THE SECOND GOAT
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
God has promised to make an end of sin and to bring in everlasting righteousness. How He will accomplish this is portrayed in the activities of the Jewish Day of Atonement. Two goats were employed in this observance. First, an atonement was made for sin, using the blood of the first goat. Then there was a ceremony that portrayed the removal of the presence of sin from the camp. The ceremony of removal involved the second goat.
The perfect atonement for sin was made on the cross of Calvary. Any human being can have his or her sins forgiven by receiving the atonement made through the blood of Christ on the cross. Thus the guilt of sin has been taken care of completely.
However, the presence of sin itself has not as yet been removed from the creation. God has a plan whereby the ceremony involving the second goat, the scapegoat, will attain spiritual fulfillment. The purpose of this booklet is to describe the program God will follow as He removes all rebellion and sin from His creation.
Table of Contents
The Master Plan
The Creation of the Firstfruits of the Church
The Penetration of Satan Into the Heavens and the Casting Down to the Earth of the Stars of God
The Purifying of the Church
The Purifying of the Members of the Saved Nations
The New World of Righteousness, the Kingdom of God, and the Lake of Fire
THE SECOND GOAT
And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: (Leviticus 16:20,21)
This booklet may not be for everyone. On the other hand, “whosoever will” may choose to avail himself or herself of the authority and power that God is ready to give to those who will decide to obey Him perfectly and sternly.
Having been a Christian for fifty-two years and a pastor for twenty-one of those years we are fairly well acquainted with church people. We are aware of the reluctance of God’s people to move past the Pentecostal experience. They know we should obey God, but the idea of coming to God with the intention of obeying Him totally and without question seems unrealistic. In other words, the Christian churches are filled with disobedient children.
In the coming new world of righteousness the thought of disobeying God in the smallest detail will be unthinkable. But how do we get from here to there?
All sin is based ultimately in rebellion, in disobedience to God.
Two goats were employed in the ceremony of the Jewish Day of Atonement (Leviticus, Chapter 16). The blood of the first goat was used to make an atonement for Israel. It was sprinkled upon and before the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
The sins of Israel were confessed over the second goat and it was led away into the wilderness, portraying the removal of the presence of sin from the camp.
Sin and rebellion against the Father were atoned for by the blood shed on the cross of Calvary. The guilt of sin has been eternally removed. The Father’s sense of justice and righteousness has been appeased.
But sin and rebellion have never been removed from the creation. Some of the most highly placed of the rebellious angels, including Satan himself, are still active in the heavens. The influence and resistance to righteousness of the wicked angels is revealed in the behavior of people on the earth.
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. (Daniel 10:12,13)
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (II Corinthians 4:3,4)
We understand from the Scriptures that there is coming a day of redemption. This means that at some point in history the removal of sin, that which was portrayed by leading the scapegoat from the camp, will take place.
We submit to you that the beginning of the day of redemption, of the removal of sin from the creation, is upon us.
The present author was a Bible student in the old Assembly of God Berean Bible Institute in San Diego. The time was the late 1940s. He had just received the baptism with the Holy Spirit including speaking in tongues.
Soon after this a visiting teacher by the name of Oliver Ellenwood came to the school. As Brother Ellenwood discussed the Tabernacle of the Congregation he mentioned the feasts of the Lord (Leviticus, Chapter 23). Something rang like a bell in our heart although we had never before heard of the seven feasts.
The Lord spoke to us that the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27), the sixth of the seven feasts, signifies judgment on the Church. We repeated this to Brother Ellenwood and he seemed interested. During the same period of time we became impressed with the warrior aspect of the Lord and went about our daily duties meditating on “the drums of El Shaddai.” Where this expression (the drums of El Shaddai) came from we do not know. Today we can see the connection between the Day of Atonement and the drums of El Shaddai.
From that day to the present the Lord has unfolded and verified the awesome consequences of the spiritual application of the Day of Atonement having to do with judgment on the Church. Many years later we discovered that the Jews view the days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) as the time when God judges the world.
Of late we have begun to perceive the majesty of the plan of God, His war against evil spirits, His eternal judgment and removal of all sin from His creation. The removal of the presence of sin will make possible the spiritual fulfillment of the seventh and last feast, the feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34). The goal is the establishing of the Kingdom of God in the heart of every saved person so that the Father is All and in all through Christ.
The authority structure of the universe is in disarray. Because of the rebellion of the hierarchy of the heavens God is establishing a new government and set of rulers over which His Son will reign supreme. As part of this far-reaching endeavor the Throne of God, which from ancient times has been in the heavens, is now in the process of being moved from the heavens to the hearts of the saints. In fact, man was created to be the eternal Throne of God. This is part of the general concept of the Incarnation of God.
The wisdom of God, His answer to the presumption of the ancient lords of the heavens, is to move His throne (which at one time had been covered by Satan’s wings) from the spirit realm into the hearts of the weakest of all God’s creatures—man. But then, the mighty Christ was born in a barn!
How God must laugh at those who dare oppose His wisdom and power.
As we said, this booklet may not be for everyone. But if your heart sings at the thought of a sin-free creation, and especially if you are willing to participate in the release of the material creation by being sternly obedient to the Lord in all He requires of you, then what we have to say is for you. Take hold of it. Serve the Lord with gladness, godly fear, and all the concentration and attention of which you are capable. Do not let a more diligent person take your crown, your talent.
The Four Horsemen of Error
The issue of the second goat, of Leviticus 16, is that of the removal of the presence of rebellion and sin. God desires to establish obedience and righteous behavior throughout the universe. The purpose of the new covenant, the Christian covenant, is to enable the worshiper to practice righteousness. The ultimate goal is a new world of righteousness in which even the memory of sin has been removed.
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (I Peter 3:13)
As we have said, the perfect atonement for sin was made on the cross of Calvary. Any person may come to the Lord Jesus and receive the forgiveness of sin. The good news of the forgiveness of sins through the blood of the Lord Jesus has been preached well throughout the world.
Now we have come to the second goat, the goat of removal. It is time for us to address the verses of the Bible that deal with actual righteousness of behavior, not just forgiveness but righteous behavior. These verses constitute the majority of passages of the New Testament.
While Satan may be somewhat concerned with the message concerning the forgiveness of our guilt, he is tremendously concerned with the message concerning the removal of our sinful behavior. Such removal marks the end of his kingdom of lawlessness.
Satan is no fool. He has sent forth four mammoth errors, “four horsemen of error” we term them, into Christian thinking. Each of the four has as its objective to destroy righteous, obedient behavior in the Christian churches.
