Keith Hunt - Feast of Taberancles for the Church - Page Two   Restitution of All Things

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Tabernacles for the Church

Types - Victory

                             FEAST OF TABERNACLES

Part Two

by Georage H. Warnock (written 1951)



     The first day of the Feast was the fifteenth, and it was
observed for seven days. The last day of the Feast was therefore
the twenty-first day of the seventh month, twenty-one being a
triple of seven--Rest in the absolute sense, God's Rest which
"remaineth" for the people of God. Then the next day was likewise
a sabbath (the eighth day of the Feast); and though it was
connected in some measure with the Feast, it was not one of the
seven days of their festivities. This eighth day would speak, no
doubt, of the completion of God's purposes in the Church, and the
beginning of a new day.
     O child of God, if we only had eyes to see and ears to hear
what the Spirit would say unto the churches. God has
"unspeakable" things that He would like to declare unto us by the
Spirit, but we cannot receive them now. "Unspeakable," because
there is no earthly language by which He could describe them to
us, and therefore we would have to be caught away in the Spirit
like the apostle Paul in order to receive them. The plans and
purposes of God for the Church are far, infinitely far, beyond
our highest imaginations. "That in the ages to come," said Paul,
"He might show the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness
toward us, through Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:7). How we need "the
spirit of wisdom and revelation" and to have the eyes of our
understanding "enlightened" that in some small measure at least
we may be able to grasp and understand the secret--which is
"Christ in you, the hope of glory."


THERE REMAINETH A REST

     It is noteworthy that as we begin to read the ordinances of
the Feasts in Leviticus 23, God reminds the saints of the sabbath
- the weekly sabbath--"Six days shall work be done: but the
seventh day is the sabbath of rest, a holy convocation" (Lev.
23:3). Then immediately He begins to give the order of the
Feasts, and the sevenfold events involved in the Feasts:

1. The Passover.
2. The Unleavened Bread. 
3. The Sheaf of Firstfruits. 
4. The Feast of Pentecost.
5. The Blowing of the Trumpets. 
6. The Day of Atonement.
7. The Feast of Tabernacles.

     And so, just as the weekly sabbath was the end of Israel's
week of toil and labor--so the Feast of Tabernacles is the end of
the Church's week of strife and turmoil: the Feast of all Feasts,
the Sabbath of all Sabbaths. 


RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD

     Again, we feel we should exhort the saints concerning the
rich heritage that is theirs in the Word of God. So many have
denied themselves the joy and glory of the Word because of the
myth that has been raised around Paul's advice to Timothy, when
he exhorted this young minister to "rightly divide" the Word of
truth. It is commonly taught that Paul was exhorting Timothy to
draw a line of demarcation between the various dispensations, and
not to confuse one with the other. In other words, according to
this teaching, the Old Testament is practically all for Israel,
and must not be applied to the Church.
     In the first place, when Paul gave this exhortation to
Timothy, he was not urging him to take a course in theology; but
what he said was "study." In other words, "give diligence . . . "
as he said in an other place, "Study to be quiet. . . ." Let that
be your desire and ambition. And if you want to know what Paul
meant by "rightly dividing the Word of truth," all one has to do
is to examine his own epistles and see how he applied the Old
Testament. Over and over and over again he takes an Old Testament
scripture completely out of its "context" as men would say, and
applies it to some glorious Church truth which he is expounding.
We could give many, many examples of this. For instance we read
much of the blessing of the nations through Abraham; and until
this day Bible expositors will insist that this must apply only
to the blessing of natural nations through natural Israel. And
yet Paul does not hesitate to quote directly from the book of
Genesis, and apply these Scriptures to this Gospel Day, and to
the Gentiles who are to be justified by faith in Christ. "And the
Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through
faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee
shall all nations be blessed" (Gal. 3:8; Gen. 12:3; 18:18).
     Again, men will insist that the seed of Abraham is natural
Israel, and that the promises are for them; whereas Paul tells
us, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith
not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed,
which is Christ" (Gal. 3:16). Then again, Isaiah 54, speaking of
the fruitfulness of Zion, must only apply to natural Israel; but
Paul quotes the first verse and applies it to men of faith, Jew
or Gentile: "Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not . . ." (Gal.
4:27). And then we have Isaiah 52, speaking of the glory of
Jerusalem: "Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O lion; put on thy
beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city . . ." That means
Israel and not the Church, we are told. Strange, is it not, that
four of the New Testament writers apparently didn't know this,
and actually made as many as twelve references to it, or
quotations from it.
     Let us not rob ourselves, therefore, of the glory of the
Word by improperly "dividing" the Scriptures according to the
devices of men. The Scriptures are for us, if we can hear what
the Spirit would say to the churches. If the Scriptures ever did
apply to another people, or ever will in the future--they will
constitute God's Word to them. But now God is speaking to us...
"to-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart. . ."


SYMBOLS OF THE REST

"There remaineth therefore a rest (A Sabbath) to the people of
God" (Heb. 4:9). 

     We could go through the Old Testament and cite many examples
of God's rest, and show how they typify this heritage of the
saints in the Spirit which God has prepared for this hour. But
space would not permit a detailed study of them all. We could
mention the seventh day of God's creative work, when He rested
from all His work which He had made, and show how this rest was
but a type and shadow of this glorious rest of the believer--the
one who ceases from his own works and rests in the finished work
of Christ.

     We could mention Noah, whose name signifies "repose," and
show how the dove which he sent forth from the ark found no
"restingplace" for the sole of her foot; and how God smelled an
"odour of rest" when Noah offered up the sacrifice on the top of
the mountain. We could mention Ruth, and Boaz her
kinsman-redeemer who would not "be in rest" until he had
completed the transaction and redeemed Ruth, that she might
become his bride. We could deal at length with the ark of the
covenant, and show how it typified the presence of God and the
Holy Spirit, and how God would direct it on ahead of the children
of Israel in their wilderness journeyings, searching out a
"resting-place" for the people of God. We could mention how David
prepared a place for the ark when his kingdom was established,
and pitched for it a tent--and how they invited the God of glory
to come into their midst. And then later, how the temple
succeeded the tent of David, and how Solomon prayed on the
occasion of the Feast of Tabernacles: "Now therefore arise, O
Lord God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy
strength: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation,
and let thy saints rejoice in goodness" (2 Chron. 6:41). In fact,
from Genesis to Revelation we would discover how God has not only
ordained rest for the people of God, but how He has called us to
proceed from rest unto rest, from glory unto glory, even unto the
very fulness of rest itself.


THE UNEXPLORED REALMS OF THE SPIRIT

     Man's chief difficulty seems to be simply this: in his
limited and finite understanding he does not have the vision of
greater and vaster and higher and deeper and broader expanses of
God's Truth. He has failed to see that God is both infinite and
eternal, and therefore in finding God one must be prepared to go
ever onward and upward into the vast expanses of the Spirit of
God. If God is infinite, there is no limit to the experience
which we might have in union with Him by the Spirit. And if God
is eternal, there is no end to the measure of Truth into which He
would lead us by the Spirit. When Columbus began his
explorations, it was not sufficient that they should have taken
ship and sailed for a day or two. True, they were in the ocean
the day they started. But the ocean was vast--and they must sail
on, and on, and on, and on ... even to the shores of America. Nor
is it sufficient that a man should drill miles into the earth and
discover oil, and then promptly shout, "We've found oil," and
proceed to cap its flow. It must flow, and flow, and flow, and
flow . . . if mankind is to be profited from it.
     Now God has invited us to become partakers of His Holy
Spirit, and that simply means He has invited us to explore the
eternal recesses of the deep things of God and the infinite
heights of His glory. For the Spirit of God is given to us for
that very purpose: "That we might know the things that are freely
given to us of God . . ." We cannot know these things in the
natural; hence the Spirit of God is imparted to search out and
explore "all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1 Cor. 2:10,
12). But those depths of God are unsearchable, for God is both
infinite and eternal. Is it not very clear, therefore, that it is
going to take all eternity for us to fully explore the
immensities of the Divine attributes? "O the depth of the riches
both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his
judgments, and his ways past finding out!"


