PRESSING PAST PENTECOST: EIGHT
Copyright © 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
“Pressing Past Pentecost: Eight” is taken from The Feasts of the Lord, copyright © 2011 Trumpet Ministries
Table of Contents
Day of Atonement
Christ Himself is the fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost. The title Christ (Christ) means “anointed with oil.” The Lord Jesus was anointed with the Oil of the Holy Spirit by the Father, signifying that He is to serve as King and High Priest before God.
In the Old Testament we learn that the priests and the vessels of the Tabernacle of the Congregation were required to be anointed with the holy oil. Also, it was the custom to anoint each person whom God had chosen to be king over Israel.
The Lord Jesus is the One who possesses the seven Spirits of God. He has the Spirit of God without measure. By this anointing, which is the power of endless, indestructible life, God has established the Lord Jesus Christ as King and Priest above His brothers.
The Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of the Lampstand of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. Through Christ the Spirit of God brings the revelation of God to mankind. Christ is the Light of the world.
The oil of the Lampstand of the Congregation had to be renewed by the priest once each twenty-four hour period. The Lord Jesus Christ has a never-ending supply of the Holy Spirit. This is revealed in the Lampstand of the fourth chapter of Zechariah, in which the oil is supplied continuously from the two olive trees.
One of the main purposes of the hundreds of years that have passed since the resurrection of Christ is the creating and building of the Body of Christ, the fullness of Christ. The Lord Jesus is the Head of Christ, of the Anointed Deliverer, the Servant of the Lord.
By partaking of His broken body and shed blood we Christians are being built up in the Body of Christ, greatly enlarging the Presence of the Lord Jesus. Christ is in us, therefore we are the enlargement of Him, the “fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:23).
Just before Christ returns, the second Lampstand, which is His Body, His Wife, His Complement, will be fashioned. As it is being built up it will bear witness to every nation of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God. It too will receive the Spirit of God from the two olive trees that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. In the last days there will be two lampstands and two olive trees (Revelation, Chapter 11).
When the Lord Jesus stood before John the Baptist, the Spirit of God came down like a dove upon Him. The Spirit of God never has come down to rest as a dove on anyone other than the Lord Jesus. When the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of Christ, the Spirit was not in the form of a dove but as “cloven tongues like as of fire.”
The reason for the difference is that the peace of God is on Christ and in Christ because He is without sin or rebellion. Therefore the Holy Spirit can rest as gently as a dove on Him. The Holy Spirit comes down as tongues of judgment on the Church because the Church is full of sin and rebellion and must undergo the judgment of the Lord (Malachi 3:3).
When the Lord Jesus stood up in the synagogue to read He opened the scroll of Isaiah to one of the most pointed references to Christ in the Scripture. Today we refer to the section as Chapter 61. He began to read:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (Isaiah 61:1)
“This day,” Christ declared, “is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
The Spirit of the Lord God rests on Jesus as on no other person because He loves righteousness and hates lawlessness.
Christ is the Son of David, the Anointed Deliverer (the meaning of Christ) who is to deliver Israel. He will sit on the Throne of David and establish the Kingdom of God in the earth. The Jews expect Christ to restore the glory of the kingdom of David.
Some of the rabbis of today teach that Jesus is not Christ because He was not the son of Joseph and therefore not the son of David. The Scripture teaches that Christ is the son of David.
One wonders why such rabbis would accept one part of the New Testament, that Jesus was not the blood son of Joseph, and then disbelieve the New Testament assertions that He is Christ. If the New Testament is a book of lies, why is it necessarily true that Jesus was not the son of Joseph? Their reasoning is not sound in this respect.
Do the rabbis truly believe that liars who are clever enough and blasphemous enough to fabricate such a work as the New Testament would overlook such an obvious problem? Do they think the New Testament is the product of fools?
The Prophets show that Christ is the Son of God, being begotten of God (Psalms 2:7). Also, Jesus is the son of David legally, having been born into Joseph’s household.
It was not possible for Christ to be born of the bloodline of Adam because then he would be a self-seeking sinner like the rest of us. No mere human being can fulfill the prophecies concerning Christ. To attempt to do so would be to usurp the Glory of God.
It is not unlikely that there will arise an outstanding rabbi—perhaps a worker of miracles—and that many of the Jews will accept him as Christ, the son of David. In that case, they will have rejected Jesus of Nazareth, the true Christ, the Son of God and Son of David, and will have accepted a self-seeking human being.
We say “self-seeking” because no matter how humble a human being appears to be, in his heart is adamic pride. No one understands this better than the truly humble. To set up the proud flesh of Adam as Christ would be true blasphemy. But to worship the Lord Jesus is not blasphemy because God the Father has made Him both Lord and Christ.
Whenever men do not do what they have been commanded, they proceed to do what they have been commanded not to do.
