabernacles is the celebration of the conclusion of the harvest season. When we come to the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, every particle of our personality will have been harvested (redeemed) to the Lordspirit, soul, and body.
There will be no part of us that has not died and been resurrected by the Spirit of God, by the Life of Christ. Nothing of the old creation will remain. Every element of our personality will be able to dwell in the fire of God without harm, just as was true of Moses' bush, and of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace.
The term resurrection indicates that something has died and God has raised it up. So it will be true of every aspect of our personality that it has died in the Lord and has been raised into newness of life by, in, and with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The feast of Tabernacles reminds the Jews that they lived in tents during their forty years in the wilderness. We Christians are made aware, from the symbolism of the booths of Tabernacles, that we are strangers and sojourners in the world and our true home is in Christ.
After the seven days of the feast of Tabernacles there is an eighth day, a holy Sabbath. The eighth day (Simchat Torah ) is the climax of the thanksgiving and rejoicing of the feast of Tabernacles. Simchat Torah is the "Rejoicing Over the Law," revealing the profound respect and love the devout of Israel have for the Torahthe Law given through Moses.
The eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles typifies the first day of the week of eternitythe week that has no end.
The kingdom-wide fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles is the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, just as the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is the Millennial Jubilee, the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
At the beginning of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ there will be a season of thanksgiving and rejoicing, for He will have made all things new. (Revelation 21:5).
All things will be of God in that day. After the season of rejoicing and thanksgiving before the Lord we shall call to mind the years of our old life during which we were strangers and sojourners with God. Then the "eighth day" the week of eternity, will begin. The week of eternity has no end. It extends into the fullness of God throughout endless eons.
There are several concepts included in each of the seven aspects of redemption which we have just studied. The following seven phrases are our attempt to focus on the central spiritual concept of each of the seven aspects of redemption:
First aspectseparation of the light from the darkness.
Second aspectdeath of the old creation.
Third aspectbirth of the new creation.
Fourth aspectpower to rule in righteousness.
Fifth aspectpreparing the coming of the King.
Sixth aspectthe marriage of the Lamb.
Seventh aspectthe victorious rest of God.
There are some interesting similarities between the seven aspects listed above and the letters to the seven churches of Asia of the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation.
The emphasis on Divine light appears in Christ's message to the angel of the church in Ephesus: "These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks." The Christian churches are "the light of the world."
The separation of the light from the darkness is brought to mind as Christ speaks of His hatred for the "deeds of the Nicolaitans." Some scholarship suggests the Nicolaitans were the followers of Nicholas of Antioch. It is believed that Nicholas attempted through philosophy to reconcile Christianity to the pagan culture of the Roman communities so the differences between Christianity and the surrounding culture would be minimized.
Another school of thought suggests "the deeds of the Nicolaitans" is speaking of antinomianism. Antinomianism is the teaching that no moral law governs the believers in Christ However the Christian behaves has nothing to do with his salvation. No commandment is binding upon him or her. Salvation is by grace (forgiveness) alone.
The concept of antinomianism is that Christ performs a complete redemptive work apart from any effort on our part. The concept of "Jesus did it all" and there is nothing we do but believe He did it all is preached strongly today.
The idea that "Jesus did it all" is not scriptural and creates moral desolation. Unless the believer mixes faith with the Word of God and acts upon that faith, no moral transformation will occur. He or she has received the grace of God in vain.
The Nicolaitans preferred to keep the light mixed with the darkness.
The death of the old creation is indicated in the message to the angel of the church in Sardis. "Be thou faithful unto death," Christ advises, "and I will give thee a crown of life." It is at Sardis that we die with Christ and are raised into victorious life.
The message to the angel of the church of Pergamos reminds us of the birth of the new creation in that the "hidden manna" is mentioned. The sixth chapter of the Gospel of John associates manna with the body and blood of Christ. The new creation is born and formed from the body and blood of Christ.
Also, at Pergamos there is given the white pebble signifying acceptance into the new creation (the "stone" is a voting pebble, a counter in an election). In addition, a "new name" is assigned to the new creation.
The overcomer of Thyatira is given power to rule in righteousness: "He that overcometh, and keepeth my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he will rule them with a rod of iron,...."
The fifth church of Asia is Sardis. The name Sardis means remnant. Sardis is the church of the remnant who will be used of the Lord to prepare His coming. Elijah, the herald of the Lord, is associated with the remnant (Romans 11:2-5).
Sardis had a name among Christian people that it was alive, but it was a corpse propped up and animated by the wisdom, talents, and energies of the flesh.
There were a "few names," a purified remnant, in Sardis who were bearing a true witness of Christ in the power of the anointing of the Spirit of God. They are worthy to walk with Him in white when He appears. The Hebrew Prophets are clear that there will be a holy remnant in the day when Christ returns (Isaiah 4:3; Zechariah 13:9). They will prepare the way for the coming of the King.
The marriage of the Lamb takes place in the church in Philadelphia. It is here that we are made part of the eternal Temple of God. In Philadelphia we come into a full reconciliation to God through Christ and "will go no more out."
The victorious rest of God is revealed in the church of Laodicea in the words: "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."
Thus the several concepts of the seven aspects of redemption can be discovered in the messages to the angels of the seven churches of Asia.
We have just discussed the four major types (symbols) of redemption, which are as follows:
The seven days of creation.
The journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan.
The Tabernacle of the Congregation.
The seven feasts of the Lord.
The remainder of our book consists of four areas of interpretation of the seven feasts of the Lord. The four areas of interpretation are as follows:
The Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The redemption of the believer.
The growth to maturity of the Church, the Body of Christ.
The installing of the Kingdom of God on the earth.