WHERE ARE WE?

WHERE ARE WE? Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Where are we in God’s eternal plan and purpose? We have been saved. We have been filled with God’s Spirit. What is next? Do the types of the Bible indicate what the Holy Spirit is doing in the present hour?

We think the major allegories and symbols of the Bible portray to us the work of the Holy Spirit as we enter the twenty-first century.

Table of Contents

The Blowing of Trumpets The Day of Atonement Bringing God’s Law Into the World

WHERE ARE WE?

Where are we in God’s eternal plan and purpose? We have been saved. We have been filled with God’s Spirit. What is next? Do the types of the Bible indicate what the Holy Spirit is doing in the present hour?

We think the major allegories and symbols of the Bible portray to us the work of the Holy Spirit as we enter the twenty-first century.

And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him,  who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28—NIV)

"Called according to his purpose."

We see from the above that God has a purpose. He has not left it up to the believers to figure out how to get the world saved. God has a plan and purpose and He knows precisely what He is doing with every person born on the earth.

We need to understand this thoroughly as we enter the spiritual darkness, the age of moral horrors that is on the horizon.

The Old Testaments contains many events and objects (biblical types) designed to assist us in understanding the spiritual realities of the Christian salvation.

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. (I Corinthians 10:9—NIV)

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, Trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. (I Peter 1:10-12—NIV)

If we want to discover where we are today we need to turn to the events and objects (types) of the Old Testament. They portray God’s eternal plan and purpose in Jesus Christ.

As we understand it, there are four major types in the Old Testament:

The seven days of creation.

The Tabernacle of the Congregation

The journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan.

The seven major feasts of the Lord.

Each of these four events and objects can be arranged into seven parts.

Each of these four portrays the Lord Jesus Christ, the personal salvation of the believer, the development of the Church, and the installation of the Kingdom of God on the earth.

In this present essay we will refer only to the feasts of the Lord and the journey of Israel, particularly the last aspects of these two types, and we shall stress their fulfillment in the believer.

The following verse sets forth the three divisions of the seven feasts of the Lord.

Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. No man should appear before the LORD empty_handed: (Deuteronomy 16:16—NIV)

The feast of Unleavened Bread represents the first aspect of our salvation. This includes faith in Christ, turning away from the world, being baptized in water, being born again of God, receiving eternal life.

We refer to the feast of Weeks as "Pentecost." The Jewish feast of Pentecost represents our being filled with the Holy Spirit so we may have the power to bear witness, and so we may be able to gain victory over sin.

The third feast, the feast of Tabernacles, or Booths as it is sometimes called, is not very well known to most  Christians. Historically, we now are entering the feast of Tabernacles.

The restoration of the spiritual fulfillment of Unleavened Bread began with the Protestant Reformation.

The restoration of the feast of Weeks (Pentecost) commenced at the turn of the twentieth century and has continued to the present.

Now it is time for the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.

The feast of Tabernacles is composed of three subfeasts:

The blowing of Trumpets

The Day of Atonement

The feast of Tabernacles proper.

The Blowing of Trumpets

The blowing of Trumpets portrays the coming of the King and the Kingdom of God to us; spiritual warfare; the organizing of the saints into an army; and the building up of the Body of Christ; and finally the descent from Heaven of Jesus Christ and His army of saints and holy angels to install the Kingdom of God on the earth.

The Day of Atonement portrays the period during which God deals with every aspect of sin in our personality until we are reconciled to God in actuality, not only in the legal reconciliation we have through the atoning blood of Jesus.

The feast of Tabernacles portrays the forming of Christ in us and then the coming of the Father and the Son to live forever in that which has been formed in us.

Let’s think about the blowing of Trumpets for a moment.

The blowing of Trumpet is the celebration that follows Pentecost. Since it is time now to move past Pentecost, we can expect to be hearing about and experiencing the coming of the King and the Kingdom of God to us; spiritual warfare; the organizing of the saints into an army; and the building up of the Body of Christ. There shall be a renewed emphasis on the descent from Heaven of Jesus and His army of saints and holy angels to install the Kingdom of God on the earth.

We are going to hear a lot about war—war against the sin in our life.

Our own assembly has been somewhat forward looking, not only in doctrine but also in praise and worship.