No human being ever will be permitted by the Father to fulfill Isaiah, Chapter 53 or the other prophecies of Isaiah and Zechariah. Jesus alone has fulfilled them to the letter, and He alone is Christ.
Antichrist is a man but Christ is God. But, the Jew protests, the Lord is One. Indeed, the foundation of all truth is that God is One. God is One. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are One.
The reason we cannot reconcile the fact that God is One with the fact that Jesus comes from the Father and is Divine, is due to the limitation of language and the limitation of our experience. Our experience in the physical world teaches us that one cannot be two or three or four. However, the limitations of the physical world are not necessarily the limitations of the realm of spirits.
We know God is One. The demons understand this thoroughly. We know also that Yeshua is that Holy One who has come from God. The demons understand this also and cried out in terror.
We know the one God has exalted Yeshua to His own right hand and has seated Him on the throne of glory.
Antichrist covets the Glory of Christ. For any man to aspire to the inheritance of Christ is a very great blasphemy.
Because the Jews believe Christ will be nothing more than a gifted human they are preparing themselves for deception. Antichrist will come, will be extraordinarily gifted, and will work miracles. The Jews may receive him as Christ and begin to rebuild the Temple. After Antichrist has consolidated his position he will claim to be God.
It is not unusual for an individual who has gained spiritual prestige to begin to show signs he is becoming confused about who he is and who God is.
It is the reign of Antichrist, a Satan-filled human being (probably a deceived “Christian”), in the Temple in Jerusalem that will cause God to pour out on the world the chastisement known as the great tribulation.
Antichrist also, in his blasphemy, will ascend into the heavenlies and challenge the position of the Lord Jesus.
And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. (Daniel 8:10,11)
If a Jew will read carefully the fifty-third chapter of the Book of Isaiah he will learn that Christ must come first as a man of sorrows and be pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. God will make Christ’s soul an offering for sin. He will bear the iniquities of His people.
When Christ returns He will come as King of kings and Lord of lords. He will establish His Kingdom in visible power and glory in the earth.
The most important ceremony of the feast of Pentecost was the waving of the two large loaves of bread before the Lord. The bread was baked from the finest of flour, and the waving of the loaves marked the completion of the harvesting of the wheat.
Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord. (Leviticus 23:17)
The number two in Scripture stands for power, in particular, power to bear witness. Pentecost is the feast of power to bear witness. The double portion of the Holy Spirit of God rests on Christ, giving Him power over men and over unclean spirits and enabling Him to be the true and faithful Witness of God.
Christ is the finest of the flour of the wheat harvest, so to speak. He was “baked into a loaf and waved before the Lord”—a figurative way of referring to His consecration to God.
The fact that there were two loaves used in the ceremony of Pentecost speaks of the fullness of the power of almighty God resting on Christ. The testimony of Christ always must be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit. “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me.”
We are reminded also of the fact that before the Lord returns there shall be two witnesses of the coming of the Kingdom: Christ, and then the members of His Body who also will be anointed with a double portion of the Spirit of God.
Where Christ is there is power to release people from the bondages of Satan in spirit, soul, and body, thus bearing a true witness of the Kingdom of God that soon is to come to the earth.
The Spirit of Christ spoke through the Hebrew Prophets. Then Christ Himself came to be with us, bringing in Himself the fullness of God’s Spirit. When Christ ascended to the Father He poured His Spirit on the waiting disciples so they may bear witness of His atoning death and triumphant resurrection.
When the Lord took of the Spirit who was on Moses and gave of Him (the Spirit) to the seventy elders, they “prophesied, and did not cease” (Numbers 11:25).
When the Holy Spirit came down from the ascended Jesus to the waiting disciples they also prophesied and did not cease. When we Christians receive enough of the Holy Spirit of God we will prophesy and not cease.
Christ possesses the fullness of the Holy Spirit. He walked among men for a season. Now He has ascended to the Father and the Holy Spirit has been shed on all who have received the atonement made through the blood of God’s Lamb and who have entered the waters of baptism in His name. By the one Holy Spirit we all are baptized into the one Body of Christ.
The feast of Pentecost is associated with the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai. It is believed that the first feast of Pentecost, the fiftieth day counting from the sixteenth of the month Abib, the month of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, was the day on which God gave to Moses the Ten Commandments.
The feast of Pentecost could not be observed at that time because Israel was in the wilderness and had no wheat to harvest. It is believed, therefore, that God gave the Law as an observance of the date.
To this day the Jews associate the giving of the Law with the feast of Pentecost. Pentecost is known to Jews as “The Season of the Giving of the Law”; and the birthday of Judaism, because Judaism is founded on the Law, the Torah.
