PRESSING PAST PENTECOST: EIGHTEEN
PRESSING PAST PENTECOST: EIGHTEENCopyright Š 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
("Pressing Past Pentecost: Eighteen" is taken from The Feasts of the Lord, copyright Š 2011 Trumpet Ministries, found in the Kindle Library)
The protection offered through the blood of God's Lamb is for everyone. Whoever will accept the blood of Christ as a "token on his house" will be saved from the wrath of God when God "passes over" to destroy the gods of this age.
"Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:31). The blood-shield is placed over us when we call on the name of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that no person be destroyed but that all come to repentance and accept the protection of the blood of the cross.
Christ was offered once on the cross for all people:
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)
The four horns on the four corners of the bronze Altar of Burnt Offering speak of the spreading of redemption and the Kingdom of God to the four corners of the earth. Truly, if Christ is lifted up He will draw all men to Himself. God meets mankind at the cross and only at the cross.
The Kingdom of God (past, present, and future) is founded on the cross of Christon the fact of the transfer of all authority and power to Him by His payment of the price of redemption with His blood. Here is the legal basis for the setting up of the Kingdom and for the exercise of the power of God in setting people free from the bondage of sin and death.
The feast of Passover will be revealed in complete kingdom-wide fulfillment, as will each of the other feasts of the Lord, during the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. All the saved will be on the new earth, having received the benefits of the blood of the cross.
We are not stating everyone eventually will be saved for this is not true. It would be an ideal situation if everyone would receive Christ as his Lord and Savior. This certainly would please the Father. Unfortunately, however, some will not accept the atonement made by Christ or His Lordship over their life. Because they have rejected Christ, God has rejected them.
When Jesus cried out, "It is finished," the "it" referred to the first creation with its rebellion and sin. Now there is a new creation, beginning with Christ and there is no place in it for the leaven of sin.
The physical Body of Christ lay in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea during the feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus Himself, in the Spirit, had carried away the leaven of the world into the heart of the earth. The crucifixion of Christ signifies the end of the old creation. Not just the Church, but the whole world died in Christ. Everything of the old came to an end on the cross. God is starting all over again and Christ is the firstfruits of the new creation of God.
Whoever will receive Christ will be saved, which is to say he or she will be made part of the new creation.
When the believer in Christ enters the waters of baptism he is entering by faith into the death of Christ. When he comes up from the waters of baptism he is portraying that, as far as he is concerned, the first life, the first world, is finished. All the leaven of it has been destroyed with his whole first personality.
When Christ came forth from the cave of Joseph of Arimathea the leaven of the old creation had been left in the heart of the earth, in the realms of darkness and eternal death and separation from God.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Colossians 1:13,14)
The feast of Unleavened Bread will realize its complete kingdom-wide fulfillment during the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. There will be no leaven of sin and rebellion anywhere on the new earth or in the new heaven. Sin will have been destroyed from the earth by the Lord Jesus working in, through, and with His saints.
The crucifixion and entombment of Christ was the crucifixion and entombment of the whole creation. The resurrection of Christ was the bringing forth of the firstfruits of the Kingdom of God in which every creature, thing, and circumstance finds its center and circumference in Christ.
Every person who rejects Christ succeeds only in cutting off himself or herself from the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God, which will endure forever, was born when Christ rose from the dead. Christ Himself is the First of the firstfruits. Then follow the saints of Christ, who are a firstfruits of the earth (Revelation 14:1-5). Next, the whole Church itself is a firstfruits of the creatures of God (James 1:18). Finally the world will be harvested (Psalms 96:13; 97:5; 98:9; for example).
The feast of Firstfruits will be expressed in complete kingdom-wide fulfillment during the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. There the Wife of the Lamb, who is the firstfruits to God of the peoples of the earth, will stand perfect and complete in all the will of God, having been created so through the work of the Holy Spirit of God.
The Lamb's Wife will have been created from the body and blood of Christ just as Eve was created from the rib of Adam.
We understand from the Scriptures that the ministry of the Holy Spirit will increase as we draw near the coming of the Lord from Heaven. The testimony of the two witnesses (Revelation, Chapter 11) portrays the double portion of the anointing that will come upon the Christian Church just before the appearing of the Lord Jesus.
The testimony of God will be empowered by the Holy Spirit, we believe, until every man, woman, boy, and girl on the earth has both seen and heard the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and the power of that Kingdom.
By speaking of seeing the Gospel of the Kingdom we mean signs and marvelous wonders will follow the testimony of the good news of the Kingdom, just as they did in the first century, except that now they will appear in greatly increased power and glory and will be more widespread (Joel 2:23-32).
The good news, concerning which the miracles of power will bear witness, is that the Kingdom of Christ is about to be established on the earth and whoever chooses to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved from the wrath of God that now is close at hand.
Although God will permit the testimony of the Church to be overcome in order to make way for the maturing of evil in the earth (II Thessalonians 2:7; Revelation 11:7; 13:7), when the Lord Jesus returns the Holy Spirit will be poured through the saints in such fullness of Divine glory that eternal resurrection life will be as a deep and wide river that will cover the earth.
We have noticed that the thousand-year Kingdom Age is the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus, Chapter 25). The Year of Jubilee was instituted during the Day of Atonement, every fiftieth year.
The term Pentecost means fifty. During the thousand-year Kingdom Age, which is the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the day of Atonement, the Holy Spirit will be poured on the earth to an extent that far surpasses any concept we have of revival.