Our assembly, along with numerous other churches, have moved from the hymnbook to the modern choruses. In addition we have left the formal choir and have added pageantry, especially the use of banners and flags by the young people of the assembly. Mime has been included, also dancing. Some of the young people portray with arm motions the words of the choruses being sung. Tambourines are prominent.

We have the usual guitars, basses, drums, vocalists on the platform.

Spiritual warfare is prominent in the worship

If the worship leader feels the yoke of Sunday-morning heaviness has not been broken he may lead in some songs. Or he may not! He may wait a bit, sensing that someone is going to speak in the Spirit.

Or the young people may be directed to march around the church carrying the great banners.

Or he may do something new. In other words, the traditional time set aside for singing is proving too weak for what the Lord is doing now. We are not abandoning singing but we are seeing the need for additional expressions of worship, on the part of the congregation as well as on the part of the platform team.

We are entering the spiritual fulfillment of the blowing of Trumpets!

Each individual assembly will have to determine for itself what is decent and orderly. What is appropriate in our assembly may not be appropriate in yours.

But in every assembly there must be increasing, diligent rule by the experienced elders; for if we are going to have more participation by the believers we must have competent oversight.

The spiritual warfare and worship I have just mentioned are pointing to the next feast, the Day of Atonement, just as the Jewish Blowing of Trumpets reminds us of the soon coming, nine days later, of the Day of Atonement.

The Day of Atonement

The Day of Atonement is the period when God judges the three great areas of sin in our life. Until these three areas are dealt with successfully we are not qualified to return with the Lord and establish the Kingdom of God on the earth.

When we are first saved, the Lord ordinarily does not focus on the specific sins in our personality. He warns us to place our faith in the Passover blood so we shall not be judged along with the world. The Lord knows that when we first come to Him we are not able to stand up under the Spirit’s dealing with the sin in our life.

Before we can work with the Spirit in getting rid of the sin in our personality we must have a good solid salvation experience including a clear understanding that we now are without condemnation.

Also, we must have some experience in walking in the Spirit of God.

As soon as we are an established Christian we are ready to "eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," so to speak. We are to begin to grow in the understanding of what is good and what is evil, and have the will and the strength to reject the evil and embrace the good. This is what it means to grow in Christ.

The Day of Atonement is the time when God judges the works of Satan in us. God is ready to drive from us all that is of Satan, but our steadfast faith and cheerful, joyous cooperation are necessary if we are to be able to go though God’s judgment without becoming gloomy and introspective.

You may have been a Christian for many years. You thought the sin in your life was forever hidden from God. Now you find you are thinking, saying, and doing sinful things you never imagined would be true of you. Rejoice! This is the Holy Spirit beginning to bring you through the Day of Atonement.

There are three great domains of sin and rebellion in us. These three are portrayed in the three temptations of Jesus Christ. Every son of God must be tested in each of these three areas.

Finding our survival and security in the world.

The lusts and passions of our flesh and soul.

Self-will.

The first temptation is the question of bread—how we are to survive.

The second temptation is that of the kingdoms and pleasures of the world. This is the area of joy and also of worship.

The third temptation has to do with our willingness to be nothing, to die to our own ambitions and wait patiently on the Lord for every aspect of our life.

These three areas of testing are absolute foolishness to the world and to the carnal Christian. But they are the stuff of life to the saint who is walking with God.

Finding our survival and security in the world has to do with money and material things. Some believers can do without these with no problem. There are other believers who have a terrible time doing the Lord’s will because of their trust in the things of the world to save them.

The day may come when we in America are destitute. Will you be able to keep on rejoicing in the Lord when you do not know where your next meal is coming from? How you will get enough money to pay next month’s rent?

Millions of people in the world live from hand to mouth. Yet God keeps them. God will keep you also in the time of famine.

Pray right now and ask God to give you total victory over dependence on the resources of the world. Of course you are to keep on working. It is a change in the heart that God is after.

Then we come to the lusts and passions of the flesh and soul. How many pastors and believers have fallen away from God in the last few years because they could not gain victory over their passions?

The demons of lust are everywhere in America. Every spiritual monster of perversion and pornography is tempting Americans, young and old. Our culture is sick with sexual lust. Sexual lust is portrayed everywhere from the filth of the Hollywood productions to the advertisements in the family newspapers that present women and men in various stages of undress.

