SEVEN STEPS TO THE REST OF GOD

(Trumpet Ministries, Inc. / Word of Righteousness)

SEVEN STEPS TO THE REST OF GOD Copyright Š 201 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Christian salvation is a process, a definite program. The program of salvation begins when we receive by faith the atonement made on Calvary by the Lord Jesus Christ. The program of salvation is brought to a conclusion when we enter the promised land of the rest of God. The seven feasts of the Lord are one of the major scriptural types of the process of salvation. The seven feasts typify the steps we are to take as we enter the rest of God.

Table of Contents

The Passover The Feast of Unleavened Bread The Feast of Firstfruits The Feast of Pentecost The Blowing of Trumpets The Day of Atonement The Feast of Tabernacles

SEVEN STEPS TO THE REST OF GOD

 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)

The Christian salvation, or redemption, is a process. It is a definite program. The program of salvation begins when we receive by faith the atonement made on the cross of Calvary by the Lord Jesus Christ. The program of salvation is brought to a conclusion when we enter the promised-land rest of God.

 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Hebrews 4:10,11)

The Lord Jesus is the One who began our salvation. Jesus is the One who will finish our salvation. Every step along the way is guided by Him provided we are pressing forward in prayer and faith each day.

The seven feasts of the Lord, as set forth in the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus, make up one of the major Scriptural types of the process of salvation.

Notice that each of the seven feasts is proclaimed in its season, signifying there is a Divine timing that operates in our growth toward spiritual maturity and in the growth of the whole Body of Christ.

 These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. (Leviticus 23:4)

Notice also when it comes time for us to move into one of the feasts the Holy Spirit may prompt us to cease our striving and pay careful attention to what the Spirit is saying to us. We are to "do no servile work" when God is moving us forward (Leviticus 23:7, 8, 21, 25).

 the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. (Leviticus 23:7)

The seven feasts, which typify the seven steps to the rest of God, are:

1. Passover (Leviticus 23:5).

2. Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6).

3. Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:10).

4. Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-17).

5. The Blowing of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24).

6. The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27).

7. Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34).

The seven feasts portray the seven aspects of the Divine redemption that is in Christ. Each of the feasts has a historical fulfillment and also a personal fulfillment. In order for the historical fulfillment to profit us we must partake of the personal fulfillment.

The historical fulfillments of the seven feasts reveal the steps that the Lord God is taking as He establishes His Kingdom on the earth:

Passover—the death of Christ on the cross.

Unleavened Bread—the descent of Christ into Hades.

Firstfruits—Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

Pentecost—the sending of the Holy Spirit from Heaven.

Blowing of Trumpets—the sounding of the seven trumpets of the Book of Revelation. Christ will come and raise His saints from the dead at the seventh trumpet and take possession of the nations of the earth.

Day of Atonement—the thousand-year reign of Christ over the present earth.

Tabernacles—the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.

The above are mighty acts of the Lord God of Heaven. They are the seven foundation stones on which the eternal Kingdom of God is being constructed.

Each of the seven aspects must be performed in the individual believer. Otherwise the universal acts of God remain external to him and do not bring him into the rest of God, into the Presence and joy of God.

The personal fulfillments follow:

Passover—the shielding of the believer and his household from the Divine judgment; the work of the body and blood of Christ in our personality.

Unleavened Bread—death to the world and resurrection with Christ as signified by our sincere repentance and participation in water baptism.

Firstfruits—the birth of Christ in us; the beginning of the redemption of our whole personality.

Pentecost—the coming of the Holy Spirit of God into our personality to guide us into holiness, and also to give us wisdom and power to bear witness.

Blowing of Trumpets—the coming of Christ the King, the Lord of Armies, through the Spirit, to wage war against the enemies in our personality and to discipline us as a member of His army.

Day of Atonement—our reconciliation to God; the preparing of the Bride.

Tabernacles—God and Christ settle down to rest in us; the marriage of the Lamb.

It is only as we experience the personal fulfillments of the seven Levitical feasts that the kingdom-wide, historical fulfillments become of benefit to us.

Now, let us look more closely at the personal fulfillments of the seven feasts.

The Passover

The feast of Passover (Exodus, Chapter 12) portrays the work of the body and blood of God’s Lamb, Christ, in our personalities. The blood of Christ enables us to overcome the accuser.

 And they overcame him 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)

The blood of Christ protects us against God’s wrath (Exodus 12:13; Romans 5:9; I Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 19:13).

The blood of Christ forgives our sins (Matthew 26:28; Romans 3:25).

The blood of Christ removes our sins (Hebrews 10:4, 11-14; I John 1:9; 3:5,8).

The body and blood of Christ are our eternal resurrection life (John 6:54).

The Church is referred to as the Wife of the Lamb because the saints become one with the Lamb by eating and drinking of the Lamb (Exodus 12:8; John 6:56,57; Revelation 21:9).

In order for us to benefit from the death of Christ, God’s Lamb, on the cross of Calvary, we must through faith avail ourselves personally of the Divine Virtues that are in the body and blood of Christ; and so with the remainder of the feasts of the Lord.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread

During the week of Unleavened Bread the Jews are to remove all leaven from their homes.

In order to be saved we must put away the "leaven of malice and wickedness" of the world (I Corinthians 5:8).

The Scripture commands us to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38). We are to wash away our sins (Acts 22:16).

In water baptism we enter the death of Christ (Romans 6:3). Because Christ descended into Hades (Acts 2:31; Jonah 2:2) a way has been made for us to pass through death unharmed (I Corinthians 15:55). When Satan attempts to follow us through death the water closes in on him as it did on the army of Pharaoh.

The sixth chapter of Romans undoubtedly represents the heart of the new covenant. We are told that since we have been baptized in water we are to count that we have been crucified with Christ and have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life.

It is a case of "dead reckoning." If we will regard our crucifixion with Christ as our previously determined position, and then set our course according to the commandments given by Christ and His Apostles, we certainly will arrive at our destination, which is transformation into the moral image of Christ and untroubled rest in the Father through Christ.

The Christian will avoid much trouble in his pilgrimage through the wilderness of this world if he truly will repent, reckoning himself to be crucified to the world and the world to him, at the time of his baptism in water.

The Feast of Firstfruits

The feast of Firstfruits marked the beginning of the barley harvest. One of the first sheaves to be harvested was brought to the priest who waved it before the Lord.

The principle of the firstfruits is this: if the firstfruits of the crop is set aside as holy to the Lord, the balance of the crop also is considered to be holy to the Lord.

So it is that when we are born again a "firstfruits" of our personality, our new spiritual life in Christ, is raised to the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1-4). Because God has accepted what has been born within us as holy to Himself, our entire personality is accepted as holy to the Lord (Romans 8:1; I Corinthians 7:14; Hebrews 10:14).

It is important for Christians to understand the future aspects of their redemption. What we enjoy now actually is a firstfruits of the salvation that is to come during the days attending the return of the Lord from Heaven.

Notice that the Apostle Paul, when addressing the saints in Rome, associated salvation with the coming of the Day of Christ:

 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)

"Now is our salvation nearer."

Our salvation begins instantaneously, is a process throughout our lifetime, and is to come in much greater glory at the appearing of the Lord.

Our faith is based on the cross and looks toward the salvation that is to come when the Lord Jesus returns.

Compare:

 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)

"Your redemption draws near."

Again:

 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)

The tumults and catastrophes that will come upon mankind in the closing days of this age will cause much fear. God’s elect are to lift up their heads for their redemption will come from Heaven at that time.

Peter informs us that the power of God working through our faith is guarding us until the salvation that is to be revealed in the spiritual fulfillments of the last three feasts takes place in us:

 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)

The Holy Spirit whom we have now is a security deposit, a deposit on the redemption that is to be revealed at the end of the age. Since we now are in the last days the anticipated work of redemption has begun with the release of God’s people from moral bondages. The breaking of the chains of Satan on us will attain its climax in the redemption of our mortal body. The last enemy that will be destroyed is physical death.

God’s promise to the saints is that when Christ returns, the mortal bodies of the royal priesthood, the Lord’s victorious judges, will be redeemed (Revelation 20:4-6). After that, immortality in the body will come to all who are saved (Revelation 21:4).

It is the redemption of the body that especially is the "salvation" preached by the Apostles of the Lamb. Eternal life has to do particularly with life in the body, for it was bodily immortality that was denied to Adam and Eve when they were driven from the Garden of Eden.

All spirits are eternal. But it is only in Christ, our Tree of Life, that we have the promise of being resurrected and then filled with the Divine Life of God. We who are saved possess the Divine "earnest," the guarantee, the pledge, the security deposit that insures we shall be restored in personality and brought into the Presence of God when the Lord Jesus returns from Heaven.

It is the Holy Spirit who dwells in us now who will extend into our mortal frame, making it immortal when the Lord returns.

 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11)

Paul pressed forward toward the conquering of the last enemy, toward the redemption of his mortal body.

 And not only they [the material creation], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:23)

Again:

 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection [Greek, out-resurrection] of the dead. (Philippians 3:11)

God has sealed us to that day, to the day of redemption.