THE EARNEST OF OUR INHERITANCE

     We are not suggesting that God has not done much for us in
the past; but we are confident of this: anything we have had in
the past by way of experience has been but the foretaste and the
earnest of what God would now lead us into by the Spirit. The
solemn exhortations of Hebrews 4 are therefore most applicable to
us in this great day of opportunity. "Let us therefore fear,
lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of
you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel
preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached (Or, the
word of the report) did not profit them, not being mixed with
faith in them that heard it" (Heb. 4:1,2). The reference, of
course, is to the first generation of Israelites who came out of
Egypt, and crossed over the Red Sea and came into the wilderness.
It did not take them long to reach the door-step of their
inheritance--it was just eleven days journey from Horeb to
Kadeshbarnea, the doorway of Canaan. And when they got there
Moses sent forth spies to spy out the land and search out the
riches of their inheritance. Twelve spies went forth into the
land and explored it for forty days. As to its wealth and
fruitfulness there was absolutely no question. They knew the
people would not believe what they found, so they cut down a
branch of grapes in the valley of Eschol, and carried it between
two upon a staff; and they also brought of the pomegranates and
of the figs. "Surely," they testified, "It floweth with milk and
honey; and this is the fruit of it." And they showed them what
they had found. (See Num. 13:17-33).
     Now, who would suggest that the spies had taken the land
just because they had explored it for forty days, and brought
back a little fruit to Kadeshbarnea? And that is just exactly the
position the Church of Jesus Christ is in today. We are still in
the wilderness. It is true that God has given us of His Spirit;
but only as a "foretaste"; only as the means by which we might
search out the depths of God, even as the spies explored the land
of Canaan. God has even given us a little taste of the realm of
the Spirit; for in bestowing upon us the Holy Spirit we receive
"the earnest of our inheritance," or the "firstfruits of the
Spirit" (Eph. 1:14; Rom. 8:23). Moses is careful to inform us:
"Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes" (Num.
13:20). Wonderful, indeed, is the gift of the Holy Spirit.
     Wonderful foretaste and earnest of our heritage in Christ
Jesus! We have actually made a little raid into Canaan, and have
come back with the fruit of the land. And if the first ripe
grapes and the figs and the pomegranates are good--what must it
be like to literally live in Canaan, to drink refreshing waters
from wells which we have not digged, to eat the fruit of
vineyards and olive trees which we planted not, and to inhabit
houses which we built not. That is the rest that remaineth for
the people of God. It is entering into a place that has already
been prepared for us by the Spirit. It is the fulness, of which
the Pentecostal blessing is but the firstfruits. It is the laying
hold of that for which Christ hath laid hold on us, apprehending
by the Spirit that for which Christ hath apprehended us. (Phil.
3:12). It is entering into, and appropriating, this
resurrection-life by the Spirit.


ISRAEL'S MISTAKE IS THE CHURCH'S MISTAKE

     Israel's mistake consisted in disobedience and fear, and
hence  in unbelief. Had they believed in their God, they could
not have feared the enemy and their strongholds. Let us notice
these facts about Israel:

     They searched out the land for forty days; they knew it was
a good land, a land that flowed with milk and honey; they knew
that God told them to go in and possess it; but they refused to
obey God on the basis that they did not have the power and the
authority to take it. It is not difficult for us to draw an exact
parallel between this generation of Israel and the generation of
the Church in which we live. For some years now God has enabled
the saints to reach out by the Spirit and explore the realms of
their heritage. The restoration of Pentecost at the beginning of
the century opened up a new life in the Spirit, and thousands
upon thousands of saints were forced out of the old religious
systems because they grew discontented with the manna and the
wilderness life and wanted more from God. God was very gracious
and gave the grapes of Eschol and the figs and pomegranates -
glorious provisions of His Spirit, to all who hungered and
thirsted for the things of God. They have proved by experience
that it is a good land, and one that floweth with milk and honey.
They know, too, that God has commanded them to go in and possess
the land. But sad to say, this same generation has refused to
believe that they could take it, and God has allowed them to
perish in the wilderness like their predecessors in Israel.
Israel searched out the land for forty days; and so God said,
according to the number of days, a day for a year, would they
wander in the wilderness until they were consumed. Likewise has
it happened in the Church. For well over forty years this latter
day generation of Spirit-filled people have wandered in the
wilderness, hundreds of thousands have gone back to the old
denominational systems because their blessing did not last--(and
how could it last? God just intended that it should be a
foretaste), and by and large the whole movement is worse off than
before, and has less success in the way of evangelism than many
of our fundamental evangelical movements. We are not speaking of
any particular sect, but of the whole movement of Spirit-filled
people during the last forty or fifty years.
     Of course God will bless them; for it is His responsibility
to look after them as Iong as they are in the wilderness. There
was daily manna for Israel throughout the whole wilderness
journey; there was water out of the flinty rock to quench their
thirst; God preserved the very clothes on their back and the
shoes on their feet; protected them from the enemy; healed them
of their diseases or afflictions when they cried unto Him; and
bore them on eagles' wings throughout that long and arduous and
bitter journey in the wilderness. But the fact remains, the
generation that refused to take the land died in the wilderness.
How gracious and wise is our God in all His ways! Little did the
children of Israel realize that in all they were doing, they were
really fulfilling an eternal purpose for the instruction of the
Church. These things happened unto them "for ensamples" of us. By
their fall, and by their sin, and by their disobedience, God was
trying to teach us the path of righteousness and faith and
victory. Thank God for the type. It gives us great boldness to
enter into the new and living way which God hath now opened up
for us through the veil. The wilderness experience has been
bitter for those who have hungered and thirsted for God. But God
has had a sovereign purpose in it all, that his hungering saints
might now be prepared to enter into the land of rest. "And thou
shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these
forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee,
to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his
commandments, or no" (Deut. 8:2).


A NEW GENERATION ARISES

     The old generation who disbelieved God perished in the
wilderness. But God sustained the new generation for forty years,
humbled them, proved them, and prepared them for the conquest of
Canaan.
     And so it is that a new generation under new leadership
arises out of the wilderness of modern evangelical circles, to
succeed a dying generation. "Now after the death of Moses the
servant of the Lord, it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto
Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, 'Moses my servant
is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all
this people, unto the land which I do give to them . . .'" (Josh.
1:1, 2). Moses must give way to Joshua. The Law must give way to
Grace; and Grace must be swallowed up in the Kingdom. Joshua is
the Hebrew word for Jesus. It signifies "Jah Saves." His
generation is to be a conquering, a delivering generation. The
former generation said it was all right to go in and spy out the
land--no doubt they enjoyed the grapes and the figs and the
pomegranates immensely - but they did not want to go in and
possess the land. It is all right, they would tell us today, to
receive gifts of the Spirit, or heal the sick, or perhaps raise
the dead occasionally, or prophesy, or sing in the Spirit--these
things are alright. But they do not want to hear any of this talk
about Christ appearing in the saints, and "being formed within
you." And as for the "manifestation of the Sons of God," that is
definitely not for our day and age. True, they will admit, God
has it for us; it is part of our heritage; but not for now. That
will take place at the rapture, or the resurrection. We cannot
possess the land; there are too many obstacles. There are cities
with high walls surrounding them, wooded mountains infested with
giants, fearful enemies using iron chariots. It is positively
ridiculous to suggest that we can take the land. It is all right
to be filled with the Spirit, and enjoy the blessing of the
Spirit occasionally; but it is impossible to really enter into
the realm of the Spirit to such an extent that you live there
constantly. You can take some grapes from the valley of Eschol,
but you must not attempt to dwell in Eschol. You can receive an
anointing on your mind, and receive thoughts from God that are
holy, and speak His words occasionally: but you cannot have the
"mind of Christ" in any degree of fulness so that you can
actually think His thoughts, and say His words, and perform His
works, and live His very own life. It is all right to be healed,
but not to enjoy real Divine health or Divine life to such an
extent that your days will be lengthened excessively, without
pain or feebleness or the abatement of your natural faculties. It
is all right to get free from this habit or that, or conquer your
temper, but not to be so positively free from the sin nature that
"sin hath no more dominion" over you. That would be perfection,
and you cannot have perfection until you get to Heaven. It is all
right to talk in tongues in a language that no man understandeth,
but not to go out to the nations speaking their language, with
their accent, and understanding exactly what you say, and what
they say. It is all right if you preach the Gospel with signs and
wonders, and see certain miracles performed occasionally; but we
cannot be caught away in the Spirit like Philip or Elijah in this
day of modern travel. It is all right to fight Satan here on the
earth and cast out a few devils, but you cannot ascend up in the
Spirit into "the heavenlies" and literally topple Satan from his
throne, and enter into the realm of power and authority "in the
heavenlies in Christ Jesus." We don't mind tasting the grapes of
Eschol, and the figs and pomegranates which the spies have
brought back, but we refuse to make any attempt at conquering the
whole land!
     Perhaps many would not like to admit it, but this is just
about the sum and substance of all the turmoil that rages
everywhere concerning these great truths. The whole question
resolves itself into this:
     Are we going to remain in the condition of those who have
been saved and baptized with the Holy Spirit? Or are we going to
arise from the dusty sands of this great and terrible wilderness
and follow our Joshua across the Jordan into real, triumphant,
overcoming power in the Spirit of God?
     Thank God there ariseth a new generation that has caught the
vision. A few Calebs and Joshuas have survived the blight and the
dearth of the wilderness, and are leading the saints in the power
of the Spirit into realms of glorious victory. For God has
promised the land is ours if we can only hear His voice and obey:
"To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts" (Heb.
4:7). There is only one real enemy, and that is Fear. But God has
promised: "Be strong and of a good courage ... I will not fail
thee, nor forsake thee . . ."


WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS?

     What then? Are there no limitations to the measure of power
which the saints may appropriate? Yes, indeed; but they are the
limitations that they themselves erect in unbelief. With God all
things are possible; we know that is true. But Jesus adds, "All
things are possible to him that believeth." When a certain man
brought his lunatic son to Christ, and the son wallowed on the
ground in torment, the father said to the Lord in anguish of
soul, "If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and
help us." But Jesus turned the whole responsibility back upon the
father, and said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible
to him that believeth" (Mk. 9:22,23). The if-thou-canst is a
condition which must be directed at your faith and mine; it is
not a question as to God's ability or His willingness to do the
things of which we speak. But the glory of it all is this: "Faith
cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." And therefore
if we, in this the greatest hour of Church history, will but hear
the Word of God--that is, give it a place in our heart and life,
then faith will spring up, overcoming faith, faith that will
enable us to take possession of our heritage in Christ Jesus.
The extent to which we might reach out in the Spirit, and the
limitations of our heritage, are very clearly taught in the Word.
God said to Joshua, "Every place that the sole of your foot shall
tread upon, that have I given you, as I said unto Moses" (Josh.
1:3). It is not a case of "How much will God give," for He has
already given us "All things,"--even accounting to us a heritage
with Christ "in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6).
Henceforth the question remains, "How much can I appropriate?"
God says, "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread
upon, that have I given you . . ." And lest there are some
fearful saints, who think the measure of our heritage must be
confined within certain limits, then God tells us exactly what
those limitations are:

" . . .And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to
us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty
power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the
dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places
..." (Eph. 1:19,20). There is the measure of the power that is
available to the saints! Not the power that Moses exercised in
Egypt, or at the Red Sea; not the power that Elijah had when he
locked the heavens for three and a half years, and then opened
them again; or when he called fire down from heaven; or opened
the Jordan river that he might pass over; not the power that
Elisha exercised when he caused the iron to swim, the waters to
be healed, the hungry to be fed, the dead to be raised; not the
power that David had over wild beasts, to slay the lion and the
bear singlehanded; and not even the power that Christ exercised
in His earthly ministry when He healed the sick, cast out devils,
walked on the sea, called the dead back-even from corruption. But
even the "working of his mighty power, which he wrought in
Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own
right hand in the heavenly places . . ." And still we could go
on--for Paul continues to enlarge upon the immensity of this
power which Christ has, and which is ours: power and authority
over all principalities and powers, both in this world and the
next, power to put all things "under his feet," even His Church,
for He is the Head, and we are the Body.
     O the immensity of these words! And what is more, Christ is
going to remain right where He is at God's right hand until there
shall arise a group of overcomers who shall conquer over all
God's enemies. "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right
hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool" (Ps. 110:1). And
yet the majority of Christians are looking for a rapture any
moment, when Christ is supposed to catch away a miserable,
defeated, disease-ridden Church. God says Christ is going to stay
right where He is until all His enemies are under His feet. And
His enemies include the "last enemy," which is Death. There must
arise a group of overcomers who shall conquer and become
absolutely victorious over all the opposing forces of the world,
the flesh, and the Devil--before this dispensation draws to a
close.


HE BROUGHT US OUT, TO BRING US IN

"And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in..."
(Dent. 6:23). God's purpose in delivering us from our sins and
from wrath is that He should bring us into our heritage in
Christ.
     The one is not complete without the other. He died that we
might be delivered from death and live in the realm of the more
abundant life. We thank God for what He has done for us in virtue
of His Cross: nailed our sins to the tree; delivered us from
sin's wrath and punishment; accounted to us a perfect
righteousness, and made us to be the very righteousness of God in
Christ. Such is justification: that blessed and happy state of
the man who believes in Christ, whereby God's own life and
righteousness is placed to his account. In consequence,
therefore, of this blessed condition, the believer in Christ has
a standing in Grace, before God and all the celestial hosts, as
one who has never sinned; and he is held to be as righteous as
God Himself is righteous. All this is very wonderful.

     One question remains: Is this righteousness and life to
avail us anything now, or are we to wait till death or
resurrection in order to appropriate it? Says Paul, "Therefore
being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord
Jesus Christ . . ." What a blessed condition! But can we
appropriate it? Let Paul continue: ". . . By whom also we have
access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in
hope of the glory of God" (Rom. 5:1,2). Access into our standing!
Is that not what it says? That is possessing our possessions; and
that is exactly what God expects us to do. Every place that the
sole of your foot shall tread upon shall be yours. God wants us
to receive that Divine enablement whereby we shall be "able to
comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and
depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth
knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God"
(Eph. 3:18,19).


JONATHAN'S HONEY SHOWER

     There was a time during the reign of Saul, when the
Philistines were massed in great strength against Israel, that
Jonathan, Saul's son, was impressed to make a single-handed raid
against the enemy. So he and his armour-bearer went over to the
Philistines' garrison, climbed up the sharp rocks which were in
the passes, and contacted the enemy. He did not tell his father
anything about it, because he knew what would happen. Just
imagine what a stupid idea he had! He and his armour-bearer going
over to fight a whole garrison of the Philistines - when the
whole army of Israel was in utter fear, having scarcely a weapon
in the whole nation because of the terrible servitude to which
they had been subjected. But Jonathan knew what faith could do.
"It may be that the Lord will work for us," he said, "For there
is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few." (1 Sam.
14.b). And so Saul tarried at home under the pomegranate tree,
and Ichabod's nephew was wearing the ephod. He was Saul's priest.
What a picture of a powerless, defeated Church, resting at ease
and selfcomplacency, with a priesthood that is devoid of the
glory and their people in complete bondage and servitude to the
enemy, They even had to go down to the Philistines to get their
axe or sickle sharpened, for there was no smith in Israel.
Complete dependence upon the world and its systems!
     But Jonathan's faith led him into a great place of victory
and fruitfulness. All he did was to start chasing the enemy, and
his armourbearer followed. One by one the enemy fell before
Jonathan, and the armour-bearer did the slaying. Thank God for
the Holy Spirit who stands by our side, confirming every Word of
God with the sharp Sword of His mouth. Then a great fear gripped
the Philistines, and there was a trembling in the host and
amongst all the people, and the earth quaked. And Saul looked on
in amazement, for the Philistines were melting away. There seemed
to be no reason for all this: so he numbered the host to see if
any were missing. Sure enough, Jonathan and his armour-bearer
were not there.
     First of all, of course, Saul had to know whether this thing
was of God or not. If it wasn't, then he would not have anything
to do with it. So he called forth the ark of God and Ichabod's
nephew to see if they could help him. While they argued, the
Philistines continued to melt away in utter confusion, even
beating down one another. Finally he could stand it no longer,
and he ordered the priest to withdraw his hand. He saw that he
was going to miss out on the victory if he did not get into the
battle at once. So he mustered his men and started the pursuit.
There was the shout of victory; the Philistines were in utter
confusion; and every man's sword was against his fellow's.
Whenever there is a shout of victory there are a lot of people
who will join the battle. They may not know what is going on, and
how the move of the Spirit started, and the purpose of it all -
but there is a shout of victory, and that is about all that
matters. And so Saul wanted everything God had for him, and
joined the battle. It was a great victory; and of course Saul was
king, so it was his victory. He was right there in the thick of
battle.
     The strange part of the whole thing is this, that the whole
purpose and plan of God for this day and hour is completely lost
and obscured amidst the shout of victory, and most of the saints
do not know what it is all about. They can see healings,
miracles, prophecy, laying on of hands for the bestowal of gifts,
singing in the Spirit . . . and so forth; and they do not
understand that it is God in mercy preparing His people to enter
into the very heritage of Canaan. They do not realize that this
is but the foretaste and earnest of their heritage, and that God
would now lead them in to possess the land. And so King Saul--for
he was king, and this was his battle, and his victory--he charged
the people with a strange oath, forbidding them to eat any food
until he was avenged of his enemies. (Just that very morning he
was resting under a pomegranate tree with no thought of pursuing
the enemy at all. But he must maintain his kingdom and show his
authority and keep the people under his rule and sway).
     The battle continued with ever-increasing momentum, the
people pursuing the enemy, and the backslidden Hebrews coming out
of their hiding places and joining the battle along with their
comrades. But it was a hard struggle, and the people became faint
as the battle wore on. How hungry they were! But they could taste
nothing, because Saul had charged the people with a strange oath.
This was no time to eat; this was a day of battle. This is no
time to talk about Divine life, and freedom from sin and the
carnal nature, and appropriation of resurrection blessings; those
things belong to the rapture! (resurrection).
     And so they fought; and as they pursued the enemy they came
into a wood. The trees were literally flowing with honey, but
they could not touch it. A curse was pronounced upon any man who
would taste any food until victory was complete. Is it not
strange how men in high places are constantly charging the people
with strange oaths as to what they shall accept and what they
shall not accept? And the people are hungry for the heritage of
Canaan, but they fear the oath. Saul has made the decree, and
that is enough. "Cursed be the man that eateth any food until
evening." This is the hour of the Church's struggle, we are told,
and it is no time to be talking about our heavenly heritage and
trying to enter into it.
     But like Jonathan there are some that "heard not" when this
curse was laid upon the people. And like Jonathan they have
discovered that the fruit of Canaan is to be their strength and
sustenance even while they fight the Devil, and not after they go
to Heaven. In fact, it is part of the spoils of victory; it is
right in our pathway as we pursue the enemy and throw his ranks
into utter confusion. And so Jonathan simply put forth his rod
and took a little honey (for the trees "dropped" or literally
"flowed" with honey), and put the honey to his mouth, and "his
eyes were enlightened." Just as simple as that! The people argued
with him that he was doing wrong, because the king had said so.
They themselves were really hungry for the same thing, but that
did not matter either. If the king said so, that was enough.
Jonathan was under the curse.