Some of our leading politicians are afflicted with uncontrollable lust. There are problems in the military because of lust. Rape and murder are common in our nation’s capital because of uncontrollable lust.

Sexual lust is glorified in most of the major institutions, it seems.

America is sick in this area!

We may be coming to the place where the Christians in America will be forced to go to the jungles of South America or the frozen wastelands of Canada in order to raise their children in a social atmosphere that is not pervaded with sexual lust.

But Jesus is greater! If you are the type of individual that finds the problem of sexual lust to be almost insurmountable, take heart. There is enough power in Jesus Christ to speak a galaxy of stars into existence. Christ has enough power to drive the lust from your personality. Believe it, look to Christ for it, and victory will be yours.

God will not receive us (except in a legal sense, through the blood atonement) until the love of the world and the passions of the flesh are driven from us by the Holy Spirit.

Notice the following, written to the Christian churches:

"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."  (II Corinthians 6:17—NIV)

Can you see from the above passage that it is no enough to just say "I believe in Jesus"? You actually have to make the effort to come out from the uncleannesses of the world if you expect the Lord to receive you. This is how we are reconciled to God: first through the blood atonement; then by following the Holy Spirit in putting away worldliness and the lusts of the flesh.

The third temptation is that of the roof of the Temple. There Jesus stood, while Satan challenged Him to jump off and thus prove He is God’s Son.

The Lord Jesus was absolutely obedient to the Father. He did not just set forth and do things because He was the Savior of the world. Rather He waited long nights in prayer until He knew what the Father desired that He do and say.

Much if not most of what goes on in Christianity is being performed by believers who mean well but who do not really know what Jesus would have them do. They never have made Jesus their personal Lord. They have received Him as Savior but not as personal Lord. They perform their religious work before they hear from the Lord.

They have never denied themselves, taken up their cross, and set out after Jesus. In other words, they have not as yet begun as a real Christian.

Perhaps the greatest emphasis of the Holy Spirit in our day has to do with learning obedience to the Father. In order to perfect our obedience, God permits all kinds of prisons and sufferings to afflict us. If we are to pass the test, and thus be reconciled perfectly to God, we are obliged to remain in our prison, accepting our suffering as cheerfully as we can.

This does not mean we are not to pray to be delivered from our prison of suffering. We assuredly are to pray. We must pray. We must always keep joy before us so we may endure the cross. Jesus did!

Our personal cross is our best friend for it is slaying our self-will. We cannot be fully reconciled to God while we are retaining our self-will.

The first commandment is to love God with all our heart. This means we are to place every treasure in Heaven. Every relationship, every circumstance, every thing we own or desire must be placed on the altar of God and kept there.

For how long? Sometimes for many years—sometimes for a lifetime.

God gives us enough joy to keep us going, when we look to Him. But reconciling the human being to God is no small undertaking.

Our heart is desperately wicked. Only God can clean it up.

The Lord Jesus passed these three tests with flying colors. Therefore He now has all authority and power in heaven and upon the earth. When we pass each of the three tests we shall share God’s bounty with the Lord Jesus, being coheirs with Him.

We have discussed the spiritual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. This is where we are now in the Divine plan.

The third great convocation of Israel, the feast of Tabernacles, is ahead of us. However, we cannot enter the fulfillment of Tabernacles, the dwelling of the fullness of God in us, until first we pass through the Day of Atonement. Does this make sense to you? Until a place has been prepared in us, the Father and the Son will not come in the fullness we desire.

Bringing God’s Law Into the World

Let’s say we have been saved, filled with the Spirit, and now are passing through the Day of Atonement. What is the purpose all of this? Where do we go from here?

To find out, we think about another major type found in the Old Testament. This is the journey of Israel from Egypt to Sinai.

Our basic salvation experience is portrayed by the Israelites, who were protected by the Passover blood as they made their exodus from Egypt.

Our Pentecostal experience is portrayed by the Israelites at Mount Sinai. Our law is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, that is, the law of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Christian equivalent of Mount Sinai.

Now, if we think about what happened to the Israelites after the giving of the Law of Moses on Mount Sinai we can begin to understand what God is doing with His Church in the present hour.

Two major activities took place after Mount Sinai.

First, the Israelites were organized into an army in preparation for their invasion of Canaan.