During the coming thousand-year Kingdom Age (which will be a jubilee of redemption for the peoples of the earth, particularly for the Church but for other peoples as well) the Holy Spirit will be as a vast, broad, deep river of eternal life that will flood the earth with the Presence and Glory of God Almighty.
But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. (Numbers 14:21)
One of the results of the unprecedented flowing of the Spirit of God will be the conversion of the peoples of the whole earth (except those who rebel against Christ). The river of eternal life will flow from the saints and the "fish" will be many.
And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. (Ezekiel 47:9)
The tree of life (the eternal, incorruptible resurrection Life that is in Christ and is Christ) will be growing along the banks of the River of Life. This is a symbolic portrayal of the Spirit of God proceeding from the members of the Body of Christ, from those who are "planted" by the River of Life.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalms 1:3)
Contained in the Holy Spirit is the Substance and Virtue of Christ, the necessary food and drink for the spiritually dead of the earth.
The "leaves of the tree," which speak of the manifestation of the Spirit in the saints, are for the healing of the nations. This is true even today as the saints pray for people, laying hands on them and bringing the healing Virtue of Jesus to them.
The feast of Pentecost will be revealed in complete kingdom-wide fulfillment during the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. The Holy Spirit will be a "pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the Throne of God and of the Lamb" (Revelation 22:1).
In that Day the Holy Spirit will not be given, as is true now, in small amountsa sealing, and then a measure of the Spirit for our ministry. Nor will it be as during the thousand-year Kingdom Age when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will be for the release from bondage of the spiritually dead of the earth.
Rather, during the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, the Holy Spirit of God will be the River of Life that will flow pure and clear throughout eternityworld without end. Every person who is permitted to enter that city will be allowed to drink until he is satisfied and as often as he likes. The Holy Spirit will be present eternally to keep us filled with the eternal Life of the Godhead.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (Revelation 21:6)
We can see from the above how very, fragmentary and limited our possession of Christ is in the present hour. Yet we can receive much more of Christ even now if we will seek Him with our whole heart.
As we have stated previously, the Holy Spirit is our law. The giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai is a type of the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Church. The Holy Spirit is the law of the Spirit of life. The law of God finds its fullest expression in the holy city where the law has been developed into its highest formthe beauty of holiness. The beauty of holiness is the law of God brought to perfection.
The beauty of holiness attains its complete expression in the new Jerusalem, the new Jerusalem being the creation of the Holy Spirit.
As soon as the Law of Moses had been given to Israel there followed the directions for the construction and operation of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
So it is today. As soon as the Holy Spirit, who is the law of the Spirit of life, enters us He lead us in building the Body of Christ.
In the new heaven and earth reign of Christ the Tabernacle of God will be with men. The holy city is the Tabernacle of God. The holy city, which is the eternal Throne of God and of the Lamb, is the most sublime expression of the Holy Spirit. It is the perfect, complete fulfillment of the Levitical feast of Pentecost.
The Divine trumpet will summon the saints to rise from the dead and then to ascend to meet the Lord Jesus in the air.
The seventh trumpet announces the ascension of Christ to the thrones that govern the kingdoms of the world.
The trumpet of God will declare to the wicked and rebellious the presence of the wrath of God. The trumpet of God will herald the onslaught of the armies of the Lord against the evil forces in the earth.
Most joyously of all, as far as the meek of the earth are concerned, the seventh trumpet will proclaim the thousand-year Jubilee. The Jubilee will bring release to the creation at the hands of the sons of God. The world of nature will be brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Leviticus, Chapter 25; Romans 8:21).
When the seventh trumpet sounds, God's Kingdom will be revealed in the earth (Revelation 11:15). When Jesus of Nazareth cast out devils in the land of Israel the Kingdom of God was among the Jews.
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. (Matthew 12:28)
Today the authority and power of the Kingdom of God is working in every person in whom Christ is abiding. We can enjoy the power and blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven now as we exercise faith in the Word of Christ.
The plagues of the first six trumpets are described in Revelation, Chapters Eight and Nine. These severe plagues announce the coming of the King of kings and Lord of lords to the earth.
It is true also of believers that the coming of the Lord to us in the spiritual fulfillment of Trumpets results in "voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake" (Revelation 8:5) followed by a severe pruning of our personality. The end product of the noise and pruning is our giving a godly witness, and then our resurrection and ascension to meet the Lord in the air (Revelation 11:11,12).
In Revelation 5:1 we notice the scroll, which is the hearts of men. It has writing on the inside and on the outside. So it is that mankind makes an alluring show on the outside but on the inside there is corruption and death. When the Lamb opens the seals the history of the world is portrayed. When He opens the seventh seal, the judgment of mankind commences.
The feast of Trumpet signifies New Year's Day, the beginning of the civil year. Business in the Kingdom of God commences with the Blowing of Trumpets. The trumpet of the Lord announces the Day of the Lord, the period when the Lord Jesus returns to the earth to set up and operate His Kingdom.
The Blowing of Trumpets will realize its complete kingdom-wide fulfillment during the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. The new heaven and earth reign of Christ is the time when all things have become new and the Kingdom is handed to the Father (I Corinthians 15:28). Then the Kingdom of God will govern all the works of God's hand unto the ages of ages.