     God's people everywhere should know this; and all our
religious leaders should know it; that if the saints are barred
from their heritage in Christ and forbidden to eat of the good
things of Father's table, sooner or later they are going to eat
of the flesh-pots of the world. The people, we are told, became
so ravenously hungry that they "flew upon the spoil." They took
sheep and oxen and calves and slew them, and ate the flesh with
the blood. This was a great sin, so far as Israel was concerned,
for it was contrary to Mosaic law. But the truth of the matter is
this: if we do not go on to appropriate and enjoy the honey of
Canaan, sooner or later we will return to the ways of the flesh.
After all, why should Jonathan not have partaken of the honey of
the land? It was in Canaan, was it not? And had God not given
Israel the whole land of Canaan for their heritage, even the land
that floweth with milk and honey?
     There is a Jonathan group in the Church that has believed
their God, and they are determined to pursue Satan and his hosts
unto the end. Perhaps they are no match for mighty Lucifer and
his hosts, but they are not trusting in their own natural
weapons: they are not relying upon their wisdom, their knowledge,
their theology. Their trust is in God alone. For them God will
cause the earth to quake, the evil hosts to tremble, and
confusion to grip their ranks. It really doesn't matter what our
resources are in the natural. In the wisdom of God, Satan and his
hosts are going to become such fools that they will flee in utter
confusion and will even destroy each other. If men will believe
their God, God will send a great trembling into the ranks of the
enemy; and then the victory is ours. Furthermore, these men know
that their victory was through faith, and not by the arm of
flesh. And therefore they do not hesitate to stop and taste "a
little honey" along the way, while others labour feverishly in
the power of the flesh to defeat the enemy before sundown.
Certainly the need is great; Jonathan knows all about that. But
he knows also that God gave him the victory through quietness and
confidence and through much waiting on God. And he can afford,
therefore, to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of Saul's
battle, and take time off to enjoy some of the spoils of victory.
For many years the saints have been singing about what they are
going to do after the battle is over. They are going to drink at
the eternal fountains, and eat of the tree of life. But the fact
of the matter is simply this: the fruits of victory are to be
appropriated here and now while the battle rages. The woods are
literally "flowing" with honey; and you don't have to go out of
your way to find it either; it is right in your very pathway as
you pursue the enemy.

     But what about the curse? Well, God must have turned the
curse into a blessing, as He is accustomed to do on behalf of
those who love Him. Never did Jonathan any harm. Saul even
insisted on killing him, because--according to all the signs,
Jonathan was to blame for the Lord's displeasure in Israel.
Prayers were not answered any more. Saul inquired of God
concerning a matter, and God refused to hear him. So he cast lots
to see who was at fault, and Jonathan was taken. We may be sure
that when Saul takes the pathway of disobedience, and walks in
his own way, he is left open to great deception. Those who have
refused to go on with God in the pathway which He has chosen, and
choose the way of the flesh rather than the heritage of the
Spirit, they will receive many sure signs and tokens to prove
that Jonathan is in the wrong. Once a man enters the path of
disobedience, and closes the door to revealed truth, he has
thrown himself open to greater deception; and the most conclusive
signs and evidences that he receives will be utterly false and
unreliable.
     Here is Jonathan's simple explanation of his "sin": "I did
but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine
hand, and, lo, I must die." At best all the saints have yet done
in their attempt to appropriate the heritage of Canaan, is to
"taste" a little honey. But the whole land is before us. May God
help us to press in by the Spirit and possess our possessions
even now in the day of battle. By His grace we are well able to
overcome.


TABERNACLES--THE FEAST OF GLORY
THE EVENTS OF THE SEVENTH MONTH BLEND INTO ONE

     Let us recall how the three events comprising the Feast of
the Passover all blended harmoniously together to form that first
great Feast of the Church. There were the Passover, the
Unleavened Bread, and the Sheaf of Firstfruits: distinct events,
yet blending together to form one Feast--beautiful type of the
death and resurrection of Christ, and the new life which His
death made possible. So now in the last Feast, the events are of
a threefold nature: the Blowing of the Trumpets, the Day of
Atonement, and the Feast of Ingathering. And again these three
events blend together to form one great Feast. the last great
revival of the Church age. Let us not imagine that this great
revival of gifts and ministries of the Spirit is by any means the
fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. But it is the promise
and the earnest of this fulfillment, the beginning of the end.
For this move of the Spirit must rise and rise and rise (through
much sifting and testing and trial), even unto the fulness of the
Feast of Tabernacles itself.
     And therefore, as the day of glory and of triumph begins to
dawn upon the eastern horizon, we may expect to receive a
foretaste of that glory as the first rays break forth upon the
Church. But we dare not, we must not, settle for anything that
God has yet given to any people in any age or dispensation. We
must go forward to explore the infinite realms of the Spirit of
God. We must pass out of the realm of the natural, and into the
realm of the spiritual. We must progress from the "length and
breadth" and begin to comprehend somewhat of the "height and
depth" of spiritual things. The "to and fro" experience must give
way to an "ascending and descending" experience on Jacob's
ladder. We must pass from a knowledge of the understandable, to a
knowledge of the inconceivable. We must rise from the visible to
behold the invisible. We must hear the inaudible, grasp the
intangible, explore the unsearchable, and declare the
unspeakable. For God hath set eternity in our hearts, and we will
not rest--nor will we give Him rest, till He establish, and till
He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. The Church must yet
bring forth a child that shall "rule all nations with a rod of
iron" (Rev. 12:5). For it is given unto the overcomer to "rule
them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter, shall they
be broken to shivers" (Rev. 2:27).