 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest [pledge; guarantee] of the Spirit in our hearts. (II Corinthians 1:22)

God is fashioning us today so we may be prepared for the clothing over of our mortal body with a "house" from heaven—a body of glory that is formed as the direct result of our response to afflictions (II Corinthians 4:17-5:2). God has given us His Holy Spirit as the guarantee of this promised redemption.

 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing [to be clothed with a glorious body from heaven] is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest [pledge] of the Spirit. (II Corinthians 5:5)

After we believed in Christ, God sealed us with His Spirit. God’s seal indicates that we shall be freed from all moral bondages, raised from the dead, glorified, and brought into His Presence.

 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest [pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13,14)

We are to walk humbly and obediently in the Presence of the Holy Spirit of God.

 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

The Lord Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. He has begun a mighty work in us. He, as Joshua of old, is bringing us into the rest of God, into the finished work, the timeless vision, the wisdom and power behind all human history, that was accomplished perfectly in God’s mind before He created the heaven and the earth.

God regards us as holy to Himself in Christ because what He has begun in us is holy.

 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. (Romans 11:16)

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14)

We must realize, however, that this perfection, this "holy city," is reckoned to us because of the perfection of Him who has been born in us. We must press forward in faith each day until we actually experience the complete reaping of the harvest.

The Feast of Pentecost

During the feast of Weeks (Pentecost), which came at the end of the wheat harvest, two large loaves baked with leaven were waved before the Lord. Since leaven (sin) was removed from the camp during the week of Unleavened Bread, the writer prefers to think of the leaven in the Pentecostal loaves as the new leaven of the Kingdom of God—that which works in us until our whole personality has been brought into union with God.

Other writers, perhaps the majority, hold that the leaven in the two loaves of the feast of Weeks symbolizes the body of sin that still is a part of us even though we have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.

This latter interpretation is especially useful today because it is clear that the Lord has come to cleanse His Church from moral bondages. Those of us who have walked in the Pentecostal way for a number of years are well aware of the worldliness, bodily lusts, and self-love that are prevalent in the Christian churches, including those that stress the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Some are objecting that if we are saved and filled with the Spirit there is no sin dwelling in us. Obviously this is not true if one is honest with himself and looks about him.

Let us consider three aspects of the two loaves that were waved during the Jewish celebration of the feast of Weeks (Pentecost):

Holiness and power.

The two witnesses.

The double portion, the latter-rain outpouring of the Spirit.

The two loaves of the feast of Pentecost (feast of Weeks) typify the holiness and power of the true witness of God. Holiness alone does not yield a complete witness of God. Mighty miracles alone do not give a complete witness of God. In order for the Divine testimony to be complete there must be both holiness and power demonstrated in those who are bearing the witness.

A witness that is holy but not accompanied by some form of supernatural revelation or power is not coming from God. Where Jesus is the sick are healed, demons are cast out, the dead are raised, the forces of nature obey the word that is spoken.

A witness that manifests supernatural power but is not morally pure is of the spirit world but is unclean. No amount of spiritual power or success is accepted by the Lord Jesus if uncleanness or unrighteousness are present. Those who work iniquity always will be driven from the Presence of Christ no matter how much they seemingly have accomplished in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 7:22,23).

Only the Holy Spirit of God brings both the holiness and the power necessary for the bearing of the true witness of God. It is the Holy Spirit who assigns the gifts and ministries. It is the Holy Spirit who yields the fruit of holiness and righteousness in our lives. It is the power of the Spirit that makes us true witnesses of Jesus’ atoning death and triumphant resurrection.

We overcome the accuser by the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11), and only the Holy Spirit can enable us to speak the Word of God in power and live by the Word of God. The flesh of man cannot produce the eternal witness of God. The mind of the flesh always is the enemy of God. In the Holy Spirit of God there is enough power to overcome the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

In the Holy Spirit of God there is comfort and assistance as we determine to make the written Word of God our personal conviction and testimony, trusting in all God has stated.

Both holiness and power were revealed in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true and faithful Witness of the Father. If Jesus had been an unholy, unrighteous person, who would believe He is the Son of God? If the Apostle Paul had been an adulterer, who would place their faith in his words? Likewise, no one will believe an unholy church is speaking the true words of the living God.

If Jesus had preached and lived a holy life, but had not healed the sick and cast out demons, He would be regarded as just another conscientious rabbi. The authority of Jesus’ Word was validated by the manifestations of supernatural power that accompanied His commands (John 10:37,38).

The Christian churches are not to be just another group of philosophical or educational institutions. Rather the churches are the golden lampstands, the prophets of God among men. God will support with power the statements of the churches if they will learn to abide in Christ and move only in His Spirit.

Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration represent the Law and the Prophets, the holiness and power of the Kingdom of God.

The new covenant promises us power (John 14:12) and also commands us to live righteous, holy, and obedient lives in the Presence of the Lord Jesus (Philippians 2:15).

A second aspect of the two loaves of the Jewish feast of Pentecost is the fact that God uses two witnesses: Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb, Elijah and Elisha; for example. The number two, in Scripture symbolism, speaks of the authority and power to bear witness. Jesus sent out His disciples two by two.

Jesus did not bear witness alone, the Father bore witness with Him:

 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. (John 8:17,18)

The Apostles of Christ did not bear witness alone, the Holy Spirit bore witness along with them:

 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Acts 5:32)

In the Great Commission the Lord Jesus commanded us to go forth and make disciples of all the nations of the earth. In many instances we have focused our attention on preaching forgiveness and building churches rather than building disciples.

Because we are not working with the Lord and the Lord with us we have changed the Great Commission from building disciples to building churches and denominations. We are not teaching the believers to keep Christ’s commandments but informing them that since they are under "grace" they are not obligated to keep His commandments.

 Go ye therefore, and teach [make disciples of] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19,20)

We do not see many believers living in the discipline of the Lord, obeying His commandments. Why has the Christian Church failed to make disciples of the people of the nations? Why have forgiveness and justification been preached to the point that the building of the new creation has been given only token attention? Why are we not teaching the believers to turn away from their own life, take up their cross, and follow the Lord? Why are we not teaching the disciples to keep the Lord’s numerous commandments?

The reason is, the churches often have ignored the fact that it requires two persons to bear the Divine witness. In giving the Great Commission, Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you alway." We are attempting to fulfill the Great Commission in our own wisdom and strength, according to our own understanding of what we think the Lord wants.

It never was Christ’s intention that the Christian people go forth by themselves and work "for" Him. It always has been Christ’s desire to work alongside every individual whom He has called to the work of the Kingdom, everyone who has been chosen to go forth to disciple the nations. The Lord’s apostles and other ministers are to teach the disciples to obey the laws of the Kingdom of God.

There always must be the two witnesses—Christ and His servant.

When Christ is working with us it is as though an elephant is working alongside a mouse. Although they may be working together it is the elephant that actually accomplishes the task.

When we go forth to make disciples of the nations by ourselves it is as though a mouse decides it has been given the task of helping an elephant uproot giant trees and move them to an assigned location. If the mouse rushes forth by himself to labor "for" the elephant we have an ineffective situation. When we saints go forth by ourselves to make disciples from the nations, attempting to labor "for" Christ, we have an ineffective situation. Unless the Lord works with us we are not going to accomplish the task.

Why is it that the Christian churches for two thousand years have attempted to fulfill the Great Commission apart from the Presence and moving of the Lord Jesus? It is because we are proud, ignorant of God’s Word and will, understanding little of the nature or workings of the Kingdom of God, being filled with sin and self-seeking and determined to accomplish our own will and build our own kingdoms.

Now we are in the closing days of the Church Age. The powers of Satan are filling the earth. The darkness is becoming more intense. Soon men’s hearts will be failing them for fear because of the wickedness and calamities that will abound on every hand.

The days of the labor of the churches apart from Christ are rapidly coming to a close. The churches that continue to walk in their own wisdom and strength, in their self-will and self-seeking, will be empty of the Spirit of God. They will become "Laodicea." They will be vomited from the mouth of Christ. The nakedness of "Babylon" (man-directed Christianity), the whore, she who sells the things of God to the world in order to buy the world’s favor, will be exposed.

The believer who would choose to do God’s will must allow the Lord Jesus to come to him and purge him from the filthiness of the flesh and from his self-will and self-seeking. He must learn to be quiet in the Presence of the Lord Jesus. The clamor of his heart must be stilled.

Christ is coming to the churches in our day. The High Priest of God is walking among the golden lampstands. He is knocking at the door of the hearts of men in the Laodicean Age. We are to listen carefully because He is in the process of revealing Himself to us (Revelation 3:20). Listen! Listen! Listen!

Let us never forget that two witnesses are required if the testimony is to be valid. Christ will not bear witness by Himself. We cannot bear witness by ourselves. Christ working in us and with us will bear the end-time witness of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.