The Blowing of Trumpets heralds the coming of God in Christ to assume control of every creature on the earth. There will not be one dissenting spirit in the universe, with the exception of those who are in eternal torment. All creatures will love God and will be at rest in love, joy, peace, and thankfulness in the will of God.
Those who have rebelled against the rule of God in Christ will be in an area of eternal torment and separation from their Creator. At that time redemption no longer will be possible.
The Day of Redemption will bring release to the created universe. Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
You may recall that there were two goats used during the observance of the Day of Atonement (Leviticus, Chapter 16). One goat was offered for a sin offering. Its blood was sprinkled upon and before the Mercy Seat to make an atonement for the children of Israel.
The slain goat portrays Christ who, through His own blood, made an atonement for all the peoples of the earth. The price of redemption has been paid in full for every man, woman, boy, and girl. It remains for the individual person to accept the blood by faith as the redemption payment for his or her sins.
Through the blood of Christ the whole creation was redeemed, was released from the ownership of Satan. The blood of Christ is the legal basis on which Christ will release the world from the bondage of sin and death.
There is more to the Day of Atonement than just the change of legal ownership. There is to be an actual deliverance from corruption, not just a removal of guilt. The actual removal of sin is portrayed by the living goat (scapegoat). The sins of the people of Israel were laid on the head of the living goat and it was led away into the wilderness.
We can witness, in the ceremony of the leading away of the living goat, the removal of sins from the Church, and finally from all God's creation. Through the death of the Lord Jesus our sins were forgiven. Also, our sins were placed on Him and He carried them out of the camp, so to speak. Divine grace in Christ forgives our sin, removes sin from us, and then repairs the harm that sin and rebellion have done to our personality.
The deliverance that is available now to the Church will be true throughout the whole earth during the thousand-year Kingdom Age that is just over the horizon. When the Lord Jesus comes He will possess the authority and power not only to forgive sins but also to remove sin itself from the earth. Every person who resists Christ and rebels against His lordship will be driven from the earth when He appears.
Christ will appear as "the Lord strong and mighty in battle." Then the nations of the earth will be glad and will break forth into singing because the kingdoms of the world have come under the rulership of our God and His Christ and He will reign forever.
During the Kingdom Age that is at hand, both aspects of the Day of Redemption will be in effect. The guilt of sin will be forgiven and the power and effects of sin (the Divine curse) will be removed from the earth.
This is what Jesus meant when He said, "Lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near." The Redeemer is coming to destroy the works of the devil from the earth. He will adopt the physical bodies of His saints by converting them to eternal life. He will bring the whole creation into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
There will be a thousand years of obedience to the laws of the Kingdom of Heaven on this earth as Christ rules with His saints.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)
"The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." The waters of eternal life will cover the dead sea of mankind. This will be the result of the kingdom-wide expression of the Day of Atonement (day of reconciliation).
Isaiah informs us, "he shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied" (Isaiah 53:11). Christ is waiting patiently for His Father to make His enemies His footstool. He will not be disappointed. In the days to come the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Day of Atonement will bring righteousness, peace, and joy to the whole earth, to all the peoples thereof.
The saints of God will be glorious in holiness. The nations of the earth will learn righteousness from the Church. Our Redeemer on the cross destroyed every trace of the authority of sin over us. In the future He will destroy every trace of the power of sin from us and from the earth. The last enemy that will be destroyed is physical death.
During the thousand-year Kingdom Age the members of the Body of Christ will cross over Jordan, to speak figuratively, and conquer the land of promise. This time Israel will make a full end of the enemies in the land.
The Christian Church will enter the promised inheritance of God, into the rest of God, by means of the conquest of the earth. Christ will change from His Moses ministry into His Joshua ministry. He will reveal Himself as the Lord strong and mighty in battle.
In that Day the "manna" will cease and the members of the Body of Christ will eat "the old corn of the land"food that has been grown in the land of promise (Joshua 5:12). This means the gifts and ministries, "seeing through a glass darkly," no longer will be needed by the Church. The entire Church will know the Lord from the least member to the greatest (Hebrews 8:11).
In that Day we shall not need gifts and ministries because we shall be speaking to Christ face to face. We shall minister to the peoples of the earth as did Jesus: not in prophecy, tongues or the gifts of healing, but in the fullness of the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and might, of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, and of judgment and dominion.
The Day of Atonement will have its complete kingdom-wide fulfillment during the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. The Day of Atonement, being the sixth of the feasts, signifies the "day" when the Lord God makes man in His own image, in the image of Christ.
During the new heaven and earth reign of Christ we shall behold the image of God in the Lamb and in the Wife of the Lamb. "In the image of God created he him, male and female created he them." The image of God requires both male and female.
So it is that the Lamb of God and the Wife of the Lamb taken together are the fullness of the expression of the image of God in the earth. The Kingdom of God will have been completed, having found its most exalted expression, when the Lamb and His Wife are in union as the holy city, the new Jerusalem.
The first two chapters of the Scriptures describe the creation of the heavens and the earth.
The last two chapters of the Scriptures describe the creation of the new heaven and the new earth.
We have seen that each of the other six feasts will find its highest expression in the new heaven and earth reign of Christ. This is true also of the feast of Tabernacles. The feast of Tabernacles is the greatest of all the feasts because it portrays the dwelling in the Church of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit. There is no higher experience.
