I.C.2 The Spirit Baptized Directed into the Fulcrum of God’s Power

PART I  –  The Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart C  –  The Fulcrum

Article 2 – The Spirit-Baptized Directed into the Fulcrum of God’s Power

By Daniel Irving

a.   Topeka’s Message Delivered Through its First Recipient

b.   Azusa’s Resurgence in the Wake Durham’s Preaching “The Finished Work of Christ”

c.   The Dichotomy Created by the Loss of the Centrality of the Cross

d.   Union with Christ as the Purpose of the Spirit’s Agency

e.   The Loss of the Centrality of the Cross as the Underlying Malady of the Church

f.    The Cross as the Agency of Our Conformity

g.   Charismatic Phenomenon as Indicative of Election’s Processes at Work

IMG_2159

Article 2

The Spirit-Baptized Directed into the Fulcrum of God’s Power

a.   Topeka’s Message Delivered Through its First Recipient

As related in the first article under this subpart, the central candlestick of the lamp-stand represents the feast of Pentecost, and the agency of God derived from the Cross of Jesus Christ.  Thus the central candlestick represents the agency of the Holy Spirit in uniting Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, with His body, the Church.  Thus Pentecost represents the power of God’s Spirit to fulfill His purposes in raising up His temple through the process of ministering unto the body of Christ, the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We analogized the central candlestick of the lamp-stand to a  fulcrum upon which the power for a work is achieved.  Pentecost stands in the place of power for God’s redemptive work, and has as its source, the Cross of Jesus Christ, allowing God to raise the dead with His own resurrection power.  And therefore at each conjunction between Messiah Head and Messiah Body there is a forming of that only true altar of God.   Calvary stands as the exclusive means through which men may draw nigh unto God. Sacred Ht 01

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.      John 12:32

The lamp-stand model demonstrates the cross of Jesus Christ as the focus for the church.  There is even indication that God signified this directly at the time He poured out His Spirit in Topeka on the first day of the twentieth-century and again at the 1911 Azusa Street resurgence.  The outpouring of the Spirit that occurred in Topeka, Kansas, beginning on January 1, 1901 marked the worldwide renewal of PentecostOzman-AgnesThe first recipient of this outpouring was Agnes Ozman.  After experiencing the sign of tongues as evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, Ms. Ozman could not speak English for some days, during which she drew what appeared to be random scribblings under the influences of the baptism.  A section of her writing appears to emphasize the central candlestick of the lamp-stand.  Special attention to the central candlestick would therefore seem warranted in light of what seems to have been a Divine sign given to the first recipient receiving tongues under the restored doctrine of Initial Evidence.  As the first person to receive the Pentecostal baptism in the new century and the first to receive the Pentecostal baptism under clear and definitive Pentecostal teaching, Ms. Ozman seems to have both drawn and to have boxed-in the fulcrum of the Lamp-stand. Ozman Writing 1901 Indeed, it would appear that at the very initial moment of God restoring Pentecost to the world, He also gave a sign expressing the objective of His pouring out His Spirit into the world; that sign is the Cross of Jesus Christ. 

Is this not even the message of the Gospel?  If God should pour out His Spirit upon men, should it not have purpose in directing their hearts and minds to the cross of Jesus Christ?  Should the pouring forth of God’s Spirit not have as its purpose a calling of men upward through justification, sanctification, and glorification through the means of the Cross and the transacting agency of the Holy Ghost?

b.    Azusa’s Resurgence in the Wake Durham’s Preaching “The Finished Work of Christ”

Part III of this treatise will look closely at the doctrinal issue that hung heavily over Azusa Street during the years that revival occurred there.  The central doctrinal controversy of that period was whether Pentecost constituted a “Third Blessing,” as an adaptation to the Wesleyan Second Work of sanctification, or whether Pentecost shared theological position with initial regeneration as that principle coincident with our initial coming to Christ and experiencing the forgiveness of our sins.[1] Given the centrality of the cross, we begin to perceive why Durham’s 1911 preaching at Azusa Street favoring the latter view was empowered.  While Wesleyan Second Work teaching, when rightly-applied, had tremendous power during the periods of revival in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the doctrine was misapplied in respect to Pentecost by the Wesleyans upon whom the Pentecostal experience came.

Coming articles will relate how Durham returned, a few years following his baptism, to an Azusa Mission in a much degraded condition.  The Azusa Mission, having proclaimed a misapplied aberration of Wesley’s Second Work doctrine, had fallen into disorder and confusion.  Durham had the word which was needed to rally the Spirit-baptized back to their strength; the Cross of Jesus Christ.  Rather than its focus remaining upon the attainment of holiness, through the efforts of men, the focus became Jesus Christ and the love and the power of God show forth in His Cross.  The period of Durham’s preaching of the Finished Work of Christ became known as the Second Azusa given its dramatic effects in restoring the power of God at Azusa Street.

As will also be related in Part III, the Finished Work constituted the evangelical message of the Church, rather than a comprehensive theology of redemption.  Because the Finished Work doctrine would eventually be put forward as the latter, the doctrine actually, over time, began to run counter to a right grasp of the Gospel.  Nevertheless, the message countered a misapplied Wesleyan perspective on sanctification that was proving injurious to the Church. The wonderful effect of the Finished Work message of Durham was to focus the eyes of the Spirit-baptized upon the Cross.  Durham’s message was a tonic for those too long struggling by means of personal effort to overcome sin.   Durham 01

Durham’s view perceived redemption as already accomplished at conversion, but requiring repeated trips back to the cross for forgiveness, cleansing, and strength to abide.  Thus Durham’s view of sanctification better facilitated the hope of repentance and the grace of God.  Azusa was returned to their strength, the fulcrum of the Lamp-stand, and returned to that signal drawing all men to their Creator:

Then it will come about in that day that the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.        Isaiah 11:10

In pouring out His Spirit anew in the earth, God directed the Church to attend upon the fulcrum of the lamp-stand;  the cross of Jesus Christ, her Lord. 

c.    The Dichotomy Created by the Loss of the Centrality of the Cross

Since the early days of the Pentecostal renewal there has arisen a crises of doctrine and experience which has worked great harm in the Church, and which has served to repel those on the outside from seeking spiritual things.  This crisis of doctrine and experience became especially pronounced within some segments of the Charismatic movement, and to a much greater extent in the so-called Third Wave movement of more recent years.  Over the past several decades, there has also developed a perception that dramatic and miraculous phenomenon tends to accompany the most heterodox of ministries and to follow the most theologically-erring of assemblies.  Modernly, there is a perceived dichotomy between Truth and Spiritual Signs.

Ern Baxter was the close associate of William Branham, and would become one of the foremost leaders arising from the Latter Rain and Charismatic movements.  Shortly before his passing, he expressed a sense of frustration over this perceived dichotomy between truth and the miraculous.  Baxter stated in a videotaped interview:Baxter & Branham

. . . as for the evangelical realm criticizing the Charismatics –  I’m gonna take up for the Charismatics!  But then, having done that, I want to say to the Charismatics; ‘where is the Word-dimension?’  And one of my deep concerns that I’ve aired almost all my life is that it is the Word-dimension that seems to get short-changed in the Charismatics.  It’s the Spirit-dimension that gets short-changed in the evangelical-realm.  And my lifelong dream has been to see these two come together. I think if the Word and the Spirit could come together in some kind of permanent union we’d blow the world into the Kingdom of God! [2]

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvvxC4F96ks

When we hear Baxter use the term; “Word”, we naturally think of doctrinal truth, and this is certainly how most evangelicals would interpret the term.  But if that is what Baxter intended, his proposition falls short.  For consider; Is it really the bringing together of correct doctrine with supernatural phenomenon that constitutes the restoration of the Church? Doctrinal truth, while a necessary facilitator, is not the immediate agency which effectuates an eternal end.  Doctrinal truth as “knowledge” will itself “pass away.”[3]   But there is something we often confuse for doctrinal truth that will not pass away; the presence of the witness and Person of the Word of God.

The Psalmist does not prophesy, “Forever O Lord, they Scriptures are settled in heaven,” rather the Psalmist prophesies:

For ever O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven.             Ps. 119:89

When the prophets speak of the eternal Word of God, they are not speaking of the written word, e.g.:

The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.                                                                                    Is. 40:8

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.                                                                                    Matt 24:35

Doctrinal truth is what we speak, and Scripture itself can be asserted absent the backing of the presence and power of God.  The substance of the Divine life is what God speaks.  Rather than doctrinal truth, it is the Word of God that must effectuate eternal things.

d.  Union with Christ as the Purpose of the Spirit’s Agency

That eternal end is UNION.  Union with God through Christ is not effectuated in the coming together of an expressed orthodoxy with supernatural manifestations.  Rather, the marriage of God with humanity is effectuated by the coming together of that Person Whose being and nature is Truth itself, and those objects of God’s mercy in whom His Word abides and who were foreordained for union with God.  Lamps & Virgins 04Doctrinal truth is the mere implement of the Spirit’s work.  But He Himself is the true agency.  And what is the objective of the Divine agency? Conformity.  The body of Christ must be conformed into the image of her Head

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.                                   Rom.  8:29  

  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:                        Eph. 4:15 

The Holy Spirit is the agency of Union because He is the Spirit within which the body maintains conjunction with to the Head, Who is Christ.  Absent His agency, there is no holding to the Head, and false spirits fill the void, themselves aided by false teachers and by false prophets within the Church.  In which case, the work of sanctification through abiding in Christ ceases as:

. . .  not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God.                                                                                     Col. 2:19 

Thus it is through abiding in the Spirit of Truth that we grow in sanctification.  And what is that vital Truth associated with the Person and the testimony of Jesus Christ?  His Cross.  While many would accept the Cross in terms of its propitiating work of justification, they will not accept the Cross as a principle having application in their own lives.  They will not follow the way of Christ which leads to the laying down of this life.  Therefore, they forsake the true sanctuary of God which is the abiding within the Spirit of Truth.  Against this error we are warned by John:

This is he that came by water & blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by the water & blood.   And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.                                                                                      I John 5:6

The Cross is our means of conformity to Christ.  This is the true SPIRIT.  This is what it means to abide in the Holy Ghost.  With this understanding, we might also understand the common misperception expressed above by Mr. Baxter, who speaks as an influential member of the Charismatic movement and a primary figure of the Latter Rain Revival.

e. The Loss of the Centrality of the Cross as the Underlying Malady of the Church

So long as our focus is upon the material and the external as occupying any significant role in God’s work and kingdom, our heart will misperceive and miss God.   This is why outward signs and supernatural demonstrations ultimately constitute distractions which hamper true spirituality.  So long as well-intended and earnest men problem-solve the Church’s infirmity through emphasis upon finding the right formula or combination of external doctrine and external signs, they labor in futility, as Christ clearly told us His kingdom is not to be found by observation:Christ Teaching 02

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees  when the kingdom of God should come,  He answered them & said, “The kingdom of God  cometh not with observation;  Neither shall they say, ‘Lo here’, or ‘Lo there!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”           Luke 17:20-21  (KJV)

Earthly kingdoms are built by earthly power.  Outward and material interests are safeguarded through external means.  But the heavenly kingdom is built by heavenly agency and the kingdom that is within us is preserved for us by God.  The true evidences of the kingdom of God are those internal works of regeneration, deliverance, sanctification, and sacrifices as such the Holy Spirit will bear witness of.  But these are not brought about by the mouthing of true doctrine or the Scriptures.  Neither do the demonstration of miraculous gifts or supernatural signs necessarily contemplate the true presence and power of God’s kingdom.  For either may be operate while Sin reigns within the heart.  John writes:

. . . For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil.                      I John 3:8

If the kingdom of God is the destruction of the works of the Devil, then this must be the sign of the coming and power of His kingdom, ie. those internal work destroying Satan’s dominion within the man, allowing for a continual progress toward a full and complete redemption, as Paul states it:

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.  I Cor. 1:30

The kingdom of God is the conformity of the man to the Person and purposes of God through finding like-nature with Himself; the transformational work of the Cross through the agency of the Holy Spirit.

f.  The Cross as the Agency of Our Conformity

How did Christ conform Himself for union with His bride, the Church? He conformed Himself via the Cross.  And His Father completed the work through the principle of resurrection.  This principle as it relates to the body of Christ can be more precisely termed; regeneration as the expression of resurrection so as to contemplate all three of its redemptive parts.  Therefore Christ, through His incarnation and death has already undergone conformation into His perfection within the Father.  Through this means, He fulfilled the work of His Father by the perfecting of Himself as God’s manifested image, thus fulfilling God’s purpose in the creation of man: Adam & Eve Sin

  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  Gen. 1:27

Within Himself, Christ perfected the image of God for the purpose of an acceptable sacrifice.  This is why Jesus said, on the eve of His suffering and death:

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.                                                                                      John 17:19 

The Cross made a way for sin to be forgiven, purged, and then judged as a thing separate and distinct from the man.  All this through the means of the Cross!   Christ’s coming into the world, His perfecting of God’s image in Himself and then suffering crucifixion was the work of God to do the same in men. Christ performed His work on the Cross for the transformation of mankind to God’s image!  Passover MediumThrough the power of the Holy Spirit, we are transformed insofar as we conform through obedience to the revealed will of God.  This is the meaning of Pentecost of which the baptism of the Holy Ghost is only the beginning![4]

Recall that the oracle in the garden was not limited to the man (as an allusion to Christ.)  God made them both “male and female” in His image.  The woman stands in type for humanity. Although these types require more study than is useful for our purposes here, the principle arises in the dereliction of Adam to fulfill his role as the man when he blamed the woman for his sin before God.  Not standing in the image of God, Adam (as the natural man) could neither stand in the purpose of his creation.  Thus humanity figures spiritually as the woman whose hope of fulfilling her purpose is dependent upon that man, fulfilled through Jesus Christ, Who did succeed in the purpose of His humanity to give glory to God through His overcoming of Sin and Death, and taking ascendancy above even angelic principality in so doing.  Humanity may now likewise fulfill the purpose of its creation through Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross.

Therefore conversely, how is the Church to conform herself unto Christ?  Through the mirror image of this process, which is to; 1) receive God’s mercy by faith through the spiritual witness of the substitutionary-atonement afforded by the Cross (ie. the “Witness of the Spirit”), Bright Cloud 12) to wash herself in the cleansing flow of God’s provision for sin through the spiritual witness of the Son of God made bread for sinners (the “Witness of the Word” unto the “Witness of Water”),[5] and 3) to fulfill obedience to the call of God as to her own earthly body which belongs to Christ as a part of His purchased possession, ie. through conformity to His Cross (ie. the “Witness of Blood”).   And he that follows the call of God through this process will drink of the true Spirit of God.  He that does not, will drink from another source.

g.  Charismatic Phenomenon as Indicative of Election’s Processes at Work

In light of these things, the apparent Charismatic disconnect between truth and signs may be a superficial observation, as where we see evidence of great spiritual activity we do have scriptural basis for a conclusion that an irresistible principle of divine election may be in operation even where there seems a dearth of doctrine.   IMG_0002Power constitutes some indication of the operation of the principle of election.  For instance, Paul intimates to the Thessalonians that their election was apparent in the power that came with his preaching to them.

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.  For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, & in the Holy Ghost& in much assurance; as you know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.       I Thess. 1:4-5

Likewise, we know from the words of Christ to Paul that there were many within the city of Corinth that had been elected unto salvation.[6]  Therefore his gospel to them came with particular signs and wonders on the bare preaching of the cross:

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, & Him crucified.  & I was with you in weakness, & in fear, & in much trembling.  & my speech & my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom,  but in demonstration of the Spirit & of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.              I Cor. 2:2-5

God did not seem so concerned with orthodoxy as much as with the preaching of “Jesus Christ, & Him crucified”.  This is because; “the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”  Therefore  where we see evidence of great spiritual activity this suggests an irresistible principle of divine election may be in operation.  When this occurs, it is the Cross that must be central if this correlation is to bear out.


[1] But this is not to say the two principles are the same.  They are not.  In fact, one principle aspect of Pentecostal doctrine is the distinction between Initial Regeneration and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

[2] Ern Baxter speaking in a videotaped interview shortly before his death.

[3] I Corinthians 13:8  “. . . whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”

[4] Note that Pentecost is not synonymous with the baptism of t he Holy Ghost as is evident in the Lamps-stand model which defines the baptism as a point on the first tier of the central shaft representing Pentecost.  Pentecost rather incorporates the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

[5] Ie. the Word as the Person of God, not the letter.

[6] Acts 18:10  “. . for I have much people in this city.”

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I.C.1 The Fulcrum of God’s Power

Part  I –   The Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart C  –   The Fulcrum

Article 1  –  THE FULCRUM OF GOD’S POWER

By Daniel Irving

a.  The Analogy of a Fulcrum

b.  The Futility of Flesh

c.  Horns as Bearing Allusion to Power

d.  God’s Power as Hidden

Article 1

The Fulcrum of God’s Power

Lampstand for Printing

a.  The Analogy of a Fulcrum       Section (a) may be viewed in video form at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDLRS-v_tCQ&feature=youtu.be

In this subpart we turn our attention to the fulcrum of the Lamp-stand.  Special attention  would seem warranted in the light of some divine signs that were given to the church at the commencement  of Twentieth-Century-Pentecost.

What is a “fulcrum”?  A “fulcrum” is the point of support on which a lever turns in order to achieve a greater output-force.  The word is sometimes used figuratively to mean anything that constitutes the means of exerting influence or power.  When we consider the Lamp-stand model, we find that it has a true fulcrum that shares position with the central stick which stands for the principle of Pentecost.  Pentecost is that principle of union between Christ and His body that is initially-transacted through baptism – a principle that will be discussed in a following article in greater detail.

Why does Pentecost stand in the place of power for God’s redemptive work?  The true locus of the divine power is the cross of Jesus Christ.  And therefore at each conjunction between Messiah Head and Messiah Body there is a forming of that only true “altar” of God.   This is a vital-characteristic of the model!  And it demonstrates that Calvary stands as the exclusive-means through which men may draw nigh unto God.

On His way to the cross, Christ said:

Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.

                                                                                    John 12:31-32

Jesus also said:

I am the way, the truth, & the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.                                                                                       John 14:6

Christ is the exclusive means of drawing near unto God, and His cross is the means of being drawn unto Himself.

