THAT WHICH IS PERFECT
THAT WHICH IS PERFECT Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Salvation comes to us in three great platforms. The third platform of salvation is the possession of the fullness of God. It is the Kingdom of God—that for which the entire creation is groaning.
God’s desire is to build for Himself a Temple, a royal city in which He can find rest and through which He can govern His universe. That Temple, that Kingdom, is God in Christ in the saints. It is the city that has foundations for which Abraham looked.
It is God’s intention to give His royal glory, authority, and power to Christ and through Christ to the brothers of Christ. The Divine intention to give the Divine Presence and privileges through Christ to the saints is in the process of being fulfilled. This is "that which is perfect."
Table of Contents
THAT WHICH IS PERFECT
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (I Corinthians 3:10)
Some day, in the not too distant future, much of what we have known of Christianity and of the world will be done away. In its place will stand the Lord Jesus Christ—the Goal of all that God has placed in the churches and in the world.
If we go through life and do not become part of the Lord Jesus we have missed all that truly is of significance. If we have become part of the Lord, then, no matter how impoverished our environment may have been, we have gained all that is worthwhile and eternal.
To the extent we have gained Christ—to that extent alone!—we have attained our purpose in life. All else, relatively speaking, is garbage.
We may think of salvation in three great areas. The three areas are represented by the three major gatherings of Israel:
Passover (Unleavened Bread).
Pentecost (the feast of Weeks).
Tabernacles (the feast of Booths).
Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty: (Deuteronomy 16:16)
The three areas of salvation are:
The baptism with the Holy Spirit
The fullness of God.
Basic salvation includes repentance on the part of the believer, faith in the blood atonement, water baptism when the circumstances permit, the born-again experience, the beginning portion of eternal life, and reckoning one's self crucified, resurrected, and ascended with the Lord Jesus.
The baptism with the Holy Spirit includes the power to overcome sin, the power to assist in building the Body of Christ, and the power to bear witness of the atoning death and triumphant resurrection of the Lord Jesus and also of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
The fullness of God includes transformation into the moral image of Christ, total, restful union with the Father through the Lord Jesus, and the eternal abiding of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit in the believer's personality.
The fullness of God is "that which is perfect."
Believing and receiving the first area grants us the authority to be children of God and to partake of the Divine Virtue (grace) provided in the new covenant. We do not have the right to pursue the Kingdom of God until we have believed in and received God's plan of redemption.
Believing and receiving the second area, the Holy Spirit, gives us the tools to pursue and attain the Kingdom of God, which is "that which is perfect." The first and second areas of salvation are the necessary preparation for the third area, for the fullness of God.
The third area, the fullness of God, is the Divine objective. It is the Kingdom of God—that for which the entire creation is groaning. God's desire is to build for Himself a Temple, a royal city in which He can find rest and through which He can govern His universe. That Kingdom is God in Christ in the saints. It is the city that has foundations for which Abraham looked. The city is the new Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb, the glorified Christian Church.
It is God's intention to give His royal glory, authority, and power to Christ and through Christ to the brothers of Christ. The Divine intention to give the Divine Presence and privileges through Christ to the saints is expressed in such verses as the following:
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:22,23)
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: (John 17:22)
The time will soon come when the nations of saved peoples of the earth will look to the new Jerusalem, the glorified Church, instead of to the spirit Heaven, in order to approach God for their needs.
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (Jeremiah 3:17)
Jerusalem will be the throne of God, and the throne of God is Heaven. Heaven is coming to the earth.
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? (Isaiah 66:1)
The place of God's rest is Christ—Head and Body.
The transfer of the royal glory and authority began when the Lord breathed on His Apostles and will be increased during the great tribulation. During the great tribulation people no longer will be able to gain salvation by praying to God. They will have to go to the holy remnant, by that time hidden in the wilderness, in order to obtain deliverance from Satan.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. (Joel 2:32)
By the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age the transfer of Divine glory will be complete and the new Jerusalem will descend from Heaven to be located for eternity on a high mountain of the new earth. The eternal Tabernacle of God, the glorified Church, will then be located where the members of the nations of the saved can bring their worship and their wealth to God. God at that time will be dwelling in the Lamb and His Wife. The throne of God will be in the glorified Church.