Just as the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is the establishing of the Kingdom of God throughout the earth, as symbolized by the conquests of the neighboring tribes by King David, so the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles is the eternal reign of God in Christ in the Bride over the nations of the earth, as typified by the peaceful rule of King Solomon over Israel.
Christ is the heir of all that God has spoken concerning the kingdoms of David and Solomon.
The Glory of God in Christ in the Church will be so great there will be no more need of the sun or moon to give light to the new Jerusalem. The dwelling place of God, which is the Church, will be with the saved nations forever. God will be the God of the saved nations and He and His Church will wipe away all their tears. The Throne of God and of the Lamb will be on the new earth in the form of the glorified Church, the holy city.
The city of God, the new Jerusalem, will be the perfection of beauty and holiness. The holy city is the eternal moral law of God brought to the fullness of maturity.
The descent of the new Jerusalem will mark the end of the harvest season when all of Christ that has been sown in the earth will have been brought forth and harvested. God will have found His rest in ChristHead and Body.
The Holy Spirit will be present as the River of Life. All who are in the city will be able to drink of the Holy Spirit as often as they desire. The tree of life, which is Christ, will grow along the banks of the River of Life. The fruit of the tree will be for food and the leaves for the healing of the nations.
The servants of God will stand in His Presence and behold His face. Can you imagine what it will be like to stand in the Presence of God Almighty throughout eternity?
There is no silver portrayed in the holy city because the work of redemption, as symbolized by silver, now is a thing of the past. The eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:36) represents eternitythe beginning of the week that never will come to an end.
Everything has been finished. The rebellion in Heaven, which was brought down to earth and spread among mankind, now has been judged and its consequences removed from the saved people. God is ready to settle down and enjoy His handiwork. All enemies have been brought under the feet of Christ and He has delivered up the Kingdom to God, His Father.
The Glory of God coming from the city is as the light of a jasper stone. The foundations of the wall of the city are set with twelve different stones. The stones in the foundations portray the resistance to sin and the godly righteousness that have been developed in the victorious saints as Christ has been formed in them.
The holy city, the new Jerusalem, is the Church, the Body of Christ.
On the new earth are the nations of the saved. Every member of the saved nations is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Each individual has a portion of Christ in him and the blessing of God on his life. All creatures of the new creation reveal Christ and are centered in Christ:
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (Ephesians 1:10)
The feast of Tabernacles is the possession of rest, peace, joy, and the abundance of all things in the land of milk and honey. Everything sown by the Lord in the earth now has been harvested and processed. It is a time of joy, of thanksgiving, of dwelling in the "booth" of the Lord throughout eternity to contemplate His beauty and to worship Him and do His will.
The land of promise is resurrection ground. The land of promise is the fullness of God in Christ in the saints made visible and expressed in the material realm through the Holy Spirit. There is a spirit realm and there is a material realm. The Kingdom of God is the Divine spirit realm given material expression.
The first creation is passing away. It is dead because of sin. The new creation is of Christ and is Christ. It is a new material creation and its life is the Life of Christ. The new Jerusalem will rule forever over the new creation of God.
The most glorious aspect of the new Jerusalem will be the eternal Presence of Him who dwells between the Cherubim of Glory. The whole Person of the almighty God will be present in the holy city for His servants to adore forever.
Because of the triumph of Christ in our life, nothing ever again will stand between us and the Father or cause His Face to grow dim. We shall behold Him as He is and become more like Him throughout the ages of ages.
It is finished. Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending. He who overcomes shall inherit all things. God in Christ is at rest and we are at rest in Him forever, ages without end.
It has been finished from the beginning of the world. Our task is to cease from our own works, our own attempts to gain personal security, our own grasping at pleasure, our own striving for achievement, and to enter the finished work of God so our life becomes a developing of the perfection that had been established in God's mind before the events of the first chapter of Genesis took place.
Each member of the elect was named and predestined from the beginning of the world. The place that each member will occupy for eternity was selected. It is the responsibility and task of each saint, each holy one, to seek God until his unique mark has been set before him. As he finds his mark he can press toward it and enter his destiny. If he is careless and chooses to create his own heaven and earth, then he will answer for his sin and self-will at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The works were finished from the beginning of the world. Let us enter God's rest with joy and confidence in the Lord.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3)
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:10)
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)
Next, the seven feasts were seen as types of the plan of redemption in the life of the believer. After that, the perfecting of the Christian Church was studied. Finally we have seen that the setting up of the Kingdom of God on the earth is symbolized by the feasts of the Lord.
In our book we have emphasized the personal interpretation of the feasts, their portrayal of the process of the plan of salvation in the believer. We are experiencing these Divine acts and provisions now.
If we are not walking with the Lord and profiting from the current challenges and blessings, thenas far as we personally are concernedthe work of Christ is limited or in vain, the Church, the Body of Christ is continuing in imperfection, and the Kingdom of God is not being established.
Each Christian believer is of priceless value to God. God in His love has done all in His power to provide for our redemption. We ought to lay hold on God's love and respond by giving our best to Christ so He may finish His work in us.
It was pointed out that the pattern of the feasts suggests salvation, or redemption, is not an one-time happening in the believer but is a growth to maturity. The somewhat revolutionary idea was introduced that the plan of redemption has not only a definite beginning but a definite ending as well.
The feasts of the Lord reveal the error that has destroyed the spiritual vigor of the churches. The error is the concept that redemption is a forgiving of man's sins so he can go to Heaven when he dies. None of the feasts suggests to be saved is to go to Heaven to live forever.