The new covenant fulfillment of Pentecost, as recorded in the second chapter of the Book of Acts, marks the birthday of the Christian Church. The giving of the Holy Spirit to the Christian Church is the giving of God’s law to the Christian Church, the Torah written in the heart.
The Holy Spirit is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ. It is God’s will that every Christian walk in the strictest obedience to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Christian counterpart of the Law of Moses.
Nowhere is the association between the Holy Spirit and the Law of God seen more clearly than in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ observed perfectly every aspect of the Law of Moses.
The law of the Spirit of life, which is the rule of the Holy Spirit in the sanctified human being, is the law of the Kingdom of God. The commandments of Christ can be kept only through the ability that the Spirit Himself gives.
The law of the Spirit is much more penetrating and demanding than the Law of Moses, as anyone can observe by reading the fifth through the seventh chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. Under the law of the Spirit of life, anyone who entertains lust in his heart toward a member of the opposite sex is guilty of adultery, whereas the Law of Moses deals only with the act itself.
Christ lived a righteous, holy, obedient, blameless life. He did so in the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit of God. Therefore Christ is the fulfillment of the giving of the Law on Sinai.
The Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. He always leads us into holiness. The new Jerusalem is the holy city. The new Jerusalem is the fulfillment of the Law of God. The beauty of the new Jerusalem is the beauty of God’s holiness filled to the brim. Christ lives in the beauty of holiness.
Pentecost is a season of rejoicing. There is joy and happiness associated with the Lord Christ. There have been few men who have had to live with the continual obstinacy and perversity that Christ endured. No other man has had to bear the load of responsibility and oppression that was carried by Christ. He lived with the cross always before His face.
Yet there is very great joy where the Lord Jesus is.
Jesus is a Person of the greatest, purest, strongest, peace, joy, contentment, and gladness of heart. To be around Jesus is a time of uplift and delight. Have you ever noticed that when He draws near you His coming is a joy and a blessing?
We are invited to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ. But the denials and tribulations are as nothing when Christ is near. He is God’s joy, God’s song, God’s season of rejoicing.
Sin always is accompanied sooner or later by gloom, despair, and the cruel pangs of remorse and grief. The Lord Jesus always is accompanied by uplifting joy—a song of the spirit and soul that lifts us until we are walking in days of Heaven on the earth.
The Lord Jesus is our joy. He breaks every chain that keeps us in discouragement and dread. In Him we mount up and soar with eagles’ wings. We walk with deers’ feet. In the darkest of nights, on the stormiest and deepest of turbulent waters, we dance on, singing in happy trust, skipping like a child toward the city that radiates light in a rainbow of heavenly colors.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Trumpet of God. Through Christ, God has announced His purposes in the earth. Men behold their sins because in Christ, God has sounded the trumpet of the Divine warfare against unclean spirits.
Christ is the King of the Kingdom of God, the Commander in Chief of the armies of Heaven. He is the Lord of two Armies: the army of powerful angels and the army of obedient saints.
When Christ moves, true Israel moves. He announces the Presence and will of His Father, who is revered and blessed by all.
The coming of Christ proclaims the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth, and also the coming of the Day of Judgment. Men never can claim to be ignorant of the will of God once they have seen the works of Christ and have heard His Word. God has revealed His will through the Lord Jesus.
The advent of Christ heralds the thousand-year Kingdom Age, the Jubilee, in which all who obey God will be redeemed and enabled to return to their inheritance in the earth. Christ is the Trumpet of God. He is drawing near the earth in the days in which we live and is warning us to prepare for the conflict of the ages—the confrontation between Christ and Antichrist.
Christ is the Day Star (II Peter 1:19). He rises in our heart, announcing the Day of the Lord—the Kingdom Age that is just over the horizon.
The trumpet is found in the Scriptures in a variety of usages. One of the major usages is in war. The trumpet must give a clear call so we can prepare ourselves for the battle (I Corinthians 14:8).
The greatest war of all times is just ahead of us. It will result in the driving of Satan and his hordes from the earth. One of the predominant burdens of the Holy Spirit is—and will continue to be—that of warfare. It is only through war that the Lord Jesus Christ can come into His inheritance in the earth, and we with Him.
The Lord Jesus is waiting until His enemies have been made His footstool.
The Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Psalms reveal two aspects of the Personality of the Lord Jesus.
In the familiar Twenty-third Psalm we see the Lord as the gentle Shepherd who leads His lambs beside the still waters. If we never have come to know the Good Shepherd, if we never have followed Him through the valley of the shadow of death, or had Him lead us in paths of righteousness or prepare a table for us in the midst of our enemies, we have not been made ready for His revelation to us in the Twenty-fourth Psalm.
In the twenty-third Psalm, Christ is our heavenly Moses. He, the Shepherd of the flock, leads us through the wilderness. However, Moses never can lead us across Jordan and into the land of promise. This requires the leadership of Joshua. In the Twenty-fourth Psalm, Christ comes to us as Joshua, as a commander of battle.