A third aspect of the two loaves that were waved during the Jewish celebration of the feast of Pentecost is the concept of the double portion. The Scriptures speak of a double portion, a "latter rain," an unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will bring the harvest of the earth to maturity.

The symbolism associated with Elijah and Elisha refers to the anointing and then the doubled anointing. The events of the life of Elisha typify the ministry of the two witnesses of Revelation, Chapter 11. As Elijah (the Holy Spirit working through John the Baptist) prepared the way of Christ, so will "Elisha" (Jesus working through the saints) prepare the way of the King, Jesus Christ, as he returns to receive His inheritance in the earth.

If one loaf were waved during the feast of Weeks, the Book of Acts would be the record of the greatest of all Christian revivals. Because two loaves were waved we know that the greatest of all Pentecosts will take place at the close of the age—just before the Lord Jesus returns.

The latter rain, and then the burning sun of tribulation, will bring the Lord’s wheat to maturity in preparation for the harvest day.

The latter rain revival is upon us now but a much greater outpouring is yet to come.

 Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter [harvest] rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. (Zechariah 10:1)

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. (Hosea 6:3)

Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. (Joel 2:23)

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. (James 5:7)

The end-time ministry of the two loaves of Pentecost is portrayed in the two witnesses of Revelation, Chapter 11. The two witnesses portray in symbolic form the Head and the Body of Christ bearing the Divine, latter-rain testimony of the last days.

In the time in which we live, Christ will appear to the members of His Body (John 14:18-23). Christ will do in and with His Body what the Christian churches have not been able to accomplish since the period of the Apostles. In a short time Christ working through and alongside the members of His Body will bear witness of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to every nation on the earth (Matthew 24).

We have been discussing the personal fulfillments of the first four of the seven feasts of the Lord:

Passover—the work in our personality of the broken body and shed blood of Christ.

Unleavened Bread—death to the world and resurrection with Christ as signified by our sincere repentance and participation in water baptism.

Firstfruits—being born again and sealed by the Spirit to the day of redemption, to the spiritual fulfillment of the last three feasts.

Pentecost—the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to lead a holy life, and to bear witness of the Lord Jesus and His Kingdom.

These four works of redemption are preparatory to our entering the Kingdom of God. From them we receive the authority, the power, the virtue, and the wisdom that we must have if we are to be able to press forward to the rest of God, to the land of promise, to the fullness of accomplishment and rulership that God has promised to man.

The personal fulfillments of the final three feasts are at hand. We must give our single-minded attention to following the Lord Jesus as through the Holy Spirit He brings us to victory in the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is God in Christ in the saints performing the will of God throughout the creation and bringing the Presence of God to all of God’s creatures.

The last three feasts are as follows:

Trumpets—the coming of the King to drive His enemies from our personality and to discipline us as member of His army.

Day of Atonement—deliverance from God’s enemies; our reconciliation to God; preparation of the Bride.

Tabernacles—God and Christ through the Holy Spirit settling down to eternal rest in us; the marriage of the Lamb.

If we do not press on past Pentecost we are as those who have been readied and equipped for a task but who then wander about aimlessly.

One of the most critical understandings being given to the churches of our day concerns the goal of the Christian redemption. The goal of the Christian redemption is not the attainment of Heaven as a dwelling place. This is not scriptural, and as long as we make going to Heaven our goal we will be hindered in our ability to enter the spiritual fulfillment of the last three feasts.

The goal of redemption is the establishing of the Kingdom, the rule of God. The redemption that is to come in the last days is the release of God’s elect, and finally the nations of the earth, from the chains of Satan. The Kingdom comes by the destruction of the works of the devil.

God has promised, in the Old Testament and the New Testament, to come and destroy the works of Satan in the earth. This is the redemption of which the Scriptures speak. This is the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. This is the goal, the salvation, the rest that is portrayed symbolically by the seven Levitical feasts.

The current move of the Spirit of God toward the Jews is of great significance. It is through the Jews and the city of Jerusalem that the Kingdom of God will come to the earth. In the last days the spiritual kingdom of the Christians will converge with natural Israel resulting in the spiritual rebirth, through Christ, of the Jews.

The convergence of spiritual Israel with natural Israel is seen in embryonic form as Christian people are being drawn today to the embattled people and land of Israel. The current desire of fervent Christians to assist natural Israel, and to become part of the land and people, foreshadows the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.

Being covered by the Passover blood, being born again, and being baptized with the Holy Spirit, do not make up the whole of the Christian redemption. Rather, these three aspects of Divine grace are the authority, power, and virtue that enable us to enter the process of salvation, that is, to be delivered from the person and works of Satan and to be brought into complete union with the Father through Christ.

To be in the rest of God (Hebrews 4:1) is to be free from every bit of Satan’s influence and to be one with God through Jesus.

It is time today to "take the Kingdom," that is, to enter the rest prepared for God and us from the creation of the world.

The Blowing of Trumpets

The Blowing of Trumpets marks the beginning of our entrance into the Kingdom of God. The first four feasts, as we have stated, provide us with the authority, power, and virtue to enter the Kingdom. It is in Trumpets that the Kingdom comes to our soul and body in practical power, marking the beginning of the doing of God’s will in the earth as it is performed in Heaven.

The Kingdom of God is God in Christ in the saints performing the will of God in the earth as it is practiced in Heaven. The Kingdom of God is Divine dominion over the material realm—a dominion centered on Christ and encompassed by Christ.

God’s King comes with the sound of the trumpet.

The Spirit of Christ in David announced the spiritual fulfillment of the memorial of blowing of Trumpets:

 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. (Psalms 24:7,8)

The Twenty-fourth Psalm speaks of the earth, of righteousness, and finally of the coming of the King through the everlasting doors of the souls of men. When the King comes the issue always is that of righteousness in the earth, for the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the earth made possible by the Presence of the Holy Spirit.

The trumpets did not sound when the Baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem because Christ was not revealed in His majesty at that time. (However a star appeared in the King’s honor, and before Jesus’ crucifixion Governor Pilate recognized Him as the King of the Jews.)

Now we are drawing near to that Day of all days when Christ will return to the earth as King of kings and the kingdoms of this world will be given to Him. The nations and the whole earth belong to Christ.

First, the Lord will come personally to each member of His Body. Then, when His work has been finished in His royal priesthood, Christ will appear in the clouds with His judges and rulers. Every eye shall see Him. Every knee shall bow to the Lord of lords. Every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord.

The coming of Christ to His Church prior to His coming in the clouds of heaven is announced in the Scriptures. The clearest statement of the Lord’s appearing to His saints is described by Jesus Himself in John 14:18-23. This is a personal coming of Christ the King to the believer. It is an individual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets.

Notice carefully:

 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:18)

"I will come to you."

Obviously this is a coming of the Lord prior to His appearing in the clouds of heaven. A few verses before this (John 14:3) Jesus had said, "I will come again and receive you unto myself." Since the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John emphasizes the spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical feast of Tabernacles and not the return of Christ with His saints and holy angels, it is our point of view that both John 14:3 and 14:18 are speaking of the coming of Christ to the individual saint. Neither verse is stressing Christ’s worldwide appearing when "every eye shall see him."

 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. (John 14:19)

The world will not see Christ prior to His appearing in the clouds of heaven. But the saints indeed shall see Him. As we press forward past the feast of Pentecost the Lord Jesus becomes increasingly real to us. It is time now for the Lord to appear to His saints in much greater clarity than has been our experience to this point.

Now is the hour for Christ to draw near to His Church and to be in and with His saints to a greater extent than we have believed would be our portion in the Church Age. We shall see Him. This is not merely a figure of speech referring to the eye of faith that we have exercised thus far in our discipleship.

 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (John 14:20)

The expression "in that day" occurs repeatedly in the Book of Isaiah and often refers to the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord will come first in the members of the Body of Christ and then visibly and tangibly to the nations of the earth.

"That day" is the day of the complete fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. It is the point at which God and Christ are at rest in us and we in them. It is the marriage of the Lamb. The Day of the Lord, of the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, is set forth poetically in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Isaiah.

 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)

Back now to the Words of Jesus:

 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)

"Will manifest Myself to him."

Is this not a personal appearing of the Lord to us, taking place before the coming of Christ in the clouds of glory?

 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? (John 14:22)

The answer to this question reveals the personal, individual fulfillment of the last three feasts of the Lord, particularly the feast of Tabernacles:

 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)

It is clear, from the above verses, that there is a coming of the Lord prior to His coming in the clouds of heaven. It is a personal coming to each believer who, through the Spirit, keeps the commandments of Christ.

Those believers who are living in the flesh also will experience the coming of the Lord. They, without realizing it, are awaiting a fiery judgment that will consume their flesh. Their spirits may or may not be saved in the Day of Christ, depending on the judgment of the Lord.

The return of Christ will take place in stages. The bodily resurrection and ascension of the saints will take place at the last stage.

 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:19-21)

Hosea speaks of the coming of Christ that is not His worldwide coming:

 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. (Hosea 6:3)

"He shall come to us."