Paul informs us, in I Corinthians, Chapter 13, when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. That which is in part, in particular the ministries and gifts given by the Holy Spirit, are serving to bring us to "that which is perfect." That which is perfect is the fullness of God. When the fullness comes, all the tools the Spirit has used, including the church buildings and liturgies, will be done away. These have been the necessary scaffolding while the eternal House of God has been under construction.
There will be no temple, no church building in the new Jerusalem. Every saint will have the marvelous privilege of seeing God face to face.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 3:14)
The saints of Ephesus had been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. For what, then, will Paul pray? Paul is praying for the saints of Ephesus to receive the third great work of grace, the fullness of God.
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, (Ephesians 3:15)
God is creating a family. God's family is Israel, His elect, the saints, the brothers of Christ. The whole family is called by the name of God.
Whoever will choose to do so may become a member of the royal family. The Lord Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life of the Father—the Father of the family. The family for eternity will reveal the Father among the angels and the members of the nations of saved peoples of the earth.
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (Ephesians 3:16)
Notice that the moving of the saint from the second area of the Holy Spirit to the third area of the fullness of God is accomplished by the riches of God's Glory. If the maturing and completing of redemption were left to us we would despair. But there is enough Virtue, strength, and wisdom in the riches of God's glory to bring every willing participant to the fullness of God. The Lord Jesus is not only the Alpha, the beginning, but the Omega, the ending.
The beginning of salvation is perfect, having been wrought by the Lord. The process of salvation is perfect, being wrought by the Lord. The conclusion of salvation will be perfect because it will be accomplished by the Lord. The riches of God's glory are sufficient to bring to pass all that God has envisioned concerning each believer.
"To be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man."
In order for us to be able to receive the fullness of Divine Glory that God has ordained for His sons we must become much stronger in our inner nature. We become stronger in our inner nature as the Holy Spirit enables us to conquer the pressures that come against us in the present world.
If we would gain strength we must eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ. We are given the flesh and blood of Christ in the spirit realm as we obey God and finish the work He has given us.
If we would gain strength in the inner man we must minister and be ministered to. The Holy Spirit has given to every believer a ministry and gifts of the Spirit. We must each day look to the Lord for opportunities to minister to the members of the Body and for opportunities to be ministered to by members of the Body of Christ. We must exhort one another daily and not neglect the assembling of ourselves together for the purpose of giving and receiving the necessary portions of the Spirit.
If we would gain strength in our inner nature we absolutely must turn away from our own life, take up our personal cross, and follow the Lamb wherever He leads us. It is as our adamic strength is brought down to the death of the cross that our reborn inner nature is filled with the Life of God. The Life of God strengthens us so we may receive more of the Presence of God. The end result of this cycle is to be filled with all the fullness of God.
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (Ephesians 3:17)
Christian sometimes find it difficult to believe they do not possess all that God is offering in salvation.
Believers say, "I have been saved. Therefore I have the fullness of Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit." By taking this attitude they cut themselves off from a fuller measure of the Spirit. It is true that when we first are saved we have the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and eternal life. What is not always realized is that there is more of the Father to have; more of the Son to have; more of the Holy Spirit to have; more of eternal life to possess. To claim we have all that God intends to give us is somewhat arrogant and also is unscriptural.
If we already have all of God, why should we press forward in the Lord? It is a fact that when we are saved we have Christ, but the Apostle Paul to the end of His life was seeking more of Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win [gain] Christ, (Philippians 3:8)
Are we more spiritual than Paul?
The power that moves us to the fullness of God is faith. The table of God is spread with every delight we could ever need or desire. What we take from the table depends on our faith.