ICHABOD, THE GLORY HAS DEPARTED

     We can expect that with the travail of the saints to bring
forth this Son, there shall also be the travail of a dying
priesthood to bring forth something to perpetuate and sustain the
old order. But it shall not prosper. The Aaronic priesthood -
glorious as it was in its day, must give way to a new priesthood,
the priesthood after the "order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 6:20).
And so it was that Hannah stood before the temple in Shiloh and
in anguish of soul prayed that God would give her a man-child,
for she was barren; and she promised that if her request was
granted, the child would be dedicated unto the service of the
Lord all his days. God heard her prayer, and gave her a child,
and she called his name "Samuel," meaning "Asked of God." This
man-child was destined to become Israel's priest, to succeed the
dying priesthood'of the house of Eli. Because of the wicked way
of Eli's sons, God had decreed that the priesthood should be
snatched away from the house of Eli, and given to another. As a
young child it was revealed to Samuel that God was going to bring
judgment upon the house of Eli, and as it was revealed so it came
to pass. Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, who were in line to
receive the priesthood--were both slain in one day. At the same
time the ark of God was captured by the Philistines; and as Eli
heard the sad news he fell backward and broke his neck and died.
The glory had departed from Israel, and he who served in the
house of God was slain in battle. Then it was that the wife of
Phinehas heard the sad news; and that news caused her pains to
come upon her, and she travailed and brought forth a man-child.
In her dying moments she named him "Ichabod," and she named him
well, because the ark of God was taken. Ichabod signifies, "No
glory," or "Where is the glory?"

     And try as she will, this modern-day church system, this
Babylon of religious pomp and splendour, will produce nothing but
Ichabods. "Where is the Glory?" Where is that real, vital
presence of the Holy Spirit in the congregation of the saints to
work the very works of God Himself, and produce the fruit of the
Spirit? Yes, the dying priesthood will bring forth its manchild,
but Ichabod is the name. God has already prepared another
manchild, and Samuel is the name. He was "asked for." The cries
and prayers of God's people for years have prevailed upon the God
of Heaven, and in answer to their prayers and travail, "a Son, a
male" is to be born, for that is the literal translation of
"manchild" (Rev. 12:5). Ichabod is in line for the priesthood,
that is true; but God has ordained another priesthood, a
priesthood of glory.


THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD

     The Melchizedek priesthood is a priesthood of life, and of
fadeless glory. It is a priesthood of eternal fellowship and
communion with Christ, and not like the Aaronic priesthood which
experienced the presence of God only on a certain occasion, once
in the year. It is a priesthood that is established by the word
and oath of God Himself. It is a priesthood which cannot pass
away, for there is no death in the fulness of this new order. It
is a priesthood of royal power and authority. Gone shall be the
bondage of the world, the flesh, and the Devil. For this
priesthood introduces the royal-priest behind the veil, behind
the flesh. The flesh is rent asunder, and the glory of God is
unveiled. The Head has already entered into this priesthood--and
if He has entered it means the way is open for others to follow.
"Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a
high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." (Heb.
6:20.) It is a "new and living way, which he hath consecrated for
us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh" (Heb. 10:20).
Can you hear these words, child of God? "For us . . ." Not for
the Church of the past centuries, for they did not hear these
beautiful words, and therefore it had no application to them. But
"for us" to whom the Word of God is now given. Not to men of some
future dispensation or some future Kingdom: but "for us" who live
in this day of opportunity, this today of hope and promise.
"To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart . . ."
In the fulness of this new priesthood we shall be completely
glorified, like unto Christ. But even as Christ began His
priesthood on earth by interceding for His brethren--so let us
begin even now to possess this glorious heritage in the Spirit,
the Kingdom of God within.


A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy
nation, a peculiar people . . ." (1 Pet. 2:9). A royal
priesthood! A priesthood of kings, and a kingdom of priests! A
company of over comers, who have power with God and with men! As
priests they have power with God, and as kings they have power
with men. As priests they have "access by faith into this grace"
of our holy standing; and as kings they have the power of God to
rule and reign in all circumstances and over all opposing forces.
As priests they can intercede with God on behalf of men; and as
kings they can impart life and power and deliverance to the
captive, and set the oppressed free. Such is the kingdom of
Melchizedek. He reigns, but he also intercedes; and in fact he
reigns by interceding. His very power and kingly authority is for
the benefit and sake of others. Jesus said, "All power is given
unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore . . . (Matt.
28:19). And again, "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy
Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8). He is King! and Priest! And
He has designated His kingly authority and His priestly authority
to such as are of Him and in Him. In this realm the flesh
"profiteth nothing." Natural advantages, fleshly attainments,
racial distinctions, educational standards, ecclesiastical
success--these profit nothing. This priesthood knows nothing of
father, mother, genealogy, beginning of days nor end of life. It
is the sphere and realm of the Spirit of God, a priesthood and a
Kingdom which the Sons of God shall enter into as they grow up
into Christ.

     Melchizedek signifies by his name, "King of righteousness."
He is also called King of Salem, and that means King of Peace.
(Heb. 7:2). His ministry, therefore, is to establish
righteousness and peace in those who are under sin's dominion.
And that, of course, is the very essence of the Kingdom of God.
"The Kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the
Holy Ghost" (Rom. 14:17).
     Now can we understand how the overcomer in the Day of the
Lord, when Great Tribulation is upon the earth, will be able to
administer help and comfort and sustenance to God's people who
are under oppression and persecution. The great tribulation
itself is going to be cut short because of the Sons of God. As
Moses interceded for Israel and spared them from wrath; and as
Jesus intercedes for His people, and spares them from wrath; so
the Sons of God, through the exercise of their royal priesthood,
shall actually shorten the Great Tribulation. Jesus has declared
that they would: "For the elect's sake those days shall be
shortened" (Matt. 24:22). The elect shall have entered into a new
priesthood, a royal priesthood. As priests they will be able to
present the needs of the people to God, and intercede for them;
and as kings they will have the authority of God to dispense life
and blessing to such as are in tribulation and distress. The
world has had her day of kings and dictators whose passion it is
to exercise lordship and dominion over a suffering humanity. This
new Kingdom shall be a Priesthood,--a priesthood that "can have
compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way"
for they will remember their former afflictions. They will recall
their former bondage under Satan's cruel kingdom, and the days of
yester years when the flesh tormented them, and they cried in
anguish of soul: "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me
. . .?" They shall not have forgotten that they too were once
sinners, defiled in His sight, and poured out their complaint to
God in the bitterness of their sorrows. And therefore they shall
reign as priests--co-heirs with the Son in the Kingdom of Grace.
"Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear
the glory and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be
a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be
between them both" (Zech. 6:13). What does this mean? "Between
them both . . ."? "Both" refers back to Joshua the high priest,
and "the man whose name is the branch." It is the priesthood of
the Son and the many Sons. Joshua means "Jah saves," and is the
same as Jesus in the Greek. The branch, on the other hand, is
said to "grow up out of his place." It is Christ; and His place
is the Church. But He is called the branch, or literally the
sprout, because this Man is a many-membered Body, that grows up
into maturity. We read therefore that the Body is to "grow up
into . . . the head, even Christ" (Eph. 4:15). Hence, away back
in the days of Zechariah who prophesied words of encouragement to
the builders of the second temple, we have the truth of the new
priesthood, a priesthood that reigns upon the throne, a
priesthood comprising Christ and His people, the Son and the many
Sons, with the counsel of peace "between them both."
     Is it not written, "Heirs of God, and joint-heirs with
Christ, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also
glorified together" (Rom. 8:17)? And does not the apostle declare
that God "bath raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in
the heavenlies in Christ Jesus"? (Eph. 2:6, Literal).
     O the depths and the heights of this glorious priesthood! It
far surpasses anything we can possibly imagine in the natural;
for it is an infinite and eternal priesthood, and we are yet
carnal and walk as men. Only by the Spirit can we comprehend
anything of our heritage in Christ.


THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL, A PATTERN OF THE CHURCH

     In the history of Israel's Kingdom we have a picture of the
Church of Christ throughout her long history. As a young lad on
the hillsides of Bethlehem David received his Pentecost. There it
was that the prophet Samuel poured the anointing oil upon his
head, and he was anointed as king over Israel. So it was that the
Church of early apostolic days received a mighty anointing from
God, an anointing which constituted her a "royal priesthood."
Like David, the Church was anointed to rule and reign; but her
kingdom was in exile much of the time; she reigned amidst much
conflict and tribulation. Hunted and hounded on every hand, she
dwelt in caves and holes of the earth, persecuted, martyred,
tortured, tossed to the lions, burnt at the stake. Every
conceivable device was used against her; but the more she was
persecuted, the stronger she became. The kingdom of Saul waxed
weaker and weaker, and the kingdom of David waxed stronger and
stronger. Finally, by the end of the third century A.D. it is
said that about one-half of the Roman Empire had been converted
to Christ. (But it was not the true conversion, it was the
Babylon/Rome conversion - Keith Hunt).