This is not the appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Rather it is a coming of Christ to His saints in the glory and power of the double portion of anointing, the end-time revival, the latter rain in the first month (Joel 2:23).

There shall be a historic second coming of Christ to the earth—the coming that is the foundation of the vision of the Book of Revelation (1:7). It is the coming in which every eye shall see Him. The victorious saints will be raised from the dead, glorified, and gathered into the Presence of Christ who has appeared in the air immediately above the earth. This is the assembling of the army of the Lord, the fateful moment before the furious cavalry charge that marks the beginning of the Battle of Armageddon.

The calling card of the King, the shaking of the firmament and its luminaries, will be presented for all to see. Then He will come.

 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven [of the heavens] to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

The shaking of the heavens, which will take place "immediately after the tribulation of those days," will catch the world by surprise; for until that hour—even throughout the tribulation, apparently—the nations of the earth will continue to go about their business as usual (Matthew 24:37-39).

During this time the saints will have "entered the ark of safety," that is, they will have entered the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. They will be dwelling in Christ and He in them. When the flood of destruction comes it will only drive them further into the Presence of God.

We believe from the Scriptures that the Lord Jesus will come to His Church through the Spirit before His appearing to the world. We think that this spiritual aspect of His coming may have begun already. It is a time of judgment, of preparation for our entrance into Jesus in celebration of the feast of Tabernacles:

 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:50,51)

The above passage, along with the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew, Chapter 25) may be referring to the visible, historic coming of the Lord. However it is not impossible that there will be a spiritual counterpart in which the Lord comes in the Spirit, and those who are not serving Him are removed from the flowing of the Divine purposes.

As we have stated, the process of removing the tares from the wheat may be taking place now. First, the tares of sin are being taken from the personalities of the true saints. Next, those among the believers who refuse to give up their sins will be removed. First the removal of the sin. Then the removal of the sinners.

The Church finally will be without spot or wrinkle—a perfect, complete bride for the Lamb.

Let the reader take heed how he hears. The Lord is speaking through the Spirit in our day, calling us out from the world, sin, and self-seeking. The spiritual darkness in the world is increasing rapidly. We are approaching the midnight hour. It is not a time for carelessness.

Numerous pastors and teachers are lulling their audiences to sleep with smooth words, promising them money, power, a "rapture" to remove them from trouble. They are in error. They are not hearing from the Lord. They, and those who follow them, will suffer greatly in the days to come. Zion will be purified by fire.

 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)

Many passages of the Prophets speak of the coming of Christ to purify His saints with the fires of Divine judgment.

Notice the following description of the coming of the Lord. It is a sudden coming, an intervention and visitation that will catch the hypocrites in Zion by surprise. It is not a coming to the world but to the Temple of God, to the Church, to God’s people:

 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)

"The Lord, . . . shall suddenly come to his temple."

It seems this is not the return of Christ to the earth in the clouds of glory but the coming of Christ to judge His people.

 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. (Hebrews 10:30)

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s (a launderer’s) soap: (Malachi 3:2)

This is a true description of the coming of the Lord. First, the Lord will come to prepare His people for His return to earth. Second, the Lord will come in the clouds of heaven to make war against Antichrist and to judge the nations of the earth.

Note the question, "Who shall stand when he appeareth?"

Is the answer, He who professes belief in Christ? Indeed it is not. The only answer, the answer that was true yesterday, is true today, and will be true forever, is as follows:

 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; (Isaiah 33:15)

When the Lord Jesus comes He will look for this kind of behavior in each of those who profess faith in Him. If it is found the individual will be rewarded. He will inherit eternal life.

If Christ does not find these behaviors the believer will be visited with fire. If he turns to God in his affliction he will be saved. If he does not repent, choosing instead to continue in his unrighteousness, uncleanness, and disobedience to the Father, he will be cut out of the Vine, out of Christ. He will be cast into outer darkness.

 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:3)

Christ is coming to judge His royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9). "Silver," as used symbolically in the Scripture, signifies redemption. Christ is coming to purify the redeemed, to test their faith with fire. Then their spiritual sacrifices will be presented with clean hands and holy hearts.

It is not so today. The profession of faith in Christ is accompanied by immorality, covetousness, every form of strife and discord, jealousy, and self-seeking. It is time now for the Bride to prepare herself through the Holy Spirit for the personal coming of her Lord. The Lord Jesus will come to the Church first so the Church will not be condemned when He comes to judge the world.

"The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple," Malachi declares. When will this coming take place? Certainly not after Jesus appears to the world in the clouds of the heaven.

We know from I Thessalonians, Chapter Four and I Corinthians, Chapter Fifteen that the Lord Jesus will descend from Heaven and clothe the dead and living saints with immortality. Then the saints will rise from the surface of the earth to meet Christ in the air.

It cannot be true that Christ will resurrect and glorify the members of His Body and after that purify them with judgment, with a baptism of fire.

 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is more powerful than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: (Matthew 3:11)

The judgment of the saints, that which is described in the fourth chapter of I Peter, must take place before the Lord returns to resurrect and glorify us.

Think about this: the Scripture teaches that when Jesus appears from Heaven we shall appear with Him:

 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)

The appearing of the dead and living saints in glory is described in I Thessalonians 4:14-17. This is the time when Christ descends from Heaven with the trumpet blast, bringing with Him those who are asleep in Him. The dead saints will be raised from their graves. The living saints will be changed and then caught up with the resurrected saints to meet the Lord in the air.

If we think this through we can see that it is not possible for us to be raised from the dead, to put on incorruption (I Corinthians 15:53), to ascend to meet Christ in the air, and after that be judged and then cleansed from all sin and self-seeking.

The Apostle Peter speaks of the fiery trials that will test us during our days on the earth, and then declares them to be Divine judgment on us.

 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)

James warns us:

 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. (James 5:9)

"The judge standeth before the door."

The "judge," and the only Judge of men, is the Lord Jesus Christ.

One aspect of the coming of the Lord Jesus to judge His people is described in the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation. The text in no manner suggests that God ignores the works of the believer, that they are saved and rewarded by grace apart from righteous conduct. Quite the opposite concept is presented.

 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:22,23)

The above passage is addressed to one of the seven "lampstands," to a Christian church. There is no suggestion here that Christians will have eternal fellowship with God on the basis of imputed (ascribed) righteousness.

The second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation point out that Christ is interested in the fruit of His redemptive work in us, not in our dwelling in a legal state of "grace" that is not characterized by a transformed life, by godly, righteous, holy, faith-filled behavior.

Adam and Eve were thrust from the Garden of Eden so they could not eat of the tree of life and thus gain immortality while sin had dominion over them. If they had acquired immortality while in their state of rebellion against the Lord God they would have been cast down to the deepest abyss with the fallen angels (II Peter 2:4).

Likewise, if God were to raise us from the dead and glorify us while we still are bound by sin and self-will He would be producing immortal sinners, immortal rebels. We no longer would be eligible for redemption. God, in that case, would have immortalized our flesh while sin remains in it.

We must be purified first. We must, through the Lord Jesus, overcome sin and rebellion. Only then will we be permitted to eat of the tree of life (Revelation 2:7).

The last enemy that will be destroyed is physical death. All other enemies must be destroyed before we are ready for the last enemy to be destroyed. We must be judged before we receive our immortal bodies.

Christ has come to the churches in our day to prepare us for the coming of the Kingdom of God and the resurrection from the dead.

When Christ returns in the clouds there will exist a Bride without spot or wrinkle, an unblemished complement of the Lord Jesus. By that time the Bride, having been guided by the Spirit of God, will have made herself ready. She will have washed her robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Today is the time of preparation, the hour for repentance. We are to turn aside from our own ways and seek the face of the Lord. All sin must be removed from us. We must learn to follow the Lord Jesus in diligent, cross-carrying obedience.

The way of the Lord must be made straight. The Bride must be separated from the fleshly churches and then purified and made beautiful in holiness and faithfulness before the Lord returns from Heaven.

 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: (Isaiah 40:4)

All shall be defined and made eternal. The holy shall remain holy and the filthy shall remain filthy.

 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (Revelation 22:11)

It is a fearful prospect to be judged and found unworthy of the Kingdom of God, to be blinded to what Christ is doing in and with His true saints, to be separated from God and His purposes.

The Kingdom principles illustrated by the parable of the ten virgins and the parable of the talents (Matthew, Chapter 25) are being applied today. We know from the words of the Apostle Peter that the Judgment Seat of Christ has been in operation since the first century.

The parables of the ten virgins and the talents teach us that alertness, preparation, and diligence are necessary if we would enter the Kingdom of God.

Even today, those to whom much has been entrusted may be losing the grace that has been given to them and—perhaps without realizing it—may be beginning to enter the realms of spiritual darkness. These kinds of spiritual changes can take place in people without their having a clear understanding of what is happening to them.