The four great errors, the four horsemen, are as follows:
Each of the four has as its objective to prevent righteous, obedient behavior on the part of Christian people. Each is a direct attack on the establishing of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Humanism. The philosophy of humanism presents the idea that man is the center of all things; man is his own god. When this idea is held to be a fact, anything that works against the pleasure of man is viewed as bad.
The concept of the “rights of people” is part of humanistic thinking. Whatever people desire they should have. In America, for example, the rights of the individual often are held above the good of society. The rapist, the murderer, the thief have so much protection in the law that society often suffers. The rights of the child molester are such that he is let loose too soon and some other little boy or girl is molested.
It appears that many of the social experts of America have become fools. They cannot seem to understand that in order to protect the rights of one person the rights of another person must be violated.
The Scriptures are not directed toward the rights or the happiness of the individual. In order to be a true disciple of Christ we have to lay down our very life on the altar of God. We must wage a continual warfare against sin. We suffer numerous tribulations when we stand true to our commitment to Jesus.
Humanism will never accept such a gospel. The humanist will applaud every attempt Christians make to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, to heal the sick. But the humanist will never agree that an individual should suffer for the cause of Christ—never!
The kingdom of Antichrist will praise the work of the churches as they feed the hungry and work for the betterment of society. But the kingdom of Antichrist will never tolerate a message of self-denial and other forms of suffering, much less the Lordship of Christ.
We see, then, that one of the four horsemen of error that seek to prevent the establishing of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is the philosophy of humanism. It is a powerful force indeed and it fills the Christian churches of today as the pastors inform the congregations that God does not want them to suffer but to be prosperous and successful in all they do.
Gnosticism. The philosophy of Gnosticism was prevalent at the time of the birth of Christianity. Although Gnosticism appears in several forms, two of the central ideas are (1) salvation is obtained through specialized knowledge; and (2) matter is evil and spirit is good.
We can see both of these ideas working in Christian theology. Salvation, as preached today, consists primarily of our knowledge and acceptance of the facts concerning Christ, His sacrificial atonement and His bodily resurrection. If we agree to these we are saved regardless of our behavior. It is salvation based on specialized knowledge. This is Gnosticism.
Since the central purpose of the new covenant is to change our behavior, not to merely change our beliefs, we can understand how destructive modern preaching is to the Kingdom of God. Even though the Book of James informs us clearly that faith without works is dead, most of the preachers of today proclaim triumphantly that we are saved by “faith alone.” Yet the inspired Scripture states unequivocally that we are not saved by faith alone.
Satan could not care less about what we believe. It is when we begin to serve God that Satan becomes enraged, for righteous, obedient behavior on our part signals the end of his kingdom.
It probably was the Gnostic belief that matter is evil and spirit is good that caused the change in the Christian hope from the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth to the flight of the believers to the spirit Paradise to make their eternal home there.
The Scriptures do not teach that we are to make our eternal home in Heaven. The Scriptures are quite materialistic in viewpoint. God pronounced the material creation “very good.” The Lord Jesus came in order to redeem the physical creation from the hand of Satan. Even our mortal bodies are to be redeemed.
Evil came to us from the spirit realm, not from the physical realm.
Christianity is the opposite of Gnosticism.
It probably was Paul’s emphasis on setting our affection on things above that caused the early believers to receive some of the ideas of Gnosticism. They did not realize that Paul referred to the development of the Kingdom of God in the spirit realm prior to its coming to the earth.
We see, then, that both humanism and Gnosticism, intentionally or not, act to destroy the necessity for righteous behavior. Yet the creation of righteous behavior throughout the universe of God is the purpose of the new covenant.
All religions have special furnishings and architecture, special mysteries, and a required code of conduct—all except Christianity. Satan has been successful in convincing the Christian churches that there is no required code of conduct, we are saved by grace through faith. Therefore the Christian churches are not bearing the Divine testimony, because the Divine testimony is not in belief but in good works. Men must see our good works before they will glorify God.
Antinomianism. Antinomianism, an evil child of Gnosticism, is the doctrine that salvation is by grace and faith alone and there are no commandments that must be obeyed. Does this sound familiar? This heresy dates back to the early centuries of the Christian Era.
The most casual examination of the New Testament will show the error of today’s teaching of lawless grace. If we were to set down all the passages of the New Testament that express the necessity for keeping God’s commandments this booklet would turn into a substantial volume.
If our reader is not biased beyond redemption, a few passages from the Book of First John should suffice to reveal clearly that new-covenant grace is not an alternative to righteous behavior but the means by which we are enabled to keep God’s commandments.
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation [appeasement] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. (1 John 2:1-5)
Can you see from this passage that we are supposed to keep the righteous commandments of the Lord?
Let us look at another just to make sure.
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (I John 3:5-8)
One commentary we read stated that the thesis of First John is “assurance of our salvation.” But the Apostle John gave us the thesis: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.”
The blindness of our day is incredible. Although most of the New Testament commands us to live righteously, the influence of antinomian thought prevents us from perceiving what is written.
Humanism, Gnosticism, and antinomianism heavily influence Christian preaching and teaching.
Dispensationalism. When the entire Church Era is reviewed, the cultic teaching of Dispensationalism may emerge as the most destructive heresy of all.
One enormous error of Dispensationalism is the forcing of a division between Israel and the so-called “Gentile Church.” Thus we have a Gentile Church ruling in Heaven and a Jewish Kingdom ruling on the earth. There are two kingdoms, two Brides of the Lamb, two elects of God.
Dispensationalism is not only totally unscriptural, being easily disproved by an alert high school student, but it is totally impractical as well.
The first Christian church consisted of five thousand Jews in Jerusalem, all Orthodox, all fervently following Moses. No doubt all of these were born again but they knew little or nothing of the doctrine of grace. None of them were Gentiles.
Now, do these Jews form an earthly kingdom or a heavenly church? It may be noticed in Acts that Paul never made a distinction in his message between Jews and Gentiles, nor did he in his Epistles. In fact Paul proclaimed one new man comprising elect Jews and Gentiles.
The truth is, there is no heavenly church. Several statements in the New Testament inform us that the saints will rule, being a royal priesthood, but no passage indicates the saints will rule in Heaven.
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:10)
There is only the one Kingdom of God, the kingdom that will come down from Heaven above. The members no longer have racial identity. Each has been born again and now is part of the Life of Christ. This is taught so clearly by the Apostle Paul as to be undeniable.
Not only is Dispensationalism destructive of Kingdom thinking, it also is destructive of righteous behavior on the part of Christians. It is one of the four horsemen of error along with humanism, Gnosticism, and antinomianism.
Dispensationalism teaches us we are in a “dispensation of grace.” The idea is that in the previous dispensation, that of the Law of Moses, people were commanded to live righteously. Under the dispensation of grace we (Gentiles) are brought to Heaven to live forever (an unscriptural goal) on the basis of our acceptance of an abstract grace, an eternal amnesty unrelated to our behavior.