Traditionally, we have understood the cross as having association with the work of justification; ie. Christ’s sacrifice-for-sin allowing God’s forgiveness for transgressions-past.  However, the model demonstrates that the work of the cross continues throughout God’s redemptive processes.  This aspect of the model proves the truth of Andrew Murray’s words; “. . the Holy Spirit of Pentecost and the Spirit of the Cross are one and the same.”[1]    To gather-in this principle, we will begin with a discussion of . . .

b.  The Futility of Flesh

The cross of Jesus Christ is the power of God.  Paul writes:

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;  but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.                         I Cor. 1:18

Remarkable statement this is!  What is the power of God?  Is it the power to create or to destroy material-things?  Not according to Paul!  According to Paul, the power of God resides in the principle of His Son enduring death on the cross.  Therefore the prophet Habakkuk foretold the power that would be represented in God assuming flesh and having that flesh nailed to a tree:

God comes from Teman, & the Holy One from Mount Paran.  Selah.  His splendor covers the heavens, & the earth is full of His praise.                         Hab. 3:3

The prayer of Habakkuk begins with an allusion from the words of Moses concerning the establishment of “Jeshurun”[2] the Israel of God.  They saw the Lord’s power and His glory displayed.  Therefore Moses commences upon this reference to “Jeshurun” with the preamble:

The Lord came from Sinai & dawned on them from Seir;  He shone forth from Mount Paran, & He came from the midst of 10,000 holy ones;  At His right hand there was flashing lightning for them.  Indeed, He loves the people; All thy holy ones are in Thine hand,  & they followed in Thy steps; [everyone] receives of Thy words.                                                                                       Deut. 33:2-3

The prophet declares that; “God comes from Teman”

God comes from Teman, & the Holy One from Mount Paran.  Selah.  His splendor covers the heavens, & the earth is full of His praise.                                                                                      Hab. 3:3

 “Teman” was a city within the country of Edom, named-for one of Esau’s grandsons:

  These are the names of Esau’s sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau.  & the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, & Gatam, & Kenaz.                       Gen 36:10-11

Therefore “Teman” is a sub-category of “Edom”.  “Edom” is a metaphor for flesh-and-blood” (ie. the “natural-man”).[3]  Therefore “Teman” is a sub-category for “flesh and blood”.  Therefore we ask the question;  How can it be said that “God came from flesh & blood”?  The answer is the incarnation of God in the Person of Jesus Christ.   This is a principle that constitutes even the “mystery” of the path to true-“godliness”:

& without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh . .                                                                                        I Tim. 3:16

This metaphor holds in the prophecy of Jeremiah wherein God questions the wisdom of flesh and blood in matters of spiritual-things:

Concerning Edom, thus saith the LORD of hosts;  Is wisdom no more in Teman? Is counsel perished from the prudent?  Is their wisdom vanished?                                                                                       Jer 49:7

And we know to what this prophecy relates given the words of Paul, who explains:

But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God:   For they are foolishness unto him:  neither can he know them, because they are spiritually- discerned.                                                                                    I Cor. 2:14

So the answer is “no”, there is “no wisdom in Teman”.   But where does the wisdom reside?  The answer is with the Spirit of Christ.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches,  But which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.                                                                                      I Cor. 2:13

Therefore the wisest-thing that can come from the lips of Edom (ie. the natural-man) is to declare the cross of Jesus Christ; the “foolishness” that happens to be the “power of God”.[4]

For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise& will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God,  it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.                                                                                      I Cor. 1:19-21

Therefore Christ Jesus rejoiced at this:

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, & said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven & earth,  that Thou hast hid these things from the wise & prudent, & hast revealed them unto babes:   even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.                                                                                      Luke 10:21 

We shall never overcome through the means of the flesh.  Our natural strengths shall prove themselves worthless implements in spiritual matters.  Our own wisdom, understanding, eloquence, righteousness, nobility of purpose, or whatever else with which we may be equipped, shall be for us, only stumblingblock to the true godliness required for  eternal life.  Even though ours own ways appear right and acceptable, this is even shat defines the spiritual fool.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.  Prov. 12:15 

There is no counsel for the soul other than the Spirit of Christ.  Yet the natural man will faithlessly continue in his way of believing what seems right to his own natural mind.  Teman alludes to our natural humanity, void of understanding, yet trusting therein nonetheless.  But this will end in the curse of death, as outside the true counsel of God that is the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Therefore Jeremiah prophesies:

Thus saith the Lord, “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, & whose heart departeth from the Lord.                  Jer. 17:5

c.  Horns as Bearing Allusion to Power

Therefore “Teman” is used as an allusion to flesh and blood, the place to which God humbled Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ!  Habakkuk’s prophecy then states:

& the Holy One from Mount Paran.  Selah.

Who is “the Holy One”?   Jesus Christ.  His appearing at which the devils cried out: 

Saying, “Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth?    Art thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God.                                                                                      Mark 1:24

And although He would not allow them to declare His holy-nature, He did give this work to those believing in His name after His crucifixion and resurrection.  Peter declared on the day of Pentecost:

  But you denied the Holy One & the Just, & desired a murderer to be granted unto you;                                                                                     Acts 3:14

And Peter quoted David, who prophesied concerning the Lord Jesus Christ:

Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,  neither wilt thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.                        Act 2:27

Habakkuk’s prophecy declares Christ to come from “mount[5] Paran”.  The “wilderness of Paran” was in the Arabian desert on the Sinai Peninsula and constitutes a place that Israel passed through after their departure from Egypt.  The prophecy of Moses proclaims the great event of the Lord’s manifestation as occurring here:

The Lord came from Sinai & dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran,                                   Deut. 33:2

The prophecy continues:

And His brightness was as the light; He had horns coming out of his hand; and there was the hiding of His power.                          Hab. 3:4

The Hebrew word meaning “horns”[6] means a literal “horn” as that belonging to a bull or an ox.  For instance, the word is used to describe the ram that was caught by his horns in a thicket during the sacrifice of Isaac:

And Abraham lifted up his eyes, & looked, & behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns:    Gen 22:13

The Hebrew-word is also used in reference to the four horns of the bronze altar:

And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the 4 corners thereof:  his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass.       Ex 27:2

The Hebrew word translated “horns” (KJV) has an interesting history.  While it is certainly the word for an animal “horn,” the translator, Jerome, incorrectly translated the word “horn” in the context of that which was emanating from Moses’ head when he descended Sinai.  Thus Jerome’s translation (which became the basis for many later translations) contained a mistake that would have serious consequences for centuries to come when the error was repeated in Church artwork portraying Moses with horns coming from his head.  Thus the world received the stereo-type of the horned Jew.

However, in this case, the translators would have done better to keep the word “horn,” as Habakkuk’s prophecy alludes to that which emanates from the hands of Jesus Christ, ie. Power.  “Horns” are a common prophetic symbol for power.[7]  Whose power is this prophecy referring to?  This is the power of “the Holy One”, (v.3) which can only be a reference to Jesus Christ.  How great is this power of Christ?  His power is “all power”.  For the Father gave Him “all power” “in heaven and in earth:

  & Jesus came & spoke unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven & in earth.                         Matt 28:18

Jesus spoke these word following His crucifixion, death, and resurrection.  Therefore “horns coming from His hands” bear allusion to the nailing of His hands upon the cross to effectuate the purposes of God and the demonstration of God’s power.   Therefore Habakkuk’s prophecy concludes that; “there was the hiding of His power”.  His “power” is in the nail-marks of His hands.  The correlation between His sacrifice of Himself on the cross and His being given all-power is clear, as Paul writes:

But made himself of no reputation, & took upon him the form of a servant, & was made in the likeness of men:  & being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, & became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.    Philip. 2:7-8

Here then is the antecedent to the glory and power of God; the obedience of His Son in submitting to the cross.  Therefore, having been; “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”, Jesus Christ fulfilled all obedience.

  Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him, & given Him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven,  & things in earth, & things under the earth;  & that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.                                                                                       Philip. 2:9-11

Therefore after His resurrection from the dead . . .

 Jesus came & spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven & in earth.                                                                                      Mat 28:18

d.  The Hiding of God’s Power

We understand that Jesus was given “all power in heaven and in earth.”  We understand that all power was given Jesus Christ as the result of His being lifted up as a sacrifice unto God and having his feet and hands nailed to tree.  What may be less understood is the meaning of prophecy in terms of the hiding of all power. Habakkuk’s prophecy states:

He had horns coming out of his hand; and there was the hiding of His power.                                                                                      Hab. 3:4

Why is his power “hidden”?  Consider (again) that His power is “all power in heaven and in earth”.    The apostle Peter writes about; “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”.[8]  That power shall be revealed one day, known in prophecy as the “Day of the Lord” – the result of which will be the salvation for those that make Christ their trust.  Therefore there has been a day determined in the mind of the Father in which to reveal the almighty power of His eternal Son.  Until then, His power is hidden – to be made manifest only at such time it is God’s will so to manifest – the manifestation of which is sanctified by faith.   The gospel is very clear that only those whom the Father has called to come to His Son can effectively come.

“No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; & I will raise him up on the last day.  Is it not written in the prophets; ‘& THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD’?  Everyone who has heard & learned from the Father, comes to Me.”                                                                                      John 6:44-45

The apostle Paul touches upon a mystery of the last days; a time when there is great wickedness and error that is attended by abounding grace![9]   Paul writes to the Romans:

What if God, willing to show His wrath, & to make his power known endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:                                                                                      Rom. 9:22

God looks to the day He can demonstrate His might via the strength of His quickening power in Christ.[10]  This power is “all power in heaven and earth” and will come as wrath against the ungodly in that all things shall be suddenly and irrevocably overthrown in favor of Christ.  But this power is hidden until that day.  Until that day, we have the witness of God as the means of having His power revealed to our own hearts through the means of “faith”.

The prophecy reads; “and there is the hiding of His power”.  Where?  In his “hands”.  The nail prints in the hands of Christ are a testament of the love of God to His elect, and manifested by faith.[11]    His power is “hidden” for one reason, ie. the patience of God, and He will continue to “hide His power” until the Father determines that as to the work of redemption; “it is finished”.

Mercy, peace and grace shall abound to God’s child, to whom the Lord states in prophecy:

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?   yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.                                                                                      Is. 49:15-16 

For God has “inscribed you on the palms (of His) hands”.  The nails that pierced the hands of the Savior shall be the testament that continually emits the truth of His love.  The nail prints in the hands of Christ are a testament of the love of God, to His elect, by faith.  Those who by faith can receive this truth into their heart will know the work of the Spirit.  That work of the Spirit will also result in their sanctification, ie. the “building of their walls:”

The Hebrew word translated “continually”[12] means to stretch, and therefore means to flow continuously without break or ceasing.  The word bears an association to the continual abiding in the presence and anointing of Christ.[13]  The “walls” of the city exist as a spiritual certainty in the mind of the timeless Creator to be realized at some time within the natural creation.  What is represented by the concept of a “wall”? [14]  The meaning appears obvious.  A “wall” is a barrier between those things inside, and those things outside.

He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.         Prov. 25:28

What would God want to keep outside a wall?  Those things that would defile; the defiling principle of sin.  Therefore we read in Revelation:

For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.                                                                                        Rev 22:15 

In his letter to the Phillipians, Paul uses the metaphor of dogs in reference to those who by contrast have placed their “confidence in the flesh.”  Therefore by rejecting the gospel of God, they have made themselves consummate sinners.


[1] The Secret of Spiritual Strength, by Andrew Murray – Chapter III – The Power of the Cross

[2] See commentary on Isaiah 44:2  “. . . and Jeshurun whom I have chosen.”

[3] See commentary on Isaiah 63:1  “Who is this who comes from Edom?” for discussion of this principle.

[4] I Corinthians 1:18

[5] H2022  har  har  A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively): – hill (country), mount (-ain), X promotion.

[6] H7161  qeren  keh’-ren  From H7160; a horn (as projecting); by implication a flask, cornet; by resemblance an elephant’s tooth (that is, ivory), a corner (of the altar), a peak (of a mountain), a ray (of light); figuratively power: –  X hill, horn.

[7] See commentary on Micah 4:13   “For your horn I will make iron.”

[8] II Peter 1:16

[9] Romans 5:20  But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.

[10] See commentary on Isaiah 63:4  “For the day of vengeance was in My heart, & My year of redemption has come.”

[11] See commentary on Isaiah 49:16  Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.

[12] H8548  tâmîyd  taw-meed’  From an unused root meaning to stretch; properly continuance (as indefinite extension); but used only (attributively as adjective) constant (or adverbially constantly); elliptically the regular (daily) sacrifice: –  alway (-s), continual (employment, -ly), daily, ([n-]) ever (-more), perpetual.

[13] See commentary on Hosea 12:6  “& wait for your God continually” for study of this word.

[14] See commentary on Revelation 21:12 for discussion of the walls of the new Jerusalem.

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VI.F.2.a The Coming Rule of God

PART  VI  –     Transitional Aspects of the Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart F  –  Messiah Body; The Day of Atonement unto Tabernacles

Article 2  –  The Kingdom of God   

Section (a)  –  THE COMING RULE OF GOD

By Daniel Irving

 i.     Gospel Proclamation of Deliverance & Empowerment unto One’s Choice for Ruler-ship

ii.    An Irresistible Kingdom

iii.   The Effect of God’s Rule Over Men

iv.   The Danger of Apostasy Inherent to a Literalistic Conception of the Kingdom of God

Castle 02

Section (a)

THE COMING RULE OF GOD

i.  Gospel Proclamation of Deliverance & Empowerment unto One’s Choice for Ruler-ship

The proclamation of the Gospel includes the good news that God’s rule shall be established via its preaching. The prophecies of Isaiah foretell of this Gospel using many allusions to a day of ruler-ship that is coming; the ruler-ship of One Whom God has appointed to be King, e.g.Throne 01

Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.                                                                                    Is. 32:1

In fact, this is even the objective of the Gospel; the enthronement of God; the receiving His rule and the conformity to His purposes in the whole man; in spirit, in soul, and in body.[1]   God’s rule shall be accomplished through the preaching of the Gospel, whether it be through the Holy Spirit’s work to sanctify men unto obedience to God, or through the outpouring of His wrath on those in rejection of the rule of His kingdom.  David prophesies:

Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be:  and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.                                                                                      Ps. 59:13 

The declaration of the kingdom of God is therefore two-edged.  It proclaims the release from bondage, but it also declares the destruction of opposers.  Therefore Jesus commenced the message of the Gospel by reading Isaiah’s prophecy:

  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me  to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,  to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind,  to set at liberty them that are bruised,                                                                                     Luke 4:18

God’s rule contemplates deliverance from Satanic control and from the bondage of the Law, that the man may be set at liberty to either worship the true and living God, or else make the volitional choice to serve demons through sin.  If he chooses the latter, this choice shall no less be empowered.  Therefore the continuation of that prophecy in Isaiah reads: 

To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God;                                Is. 61:2 

Cleary, we may be released unto a day of vengeance as well!  Chains 01We may be released from Sin only to be consumed in wrath. Therefore we must rightly perceive the Gospel’s message, as the rule of God contemplates a day of liberty; a day men when men are released from the authority of the Law and its bondage to Sin long enough to render a volitional choice as to whom they shall serve.  Some shall receive the Gospel of God’s rule through the Person of His Son; others shall choose of the god of their former bondage, and thereby be confirmed as demonic strongholds and vessels fitted for destruction.[2]  Therefore Joshua puts the matter squarely before Israel:

  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell:  but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.                  Josh. 24:15

Israel is given the advantage of a clear choice as to which “god” they will serve.  Through the Spirit of Holiness, they will serve the true and living God; or through opting for the things of this world over the promises of God and the hope of eternal righteousness and peace with God, they will serve the god of this world.  Either way, that volitional choice God shall empower.  Thus we must not only rightly perceive what is intended in the Day of Liberty, we must also rightly perceive what is occurring in the day man’s spiritual choices are empowered.  Shall the man have his provision made in heaven, where Christ is seated? Or shall he have his provision made in the earth; the place to where Satan is to be cast down.  For while the Gospel proclaims a day of liberty, that is not to say men are set at liberty to become spiritual free agents.  Rather they are set at liberty in order to freely choose what will be the source of their soul’s strength in the day of empowerment.  If it is not the rule of God through the agency of Jesus Christ as the King of God’s choosing, there shall come another to pick up man’s proxy.  Therefore Jesus said:Christ Teaching 02

“I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him.”       John 5:43

We do not reject the witness of Christ and succeed to any spiritual autonomy of action.  To reject the witness of Christ is to default to Satanic dominion.  If a man does not receive the witness of Christ once it is borne, the alternative witness shall come to him.  This alternative witness shall be received.  Who is this witness that stands as the alternative to the witness of Jesus Christ?  This shall be one who presents a witness inconsistent with the testimony of God.  The testimony of God is the Cross.  The Cross is the means whereby God lifted up Jesus Christ, of Whom man is cautioned:

“He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”                                                                                    John 5:23

John’s first epistle discusses this concept at length.  If we do not have the Son, neither do we have the Father who sent Him.  The context of John’s words is “Antichrist;” the empowerment of the false witness.

ii.  The King of God’s Kingdom

The kingdom of God’s authority is absolute whether men perceive and receive its authority, or whether they continue to perform their works in darkness.  For although it is not the will of God that men perish, men operating under the darkness of their natural mind shall be subject to God’s rule even if by their own destruction as resistant to His ways.  Therefore prophecy states: Throne 01

  God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.                                                                                     Ps. 47:8

God’s rule is presented as a throne; that throne is His own holy nature manifested in the earth; a rule concerning which the heathen, as those that do not know God, may either become enraged concerning,[3] or else they may rejoice concerning.[4]  It is a rule which is perceived spiritually by the heart.  For “the kingdom of God is within you.”[5]  If we fail to perceive the kingdom and the rule of God as a spiritual matter, we will miss the kingdom of God. If we think of Christ as an earthly king whose throne is to be established at a geographic location, we will fail to apprehend His true ruler-ship when it comes, which is spiritual, eternal, internal, and by the power of God.  Therefore when a prophecy concerns Christ, the prophets tell us to “Behold.” We are to perceive the matter with our heart.  When it comes to the lordship of Jesus Christ, the prophets exhort us to “Behold:”

Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.                                                                                    Is. 32:1

The rulership of Christ is an essential aspect of the Gospel.  Thus when the Gospel is declared, it is declared as the coming of God’s Kingdom, ie. God’s rulership.  As every kingdom has a king, there is a king God has established to rule over men.  That king is Jesus Christ.  Therefore God declares through the prophets:

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.      Ps. 2:6

Faced with this King, the heathen will either submit to God’s ways and be brought into rejoicing and service unto God’s eternal purposes, or else they will become enraged, succumb to demonic influences, and imagine a “vain thing:”battle dead 01

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,  against the LORD, and against his anointed,                  Ps. 2:1-2

Through this chain of events, they shall incur God’s wrath.

Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.  Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.                                                                                      Ps. 2:5-6

iii.   The Effect of God’s Rule Over Men

The effect of the ruler-ship of this King will be righteousness:

Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.                                                                                    Is. 32:1

The effect of the ruler-ship of this king will be joy:

Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.                           Ps. 149:2 Sunset Behind Jerusalem

The effect of this ruler-ship  will be peace:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given . . .  and his name shall be called . . . The Prince of Peace.              Is. 9:6 

While the ruler-ship of God over men may sound apocalyptic, it is really just the simple message of the Gospel applicable to every believer over whom the Kingdom of God is destined to come.  Thus Paul says such things as: 

. . . the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.                                                                                      Rom. 5:17

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts . . .                                                                                    Col. 3:15 Heaven 01

 we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.                  Rom. 5:11 

Therefore when expressing what the rule of God means to men, Paul declared:

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.          Rom. 14:17

Is this only true for the Mystical body of Christ?  This is a truth accessible by the whole of humanity, if they will believe at such time God draws near.  Therefore the prophecies concerning God’s rule on earth declare: 

The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.           Ps. 97:1 

iv.  The Danger of Apostasy Inherent to a Literalistic Conception of the Kingdom of God

While it is the common error of the religious to perceive the kingdom of God as an outward manifestation of power and dominance, this is not the Gospel Jesus spoke of.  The Lord expressly stated so.  Recall his dialogue with the Jews:Castle 01

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees  when the kingdom of God should come,  He answered them & said, “The kingdom of God  cometh not with observation; Neither shall they say, ‘Lo here’, or ‘Lo there!’  For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”                            Luke 17:20-21  (KJV)

So if we are looking for the advent of an earthly kingdom capable of observation, we will be disappointed.   Not only will we be disappointed, but we will prone ourselves to false teachers, false prophets, false spiritual manifestations, and apostasy.  For we have definitive language that God’s kingdom “will not come with our observation;” ie. our natural senses will not rightly apprehend God’s rule, which occurs spiritually.  Therefore as to those born into this kingdom, Jesus explained:Autumn 03

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.                                                                                     John 3:8

The ways of the Spirit are not comprehensible to the natural mind except by its effects upon the hearts and minds of men.  You can see the “trees sway about,” but you cannot see the wind that is creating the effect in the natural.  What are those evidences of the kingdom of heaven in the earth?  Just as the “sign of the prophet Jonah” constituted the only sign consistent with faith, so is the Lord’s life, His death, and His resurrection manifested in His elect through the operations of faith; a proper sign for the world to behold and to believe.  As to the world, the kingdom of God’s rule is perceived by the evidence of the swaying of the trees; the outward evidence of the inward work of justification, sanctification, and the glorification of God.  But if the world fails to perceive the beauty and power of Christ’s rule in His elect, the effect will be to close the door and to consign humanity to the original curse; the destruction of all things along with their temporal gods.

As to the religiously-inclined who misguidedly look for an earthly kingdom, they will fall prey to deception in a time of false-manifestations, false prophets, and false christs.  This was the substantial stumbling point for the Jews, who looked for a messiah coming as a powerful world leader for the purpose of establishing an earthly kingdom.  Just as the Jews mis-perceived Messiah as an earthly potentate, so did Christiandom in the years following the apostles.  That calling itself “the church” became a literal ruler of nations.  The looking to earthly power and influence became the chief mark of that earthly institution which counterfeited the Gospel.  Those who do not perceive this travesty of historic Christiandom may be doomed to repeat history when the final apostasy occurs.


[1] I Thessalonians 5:23

[2] Revelation 18:2

[3] Psalm 2:1  Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?

[4] Psalm 67:4

[5] Luke 17:21

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III.D.6 Sowing and Reaping by a False Gospel

PART  III – Application to Pentecostal Theology

Subpart D – Positive Confession Movement

Article 6 – SOWING & REAPING BY A FALSE GOSPEL

By Daniel Irving

a.    The Gospel Principle of Sowing/Reaping Spiritual Things

b.   The Precious Spiritual Resource of Eternal Life; God’s Gift of Himself

c.  Eating of the Fruit We Ourselves Bring Forth

d.  The Source of Corrupted Sowing; Corrupted Teaching Under the Power of an Anointing

e.   Case in Point; The False Teaching of John Avanzini

Wheat Burning

Article 6

SOWING & REAPING BY A FALSE GOSPEL 

a.  The Gospel Principle of Sowing/Reaping Spiritual Things

The French mathematician Blaise Pascal was a devout Christian who recorded many keen observations about human behavior, often within a spiritual context.  One such observation of Pascal’s was a sad irony built into all human achievement.  His observed irony was that human achievement that is not selfishly motivated, rarely occurs:[1]  Pascal writes:Pascal

Adulation spoils everything from our earliest youth.  “Well spoken!  Well done!  How good he is!”  The children of the community who are not egged on by envy and glory become indifferent.

This is wisdom of the same vein as Solomon’s in his book of Ecclesiastes.  The human condition under law has a built-in moral dysfunction that dictates to the heart of man the terms of his success.  He may climb, and build, and succeed so long as he feeds the carnal passions and personal ambition that is within him.

With the preaching of the gospel came a new way inaugurated by the Last Adam, Whose success as a conqueror was based in principles counter to those of human achievement; such things as: the fear of God, meekness, willingness to be wronged, generosity, and all manner of mind flowing from the desire to please God in all things rather than those that advantage the natural man and feed the fleshly appetites so as to fall prey to a seducing spirit.  The way of the Last Adam, is the way of the Cross.

One can hardly imagine a world functioning under circumstances wherein Pascal’s observation is not the rule governing its motions.  But this is the way of the kingdom of God; a kingdom in which the Lord placed a standard of behavior so exacting that the least negativity towards another creature should constitute sacrilege.  The Lord said: 

 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, “Raca”, shall be in danger of the council:   but whosoever shall say, “Thou fool”, shall be in danger of hell fire.                                   Matt 5:22

Christ has inaugurated a new way which progresses those who walk therein, toward the Person and rule of God; a way in which the greatest among us falls beneath the rest in those things valued by men.  Therefore there is a new way of “sowing” which demonstrates a faith in God characterized by willingness to lay down earthly attainment and comfort for the sake of God’s eternal interests in men.  This is a sowing, the fruit of which will carry us through to that kingdom which is more grand than that striven after by those of the present age.

As related in the parables of Christ and in the teachings of Paul, a clear principle of sowing and reaping characterizes the drawing near of God in the work of His kingdom.  The prophecy of Isaiah refers to this aspect of the kingdom of God where we read:

Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.  Woe unto the wicked!  It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.                     Is. 3:10-11

This is a novel principle for those of the present age, ie. that one should “eat the fruit” of his/her own “doings.”   Here is intimation by the Spirit of prophecy of what is the true meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The incarnation of God in human form, His death for sinners; His resurrection unto eternal glory, has conferred upon mankind the means to “sow” unto the “eternal.”  The means of sowing is effectuated when we partake in spiritual things.

b.  The Precious Spiritual Resource of Eternal Life; God’s Gift of Himself

What are “spiritual things?”  Things spiritual are those things unto which God has given “life.”  While God gives spirit (in the general sense) to all creatures,[2] ultimately, God shall only give spirit (ie. “life”) to what is founded in Christ.  Therefore while any beast may satisfy its thirst from the spirit given it by God, only the Holy Spirit constitutes the eternal source of life; an everlasting river.  Everything else, God will dry up.Wall Looking Up

Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.                                                                                      Ps. 104:29

While we normally associate the recipients of spiritual life with those who walk according to the Truth, this is not always so.  For there are some who after receiving spiritual life will prostitute that precious substance that is the life of God. 

For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.    Gal. 6:8

Therefore the good fruit of sowing to the Spirit constitutes eternal life, while the bad fruit of sowing to the flesh constitutes Death; not death as the cessation of being, but Death as an affirmative condition relegated to God’s wrath.  Due to the work of Jesus Christ, even Death must forfeit its dead unto judgment:

  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.                                                                                     Rev 20:13

What brings us into this affirmative condition of Death?  The same thing which rendered our spirits dead in the first place; Sin.  This is supported by Paul’s statement: 

  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law,  did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.                  Rom 7:5

Therefore this principle of “bringing forth fruit unto death” would seem to be a grievous concept indeed in terms of the anointed members of the body of Christ.  For while mankind is spiritually “dead” by virtue of sin, what can be said of those that continue in sin while having been given life in the spirit?  Because of sin, mankind brings forth fruit unto death, as Paul writes: 

What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed?  For the end of those things is death.                   Rom 6:21

However, mankind is not so involved in sowing spiritual things as are those that have been baptized by one Spirit into the body of Christ.  For these have entered upon a “new thing” that was proclaimed with the gospel, ie. life in the Spirit whereby the anointed of God offer up spiritual sacrifices unto God unto a harvest of things eternal.  Jesus to His disciples:Grapefruit 02

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you,  that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.                                                                                      John 15:16

The Greek word translated “remain”[3] is normally translated either “remain” or “abide”.  “Fruit that remains” is the indicia of those truly ordained of Christ.  The Lord calls these “chosen.”  We are “chosen” through sanctification of the Spirit.  Therefore our sanctification is itself evidence of our remaining in the house of God as a “Son of God.”  Jesus said:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.  and the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.”                                                                                       John 8:34-35

The “fruit of righteousness” is even the evidence of sanctification.  If this fruit “remains,” we are indeed “chosen.”  If our righteousness is a passing phase, then we are revealed otherwise.[4]  As to the sowing after the righteousness evidencing we have entered into God’s kingdom, Paul exhorts:

& let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.                              Gal. 6:9

c.  Eating of the Fruit We Ourselves Bring Forth

What could it mean to “eat the fruit” of our own works?  The Lord tells Jeremiah:

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins,  even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.                                                                                       Jer 17:10

Apparently, somehow we receive back into ourselves our own works.  We truly reap what we have sown.  And although the Gospel proclaims a glorious reaping of eternal life through the faith of Jesus Christ, there is also reaping that runs counter to that which will be confirmed in glory; the reaping that results from sowing unto the flesh.  Therefore Isaiah prophesies:

Woe unto the wicked!  It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.                          Is. 3:11

The Hebrew-word translated “woe”[5] is; oy’ meaning; “woe”.  This is an exclamation of distress.  This eleventh verse presents the converse side of sowing to the Spirit unto a harvest of eternal righteousness.

Spiritual Israel has more to fear by sowing to the flesh than any other entity one could imagine.   For who is more deserving of the wrath of God than those that were made partakers of the Divine hope, but constructively rejected the witness of Christ and obedience to His commandments.  Therefore it is God’s own people who receive the warning:

But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings saith the LORD:  and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.   Jer 21:14

What are these “doings”, the “fruit” of which, the Lord shall punish?  Are they outward sins of the flesh?  Certainly they are that.  However, recall the earlier prophecy:Jeremiah - Rembrandt

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins,  even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.                                                                                      Jer 17:10

“Sin” is not a matter of a bodily movement or the spoken word!  Rather, “sin” is something that is a matter of the heart.  Fundamentally speaking, we are condemned for the sin that resided in our heart precipitating the action or the word.  The actual doing or speaking consummates the inward sin of unbelief; the doings of our heart that only God can observe; Therefore the sound counsel to all of us that might be tempted to trust in our own righteousness is:

“Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter,  that the outside of them may be clean also.”             Matt. 23:26

For faith will allow us to remember that:

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight:   but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.                                                                                      Heb 4:13

God is Lord of His creation, and He made the inside of the cup as well as the outside:

  Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?                                                                                      Luke 11:40

d.  The Source of Corrupted Sowing; Corrupted Teaching Under the Power of an Anointing 

One of the associational relationships within the lamp-stand model is the corollary existing between the Levitical Feast of Trumpets, and the Witness of the Spirit as provided us in John’s tabulation of the spiritual witnesses of God. (I John 5:8)  Relational DiagramThe former, relates to the empowered preaching/teaching of the Gospel, while its correlative represents the attending spiritual witness.  Where there is a “trumpet”, there will be a “spirit.”  That is to say, where there is a “gospel” there will be an “anointing.”  A gospel without an anointing has no power, good or bad, except as a distraction to occupy men in powerless and dead religion.  In this subsection, we are not speaking of dead religion, but something quite different.

The Charismatic movement commonly uses the term “anointed teaching” in reference to teaching  which is attended with a power to rouse the soul.  While the principle is valid, we too often assume that because a teaching has been given a form of life, that it therefore presumptively constitutes Truth.  Assuredly, teaching that is anointed, comes with special power for men, as well as special power over men.  This is because anointed teaching offers men the ability to sow into the eternal.  Anointed doctrine and teaching represents a delicious power for men, in terms of giving man the ability to sow spiritual things quite beyond themselves.  It represents a power over men in that it subjects men to a spiritual reaping they have no control over.  And this is just as true for the  Gospel of God as it is true for false doctrine, causing Paul to declare:

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.                                                                                     Gal. 6:7

The Law governs the flesh.  If we sow to the flesh, we sow to that over which God’s curse abides.  If we sow towards that upon which resides the curse of God, we shall reap the corruption brought by the curse of God.  The curse of God upon Sin is part of the Word of God.

To the non-discerning, the power in anointed teaching constitutes the veracity of its truth, but to the spiritually discerning, the power in anointed teaching constitutes particular reason to tread carefully, and to test the spirits by the Word of God.  Bronze GildingWe find that too often it is false doctrine which rides upon the power of an anointing.  Oftentimes, the danger resident in an anointed teaching is subtle.  At other times an anointed teaching is so blatantly false that it would seem hard to imagine it capturing many listeners.  But we must not underestimate the power of a false witness.  The carnal man readily runs to what he senses as delicious when first awakened to spiritual things.  Consider, for instance, the ministry of John Avanzini.

e.  Case in Point; The False Teaching of John Avanzini

John Avanzini was (and may still be) one of the more blatant proponents of the false message known as the Prosperity Teaching.  Avanzini’s particular brand of Prosperity teaching bills itself as “the endtime message of Bible economics,” and is essentially the binding of oneself into a covenant that whatever money is given to God (received through the hand of Mr. Avanzini as somehow God’s representative) will be returned “one hundredfold.”  The doctrine constitutes a brazen Ponzi scheme wherein Avanzini prays over the $100.00 given him, for a “reaping” of $10,000.00 back to the giver.  Mr. Avanzini’s doctrine therefore constitutes a corruption of the Gospel principle expressed by Paul of “sowing and reaping” in spiritual things.

Prosperity teaching, as a handmaiden of Positive Confession theology, has historically lacked no signs and wonders in its promulgation.  The teaching carries a pronounced anointing that has deceived the hearts of many thousands.  While most proponents of the false teaching couch the doctrine within subtle misinterpretations of Scripture, Mr. Avanzini, by his own acknowledgement, cast aside the need for subtlety upon an experience wherein he claimed to have received an anointing to carry abroad his teaching.  He attributes the success of his particular brand of Prosperity teaching to an anointing he claims to have received while ministering in Nigeria.  Avanzini’s book, Miracle Money, relates how he traveled to Nigeria and was awestruck by the powerful anointing that accompanied the preaching of some evangelists there.  Avanzini writes:Avanzani - John 01

As I entered the side door, I was greatly impacted by an overwhelming presence.  It was as if supernatural heat was circulating throughout the room.  As I considered what this strange sensation might be, I realized it was the presence of the Holy Spirit.  He was everywhere.  Not long after I arrived, a second speaker came to the pulpit.  As he spoke, the Sprit once again filled the room.  With each word, the people’s faith grew stronger.  Suddenly I realized that in this atmosphere, nothing would be impossible.[6]

When Avanzini rose to speak, his own words fell to the ground powerless, causing a noticeable reaction of impatience from the audience.  He describes this experience as causing him no little distress, until he was informed that one could not effectively preach in Africa without an anointing.  Avanzini writes that he began to petition God for an anointing.  Then, one night in Aba, Nigeria, Avanzini had an experience he interpreted as a Divine visitation:

God visibly manifested Himself to me.  Out of a bright, concentrated light, He began to speak with an audible voice.  With clear, distinct words, He said, “John, I have heard your prayer, and I am going to give you the breakthrough ministry you have asked for.  I am making it a conditional anointing.  If you want it to remain, you must strictly obey me in the operation of it.” [7]

According to Avanzini, these explicit instructions were that: 1) the people must give the exact amount God puts in their heart to give; 2) they must believe their offering will be multiplied back to them; 3) they must “join their faith with” Mr. Avanzini’s; and 4) Avanzini must “lay his hands on the offering and speak that it be multiplied one hundredfold.”

Upon having this experience, Avanzini declared, “The powerful anointing of the hundredfold return was now upon me,”[8] and began to preach with powerful effect to Nigerian audiences.  He writes that the first night he took his new anointing to the pulpit, “each word of my message was filled with power.”[9]  After instructing the audience in the terms of this counterfeit gospel, he was astounded at the extent of the money that came in.  Suddenly, in the midst of the exuberance to transact on this money-covenant,  Avanzini heard a rebuke come from the lead minister, who shouted, “Stop the giving!”  Avanzini nonetheless closed his eyes and pronounced the terms of his anointing over the money, “Be multiplied one hundredfold in the name of Jesus.”  Yet the rebuke of the other minister had its effect, as Avanzini writes:Avanzani - John 02

As I walked away, the joy of the previous moment instantly left me.  The presence of the Holy Spirit simply vanished.  All I could feel was the presence of evil all around me. . . . my attention was now fully taken by the devil as he lashed out foul accusations at me.  He told me the evangelist would never invite me to go anywhere with him again.  He said I had tricked the people into giving more than they should.  He told me that because of the excessive amount the people had given, many would have to go without food, lodging, or transportation.  He repeatedly accused me of exploiting them.[10]

Interpreting the evangelist’s rebuke as an attack of Satan, Avanzini went back to his motel room to experience a sleepless night.  In the morning there was a knock on the door.  One of the Nigerians to whom he preached was sporting a brand new car unexpectedly given him by a rich uncle just hours after he had responded to Avanzini’s altar call for the multiplication of money.  Avanzini’s doctrine had been vindicated to his own mind.  He writes that “since that marvelous day” he has enjoyed an international ministry wherein his “powerful hundredfold anointing” has been proven:

Millions have witnessed it on national television.  Every time I speak this message, the result is the same.  God miraculously blesses with the hundredfold release. . . Everywhere the report is the same.  Praise the Lord, it worked for me![11]

In defining “faith” as a rising “into the open heaven of possibility thinking,”[12] this man has tragically merged occult principles originating from the nineteenth and early twentieth-century “New Thought” movement with the preaching of Jesus Christ.  Carried along by his “anointing,” this man has been emboldened to declare that “the opposition can no longer stop his message.”[13]

Tragically, there are many who do, in fact, enter upon supernatural manifestations which attend this false witness so as to come under a demonic bondage.  Within this bondage, true discernment is lost entirely.  Just as Avanzini misinterpreted a godly rebuke as an attack from Satan, and misinterpreted the spirit that empowered his corrupted message for the “Holy Spirit,” so those that have allowed themselves to be deceived by this deluding spirit, likewise lose their ability to discern between the things of God and the things the Devil.  They have believed a counterfeit of the Gospel that the name of Christ may be used for the sowing unto the flesh for the receipt of a fleshly reward.  They have believed the lie that God’s gift of spiritual things to humanity; things derived from the Person and work of Jesus Christ, may be traded upon for the things of this world.  They have affirmed their love for this world.  Those passions, lusts, coveteous desires, and worldly ambitions which Jesus Christ came to destroy as the works of the Devil, they have affirmed, when once it was put in their hand to agree with God they should be destroyed.