We think the Hebrew Prophets portray at least three comings of Christ:

His first coming as the Babe of Bethlehem:

 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. (Micah 5:2)

Christ’s second coming to judge Israel, which includes all His saints whether Jewish or Gentile by physical birth:

 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. 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 4:4,5)

Christ’s third coming in the clouds of heaven to rule the world in righteousness:

 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13,14)

Christ was born of a virgin in Bethlehem of Judea. Christ is here among His churches today, testing our hearts. Christ will come in the clouds of the heaven to receive His inheritance—the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth.

The important concept we should derive from all this is that the Lord is here among us today. Now is the hour of our salvation. Now is the time when the Bride is arising to join the Bridegroom in holy union. If we miss the present hour of visitation, which is the personal fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets and of the last two feasts, we will not be revealed in glory when Christ appears.

Many forces are pressing on us. Many hurdles and obstacles are before us. Will we turn aside from the present world and seek the face of the Lord? Will we forsake all to follow the King, the Lord Jesus Christ? The issue is here now. It will be decided now, not in the future. The Lord is here now. In one sense, at least, the five wise virgins are responding now.

You and I are being weighed in the balances. Will we be found wanting?

The Lord Jesus has come suddenly to His temple, which is the heart of the believer. Will we be able to stand the searchings and burnings of the Spirit of God? Do we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches?

Christ is calling us forth from Sodom. Are we looking back? "Remember Lot’s wife"!

Now is the Divine appointment to salvation. Now the Lord has come to those who are looking for Him, not as the sin offering to remove the guilt of our sins but as the Lord of Armies who is ready to deliver us from the power of the enemy.

 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 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 9:27,28)

Deliverance from sin and rebellion is here now and we must give our undivided attention to pressing into it.

Esther could not come before the king until she had been prepared:

 Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;) (Esther 2:12)

Six months of myrrh and six months of sweet odors. So it is true that each believer must submit to the "myrrh," to the sufferings of Christ, and then he will receive the "sweet odours," the fullness of the blessings of Heaven. After we have received both the myrrh and the sweet odors we shall be ready to be received by the Father and the Lord Jesus.

No saint can be beautiful in holiness before the Lord until he or she has received both the myrrh and the sweet odors and spices, the bitter and the sweet, the painful and the pleasing.

Great tribulation soon is to fill the earth. The Christians will be persecuted bitterly. At the same time, the Lord Jesus is ready to come and abide in the saints in a fullness of glory that has not been our experience until now.

Both the great tribulation and the glory are necessary if we are to be fit for the Presence of Christ. We are to follow both the cloud of blessing and the fire of suffering as we march toward the promised-land rest of God.

The Christian believer who is seeking a path that will bypass suffering, that will lead around the disciple’s cross, is making himself vulnerable to deception. Multitudes are in deception today. Many are preaching that the saints are not to suffer, going against the Apostle Peter who counseled us to arm ourselves with a mind to suffer (I Peter 4:1).

Such preachers and teachers may spend eternity with their followers The preachers themselves were deceived and without realizing it brought a false message to their listeners.

Great tribulation and persecution are at hand. As the believers pass through fiery judgments the tares will be separated from the wheat. The wicked will be removed from the true Church of Christ. The valleys will be exalted and those who are walking in pride will be brought down. The rough places of sin will be burned with fire and the crooked areas of self-seeking will be nailed to the cross. The way of the Lord shall be made straight.

If the Lord’s people repent today they will save themselves and their loved ones. If the Lord’s people do not repent and seek His face, Jesus will come and chasten them with fiery tribulations. This is His Word to us in the hour in which we are living.

The Lord Jesus has come to us in the Spirit. He is passing among the lampstands. His eyes are as a flame of fire. He stands at the door of the heart of each believer. He has come to wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion.

Who will be able to stand in the day in which we are living? We know from the Scriptures that when sin abounds, as is true in our time, the love of the majority will grow cold (Matthew 24:12).

Many of the saints will be purified during the hour of tribulation and judgment that is on the horizon.

 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. (Daniel 11:35)

If we open the door of our heart to Jesus He will come in to us. He will dine with us, giving us to eat and drink. The food that we shall eat is His flesh. The drink that we shall drink is His holy blood (Luke 22:15-20).

To be married to the Lamb is to eat His flesh and drink His blood. To be married to the Lamb is to live by Him as He lives by the Father. When the Lord comes to us and is dwelling in us we shall know that He is in the Father and that we are abiding in Him and He is abiding in us. This is the inner dimension of the marriage of the Lamb and the personal fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.

If we are living by the Lamb, then, when He appears in the clouds, we will be caught up to be with Him forever. The eagles will gather where the Carcass is (Matthew 24:28). Christ’s Life in us is our resurrection from the dead and that resurrection will be manifest when He appears. If we, believer or not, are not living by His Life within us, we will not be gathered to Him when He appears.

Our doctrine cannot enable us to rise to meet Christ when He appears. Imputed (ascribed) righteousness cannot enable us to rise to meet Christ when He appears. It is His Life in us that will enable us to rise to meet Christ when He appears.

If we do not receive Christ the King into us today to the degree that His Life fills every area of our personality, we will not participate in the first resurrection from the dead. The first resurrection from the dead must be attained, as we come to know the power of Christ’s resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings (Philippians 3:10,11).

The trumpet of warfare is sounding in the churches today announcing the coming of the King, our Redeemer. As we open the everlasting doors of our heart the King of Glory enters us and abides with us. The Lord is a Man of war. He has come to wage war against every force in our life that is not in submission to Himself.

 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. (Psalms 24:7,8)

The Blowing of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) is New Year’s Day in the contemporary Jewish calendar.

The trumpets announce the feast that follows in a few days—the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The coming of the King brings us immediately into the Day of Atonement, into the work of reconciling us to all the Person and will of God. It is only after our warfare has been accomplished, after reconciliation to God has been made, that we are able to enter the feast of Tabernacles (Succot), into the promised-land rest of God where God and Christ are abiding with us and we with Them.

The Day of Atonement

We have come now to the sixth feast of the Lord. The number six symbolizes the day in which man is created in the image of God.

The saints, the brothers of Christ, have been predestined to be changed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Therefore the workings of the Divine redemption will not cease until we have been made perfectly in Christ’s image and have been brought into restful union with Him. The second Adam and His wife are the fullest expression of the declaration: "male and female made he them."

The term atonement has many shades of meaning. Perhaps the term reconciliation best sums up the various meanings. The Day of Atonement may be thought of as the Day of Reconciliation.

The Divine atonement consists of much more than a covering of the sinner or a forgiving of his sin or the appeasing of God’s wrath. The Divine atonement contains all the provisions necessary to bring a human being from bondage to Satan all the way to union with God through Christ.

The Divine redemption has not accomplished its work in us until we are completely in the rest of God.

The salvation that is in Christ includes the forgiveness of our sins. However, forgiveness of sin is not the unique feature of the new covenant for sins were forgiven also under the sin offerings of the old covenant. The outstanding aspect of the new covenant is that our sins are removed from us and we become a new creation in the Lord.

Each human being is in need of redemption from guilt, from spiritual death, from sin’s power, from disobedience, and from bodily corruption and death. Each of these five aspects of redemption is included in the Divine atonement.

The Day of Atonement, of Reconciliation, is set forth in the sixteenth chapter of the Book of Leviticus. Two goats figure prominently in the ceremony.

One goat was slain and its blood was sprinkled upon and before the Mercy Seat as a sin offering for the children of Israel.

The living goat bore away the iniquities of Israel into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:7-22).

Here are two dimensions of the Divine redemption: (1) the forgiveness of the guilt of our sins; and (2) the removal of sin itself from us.

The slain goat appeased God concerning the guilt of sin. The living goat symbolically removed the sins of the people.

The slain Lord Jesus satisfied the justice of God concerning the guilt of our sins. The living Lord Jesus, the King, has come now to remove the power of sin from us. Such removal is possible and lawful because the atonement made by Jesus authorizes both forgiveness and cleansing.

The Lord Jesus has come to His Church in our day for the purpose of removing our sins from us. He is ready to break the power of the devil in our personalities. The sin that is part of us must be removed before we can be raised into bodily immortality.

The double work of the Lord, the forgiveness and removal of our sins, is described in the ninth and tenth chapters of the Book of Hebrews.

Notice carefully the following two verses:

 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 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 9:27,28)

There are two sets of parallels here.

"And as it is appointed to men once to die" is parallel to "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many."

"But after this the judgment" is parallel to "unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."

The appearing of Christ discussed in Hebrews 9:28 includes more than His coming in the clouds of glory.

Our deliverance from the afflictions of life and from the bondages of our flesh will take place when He appears, provided we are watching in joyous expectation for His glorious Presence.

But before the fullness of redemption can be given us there must be a coming of Christ in judgment—a judgment that leads to redemption from the bondages of sin in our personality. This prior coming of Christ to those who are looking for Him is set forth in Malachi 3:1: "the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple."

The first parallel associates our physical death with the offering of Christ on the cross as the sin-bearer.

The second parallel associates "judgment" with the appearing of Christ "without sin to salvation."

Following the second parallel, the second appearing of Christ is for the purpose of judging us in a manner that leads to our salvation.