God would never usher in such a dispensation. The reason for bringing in a new covenant was that people were not behaving righteously under the old. The purpose of the new covenant is to write the law of God in our mind and heart so we behave righteously.
For finding fault with them [the people], he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. (Hebrews 8:8,9)
The immediate purpose of the new covenant is to create people who walk in righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. The ultimate purpose of the new covenant is to remove all rebellion and every other form of sin from the entire universe of God, imprisoning it for eternity in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.
We now, historically, are in the beginning of the Day of Atonement, particularly the spiritual activity associated with the second goat, the scapegoat. As such there is a major emphasis on repentance, on God’s people gaining victory over sin through Christ.
We see the tares of evil coming to maturity in the world around us. It is time now for the wheat of righteousness to come to maturity.
Satan has anticipated the day when the Spirit of God would begin to warn the Christian churches that it is time to become serious about gaining the victory over sin and so he has sent forth in advance the four horsemen of error.
Satan has injected the poison of humanism, Gnosticism, antinomianism, and Dispensationalism into Christian thinking. These four errors are spiritual. They are supernatural. They lay like a great weight on the minds and spirits of the believers to the point they cannot see what is written plainly in the New Testament.
Once while riding in an airplane we were writing on our portable computer. One of the stewardesses glanced over our shoulder, noticing we were writing something about the Christian life.
“I am a Christian,” she informed us. Then she asked us about the topic we were pursuing.
We responded, “the need for righteousness in the Christian churches.”
“Oh,” she said, “I hate that word!”
This is the result of today’s Christian preaching and teaching—a hatred of the term “righteousness.” Yet one might have a problem finding a topic more central to the Scriptures, a virtue closer to the heart of God.
It may be impossible for the adults of today to rid themselves of such thinking. We may be looking to our children, or to the generation after them, to attain the iron necessary to finally gain the victory that is required if Satan is to be hurled down from the heavens.
We stated in the beginning that our booklet may not be for everyone. But it is for you if you have the faith and determination to look up to the Lord Jesus right now and ask Him to rid you of the current errors and give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation that will enable you to understand the Scriptures.
Killing and Then Removing Sin
The new covenant attacks sin in three ways: by forgiving it, by killing it and finally by removing it. The removing of sin from the creation is one of the ultimate goals of the Christian redemption.
The grace of God in forgiving sin is so well understood there is no need to discuss it further. The forgiveness of sin is not the unique benefit of the new covenant, however, because sin was forgiven by the shedding of the blood of bulls and goats under the Law of Moses.
And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. (Leviticus 4:20)
First let us discuss what we mean by killing sin.
Killing sin. In several passages of the New Testament we are commanded to stop sinning.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. (I Corinthians 15:34)
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:24)
(One wonders what the subscribers to lawless grace do with such verses!)
Under the present covenant we are able to kill the vitality of the sin that dwells in us.
There are three basic forms of sin: worldliness, the lusts of the flesh, and self-will.
We put worldliness to death by praying to God to help us turn away from the things of this world. We present our body a living sacrifice. We refuse to be conformed to this present world. We are transformed by the renewing of our mind as we pray, study the Scriptures, and meet together with fervent Christians.
We put the lusts of the flesh to death by confessing them to God and asking His help in forgiving us and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.
First we must ask the Lord to give us the determination to say no to the particular sin that is troubling us. As soon as we gain the determination we confess the sin to God and allow Him to put it to death in us. We draw from the Lord the steel so we never again yield to this temptation. When we make up our mind to get rid of a behavior and go to the Lord about it in a determined manner, it will not be long before the behavior loses its power over us. Try it and see for yourself.
The battle against sin never ceases. As long as we walk in open confession of sin and an attitude of repentance, the blood of Jesus continues to keep us without condemnation. When we cease confessing and repenting of our sins and begin to go back into the world, we come under condemnation.
Then we are chastened by the Lord.
Putting self-will to death requires the special help of the Lord. In order to kill the self-will and rebellion in us the Lord brings us into suffering. Our task is to be patient in our tribulation, waiting continually on the Lord for the strength to get through each day. Sometimes we are in the Lord’s prison for many years.
We have to do what we do not want to do. We do not receive what we wish to receive. And so on for decades. The patient waiting on the Lord during times of suffering kills the self-will and rebellion in us.
The Christian is never to walk in known sin. Because we are under grace and not under the Law of Moses, sin cannot gain dominion over us unless we permit it to do so. There is ample grace in the blood of the Lord Jesus and the Spirit of God to enable us to gain victory over every evil that tempts us.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:12,13)
Removing sin. When the Lord returns He will remove from our personality that which we through the Spirit have put to death. Jesus will remove the last traces of worldliness, the lusts of our flesh, and our self-will and rebellion. This is the salvation that is to come in the last days.
Of special importance to our redemption is the giving to us of our robe of righteousness, our house from Heaven. Our robe is woven from our daily conduct as we overcome sin through the Spirit of God. Each time we wash our robe in the blood of the Lamb an increment of righteousness is added to our house from Heaven. In the Day of the Lord we will be clothed in our own Christ-filled righteous works.
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteous works] of saints. (Revelation 19:8)
Does the Scripture speak of such a redemption, such a deliverance to come? Indeed it does. The removal of sin from the personality of the victorious saints is mentioned several times in the New Testament.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Romans 13:11)
Which is the earnest [guarantee] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:14)
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)
What we have in the present hour is a pledge, a deposit on the salvation that is to come. The salvation that is to come is the removal of sin from our personality.
The Lamb of God shall not only forgive, but also take away the sin of the world.
He shall be called Jesus because He shall save His people from their sins, not in their sins.
Jesus will save us from the hand of the enemy so we may live in righteousness.
That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. (Luke 1:74,75)
The Lord Jesus came so we might walk in holiness and righteousness before Him. To those who would claim that Luke 1:74,75 is addressed to the Jews, our response would be that in this case God has reserved a salvation for the Jews that is greater than His provision for the Gentiles.
God is ready to deliver the Jews so they may walk in holiness and righteousness before Him. However, the best He can do for Gentiles is to impute righteousness to them and carry them to Heaven to live in a mansion of gold where they never will be tempted again. This is what is taught today. Do you actually believe such an unscriptural, illogical fairy tale?
Notice how the Lord can remove sin from our personality.
And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (Zechariah 3:4)
The Lord has in mind to remove the sin from the Jewish people.
First the Lord will come to those in Zion, in the Church, who turn away from sin.
And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 59:20)
Then those to whom the Lord has come shall themselves go to the Jewish people and deliver them from all sin.