     Then for a brief period it would seem that the Church
entered into her "Solomon" stage. Solomon means "Peace." The
persecutions ceased, and for a time the Church enjoyed rest from
tribulation, and she became a mighty and powerful and prosperous
kingdom. However, it was not for long. The Church soon lost her
power and her glory; for Satan had succeeded in deceiving her;
and the prosperity which she enjoyed served only to lull her to
sleep, and to rob her of her spiritual life. God warned Israel
that when they took possession of their heritage, "Houses full of
all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which
thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou
plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; then
beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of
the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage" (Deut. 6:11,12).
So Israel did forget, and so did the Church. Solomon's glory
departed and his temple was destroyed; and likewise the glory
departed from the Church, and her beautiful temple was destroyed.
Then began the captivity. Israel went into Babylonian captivity;
and the Church went into her spiritual Babylon of the Dark Ages.
Solomon turned away from the Lord in his old age and built
idolatrous images, and the king who had received the greatest
wisdom ever accorded to any king in Israel--lost his glory and
turned to folly. So the Church married many strange women of
idolatrous and heathen Rome, and the wisdom of God which had been
displayed in mighty signs and wonders and demonstrations of the
Holy Spirit, degenerated into the utmost of folly.
     Then there was restoration from the captivity. After the
captivity a believing remnant returned from Babylon to rebuild
the temple and restore Israel's order of worship. And after the
Dark Ages a spiritual remnant returned from spiritual Babylon to
restore God's pattern for the Church. There was Restoration for
Israel; and there was Reformation for the Church. There was great
persecution for the builders of the second temple in Jerusalem;
and there was great persecution for Luther and his allies as they
began to restore the foundations of Truth which had been lost
during the Dark Ages. (Nope! Luther did not restore the faith
once delivered to the saints - Luther bore the birth of the
daughters of the Babylon/Rome religion - Keith Hunt).

     Once again there was disobedience in Israel, until we come
to the time of Christ, when Israel's worship had degenerated into
a meaningless system of form and ritual, devoid of the glory of
God.
     There were Scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees, and great
activity in the temple; but there was no real worship of the one
true God of Israel. And so we have the same thing in the Church.
Protestantism itself has degenerated into a meaningless system of
religion, having a form of godliness but denying the power
thereof. True there is much religion, great temples, fine
orchestras and choirs and illustrious preachers; but so very
little real spiritual worship of God and His Christ.
And all this brings us up to the Appearing of Christ in Israel,
and to the second Appearing of Christ now at the ends of the
ages. Just as Israel's temple was abandoned and left unto them
utterly "desolate" because of their disobedience, and a new
temple was brought into being by Incarnation; so now
Protestantism has been left "desolate" because of her
disobedience, and a new Temple is being born by the Spirit of
God,--even the Temple of the living God, the Body of Christ. As
the days drew nigh when Christ was to go to Gethsemane and the
Cross, He prophesied to the people, "Destroy this temple, and in
three days I will raise it up" (In. 2:19). They thought He meant
the temple of Herod which took forty and six years to build; but
no, He referred to the Temple which He was, the Temple of His
body. So once again, in this hour of His second Appearing, the
prophecy goes forth that He will raise up His Temple, that the
Body of Christ shall be brought together to form a holy Temple in
the Lord. Many have thought that He referred to the resurrection
of a dying religious system; but no, He is referring to the
spiritual resurrection of a spiritual Body, made One by the power
of the Holy Spirit, motivated and energized by the presence and
power of Christ Himself in the midst of His people.

     What we should notice particularly, however, throughout this
whole pattern, is that the culmination of the old order is the
beginning of the new. When the veil of the old religious order
was rent in twain, a new way of access was opened up into the
Holiest by the blood of Jesus; and within three days a New Man, a
New Temple, came into being in the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead. So now once again, with the veil of the old
religious order being rent asunder, a new way is being opened up
into the Holy of Holies, even the way of the Melchizedek
priesthood--and it will not be long ere a New Temple springs into
being by the resurrection of the Body of Jesus Christ, this time
a spiritual resurrection. For this is the day and hour of His
Appearing, the hour of His spiritual visitation within His
saints. It is the day and hour when Christ shall be "formed
within" His people. It is the "out-resurrection from among the
dead." It is Christ "the resurrection and the life" standing in
our midst. It is the seed breaking forth into the blade, the
blade into the ear, the ear into the full corn. It is the
caterpillar being transformed into the butterfly, and breaking
forth from the cocoon of death into the glorious liberty of the
atmosphere above. It is the day and hour of the manifestation of
the Sons of God, when the Son Himself shall be unveiled in the
hearts and lives of His many brethren.


THE FOCAL HOUR OF GOD'S PURPOSES

     We may expect, therefore, that in these end times, when the
events of the ages are to be focused into one, that we shall
discover the pattern of this great hour prefigured and typified
everywhere in the sacred Scriptures. This is the day of the
"fulness of the times." The ends of the ages have come upon us.
Not the end of the age; not the end of the ages; not the ends of
the age; but even "the ends of the ages" (1 Cor. 10:11, Literal).
And therefore, just as the river which begins as a trickle in the
top of some mountain, flows down the steeps and through the
plains, and gathers into its flow the waters from all the springs
and rivulets and streams along the way--and finally empties all
its accumulated waters into the ocean, so it is with the stream
of God's purposes. There was judgment and there was glory with
every age and every dispensation that God ever gave; but now we
have come to the ends of the ages when all the judgments as well
as all the glory of bygone ages are to find their focus in this
great hour. Why did Jesus say of the Jews of His day: "That the
blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of
the world, may be required of this generation" (Lk. 11:50)?
     Simply because the sum and substance of all the promises of
the Scriptures were heaped together and offered to that
generation in the person of Messiah; and therefore in their
rejection of Messiah all the judgments which were due to all
preceding generations were heaped together and laid upon that
generation. And so it actually came to pass, and was fulfilled in
the desolation of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans in A.D.
70.
     Now we have come to the ends of the ages. Once again there
is an apostate religious system, upon which the wrath of God
shall descend in great fury; and then shall be fulfilled the
Great Tribulation, of which the desolation of Jerusalem in the
days of Emperor Titus was but a type and shadow. That was a local
event, concerning only the natural Jerusalem; this shall be a
world-wide event, and all the earth-especially apostate
Christendom--shall feel the mighty impact of the Day of the Lord.
But as we have already discovered, the Day of the Lord is the
unveiled might and power of the God of Heaven, descending in
wrath upon the ungodly, but in great power and blessing upon the
overcomer.
     The dispensation of the Law could only end in tribulation
and the curse: for it is a ministration of death. But the
dispensation of Grace must end in glory and victory: for it is a
ministration of life. The universal Church, however, has refused
to accept the dispensation of Grace, and has continued from the
earliest times to live under the dispensation of the Law.
Religion continues to patch that which Christ has declared
useless. The veil that He rent in twain has been sewn together,
and the flesh continues to rule in the place of the Spirit.
Instead of the blood of Christ, there is the work of man. Instead
of new birth, there is moral rearmament. Instead of the Holy
Spirit, there is fleshly entertainment. The Day of the Lord is at
hand, even the ends of the ages, and great shall be the display
of God's glory. It shall be light, glorious light, or it shall be
darkness, gross darkness; and that will all depend upon our
position before God. Just as all the wrath and judgments which
were due to all preceding generations were heaped together and
laid upon the generation of Christ's day; so now, not only all
the wrath but all the glory ever administered or ever offered to
all preceding generations, shall be heaped together and laid upon
our generation when the Day of the Lord is revealed. It shall
therefore be Great Tribulation, such as was never known from the
foundation of the world; but it shall also be Great Glory, such
as was never known from the foundation of the world. To the one
class of people it shall be a day of "darkness" and of
"gloominess." But to the other, "as the morning spread upon the
mountains." (Joel 2:2). To the one, the Great Tribulation; but to
the other, "The Manifestation of the Sons of God."

     This is the focal hour of history. The glory of Moses' day
is for us; the glory of David's kingdom is for us; the glory of
Solomon's kingdom is for us; the glory of the restored temple of
Ezra's day is for us; the glory of Enoch's day, and the glory of
Elijah's day, and the glory of Paul's day,--all this glory and
much more is available to us, if we can hear His voice.