Second, the Tabernacle of the Congregation was constructed so there might be a repository for the holy Ark of the Covenant, the golden chest containing the Covenant, the Ten Commandments.

How do the organization into an army and the construction of the Tabernacle of the Congregation apply to us Christians?

Being in Bible school in 1948, I can remember how excited we were over the newly emphasized truth concerning the gifts of the Spirit and the temple of God. Also, at that time God gave me a sense of spiritual warfare. Since that time there has been an increasing emphasis on the Body of Christ (the counterpart of the Tabernacle of the Congregation), and within the last few years there has been an expanding of our concept of spiritual warfare. We notice this in the new war-choruses that are coming forth in various places.

The Israelites were not disciplined as an army when they left Egypt. It was not until after the Law was given on Mount Sinai that the various tribes were appointed their place in the line of march.

As we said, the Tabernacle of the Congregation was constructed as a repository for the Ark of the Covenant, which was located in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle.

When Israel was on the march, the Ark of the Covenant was carried in the middle of the troops, protected on the front, the right, the left, and the rear.

The significance of the movement of the army of Israel was that the Ark was being carried with them. Within the Ark was the Law of God, the covenant God made with the Jews.

There was no remarkable Divine significance in the fact that the Israelites left Egypt, marched across the desert, and then invaded the land of Canaan. The significance resided in the fact that the Ten Commandments invaded the land of Canaan.

In the time of Abraham, four hundred years previously, the Canaanite tribes, except for the communities of Sodom and Gomorrah, were not sinful enough to justify their destruction. But when Israel was camped on the plains of Moab, ready to invade Canaan, the Canaanites were worshiper of demons.

God now was ready for the Ten Commandments, the Divine judgment on Satan, to enter Canaan. The vehicle God used to bring His holy Law into Canaan was the Israelite army.

Two thousand years ago the sins of the world had not reached a maturity that would warrant the outpouring of the vials of wrath and the invasion of the earth by the Lord and His army. In our day the moral horrors are increasing. Before the Lord returns, sin will be even more mature than it is now.

The Church today, as represented by the warlike remnant that are being called by the Lord, is beginning to enter the discipline required of each soldier in the army of the Lord.

At the same time, emphasis is being place on the operation of the gifts and ministries of the Spirit. The purpose of the operation of the gifts and ministries is that the Body of Christ (the Tabernacle of the Congregation) might be built to the stature of the fullness of Christ.

The Body of Christ is the repository of the eternal moral law of God. The moral law of God is being written in our minds and hearts. We are being formed into an army so we can descend with the Lord Jesus and bring the moral law of God into the earth, just as the Israelites brought the Law of Moses into the land of Canaan.

Where are we at this time in God’s plan?

We have been saved through the blood of the cross. We have received God’s Holy Spirit.

Now we must be prepared to appear with Christ and bring His Kingdom, His rule, into the world. We are the judges of mankind and of the angels.

Before this is possible, two Divine works must proceed in us. First, and most important, we must be reconciled to God totally in every aspect of our personality.

All love of the world and its ways must be removed from us. Whoever would love and trust in the world makes himself the enemy of God. He or she is still part of the problem, not of the solution.

All of the lusts and passions of our flesh and soul must be burned out of us; driven from us. There is no sin in the Kingdom of God. As long as we are slaves to the demons we cannot possibly appear with Jesus Christ and assist in the installation of the Kingdom of God on the earth.

Every bit of self-will, of striving for our personal achievement, whether in a secular or religious setting, must be crucified. No individual can rule with God when God is not ruling the individual.

When we have been freed from worldliness, lust, and self-will, and the Father and Christ are dwelling in us in untroubled rest, we are as the Ark of the Covenant containing the moral law of God.

The first and most important work of preparation for our appearance with Christ is the perfect reconciliation of our personality to God.

The second work of preparation is our entering the discipline required of every member of the Lord’s army. That army does not break rank. It is totally obedient to the Commander in Chief, the Lord Jesus Christ.

When we have been set free from worldliness, lust, and self-will we fall naturally into our place in the army, for we have learned the discipline of the Lord as we have cooperated with the Holy Spirit in the work of deliverance from worldliness, lust, and self-will.

Where are we today? We are entering the spiritual fulfillments of the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, both of which will culminate in the forming of Christ in us and the coming of the Father and Christ to make us Their eternal tabernacle.