We can hear of forgiveness of sins and receive forgiveness or else choose to walk in our own self-righteousness. We can hear of the availability of Divine healing and believe God heals all our diseases or we can continue in our afflictions. We can read in the Scriptures about speaking in tongues and receive the gift of tongues and the ability to prophesy as well, or else continue to worship God in the strength and wisdom of the flesh. We can hear of the fullness of God and press toward it or else stop at Pentecost and wait to die.
Every aspect of the Divine salvation is an opportunity. We can grasp the opportunity or ignore it. The choice is ours.
Christ dwells in our heart and increases in our heart depending on the faith and obedience we choose to exercise.
When "that which is perfect" is mentioned in the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians it is in a context of Divine "love."
As we begin to think about the Divine Presence and authority that are available to the believer in Christ we may adopt an incorrect approach. The incorrect approach is common in our day as the Spirit of God begins to reveal the extent of the salvation and glory that are available to people.
For example, as we contemplate what it will mean to be filled with all the fullness of God we begin to understand the truly awesome power that is to be given to the saints. However, to dwell on or emphasize the potential glory to the individual filled with God can result in our missing the point.
To think of what we could do if we were filled with God, how our prayers would be answered, with what power and glory we could minister, is a wrong approach. It is to seek to use God to meet the ends the believer has in mind. It is always wrong to attempt to use God as a means of achieving our ends. God Himself is the End of our quest. God is never to be used as a means to our ends.
All of God's works are brought forth in Divine love. Divine love is not human love. Divine love is different in kind from human love. Divine love must be given to us from above.
When we experience the Divine love and become rooted and grounded in love we then are in a position to receive the fullness of Divine Presence, authority and power. We then understand deeply the manner in which God operates. No longer do we seek power, or to be a successful minister, or to accomplish great things in the Kingdom, or to attain any of the other goals expressed today. Rather, we are content to rest in God's love and to follow that love as it leads us to the people with whom we are to share eternal life.
We may have all the power of the Godhead. But if the power is not rooted and grounded in love it avails nothing and is nothing and less than nothing.
God's love is a fruit of the Spirit and greatly to be desired. Authority and power already belong to God's sons and there is no need to seek them. It is the Divine love that is to be pursued, cultivated, and valued.
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (Ephesians 3:18)
The Divine redemption is very broad, very deep. As we stated previously, to claim that we now have "all" God has for us is an arrogant attitude. It will cut us off from what is available to us. The Scriptures speak of a glorious Bride without blemish of any kind. Such a description is not true of the churches of our day.
Some have chosen to believe the unblemished perfection of the Bride will be an imputed (ascribed) perfection because Christ is perfect. We have no program to offer them for they already "have arrived" by believing that Christ is perfect and they are perfect because He is perfect.
But to those who refuse to believe all God has for us is an imputed (ascribed) perfection it becomes obvious God has not finished with us as yet and we need to press forward in faith as did the Apostle Paul.
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
The end is Divine "love," as the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians teaches us. Love, the fullness of God, and that which is perfect all go together. The love of Christ indeed passes knowledge. To be touched with the Divine love is to be dissolved emotionally. Holy love is so powerful we humans can experience only the tiniest fraction of it. Such a powerful passion would drive any man or woman to gladly offer himself or herself in order to fulfill the Divine purposes in people.
Perhaps some day, when we are residing in a glorified body, we will be able to receive an increased amount of the Divine love. Then we indeed will be dwelling in perfection. Let us press forward to that end.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (Ephesians 3:20)
When we compare the majesty of the promises of God with our own miserable, coarse personality we could become discouraged. However, God is not asking us to perfect ourselves. He has promised to save us to an extent that exceeds anything we could think or imagine. He will accomplish such transformation by the power He already has deposited in the believer.
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21)
"Him" is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the One from whom the entire family of the elect in Heaven and on earth is named. Glory comes to the Father from the Church as Christ is formed in the Church. The glory created in Christ-filled Church, the glory and worship that always are to be directed toward the Father, will increase in purity and power for all generations throughout the endless ages of eternity.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:1)
The Lord Jesus is implying here that the royal Presence and authority of God have been transferred to Himself. The ultimate intention of God is to continue that transfer of Presence and authority until every member of the Wife of the Lamb possesses that which is perfect, that is, the fullness of the Glory of God.