The Twenty-fourth Psalm begins with a reference to the earth because the Kingdom of God is to be set up on the earth. Christ has come in the fullness of the anointing of the Holy Spirit with the intention of breaking the bondages of sin and death in the earth. The creation awaits His revealing. The creation itself is to be released into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
God has founded the earth “on the seas, and established it on the floods”—which is no foundation at all. Therefore, the peoples of the earth find themselves in slippery, shaky, uncertain circumstances. The present world is not built on a rock. It has turbulent water as its foundation.
We look for a city that does have a foundation (Hebrews 11:10). This foundation is not Heaven but the Lord Jesus Christ. When God shakes the earth and the heaven (Hebrews 12:27), only that which has been built on Christ will remain.
After remarking about the seas and the rivers the Twenty-fourth Psalm begins to emphasize standing before the Lord in righteousness. Today, as the Holy Spirit is bringing to us the good news of the coming Kingdom of God and its establishment in the earth, the central issue (not so much in the world at this time as in the Christian churches) is that of righteous and holy behavior and obedience to God. It is impossible to ascend into the holy hill of Zion, the fortress of God, with unclean hands and an impure heart.
In order to obtain clean hands and a pure heart we must lift up the everlasting doors of our heart to the Lord. How does He come to us? As the Good Shepherd? Not only that, but now as the Lord of Hosts, as the Lord strong and mighty in battle, as the King of Glory.
The blowing of Trumpets, the fifth of the seven feasts of the Lord, announces the new year of the Kingdom of God. Since the Kingdom of God is the doing of God’s will in the earth (compare the Lord’s Prayer), the Twenty-fourth Psalm commences with a reference to the fact that the Lord owns the earth and its inhabitants.
Before the Lord Jesus, the Lord of Hosts, appears to the world in His second advent, He first will come to His elect. He will come to His saints to judge and purify them.
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)
John the Baptist prepared the way before the King and Judge. The King and Judge died for our sins and has been raised to the right hand of God in Heaven. Now He is coming through the Spirit to His people to judge their sins. Judgment has begun in the house of God.
The King, Jesus, enters us in fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets. He drives out the money changers. He lays the axe to the roots of the trees. He sends fire on us until every sin in us is revealed and cast out. The judging and casting out of the sin and self-seeking that are in us is the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement (Day of Reconciliation).
The Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement work together. Trumpets announces the King. He enters our personality and reconciles us to the holy Father.
The Blowing of Trumpets is followed by the Day of Atonement and announces the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is the sixth feast. The issue of the Day of Atonement is that of sin, of reconciliation to God. Therefore, the Twenty-fourth Psalm speaks of “clean hands, and a pure heart.”
As soon as the rebellion of the believer’s heart has been overcome, then the “warfare of Jerusalem” has ended, so to speak. The saint has been reconciled to the Lord. The blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement have attained their goal.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. (Psalms 24:7)
The Lord Jesus Christ enters our personality as the “Lord mighty in battle.”
As soon as the heart and hands of the saint have been made pure it is the Lord’s intention to establish His residence and His fortress in this newly cleansed temple, just as King David established Zion as soon as he had captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites. From here the Lord Jesus will go forth to battle against Satan and all his works.
The Lord Jesus and His saints will continue to wage war, under the anointing of the Spirit of God, until every breath that is drawn in the earth is proclaiming the praise of Christ, the Son of God. To Him every knee shall bow. Every tongue shall confess that Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.
We have known the Lord Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Now it is time to learn of Him as the Lord of Hosts, the Commander in Chief of the armies of God. There is a war to be won before peace can be established in the earth. The warfare begins in the Church. Sin and rebellion must be removed from the Church. There is a war to be won before peace can be established in my heart and your heart (Isaiah 40:2).
The Lord of Hosts, the Lord mighty in battle, will descend from Heaven with a war cry, with the voice of the chief angel, and with the trumpet of God. This is the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets.
Paul informs us that our bodies will be clothed with immortality at the sounding of the last trumpet. The word last implies that there are trumpets preceding the trumpet that announces the changing of our mortal body and the raising of the saints into incorruptibility (I Corinthians 15:52). There are, in fact, seven trumpets.
The sounding of the seven trumpets is described in the Book of Revelation, Chapters Eight through Eleven. We will be raised when the seventh trumpet sounds, as Paul teaches.
We find, in Revelation, Chapter Eight that the Altar of Incense is associated with the sounding of the seven trumpets.
The reader may recall that the Altar of Incense is number five of the seven holy furnishings of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The Blowing of Trumpets is number five of the seven feasts of the Lord. The number five is symbolic of the beginning of the Kingdom of God and of the resurrection of the dead (Lazarus was raised on the fifth day).