The feasts portray the true redemption that is in Christ. Redemption is the removal of man from the personality of Satan and his perfect, complete reconciliation to God. Redemption is the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
Christ did not come to the earth in order to forgive the works of the devil or to take sinners to Heaven. The Lord Jesus came to earth to destroy the works of the devil, not forgive them. Jesus came to take away our sins and the sin of the whole world.
"Grace" is not a new way in which God relates to man. It always has been true and always will be true that God relates to man only as man practices righteousness, loves mercy, and walks humbly with God. The Divine grace in Christ changes man so he practices righteousness, loves mercy, and walks humbly with God.
The Christian salvation is not a change in God's requirements, it is a change in man so he can meet God's requirements.
Grace does not abolish the Law of God. Grace establishes the Law of God and emphasizes its implications. Whoever looks with lust has committed adultery in his heart. Through the Divine Virtue that is in the grace of Christ we are enabled to overcome lust.
The holy city is not holy by imputation. It is not called "holy" because Jesus is holy. The holy city is holy because the holiness of Jesus has been wrought in the saints. As we have stated before, the new Jerusalem is the law of God brought to its fullest expression.
The goal of redemption is freedom from the personality of Satan and union with God. We are able to overcome not only sin but also Satan himself. Sin proceeds from a person. This person is Satan, the devil, the accuser of the brothers.
It is true also that eternal Life is a Person. This Person is Christ. As we abide in Christ and He abides in us, Satan is cast out. The casting out of Satan is the coming of the Kingdom of God, redemption, salvation, the rest of God.
Salvation is not the forgiving of the corrupt creatures of the earth and the bringing of them into Heaven. Salvation is the coming of Heaven, the throne of God, to the earth in the Person of Christ and His saints. Flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God will come to the earth and release the material realm from the presence and works of Satan. This program is revealed in the feasts of the Lord.
Heaven is a place of rest for the righteous while they are waiting for the resurrection from the dead. Our goal is Jesus. Jesus is coming to the earth to sit on the Throne of David. When Jesus comes to the city of Jerusalem, all that Heaven means to us will have come to Jerusalem. Jerusalem then will have become Heaven, for the Throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it.
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (Jeremiah 3:17)
Our goal is to be purified through the working of the blood of Christ so we are fit to be part of the city of God.
We are not purified by ascribed righteousness (imputation), except as an initial device to get us started in the program of redemption. We are purified by the casting out of Satan, through the power of the Holy Spirit on the authority of the blood of the Lamb.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (I John 3:3)
Redemption has come in Christ; not merely forgiveness, but redemption. Redemption is not the forgiving of something and then leaving it as it is. Redemption is the regaining of what has been lost.
The Church and the remainder of the creation will be redeemed through judgment. The material creation was purchased by the blood of the cross. It remains for the Holy Spirit to enter the creation and fill it with eternal, incorruptible resurrection lifethe Life that Christ Is.
Are you being redeemed today? Are you washing your robes in the blood of the Lamb? Are you gaining victory over Satan?
To state Jesus "did it all" is to miss the point. This would be to make salvation an event of the past. Salvation is always moving. The staves were never removed from the Ark of the Covenant. The Divine redemption will continue to operate in your life until you have been made pure as Christ is pure.
If you are not making progress in purity you are not abiding in Christ. You are not being redeemed. Go to the Lord and ask Him to continue the program of redemption in your life.
If you do not, through Christ, gain victory over Satan, you will not partake of the rewards to the overcomer. You will not be raised in the first resurrection from among the dead. The out-resurrection must be attained (Philippians 3:11). You can gain victory over Satan if you decide this is what you desire. The Lord Jesus has the authority and the power to deliver you from Satan. Pray. Ask the Lord to help you and guide you. He loves you and will help you if you call on His name.
The seven feasts of the Lord reveal that redemption is a progressive experience that from the beginning establishes us without condemnation before the Lord and from this point forward must be pursued just as the tribes of Israel had to pursue the cloud and the fire until they reached Canaan.
To claim "Jesus did it all," and then not to get up and follow the Spirit of God, is to sit in Egypt and claim we already are in Canaan or that one day we will be in Canaan. It is a misunderstanding of the Apostle Paul's teaching concerning "grace."
The spiritual fulfillment of Passover marks a "beginning of months" to the Christian, being the first step of the Christian experience. The sacrament of Communion under the new covenant corresponds to the eating of the Passover lamb under the old covenant.
The feast of Unleavened Bread was presented as typifying the putting away of sin, the sincere repentance that must characterize the person who comes to Christ for salvation. The act of being baptized in water portrays the fact that the believer has died to the world and the lusts thereof. The convert by faith assigns his first personality to the cross with Christ and his new born-again nature to the Throne of God with Christ.
It was mentioned that the concept of a firstfruits is found commonly in God's pattern of working. Christ is the Firstfruits of the dead. The Christians are the firstfruits of the harvesting of the earth.
The believers in Christ possess the "firstfruits of the Spirit." The amount of the Holy Spirit that we have at present is but a first installment of the fullness of the Holy Spirit that one day will flood our whole beingbody included. We shall be abiding eternally in the fullness of resurrection life.
