The Daily Word of Righteousness

The Big Picture, #5

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13—NIV)

At the turn of the twentieth century the Presence and work of the Holy Spirit were emphasized as never before, resulting in speaking in tongues and miraculous healing. We might refer to the twentieth century as the Pentecostal century.

In the middle of the past century there came an increased emphasis on prophecy, words of wisdom and knowledge, discernment of spirits, and so forth. Also the concept of the Body of Christ received increasing attention.

I think there has been considerable confusion over the last two decades as to what God is emphasizing now. Some of the Pentecostal-Charismatic churches have become formal and cold spiritually. In other instances there is considerable activity, some of which seems to be fleshly. Yet there are reports of genuine blessings occurring even when much of what is taking place may be questionable.

From my point of view the so-called "prosperity" and "faith" teachings are not solidly based in the Scriptures, although I feel certain there are genuine disciples who promote these ideas. As of late these unscriptural emphases seem to be fading away. Let us hope so because to teach that Christians ought to be prosperous in material wealth is to go against the writings of the Apostle Paul. It is well if we have food and raiment. When we have more than we need we should be ready to share with others. The pursuit of material wealth leads only to deception and misery.

But where are we? There are numerous voices proclaiming this thing and that thing. But which one is God? Which one is telling us of the next step in achieving the master plan?

We have been saved and filled with the Spirit. Now what? It seems obvious a "rapture" into Heaven is not going to meet God's need for people in the image of Christ and living in untroubled rest in the center of God's will.

Where can we look to find out what God actually is saying?

There are four great types in the Bible, each of which is divided into seven parts, each of which portrays the steps God has taken, is taking, and yet shall take as He brings all under subjection to Jesus Christ. Each of these four types presents the same picture, although each approaches the subject in a unique manner.

The four types are as follows: the seven days of the creation; the journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan; the seven furnishings of the Tabernacle of the Congregation; and the seven feasts of Israel.

Since I have written in other places concerning the four types I will not go into detail at this point.

The type that I use most often is that of the seven feasts of Israel. These are found in the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus as well as in other parts of the Law.

There are seven feasts in all. The fourth is Pentecost. As we ventured, the twentieth century could be referred to as the Pentecostal century because of the spread of the Pentecostal doctrines throughout the world.

To be continued.