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 Father's House is the Lord Jesus Christ and only the Lord Jesus.
However, there are to be many living areas in the Father's House.
The Lord Jesus went to prepare a place for us so we too, along with Himself, will be places where the Father can find rest and expression. Christ is the chief Cornerstone. We, the saints, are to be living stones in the eternal House of God.
Where did Christ go? He went to Gethsemane and then to the cross. After that He rose from the dead and then ascended in order to sprinkle His own blood before the Mercy Seat in Heaven.
Next He poured forth the Spirit of God on all who are sprinkled with the blood of the covenant. Now He is making intercession before the Throne of God for all the saints.
Christ has done all this so a place may be prepared for us in the many-roomed House of the Father. Every member of the Body of Christ, the Body of the House of God, is a room in which the Father can find rest and from which He can govern and bless His creatures, both human and angelic. Before Christ did these things for us it was totally impossible for us to be the dwelling place of the Father.
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)
A study of the entire fourteenth chapter of John suggests that the coming referred to here is not the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of glory but rather a coming to the members of His Body in order to bring to them that which is perfect.
Notice the following:
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)
The above verse obviously is not referring to the return of the Lord in the clouds of glory with the saints and holy angels.
We see, then, that our progression from Pentecost to the fullness of God is governed by the Presence of the Lord who will manifest Himself to us.
The emphasis in John 14:3 is not on our going anywhere with the Lord but on our being received unto Himself. We do not perceive this emphasis until we begin to partake of the Divine love. It is only then that we understand the Lord Jesus is not declaring we are to go anywhere but that we are to be with Him where He is. It is being with Him where He is that is so totally important!
Where is the Lord? The Lord is in the bosom of the Father. The Lord is dwelling in the midst of the Divine Fire.
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? (Isaiah 33:14)
The Lord Jesus desires that we abide with Him in the Divine Fire. But radical changes must be made in our personality before we are able to live, move, and have our being in the center of God's very Person.
When we receive the Lord Jesus we are spiritually resurrected and we spiritually ascend to that place in the Father where the Lord abides.
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 2:6)
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)
It can be seen that our reborn spiritual nature already is dwelling in and with Christ in the very center of God's Person.
We already are with Him where He is.
However, the bulk of our personality, our body and soul, are wrestling with sin as we fight our way through the wilderness of the world. The task is to reconcile our body and soul with our reborn nature so our entire personality is abiding forever in the bosom of the Father.
It appears that when the believer dies his or her soul goes to the spirit Paradise. However, the reborn inner nature may still be as separate from the soul and body as it is today. The reborn inner nature is not in the spirit Paradise, it is in the throne of God. What will be required to bring our entire personality to the state where it is with Jesus where He is, remains to be seen.
Each true Christian already has come to the city of God, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect. Mount Zion in the spirit realm very well may be a marvelous place in which to grow and minister. But all the while we are to be pressing toward that which is perfect—the fullness of God. No doubt we shall make much progress during the thousand-year Kingdom Age. The perfecting of the Bride may be the main purpose for the Kingdom Age, the period prior to the descent of the perfected new Jerusalem, the unblemished Bride of the Lamb.
To be with the Lord Jesus where He is, is the supreme goal of the Christian pilgrimage.
And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. (John 14:4)
Jesus was returning to the Father, not merely to the spirit Paradise but to the Father. When the Lord stated that the disciples already knew the way, He may have been inviting their questioning, or He may be declaring that the desire to go to the Father resides deeply in every human heart; that we know instinctively that our goal is the Father.
We strive for so many things in life but there is rest and lasting joy and peace in none of them. It is only when we discover that our longing is to go to the Father that we have a chance to fulfill what actually is the deepest desire of our heart.
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? (John 14:5)
The Lord Jesus was not able at this time to explain to His apostles that He was the eternal House of God and that they were to become rooms in that house. The men were separate personalities from Jesus. They could not abide in Him until He first was crucified and then rose from the dead. Christ is the Firstborn from the dead and His Church is named after that fact.