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (Romans 11:26)
There are two illustrations in the Old Testament that portray the killing, and then the removal of sin.
The Cave of Makkedah. Joshua was in a battle with the Amorites. Before long he had captured their five kings. He locked them up in the Cave of Makkedah.
And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah. And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them: And stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the Lord your God hath delivered them into your hand. (Joshua 10:17-19)
This represents the killing, the rendering powerless, of sin.
Finally Joshua returned to the Cave of Makkedah and made a final end of the kings of the Amorites.
And they did so, and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the Lord do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. (Joshua 10:23-26)
When the Lord Jesus returns He will show us that we never again have reason to fear or serve the lords of darkness.
The two topplings of Dagon. The Philistines unwisely placed in the temple of Dagon the Ark of the Covenant that they had captured. That night Dagon had a miserable time.
When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. (I Samuel 5:2,3)
The sin that troubles us will bow before us when we enter the Holy of Holies and seek help from the God of Heaven. The Spirit of God will give us the upper hand so we do not yield to sin.
The Philistines attempted once more to make peace between the God of Israel and Dagon, their fish God. Putting the Ark in the same room with Dagon proved to be a disaster for Dagon just as we bring disaster upon ourselves when we attempt to serve both God and Satan.
And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. (I Samuel 5:4)
Dagon could no longer think or act. So it shall be when the Lord returns. The sin we have kept under submission by the power of the Holy Spirit will no longer be able to think or act. It is gone forever as far as we are concerned.
At His coming the Lord Jesus will put a final end to the enemies of whom we have been afraid. He will teach us to never fear the workers of darkness. We shall put our feet on their necks, so to speak.
Under the new covenant, the covenant designed to ultimately make an end of sin in the creation, the Lord Jesus forgives our sin Then through His Spirit He helps us to kill our sin, rendering it powerless. At His coming the Lord Jesus will finally remove the presence of sin from us for eternity.
We have spoken so far of the forgiving, killing, and removing of sin with regards to the individual Christian. God has much more than this in mind. He is ready now to drive sin completely from His creation.
The Origin of Sin
At some point in time, so many eons past as to be incalculable, God through the Logos, whom we now know as Christ, created the inhabitants of the heavens.
For by him [the Logos] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Colossians 1:16)
Now the Throne of God was surrounded with all sorts of heavenly beings, some of them so majestic, so lofty in personality that we cannot even comprehend them.
Satan, a cherub, was one of these. He and another cherub covered the Throne of God with their wings.
The Logos, their Creator, the only Person begotten from the Father, also stood before the Throne of God. The Logos was and is the only begotten of the Father while these other personages were creatures created by the Logos. Sometimes they are referred to as sons of God, or stars, but they did not proceed from Person of the Father as did the Logos. They were created by the Logos for His pleasure.
It is our point of view that God knew even then that these new creatures would one day rebel and had already planned what He would do. But, as always, God permits situations to work out so the wisdom and justice of His decisions can be seen and understood by everyone.
How long this supremely glorious company dwelled in heavenly joy we do not know. But at some point it came into Satan’s heart to compete against God.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:12-14)
This was the origin of sin. The authority structure of the heavens was thrown into disarray. A creature had challenged the wisdom and power of the Father!
God withdrew above the heavens to make His plans.
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. (Psalms 8:1,2)
“The enemy and the avenger.”
The wicked lords of the heavens arrayed themselves against the Father, bringing accusations against His righteous Character.
Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. (II Samuel 12:14)
Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? (Job 1:9)
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (Revelation 12:10)
“The accuser of our brethren.” Satan is still accusing God concerning the conduct of God’s elect.
While the rebellious lords of the heavenly palace plotted against the Father, One stood true—the Logos. He revealed the righteousness and faithfulness of His Nature, having been born from the Father.
Now we have the Father. We have the Logos standing in righteousness and faithfulness before the Father. We have also a number of very highly placed spirits in various stages of rebellion and disobedience.
What will the Father do to deal with all of this?
The Father decided in His own counsels, while withdrawn above the heavens, to create a new kind of person, a person capable of union with God and with others of his kind. The new individual would be created in helplessness, bound to a planet by gravity.
The Father would make His eternal throne in the Logos and then They, the Father and the Logos, would make Their eternal throne in a multitude of the new persons called the Church (called-out ones).
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)
Notice in the above verse that before we are privileged to become the throne of God we must keep the words of the Lord Jesus, strictly observing every one of them.
The Father determined to bring forth His plan through weakness and helplessness, through babies, through mangers, through the foolishness of preaching—all with the intention of confounding the high and mighty lords who are so full of their own conceits.
The next move was to create, through the Logos, the physical heavens and earth, and the new kind of person—man.
Man would have to be touched with the sickness of the rebellion and then provided with an antibody, Christ, to create an eternal immunity to sin and rebellion.
The next step would be to begin to speak to the wicked lords of the heavens through the mouths of certain of the new people, the prophets. The words of the Bible are addressed primarily to the wicked lords, to the Logos (Christ), and to those who become part of the Logos.
The first words of the Lord to Satan were as follows:
And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:14,15)
It is our point of view that the “dust” mentioned in the above verse refers to the material form of man. It is a hidden message addressed to Satan and his followers who have been bound with an insatiable desire for human flesh. Perhaps this accounts for the sexual lust and perversion that spring up wherever God’s commandments are ignored.
The Ten Commandments are a judgment on the wicked, rebellious lords of darkness against whom we struggle. They are an abridged form of the larger, more comprehensive eternal moral law of God that had been violated by the ambitious angels.
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by [through] the church the manifold wisdom of God, (Ephesians 3:10)
For example, the tenth commandment forbids us to covet. Satan coveted the authority and majesty of the Father. God spoke to Satan through Moses: “Thou shalt not covet.”
The statements that pose the most threat to the fallen angels are those addressed to the faithful Logos. The Father has determined to give everything to the Logos and to assign the rebellious lords to eternal punishment. The Lake of Fire is prepared for the devil and his angels.
The envy, jealousy, and spite the Father’s decision has aroused in the rebels is past our comprehension. Their envy, jealousy, and spite account for the slander, strife, striving for preeminence, and other aspects of the adamic personality found so often in the Christian churches.
Look what the Father has said to the Logos:
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. (Psalms 2:6-9)
The above passage is interesting because the Father is referring to the Logos, the eternal Word, as His Son. Furthermore, the Father is inviting the Son to pray for that which He originally had created—the nations and the ends of the earth.
Part of the Father’s infinitely wise plan to put an end to rebellion and sin was to have His Son, the Logos, born into the world of human beings. And born in a manger at that! Imagine, the Creator of all, being born as a Baby! So great is the wisdom of God!