Pentecost is the Jewish feast that has lent its name to those believers in Christ who practice the gifts of the Spirit, particularly speaking in tongues. The Hebrew people associate the feast of Pentecost with the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai. It is the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, acting on the authority of the blood of Jesus, that enables Christians to overcome the lusts of the flesh and soul, that is, to keep the moral law of God.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
If we combine the Jewish concept of Divine Law with the Christian concept of sanctification through the Spirit of God, we find Pentecost was and continues to be the bringing of the Law of God to the earth.
The Law that was given through Moses was intended to bring the people of God into conformity to the will of God. The Holy Spirit in the Christian people strives to bring them into conformity to the will of God.
Speaking in tongues is an entrance into the way of life that is governed by the Holy Spirit. Christians are governed by the law of the Spirit of life rather than by the Law of Moses.
The Pentecostal experience is a central and crucial point in the redemption that is in Christ. If we have gotten as far as Pentecost (being filled with the Holy Spirit) we must never again look back toward Egypt (life under the control of the spirit of the world and our fleshly desires).
Every believer in Christ is to press forward to the fullness of resurrection life in the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is saying to the members of the Body of Christ: "There remains much land to be possessed. You have circled around your present mountain long enough. Begin your march toward your inheritance in Christ."
New adventures in Christ are before us. Let us arm ourselves under the direction of the Holy Spirit and invade the land of promise.
The various uses of the trumpet were mentioned. The use of the trumpet as an alarm for war, to form the army of the Lord, and to herald the resurrection from the dead, was stressed.
The name of God as the Lord of Hosts was pointed out. The concept of God being a commander of battle is not familiar to all Christians. Yet it certainly is a scriptural concept.
Today the saints of the Lord stand on the brink of an awful conflict in the realm of spirits. It is ArmageddonChrist against Antichrist, obedience against lawlessness. The war of God is at hand.
Each believer in Christ must gird up his mind to the fact of spiritual warfare. The enemies of Godspirits of rebellion, uncleanness, murder, perversity, sorceryare the ones who are producing the spirit of the age in which we now are living. It is not a pleasing state of affairs, from God's point of view, that the earth is becoming a nauseating cesspool, a vipers' pit of lust, idolatry, sorcery, covetousness, drunkenness, and murder.
God's terrible wrath is as a furnace that has been heated to a frightful degree. His fierce anger is ready to be poured on the world system. Woe! woe! woe to those who are found resisting Christ when the wrath of God falls on this earth!
Every Christian person by the nature of his personality and calling is involved in God's war against evil spirits. The Holy Spirit of the God of armies is sounding the trumpet blast loudly in our time: "Prepare yourself for the Day of the Lord. Let every saint put on the Gospel armor and prepare to cast out devils, heal the sick, raise the dead.
"I issue to you authority and power over all the authority and power of Satan. Nothing shall by any means hurt you. Listen to the voice of the Spirit as He points out the sin in your heart. You cannot fight the battles of the Lord when there is an Achan's wedge of gold hidden in your tent."
It was stated that the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement are known to devout Hebrews as the "Days of Awe" because of the solemnity of their meaning. The seventh month, which contains Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles, is the conclusion of the old agricultural year and the beginning of the new.
The seventh month speaks to us of the beginning of Divine conquest and the working out of God's judgment in our life; also, the beginning of our reign with Christ over the earth. Passover, on the other hand, marking the beginning of the religious year, can be thought of in terms of our church life of faith and doctrines.
Tabernacles is associated with entering the land of promise. Passover is the beginning of our redemption. Tabernacles is the maturing of redemption and the commencing of eternal, glorious rulership in and with Christ.
The Day of Atonement represents the purging of sin from the Christian discipleship and ultimately from the creation of God. Specific confession, sincere repentance, and the blood of Christ are involved. Included in the concept of the atonement is the judgment of God against wicked spirits, against the lords of the spiritual darkness of the present age.
It was suggested that this dimension of the atonement, the cleansing of sin from our personality, is experienced after the Christian discipleship has progressed for a while rather than at the start. However it is well to keep in mind one of the principles that was presented early in this book: redemption is Christ. At the moment of receiving Christ we receive all of redemption, including all that is portrayed in the seven feasts of the Lord.
Also, there is no way in which we can make Christ predictable by a system of theology. Christ is God. He will move in the individual as He choosesoften in new and surprising ways. We know we are saved through His blood, but we cannot predict how He will reveal Himself to an individual believer at any given moment.
What, then, is the purpose of describing the several aspects of redemption as we have done in this book? The intended benefit of such an explanation is that we shall gain some understanding of the experiences in Christ that we are having. Also, that we shall come to realize redemption is not a haphazard collection of random incidents and accidents but is a carefully worked-out plan for bringing the believer from the image of Satan and bondage to Satan to the image of Christ and union with Christ.
God works differently with each person.
The humbling thought has been presented that God has not chosen us because we are holier than other people but because of His own plans and purposes in Christ. However, God has every intention of working with us until we do become holy. Of note among the uncleannesses of Christians are all forms of lust, idolatry, murder, covetousness, drunkenness, and occult practices. Denominational loyalty and factionalism weaken the testimony of the churches.
The fulfillment of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippor) is a time of serious heart-searching among the Jews. However, the Day of Atonement does have one joyful feature; for the Year of Jubilee, which typifies the Day of deliverance for the earth at the appearing of the Head and Body of Christ (Colossians 3:4; II Thessalonians 1:10), was announced every fiftieth year on the Day of Atonement.