The re-advent of spiritual phenomenon that is occurring in our day must be met with spiritual discernment.  Spiritual discernment does not entail rejecting everything that involves the supernatural.  But it does entail rejecting everything that is not in accord with God’s word.  We live in a day we should expect teaching to ride upon a spiritual witness.  This is the correlative principle between Trumpets and Spirit; ie. that receiving a teaching brings one into a  spiritual vesting in that teaching.  This is part of the principle of anointing, which brings together the Levitical symbol of Trumpets (the message) with the witness of the Spirit (as its empowerment.)  We stand to be empowered within those teachings we receiveHeaven 01 If we have received the truth of the Life, the Death, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and its attending doctrines pertaining to the Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification of the Church, God has promised He shall empower us therein in the proper time.  Therefore we must watch and pray lest we receive something that has been cursed as incompatible with the true Gospel of God and the Divine life God would give.


[1] The Mind on Fire, an anthology of the writings of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) © 1989 Multnomah Press, Portland, OR97266, at page 65.

[2] Psalm 104:10-15

[3] G3306  menō  men’-o  A primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): – abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), X thine own.

[4] See Part VI, Subpart F, Article 4, Section (b) Faith’s Progression in Holiness which studies Peter’s   progressive steps of faith constituting our growth in sanctification unto the enduring fruit Christ said His elect would bring forth.

[5] H188  ‘ôy  o’-ee  Probably from H183 (in the sense of crying out after); lamentation; also interjectionally, Oh!: – alas, woe.

[6] Miracle Money by John Avanzini (c) 1997 by Triumphant Life Church, Inc. pgs. 7-8 .

[7] Ibid. pg. 13

[8] Ibid. pgs. 15-16

[9] Ibid. pg. 17

[10] Ibid. pg. 19-20

[11] Ibid. pg. 21

[12] Ibid. pg. 5

[13] Ibid. pg. 7

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VI.F.4.a Liberality of God for Growth in Grace

Part  VI  –  Transitional Aspects of the Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart F  –   Messiah Body; Day of Atonement unto Tabernacles

Article 4  –  The Way of Holiness

Section (a)  –  LIBERALITY OF GOD FOR GROWTH IN GRACE   

By Daniel Irving

i.    The Way of the Apostles; Steadfastness in God’s Mercy

ii.   The Way as God’s Liberality; The Way of Abundance

iii.  The Holy Nature to be Abundantly Supplied through Faith in Jesus Christ

iv.  The Way of Holiness as Growth in Grace

Wheat 01

Section (a)

LIBERALITY OF GOD UNTO GROWTH IN GRACE

i.  The Way of the Apostles; Steadfastness in God’s Mercy

The prophecy of Isaiah tells of a day when after the Lord having poured forth His grace upon land that was formerly dry, there shall be a special “way” prepared for His people to walk.  We read:Road Blind Hill

And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools shall not err therein.   Is. 35:8

Can there by any doubt but that this “Way of Holiness” refers to that same “way” preached by the apostles in the first century and the course upon which the early church commenced.  We know that the earliest name for the disciples of Christ was “The Way”.[1]  The early church was not a membership.  The early church consisted of those genuinely receiving the gospel of Christ, and who were adherents of a “way.”  This “Way” of Isaiah’s prophecy is certainly that “Way” taught by His disciples after the Lord’s resurrection.

Interestingly, we read this “Way of Holiness” shall be in the “wilderness”.[2]  Snively Sunset 01This suggests a couple of things, namely, that we will not have many companions along the way.  This path will likely walked alone, or nearly so.  This will not be a way that the churches as we know them today will likely provide us much fellowship thereon.  However, God shall make great provision for us as we go, as Isaiah prophesies, “The wilderness and the desert will be glad” and “Waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah.”

While the NASV renders the name of this path as the “Highway of Holiness”, this would be incorrect.  The NASV has given this term a connotation not intended by the simple text.  This is not an expressway to holiness.  Rather the word translated “highway” in the NASV simply means, “way”.  Therefore the sentence is rendered correctly in the KJV and the Interlinear Version as simply, “it shall be called the way of holiness”.

What do we know about the nature of this “way?”  Is this a continuous path of perfect conformity with God, or something else?  We can probably understand this path to contemplate the perfection of heart that allows one to walk a course of obedience to the commandments of Christ.  Paul in Prison 01Though some on this path may possess exceptional knowledge, all that are on the path walk in accord with the knowledge they possess.  Though some have experienced powerful works of deliverance from Sin’s bondage, they all “strive against sin.”[3]  From the youngest to the most mature in Christ, each continued faithful and diligent in the truth they received; trusting God to free them from all bondages.  This was the “way;” not a way of present attainment necessarily, but a way of pleasing God in the moment, with a promise of attainment to the stature of Christ in God’s time.

ii.  The Way as God’s Liberality; The Way of Abundance

How do we know these things?  Consider the words of Peter and the words of James for insight into what was taught by the apostles regarding this “way of holiness.”  As to James, he gave these words to the church:

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.                                                                                      James 1:21-22

The NASV changes the archaic word “superfluity” and renders it that we are to put aside; “[all] that remains of wickedness”.  The Greek word translated “superfluity”[4] appears three other times and is always translated “abundance” in the New Testament.  The Greek word appears elsewhere as follows:

Rom 5:17  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which      receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life                  by one, Jesus Christ.

2Co 8:2   How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy & their deep     poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

2Co 10:15  .  . but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly.

Can we see any common-thread between these three usages of the word?  In the first verse, Paul uses the phrase “much more” to describe the liberality of God.  That although “death reigned” due to the transgression of “one man,” there is a countering compensation which actually overcompensates owing to the grace of God in Christ.  Heaven 01This overcompensation is expressed by the apostle Paul the liberality of God in that if Sin was allowed to reign due to the transgression of one man, why cannot God cause righteousness to reign to an even greater degree due to the righteousness of One Man?  Therefore, through that One Man’s righteousness, life shall indeed reign, and that, throughout eternity.  While Paul is saying that we shall “receive abundance” a more precise word might be “excess”, ie. “extra and beyond.”  This is the well accepted concept that God will not out-given.  What He returns in Christ, is returned in excess, with more left over.  This is the concept that Jesus Himself taught:

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together,and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.  Luke 6:38

Men cannot give anything of the order of God’s gift of grace.  Yet God somehow gives men the means to redound back to men again, the gift that is ministered unto them.  This is a principle of the kingdom of God, that the blessings of God in Christ quite exceed our own giving.

The next verse to use the word is II Corinthians 8:2, and relates to the same principle, ie. that the joy the Corinthians received in Christ did not merely compensate for their affliction, rather it overcompensated.  The joy was not merely in abundance, the joy was rather in excess of the affliction.  In the last sample verse, Paul merely states the same principle again which the Lord laid down in Luke 6:38, ie. that the labor they bestowed in Corinth would eventually redound to enlarge upon the original grace given Paul for his work among the Gentiles.

The final usage of this Greek word is in this study verse in James.  We find that when we carefully consider what James is saying, the translation “abundance” makes little sense.  Does it really make sense for James to tell us to “lay aside the abundance of wickedness?”  But we know what is meant even if the translators’ choice of an English word renders the statement technically nonsensical.  The NASV seems to convey the right meaning when it renders it; “. . . putting aside . . . all that remains of wickedness.”   What remains was that which was “in excess” of what has heretofore been purged.

The relevancy of this point to our discussion of the “way of holiness” is that by making this statement, James is also describing this “way of holiness.”  He is telling the Church that its endeavor must be to “put aside,” “throw off”, or “cast away” that which would obstruct the ministration of the Holy Spirit in His work of sending Grace into the heart.  This is just what the prophecy of Ezekiel tells us:

Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed;  and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?    Ez. 18:31

iii.  The Holy Nature to be Abundantly Supplied through Faith in Jesus Christ

Likewise, we find that the apostle Peter demonstrates the “way of holiness” as being a progression:Lamps & Virgins 04

According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue:                   II Pet. 1:3

We read of the Jerusalem church, that there was a profound sense of wonder and gladness, and brotherhood that pervaded.[5]  This was a time when the Spirit of God was present to effectuate God’s purposes in Christ and to commence the work of building the kingdom of God.  This was a time like no other to “seek the Lord while He may be found” and to “call upon Him while He is near”.[6]  For God was present as was “His divine power” to ensure that, in regards to His promises, the saints be in abundant provision of “all things that pertain unto life and godliness.”  For He that “called us” has called us to something unimaginably high!  We are called, that “through the knowledge of Him” we should share in His “glory & virtue.”  Is this a high calling?  Peter writes:

 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,  having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.                   II Pet. 1:4

This is an unimaginably high calling.  The promises unto us are; “exceeding great and precious.”  For these promises are that we ourselves “might be partakers of the divine nature!”  The “divine nature” is another way of saying . . . “Holiness.”  Recall God’s words from the Law:

And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy,  and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.            Lev. 20:26

The Law God delivered through  Moses clearly defined God’s nature as “holy.”  Not only this, but identification in Israel, was an identification in His own holy nature.Lamps & Virgins 04

Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you,                       Lev. 22:32

Herein we begin to see something perhaps too wonderful for Israel to understand.  God tells them to hallow His name, for God is “holy.”  Not only that, but God, who is holy, will hallow even Israel!  Israel is called to partake in the divine nature.  This nature is called “holiness”.  This is the nature of Christ, which is a nature that is “eternal.”  His holy nature is not subject to death, and therefore it is eternal life.  Thus the Spirit of prophecy calls to us, “why will ye die, O house of Israel?”  Why will we die in our sins, when we have been invited, no, rather “called” to eternal life through the knowledge of Christ; a knowledge that cannot be acquired but by the means of eating His body and His blood?[7]  For we must understand that “holiness” is not acquired by fleshly means.  It is not acquired by filling the mind with knowledge, nor by works of outward righteousness.  There is no other sanctifier than the Spirit of God.  The Spirit of God does not work by any means but through faith in Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit will feed us with the eternal nature of Christ if we abide in that place to be fed.  That place is to “believe on the One whom He has sent.[8]  That place is “faith.”

iv. The Way of Holiness as Growth in Grace

Peter then tells us something counter-intuitive.  He tells us to “add” certain things to our faith.  But didn’t Paul adamantly declare that our salvation was by faith rather than by works?[9]  Here, in the writings of Peter, we resolve this apparent contradiction between Paul and James.   Peter renders it clear that the means of fulfilling the promises of God is the “knowledge of Him.  What is the “knowledge of Him”?  “Holiness.”  “Holiness” is the knowledge of God within which we progress and grow unto eternal life.  Ultimately, our salvation is God’s holiness!  Therefore Peter tells us to “add” certain things to our faith; not as “in addition” to faith as the basis for salvation, but as the progression of faith itself.  What these things constitute is the “fruit of eternal life” which God will empower us to bring forth by faith in His Son.

Before addressing each item on Peter’s list, let’s jump ahead to verse eight, where Peter writes:

For if these things be in you, and abound,  they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.   But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.        II Pet. 1:8-9

The danger is that we be “unfruitful in the knowledge” of Christ.  This hearkens to the barren fig tree that was cursed by the Lord.  Vineyards 02Therefore it is possible to have had profound interaction with Christ so that we have received the deliverance from sin, and yet prove unfruitful in terms of growth in holiness.  Therefore Peter tells us that there is work to be done; the “work” James was speaking of when he wrote:

Even so faith, if it has not works is dead, being alone.     James 2:17

For though we are saved through “faith”, what happens if we no longer stand in faith?  Sin regains control, and we die in our sins.  Therefore we are exhorted to give every effort to excel in the fruit of righteousness.  And so, Peter writes:

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.            II Pet. 1:10

Do what things?  This is Peter’s progressive list; Peter’s description of what it means to grow in Grace:  “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith . . . .  (II Pet. 1:5-7)

–          virtue; and to virtue

–           knowledge; and to knowledge

–           temperance; and to temperance

–           patience; and to patience

–           godliness; and to godliness

–           brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness

–          charity. 

Peter provides us with “the way;”  the “way of holiness” prophesied 2,800 years ago.  So let us consider this progression, item by item.  We shall do so in the following section of this article.


[1] Acts 9:2, 19:9, 19:23, 22:4, 24:22.

[2] Isaiah 35:1  “The wilderness and the desert will be glad . . .”

Isaiah 35:6  “For waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah.”

[3] Hebrews 12:4

[4] G4050  perisseia  per-is-si’-ah  From G4052; surplusage, that is, superabundance: – abundance (-ant, [-ly]), superfluity.

[5] Acts 2:42-47

[6] Isaiah 55:6

[7]John 6:54 Whoso eats my flesh, & drinks my blood, has eternal life; & I will raise him up  at the last day.

[8] John 6:29

[9] Ephesians 2:8-9

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IV.F.4.b Faith’s Progression in Holiness

Part  IV – Transitional Aspects of the Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart F  –   Messiah Body; Day of Atonement unto Tabernacles

Article 4  –  The Way of Holiness

Section (b)  –    FAITH’S PROGRESSION IN HOLINESS

By Daniel Irving

i.    The Way of Holiness as Peter’s Prescription for Enduring Fruit

ii.   The End of Love; A Cross

iii.  Entering the Kingdom Through Diligence in the Way

iv.  The Way of Holiness Not For the Unclean

Road Blind Hill

Section (b)

  FAITH’S PROGRESSION IN HOLINESS

i.  The Way of Holiness as Peter’s Prescription for Enduring Fruit 

As related in the previous section, Isaiah prophesies concerning the “Way of Holiness.”  According to the book of Acts, the apostolic teaching was first referred to as “The Way.”  Therefore the apostolic teaching concerning the believer ‘s course in the path toward sanctification becomes vitally relevant in understanding Isaiah’s “Way of Holiness.”  Peter’s teaching on the progression of our faith toward salvation is perhaps the most obvious apostolic teaching on this point.  Peter begins with the principle of:

1.  Virtue:

The NASV renders it “moral excellence.”  We find the Greek word[1] used in three other places.  Two of which are as follows:

Php 4:8   . . . if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

1Pe 2:9   . . . that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you . .

These two samples provide little help in gaining the meaning of the word.  Trophy 01The NASV’s use of the word “excellence” seems good, except the word does not necessarily imply “moral excellence.”  Rather the meaning seems to be “excellence” of any type. Peter has designated “excellence” as the initial step towards fruitfulness in the way of holiness.  Consider that this must be something that does not necessarily require a high degree of holiness.  Therefore this must be something very practical we can do to demonstrate “good faith” towards God’s covenant.  The key to understanding this might be found in Paul’s exhortation:

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.   I Cor. 11:1

The Greek word translated “follower” and “followers”[2] is the same word from which we get “imitate” or “imitator.”  In fact, the NASV translates it; “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”[3]  We get the sense therefore of the apostle encouraging the Corinthian believers in their initial baby-steps towards Christ that they simply imitate those that are sanctified and walking in the way of holiness, ie. “Watch us’, and “Do what we do.”  This is also the principle at work when Paul tells us:

Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.                                                                                     I Cor. 10:3

Consider that this itself is a matter of faith.  There is something noble about a man or woman, be he/she limited in his/her understanding; “rough around the edges” in terms of his/her ability to walk righteously, simply trying to walk righteously.  There is something manifesting of grace in simply putting one’s best foot forward in an effort to please God.  When a man puts on a tie and polishes his shoes, where his motivation is not to impress men, but to do his best for the Lord, this is a sanctified act.  When we listen to worshipful music instead of the world’s music, to fix our mind on something higher and holier than the flesh, this is a sanctifying act.  When we answer an insult gently out of a consciousness of Christ, this is a sanctifying act.  When we lift our head up despite lowliness of heart and mind due to struggles within for the kingdom of God, we are obeying Christ, who commanded us during these times:

But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face;                                                                                    Matt. 6:17

Is this a lesson on how to fast?  Is that the Lord’s point?  The Lord is confiding to us the principles relating to His sanctifying us.  He is confiding His means of performing the work of God to “hallow us” in Himself, ie. to make us partakers of His own holy nature.  In so doing, we build a bond of trust between ourselves and Himself.  He knows our inward pain and it is not necessary that men know about it.  A bond is built through which the Lord one day says of us; “I know you” and we are not locked without in the day of wrath.  But many shall exist in a state of presumption regarding whether they know the Lord in a saving way.  The Lord shall say to these:

. . .  I tell you, I know you not whence ye are;  Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.                     Luke 13:27

To this David prophesies:

Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping.                    Ps. 6:8

Therefore this is a good and practical way to begin on our way of holiness.  Peter begins our lesson on the “way of holiness” by giving us what are the initial efforts; our first “baby-steps” if you will.  Notice also what is the first benefit, according to the apostle Paul, that comes to us from Christ in the course of redemption:

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.                                                                          I Cor. 1:30

We strive to walk in perfection, believing that God will give us to drink of His own Spirit.  And there is a proverb that seems to capture this principle:

 He that has knowledge spares his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.                                                          Prov. 17:27 

After we become imitators of the sanctified, as halting and awkward in so doing as we may be, we begin to gain certain insights which will grow into understanding of God’s ways, if we hold fast to God’s word and meditate upon it.  This is because we begin to be privy to things, and to apprehend principles not easily understood by mere professors.  The rudiment of knowledge lies in the ability and from the heat of necessity of asking the right  question.  Therefore it is our soul’s need which is the precursor of Divine knowledge.

2. Knowledge:

To virtue, we are to add, knowledgeNebuchadnezzar & DanielWhat is this knowledge?  Is it knowledge of the arts or the sciences?  No, it is certainly not a knowledge of the world.  We would not require faith in Christ for so mean of thing.  Is it knowledge of Scripture?  Yes and No.  Most anyone can gain a mental grasp of Scripture.  But what Peter refers to is true revelatory insight into the plan of redemption and God’s purposes in Christ.  While this is certainly facilitated via the Scripture, if the Scripture is all that is teaching us, it constitutes a dead letter, doing, if anything, disservice to our progress in sanctification.  The “knowledge” of which Peter is speaking is the knowledge which comes through attending upon God’s covenant with Himself, as described in Micah 6:8:

He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; & what does the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God                                                Mic. 6:8

Jesus said:

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine,whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.                      John 7:17Christ Teaching 02

When Jesus referred to “knowing the doctrine,” he did not mean a mere mental grasp of theology.  The Greek word did-akh-ay’, [4] means instruction, as something that is taught.  The verb form would be did-ak-tos’,[5] which is used where the Lord says:

It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. . . .                                                                                    John 6:45

We find it used where the reference is to spiritually-procured knowledge, e.g. where Paul tells the Thessalonians:

But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you:  for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.       I Thess. 4:9

Through obedience to God, we learn the doctrine that is taught by God.  God communicates concerning His Person and His work. This, is spiritual knowledge.  And to such knowledge, we are advised to add temperance.

3.  Temperance:

The NASV and IV render the word self-controlChalice 01We find this Greek word[6] appearing in only two other places.  Unfortunately, the occurrences are always a listing of virtues and are therefore not helpful in ascertaining the meaning of the word, e.g.

Acts 24:25   And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come,

Gal 5:23   Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

The lexicon indicates the best English equivalent to be “continence,”  which means “self-restraint” or “moderation.”    What is “moderation?”