If the Logos, the Son, was to inherit and govern the new creation He must be brought low before the Father. He had to learn obedience. He who would be raised to the highest throne must be brought lower than any other person. And so it happened.
Now the Logos is Son of God, Son of Man, and soon would be Christ—the One anointed with the Holy Spirit to establish the heavens and the earth in righteousness, and to say to Zion, “You are My people.”
Christ grew up as a Jewish boy. As He pondered the Scriptures the Holy Spirit spoke to Him:
Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (Psalms 45:2-7)
How the heart of the Boy, Jesus, must have burned within Him as He read these words.
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Psalms 110:1-4)
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3-5)
The supreme glory was to be His and the supreme suffering was to be His. He cried out, “Not My will but Yours be done.” This statement marks the beginning of the end of the heavenly rebellion. Now the Father had a Beginning, an Anchor, a Point from which He could proceed with His plan to put an end to sin and rebellion.
Perfect righteousness and perfect obedience had been found. What would have taken place if the Son had refused to do His Father’s will? Only God knows that but it would have been a horror of horrors.
Some teach that it was impossible for Christ to sin, and it will be impossible for the saints to sin “once they get to Heaven.” We cannot agree with this. It always has been possible for Christ, for people, and for angels to sin and it always will be possible for Christ, for people, and for angels to sin. This is why there is a wall around the new Jerusalem and why the saints will govern the works of God’s hands forever.
If it were impossible for Christ sin He would not have been tempted in all points like as we. It simply would have been impossible for Him to be tempted.
Making the Lord Jesus a third person coequal with the Father, or making Him the Father or the Father with a different name, or claiming that it is impossible for Him to sin, has about it a sense of reverence. In our desire to ascribe to Jesus the majesty due Him we go beyond the Scriptures.
Is the Father greater than Jesus? Yes, He is.
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. (John 14:28)
Jesus is the Son and Servant of God and would be the first Person to tell us that His Father is greater than He. However, this is to say that a million to the millionth to the millionth to the millionth power is larger than a million to the millionth to the millionth power. Both numbers are so large as to be incomprehensible. It has been said, in fact, that nine to the ninth to the ninth power is a greater number than all the snowflakes that have fallen from the beginning of time.
To say one eternity and infinity is greater than another eternity and infinity may be permissible in theory but ordinarily it has no practical value. However, in the case of the Father and the Lord Jesus it does help us very much that our Lord, Christ, although having been with the Father from a period incomprehensible to us and being our Creator, has nevertheless become our elder Brother. “Go and tell My brothers that I ascend to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God, He joyfully announced to Mary.” (John 20:17).
It adds no glory to Christ to make Him out to be another God coequal with the Father, and such a concept does render many passages of the Scriptures void of meaning.
Also, the Jews will have nothing to do with such an idea. The basis of their theology is that their Lord is one Lord. They are monotheists and will have nothing to do with polytheism.
We can never become another God. But we can become another son of God. We can never be another Firstbegotten from the dead. But we can become another person begotten from the dead.
The most acceptable manner in which we can show our love and reverence for Christ is to do what He says.
Will Christ sin? No, He will not; not because He cannot sin but because He chooses not to sin. Otherwise the cry in Gethsemane, “Not My will but Yours be done,” is a farce.
Will we sin when we are in the new world of righteousness. Not if we have had Christ formed in us. We always shall be capable of sinning but we shall choose not to sin because we like Christ have now been born of God.
Our task will be to govern the creation so that sin never arises again.
All sin and rebellion have one proper home—the Lake of Fire. They do not belong in the creation of God—not now, not ever!
The Master Plan
Now we have the Father, perfect in holiness and righteousness.
We have Christ, perfect in holiness, righteousness, and obedience to the Father.
The next group to be made perfect in holiness, righteousness, and obedience to the Father is the firstfruits of the Church, the Gideon company, David’s mighty men, the Ark of the Covenant separated temporarily from the Tabernacle of the Congregation, the hundredfold, the “only one of her mother”—refer to them however you like. There shall come forth from the Church a holy, warlike remnant of saints.
The next step in the removal of sin and rebellion from the creation will be the hurling down of Satan and all other rebels from their thrones and positions in the heavenlies. This will be made possible by the fact that the firstfruits will overcome the accuser of the brothers. Then Michael and his angels will be able to drive Satan and his followers from the heavens.
Everything that can be shaken will be removed from the heavens and the earth.
Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: (Hebrews 12:26-28)
After this the remainder of the Church will be purified from all sin and rebellion and made obedient to the Father.
Finally every member of the saved nations will be holy, righteous, and obedient to the Father.
Satan, his angels, and the people who are lost will be contained forever in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
This is the master plan for ridding God’s creation of rebellion and sin, for driving all that is lawless from the universe. The new Jerusalem will be surrounded by an impregnable wall so that rebellion never again can come near the Father’s Throne.
The Creation of the Firstfruit of the Church
In the Scriptures we can see several examples of God speaking to one or a few member of His chosen people while the remainder were unable to gain victory or in an apostate condition. Though Israel is as the sand of the sea in number, it is a remnant that is saved.
The forming of Gideon’s three hundred is an example of a small part of Israel gaining a most important victory.
So it will be in the last days. There will be drawn from God’s people at large a warlike remnant who will succeed in gaining victory over Satan, who will purify themselves of all rebellion and sin as they cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit.
We notice in the Old Testament and the New that as we draw near to the end of the age the Church, Zion, will enter a travail and will bring forth a child.
Notice the following:
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. (Micah 5:2,3)
When she who travails has brought forth her child, the remnant of the brothers of Christ will return to the children of Israel. The brothers of Christ are those whom God has predestined to be in His image.
After the child returns to the children of Israel Christ will rule with great power.
And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. (Micah 5:8)
A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to his enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. (Isaiah 66:6-8)
God will render recompence to His enemies. Before Zion, the Church, travailed, she was delivered of a man child. We believe this man child was Christ who was born before the Church travailed.
Later Zion travails and brings forth her children.
Paul spoke of travailing in birth until Christ was formed in the saints in Galatia. The believers in Galatia were being led back into the Law of Moses. Paul knew that perfect victory could come to them only as Christ was formed in them (Galatians 4:19).
Paul himself was crucified with Christ and Christ was living in him. Paul stated that circumcision was nothing and uncircumcision was of no consequence. All that matters is the new creation, that is, Christ formed in us.
God moves at certain points of history. There was a time when God called to Moses through a burning bush. There was a time when God spoke to John the Baptist in the wilderness.
There was a time when the thundering God of Sinai walked among people as a carpenter’s son. There was a time when Christ called out twelve apostles. The names of eleven of them are in the foundations of the wall of the new Jerusalem and shall be there forever.