 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. (Isaiah 1:27)

This interpretation of Hebrews 9:27,28 fits with the context of Chapters Nine and Ten, and also with the exhortation of the Book of Hebrews. The exhortation of Hebrews is that the saints must not neglect their salvation after having experienced the rudiments of redemption but must press forward to full possession of the promised-land rest of God.

The writings of the Apostles leave no doubt that we Christians are undergoing fiery sufferings and testings as part of our pilgrimage, and that the purpose of these tribulations is that our sins may be judged and removed from us.

The fourth chapter of I Peter explains the personal fulfillment of the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement signifies the forgiveness of our sins and the removal of uncleanness from us.

 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (I Peter 4:1)

We must, as did the Lord Jesus Christ, suffer while we are in the world. We are to expect suffering and to maintain a cheerful, obedient attitude as much as possible. Christ suffered for the purpose of forgiving and removing our sins. We suffer so sin may be removed from us. The suffering is a judgment on the sin that is in our flesh.

 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick [living] and the dead. (I Peter 4:5)

The Christian Era is one of judgment on sin. The living are being judged now and the dead also are being judged. The dead live before God in the spirit world but are being judged as though they were alive in the flesh (compare I Peter 4:6; 3:19).

The time of redemption by judgment has come. The spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is here.

 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: (I Peter 4:12)

The sufferings that come upon us are Divine judgment. They are for the purpose of cleansing us from sin. They are part of the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.

When we are seeking the Lord and walking in God’s will the sufferings we experience are not by chance; they are not random occurrences; they are not defeats at the hands of Satan. Rather, they are designed to perfect us in Christ.

Our tribulations are a beneficial Divine judgment upon us. Before we are afflicted we go astray. Whenever we are afflicted we are to pray so God’s will may be performed in every detail of our existence. The solutions to our problems will come at once or after a period of time, if we continue to walk prayerfully and obediently before the Lord. Deliverance certainly shall come. If we faithfully remain in the Lord’s prison He shall, after His purposes in us have been accomplished, bring us into a large place.

The righteous suffer many afflictions and tribulations. Christ delivers us from every affliction but we must pray without ceasing.

 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. (Psalms 119:67)

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)

The Judgment Seat of Christ began as soon as He ascended to the right hand of the Father. The Scripture states that the time "is come." As we understand it, the Christian Era is a period of judgment, beginning with those who are the closest to the Lord.

When the Lord appears the judgment will continue, extending to the borders of the Kingdom of God. Thus the purpose of the thousand-year reign of Christ (which is the kingdom-wide spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement) is the reconciling of God’s elect, and the nations of saved peoples of the earth, to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who experience the Divine judgment, doing God’s will in all matters, assenting to and cooperating with the total, fiery overhaul of their personalities, will be resurrected and glorified at the appearing of Christ, rising to meet Him in the air at His coming. They are God’s royal priesthood. Over them the second death, the lake of fire, has no authority. They are the victorious saints, the firstfruits to God and the Lamb.

The remainder of the dead will be raised at the end of the thousand-year period. They will stand before Christ at that time and give an account of their deeds. Those whose names are not in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be cast into the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.

We who are suffering now must be patient with God, realizing that the most righteous saint is saved with difficulty. Every sin, every disobedience, every trace of rebellion, stubbornness, self-will—all must pass through the fire. We are destined to see the face of God. Therefore no sin or self-seeking can be permitted to remain in us.

The Lord Jesus is here now, reconciling His people to Himself. The Judge is here. Judgment has begun in the house of God and it has begun with us.

 And if the righteous scarcely be saved [is saved with difficulty], where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:18)

The Christian standards of behavior of our day are not scriptural. They are the product of spiritual deception and theological error.

If Christ were to appear today it is likely that most of us would be burned by His Presence. It is necessary that fiery tribulations and persecutions come upon us. These will purge sin and self-seeking from us and also will separate the true Christians from the "believers" who are part of "Babylon" (man-centered Christianity).

Deception is prevalent in the land. It will require great tribulation and Divine Glory before we are ready for the Lord’s return.

How many actually will be ready? A multitude? A handful?

When the Son of man returns will He find any faith at all on the earth?

 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (I Peter 4:19)

We find the same principle of preparation by fire, in the first chapter of II Thessalonians:

 So we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: (II Thessalonians 1:4)

What is the purpose of these persecutions and tribulations?

 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: (II Thessalonians 1:5)

The persecutions and tribulations are the judgment of God coming upon the saints so they will not be condemned when the world is judged.

We all must stand before Christ at one time or another. It is better to be judged now, as God wills.

If we are not judged now, how can we be resurrected and rise to meet Him when He appears? Can we be judged and purified after we have been resurrected, glorified, and brought into His Presence to be ever with Him?

The Lord Jesus Himself learned obedience to the Father, being more perfectly reconciled to God by the things He suffered.

 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10)

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (Hebrews 5:8,9)

If Eternal Life Himself learned obedience to God through suffering, what will be true of us who are altogether bound in death, corruption, lawlessness, lust, and self-love?

If the Potter was made perfect by suffering, what will be true of the clay?

God wounds us before He heals us. He smites us before He binds us up.

 Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. (Hosea 6:1)

It is not always pleasant to go through the process of judgment and reconciliation. But the end of such chastening is the peaceable fruit of righteousness. God rebukes and disciplines us so we may share in His holiness. Whom Jesus loves He rebukes and chastens.

The Lord’s people always are judged by a stricter measure than those who are not of God’s elect. Jerusalem always receives double for her sins.

 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:2)

When the Lord enters through the everlasting gates of our hearts He does so as the Lord strong and mighty in battle, as the General of unconquerable forces. He wages war in us. When that warfare has been accomplished our lawlessness is pardoned and removed from us. But until every enemy has been subdued there is unrest within us.

Judgment always begins with those who are closest to the Lord.

 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 [of incense], and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. (Revelation 11:1,2)

We notice in the above passage the principle of judgment beginning with those who are nearest the Presence of God. The Altar of Incense was the furnishing of the Tabernacle that was closest to the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat in that it stood just before the Veil. The "court that is without the temple" indicates an area more removed from the Presence of God.

We spoke previously of the personal spiritual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets, that is, the coming of the King to us. When the Lord Jesus enters us He drives out what is not pleasing to Himself.

 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. (John 2:14-16)

One of the gods of the world, and the root of all evil, is the love of money. The love of money abounds in the hearts of the Lord’s people. The preachers of the Gospel in the wealthy nations are distinguished by their pleas for money and their luxurious lifestyles. Today the witness of God has been largely destroyed in some countries by the merchandising that takes place in the work of the Gospel.

The King is coming. He will enter the personalities of His people. When He does the love of money will be cast out. All the emphasis on money will be driven from the Temple of God. In its place will come prayer and the true worship of God. No person can serve both God and money. Each of us must decide whether to trust in God or to trust in money to keep us in the hour of trouble.

The personal fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is the "eternal judgment" mentioned in Hebrews 6:2. Eternal judgment falls on the demons, on the workers of darkness and their deeds.

The member of the Body of Christ will be brought into spiritual freedom provided he confesses and forsakes the bondages of sin that cause him to disobey the moral laws of God. The Holy Spirit leads us in putting to death the deeds of our flesh (Romans 8:13; I John 1:9).

No sin can enter the Kingdom of God. Christ has come to judge the sin in His Body. All the adultery, fornication, perversion, murder, hatred, strife, jealousy, spite, self-pity, spiritual pride, lying, stealing, drunkenness, sorcery, revelry, laziness, must be confessed and removed from us.

The baptism of fire is here now. The sins of the Lord’s people are being brought to judgment. We must confess our sins and allow the Lord to remove them from us. We are to confess our sins to another Christian, or to our husband or wife, or just to the Lord according to the manner in which the Spirit leads us.

However, we must be careful in confessing to another person that we do not cause harm to that individual. Sometimes it is best not to confess our sins to our husband or wife because of the damage it would do to them. We are not to relieve our anxiety and guilt by confessing to a loved one when it will cause him or her much grief.

The axe is being laid to the root of the trees. The demons are being named and cast out of the members of the Body of Christ. No mercy is to be shown to the demons. Each one must be confessed and cast out. This is a necessary part of the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.

The believers who allow the Spirit of God to cleanse them will be brought into spiritual liberty in preparation for the first resurrection from the dead. Those who do not allow the Spirit to cleanse them, whether their objection is based on doctrinal misunderstanding, spiritual pride, or love for their sins, will remain bound and await judgment at a later date. They will not participate in the resurrection of the royal priesthood when Christ returns.

John the Baptist notified us that the Lord Jesus is ready to baptize His household with fire. When the Lord Jesus comes to us He baptizes us with fire for the purpose of reconciling every part of our personality to the Presence and will of the Father.

It is important to remember, as we are going through the dealings of the Lord, that the joy of the Lord is our strength. While we are being judged it is a temptation to fall into gloom and pessimism, to complain, to become frustrated and discouraged.