There are some things, the doing thereof, constitutes sin per se.  This includes such things as adultery, theft, dishonesty, cheating, abusive conduct, idolatry, etc.  However, there are other habits of word, thought, or deed that are not sinful in themselves, but which can lead to unrighteousness in spirit, thought, and deed, when taken to excess.  We know that “all unrighteousness is sin.”[8]  We can ask ourselves; “what types of conduct does this cover?”  If we think about it, it covers every sort of conduct, words, or thoughts one can imagine.  Any lawful activity can be taken to excess or abused in some way:

– “eating” can become “gluttony”

– “drinking” can become “drunkenness”

– “industriousness” can become “avarice”

– “recreation” can become “dissipation”

There is a good verse to remember that would serve help us grow in our striving for “moderation” or “temperance”, and that is Paul’s words to the Corinthians:

Whether therefore  you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.                       I Cor. 10:31

If this statement by the apostle Paul remains in our conscious mind, we will make great strides in the area of “temperance”!  And to temperance we may add patience.

4.  Perseverance:

The Interlinear better translates the word as patience, as this is the same Greek word translated “patience” throughout the New Testament, most notably the Lord’s words:

In your patience possess ye your souls.                                                                                    Luke 21:19

Notice what is the effect of patience according to the Lord.  Saul Speers DavidThe effect of our patience is that we possess our souls.  Possess them as opposed to what?  By implication, “possess” them, as to having someone or something else possess them.  For we are preserving them for the coming of the Lord.  If they are possessed by demons or in bondage to the spirit of this world, then they are not available for the work of God’s Spirit through Whom we are sanctified.

This being only the fourth item on Peter’s progressive list, there is still work to be done towards our advent into the kingdom of God, and this item is somewhat remarkable because Peter is telling us to “add” patience to our“ moderation as a means of progressing in the way of holiness.  But what do we normally understand is necessary for the working of patience?  Tribulation.  Paul tells the Romans:

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; Knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience, experience,  and experience, hope; and hope, maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.                         Rom. 5:3-5 (KJV)

Paul provides us with the process of redemption beginning with that essential element of progress in the kingdom, ie. “tribulation.”  Paul is describing the Divine process by which God sanctifies His elect.  Because this is a Divine process, it is Divinely-ordained tribulation that is intended to work a Divinely-induced patience.[9]  Although God provides the tribulation, nonetheless, we are to conduct ourselves in patience.  We are to endure patiently.  What are we to “endure?”  Anything unpleasant that requires enduring!  Paul writes that we are to endure “persecution and tribulation:”

 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions & tribulations that you endure.                                                                                       II Thess. 1:4

Paul writes that we are to endure “Hardness:”

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.                                                                                     II Tim. 2:3

Paul writes that we are to endure the “Chastening of God:”Ancestors 01

 If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not?                  Heb. 12:7

For the saint, there are a variety of things to endure that the world is generally not required to endure.  But we should consider that we have laid for ourselves a good foundation.  We have; labored for “excellence” in all things, we have been built up in the “knowledge” of God, and we have made a habit of “moderation” in all things, so that we “glorify God in whatsoever we do.”  Therefore, its as if God says; “I will now allow you to glorify Me!”  Jesus glorified His Father in suffering the things He suffered.[10]  Suffering for the Divine purposes in Christ, means a glory that we cannot imagine in our present body.  What is the alternative to “patiently enduring?”  Acting-out impatiently and spoiling God’s purpose in calling us.  This would be a very sad result indeed.

This concept of patience is also closely linked the concept of trust.[11]  It is only when we grow in this precious substance quality of trusting in the Lord that we can venture out into deeper water with God as His Spirit beckons.  This deeper water is called “godliness,” the fifth item on Peter’s progression of faith.

5.  Godliness

This Greek word[12] is always translated “godliness” in the KJV with one exception wherein it is translated “holiness.”  Peter uses the word in his reply to the people that were marveling when he raised a lame man through the power of God:

Acts 3:12  . . . why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness     we had made this man to walk?

However, this is the only time the word is not translated godliness.  What is “godliness?” Adam & Eve Sin Does it mean to keep the moral law?  It is, if we include keeping the “spirit” of the moral law as well as the letter.  Godliness knew its perfection in Jesus Christ, who walked in the spirit as well as in the letter of God’s moral law.  Therefore when we are directed unto “godliness,” we are directed to walk as did Jesus.

Jesus gave us various commandments.  Do we understand that Jesus walked in accord with His own commandments?  Did He “turn the other cheek?”  Did He deny Himself and take up His cross?  Therefore walking as Christ, is a walking in His commandments.  We thereby begin to walk in the spirit of prophecy, because we begin to walk in His testimonies.[13]  We begin to know the Word of God as a Person rather than as a letter.  We walk in the steps of Christ:

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words,  even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;                 I Tim. 6:3

Therefore the meaning of godliness cannot be more clear.  It is even self-evident that to be “godly” is be in the way of God – to act as God would act.  Therefore Jesus says such things as:

  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.   Matt 5:48 

But I say to you, love your enemies, & pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil & the good, & sends his rain on the righteous & the unrighteous.                                                                                      Matt. 5:44-4

Now, lest we neglect to perceive it, something profound begins to infiltrate Peter’s progressive path of holiness.  Blue Gild 04The divine life begins to take root below and to flourish above.  For the nature of God, is the essence of such things as; purity, peacefulness, gentleness, love, etc.[14]  Therefore as we walk like Christ, the Father begins to take notice that He has a child in the earth that requires treatment and care as a child of God.  There is fruit that needs to be tended, watered, and even pruned.   We follow after those traits that are the traits of God, as Paul counseled Timothy:

 But thou, man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness,  godliness,  faith, love, patience, meekness.           I Tim. 6:11

When we follow after the Divine traits, we become partakers in what is called the “mystery of the gospel” – a marvel that will be revealed in its proper time.  This is the “mystery of the kingdom of God” that Jesus spoke about in His parables, and the mystery of Paul’s gospel:

  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels,  preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.      I Tim. 3:16

Therefore, Peter’s progressive way of holiness begins to take on the Divine warrant.  It always had the divine-warrant, but now the Divine agency is becoming increasingly perceptible and begins to consume the process.  Heaven 01Just as it is the work of the galactic dust to accumulate mass, but the work of nuclear physics to transform it into a star, so the believer begins to lay down his material life for the kingdom and it is the work of God to transform this into the eternal life.

6.  Brotherly Kindness:

The Interlinear renders it brotherly love.  Indeed, this is the word “philadelphia”[15] for which is named the “city of brotherly love (so called).”  This word literally means “love of brothers.”  We find this is the type of love that grows in our hearts as we ourselves experience the purifying work of the Spirit:Paul in Prison 01

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned  love of the brethren, see that ye love[16] one another with a pure heart fervently:      I Pet. 1:22

The apostle John tells us that the evidence to our hearts that we have passed from death into life is this “love” we have for the brethren; so much so, that we become willing to lay down our lives for God’s children.[17]  The word further appears in these verses:

 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love in honor preferring one another;   Rom 12:10 

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another,  love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:             I Pet. 3:8

Do we begin to perceive the general sense of the word?  The word simply means to allow one’s heart to go out to another as one would a brother, or as one would one’s own self.  This second-highest level of Peter’s progression sounds quite similar to the second highest commandment, does it not?

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.   There is none other commandment greater than these.    Mark 12:31

While the apostles taught that we should love others, they confided that ultimately it is the Spirit of God that teaches us to love others:

But as touching brotherly love you need not that I write unto you:   for you yourselves are taught of God to love one another.                 I Thess. 4:9

After entering into eternal life via the purification of our souls unto a pure love of the brethren, we can begin to sense something that is rarely seen in humanity, the true witness of Christ, which is the love of God.  Thus Peter’s last and highest attainment in the way of holiness is Love.

7.  Charity:

The modern translations render the word “love.”  This word is ag-ah’-pay,[18] meaning love in its most profound sense and is the common word for love where the context is the love of God, e.g.:Heaven 01

John 5:42    But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Rom 5:5    . . . because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost . .

This “love” is the bond that ties God to humanity via Jesus Christ:

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept        my Father’s commandments, & abide in his love

Therefore this “love” is the identifying feature of the genuine disciple of Christ:

John 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to        another.

This word is the first on the list of the true “fruit of the Spirit”:

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, . . .

And this word “love” is the final destination on Peter’s progression, because:

Rom 13:10  Love works no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Being the “fulfillment of the Law”, love is the fulfillment of all things, therefore Paul confides the great truth of the gospel:

1Co 13:13& now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

And this is the Greek word used when the Lord states what is the highest commandment:

  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,  and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.                                                                                      Mark 12:30

Therefore, the fulfillment of all the Law and the Prophets is also the fulfillment of the law of Christ, which is to love God with the intensity of one’s entire being.  This is a powerful condition of grace.[19]  Therefore, the “love of God” constitutes the definitive attainment in Christ.  This is the definitive result of the “way of holiness,” and therefore this must be what defines holiness ultimately, ie. to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”

ii.  The End of Love; A Cross

We know love to be the fulfillment of the Law and the prophets.  Sacred Ht 01But is this the end?  No, but rather we might say that it is only the beginning!  For by sharing in the love of God we truly have a fellowship and unity of mind with God that we otherwise could not know.  This is because we have been conformed to the nature of Christ and therefore we can speak with Christ plainly, and He with us.  We are like-minded with Christ.  Therefore even the Father loves us freely and openly just as He loves His Son.  For the Lord promised that this would be the fulfillment of His love:

“These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will speak no more to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly of the Father.  In that day you will ask in My name,  and I do not say to you that I will request the Father on your behalf;  for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Meand have believed that I am forth from the Father.”                                                                                      John 16:25-2

This is the fulfillment of the love of God.  This is the place into which we are to ascend as the “holy hill of Mount Zion.”[20]  This is the end of our faith.  But lest we think to have arrived, let us understand that love will make demands upon us just as love made demands upon Jesus Christ.  When we know the truth and walk in the truth in a world operating under the influence of a contrary spirit that is fundamentally hostile to the truth, then Truth shall requires something; sacrifice.  Army - EgyptianWhen we engage with people who are antagonistic towards the things of Christ, we shall suffer for the sake of love in some way.  God will see to that.

 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.                                                                                      II Tim. 3:12

In fact, the more we advance with the Holy Spirit in the process of sanctification in this life, the more we shall know identify with the Cross.  And just as the Lord ascended the hill leading up to Jerusalem, so we to shall likewise follow the Lord to the laying down of our own lives:

“He who loves his life loses it; & he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.   If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me;  & where I am, there shall My servant also be;  if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”                                                                                      John 12:25-26

Whom do we follow?  . . . the Lamb”![21]

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going”?  Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you shall follow later”.  John 13:36Road Blind Hill

Where was the Lord going?  He was going to the Father.  He was going to Calvary. Peter would later follow His Lord.  But he could not follow Jesus at the time he desired, as his sacrifice would not have been acceptable.  For the sacrifice of God is without blemish.  Despite his professed loyalty, his character would not stand up.  He would deny the Lord three times.[22]  Eventually, Peter did follow to the cross, and the “way” which had been appointed unto him.

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, & the truth, & the life; No one comes to the Father, but through Me.  If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; From now on you know Him, & have seen Him.”                                                                                      John 14:5-7

The “way” was revealed to the disciples.  The “way” was through faith in Jesus Christ.  This way leads to the fulfillment of the Law, which is love.  Love itself has a fulfillment in the laying down of our lives for others as the truth requires:Sacred Ht 05

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us:  and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.                    I John 3:1

Is this too high to reach for?  Absolutely, except for the fact that God Himself will bring us there.

iii.  Entering the Kingdom Through Diligence in the Way

Through walking the way of holiness we find entrance into the kingdom of our Lord.

 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly  into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   II Pet. 1:11

Will we barely “squeeze in?”  Not according to the apostle Peter!  Peter says we will be given “abundant” provision for entrance!  For we shall be “ministered unto” for this expressed purpose!

This is the way for our “fruit to remain.”  For the remaining of our fruit is the mark of being chosen unto sanctification:

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you,  that you should go and bring forth fruit, & that your fruit should remain;    that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.                                                                                        John 15:16

Therefore Peter has just told us how to ensure that our “fruit remains”.  He writes:

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling & election sure:   for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:              II Peter 1:10

Therefore, should we fall, it is not because we were the hapless victims of providence.  No, but rather it is because we were not, as Peter exhorted us to be, “diligent to make our calling and election certain.”  We did not:

  1. Strive for excellence and perfection in all things, nor did we
  2. labor to add knowledge to our faith.  We did not practice
  3. moderation in the use of the things of this world.
  4. We did not possess our souls with the patience we were warned we would need.
  5. We did not cultivate brotherly love, and so
  6. the true love of God never came into full radiance in the face of Jesus Christ within our heart.

Lacking these things, we fell from grace and were burned as only dry sticks of the kingdom of God.  And what a shame this would be considering the wonderful promises held out to us, that come with a sure promise of divine strength in the way:

For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly  into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.         II Pet. 1:11

iv.  The Way of Holiness Not for the Unclean

The KJV of Isaiah’s prophecy reads that; “the unclean shall not pass over it.”  Prodigal 04The KJV and Interlinear agree that the word describing what the unclean shall not do is to “pass over.”  This translation is well-established in the description of the Lord’s actions represented in the Feast of Passover.[23]   The word is used within the context of what occurred on the night upon which the feast day is based:

For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night,  and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast;  and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.                  Ex. 12:12

While the NASV indicates the unclean shall not “travel” therein, the true word is “pass through” or “pass over.”  “What is the essential difference?” one might ask?  The “unclean” represent those which have not come by way of water.  They have not truly repented unto the washing of their garments. Because of this, they shall not receive admittance to walk this special way.  For this special way has special benefits.  Recall Peter’s words:Prodigal 01

For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  II Pet. 1:11

For those that have washed their garments and urgently seek to walk in the footsteps of Christ, the way shall be Divinely maintained.  They shall receive Divine aid and comfort along the way.  “An entrance shall be ministered unto [you] abundantly.”


[1] G703  aretē  ar-et’-ay  From the same as G730; properly manliness (valor), that is, excellence (intrinsic or attributed): – praise, virtue.

[2] G3402  mimētēs  mim-ay-tace’  From G3401; an imitator: – follower.

[3] The understanding of this Greek word as “imitator” was no doubt the inspiration of the book “The Imitation of Christ” published in 1472 by Thomas A’Kempis (1380-1471)

[4] G1322  didachē  did-akh-ay’  From G1321; instruction (the act or the matter): – doctrine, that taught.

[5] G1318  didaktos  did-ak-tos’  From G1321; (subjectively) instructed or (objectively) communicated by teaching: – taught, which . . . teacheth.

[6] G1466  egkrateia  eng-krat’-i-ah  From G1468; self control (especially continence): – temperance.

[7] continence 1. self-restraint, moderation  2. self-restraint in, esp. total abstinence from sexual activity.  Webster’s New World Dictionary – Third College Ed., © 1988

[8] I John 5:17

[9] See commentary on Isaiah 54:11-12

[10] John 12:27-28

[11] See commentary on Isaiah 50:11  Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.

[12] G2150   eusebeia   yoo-seb’-i-ah  From G2152; piety; specifically the gospel scheme: – godliness, holiness.

[13] Revelation 19:10  “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

[14] James 3:17

[15] G5360  philadelphia  fil-ad-el-fee’-ah  From G5361; fraternal affection: – brotherly love (kindness), love of the brethren.

[16] This Greek word is (G25) agapaō  ag-ap-ah’-o  Perhaps from ἄγαν agan (much; or compare [H5689]); to love (in a social or moral sense): – (be-) love (-ed). Compare G5368.

[17] I John 3:14-16

[18] G26   agapē   ag-ah’-pay  From G25; love, that is, affection or benevolence; specifically (plural) a love feast: – (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.

[19] “Grace” in the realization of our total acceptance in the love of God in relation to His all-sufficiency contrasted with our non-sufficiency.

[20] See commentary on Isaiah 8:18  “. . . who dwells in Mount Zion.”

[21] See commentary on Revelation 14:4  These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.

[22] John 13:37-38

[23] H5674    ‛âbar   aw-bar’   A primitive root; to cross over; used very widely of any transition (literally or figuratively; transitively, intransitively, intensively or causatively); specifically to cover (in copulation): – alienate, alter, X at all, beyond, bring (over, through), carry over, (over-) come (on, over), conduct (over), convey over, current, deliver, do away, enter, escape, fail, gender, get over, (make) go (away, beyond, by, forth, his way, in, on, over, through), have away (more), lay, meddle, overrun, make partition, (cause to, give, make to, over) pass (-age, along, away, beyond, by, -enger, on, out, over, through), (cause to, make) + proclaim (-amation), perish, provoke to anger, put away, rage, + raiser of taxes, remove, send over, set apart, + shave, cause to (make) sound, X speedily, X sweet smelling, take (away), (make to) transgress (-or), translate, turn away, [way-] faring man, be wrath.

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V.C.3 The Manifestation of the True Object of the Soul’s Desire

PART  V  –  Associational Aspects of the Lamp-Stand Model

SUBPART C  –   Unleavened Bread/ Witness of the Word Corollary

Article 3

THE MANIFESTATION OF THE TRUE OBJECT OF THE SOUL’S DESIRE

By Daniel Irving

 a.   A Kingdom Perceived with the Heart

b.   A Kingdom Whose King is God Manifested

c.  The Father Beheld Through the Son

d.  Christ’s Revelation as God’s Manifestation

e.  The Effect of Christ’s Revelation; Holiness

f.   Overcoming through Looking toward a Kingdom

Snively Sunset 06

Article 3

THE MANIFESTATION OF THE TRUE OBJECT OF THE SOUL’S DESIRE

 a.   A Kingdom Perceived with the Heart

In the prophecies of Isaiah we read what is the meditation of the heart set upon Christ:

 At night my soul longs for Thee, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks Thee diligently; For when the earth experiences Thy judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.                   Is. 26:9 (NASV)

The kingdom of God is procured through the desire for the same.  The desire for the kingdom of God is a desire for no earthly kingdom, and the kingdom of God cannot be seen by the heart so long as the kingdoms of this world compete for the soul’s affections.  Is not the kingdom of God an internal concern of the heart?  Recall the Lord’s words:Christ Teaching 02

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come,  He answered them & said, “The kingdom of God  cometh not with observation; Neither shall they say, ‘Lo here’, or ‘Lo there!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”                                Luke 17:20-21  (KJV)

“Behold,” is that prophetic statement exhorting the listener to perceive with the eyes of the heart.  Therefore the Lord tells them to “Behold” the matter.  We are able to “Behold” that kingdom not of this world at such time we perceive the futility of those kingdoms which are of this world.  It is for this purpose that judgment comes; that we might perceive the condemnation which the material realm sits under.  Thus judgment begets a perception of the things of God.

b.   A Kingdom Whose King is God Manifested

Further along in Isaiah’s prophecies we read that God’s kingdom has a King; One Whom we shall even “see:”

Thine eyes shall see the king in His beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off..                                                                                    Is. 33:17

The eye is a common prophetic reference to spirit.  For instance, the Revelation given John interprets the seven “eyes” of Christ as representing the seven “Spirits” of God sent out into all the earth:Lamb Sacrifice

. . . a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyeswhich are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.             Rev. 5:6

Rarely does prophecy so clearly interpret itself.  Furthermore, the Hebrew word for “eye” (“en”) is the same word meaning “fountain”, which is also a symbol for “spirit”.[1]  Because of these things, whenever we see reference to “eye(s)” in prophecy we should first consider whether the meaning is “spirit.”  Applying this understanding to Isaiah’s prophecy, we seem to have a foretelling of an event that shall be perceived by means of our spirit.  The prophecy, “your eyes will see” is not a redundancy.  The meaning is our spirit will “see.”