Things do not happen democratically in the Kingdom of God. There come seasons of opportunity for specific persons. If they avail themselves of the opportunity they go on to vast rewards.
Today is the hour for the Church to enter travail. From the travail of the Church will proceed a company of saints who will overcome Satan to the point that Michael and his angels are able to remove Satan and his followers from the heavens.
The overcoming saints gain the victory by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and by loving not their lives to the point of death.
But first Christ must be born in them.
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. (Revelation 12:5)
The male Son is Christ who has been formed in the saints through the travail of the Church. These are God’s eternal rulers, the firstfruits of the Church.
And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)
It is hard for us to believe, who have wrestled for so long against the wicked powers in the heavens, that there will come a day when the wrestling match has come to a victorious conclusion; when Satan has been pinned to the mat.
Yet, this victory shall be won. But it will not be won by the efforts of human beings but by the forming of Christ in human beings.
God is ready to roar out of Zion, but first He must be formed in Zion.
Of all the necessary efforts of our day the most important is the forming of Christ in the believers. No progress can be made toward the removal of the presence of sin from the creation until Christ has been formed in the saints.
All we do from this point forward should be conducted with the goal in mind of forming Christ in the saints. This goal should be given the highest priority in all that is done during the assembly of the saints.
We have the Father—perfect in holiness and righteousness.
We have Christ—perfect in holiness, righteousness, and obedience to God.
Now we have the firstfruits of the Church being made perfect in holiness, righteousness, and obedience to the Father until they are able to overcome the accuser so he may be hurled down from the heavens with his followers.
The only manner in which the firstfruits of the Church can be made perfect in holiness, righteousness, and obedience to the Father is by submitting to the process of crucifixion with Christ so that Christ may live in them. The Holy Spirit is ready to bring whoever will agree to the program through every process necessary for the complete and perfect formation of Christ in them.
The time is now. Are you willing? Will you forsake all in order that the Spirit may form Christ in you? What is your answer? God is waiting.
The Penetration of Satan Into the Heavens and the Casting Down to the Earth of the Stars of God
God forgives and covers sin, then suppresses its actions, and finally brings it out into the light that it may be completely destroyed and removed.
We saw this pattern in the incident at the Cave of Makkedah.
God is ready now to shake the heavens and the earth in order to bring sin out into the light that it may be destroyed and removed from the creation.
You may discover, if you have been a Christian for many years, that the sin and rebellion of your personality that you thought had left a long time ago are now lifting up their heads in you. God is preparing to destroy them from your personality.
The process of exposing sin will operate on a universal scale.
God will shake sin out of the heavens and the earth by first giving Satan authority and power he never has been permitted to exercise.
Satan will give this authority and power to Antichrist just as the Father is giving His authority and power to Christ.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:1-8)
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. (Daniel 7:21,22)
And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. (Daniel 12:7)
After the latter-rain revival during the first half of the week, Satan through Antichrist will be permitted to overcome the testimony of the saints. He will do this both by the terror of force and especially by the love of the world, the lusts of the flesh, and the self-will and disobedience on the part of the peoples of the earth, including some of the saints who have borne the witness.
After the earth-shaking testimony of the two witnesses (Christ and His Body) Satan will tempt the saints more skillfully than ever before until the dead bodies of the testimony lie in the street of Sodom (the lust of the flesh; immorality); Egypt (the love of the things of the world; the love of money); and Jerusalem (spiritual pride as Christian leaders are lifted to positions of prominence in the world government).
Antichrist will lift up his voice against all who dwell in the heaven.
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (Revelation 13:6)
Though it may be hard to understand, every true saint, whether living on earth or in Heaven, dwells in the heaven.
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 2:6)
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)
We think of Heaven as being beyond on the stars. It is more likely that Heaven is all around us and just over our heads, although in a dimension we cannot see at this time.
Every true saint already is sitting in heavenly places in Christ.
When the male Son is brought forth in us He ascends immediately to the right hand of the Father. He is destined to govern all the works of God’s hands.
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. (Revelation 12:5)
If we are part of Christ we already have taken our place at the right hand of God with Him.
Thus there is a host in the heaven. The host, as far as we understand, includes both angels and people.
In the last days God will permit Satan to gain access to the host and to tear them down if he can. This is the great shaking of which the Lord has spoken.
We might think that God would never allow Satan to tempt God’s holy people and angels? But did not God permit Satan to stand before the Lord Jesus, his Creator, and ask for His worship? Do not think that God will not permit his saints to be tempted in every extreme form so that their faithfulness and obedience to God may be established beyond doubt.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. (II Corinthians 10:5,6)
Disobedience to God will not be punished until the elect have been found to be totally obedient.
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression [rebellion], and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (Daniel 8:9-14)
The sanctuary of God has been purified by the sprinkling of the blood of the Lord Jesus.
It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. (Hebrews 9:23)
But now the sanctuary must be cleansed by the removal of the presence of those who do not obey the Lord.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [heavenly] places. (Ephesians 6:12)
The penetration of wickedness into the heights of the heavens will be so profound that the people in the large cities of the earth will no longer be able to seek Christ for salvation, to receive the Holy Spirit, or even to pray. This is the meaning of the following:
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)
In the last days Satan will have seven heads, seven crowns on his heads, and ten horns—so great will be the authority and power given to him. But the saints in whom Christ has been formed will finally overcome him.
When Satan is forced down from the heavens his tail will draw a third part of the stars out of the heavens with him. All that have not been found faithful and righteous will fall through temptation, following Satan from their place in the heavens to the earth. We have seen this happening already as outstanding ministers of the Gospel have been brought down from their heavenly standing by their lust for the things of earth.
The fall of the heavenly personages is taking place today and will be greatly accelerated in the future until the heavens have been cleansed.
God will continue His shaking until all that is not of Christ has been removed from the creation. God intends to bring in everlasting righteousness.
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (Daniel 9:24)
“To bring in everlasting righteousness.”
A new world filled with righteousness, Peter predicts. The scepter of King Jesus is a scepter of righteousness. We can understand from this why Satan has sent his four horsemen into the thinking of Christian people. Satan puts the highest priority on preventing righteous conduct in Christian people. Satan understands that God’s Kingdom is one of righteousness and that apart from righteous behavior on the part of the saints Satan has nothing to fear.
Balaam counseled Balak to tempt the Israelite warriors with the Moabite girls. Balak could not possibly overcome Israel until he could persuade Israel to sin. Satan cannot possibly overcome the Christian churches except as he is able to tempt the believers to commit sin.
The coming to maturity of the tares of evil in the last days will attain monumental proportions. Scenes of revelry on the earth will exceed those of the citizens of Sodom. The people of the large cities, caught in the wild abandonment of the flesh, will not be able to pray. Satan will have control of the heavens above them.