We absolutely must turn away from our love of the world. We must count that we have been crucified with Christ and now have been raised with Him and have ascended with Him to the right hand of the Father. We are in the world but no longer of the world.

We absolutely must follow the Spirit as He teaches and empowers us to put to death the actions of our sinful nature. Sexual lust, rage, covetousness, gossip, drunkenness, profanity—all must be driven from us. We kill them by calling on the name of Jesus constantly. We denounce them. We renounce them. We assign them to the Lake of Fire where they belong.

The evil inclinations of our sinful nature do not respond to halfhearted measures. The spirit realm is listening to see if we mean business.

If you have a dog you know the dog will not do something it does not want to do until it is certain you mean business. It is like this with the demons. They will test you to see if you really want them to leave.

We absolutely must be set free from self-love, self-seeking, personal ambition, striving for achievement, presumption. No soldier in Christ’s army will be allowed to maintain his own independence, his individuality apart from Christ. His uniqueness as a person will be enhanced, but he or she must sacrifice his or her individuality in order to become one with Christ as Christ is one with the Father.

You cannot do what you please, when you please, where you please, and be a soldier in the Lord’s army.

Deliverance from independence of thought and action may be the most challenging aspect of the changes we are required to undergo. The Antichrist spirit in the world is glorifying the right of the individual to be independent in thought and action. This is the nature of Antichrist, of Satan from the beginning.

God works with us until our adamic nature, our rebellious self-will, is crucified. It is only then that Christ can live in us. Many prisons and denials must be experienced before we enter the peaceful realm of God’s rest. If we do not remain patiently where the Lord places us we will disqualify ourselves for the work of installing God’s Kingdom on the earth.

God’s Kingdom is the doing of His will, not the doing of our own will even though we cover our actions with the name of Jesus.

The conflict is not one of power against power. The Lord Jesus Christ has all power.

The issue is that of truth and righteousness, especially that of stern obedience to the Father. The original sin was the disobedience of Satan, and from this all other sin has been hatched. Once we decide to submit to God and resist the devil, Satan will flee in disarray.

We have been told for many years that as long as we are in this world we have to sin. This is unscriptural. It is a lie that Satan has been able to put in the mouths of God’s people because they do not read the Scriptures.

Sin shall not have dominion over us because we no longer are under the Law of Moses but under the grace of God in Jesus Christ. This means, unlike the days of Moses, we now have the power and authority to denounce, renounce, and totally resist sin until the prince of this present world has no place in us.

If you do not believe Jesus Christ has the power and authority to destroy the works of Satan in you, why don’t you let Him try? You might be surprised to find that parts of your personality you always thought were an inseparable part of you have somehow begun to wither and die.

We are in a new day, make no mistake. God is moving forward with His plan of total redemption, His determination to make an end of sin and bring in everlasting righteousness.

"Seventy ‘sevens’  are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy."  (Daniel 9:24—NIV)

"To put an end to sin." Think of it! Once the remnant of saints have overcome the accuser and the Lord has appeared with His army, only one angel will be required to descend with the massive chain and bind a helpless Satan.

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:1,2—NIV)

Then a joyous nature will come alive. The trees of the fields will clap their hands. The mountains and the hills will break forth before us into singing. The Lord’s fishermen will stand on the banks of the River of Life and catch numerous fish from the sea of mankind.

Think of the blessings to the nations of the earth!

Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2:3—NIV)

The world is in agony today, awaiting, without realizing it, the revealing of the Son of God in and with the sons of God. Christ and His saints will bring justice to suffering humanity.

He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope. (Isaiah 42:4—NIV)

The coming of the eternal moral law of God to the earth is the Gospel, the Good News that the Kingdom of God is at hand. This is the original Gospel, and in our day it is to be preached as a witness to every nation on the face of the earth.

But remember: we are the Church, the Kingdom of God. We have been prepared so the nations of the earth might be blessed with the Holy Spirit of God. This is the everlasting promise to Abraham, our father.

He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23—NIV)

The nations will continue their drunken slaughter because they are helpless in the hands of the fallen cherub, Satan. But Satan’s right to mankind was destroyed on the cross of Calvary. He no longer can claim any human being who looks to Jesus Christ for redemption.

However, Satan will not let his captives go, even though the price of redemption has been paid.