The last kingdom-wide act of God was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. Pentecost is feast number four. Four is the number of God’s communication to men of the wisdom and power to keep His righteous ways.
Five represents the coming of the King and the subsequent raising of the dead to be judged by Him. The resurrection and judgment will result in the establishing of the Kingdom of God, the doing of God’s will, in the earth.
When the “seventh seal” was opened (Revelation 8:1), the seals being the concealing of the wisdom and purposes of God, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour. The silence will result from the solemnity of the occasion. What is about to happen is the beginning of the Day of the Lord—the Day that struck terror into the unclean spirits whenever Christ approached. It is the Day of which the Hebrew Prophets spoke.
Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. (Isaiah 13:6)
And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? (Joel 2:11)
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: (Malachi 4:5)
The seven angels were given seven trumpets. Still another angel came and began to minister at the Altar of Incense that stands before the Throne of God Almighty in Heaven. It is interesting that an angel should minister here because the offering of incense in the Tabernacle of the Congregation was one of the most important and distinguishing acts of the high priest of Israel. Perhaps this angel (messenger) was one of the saints in glory.
The ministering angel was given “much incense.” The holy incense of the Tabernacle was compounded from stacte, onycha, galbanum, and frankincense, the whole seasoned with salt. The incense typifies the Essence of Christ, who is the Substance and Nature of God. The holy incense must be pounded together with the personality of the saint until the two are one.
When some of the holy incense was poured on the glowing coals in the Altar of Incense, in the days of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, the holy perfume came before the face of the Holy One of Israel who dwelled between the wings of the cherubim covering the Seat of Reconciliation.
And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. (Exodus 30:7)
In the account in Revelation, Chapter Eight the ministering angel held a golden censer (a pan for holding hot coals) in his hand. He poured the holy incense over the coals. Then the angel brought the prayers of all saints mingled with the holy perfume and offered the blend before God Almighty. The blend is the Essence of Christ mingled with the supplications and thanksgivings of the saints.
Before the face of the Almighty now arise two things: the fragrance of His beloved Son and the fervent supplication of the saints, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.”
The Bride is calling, “Come, Lord Jesus.” God hears the pleas of His holy ones. He “smells” the fragrance of His beloved Son. The spiritual darkness and oppression in the earth have attained such proportions that the prayers of God’s saints have grown in strength and insistence. The Nature of Christ has been “beaten into” and “salted together with” the personalities of the saints.
The combination of the supplication, intercession, praise, adoration, combined with total righteousness and obedience, mingled together with the fragrance of Christ, reaches the level at which the Father in His boundless love is moved to respond.
He gives the awful Word. He authorizes the blowing of the seven trumpets, the last of which will change the bodies of the saints and bring them into perfect, eternal union with the Lord Jesus. The end of the present wicked world system is at hand. There shall be delay no longer.
The almighty Lord of Hosts, the Lord Jesus Christ, is ready to assemble with His men of war in the air—the region of spiritual dominance over earth’s peoples. The kingdoms of the world are about to become the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ, the kingdoms that are governed by the spiritual thrones in the air.
Then the ministering angel filled the censer with fire from the heavenly Altar of Incense and cast the fire into the earth. The result was exceedingly great turmoil on the earth: “voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” It always remains true that the same fire that purifies and blesses the saints creates havoc when it is poured on sin and rebellion. The judgment of God liberates the godly but destroys the sinful and rebellious.
The seven angels lifted their trumpets. These angels are the heralds of the King of Glory. The first angel sounded, and the result was terrible destruction on the earth. This is the beginning of the plagues on Egypt, so to speak.
By the time the last angel sounds, Egypt (the world) will be reeling under the great tribulation that will come from the hand of the Lord God. Then will take place the kingdom-wide exodus of Israel (the Seed of Abraham—those who belong to Christ) from the bondage of Satan, who is the pharaoh of the world system.
The fire that the ministering angel casts into the earth accomplishes two things: it brings forth the holy perfume of Christ from the saints who are in the earth; it also causes judgment and destruction on those who are sinful and rebellious in the earth.
God’s fire brings righteousness, blessing, and eternal life to the saints, and destruction and death to those who hate God. The same fire that burned up Nebudchadnezzar’s warriors burned away the bonds of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The jawbone of Samson slew the enemies of Israel but provided refreshing for Samson.
The same cloud that protected the fleeing Israelites confused the Egyptians. The same waters that buoyed up Noah and his household killed every other human and animal on the earth.
The saint who is walking in Christ will find only profit in the fire of God’s Presence, the fire that comes from His altar in Heaven. The same fire is terror and judgment to the enemies of the Lord.
God’s saints never have been, are not now, nor will they ever be destroyed by the wrath of God. But the saints often must go through the fire of God. Every believer must be baptized with fire.