No doubt the reason the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is placed toward the end of the process of redemption is that it would not be possible for us to endure the fiery tribulations, dealings, probings, testings, at an earlier stage of our spiritual development.

We must keep in mind that our sufferings and testings are for the purpose of elevating us to the throne of Glory. The Bride of the Lamb is to be without spot, wrinkle, blemish, or any flaw or stain of any kind. There must be no corruption in her. She has been called to be the complement of the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is bringing about such perfection in us and we are to bear patiently with the Lord until He is satisfied with His handiwork.

We have stated that the goal of the Christian redemption is the promised-land rest of God. The seven feasts of the Lord typify seven aspects of the Divine workings that bring us from the chaotic condition of those who are without Christ all the way to perfect, complete union with God through Christ.

Let us present a brief review before we move to Tabernacles—the feast that typifies the fullness of the salvation of the Lord.

The seven feasts have kingdom-wide, historical fulfillments:

1. Passover—the death of Christ on the cross of Calvary.

2. Unleavened Bread—the descent of Christ into Hades, removing sin from the camp.

3. Firstfruits—Christ’s resurrection from the dead as the Beginning of the Kingdom of God.

4. Pentecost—the sending down of the Holy Spirit from Heaven.

5. Trumpets—the seven trumpets of the Book of Revelation, concluding with the resurrection of the saints and taking from the wicked the control of the earth.

6. Day of Atonement—the thousand-year reign of Christ over the present earth.

7. Tabernacles—the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.

The first three fulfillments took place nearly two thousand years ago during that momentous week of Unleavened Bread. The fourth, Pentecost, began ten days after Christ’s ascension and is continuing to the present day. The "rain" still is falling from Heaven.

The last three of the kingdom-wide fulfillments will occur in the future.

Then there are the personal fulfillments of the seven feasts and it is these that we have been studying. The personal fulfillments are to take place in our lives today as we press forward to the promised-land rest of God. It is only as we experience the personal fulfillments that the historical fulfillments are of benefit to us.

We already have described the personal fulfillments of the first six of the feasts:

Passover—the work of the body and blood of Christ in our personality.

Unleavened Bread—our repentance and water baptism; our entrance by faith into the death and into the resurrection of Christ; our crucifixion to the world and our ascension in the Spirit to the right hand of God in Christ; all to be followed by a life of cross-carrying obedience through the wilderness of the present world.

Firstfruits—our new birth and our sealing by the Spirit to the day of redemption, that is, to the spiritual fulfillment of the last three feasts.

Pentecost—the power of the Holy Spirit given to us so we may become holy, and bear witness of the Lord Jesus, His atonement and His Kingdom.

Trumpets—the coming of the King to us to establish His Kingdom in us and the disciplining of us as a soldier in His army.

Day of Atonement—our reconciliation to God; the preparing of the Bride.

These six experiences provide the foundation for our entrance into the seventh and last feast, the feast of Tabernacles. The feast of Tabernacles is the promised-land rest of God. It is the omega, the goal of the Divine redemption. It is salvation in the fullest sense. It is entering the Kingdom in the fullest sense. We are not to come short of this goal but to press forward in Christ until we enter the rest of God.

The Feast of Tabernacles

The feast of Tabernacles portrays the Omega, the fullness of the Christian redemption. The fourteenth and seventeenth chapters of the Gospel of John describe the personal spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.

It is our marriage to the Lamb, the bringing of us into perfect, complete, restful union with God through Christ. God finds rest in us and we find rest in God. This is the rest, the land of promise promised to the saints. Everything of benefit to God and to us flows from our union with Christ.

 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)

The House of God is Christ. We Christians are being made rooms in the House of God, rooms in Christ. We represent an enlargement of the House of God. If we were not to become the dwelling place of God, as Jesus is, Jesus would have told us so.

The building of the House of God, the Temple of God, is one of the principal topics of the Scriptures. Heaven is God’s throne and the earth is His footstool. The Lord God, who is a Spirit, desires a house for Himself.

God was on the earth in the beginning. God did not call to Adam from Heaven but from the garden where He was walking.

Because of the rebellion of Adam and Eve, God’s Presence withdrew from the earth, leaving all nature in a state of corruption and death.

It is not God’s intention to remain in the spirit realm as an invisible Spirit while His children in the earth grope blindly for the light and worship demons. It is God’s desire to live in the earth among His creatures and this is why He is building a house for Himself.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the chief Cornerstone of the House of God. God appeared in the world in His House, that is, in the chief Cornerstone of His House. No longer was God invisible, unapproachable to men. God was here among us. This was a foretaste of the day when God will come to live with us forever.

The Lord Jesus is not to be the only living stone in the Temple of God. A number of other living stones are being cut and polished. One day the structure will be finished. Then God and Christ will enter the completed temple in Their Fullness and the Temple of God will come from the spirit realm and be revealed in the physical realm. This is the coming to earth of the Kingdom of God, the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb.

Jesus was referring to the Temple of God when He said, "In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwelling places)." If there were not to be more dwelling places in God’s House, the Lord Jesus would have set up His Kingdom at that time; for the main purpose of the subsequent two thousand years has been the creation of additional rooms in the House of God. It is God’s House primarily, God’s rest, not ours, that is being constructed.

Jesus went to prepare a "place" for us. The Lord Jesus went to the cross, He descended into Hades. After that He took back His body from the cave of Joseph of Arimathea. Forty days later He ascended into Heaven to make intercession for us. He also sprinkled His blood upon and before the Mercy Seat in Heaven. In addition He sent down to earth the Holy Spirit. All Christ’s actions are with the end in view of preparing a place in which God can find rest in us and we can find rest in God.

Through the many workings of redemption the Lord Jesus prepares a place for us in Himself and a place for us in our own personality. Apart from the Lord Jesus we are not able to dwell correctly even in our own personality. Apart from the Lord we soon destroy our own body and soul.

 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (Hebrews 9:24)

The Church, the Body of Christ, is the fullness of the House of God.

 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22)

We are the means through which the invisible God will make Himself visible and approachable to the nations of the earth. We who are part of Christ are that "seed" in which all the nations of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 22:18).

 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:3)

The Lord Jesus will appear in the clouds of heaven, raise us from the dead, and then draw us to Himself in the air. After that we shall be ever with the Lord.

However, the context of John 14:3 is not a discussion of the second coming of the King. Rather, it is the spiritual coming of the Lord to His temple, as we mentioned previously (note John 14:18-23).

Christ is coming to us today and receiving us to Himself, and this is why we are experiencing judgment now. Christ always abides in the center of God’s Presence and will. This is where He is bringing us. Such nearness to the Father results in the coming of Divine judgment upon the sin and self-seeking that remain in us.

Christ is not intent on bringing us to Heaven as to a place. Rather, His efforts are directed toward bringing us into the center of God’s Presence and will. To be with Him where He is, is to be in the center of God’s Presence and will.

Christ has not left it up to man to fashion the blocks of the eternal Temple of God. Rather, Christ is here among us now, cutting and polishing each of the stones of the eternal temple. He is receiving us today, through the Spirit, and bringing us into untroubled rest in "the secret place of the most High."

Are you "coming away" in the Spirit with Christ? Is He drawing you out of Sodom, out of "Babylon" (man-directed Christianity), out of all that corrupts and defiles? It is a heavenly romance. Christ is drawing us to Himself so where He is, there we may be also.

We are not advising the believers to leave their churches. To leave one’s church may be to create another Babylon. Rather it is a coming out in the heart until we are married to Jesus and not to our church or to the work of the Lord.

Sometimes it appears that the Catholic Church, which is the consummate denomination, invites people to be married to the Church. This is not satisfactory in the Kingdom of God. From the Pope on down, each believer is to be married to the Lamb of God, to none other. Each of us is to be married to the Lord. To remain in union with an institution or a heavenly personage other than the Lord Jesus is idolatry.

He who has ears to hear will hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches in our day.

Christ is walking as the High Priest among the golden lampstands, which are the churches in the earth. He is comforting and strengthening us but also rebuking us and warning us of the consequences of not following the Holy Spirit to the high levels of holiness and righteousness to which we have been called.

Jesus addresses the angel, the spirit of each church. The promise of rewards always is to the individual saint, to him who overcomes. Jesus is coming to each of us personally. Jesus desires to make each of us a dwelling place in the house of the Father. First we must pass through the numerous processes of reconciliation. There are no shortcuts.

 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

"No man comes to the Father." Our goal is not Heaven, it is the Father. Heaven is not the Father and the Father is not Heaven. Sin began in Heaven but not in the Father. The Father is a Person.

The subject of the fourteenth chapter of John is the Father’s House, which is Christ—Head and Body. Each of us has been called to be a dwelling place in the House of the Father, that is, to participate in the spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical feast of Tabernacles.

Whether or not we attain this exceedingly high calling depends on whether we pass from the ranks of the many who are called to the ranks of the few who are chosen. We can pass to the ranks of the few who are chosen only when we decide that Christ alone is the Goal of all our life. Our decision must be for eternity. As long as we are double-minded about being one with Christ we will not be chosen to be a dwelling place in the eternal Temple of God (Hebrews 3:6).