The prophet Isaiah himself experienced this event in chapter six when he declared woe upon himself for having “seen the King.”[2]  There is no comprehension of God which does not begin with a heart’s apprehension of one’s own indebtedness, sickness, and depravity in respect to God by way of Sin.  Through this apprehension, God may reveal Himself in the light of Christ through the means of the Cross.

This promise of seeing, “the king in His beauty” is given to those whose bread will be supplied them, and whose “water will be sure.”[3]  These are those that strive to walk in the blameless way.[4]  Therefore, the “king” they shall “see” is the Lord Himself.  Therefore Paul writes:

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.                                                                                      II Cor. 3:18

This “beholding . . . of the Lord” begins with the Spirit’s revelation of Christ upon the spirit of the man as an event commencing us upon the path to sanctification.  We have become equipped unto a pilgrimage toward Zion.  Our heart has seen the vision of the place to which we are to walk.         Who is “the King”?  What is His “beauty”?  Consider this verse from a prophecy of Asaph:

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shined.      Ps. 50:2

Notice how the verse appears purposeful in its ambiguity concerning what is the object of this “beauty.”  The verse calls “Zion, the perfection of beauty,” and yet the true source of this beauty is indicated as being God.  For it is “out of Zion” that “God has shined.”  This is the “beauty” that we shall behold with the eyes of our heart and ourselves become changed thereby!  For this is the beauty of Christ arising upon His people.

The prophecy emphasizes we shall “see.”  We shall “behold” through the eyes of faith, Jesus Christ.  While we formerly came to God and related to God via the work of Christ which was the Cross, we are now presented with the witness of His Holy Person. This is the revelation of Christ upon the soul and the apprehension of the beauty of sanctification by the Spirit that must precede the sanctifying work of the Spirit.

c.  The Father Beheld Through the Son

When we “see the King in His beauty”, what are we looking at?  This question bears resemblance to the conversation which took place on the eve of Christ’s death on the Cross wherein the Lord told Philip:

“Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?  He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, “Show us the Father?”                                                                                     John 14:9

Philip was looking at the physical appearance of Jesus, but he had spent three years observing something more profound.  Even so, Philip appeared to be at a loss as to seeing Christ.  Therefore Jesus told him to believe “…on account of the works themselves.”[5]  But there was also the more substantive matter of apprehending the Person of God as He manifested.  Recall Jesus said of the Holy Spirit:Shepherds Visit

“. . . when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment;  . . . . . righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me.”                  John 16:8 & 10

There is a work of the Spirit to manifest Jesus Christ to the heart and mind of the believer.  In so doing, God sets before us a standard and an object of desire.  However, this is only a desire for those that truly believe.[6]   Those whose hearts were never fastened upon the kingdom of God shall quite discount the revelation.[7]   God will show us “the king in His beauty.”[8]   By so doing, He will show us the true unity of spirit and perfection of heart and mind implicit in the commandment:

“Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”                                                                                     Matt. 5:48

What might be an initial obstacle to the performance of this royal command?  Certainly, that would be to understand what “perfection” means.  What is the “perfection” that God requires?  If Jesus Christ were still walking among us today, we might gain insight into the perfection of God.  However, this work of revealing the person and nature of Christ now belongs to His Spirit, who will convict the world concerning; “righteousness, because [Jesus has gone] to the Father, & [we can] no longer behold [Him].”[9]

We may ask, “Is this commandment to be “perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect” a mere platitude, or is this truly what God expects of frail, mortal, and sinful humanity?”  This question may be answered beginning with the question of whether we believe God can and will deliver us from the bondage of Sin.  If so, having delivered us from Sin, can we further expect God can and will  obtain for us righteousness?  If so, having strengthened us in His righteousness, can we further expect God can and will sanctify us entirely?  For the Lord is speaking of “entire sanctification” when He charges us to be “perfect.”  Can we do this ourselves?  No.  But once God has revealed to us the beauty of His Son, and we behold His face, and gather in a sense of the Holy nature, we cannot help but become equipped in some way.  Therefore God says; “I will help you.”!  He says:

Do not fear, for I am with youDo not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.   I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,  Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.                    Is. 41:10

  For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you; “Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel;  I will help you,” declares the Lord,“ and your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.”                                                                                      Is. 41:13-14

Is God asking us to do something that is impossible in our own power?  Absolutely He is!  Why else would he say, “I will help you!”?   His arm is not too short that it cannot save.[10] The way help shall come is by means of revelation concerning Himself; the person of Jesus Christ; the personification of His nature; the Person in whom also the life of God resides.[11]

  For they got not the land in possession by their own sword,  neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm  and the light of thy countenance because thou hadst a favour unto them.        Ps. 44:3

Once the Lord had risen from the dead, there was a new revelation of God.  There was a new revelation of God because there was a new revelation of Christ who is the revelation of God to humanity.  Paul expresses this principle to the Corinthians:

Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.                                                                                     II Cor. 5:16

The true worship of God is performed through the means of the Spirit of Christ, and not through means of visually looking upon the physical form of a man as an object of inspiration or adoration.  We see Christ through the eyes of our heart by means of His Spirit.

d.  Christ’s Revelation as God’s Manifestation

This principle was demonstrated on the road to Emmaus when it is said of the two disciples walking with Christ, “their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.”[12]  Formerly, these two disciples had known Jesus outwardly and visually, ie. “according to the flesh.”  There fleshly eyes were dimmed of their ability to recognize Him this time.  As they walked with Him in a new way, they learned from Him and their hearts were quickened by faith as He taught them from the prophets.  Reading further:

And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He would go farther. and they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.”  And He went in to stay with them.                                                                                      Luke 24:28-29

Here is the suggestion that when we begin to receive the good Word of God[13] we should continue to pray for His presence to continue with us.   They “urged Him to remain,” and he did so based upon their entreaties.  Finally, the revelation came:

And it came about that when He had reclined [at the table] with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.  And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.                                                                                      Luke 24:30-31

If we would truly “know the Lord” so as to recognize His Spirit, we must do so through receiving the witness of His Word.  Recall the Lord said:Christ Teaching 02

  It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing:  The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.                    John 6:63

The “Word of God” is a Witness with the power to redeem, the power to break the bondage of Sin, and the power to cleanse us by the spiritual waters of His own Holy nature and presence.[14]

e.  The Effect of Christ’s Revelation; Holiness

This “beauty” has the very special quality of being placed upon His Church. For we read in the prophets such things as:

In Thy name shall they rejoice all the day; and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted.   And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us:   and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.                                                                                     Ps. 90:16-17

Therefore the beauty of Christ is likened to clothing which the saints acquire from God through the obedience of faith:Lamps & Virgins 04

Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city:                  Is. 52:1 

This must certainly have to do with true works of righteousness; for the plea is that the Lord; “establish . . the work of our hands upon us.”  If our works consist of the fruit of the Spirit, produced by faith, then we even ask God to clothe us in these works which He Himself has produced in us by His Spirit.  This “clothing” is the holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore our earnest prayer is; “let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us”.  This “beauty” is the Lord’s own divine nature.  Therefore David prophesies:

  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name;  worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.                     Ps. 29:2

And later, we read:

O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness:  fear before him, all the earth.                                                                                      Ps 96:9

f.   Overcoming through Looking toward a Kingdom

Isaiah’s prophesy states that in seeing the beauty of Christ, we shall “behold the land that is very far off.”  What is this “far distant land?”

Jesus answered & said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee,  Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.                                                                                          John 3:3 

The “kingdom of God” is perceived in this present-age for the purpose of its attaining unto the next.[15]

Consider what it is that our eyes behold.  Two things at once!  We see “the King in His beauty,” and in so doing, we shall see “a far distant land”, ie. the promises of God’s covenant with Israel.  When we look at “the king in His beauty” we are also looking at the “BeautifulLand.”  God has an intended destination in mind for those given a new heart and a new Spirit,[16] and this is God’s way to advance us in the process of redemption.  He reveals something which becomes dear to heart.  That upon which we formerly merely made a profession is made real.  He sets us on the path to arrive there.[17]  Thus on the topic of sanctification, there are certain inexplicable statements of the apostle Paul, ie. some describing sanctification as having already occurred (past tense) ie.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified . . .                                                                                    I Cor. 6:11

Whereas in other references, sanctification is described as a work in progress:

  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.                                                                                      Eph 5:26

  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; . . .                                                                                    I Thess. 5:23

For by “seeing the land” we have seen something that God declares true, ie. that He has sanctified us in Christ.  Heaven 01When we look at the land, we are looking at our own sanctification in Christ as an accomplished fact in the spirit.  We then set upon a process of entering into the land which Christ has already attained for us as the fruit of His holy life, His atoning death, and His resurrection.

We perceive then, two characteristics of our sanctification in Christ; there is the initial and sudden breaking the power of bondage to sin under Law.  Thereafter, comes the habitual “walking out” of the truth of our justification by “walking according to the Spirit”.  In this way we move in, dispossess, and gain the complete mastery over our enemies.

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections & lusts.                                                                                      Gal. 5:24

We are now equipped with the power to slay the sinful cravings and passions.  But the question arises, How is it possible to crucify the lusts of the flesh and maintain normal biological functioning?   This is one reason why we shall “see the land that is afar off!”  The Lord will give us a glimpse of the land when He sanctifies us!  One thing the Lord will show us when He shows us “the land” is the geographical boundaries between the flesh and the Spirit, and the distinctions between the clean and the unclean.  For when Paul refers to crucifying the flesh, his meaning is not the killing of our normal biology, rather his meaning is the continual denial of the spirit that would seek to activate and to gain access through our carnal nature.   As Isaiah prophesies elsewhere, “I will kill thy root with famine.”[18]  For it is by the presence and power of the Spirit of Christ that the flesh is denied and its works put down:

“For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting  to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”     Rom 8:13

Why is it necessary that we “see the king in His beauty” and that we “behold a far distant land”?  That we might know that place to which we are going.  We must “behold” that place we have never before been.  Our only understanding of the land is what we can see through Jesus Christ.  Therefore when the children of Israel were entering into the promised land, they were told:Illuminated Mercy Seat

“When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place & go after it.  However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000 cubits by measure.  Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.        Josh. 3:3-4

What way is it that we have not passed before?  Our way into the promised land of sanctification in the Spirit of Christ.  Because we “have not passed this way before” God tells us that we must do something to ensure our safe passage into His sanctification.  What does He tell us to do?  We must; “see” the ark of His covenant and we must “go after it.”  The reason we must see it and follow it, is that we “have not passed this way before.”  We do not really know within ourselves what it means to be sanctified except what is revealed to us by the Spirit of Christ.  Thus God shall give us to behold His land; His holiness Who is the Person of Jesus Christ.[19]


[1] H5869  ‛ayin  ah’-yin  Probably a primitive word; an eye (lit or fig); by analogy a fountain (as the eye of the landscape): – affliction, outward appearance, + before, + think best, color, conceit.

[2] See commentary on Isaiah 6:5  “for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts”

[3] Isaiah 33:16

[4] Isaiah 33:15

[5] John 14:11

[6] John 6:29  “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

[7] See commentary on Isaiah 26:10   “& does not perceive the majesty of the Lord.”

[8] See commentary on Isaiah 26:8 “Thy memory, is the desire of our souls.”

[9] John 16:10

[10] Isaiah 50:2

[11] John 5:26  For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;

[12] Luke 24:16

[13] Hebrews 6:5

[14] See commentary on Isaiah 1:3  An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master’s manger, But Israel does not know, My people do not understand.

[15] See commentary on Zechariah 14:9  “And the Lord will be king over all the earth” for discussion of the “kingdom of God” as something to be perceived even in this temporal-age.

[16] See commentary on Ezekiel 11:19-20

[17] See journal entry of October 27, 2008

[18] Isaiah 14:30

[19] See commentary on Isaiah 42:1  “Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen One in whom My soul delights.”

Posted in 5C. UNLEAVENED BREAD / WITNESS OF THE WORD COROLLARY (Associational Aspects) | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

VII.C.1 The Fulfillment of Redemption

PART  VII – TRANSACTIONAL ASPECTS OF THE LAMP-STAND MODEL

SUBPART C – GLORIFICATION

Article 1 – THE FULFILLMENT OF REDEMPTION

By Daniel Irving

a.  Belief unto a Resurrection

b.  Faithfulness unto a Resurrection

c.  Death by Law Before Resurrection in Grace

d.  Resurrection as the Product of Grace

Sheep Storm

Article 1

 THE FULFILLMENT OF REDEMPTION

a.  Belief unto a Resurrection

The prophecy of Isaiah declares:

Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.  Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.                         Is. 26:19

The Hebrew word translated “dead”[1] is the universal word translated throughout the KJV as “dead,” “die,” or “died.”[2]  The Hebrew word translated; “live”[3] means to “live” or to “preserve alive.”[4]  We should keep in mind the context of the previous verse (v.18) which laments that God’s people could not bring forth inhabitants for the new world, ie., children for God.  Therefore, we must ask the question of to whom is the prophecy addressed when it says “your dead?”  Certainly, this is a reference to Christ, and the “dead” are “His dead”, ie. those “dead in Christ”, just as Paul writes:IMG_0446

  For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God:   and the dead in Christ shall rise first:                                                     I Thess. 4:16 

Why might God’s people have been unsuccessful in producing children for God?  While the living (supposed) children of God could not produce anything for God, there was something that did produce children for God.  It was “your dead”.  Just as Jesus walked in bodily-form as a man, His physical body provided the “seed,” which once sown into the earth, produced the harvest for God.   “Life” was produced from “Death.”  Thus Paul writes:

For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge,  that if one died for all, then were all dead:                     II Cor. 5:14

The NASV states it differently, ie. “one died for all, therefore all died”.  The NASV would appear the better rendering, as the final use of the word “dead” is not the same word that is normally translated “dead” (nekros.)[5]  Graveyard 01Rather, this word is “ap-oth-nace’-ko”, [6] which although sometimes translated “dead”, is more often translated as the verb “to die.”  This is the primary word translated “die” or “died” in the KJV, while “nekros” is the primary word for “dead”.  For example, we find the word; “ap-oth-nace’-ko”, used in the story of the seven brothers, who each “died” in succession and left a widow:

Matt 22:27  And last of all the woman died also.

This word is used to describe the condition of the little girl that Jesus raised from the dead, at a time prior-to her death!

Luke 8:42 For he had one only daughter, about 12 years of age, & she lay a dying.

Therefore the NASV has clearly utilized the more likely meaning of the word when it reads; “one died for all, therefore all died”.

However, not all “believed”, and this is a critical factor.  For the statement; “one died for all, therefore all died” is itself a matter of faith.   Therefore as to Martha, whose brother Lazarus’ body was in the tomb:

Jesus said unto her, “Said I not unto you,  that, if you would believe you should see the glory of God?        John 11:40

And as to the synagogue ruler, that had just been given the word that his daughter had died:

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said unto the ruler of the synagogue, “Be not afraid, only believe.”                   Mark 5:36

We must not overlook that although the statement; “one died for all, therefore all died” is a statement of truth, it is also a matter of faith.  What God has spoken, we are to believe.  For we believe unto conformity with God’s redemptive processes.  We believe unto conformity, and God performs unto transformity.  Therefore while God’s word is “one died for all, therefore all died” shall ultimately be vindicated in the general resurrection, those that belong to Christ shall vindicate God’s word in the special resurrection from the dead, ie. the resurrection that is immune against the terrors of the second death.  Thus faith is crucial to overcoming the world and surviving with our faith in tact when we depart this present evil age.  We must even now “trust in God, which raises the dead.”[7]

b.  Faithfulness unto a Resurrection

Resurrection is the ultimate objective of faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul makes this abundantly clear through several statements, such as: 

  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.                                                                                    I Cor. 15:19

Paul’s context is the resurrection of the body.  He makes it clear that our hope is fulfilled in this yet future event.  This was even Paul’s objective in suffering as he relates when he says:

If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.                                                                                      Phil. 3:11

That Paul associates resurrection with suffering for the sake of Christ, makes it clear that resurrection constitutes the pinnacle of redemption.  Thus there must be a foundation laid in justification (a matter of faith), a structure erected in sanctification (also a matter of faith), and its finishing accomplished in our faithfulness to the cross (also a matter of faith.)  Thus those standing on Mt.Zion have followed the Lamb into resurrection:

those who are with Him are the called & chosen & faithful.                                                                                      Rev. 17:14

This expresses the three “days of the Lord” as the three phases of the witness of God.[8]  These are “called” in righteousness,[9] “chosen” in sanctification,[10] and declared “faithful” by laying down our lives in conformity to the will of God.[11]Lamps & Virgins 04

& whom He predestined, these He also called& whom He called, these He also justified;  & whom He justified, these He glorified.                                                                                      Rom. 8:29-30

Therefore the “called” musts be “justified”.  How are they justified?  By the blood of the Lamb.  And those that are “justified,” shall He “glorify.”  How shall he glorify them?  By faithfulness to the Cross.  Their faithfulness to the Cross of Christ is reflected in their faithfulness to their own crosses, and each cross is their “glory” because it is their glorification of God through Jesus Christ.

These principles tie around to the basic nature of God, which is one of faithfulness:

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;        Deut 7:9

And because God is faithful, so are His children faithful.  Christ is “faithful” by His nature as the Son of God, and we are made faithful by sanctification of the Spirit working through our obedience.  Thus the common quality of the saints is that they have proven God faithful.  Those having a part in the First Resurrection have proven God faithful in so doing.

c.  Death by Law Before Resurrection by Grace

Isaiah prophesies, “together with my dead body shall they arise.”  The Hebrew word translated “dead body”[12] means literally just that, and is often translated “carcass.”  Some examples of the this Hebrew word are:

Lev 5:2       Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean        beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping        things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, & guilty.

Lev 11:35  And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falls shall be unclean;

Deu 21:23  His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise                     bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;)

As it appears Isaiah’s prophecy is referring to the resurrection, this appears to be a rare instance when prophecy is speaking literally rather than metaphorically!

The prophecy continues, “Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust.”

The Hebrew word translated “dust”[13] is descriptive of the natural body of man, which is made from the dust.  This word is also provided in reference to repentance, ie. “hide in the dust”.  Adam & Eve Sin This is because “dust” is man’s true condition before God, in need of the Spirit of Christ.  Since man is made from the “dust” (as part of this earth), he is destined to return to the dust pursuant the curse:

…till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; For you are dust, & to dust you shall return.        Gen. 3:19

This is the divine judgment upon mankind.  God declared that man shall “return to the dust.”  Therefore this is the curse of the Law upon our humanity.  In fact, Moses declared that this would be one of the curses assigned for failing under the covenant of Law:

The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dustfrom heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.             Deut. 28:24

The Hebrew word translated “dust” is the same word translated “dust” in this prophecy of Isaiah.  While mankind shall return to the “dust” from whence mankind came, something more remarkable is reserved for Israel.  God’s people are set apart as peculiar recipients of this curse so that it even rains down “dust” upon them from heaven until they are destroyed.