But the Throne of Almighty God will be entering the warlike remnant left on the earth. The remnant will be forced to flee to the wilderness areas of the earth for safety, as we understand the Scriptures. Many devout Jews will flee from the land of Israel because Antichrist will be sitting between the wings of the cherubim in the rebuilt Temple proclaiming himself to be the only true God.
There will be salvation and safety for those who flee to the remnant for protection, for God will cover them with His Glory.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. (Joel 2:32)
First the Lord will purify the warlike remnant of saints.
When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. (Isaiah 4:4)
After this the Lord will cover the saints with His Glory.
And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. (Isaiah 4:5)
Then the Lord will make His purified saints a place of refuge for all those on the earth who would seek the Lord during the reign of Antichrist.
Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man [the King and His princes—other translations] shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. (Isaiah 32:1,2)
Can you see Satan’s purpose in seeking to put a division between Israel and the Church? The believers are left with the impression that such passages as the above are speaking to physical Israel. They are not speaking to physical Israel but to Christ, the Seed of Abraham, and all who are part of Him.
In the present hour the most devout of the believers are being judged and purified.
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. (Revelation 11:1)
When the judgment has been completed the purified saints will act together with the Lord Jesus as two witnesses. When the witness of the coming of the Kingdom has been borne to every nation, then the end of the Church Age as we know it will be here.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)
The anointing for testifying will be lifted and Antichrist will be given the authority and power needed to drive the Christian witness from the great cities of the earth—cities linked by telecommunications until they compose one great city.
Then the spiritual darkness of which we have spoken shall cover the earth and the remnant of saints will be forced to flee to the wilderness along with the elect Jews.
When the testimony has been completely overcome the Spirit of God will rise on the saints in the heavens and on the earth.
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)
The Lord will descend with ten thousands of His saints. They will retrieve their bodies from their place of burial. The living remnant will be transformed. The army of the Lord is now standing on the earth. The Commander in Chief will call His army up to Himself, to His position in the air.
Then the army of the Lord will descend to the earth, set Jerusalem free from the armies of Antichrist, and remove the rebellion and the sin from the Jews who are left in the land of Israel.
… and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (Zechariah 14:5)
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (Romans 11:26)
Now the Lord and His saints will make the kingdoms of the world the Kingdom of God and of His Christ.
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)
The morning is coming, but first must come the night—the darkest night the creation has ever seen or ever will see again. All that sets itself, whether spiritual or physical, against God and His Christ, will be destroyed—eternally removed from the Presence of God, His saints, and the elect angels.
It is an eternal judgment.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1,2)
Each of us if he or she is wise will put on the whole armor of God that we may stand during the age of moral horrors that is quickly coming upon us. We must pray for the willingness and the strength to gain the upper hand over the rebellion and sin of our nature. This we can do through Christ.
But if we are careless we will be seduced by Antichrist. We will be shaken out of the Kingdom of God. Our crown of life and righteousness will be given to another. All of this will take place whether or not we profess to believe in Christ. Take heed that no person or spirit deceive you.
The Purifying of the Church
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:27)
God is preparing to remove sin completely from the creation and to usher in everlasting righteousness.
- First there is the totally holy, totally righteous Father.
- Then there is the totally holy, totally righteous, totally obedient Son.
- After the Son comes the firstfruits of the Church, those who today are becoming totally holy, totally righteous, and totally obedient to the Father.
- Satan and all his followers will be shaken out of the Kingdom.
- Then the remainder of the Church will be made totally holy, totally righteous, and totally obedient to the Father.
- Finally every saved person on the new earth will be made totally holy, totally righteous, and totally obedient to the Father. Everlasting righteousness shall be brought to the entire creation of God. No rebellion or sin of any kind whatever will be permitted in the new creation.
We spoke of the firstfruits of the Church, and then of the remainder the Church. It is our point of view that the firstfruits will assist the remainder of the Church to be rid of all rebellion and sin against God.
Notice that the firstfruits makes herself ready.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (Revelation 19:7)
But the balance of the Church is made ready by others.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)
We this pattern in the Song of Solomon.
There is the firstfruits:
I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour. (Song of Solomon 8:10)
Then there are relatives of the firstfruits who, we believe, are assisted by the firstfruits:
We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar. (Song of Solomon 8:8,9)
The Church is filled with rebellion and sin in the present hour. But the Scriptures announce that the Church finally will be unblemished. The perfecting of the Church will take place on the third day, that is, during the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. (Hosea 6:2)
And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. (Luke 13:32)
A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (Isaiah 42:3)
This does not mean we can be careless today and be brought to perfection in the age to come. The New Testament speaks of the extremely serious consequence that will result from a careless Christian life, such as assignment to outer darkness and other forms of destruction. Whoever understands the Lord’s will and does not do it will be beaten with many lashes. Make no mistake about this, the lukewarm Christians will be vomited from the Lord’s mouth.
Rather it is those who made the best use of whatever was given to them that will be brought to perfection in the age to come.
The Purifying of the Members of the Saved Nations
The victorious saints will govern the members of the saved nations with a rod of iron. This means they will not tolerate rebellion or sin—not even one instance of it!
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:26,27)
The concept of saved people living on the new earth who are not part of the Church may be new to our reader. But until one grasps that Israel (including the Church) comprises called-out people whose destiny is to be made a royal priesthood, much of the Scriptures, both Old Testament and New, will not make much sense.
The new Jerusalem is the glorified Israel, the glorified Church, the Wife of the Lamb. The new Jerusalem is the eternal tabernacle of God and will bring all sorts of blessings, as well as iron discipline, to the saved people who live on the new earth.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Revelation 21:3)
The Church is the tabernacle of God. The men with whom God will dwell in His tabernacle are the saved people of the world. They will be citizens of the nations that surround the new Jerusalem just as the Courtyard surrounded the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. (Revelation 21:24)
The saved nations of the earth are the inheritance of Christ and those who are coheirs with Him.
Christian people speak of mansions, harps, golden slippers, and acres of diamonds. What foolishness! To inherit one person is better than ten thousand such heavens.
Our inheritance is people—people to love, guide, bless, warn, heal as well as to discipline.
The people will understand that we are the priests of God and will respond in obedience.
And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. (Isaiah 61:5,6)
The people will come to us, bringing their families with them.
And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles [nations] shall come unto thee. (Isaiah 60:3-5)
As soon as the evil princes have been removed from the thrones of the air and the saints have taken their place, the spiritual environment of the earth will change dramatically. The peoples of the saved nations will desire to learn the righteous ways of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:2-4)
No doubt the kings and lords over the saved nations will be saints. This is why the Lord Jesus is termed King of kings and Lord of lords.