THE ARK BROUGHT TO SOLOMON'S TEMPLE

"And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto King Solomon
at the feast of the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.
And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the
ark. And they brought up the ark of the Lord ... into the oracle
of the house, to the most holy place . . ." (1 Kgs. 8:2-6). David
had previously pitched a tent for the ark of the Lord on Mount
Zion. But he was not permitted to build a permanent house for the
ark, because he had been a man of many wars. His kingdom must
give way to Solomon's, and his tent to the permanent, glorious
temple to be constructed by his son. And so finally, the temple
was completed, and the ark of the Lord was brought into the
oracle of the house, even the holy of holies. When this took
place, and "the priests were come out of the holy place, . . .
the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could
not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the
Lord had filled the house of the Lord" (vs. 10,11). All this took
place on the occasion of the Feast of Tabernacles; beautiful
picture, therefore, of the glory which God has prepared for the
Temple not made with hands, a Temple of living stones. Solomon in
his great dedicatory prayer prophesied of Israel's future
disobedience and their dispersion among the nations; but with
that prophetic warning there was also a promise that if they
returned unto God with all their heart in the land of their
captivity, then God would hear from Heaven and maintain their
cause. (See 1 Kgs. 8:15-61). So it happened to Israel, and so it
happened to the Church. Solomon's beautiful temple was destroyed;
and the Church went into the millenium of the Dark Ages.
     Soon, however, the Church will have received "double for all
her sins," and in the hour of restoration she shall receive
double the glory that she had before. A "double portion" of
Elijah's spirit was promised to his successor Elisha, if he would
but follow his master step by step and keep his eyes firmly fixed
upon him. And Elisha got his request. Jesus has promised,
"Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my
Father." (Jn. 14:12).

"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye
comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is
accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath
received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins ... and the
glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it
together . . ." (Isa. 40:1,2,5.) 

     A greater than Solomon is here! A greater glory than
Solomon's Temple shall be revealed in this hour of the Lord's
appearing in the midst of His saints.


THE STAVES REMOVED FROM THE ARK

"And they drew out the staves of the ark . . ." (2 Chron. 5:9).

     Why? Because the Church's long wilderness journey shall be
over, and now she will enter into her long-awaited rest. "Now,
therefore, arise O Lord God, into thy resting place, thou and the
ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with
salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness." (2 Chron.
6:41). The great Church victorious is destined to become the
Church at rest. Not, however, by way of the coffin. Not by living
a life of defeat, and then passing on to be with the saints who
have died. But by pressing into her heritage by the Spirit, and
appropriating the blessedness which is hers "in the heavenlies in
Christ Jesus."

     And so this Feast of Tabernacles was probably the greatest
in Israel's history. There was a "very great congregation, from
the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt." (2 Chron.
7:8.) How little did they realize that they, in their joy and
gladness of heart, were merely fulfilling the rites and
ceremonies of a fading type and shadow, and that one day it would
give way to the unveiled glory of God in the Church of Jesus
Christ, and especially in the Church of this great hour in which
we livel



JEROBOAM'S SUBSTITUTE FEAST

     Let us ever be on the watch for the counterfeit. God's glory
is not going to be revealed without the apostate religious world
trying to reproduce the same thing in the power of the flesh.
Especially now in this day, with the powers of darkness mustering
their forces and bringing forth their secret weapons, the saints
are going to find it increasingly difficult to discern the real
from the counterfeit. It is not going to be sufficient that we
should see signs and wonders and miracles performed in the name
of Christ; for signs is going to empower his emissaries of light
to do all the miracles that the Church will do. Jannes and
Jambres worked side by side with Aaron, performing sign for sign,
and miracle for miracle. But it will not always last. In due
course their folly shall be manifest, even as the wisdom of the
Church shall be manifest. The time will come when Aaron's rod
shall swallow up the rods of the magicians, and their power shall
be broken.
     Therefore, in this hour of the Church's trial and sifting,
when the real and the counterfeit are going to work side by
side--let us be on the alert to detect the false and discern the
real. Only the walk of obedience and faith and utter consecration
will deliver the child of God from the deception of Satan.
Discern the Lord's Body. Recognize the ministries which He is
establishing in the Body. "By their fruits ye shall know them."
Not by their miracles, or by their signs, or by their wonders;
but "by their fruits."
     And so it is quite evident, even now in this hour of the
Body of Christ, that Jeroboam the Enlarger (for so is his name by
interpretation) is going to seek the expansion of his kingdom by
producing a counterfeit of the real. When people are hungry for
God and can see the moving of God's spirit, the adversary always
trys to reproduce what the people are looking for in order to
isolate them from the Truth. If there is healing, Jeroboam will
heal. If there is a manifestation of the Spirit. Jeroboam will
have something similar. If there are tongues in the Spirit,
Jeroboam will speak in tongues. If there is prophecy, singing in
the Spirit, laying on of hands for the gifts, miracles, words of
knowledge or wisdom,--or any other manifestation of the
supernatural which God has in store for the saints--then Jeroboam
will do all in his power to reproduce these same manifestations
in his kingdom. And unless the people have spiritual discernment
they will be deceived.
     This is what happened. Because of Solomon's disobedience God
decreed that his kingdom should be broken up. And so to Jeroboam
were given ten tribes of Israel for his kingdom, and to Rehoboam
were given the other two tribes. Jeroboam, then, was to be king
of Israel; and Rehoboam king of Judah. But Jeroboam was at a
great disadvantage, because Jerusalem was in Rehoboam's
kingdom--and what would happen if Israel should go up to the holy
city to worship God? So reasoned Jeroboam. He was in danger of
losing his kingdom if the people were to continue going up to
Jerusalem to sacrifice unto the Lord and observe the Feasts. So
we are told he took counsel, "and made two calves of gold, and
said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem:
behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land
of Egypt." (1 Kgs. 12:28.) And the people believed it! And so
they went to worship at Bethel and Dan where the calves were set
up. You see, Bethel means House of God, and Dan signifies judge.
We have shown how the number "two" signifies the Body of Christ,
the fulness of Christ in His people. And so Jeroboam made two
calves. Bethel the House of God, and Dan the Judge! A real
counterfeit of the Body of Christ and the ministries in that
Body! Dan will be there to judge; there will be apostles,
prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. And to all
appearances it will be the Body of Christ. It was at Bethel, you
will recall, that God appeared to Jacob when he fled from the
face of his brother Esau, and as he slept he saw the angelic
hosts ascending and descending upon the ladder. We have already
shown how this typifies the fulness of the Son of Man in His
Body. And Jacob awoke in fear and cried: "How dreadful is this
place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the
gate of heaven." (Gen. 28:17,). But now at the very house of God
a golden calf is worshipped as the God of Israel!
     Nor will Jeroboam stop at this. The saints of God in this
present hour are hungry, desperately hungry for the things of God
and the restoration of the Feasts of the Lord. And so Jeroboam
will provide a Feast of Tabernacles for them too."And Jeroboam
ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the
month, like unto the feast that is in Judah ... So he offered
upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of
the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his
own heart . . ." (1 Kgs. 12:32,33).
     These are sad truths, and yet so genuinely applicable in our
day. And the reason for the whole idolatrous system was simply
this: Jeroboam did not have the real thing, and he wanted to
maintain his kingdom, so he had to provide a substitute. The
golden calves which he made were intended to maintain the unity
of his kingdom, and to prevent his people from going to Jerusalem
to keep the real Feasts of the Lord. "And this thing became a sin
. . ." to the children of Israel. But God's judgment was upon it.
Said the Lord, "They have set up kings, but not by me: they have
made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold
have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. Thy calf, O
Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them."
(Hos. 8:4,5.)
     Do you see, then, how subtly the enemy will work, and how
easy it is going to be for Christians to become entangled in an
idolatrous system and not realize it? Notice this one thing: that
Jeroboam's attempt to reproduce the real thing according to the
devices of his own heart--produced nothing more than an
idolatrous system of worship. He followed the pattern as close as
he could, but he missed the real Feast. His was in the eighth
month; the real Feast of Tabernacles was in the seventh. So shall
it be in our day. Any attempt to reproduce the real moving of the
Spirit of God, in order to maintain and sustain a dying
denominational system, will eventually lead to idolatry.
The day of reckoning is at hand, and judgment must begin at the
House of God. This idolatrous ecclesiastical system is doomed.
The word of prophecy has gone forth upon Jeroboam's altar: "O
altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born
unto the House of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he
offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee,
and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee . . ." (1 Kgs. 13:2).
     Aaron's rod shall yet swallow up the rods of the magicians
in the Day of Christ's Appearing; and the dross shall be consumed
from the gold and the silver in the house of Levi. "The Lord,
whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple . . . And he
shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall
purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that
they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." (Mal.
3:1,3.) He comes to His temple! Even to the Church of the living
God. "For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said,
I will dwell in them, and walk in them . . ." (2 Cor. 6:16).