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just [righteous] men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:23)
The "church of the firstborn."
By being crucified and then resurrected the Lord Jesus is able to enter the personality of the believer. When the Lord enters the believer it is the eternal House of God entering the believer. The believer then becomes the habitation of God. He has been born from the dead.
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22)
If the Lord Jesus had said, I am returning to Heaven, Thomas could have understood that. But there was no way Thomas at that time could comprehend the plan of God to build a great Temple for Himself. Such understanding was not possible until the Holy Spirit was given to us.
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)
It is important to note that the Lord Jesus does not only show us the way, He Himself is the Way. The Lord Jesus does not merely tell us the truth, He Himself is the Truth. The Lord Jesus does much more than give us eternal life, He Himself is the Resurrection and the Life.
The Lord Jesus is not the way to Heaven, He is the Way to the Father. The Lord Jesus is not the truth of Heaven, He is the Truth of the Father. The Lord Jesus is not the life of Heaven, He is the eternal Life of the Father. The distinction is important.
The goal of the believer is not to go to Heaven, to the spirit Paradise. The goal of the believer is to be with the Lord where He is in the bosom of the Father.
No human being ever at any time will find perfect rest and perfect fulfillment until he or she is dwelling in the Father. To know the Father is the end of the human quest for love, joy, and peace.
Only the Lord Jesus can bring us to the Father.
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Matthew 11:27)
"That which is perfect" is the full possession of the Father.
If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. (John 14:7)
Here we are getting to the heart of the matter, when discussing "that which is perfect." Here is God's ultimate goal for His elect.
Whoever saw the Lord Jesus, saw His actions, heard His words, felt His compassion, was seeing the Father, seeing the Father's actions, hearing the Father's words, feeling the Father's compassion.
Why was (is) this? It is because the Lord Jesus and the Father are One in Substance, in Spirit, in motivation and action.
The Father's will is that the Lord Jesus be the first of a company of brothers. The brothers are not as great as the Lord Jesus, but they are to be of one Substance, of one Spirit, and one in motivation and action in Christ in the Father.
Christ is the Firstborn among many brothers and the Leader and Author of their salvation.
We are to eat the flesh of Christ and drink the blood of Christ until we are living by Him as He lives by the Father.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (John 6:57)
To live by the Lord Jesus as He lives by the Father is "that which is perfect."
The Apostle Paul declared that Christianity is not the keeping of the Law of Moses. Neither is Christianity a legal amnesty, a perpetual guiltlessness because of our identification with the righteous Jesus. Rather, Christianity is the crucifixion of the believer and his resurrection and ascension with the Lord Jesus until it is a fact that he is living no longer and Christ is living in him.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. (John 14:8)
The Scriptures state that no person can see the Father and live. Yet every person born on the earth has an inborn desire to see the Father and know the Father.
We can see the Father in the Lord Jesus. The teachings of the Lord, including the Sermon on the Mount, are not the words of Jesus. They are the very words of the Father.
When the Lord returns it is not likely that the nations of mankind will be able to approach Him directly. Rather they will come to the saints so they may approach Jesus, and therefore the Father, through the saints.
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. ( II Thessalonians 1:10)
"He shall come to be glorified in his saints." "In His saints"!
Notice in the following verse that the Glory of God will abide on the saints, and the saved of mankind will come to the saints—only indirectly to the Lord.
And the Gentiles [nations] shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising [speaking of Israel, God's elect]. (Isaiah 60:3)
Every member of God's elect has been ordained to be Emmanuel, that is, God's Presence among people. The saint has no other calling in life. He is called to become holy, to become the chariot of God, to become the holy city, to become the covenant of the ever-loving God with mankind.
Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; (Isaiah 49:8)
"I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people." Such is the calling of Christ and of every member of His Body. The saints are the royal priesthood and they shall reign with Christ over the nations of the earth.