The fire of God redeems and liberates the elect no matter how much it may seem to hurt them. Children scream in fright when Mother comes with the antiseptic or the doctor with an injection. These are temporary hurts that are administered in love. They are a protection against far greater pain.
We saints must be “vaccinated with fire” until we become “fireproof.” The same fire is destruction and eternal death to those who are sinning and rebelling against God. The mercy of God brought Israel into the land of milk and honey and at the same time killed the Canaanites.
But think how the mercy of God appears when seen from the point of view of God’s enemies:
To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever: But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever: And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever: (Psalms 136:10, 15, 17-20)
The fire from the Altar of God brings voices, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. In that day there will be two kinds of voices crying in the land, as there are today: one voice will be preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom with unprecedented power; the other voice will be advocating the rule of the wisdom and energy of mankind, sometimes in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The Christian emphasis today is on how Christ benefits people. The Lord has become a psychologist who meets each need of the family until every person is fulfilled and receiving all he or she desires in the world. This is the False Prophet—the attempt of the soul of man to utilize the things of God for its own benefit.
It is a good thing to be psychologically whole. A person who has severe emotional and social problems might find it difficult to follow Jesus as a disciple. Nevertheless the Lord did not come to meet all of our needs and desires but to destroy the works of the devil. The objective is not self-fulfillment but the doing of God’s will in the earth.
The accent on personal fulfillment and the “whole person” sounds so godly, so righteous. But the true vision of the Lord, the vision of fire, glory, the Kingdom of God, the army of the Lord, is not in evidence. There are no seraphim crying holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts. There is no rainbow throne. Neither is there a bloody cross except as the cross benefits self-centered mankind.
When the judgment of God comes upon us there are two voices that call to us: one instructs us to put our faith and trust in the Word of God; the other voice invites us to flee from the Divine fire and to trust in a sympathetic god who will keep all harm from us and help us have pleasure and fun in the world.
At the time of testing we are exposed to “thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” Have you ever experienced these? Everything in our life that can be shaken is shaken and removed and only the work of Christ stands.
As for the works of Satan, unclean spirits, the spirit of the world, and our own flesh and self-will, the voices, thunderings, lightnings, and the earthquake create confusion and tear down what has been constructed.
The falling of the Divine fire into the earth is the beginning of the end for the works of lawlessness. The seven trumpets will sound one at a time. During the sounding of the seventh trumpet the Lord Jesus will descend with a word of summons and with the voice of the chief angel.
“Come up here,” the Lord will command. We will be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air and will be with Him forever.
Then will be poured on the inhabitants of the earth the frightful wrath of God that has been reserved from eternity for this Day.
The seventh angel sounds the trumpet that heralds the coming of the King of Glory, and of that most solemn of all days—the Day of Atonement.
Day of Atonement
Christ is seen most clearly in the Passover and in the Day of Atonement.
First, Christ is our High Priest. He entered past the veil and stood before the Seat of Reconciliation in Heaven. Unlike the high priest of Israel, Christ did not offer the blood of a young bull for Himself and then the blood of a goat for the sins of the people of Israel. Christ entered Heaven itself and with His own blood, through the Holy Spirit, purified the true Tabernacle of God in Heaven. The heavenly things were purified by the sprinkling of His own blood (Hebrews 9:23).
It is not possible that the blood of young bulls and of goats could remove sin from the presence of the Church. But through the offering of the body and blood of Christ we have been made holy forever, provided we truly apprehend the grace of God and do not neglect our salvation.
Without the shedding of blood there is no remission, no cancellation of sin. Life must go for life. By the blood of Christ, and only by His blood, the mortgage that Satan holds on us has been paid in full. Christ’s blood now has been sprinkled before the Father. Atonement has been made, and the atonement is sufficient for every man, woman, boy, and girl on the face of the earth if he or she will accept it.
The guilt of sin was canceled by the blood of Christ and now He holds the keys of Hell and of death. He alone possesses the authority and power of God Almighty. Christ is the eternal Judge whom God has appointed.
When Christ declares us guiltless and legally free from the kingdom of darkness, it is His blood that validates the declaration. God has stated that the blood of Christ has paid the price for sin. There is no other payment that God will accept for our redemption.
During the Day of Atonement, the iniquities of Israel were confessed by the High Priest and put on the head of a living goat (the scapegoat—Leviticus, Chapter 16). The living goat then was led away, by a waiting and prepared man, into the wilderness. Christ, who knew no sin, became sin for us and was led away from Israel, bearing our sins and rebellion on Himself.
Christ was made to suffer the death of the cross, the turning away of the face of the Father, and the oppression and mockery of the unclean spirits of Hell. Christ was burdened beneath the unimaginable load of the sins of mankind. He carried away our sins into the heart of the earth. He became our scapegoat. Through His actions our sins of unrighteous and unholy conduct and attitude were separated from us.