The only answer is war! And this war cannot be fought by the angels until God’s judges, His saints, have themselves been delivered from sin. Both armies are required for the installing of the Kingdom of God on the earth—the army of holy angels and the army of righteous judges.

Until we have been fully reconciled to God we cannot judge mankind and the fallen angels with the two-edged sword of the Spirit, because that sword cuts both ways. We cannot judge spirits of lust if we ourselves are lustful. We cannot judge spirits of rage when we ourselves are full of anger.

The Kingdom of God is at hand. There no longer is time to play church. We must begin to press forward in practical ways in our assemblies. Sitting passively in our pews as the pastor faithfully gives his introduction, three points, and conclusion, while we are thinking about the latest football or baseball game, is not going to reconcile us to God or prepare us to descend with Jesus Christ and install the Kingdom of God on the earth.

Our services must be characterized by vigorous participation as the entire congregation calls on God for help and deliverance, and the pastor proclaims iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to God.

Will people enter the church and then turn away because of violent worship?

They may, if God has not sent them.

Absolutely not if God has sent them and they are true saints.

However, we must remember that the Holy Spirit is attractive to people. If we are worshiping in the Spirit and not in our self-centered flesh we may not repulse as many people as we might think.

If we are ever going to build the saints into the stature of the fullness of Christ we had better begin to concentrate on the principles of church growth in spiritual maturity. Perhaps if we do the Lord will help with the growth of the church in numbers.

What about reaching the lost? The lost are more apt to be reached if the saints begin to come to maturity in Christ than they are if the believers sit passively in their pews wondering about the Super Bowl.

The "sheep gate" always is to be built before the "fish gate."

All that has gone before in Church history has brought us to the present hour. The saints have left bloody footprints in the snow. Some have been burned alive for no greater crime than that of reading the Bible in the language of the common people.

Now the base camps have been established. It is time for a crew to go to the summit.

Judah (praise) is out in front. The great banners of God are being held up by the holy priests of the Lord. Leading His army is the One who is Faithful and True, dressed in a garment stained red by His own blood. The anointing of the Spirit of God is in double strength on this host. The Father is verifying that these are His beloved Son and sons in whom He is well pleased.

This is where we are now—being prepared for the return of Christ in His Kingdom. When your assembly gathers together for praise and worship, the drums are beating, the guitars and other instruments are sounding, the singers are announcing the Glory of Christ, be prepared for the Spirit of God to come upon you.

Last Sunday night, as we all were worshiping well past our usual closing time, I began to see in the spirit realm. I thought I would see the angels dancing, because the Spirit of glory and praise was high.

To my amazement I saw an army dancing. They looked as the Israelite warriors must have looked, hairy arms, swords, shields, spears. I never heard of an army dancing. But they were moving back and forth in time to the music.

It reminded me of the Rotherham translation:

Return, return O Shulamite, Return, return that we may look on thee! What would ye look on in the Shulamite? As it were the dance of a double camp . . . (Song of Solomon 6:13—Rotherham)

The dance of mahanaim—the camp of angels and the camp of saints.

The war drums of El Shaddai are beating. So are the drums of Hell. The Christian religion may become even more man-centered, man directed. But the church within the churches, the godly remnant, will move forward toward the invasion of the earth. The law of God is in their hearts. They delight to do His will. Unto these He shall appear without sin unto salvation.

To be in the army of the Lord is for "whosoever will." If you want God, go for it. You may end up being one of those who carry the great banners of God against the enemy.

Audrey and I drove past a church signboard last night after Bible study. During the Bible study I had been holding forth on the subject of this present essay: preparing the churches for the coming of the Lord. The signboard out in front of the church we were passing read: "A Free Trip to Heaven. Information Inside."

The contrast between the two messages was stark!

Audrey suggested: "Maybe some people cannot receive the meat of the word and this is milk for them." A compassionate remark.

I asked the Lord: "Is this really milk for immature believers?"

As He often does, the Lord took me to the Bible. "Where in the Bible is the Gospel of the Kingdom referred to as a free trip to Heaven?"

I guess I had my answer.

The age of moral horrors is approaching. If we are to grow in Christ we must check all of our traditions against the Bible. Only what is written will stand during the coming holocaust.

The time is now.

This is the way. God will help us all to walk in it!