Jesus saith unto him, have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (John 14:9)
Why could the Lord claim that the person who sees Him sees the Father? It is because the Lord and the Father are One.
The saints are called to be an eternally indivisible part of that Oneness.
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe thou hast sent me. (John 17:21)
As soon as that which is perfect has come, that is to say, when all the elect have been made one in Christ in the Father, as the Father is in Christ and Christ is in the Father, then the nations of the earth will believe and be saved.
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)
The term "dwelleth" is from the same root as "mansions," in verse two, "abideth," in verse 23, and "abide," in John 15:4. It is clear the Lord is speaking consistently, in John, Chapter 14, of our dwelling in Him just as He dwells in the Father.
Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. (John 14:11)
The Holy Spirit has given to the Church, the Body of Christ, numerous ministries and gifts. The purpose of these is to build the Body of Christ until we all come to the Divine standard, which is Christ.
The Body itself is the Lampstand of God, destined to be the light of the world for eternity. When the saints are ready, that which is perfect will enter them. Then that which has been partial and temporary no longer will be needed.
The works that bear witness of the Presence of God in Christ—the same works, and greater works than Christ performed on earth—are to be revealed in the saints. These works of Divine authority and power are not for the purpose of building the Body but to bear witness to the nations of the earth. Then the world will believe God has sent Christ and loves the saints as He loves Christ. The most powerful works of all will be performed during the spiritual darkness that is approaching the earth.
The Lampstand will shine before the Lord returns. The Divine Lampstand is represented in Revelation, Chapter 11 by the symbol of the two witnesses—Christ and His Body working as one. Through them the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness. Then the end will come—the end of the opportunity for the people in the nations of the earth to reach up to God and be saved.
The Lampstand shines today as Christ's Presence and Substance are being formed in the warlike remnant of believers.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
The Lampstand will shine throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (Isaiah 2:2)
The Lampstand will shine throughout eternity.
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the Glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Revelation 21:23)
The astounding miracles Christ performed were the proof that the Father dwells in Him and He in the Father.
When the Father and Christ are dwelling in the saint, the same works and greater will be evident for all to behold.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)
Because the Lord has gone to the Father He is able to descend into the saints and perform the same and greater works than took place during His time on the earth two thousand years ago.
We have not seen the greater works as yet. They have been reserved for the age of moral horrors that will come to earth just before the return of the Lord—the age we are entering in the present hour.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (John 14:20)
"That day" is the Day of the Lord, the time when our adamic nature is subdued and Christ takes His place on the throne of our personality. That is the day when we know as we are known.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (I Corinthians 13:12)
The abiding in Christ we are mentioning is the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34). The feast of Tabernacles comes after the feast of Pentecost. After we have received the baptism with the Holy Spirit we are to press forward until we know by experience that Christ is in His Father, and we are in Christ, and Christ is in 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)
We show our love to Christ by keeping His commandments. An evil doctrine has entered the Christian churches of our day. It is that we are saved by grace so we do not have to do what Christ commanded us. It is taught that the commandments of Christ in the Gospel accounts are not binding on Christian people. This is a misunderstanding of the teaching of the Apostle Paul.
No believer will make any progress in Christ until he begins to keep the commandments of the Lord. We show our love by keeping Christ's commandments. When we keep Christ's commandments the Father loves us and Christ loves us. Christ then will reveal 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)
The Apostles realized that the Lord Jesus was speaking of a revelation of Himself to His followers, not of His second coming in the clouds of glory.
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)
We do not prove our love to the Lord Jesus by calling Him Lord but by doing what He told us to do. The Father loves each person who obeys His Son.
The Father and the Son will come to the obedient individual and dwell with him or her for eternity. This is that which is perfect. This is the Kingdom, the final result of all the works of salvation.
An age of unbelievable darkness, oppression, and wickedness is descending on the earth. Some are teaching that God will pull us out of the world so we will not be affected by the darkness. This is not true. God has something better for us.