One may ask, “Isn’t this the same thing that happened during the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Unleavened Bread?”
The difference is, the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Unleavened Bread concerns the division between the Christian and the world. It is not dealing so much with forgiveness and deliverance from sin but removal from the spirit of the world. The leaven portrays the spirit of the world.
The spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement concerns the forgiving and removing of sin from human beings, beginning with God’s elect.
Unleavened Bread has to do with the separating of the Christian from all that Satan has put into the world. The Day of Atonement signifies the destruction from the personality of the Christian of all the guilt, power, motives, works, and effects of sin, and the bringing of him into union with God through Christ.
Unleavened Bread is an initial separation and is represented in water baptism. The Day of Atonement speaks of the redemption of the human personality and the filling of it with Divine Life. The Day of Atonement is performed in us as we confess our sins, repent of them, receive the Life of Christ into our personality, and resist the devil.
In the feast of Unleavened Bread Christ enters the heart of the earth and wrests the authority of Hell and death from Satan so we may follow Christ through death to the world and on into the promised land of resurrection life.
In the Day of Atonement, Christ appears first as the slain Goat and the Scapegoat, and in the latter days will come as the King of Glory who will redeem the purchased possession from the hand of the enemy.
Christ’s sufferings on the cross are finished. Now it is the responsibility of human beings to please God and Christ by receiving God’s gift, by accepting the atonement, the reconciliation that Christ has achieved for us.
Could any person be so foolish as to throw away this opportunity for reconciliation with God? The price has been paid in full for each of us. Now we have only to accept our redemption and enter eternal salvation.
On the sixth day of creation, God made man in His own image—male and female. Adam was in the image of God and was fashioned from the dust of the ground. Eve was fashioned from the substance of the man, being herself in the image of God. Adam and Eve taken together are the “man” whom God created in His image.
Christ, the second Adam, is the only Person who has ever appeared on earth in the full image of God. Adam was a rough and immature image of God. Christ is perfectly in the image of God.
The Church, the Bride of Christ, is being fashioned from the Substance of Christ. The Church is being created from Christ just as Eve was created from Adam. The members of the Body of Christ as individuals are in the image of God. The Lamb and His Wife, taken together, are the complete fulfillment of the declaration of the sixth day: “Let us make man in our image.”
In the Day of Atonement, Christ ministers as the heavenly counterpart of Joshua. He brings His saints through Jordan, through the final death to self-will required for successful participation in spiritual warfare.
Also, as Jordan is crossed, each member of the Body of Christ must go through a new circumcision of heart because the war of God against His enemies requires absolute holiness and consecration on the part of each member of His army (Joshua 5:2).
Christ at Calvary paid the full price of redemption. He paid off the mortgage. Satan, the “landlord,” will not release his slaves. Therefore Christ will go forth as the Lord of Armies to seize His inheritance by force. The battle will be joined. Every person who resists the rule of Christ will be destroyed. This is the Day of Redemption of which Christ spoke (Luke 21:28).
Redemption is past in that we were forgiven our sins at Calvary. Redemption is yet ahead of us in the sense of total deliverance from the bondages and effects of sin.
The Christian discipleship will continue to be a battle because the wicked inhabitants of our land of promise, speaking figuratively of Satan’s control over the peoples of the earth, must be overcome and cast out by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility and task as saints is to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in the conquest of the powers of darkness.
The Ark of the Covenant was the sixth of the seven holy vessels of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The Ark of the Covenant represents the Lord Jesus Christ as the Commander in Chief of the armies of Heaven.
The golden Altar of Incense stood directly in line with the Ark signifying that as soon as the prayers of the saints attain the required strength, having been tempered together with the Substance and Nature of Christ, the Lord Jesus will return. He will appear as the Redeemer. “To them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).
What a time of glory! The coming of Christ and the setting up of the Kingdom of God were typified by the Tabernacle of David. The Ark was brought to the city of Jerusalem and placed under a tent in Zion. The Ark under the tent in Zion, which constituted the Tabernacle of David, speaks of the time of the end when the Lord Jesus returns with His warriors to bring the kingdoms of the world under the rule of Christ.
The Ark represents war against God’s enemies. When the Ark goes forward it is God arising and scattering His enemies before Himself. The Ark leads the way across Jordan. The Ark brought down Jericho to destruction.
The Ark is the Presence of God. When Israel moved, the Ark moved in the center of the marching columns—always toward the land of promise. This was God moving toward His enemies. When we Christians lift up the everlasting doors of our heart and allow the Lord of Armies to have His way in us, we enable the Lord God to move toward His inheritance, toward His enemies.
Man cannot be in the image of God until the last traces of sin and rebellion have been removed, the last bondages broken. Christ will accomplish these final acts of redemption at His appearing.