Jesus informed us clearly that He is the House, the Tabernacle, of God, the eternal dwelling place of the Father:

 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:10)

As we move ahead in the fourteenth chapter, Jesus proceeds to show us that He is not to be the only dwelling place of the Father but that He will, if we allow Him to do so, make each of us a room in the Father’s House.

 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:18)

This verse parallels John 14:3. It is the coming of the Lord to each saint in order to prepare him or her to be a room in the Father’s House.

 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. (John 14:19)

As we said before, we do not "see" Jesus clearly in the present hour. As we receive Him into our personality, and especially as we come to live by His Life rather than by the life of our flesh and soul, we shall begin to see Him more and more distinctly. The hour will come when we shall see Christ clearly, provided we press forward in the program of reconciliation and indwelling.

 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (John 14:20)

"At that day" is speaking of the day when we are crucified with Christ and the life that we are living actually is the Life of Jesus. The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. Then will all the trust and joy of Isaiah, Chapter 12 be true in us. Then will we be at rest in Christ in God.

 And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:1-3)

Notice the expression: "for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, he also is become my salvation." This parallels Jesus’ promise, "because I live, ye shall live also."

Speaking of the "water out of the wells of salvation," the Lord Jesus, while He was observing the celebration of the feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, said:

 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)

The feast of Pentecost (Weeks) is associated with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on us from above. The feast of Tabernacles, by contrast, is associated with the flowing of the rivers of water from our personality. The rivers of living water cannot flow from our personality until the Throne of God has been established in us because the waters of eternal life flow only from the Throne of God.

The "sea" of mankind is spiritually dead. When the saints enter the fullness of the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles the Glory of God will flow from the saints and cover the dead sea of mankind, causing the saved peoples of the earth to receive eternal life. Thus the Glory of God will cover the earth as the waters (of eternal life) cover the sea (of mankind).

The worldwide redemption that will take place as the result of the saints coming into the feast of Tabernacles is described as follows:

 And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. (Ezekiel 47:9)

After we have suffered for a season we find we have come into a new place in God. God and Christ are dwelling with us. We come to know by personal experience that Christ is in His Father and we are in Christ and Christ is in us.

Today we understand these facts doctrinally. We hold to them by faith. If we are willing to press forward in the Spirit to the fullness God has for us we will begin to experience the Presence of the Father and the Son in our personality to a greater extent than we have known. The Lord Jesus will come to us as a Person, a Friend, a Bridegroom, an elder Brother. Jesus will become much more real to us.

 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)

"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them."

Paul’s preaching of grace can be misunderstood easily. Paul’s explanation of the transition from the Law of Moses to the grace of Christ readily can be perverted to mean righteous and holy behavior are not part of the Christian redemption. However there is no true faith in Christ apart from the transformation of character that always proceeds from such faith.

Millions of Christians have been persuaded that under grace we are not obligated to keep the commandments of Christ. "It doesn’t matter too much what we do, how we live, because we are saved by grace." A "state of grace" is presented that is seen as separate from the believer’s personality and behavior. It is a deception of enormous proportions. Salvation is understood to be a ticket to Paradise rather than what it is in actuality, the restoration of the human personality through Christ.

As a result of this common misunderstanding of the early chapters of Romans, the believers are not keeping Jesus’ commandments. They are not walking in the paths of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God that the Holy Spirit requires. The testimony of the churches has been destroyed. When the believers are admonished concerning the numerous New Testament exhortations to righteousness, to holiness, and to obedience to God, they protest they are saved by grace and not by works.

The truth is, no Christian is eligible to participate in the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles until he or she is keeping the commandments of Christ. We show our love for Jesus when we, by His Virtue and assistance, do what He told us to do. Then the Father is pleased with us and loves us because we have listened to His beloved Son.

The Lord loves us when we keep His commandments, and then He reveals Himself to us.

 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? (John 14:22)

How will Christ reveal Himself to the saints and still not allow the world to see Him? He will accomplish this through the personal spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles.

 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)

This is how we become a dwelling place in the Father’s house. The Greek noun translated "abode" in the Authorized Version of John 14:23, is the noun translated "mansions" in John 14:2. So it is obvious we still are on the subject of the Father’s house.

John 14:2 is speaking of the "booths" of the feast of Tabernacles. Each of us is a "booth" in which the Father and the Son can settle down to rest. Here is the eternal rest of God.

Paul prayed for the saints in Ephesus that they would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit until they were able to be "filled with all the fulness of God" (Ephesians 3:14-19).

The last two chapters of the Book of Revelation point out the coming to the new earth of the new Jerusalem, which is the Wife of the Lamb. The new Jerusalem is the Tabernacle of God come down to dwell among the nations of saved peoples of the earth.

The new Jerusalem is the Body of Christ, the Church, the Kingdom of God, the eternal Temple of the living God. It is the Throne of God and the Lamb. It is the expression and revelation of what is being accomplished today in the hearts of those sincere saints who are willing to press forward in God to the "prize of the high calling of God in Christ" (Philippians 3:14).

 And the heathen [nations] shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore. (Ezekiel 37:28)

We Christians must learn that God’s intentions always are toward Israel. We Gentiles are not the natural branches. We were cut out of the wild olive tree and grafted on the olive tree of God, that is, on Christ.

The time of the Gentiles is nearly over. The full number of elect Gentiles soon will have been grafted on the olive tree. Then the natural branches will be grafted back on their own tree, on Christ.

The Kingdom of God will come to the Jews. We of the Gentiles will bring the eternal Life of God to physical Israel. Then will the Jews be grafted back on the tree. They will be reborn by the Spirit of God. There will be a convergence of what is of the heavenly Jerusalem and what is of the earthly Jerusalem.

Christ will rule on the throne of David in Jerusalem.

As soon as the saints have entered the Tabernacles experience, the nations of the earth will perceive that God has sent Christ, and that God loves the saints as He loves His only begotten Son.

 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)

The invisible, spiritual Glory of God that is being created within us will be brought into visible glory in the land and people of Israel. God’s promises through the Hebrew Prophets will be fulfilled letter by letter. God still loves His people whom He knew in time past.

Then the nations of the earth will be required to come to Jerusalem, bringing their wealth and acknowledging that God is in Christ in the saints in Jerusalem.

 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16)

For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. (Isaiah 60:12)

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)

We are being brought into union with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the marriage of the Lamb. This is the "tabernacles experience."

Notice that the holy city, the new Jerusalem, is the "tabernacle of God," and also the "bride, the Lamb’s wife":

 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)

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. (Revelation 21:9)

The promised-land rest of God is God in Christ in the saints. This is the Kingdom of God. This is the goal of our redemption.

All the accomplishment and rulership that have been assigned to man can come into being lawfully and harmoniously only when God in Christ is at rest in the saint and the saint is at rest in Christ in God.

All the workings of redemption are for the purpose of bringing us to the place where God is at rest in us through Christ.

God is seeking a house in which He can live among the nations of the earth, in which He can be approached, and from which He can rule and bless His creatures. The invisible God is making Himself visible: first, through the Lord Jesus Christ; second, through the Body of Christ. As Christ, who is the only Temple of God, the only House of God, is formed in the Body, the Father and the Son will then dwell in the Body.

Thus the saints through Christ are being created a part of the incarnation of the God of Heaven, who is the Creator of all things.

To enter the promised-land rest of God we must experience the working of the body and blood of Christ in our personality.

We must repent and be baptized in water, entering by faith into the death and into the resurrection of Christ.

We must be born again of the Spirit of God. Christ must be born in us. God seals us with His Holy Spirit as a guarantee that He will bring us into full redemption, including the immortalizing and glorifying of our mortal body.

Christ baptizes us with the Holy Spirit so we shall possess the power to bear witness of His death and resurrection, and the power to overcome the world, Satan, and our lusts and self-centeredness.

After we have been brought this far in the program of salvation, the King comes to us personally to put under His feet His enemies that are in us and to bring us into the place in God where He Himself dwells.

Now we go through a prolonged and trying period of perplexity, deferred hope, frustration, and every other form of tribulation and suffering. All these are part of the Divine judgment on us so every element of our personality may be brought into subjection to Christ.

After all of our personality has been brought into subjection to Jesus, there still remains the breaking down of our resistance to the Lord’s desire that we be one with Him. Heart is pressed against heart until there is a new person who is one with Jesus. Such uniting may entail a period of darkness and a seeming loss of all that has been gained.

Finally we enter the promised-land rest of God. The Fullness of God abides in us and we abide in the Fullness of God. God is at rest in us and we are at rest in God. We have become the chariot of God.

We have been created the servants and sons of the most high God. We shall see the Face of the Father and His name will be in our foreheads. We shall bear a true witness of God throughout the eternity of eternities. We shall reign over the works of God’s hands forever.

He who overcomes shall inherit all these things and God shall be his God, and he shall be God’s son.