Why does Israel stand in such a broad faced position in respect to the curses of the Law?  Sinai 01Consider that Israel  (the body of Christ) is not situated in the same way as the nations.  Israel met God at Sinai where the Law was given to them as a special witness and in a manner unlike anything the nations had known.  They bore the Law in a way the nations did not.  Therefore for Israel to fail in this covenant brought down consequences for them while still in their body.  Their failure under Law meant death; which was even rained down upon them from the heavens like dust.  For Israel, death becomes almost a tangible thing they can feel in their soul.  Sin results in death to the transgressor, ie. death to the natural man.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.                     Rom. 6:23

The effect of the Law is to bring death, as Paul writes:

For I was alive without the law once: but  when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.              Rom. 7:9

That which we had trusted seemed to fool us, and work only death for us.

For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.                                                                                      Rom. 7:11

What Moses is describing when he foretells that; “the LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust” is the rightful payment of wages earned by the sinner.  Therefore if we should wonder why Israel (as standing metaphor for the Church) should face the consequences of the Law head-on when they are under the covenant of Grace, we consider that God has a purpose in effectuating our death that He might grant to us life from a different source; the source of His own being; the Life of the resurrected Lamb of God.  His Grace is revealed therein.

Consider also that Christ was no exception.  Small Muddy 02When He agreed to step into the Jordan River with John the Baptist, He stepped into His ministry of suffering for the redemption of humanity.  In doing so, He took upon Himself the curse of the Law.  Think of it.  God assumed the likeness of that formed of the dust of the earth that had been cursed; and having assumed the likeness of the cursed earth, he bore into Himself the consequences of that curse: 

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:   For it is written; “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”:                                                                                       Gal 3:13

Christ became flesh, and in dying, swallowed up the death that was due those sinning through the flesh.[14]  Thus we understand such prophecies as:

My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaves to my jaws;   and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.   For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me:   they pierce my hands and my feet.                                                                                      Ps. 22:15-16

The death due the sinner was administered to Christ on the cross:Crucifixion Feet

. . . that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.         Heb. 2:9

Son of God tasted death for humanity.  Therefore it is no wonder that Israel, in following her Redeemer in the pathway of the Cross, should not face the Law herself; a Law which brings death as its inevitable consequence; the difference is she faces an already defeated foe.  Death was consumed in the work of Christ.  Therefore Israel when Israel follows Christ to die His death, ie. the death of the righteous, all that is left on the other side is her glorification with Christ in a resurrection.  The Law came to them, and they died.  But their death was much to be envied.  Certainly Balaam caught revelation of their enviable death; for as he stood on a high place of Baal and beheld a portion of the people of Israel,[15] he said:

  Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel?    Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!                                                                                     Num 23:10

For as he looked out upon the extreme end of Israel, he prophesied that God:

. .  hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel:   the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.                                                                                      Num. 23:21

Among them was the “King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God”,[16] in whom they were identified-in-death; a death that occurred for them “from the foundation of the world”.  There was nothing before Christ’s death for sinners.  Therefore His death precedes the sins of Israel.

d.  Resurrection as the Product of Grace

Isaiah’s prophecy continues, “for thy dew is as the dew of herbs.”  In fact, the Hebrew word translated “herbs” (o-raw’) [17] has a more definite meaning of light.  For instance, we find it used when David declares:

Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.        Ps. 139:12

Therefore the Interlinear renders it, “the dew of lights is your dew.”  Snively Sunset 06The NASV renders Isaiah’s statement, “your dew is as the dew of the dawn.”  This makes sense considering dew occurs in the morning. For the Church, the “dust of death” (which is their condemnation under Law becomes the “dew of the dawn.”  That which should have been the end (ie. death) abruptly becomes the eternal morning.  While this metaphor may apply to our justification and to our sanctification, the particular context of Isaiah 26:19 is the glorification of Christ’s body in resurrection.  This reveals that the Grace of God continues as intrinsic to our very resurrection in Christ Jesus.  The raising and glorification of the body into an incorruptible and indestructible state of being is itself a product of the Cross of Christ.

This point is clear also from the teachings of Paul, ie. that even the fulfillment of redemption in the resurrection of the body, has its basis in Calvary’s annulment of Death.  His death worked justification for the Sinner, working Divine Life within the inner being of the man.  The Living One died.  Christ, our Passover lamb was crucified and thence glorified by the Father.  His resurrection is the fulfillment of the Feast of First Fruits, and is the substance and power of all God’s work to justify men and raise them into spiritual life.  We are even awakened into faith via the power of the Living One to awaken those dead in their trespasses:

  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.    Rom 5:10

A new spiritual principle called; “the law of the Spirit of Life” overcomes that former principle called; “the law of sin and death”.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus  has made me free from the law of sin & death.               Rom. 8:2

This is the principle that shall carry on to overcome the grave itself.  Therefore Isaiah continues, prophesying that “the earth shall cast out the dead.”  The Hebrew word translated “dead”[18] is normally translated this way in the KJV.  This is the Hebrew word used in such verses as:

  Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee?                                                                                     Ps 88:10

  The man that wanders out of the way of understanding  shall remain in the congregation of the dead.               Prov. 21:16

Therefore the word clearly means “the dead,” and the action performed upon them is that the earth “casts them away,” or otherwise “gives them up.”  If they have been purchased by the Living One, Death cannot have them.  In them redemption is fulfilled through the very Grace Christ provided in the first instant of their having believed in Him.


[1] H4191  mûth  mooth  A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill: –  X at all, X crying, (be) dead (body, man, one), (put to, worthy of) death, destroy (-er), (cause to, be like to, must) die, kill, necro [-mancer], X must needs, slay, X surely, X very suddenly, X in [no] wise.

[2] On rare occasion it is translated “kill”; Ex. 1:16, 16:3, 17:3, Lev. 20:4, Judges 13:23, et seq.

[3] H2421  châyâh  khaw-yaw’  A prim root (compare H2331, H2424); to live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively to revive: – keep (leave, make) alive, X certainly, give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive, (X God) save (alive, life, lives), X surely, be whole.

[4] See commentary on Ezekiel 13:22  “. . and preserve his life.” for study of this word.

[5] G3498  nekros  nek-ros’  From an apparently primary word νέκυς nekus (a corpse); dead (literally or figuratively; also as noun): – dead.

[6] G599  apothnēskō   ap-oth-nace’-ko  From G575 and G2348; to die off (literally or figuratively): – be dead, death, die, lie a-dying, be slain (X with).

[7] II Corinthians 1:9

[8] See commentary on Isaiah 8:2  “took unto myself faithful witnesses”

[9] See commentary on Isaiah 42:6  I have called you in righteousness,

[10] See commentary on Isaiah 41:8  “whom I have chosen”

[11] See commentary on Isaiah 8:2  “took unto myself faithful witnesses”

[12] H5038  nebêlâh  neb-ay-law’  From H5034; a flabby thing, that is, a carcase or carrion (human or bestial, often collective); figuratively an idol: –  (dead) body, (dead) carcase, dead of itself, which died, (beast) that (which) dieth of itself.

[13] H6083    ‛âphâr  aw-fawr’  From H6080; dust (as powdered or gray); hence clay, earth, mud: – ashes, dust, earth, ground, morter, powder, rubbish.

[14] See commentary on Revelation 12:16  “. . & the earth opened its mouth & drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth”.

[15] Numbers 22:41

[16] I Timothy 1:17

[17] H219  ‘ôrâh   o-raw’  Feminine of H216; luminousness, that is, (figuratively) prosperity; also a plant (as being bright): – herb light.

[18] H7496  râphâ’  raw-faw’  From H7495 in the sense of H7503; properly lax, that is, (figuratively) a ghost (as dead; in plural only): – dead, deceased.

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VII.B.3.a The Knowledge Vital for those Awakened from the Dead

PART  VII – TRANSACTIONAL ASPECTS OF THE LAMP-STAND MODEL

Subpart B – SANCTIFICATION

Article 3 –   Knowledge

Section (a) – The Knowledge Vital for those Awakened from the Dead

By Daniel Irving

i.    Mercy’s Revelation for the Repentant Wicked

ii.   Celebrating Repentance

iii.   Righteousness, Peace, & Joy Ministered to those Awakened to His Kingdom

iv.   The Knowledge High Above the Earth that is the Mind of God

v.  Feeding upon the Knowledge of God Following Repentance

Lamps & Virgins 04

Section (a)

The Knowledge Vital for those Awakened from the Dead

i.  Mercy’s Revelation for the Repentant Wicked

The prodigal son took leave from his father’s home and squandered his father’s resources. He should have expected his father’s wrath upon his return.  Oddly, we read:Prodigal 01

And he arose, and came to his father.  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.             Luke 15:20

The father’s response revealed his heart.  God’s response when we return to Him at the Holy Spirit’s call reveals the heart of God.  Thus the prophecy of Isaiah exhorts:

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:                                                                                      Is. 55:6

This prophecy communicates what are the first stirrings of the kingdom of God in the human soul, whether it be in; 1) the call to our first coming to Christ and initiation into the works of the Holy Spirit, or 2) the call to repentance from dead works to serve the living God, or 3) the final call to lay down this life for the coming age.  But if we return to the Living God, this involves a forsaking of our ways that did not prosper, and so God’s Word continues:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:  and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God,  for he will abundantly pardon.                                Is. 55:7

The Hebrew word translated “forsake”[1] can mean either to “leave” (in its common meaning) or “forsake” as having intent to abandon.[2]  This calls to mind the Lord’s words to the prophet Ezekiel:[3]

But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed for then he will die.                 Ez. 18:24

On the other hand:

Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed, and practices justice & righteousness, he will save his life.  Because he considered & turned away from al his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.  But the house of Israel says, “The way of the Lord is not right.”  Are My ways not right, O house of Israel?  Is it not your ways that are not right?                                                                                     Ez. 18:27-28

Why would the house of Israel object to these pronouncements of God as “not right?”  God declares that the “righteous man” who begins to do evil shall perish, but the “wicked man” who repents and begins to do good shall live.  How should this be objectionable?Pharisee & Publican

There is irony in Israel’s objection.  Israel presumptuously identifies with the “righteous,” when Israel should identify with the wicked. They hold to a wrong designation.  As they do not apprehend themselves “wicked” they cannot identify with the “wicked man” so as to repent.   Therefore they protest that the “wicked man” should not be forgiven his transgressions.  Yet, in the mercy of God, they do occupy the role of the “wicked man;” the very one of whom God declares He shall demonstrate His mercy.  What they must do is to turn from their ways.  What they must do is to repent.

ii.  Celebrating Repentance

God’s great delight is to grant His pardon and His mercy to us.  Recall the Lord’s words:Sheep Storm

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”                                                                                     Luke 12:32

Do we gain the sense that it is even God’s desire to sanctify His people?  For we have an almost emphatic refrain in the prophets towards the wicked man of whom God says, “Let him make peace with Me, Let him make peace with Me.” [4]   Our sanctification is expressly stated to be God’s will.

 For this is the will of God; your sanctification.                                                                                      I Thess. 4:3

Therefore, why should God not celebrate when the sinner turns towards Him with his/her whole heart?  For He has given His only begotten Son in sacrifice in order to accomplish this very purpose!  God compares Himself with the rejoicing of a woman restored of her lost coin:Found Coin 01

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle,  and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?  And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.  Likewise, I say unto you,  there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.                                                                                     Luke 15:8-10

And therefore it was necessary that the Father of that returning prodigal to likewise hold a celebration for the purpose of rejoicing over the return of what was lost.  Recall that father’s words to the elder son:

It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead,  and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.            Luke 15:32

The KJV translation is a bit misleading, as the Greek word translated “was meet” is deh-on’,[5] which means “must.”  We find the word used elsewhere in such verses as:

Mat 17:10  “. . Elias must first come”

Joh 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.

II Cor 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ . . .

While the word is sometimes translated “should” or “ought”, it is the universal word translated  “must” in the KJV.  Therefore the statement of the father is “WE MUST MAKE MERRY, AND BE GLAD.”  Why is this?  Why does God consider it a necessity to rejoice and to kill the fatted calf upon the sinner’s repentance from the heart?  The parable itself states the reason!  The father explains why it is necessary to kill the fattened calf.  He tells the other son . . .Wedding Feast 02

thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.                                                                                     Luke 15:32

There has been a resurrection!  The Feast of First Fruits must be celebrated.  For Christ died that we might be raised again in Him.  And as a symbol of that death given the sinner (that his dead soul might be raised into newness of life) it is necessary that something be killed and its life ministered to him that would live again.  Christ’s work upon the Cross finds its fulfillment in our repentance.  God’s work is proven effectual in our repentance.  The Cross of Jesus Christ gave glory to the Father.  The heart’s closure with the Cross at repentance glorifies God again as He is able to manifest His holy image through the soul’s apprehension of the glory of Jesus Christ.

iii.   Righteousness, Peace, & Joy Ministered to those Awakened to His Kingdom

The father of the prodigal informs his elder son, “WE MUST MAKE MERRY, AND BE GLAD . . . ”  The younger brother has come from a place of Death into a place of Life:

for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.                                                                                     Luke 15:32

His eyes are open and he is aware.  The sinner has been awakened to his condition and now faces his eternal damnation unless an atonement can be found.

Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.  If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:  Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, “Deliver him from going down to the pit:   I have found a ransom.           Job 33:22-24Prodigal 04

Even while the prodigal son was among the pigs, God’s Spirit was with him, speaking as heaven’s messenger, knocking on the door of his heart, ready to reveal to him the righteousness of God, ready to disclose to him the mercy of a ransom paid.  The great value of this ransom could not be felt until first was felt the prospect of “going down into the pit.”  This is the Holy Spirit’s work; to effectuate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ by bringing men down this path in order that God may reveal Himself in power upon the soul.  And the effect?

His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favorable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy:   for he will render unto man his righteousness.      Job 33:25-26

Beholding the face of God in the knowledge of sin’s forgiven amidst the ruin of our own works, the man is able to enter upon a new journey of growth into the image of Christ. He truly commences upon the Way of Holiness.[6]  This is the beginning of effectual Sanctification expressed by David when he prayed:

As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake with the likeness.              Ps. 17:15

The meaning is clearly that by having access to the face of Christ, ie. by seeing Christ with the eyes of our heart, through the agency of His Spirit giving life to ours, we ourselves are conformed to that perfect image of God.  The Lord says to Philip:

“Have I been so long with you, & yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?  He who has seen Me has seen the Fatherhow do you say, “Show us the Father?”                                                                                    John 14:9

God will reveal His Son to our heart.  When he does, there shall be a doing away of Sin as the fruit of true repentance before God:

He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right,  and it profited me not;  He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.      Job 33:27-28 

The object of God’s sacrifice is the repentant heart.  His mercy resides at the place of the Cross of Jesus Christ.  Repentance is the fruit of His Son’s labors.  Therefore heaven rejoices when the sinner repents from the heart.  Wedding Feast 01Only now can God reveal His kingdom to the hearts of men.  God Himself rejoices over the repentance of His elect.  They have acknowledged their wicked ways.  They have sensed the ruin of following after their own mind guided by the spirit of this world.  They have died with Christ.  God may now raise them up into an everlasting habitation for the soul whose food is the righteousness, peace and joy of a hope that has tasted death and yet lives. They have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer they that live, but Christ liveth in them.[7]

iv.  The Knowledge High Above Earth that is the Mind of God

Why would God do such a thing as to sacrifice Himself for the ransom of the transgressor?  This is knowledge that is high above the natural:Bright Cloud 1

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways,  and my thoughts than your thoughts.     Is. 55:8-9

This prophecy is often misunderstood as an allusion to an intellectual superiority of God above men.  This is not the meaning.   Rather this relates to the transcendency of spiritual things over things material.  Should one equip the natural mind with all the learning possible, there would remain an infinite gap between the things of God’s Spirit and things natural.  John writes:

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.                                                                                      John 1:5

In fact, those that walk in darkness, do not even understand the spiritual principles that govern their own behavior: 

The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.                                                                                      Prov. 4:19

Those that walk according to their natural senses, have no comprehension of things spiritual.  Therefore neither can they comprehend the things of Christ:

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.            John 1:10

Yet there are those among men, to whom it is given to know God through Christ.  God’s Spirit gives life to our spirit so that “Deep calleth unto deep.”[8]  Only that which is spirit can know the things of the Spirit.  Lacking access to spiritual things, none can have a meaningful comprehension of the things of Christ.  These are appropriated by the Spirit of God.  To presume upon doing so causes stumbling in terms of discernment.  Thus Jesus told those who initially followed Him:

“Does this offend you? What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?  It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothingThe words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  But there are some of you that believe not.”                                  John 6:61-64

The natural mind can only operate in unbelief. It has no access to the knowledge of God.  But God will give us of the mind of His Son that we may come to know Him.  How does God give us of the mind of His Son?  Through the Holy Spirit, Who will bring us into the conviction of our sins and establish us in a way that is above us, even infinitely so!

v.  Feeding upon the Knowledge of God Following Repentance

Like that woman finding her coin, so does the shepherd celebrate when finding his lost sheep:

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth,  more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.                     Luke 15:4-7 

In the prophecy of Ezekiel we read of the day God seeks out those that strayed away from Him:

  For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.  As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.  Sheep 05And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.   I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.  I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.        Ez. 34:11-15

Zephaniah prophesies of this same day:

  I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.  The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies;  neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down,  and none shall make them afraid.                       Zeph. 3:12

Through this spiritual feeding we become recipients of a knowledge leading into the pathways of righteousness.  We commence upon the path of sanctification by His Spirit whom He ministers to those obedient in Christ.  Even the very ability to come to Christ in the first instant occurred via knowledge communicated to our spirit via the Father.  Therefore we are “taught of God” even the spiritual knowledge to come to our true teacher.[9]

No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws himand I will raise him up on the last day.  It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all taught of God.’   Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”     John 6:45

This teaching of God is not optional for those awakened to the reality of sin and spiritual things; it is essential.  If we would know the presence of God, we would know a consuming fire impossible to approach outside from the atonement of Christ and the dwelling within Him; His feeding us upon Himself as the Knowledge of God; the bread from heaven.  At such times we are made sensible to the wretchedness of our condition, we must be comforted within the spiritual knowledge of a ransom paid, a sufficiency supplied, and a hope reaching beyond the grave. We must have the communion of “Him that justifieth the ungodly.[10]


[1] H5800  ‛âzab  aw-zab’  A primitive root; to loosen, that is, relinquish, permit, etc.: – commit self, fail, forsake, fortify, help, leave (destitute, off), refuse, X surely.

[2] See commentary on Daniel 11:30  so he will . . .  show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.

[3] See commentary on Ezekiel 18 discussing God’s reasoning with His people concerning His ways.