When Christ appears we shall see Him as He is and be like Him. This is “that which is perfect.” The Lord Jesus Christ will appear in order to perfect His work of reconciliation in us so we are in His image.
Christ Himself is our Day of Atonement. All that the term atonement signifies is found in Christ Himself. Atonement means propitiation, appeasement, covering, reconciliation, release, remission, forgiveness—in short, everything that is required to bring us from chaos of personality and slavery to darkness all the way to perfect reconciliation to the Father.
The complete redemption of our spirit, soul, and body is included in the atonement made by Christ. Let us not be like unbelieving Israel. Let us have faith in Christ, our Commander in Chief, and follow Him into our land of promise until every enemy, great and small, without exception, is completely, totally, demolished.
Every trace of evil, its power and its results is to be destroyed completely—even the name of it being blotted out from under the heavens.
But the Lord thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven:… (Deuteronomy 7:23,24)
The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will be a consuming fire on all works of sin and rebellion:
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. (Malachi 4:1)
The same Day will bring blessing and edification to everyone who fears the Lord:
But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2)
The same Day, the Day of the Lord, the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, the thousand-year Kingdom Age, will be a time of joy and gladness, and of restoration, for God’s Israel. God’s Israel consists of every person who is part of Christ whether Jewish or Gentile by natural birth.
Also, the thousand-year era, the Kingdom Age, will be the Jubilee of deliverance and restoration for the nations of the earth that do not resist Christ and His saints when they are revealed.
The trumpet announcing the Year of Jubilee was blown on the Day of Atonement, prophetically proclaiming the fact that in the atonement made by Christ there is not only forgiveness of sins but also deliverance from the power and effects of sin.
The concept of deliverance from the power of sin is of the utmost importance in our day because the pardon of God has overshadowed, in Christian teaching, the truth of deliverance and restoration. “Grace” has come to mean only forgiveness instead of the Presence of Christ that enables us to escape from Satan and come into total, untroubled union with God, which is its true definition.
Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. (Leviticus 25:9,10)
Christ Himself is all that is true of the thousand-year period, which is the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the Day of Atonement. He is the victorious peace of God, the rule of God, the King of the Kingdom of God.
As Christ grows in us and brings into subjection every one of our deeds, words, motives, and imaginations, we may say that the Day of Atonement, the Kingdom Age, is being formed in us. It is a personal millennium, a personal day of atonement. The kingdom-wide Day of Atonement, which will commence with the appearing of Christ from Heaven, will be an outward expression of what is being formed in the saints in the present hour.
As Christ is formed in us it becomes true of our personality that the tame beast can lie down in safety with the wild beast; the small child can play on the adder’s den. Each person in whom such inner righteousness, peace, and joy have been established is a firstfruits, an advance guard of the thousand-year Kingdom period.
Satan, with God’s permission, is able to stir up the peoples of the earth so they consistently refuse to accept the peaceful ways of the Lord. Therefore Christ is coming in the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement to crush Satan under the feet of the Church and to destroy sinners from the earth.
No power in Heaven or on the earth can prevent Christ from seizing control of the earth at the hour appointed by the Father. God is in the process of bringing into subjection to Christ all His enemies.
The work of conquest is taking place now in the hearts of the saints. When the saints have been made willing to do the will of the Father rather than their own will, the Lord Jesus shall descend from Heaven in such an awesome display of God’s power and wrath that no creature—spiritual or physical—will be able to resist His coming.
Christ will return at the head of His army (Joel 2:11). The defenses of devils and men will evaporate like water in an oven. The Lion of the tribe of Judah will appear in frightful wrath. Those who are in rebellion against His will shall be sought out and destroyed.
The Head of the Church will make His appearance as King of kings and Lord of lords. The evildoers will scream in terror and anguish for the mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them from the anger of God’s Lamb. Every particle of wickedness will be crushed under the feet of the Church, which will glow as bronze in the furnace.
Christ is Lord. He has made an atonement for every person. All who choose to do so may come under His protection. For those who refuse His rule there is a fate far worse than physical death. It is eternal separation from the Creator in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.
The Lord Jesus is the Lord strong and mighty in battle of the Twenty-fourth Psalm. As we have known the Good Shepherd we shall know also the Lord of Armies.
The Good Shepherd exemplifies all we look for in a shepherd. He is gentle, kind, watchful, wisely guiding us into green pastures and beside quiet waters.
The Lord of Hosts exemplifies all we look for in a commander of armies. He is powerful, cunning, fierce, tireless, and a terror to His enemies, whom He destroys until every trace of resistance to His will has been demolished.
In the Lord Jesus Christ is contained all that is signified by the Day of Atonement—the sixth of the feasts of the Lord.
(“Pressing Past Pentecost: Eight”, 4056-1)