The fact that the Year of Jubilee was announced on the Day of Atonement signifies redemption and release come as our sins are forgiven and then removed from us.
The revealing of the sons of God in the Day of the Lord will result in the redemption of the material creation (Romans 8:21).
Please note we are not suggesting that the blood of Christ does not avail for our needs now, for it certainly does. Also, it is a fact that today is the day of salvation and we must, as the Lord guides us, persuade our own generation of this fact. It is time now for the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom to every nation for a witness, for the coming of the Kingdom of God is at hand.
We are entering the birth pangs of the new creation of God. In the days ahead we shall be seeing more of the power of God working through the blood of the righteous Jesus. The best is at hand.. He has kept the good wine until now.
Remember the words of the Prophet Isaiah:
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:1,2)
Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. (Isaiah 60:5)
The greatest days of redemption and conversion are on the horizon. All that Jesus prayed in John, Chapter 17 will be fulfilled abundantly. The world will begin to understand Christ is God's beloved Son and that God loves the Church as He loves Christ.
The Day of Atonement comes as a "new year" to us because its Christian fulfillment, the confession of our sins and of our self-will and the gaining of victory over them through the blood of the Lamb and the Spirit of God, give us a workable method for dealing with the part of our personality that still is rebelling against God and choosing the lusts of the world.
We who have received Christ do not have to fear the judgments of God on our life. The judgments of God are directed against unclean spirits. If we cooperate with the Holy Spirit by confessing and renouncing the actions, words, and motives He points out as being unclean, then the fire of God's judgment will not harm us personally just as the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar did not harm Shadrach, Meshach or Abednego. The consuming fire will destroy what is evil.
The feast of Tabernacles portrays perfectionthe fullness of the plan of salvation, the coming of the Kingdom of God. The Scripture indicates that God is moving the members of the Body of Christ toward a specific mark. It was pointed out that it is difficult for someone to work hard at overcoming obstacles when he or she has no definite goal in mind.
Perhaps one of the main reasons why church people do not become more excited about the working out of redemption in their life, the process of spiritual development toward perfection of union with Christ, is that they do not really believe there is any goal at which to aim. Since the goal of the Christian discipleship is vague or nonexistent, why exert effort in this direction? If we make a correct doctrinal confession we will go to Heaven when we die, they believe. Because their vision of God is neither clear nor accurate the people are perishing.
We must prepare ourselves diligently and watch carefully so we may escape the spiritual death that even now is blanketing the earth.
If we keep the Word of Christ's patience He will guard us during the hour of temptation that is at hand, the period when every lust of the flesh becomes instantly available to every person, young and old. One day we will stand in victory before the Son of Man, if we are not neglectful of the rugged life of discipleship.
(We wrote the above paragraph some time ago.) Just recently some of the computer software companies began advertising the availability of erotic experiences through virtual reality programs. A person can sit in the privacy of his home in front of his personal computer and indulge his wildest fantasies, accompanied by the voice of a person on the telephone. We are in the first rumble of an incredible technological explosion in the area of multimedia pornography. There is enormous potential profit to be made.
The right of entrepreneurs to produce such moral filth will be protected by law in the United States and other "Christian" countries.
You can be sure that numerous Christians, including pastors and elders, will interact with their computer in this manner. This is because Christian teaching to this point has not successfully dealt with sin in the life of the believer.)
Multitudes of believers will be deceived in the last days because of the abundance of lawlessness and will be part of the lukewarm church. Those who are deluded into worshiping Antichrist will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the Presence of the Lamb.
As we have stated, Christ will guard us against deception if we will carefully guard the word of His patience, patiently waiting on Him for every aspect of our life.
We must prepare ourselves for participation in the first resurrection from the dead (of which I Thessalonians 4:13-18 is a description) instead of remaining spiritually indifferent and lethargic in the mistaken belief we shall be caught away from the earth before there is tribulation and shall be transformed magically into spiritual giants at the coming of the Lord.
God indeed has made provision to save us during the reign of Antichrist and the great tribulation. That provision is the "Tabernacles" experience, the filling of the saints with the Presence of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit.
Whatever God has ordained will come to pass. If we are wise we will live always in readiness for His appearing. We always must be prepared to meet our Maker and to give an account of our actions on the earth. Our soul may be required of us at any moment. The most important preparation we can make is to diligently abide in Christ each day, remaining sensitive and obedient to the guiding of the Holy Spirit.
The possession of God Himself, rather than things, experiences, secrets of spiritual power or anything else either spiritual or material, is the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. Any goal we have other than the possession of God Himself is shortsighted and eventually will be changed by the Lord until we are guided toward the only desirable goal of man.
This is what Satan fears above all. Perhaps it would be a joy to Satan if multitudes of believers were carried into Heaven for they still would be carrying his image in them. Satan craves worship. He cares not whether we are in Heaven, on the earth, or in Hell, just as long as we bear his image and tendencies in us. He who commits sin is of Satan whether he is in Heaven, on the earth, or in Hell (I John 3:8).
The destruction of Satan does not come about when we die and pass into the spirit realm. The destruction of Satan takes place when Christ enters us and drives out every trace of Satan's image and influence. This is the coming of the Kingdom of God.