BY WISDOM SHALL THE CHURCH BE BUILT

     When the people of God ridicule these great truths
concerning the rebuilding of God's holy Temple, and the
perfection of the saints into one, vital, united Body--such
ridicule is not against the saints, but it is against God
Himself. We know God's people do not realize this, but that is
exactly what they are doing. They are not ridiculing men, but God
who has spoken and declared His purpose. And they are not
scoffing at fools, they are scoffing at the Wisdom of God. Why
should it be thought incredible that a God of Wisdom should do
all these things and more? Was it not by Wisdom that God
established the heavens and the earth? (Prov. 3:19.) And is
Wisdom not the gift of God, which fools may receive by simply
asking God for it in faith? (Jas. 1:5.) And furthermore, is not
the Wisdom of God always foolishness with man? (1 Cor. 1:20-25.)
Let us not be guilty, therefore, of charging God with folly. What
device of man or Devil shall be able to withstand the Wisdom of
God and prevail?

     The Church and the world are both going to be literally
dumbfounded and amazed when the Wisdom of God is restored to the
Church in great power. Nothing shall be able to withstand the
Wisdom of the Almighty. And that is exactly how Solomon's Kingdom
became so prosperous and mighty, because of the wisdom which he
received from God. Now if this be so concerning the natural
kingdom of Solomon, how much more shall it be so concerning the
spiritual Kingdom of Christ? For the wisdom that God hath in
store for the Sons of God shall far outshine and surpass the
wisdom of Solomon. Let us not stumble at the commonly accepted,
but false interpretation of 1 Kgs. 3:12, "I have given thee a
wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee
before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee."
     From 2 Chron. 1:12 it is clear that God was referring to the
kings of Israel, his predecessors and his successors-and it is
true that Solomon's wisdom far exceeded that of any king who
reigned in Israel before or after. "Wisdom and knowledge is
granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and
honor, such as none of the kings have had that have been before
thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like." But
Jesus said, "A greater than Solomon is here." And this "greater
than Solomon" is going to reveal Himself to His people; so that
the display of wisdom in God's people shall far exceed anything
we have ever imagined to be possible. "To the intent," says Paul,
"That now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places
might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God," (Eph.
3:10).l "The manifold," or literally, "The many-sided wisdom of
God." Solomon's wisdom was displayed before all the great kings
of the earth; so that they came from all parts to hear and to
behold the wisdom which he had. But this Wisdom, this very
manifold, many-sided Wisdom of God is going to be displayed--not
only before earthly rulers, but before the principalities and the
powers of the Heavenlies!

     No wonder Solomon tells us: "Through wisdom is an house
builded; and by understanding it is established." (Prov. 24:3).
So shall it be with the House of God. It shall be built, it shall
be established, by Wisdom, even the manifold Wisdom of God. There
was no more spirit left in the Queen of Sheba as she beheld the
glory of Solomon's kingdom; and though she had heard of his fame
she confessed, "Behold, the one half of the greatness of thy
wisdom was not told me . . ." (2 Chron. 9:6). But lo! A Greater
than Solomon dwelleth in the midst of God's people. And shall not
His Glory exceed the fame of anything we have heard or read, even
from the Scriptures? And shall not His Kingdom be established,
even unto the uttermost parts of the earth?


IS GOD TEASING THE SAINTS?

     God forbid! Hath He spoken and shall He not do it? Hath He
promised and shall He not bring it to pass? Did He not mean what
He said concerning the Holy Spirit, that He was given to search
out the "depths of God," even the things that have not entered
into the heart of man? Shall the prayer of the Son of God go
unanswered? And were His words falsely spoken when He declared,
"The glory which thou gavest me I have given them?" Shall the
first Adam who brought desolation and chaos into the world be
permitted to live almost a thousand years, and the sons of the
Last Adam be accounted blasphemers and fanatics for preaching
Divine Health and Divine Life? Shall men like Enoch and Elijah
reach out and appropriate translation by faith, and the brethren
of Christ be accursed for cherishing a similar hope? Shall the
All-wise God account Himself a fool according to His Beloved Son,
for not sitting down first and counting the cost, and see whether
He is able to lay a foundation for a glorious Temple, and not
able to finish it, while scoffers and passers-by ridicule His
feeble architectural plans? Shall the gates of Hell continue to
prevail against the Church of Jesus Christ? Shall the great
Husbandman admit defeat and thrust in the sickle before the grain
is ripe and fully formed in the ear? Shall He prove the
impatience of His Spirit by cutting down the grain before it
receives the early and the latter rain? Shall He impart gifts of
the Spirit to His people and set the ministers of Christ in the
Church for the perfecting of the saints, and then rapture them
all before they attain to the measure of the stature of the
fulness of Christ? Shall He serve good wine in the beginning of
the feast, and reserve the diluted mixture for the last? Shall a
God of wisdom, in the unfolding of the greatest drama of the
ages, make a spectacle of the saints before angels and before
men, and culminate the Acts of the apostles with the tragic
blunder of Modernism and presentday apostasy? Shall the Wisdom,
the very manifold wisdom of God in the Church, which God intended
for display even now unto the principalities and powers,
degenerate into the wisdom that is earthly, sensual, and
devilish? Shall demons and hosts of wickedness continue to have a
free hand as they barter with the bodies and minds of God's
people? Shall God not rise up in vengeance on behalf of His
elect? Is God not concerned about vindicating His great Name,
while the nations rage against the authority of Zion's King, and
make His heritage a desolation? Shall the ever-increasing glory
of the New Covenant give way to the transient, fading glory of
the Law? Or shall the ministration of God's power in the passing
glory of the day of Moses, exceed the ministration of God's power
in this day? Shall God not restore the years that the locust, the
caterpillar, the palmerworn, and the cankerworm have eaten? And
shall not the glory of this latter house be greater than the
former, saith the Lord of hosts? Shall all creation, yea the
children of God themselves,-groan and travail in birth-pangs for
the manifestation of the sons of God, all to no end or purpose?
And if Zion travail, shall she not bring forth? Or shall the sons
be brought to the birth, and God shut the womb?
     No! A thousand times no! God's Sons shall yet be manifested
in this great hour of the Church's sorrow and travail; and shall
display before this wicked and perverse generation the unveiled
glory of God in a manner not hitherto revealed or even imagined.
The prayers of sorrow and bitterness and travail throughout this
long wilderness journey of the Church from Pentecost until
now--have all been bottled up in the heavenly vials, and soon
they shall be poured upon the world in great Heaven-shaking
events, dethroning the powers of darkness and of Satan, and
establishing the overcomer in authority on Zion's mountain.


TABERNACLES--THE FEAST OF RESTORATION

     As we have considered the spiritual significance of the
glory and power and wisdom of Solomon's kingdom, so now let us
consider the spiritual significance of the days of restoration,
following the captivity.
     Both temples and both periods of history are applicable to
our day: Solomon's day speaking of the glory and power and wisdom
of the Church; and the days of Restoration showing in what manner
the lost glory is to be restored.
     As for the days of Restoration, it will be of particular
interest and profit to us if we consider carefully the books of
Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, and Zechariah--because these four books
deal particularly with the return of the remnant to Jerusalem
following the captivity, and their attempts to restore the walls
and the temple and the order of religious worship. Ezra was a
priest; Nehemiah was the governor of Jerusalem; and both Haggai
and Zechariah were prophets of the Lord who encouraged the
builders in the great tasks which lay before them.


THE FIRST FEAST OF TABERNACLES AFTER THE CAPTIVITY 

     The remnant who had returned from Babylon to Jerusalem were
determined that all things should be restored according to the
original pattern. And so they kept the Feasts of the Lord also in
their due season. "They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it
is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings . . The Feast
could not be observed in its fulness, for the foundation of the
house of the Lord was not yet laid, but they observed the pattern
as best they could, and God

..........


To be continued 


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