God's provision for His saints during the age of moral horrors is to enter them to a greater extent than has ever been known by His elect. The Lord will enter Zion and the fullness of Divine power will overcome the lies of Satan. The warlike remnant of saints will be more than conquerors throughout the darkness of the great tribulation period.
The believers of today who are wasting their time by not pressing forward in Christ, who are counting on a "pre-tribulation rapture" to save them from the enemy, are unprepared for the evil they soon will be facing. The believers who are diligently obeying the commandments of the Lord and His Apostles will receive increasing amounts of the Presence of God that will protect them from the venom of the wicked.
The danger of the last days is not that of persecution and suffering. All through Church history the believers have suffered. Rather the danger will be the ready availability of sin, the pressure to have a form of godliness but not actually serve the Lord in truth. In our day numerous believers, including some ministers of the Gospel, have fallen into sin because of the increased presence of demons and fallen angels.
If we do not press forward to that which is perfect, to the fullness of God, we will not be able to resist the spiritual darkness of the last days—days of wickedness that even now are at hand.
At the time of Jesus, Isaiah, Chapter Twelve was chanted during the celebration of the feast of Tabernacles.
In the last day, that great day of the feast [of Tabernacles], Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (John 7:37)
While the Lord Jesus was saying this the priest of Israel was carrying water from the Pool of Siloam and pouring it on the Altar of Burnt Offering. Some believe the twelfth chapter of Isaiah was being sung at this time.
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. (Isaiah 12:1)
"That day" is the same day of which the Lord Jesus spoke in John 14:20. It is the Day of the Lord, the day when every idol in us has been cast down and King Jesus sits on the throne of our personality.
In the day of that which is perfect we are full of praise to the Lord Himself. Why is this? It is because the Lord has attacked the evil in our personality, that with which He has been angry, and has delivered us. Now His anger has turned away and in its place is coming the Divine comfort, which is wonderful beyond belief.
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)
Before the Father and the Son made Their abode in us we obeyed Christ's commandments with His assistance. Now the Day Star has risen in us and the Lord Himself has become our strength, our song, our salvation. Now we trust in God and rest in Him because He Himself is dwelling in us. He Himself conquers the enemy who would come against us.
The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:16)
When the Lord is our hope and our strength, nothing Satan can do is able to harm us.
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)
This is what the Lord was referring to when He said:
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)
"Pentecost" is the rain of the Holy Spirit. "Tabernacles" is the digging of the well of God within us, the establishing of the throne of almighty God in us. The River of Life always flows from the eternal throne of God. The saved peoples of the earth will come to us and from within us will flow out to them the water of life.
And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. (Isaiah 12:4)
In that day, in the day that which is perfect has come to us, we shall be full of praise to the Lord. Denominations shall not be exalted. Churches shall not be exalted. Christian movements shall not be exalted. Gifted people shall not be exalted. The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day, for every idol in our personality will have been brought to nothing by the Spirit of God.
The Lord's name alone shall be exalted!
Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. (Isaiah 12:5)
One of the main problems we shall have in the coming days is overcoming the evil in our environment. We shall be tempted to rage and fret because of the wickedness that is taking place. Satan is very desirous that we rage and fret because then we will do something that is evil.
When that which is perfect has come to us we shall sing, not rage and fret. In the darkest of hours, during the age of moral horrors, we shall see the Glory of God filling the earth. Every abomination produced by Satan-filled people will bring forth brothers of Christ in His image. All things will work together for good for God's elect.
The excellence of all the works of God will yet be acknowledged by the righteous throughout the earth.
Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. (Isaiah 12:6)
Today the Lord is coming to His Church. He is ready to cast out the evil, to reconcile us to Himself in every area of our personality. He is ready and able to cause us to sing and dance in the heights of Zion while the earth is being destroyed by demon-controlled people.
We are to proclaim the greatness of the Holy One of Israel everywhere we go. God Himself is dwelling in us and we are alive forever. No power in the heavens, on earth, or in the realms beneath the earth's surface can in any manner harm the individual who is filled with all the fullness of God.
Let us sing:
The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty! mighty! mighty!