To move unredeemed believers from the physical realm into the spirit realm accomplishes nothing. Sin began in the spirit realm and is perfectly at home in the spirit realm, in the heavens. Salvation is in the Lord Jesus Christ, not in the heavens.
The maturing of redemption in us brings us to the "rest of God." God rests in us and we rest in God. God enjoys our presence forever and we enjoy God's Presence forever. The Christian salvation is an affair of the heart between God and the believer. It is the love song of the Lamb and His Bride.
God is jealous concerning idols that claim our attention. He desires to be in all our thoughts. As soon as God has set His heart on us He will act to remove any thing, person, or experience that threatens to divert our attention and love from Himself.
God wants to liberate us from our idolatrous bondages. We are foolish children indeed if we turn away from such love and choose instead to lust after the weak, foolish, corrupt, temporary, sinful things and practices of the evil age in which we are living. The Lord knows those whom He has called, and all motives and actions will be revealed clearly as to their true nature, at the coming of the Lord.
The feasts of Firstfruits and Pentecost marked certain points in the grain harvest. The feast of Tabernacles was in celebration of the completion of the harvest season. All that the Israelites had farmed, barley, wheat, grapes, olives, nuts, vegetables, figs, citrus, and so forth had been gathered and processed by the time of the feast of Tabernacles.
As far as we Christians are concerned, our lives have been partially harvested in Christ. The harvesting, the threshing, the winnowing, the grinding, still are taking place in us. The redemption of our body will be the completion of the harvesting of our personality, the culmination of the plan of redemption.
Included in the plan for the redemption of our mortal body is the preparation of our spirit and soul for the fullness of Divine revelation and power, and a clothing with a glorious body fashioned from indestructible, eternal resurrection life. As soon as we have been resurrected and glorified we shall be gathered together to be with Christ in the air.
The nature of resurrection, whether it be of the spirit, of the soul, or of the body, concerns restoring to life what is dead. What has been inert or prone is filled with Divine Life and stands back up on its feet. All persons eventually will be raised from death so they can stand before God to be judged. In that Day, some will be saved into the Kingdom of God. Others will be cast into the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.
The spiritual aspect of the resurrection of the members of the Body of Christ is taking place now. All that the saint is and possesses is being brought down to the death of the cross. Whatever part of what we are and possess that God chooses to bring back to life, after it has suffered the death of the cross of Christ, is of the resurrection and is our possession for eternity.
The scriptural emphasis is on resurrection. The foundation for our bodily resurrection is being laid now as the Holy Spirit brings us down spiritually to the death of the cross and then raises us up in newness of life.
We shall rise to meet the Lord in the air and shall be gathered together to be with Him forever at the time of the first resurrection from the dead. We shall be assigned to places of rulership, responsibility, and service (Revelation 20:4-6).
There is a "resurrection of damnation (judgment)" (John 5:29). It is an awakening to "shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2). It is certain every individual will reap what he or she has sown.
The redemption of the physical body is an attainment in Christ to which we Christians should be giving attention. The thought of bodily resurrection should be filling us with pure delight and enabling us to stand firm in all our testings.
The redemption of our mortal body is the fulfillment of the promise of Christ concerning eternal life (John 3:16). It is the "salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (I Peter 1:5).
Paul wrote, "Not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body" (Romans 8:23).
Why don't we feel more of this burden? It is because we do not press toward the redemption of our mortal body. Our mortal body in its present condition is adequate to support the fleshly life we are living.
Paul died daily to the desires of the flesh and mind and was revived daily by the resurrection power of Christ. Paul's inner life was being transformed as a result of continually beholding the Glory of the Lord, just as Moses' face had been transformed by continually beholding the Glory of the Lord.
Paul's mortal body no longer was adequate to support the glorious resurrection life flowing in the compassion and purposes of God toward those whom Christ was saving. The stress was increasing each day. The new wine in Paul was in an "old bottle," and the old bottle was cracking.
So Paul groaned in himself, waiting for the redemption of his mortal body. When the saint remains in the center of God's will for his life and his spiritual personality develops, he will find himself pressing toward Paul's "mark." Paul's mark was the "prize of the high calling of God in Christ."
The prize includes the following: re-creation of the believer into the image of Christ in spirit, soul, and body; the eternal indwelling of the fullness of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit; authority and power over the domain assigned to the individual Christian; life without end lived in the righteousness, peace, and joy that come with the fullness of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
It is our hope and prayer that each person who reads this study of the feasts of the Lord has received from it a portion of the broken body and shed blood of our Lord Jesus in his soul, and some understanding of the Lord's plan of redemption in his mind. In Him is Life, and the Life is the light of men. Kingdom wisdom, knowledge, and understanding come to us as the Life of Christ is formed in us.
Our desire is that the reader will be inspired to seek Christ with his or her whole heart.
The rewards for serving Christ in the present hour are so unimaginably great that each believer who is wise will at once take up his cross and follow on to know the Lord, doing so with the greatest joy and gladness of heart.
Will you do that?
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:7)
"O God, hear our prayer as we stand in Christ before Your throne. Grant to us, as Your dear children, that we may be accepted in Your sight. Make Your face to shine on us.
"Help us to lay aside every weight, every sin, and to press forward on the upward way toward the fulness of Your beloved Son. We thank you for receiving us graciously and for forgiving our sins, as each of us from his heart freely forgives every person who has sinned against him.
"Bless this study to the reader and work Your will in him or her.
"In Jesus' name we pray. Amen."