The nations will learn righteousness and glorify God only when they see righteous behavior on the part of the saints. This is another reason why Satan strives so mightily to prevent the Christians from understanding the need for righteous behavior.
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:11)
For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. (Isaiah 62:1)
So great is the deadly bias against righteous works on the part of Christians that a popular translation adds the word “imputed” to the above verse. The perverted reading is, “until the imputed righteousness thereof go forth as brightness.”
There is no lexical or logical basis for the addition. There is no manner in which an imputed righteousness can go forth as brightness. This illogical addition shows the violence of the bias operating in an otherwise devout scholar.
Because people can always sin if they so choose, the saints will govern and judge the creation of God forever. The saints will perform the work of righteous government, which is to enforce the laws of God.
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)
The New World of Righteousness, the Kingdom of God, and the Lake of Fire
The good news is that the Kingdom of God is coming to the earth from Heaven. The Kingdom of God is the doing of God’s will in the earth as it is in Heaven. When the heavens are purged it will be infinitely easier to do God’s will in the earth.
The coming of Christ and His saints is for the purpose of establishing justice and peace on the earth, not, as is commonly taught, for the bringing of the Church to Heaven (what good would that do?).
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles [nations]. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. (Isaiah 42:1-44)
What a wonderful world it will be—the new world of righteousness!
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 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 11:1-9)
The Lord Jesus could have brought in such a world two thousand years ago, after His resurrection. But Jesus has chosen that the Glory of God shall come to the earth through His Body. He is the Vine. We are the branches. The fruits is borne on the branches.
When we are one in Christ in the Father, then the world will believe that God has sent the Lord Jesus and that He loves the saints just as He loves the Lord Jesus.
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:23)
It is a glorious world to think about.
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. (Isaiah 65:22)
The above will be true for the land of Israel. But the same shall hold true for all the peoples of the saved nations.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
There cannot be peace on the earth until there first is an abundance of righteousness.
Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; (Isaiah 32:15-18)
The Kingdom of God is first an inner Kingdom being developed in the saints. As soon as it has come to maturity in a firstfruits of the Church the Lord Jesus will return with the firstfruits and govern the world from Jerusalem. The inner Kingdom will come from within Christ and the saints and bring justice and peace to the saved nations, resulting in an outer kingdom.
After the earth and heaven have passed away there will be a new heaven and a new earth. The entire Bride of Lamb will descend from Heaven and be established forever on the new earth. Then the tabernacle of God will be among people. There will be no more rod of iron because the final rebellion has already taken place—at the close of the thousand-year Kingdom Age. Since that time the wicked have been confined to the Lake of Fire with the devil and his angels. Only those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be permitted to enter the new world of righteousness, the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
All rebels and their rebellion will be removed from the new Jerusalem and from the saved nations of the earth. A huge wall will surround the holy city. No sin or rebellion of any kind will ever be permitted to enter through the gates, gain access to the tree of life, or come into the Presence of God.
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Revelation 22:14,15)
The Lake of Fire has authority over the following behaviors:
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
It is extremely important for Christians to understand that the Lord Jesus did not come to save us from the Lake of Fire. The Lord Jesus came to save us from the behavior that always belong in the Lake of Fire.
If Jesus came to save us from the Lake of Fire He would be working against the Father’s judgment. This shall never happen! Until Jesus has delivered us from the behaviors that rightfully belong in the Lake of Fire, the Lake of Fire has authority over us.
The victorious Christian has the guarantee in writing that the second death cannot harm him or her.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Revelation 2:11)
The believer who is walking in the sins of the flesh has no such guarantee.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21)
The penalty for walking in sinful behavior is “shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” This warning was addressed to the Christians living in Galatia.
All rebellion and sin, whether practiced by angels or human beings, finally will be confined for eternity in the Lake of Fire. This prison will be available throughout eternity as an object lesson for all of God’s creatures.
And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (Isaiah 66:23,24)
The entire material creation is a response to a rebellion that took place in eons past. Whether the Father understood, when He through the Logos created the spirit inhabitants of the heavens, that His spirit creatures would rebel, and always had the material creation in mind as an ultimate solution, we do not know. The writer’s guess is that the Father did plan all of this in advance—that the material world governed by a kingdom that is both internal and external always was His ultimate purpose.
The Father is wise enough and powerful enough for such an undertaking.
Present Christian teaching attacks the moral nature of God by claiming that if we take the correct doctrinal position we can continue in rebellion and sin without dying spiritually. We can sow sin and reap eternal life and righteousness. If this were true it would signify a change in the Nature of God. A change in the Nature of God would be a catastrophe of such magnitude that the most blessed of all creatures would be those who never had come into existence—be they angels or people.
No, the moral Nature of the God of Israel has never changed and shall never change. It is His creatures who must change. God will not permit rebellion or sin of any kind whatever to exist in His creation, except in confinement in an area from which all love, all joy, all peace have been walled off forever—to the ages of ages.
Today the Christian Church, at least a part of the Church, has been justified by the blood of the Lamb, has been born of God and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit of God.
Now a still smaller part of the Church is being called on to view rebellion and sin with an iron hostility—not the sin of others but our own sin. We are to call on the Lord until we receive the determination and strength to drive from our personality all that is not pleasing to the Lord. This we shall do with God’s help.
Also we must consecrate ourselves to total, stern obedience to the Father. Apart from such stern obedience we cannot march in the army of the Lord, the army that will return with Christ and drive sin from the creation.
We must overcome the accuser through the legal authority of the blood of the Lamb. We must overcome the accuser by the word of our testimony that God and His Word are unfailingly faithful and true. We must overcome the accuser by consecrating ourselves to the point of death in order that we might continue to do the perfect will of the Father. We can do these things and we must. The heavens and the earth await our decision.
Let us lift up our heart in faith and grasp the concept of everlasting righteousness, the hope of a new world in which all is righteousness, all is praise to God through Christ.
Read God’s Word until you are satisfied that God has determined to put an eternal end to all rebellion and sin. Then lay hold on the blood of the Lamb, resolve to bear a true testimony of God at whatever cost, and seal your resolve that such will be your stance until the moment of your death.
If you will do this God will give you a place to stand before Him forever.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. (Zechariah 3:7)
These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks [lampstands] standing before the God of the earth. (Revelation 11:4)
A billion years from now, if time continues to operate in the new world of righteousness, you will have the incomparable satisfaction of knowing that God was able to depend on your faithfulness—actually His faithfulness created in you as you prayed and then obeyed His commandments.
Christ was exalted above His fellows because He loved righteousness and hated iniquity. Let us follow in His steps.
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (I John 2:6)
(“The Second Goat”, 3902-1)