[4] Isaiah 27:5

[5] G1163  dei  die, deh-on’  Third person singular active present of G1210; also δεόν deon which is neuter active participle of the same; both used impersonally; it is (was, etc.) necessary (as binding): – behoved, be meet, must (needs), (be) need (-ful), ought, should.

[6] Isaiah 35:8

[7] Galatians 2:20

[8] Psalm 42:7  “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of they waterspouts; all they waves & thy billows are gone over me.”

[9] Matthew 23:8  “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.”

[10] Romans 4:5

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III.A.8.b The Sure Work of Christ

Part  III – Application to Pentecostal Theology

Subpart A – The Pentecostal Renewal

Article 8   –  The Declension of Pentecostal Holiness

Section (b) – The Sure Work of Christ

Daniel Irving

To watch this Section (b in video format, click the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgtDfmuFxnM

i.    Theological Declension of Durham’s Foursquare Successors

ii.   Vitality of Truth in the Interest of the Church’s Sanctification

iii.  Prophecy’s Essential Title for Christ as “Sanctifier” of His Elect 

iv.  Effect of Holding a Model Dismissive of a Redemptive Work Subsequent Spirit Baptism

v.   Christ as the Faithful Performance of God’s Promises 

Wheat 05

Section (f)

THE SURE WORK OF CHRIST 

i.   Theological Declension of Durham’s Foursquare Successors

William Durham’s most famous understudy was the powerfully-anointed evangelist, Aimee Semple McPherson.  McPherson-Aimee clericalThe doctrine for which McPherson is best known she purportedly received by divine inspiration while under the Spirit’s anointing in her Oakland campaign of 1922.  This was her doctrine of the Foursquare Gospel which declared Christ’s role in relation to His Church as fourfold. Her inspiration proclaimed Jesus Christ to be: the Savior, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, Healer and the Soon-Coming King. As related through an earlier article,  McPherson’s supposed divine inspiration was essentially an edit of that declaration made by A.B. Simpson in 1912 when his organization (Christian & Missionary Missionary Alliance) rejected Pentecost, causing the CMA to replace the title “Baptizer in the Holy Spirit” with “Sanctifier,” thus declaring Jesus Christ to be, “Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King.”  McPherson’s inspiration to restore “Baptizer in the Holy Spirit” in place of “Sanctifier” was simply a re-reversal of Simpson’s 1912 reaction against Pentecostal doctrine and experience.[1]  But unlike A.B. Simpson, McPherson’s edit was remarkable in that she declared this title for Christ as a matter of divine inspiration in the midst of circumstances wherein the power of God was present and dramatic miracles of healing were occurring.  She declared her Foursquare Gospel with the authority of a prophetic mantle.Four Faced Cherub 01

We should acknowledge the fact that McPherson’s inspiration was extra-Biblical in that there is no clear Scriptural basis for a “fourfold Gospel” unless one resorts to the same vague references to which Ms. McPherson resorted, ie. in her case, the four-headed cherubim of Ezekiel chapter one.  Certainly there is nothing in the teachings of Christ or in the apostolic writings which describe Christ as having a fourfold ministry over the Church or which define the Gospel as a system of four.  Although McPherson was not the first to alight on a fourfold model of redemption, she was the means of establishing the model within Pentecost and to define the baptism of the Holy Spirit within her fourfold model.

The Foursquare denomination’s rationale for McPherson’s inspiration to dispense with the title for Christ as “Sanctifier” has been that “sanctification is already contemplated in initial regeneration,”[2] and “is progressive thereafter.”  This rationale relies upon an accurate summation of Durham’s Finished Work doctrine which renders no theological distinction between Initial Regeneration and Deliverance from Bondage to the Flesh; the latter being that “Work” which the Wesleyans believed necessary for the conduct and progress of true Holiness.

McPherson’s inspiration also suggests a sequencing beginning with “Salvation,” followed by Christ’s role as “Baptizer in the Holy Spirit.”  The sequencing of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as following “Salvation,” was an essential given the broad Pentecostal consensus that a purifying of the heart must precede the baptism of the Holy Spirit pursuant the example provided us at Acts 15:9.[3]  Ms. McPherson did not accept that the baptism of the Holy Spirit represents empowerment for sanctification.[4]  Van Cleave-NathanielThereafter, it is only His role as “Healer” which we can expect until His Coming as King.  While her proclamation of Christ as the “Coming King” might offer hope in saving her doctrine if interpreted as His coming to the believer in Sanctification, this interpretation is expressly dispelled by the most prominent of Foursquare theologians, Nathaniel Van Cleave, who also knew Ms. McPherson personally.    Therefore McPherson’s inspiration (as least as it was interpreted by both herself and by theologians of her denomination) did not leave place for that essential work of Sanctification except to incorporate under the principle of Salvation as a work presumptively precursory to the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Consistent with Durham’s Finished Work teaching, Ms. McPherson’s inspiration omits any reference to a Work of Grace distinct from that of Initial Regeneration.  This distinct Work (referred to as “sanctification” by Wesleyans) was intended as that intervention of God called the “circumcision of Christ,”[5] which serves to release the believer from bondage to the flesh; the work Paul describes in the following verse:

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly;  and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter;  whose praise is not of men, but of God.     Rom 2:29 

Thus the thematic doctrine of McPherson’s ministry had its purpose in closing the door theologically upon the principle of the Second Definite Work that had been the sacred truth held forth by the Holiness movement and which played such a vital part in eighteenth and nineteenth century revivals of religion.  The path taken by McPherson in closing this theological door, was that established by her early mentor, William Durham, through his doctrine of the Finished Work of Christ.  Thus under Foursquare doctrine, anything characterized as “Salvation” in terms of Christ’s role for His Church, is effectuated in advance of Spirit-baptism.  The work has “already been done” at the moment of the heart’s initial cleansing by faith.  Salvation is a Finished Work within which we are to but progress.  Thus the Wesleyan teaching of a future day of Grace wrought by the direct intervention of Christ for the work of deliverance from sin’s bondage was resoundingly overthrown as the Spirit-baptized were declared to be without need for a distinctive future day of Grace.

The Finished Work doctrine as expressed within the Foursquare denomination defines Sanctification as “already contemplated in initial regeneration,” and as “progressive thereafter.”    Is this true?  Is Sanctification already contemplated in initial regeneration?  Aside from the fact the word “contemplated” is vague, what the Foursquare appears to intend is that we are in some sense sanctified at such time we are justified through faith.  Therefore, at the time of Justification, there is thereafter to be expected a continuous growth into the image of Christ. This is not merely the Foursquare definition of Salvation, but this is also the definition of Salvation for all the Finished Work denominations of Pentecostalism, including the Assemblies of God.

The Wesleyan view (on the other hand) is that we must trust God for another event wherein he approaches the man for the addressing of Sin in his nature.  If we are found “under the blood,” so as to be judged as “in Christ,” we receive sanctification as a further seal of the work of God; the fruition of the promise made to Abraham:Abraham Journeys

For he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be reckoned to them.”                                                                                                   Rom 4:11

In Abraham’s uncircumcised condition he was nonetheless justified by faith, ie. meaning that something was lacking in his nature that was made up for by Grace.  But by Grace (via faith) he  received the “a seal of the righteousness of the faith” in his eventual circumcision as a definite and distinct work of God performed upon those He has Justified.

Whether these two distinctive operations of God occur simultaneously, or whether there is a considerable lapsing of time between the two events, there is a Scriptural basis for the Wesleyan view that they represent distinct events and distinctive dispensations of God’s Grace.  What the Wesleyan model did not rightly integrate was the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as the model was established within Methodism 150 years prior to the Pentecostal renewal.

ii.  Vitality of Truth in the Interest of the Church’s Sanctification

If this article seems overly fixated upon the subtleties of Pentecostal theology, it may be good to remember it was the particular subtlety here addressed which divided the Pentecostal movement within a few years of its birth and which constituted a substantial stumbling-block for the Spirit-baptized in terms of understanding the meaning of their baptism.  This “subtlety” has continued to divide the Pentecostal denominations and has arguably been a substantial cause in the failure of the Church to stand in the salvation she has been purchased.

In Isaiah’s prophecies we read:

And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.      Is. 59:14

Through the presence and viability of truth, judgment is allowed to go forward.  Where judgment is allowed to go forward, there is the prospect of God’s salvation being revealed as His Grace may be brought to bear.  This association is very clear in the prophets.  Therefore the very salvation of the Church is achieved through the process of judgment:

Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.                                                                                      Is. 1:27

Zion refers to those that shall be sanctified in Christ.  For Zion, there is no other redemption than holiness.  But how is this accomplished?  Wood Stove 03According to prophecy, holiness is accomplished via the “spirit of judgment and burning.”[6]  What does this mean but that our salvation has a direct relationship to God’s readiness to come to us in judgment?  So is judgment a good thing or a bad thing?  The answer would seem to depend upon how judgment is responded to.  For those grounded in the Word of God, having faith in the Person and work of Christ, responding  to the voice of God as God calls, and repenting at the call to repent, this principle of judgment is the means to sanctification and closer communion with Christ.  For those not firmly grounded in the truth of Christ, not having an apprehension of and faith in His Person and work, and resisting the Spirit’s call to repent, judgment is a thing rather to be dreaded.

For the redeemed of the Lord, God’s judgments become a place learned to walk within, and where His comfort may be felt.[7]  This is because as we grow in the Lord, we begin to trust the Lord more than we trust the false peace afforded by this world.  We know that when we are hard pressed by the hand of God, it will work to our good and will work towards the true humility and patience in which we may find rest for our souls in the bosom of Christ.

In the statement from Isaiah’s prophecy, “Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her repentant ones with righteousness,” we learn what is the intended effect of the judgment of God, ie. “salvation through righteousness” as the product of repentance.  But there is a profound problem with judgment going forth.  The problem is that truth is lacking, the lack of which, serves to derail the proper effects of judgment.  Recall the words of one of Job’s friends:Dirty Water 01

How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?                                                                                     Job 15:16

When judgment goes forth, Truth comes with startling impact upon the soul.  We begin to sense the wretchedness of our condition before God.  Our fallen and depraved humanity is revealed as a loathsome thing.  Whereas formerly, we stood in a sense of presumption as to our sense of self, we catch a glimpse of the spiritual reality of our fallen condition.  When this occurs, nothing but the Gospel of Paul will suffice to bring our head back above water; Paul, who referred to God as, “Him that justifieth the ungodly.”  For it is those who believe in this profound truth for whom, “faith is counted for righteousness.”[8]

This is the gospel of justification by faith which is so poorly grasped today.  For men either  teach the Gospel in such a way as to create presumption in the hearer that righteousness is somehow not the requirement of escaping damnation, or they teach it in such a way as to de-emphasize the exclusive role that faith in Jesus Christ plays in redemption.  For consider, that in the day we would be overwhelmed with the iniquity that our flesh “drinketh like water,” we must believe in the God “that justifieth the ungodly.”  If not, we are overcome by the judgment that is due our works.  If God is to bring forth the revelation of Christ as “our holy One” then we must not hold to a perception that we ourselves enter upon salvation in any sense by our own righteous conduct.  This would be the false hope, which if clung to, will overthrow our house when the flood comes.  Recall Paul’s words:

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;                                                                                      Titus 3:5

Unless a justification that is by faith is firmly established, bringing about a righteousness fit for redemption there is no salvation.[9]

The prophecies of Isaiah further relate the failed condition of the Church as a matter of the inability of judgment to proceed.  We read:

And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.       Is. 59:14

The failure of truth, means the failure of judgment, hence the failure of the opportunity for mercy, hence the failure of righteousness.  The prophecy reads that truth has not only “stumbled,” but truth has even “stumbled in the street.”  Clocktower 7 The allusion to street indicates the public knowledge or public awareness; what is being communicated abroad concerning the redemption of God.  For instance, in the prophecy of Ezekiel we read:

That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street.      Ez 16:24

In this particular prophecy, the allusion to “street” is self-evident, having to do with eminence, or notoriety, ie. what is on display, known publicly, or displayed for public consumption.  There is something on display as truth that is not.  What is “truth” has stumbled in the street.”   The injured  are those that would be sanctified; the Church of Jesus Christ.

iii.  Prophecy’s Essential Title for Christ as “Sanctifier” of His Elect

McPherson’s inspired edit ran in contradiction to the testimony of the prophets, whose prophesies declared Christ to be the Sanctifier of His Elect.  The title “Lord of Hosts” is used continuously  throughout the prophets in reference to Jesus Christ in His role as Sanctifier.  For example, in the prophecies of Isaiah we read:Lamps & Virgins 04

Sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.     Is. 8:13

What is expressed in the title, “the Lord of hosts”?  The Hebrew word translated “hosts”[10] is used 484 times in the in Old Testament.  Just a few of the examples are:

Ps 24:10           The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.

Ps 46:7             The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Ps 48:8             . . . in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever.

Is 47:4      As for our redeemer, the Lord of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel.

Is 51:15            But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is his name.

Prophecy even has Christ even repeatedly proclaiming Himself “the Lord of hosts.”  The fact that the word is used in the Lord’s title signifies that those over whom He is Lord is a tremendously large number.  Why would this give glory to the Lord’s name?  The book of Proverbs indicates four things which are “stately in their march”.  These are listed as:

The lion, which is mighty among beasts & does not retreat before any, the strutting cock, the male goat also, & a king when his army is with him                                                                                    Prov. 30:31

This proverb identifies those things which exude glory in their going forth.  Might not this be a reference to the “Lord of hosts?”

The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.   Ps 24:10

Why would a “king” be glorified in his army?  Certainly because his army is a show of his power and his might.  But consider, when the Lord proclaims His title to be the “Lord of hosts,” the glory that is declared seems to be something else entirely, for consider the nature of the glory of His eternal kingdom:

“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them;  & those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors’.   But no so with you, but let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, & the leader as the servant.  For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table, or the one who serves?  Is it not the one who reclines at the table?  But I am among you as the one who serves.”                          Luke 22:25-27

Again, why would the title “Lord of hosts” be a matter for glory unto the Lord’s name?

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.       Ps 33:6 

The answer is that this vast field of the redeemed stand testament to the redemptive power of His blood, the truth of His person, and the love of the Father.   These bear witness to the mercy of God.  For “by the word of the LORD . . .  all the host of them” was made!  The “Word of the Lord” is a Person.  And by that Person, all the host of God are made, perfected, and established![11]  But what about the Lord’s response to a question as to whether many would be saved?  Recall this dialogue with Christ:

And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?”   And He said to them, “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many,  I tell you, will seek to enter & will not be able.”                             Luke 13:23-24

In this case, the Lord is asked a direct question; “are there just a few who are being saved?”  Instead of answering the question, He answers the reciprocal question, ie. “Are there many than will not be saved?”  His answer to that question is in the affirmative.  Therefore He did not answer the original question, but responded to it with a word of exhortation.  He told them rather to “Strive to enter by the narrow door.”  However, He did not give indication as to whether those saved would ultimately constitute a large number.

We find in the vision of John, that those redeemed of the Lord constitute an extremely large number.  For John saw “a great multitude, which no one could count.”[12]  We also have the Lord’s words to His disciples when He was describing to them places in the Father.   He tells them:

“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you.  For I go to prepare a place for you.”                     John 14:1-2

Again, recall that He was asked the direct question; “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?”  He now tells His disciples privately that His salvation is being prepared for “many” who shall dwell in the Father.  He also tells them that had the concept of salvation been limited to a few, He would have plainly said so.  But since it was not true that “only a few will be saved”, and since it would have been misleading and given cause for presumption to tell the people that salvation was for many, He simply told them to “Strive to enter by the narrow door.”  For it is through our striving to enter that God’s salvation may be revealed to us in power.

Perhaps the most classic example of this concept that the children of God shall be very numerous is taken from the promise made to Abraham:Abraham Counts Stars

And He took him outside & said, “Now look toward the heavens,  and count the stars, if you are able to count them.”  And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”        Gen. 15:5

God tells Abraham to “count the stars, if he is able.”  The implication is that he is not.  From Revelation 7:9 we understand that in fact, enumerating those justified by faith in Christ unto an eternal redemption, is in fact an impossibility.  How can this be?  God told Abraham to literally walk outside, and He showed Him the physical stars of heaven that make up the material heavens.  He told Abraham to consider their number.  David himself prophesied wonderment that man is even considered by God in comparison to the heavens, the stars, and the work of God’s fingers.[13]

But consider even the material universe of stars.  Even the stars in our own galaxy cannot be numbered, for the stars of the Milky Way are like the sand of the sea!  Not only that, but stars are continuing to be birthed in tremendous quantities hidden inside vast dark incubators of stellar nebula.  Once a star is born, the power of its birth and the intensity of its radiation itself triggers the birth of numerous other stars from within the surrounding nebula!  Therefore there may be more stores hidden and forming than what exist for the eye to behold!  If the material galaxy of stars is this impossible to quantify, what shall we conclude then of the Lord’s “host” which reflects His glory in a way the material universe cannot?

Again, Isaiah exhorts we “Sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself.”  What does it mean to “sanctify” the Lord?   The mercy poured out on the soul of the believer is what enthrones Christ as both Lord and Savior, causing the Psalmist to proclaim:

Mercy and truth are met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.                                                                                      Ps. 85:10

Until we truly know Christ as Savior, we do not truly know Him as Lord.   This is why many will say “Lord, Lord”, and yet be told; “Depart!”  In other words, they have no saving knowledge of Christ.  Their claim to Christ as “Lord” is not founded in the New Birth.  But once grace is poured upon the heart via the power of the blood, we will know salvation, and Christ will be enthroned in the heart as king.  In so doing, we shall “sanctify” Christ as both Lord and Savior.

Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne: Mercy and truth shall go before Thy face.                           Ps. 89:14

And then, just a few verses down:

For the Lord is our defense; And the Holy One of Israel is our King.     Ps. 89:18

Again, we have a marrying of mercy with the commandment, as Christ represents our Defense, our Saving Justification, and our King.  We are obedient to God from the heart.

Notice the context of the expression “the Lord of Hosts Himself.”  The context is Sanctification.  This is the key passage correlating this title for Christ with this operation of redemption upon His church.  Thus, wherever we see this reference used again, (ie. “the Lord of Hosts”) the context and the meaning to be conveyed to the hearer is; “the Lord who sanctifies many.”   And this of course is a reference to Jesus Christ.  And so the apostle Peter tells us to; Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.”[14]   Similarly, in order to sanctify the many, He must have justified the many.  And so the Lord tells us:

“You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them.  But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant;  & whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.   For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, & to give His life, a ransom for many.               Mark 10:42-45Sacred Ht 01

This ability through the means of faith to sanctify Christ as Lord was made possible through His death on the cross.  For it was there that the hostility between “Jew” and “Gentile” was done away.[15]  The Jew signifies the hostility of the law against man, while the Gentile signifies the hostility of the sinner against God.  This hostility is only effectually done away by faith.  And so, Paul writes:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.             Rom. 5:1

Paul is expressing that perfect place of faith that is truly justifying and which truly provides “peace with God”.  Paul refers to both offices of Jesus, ie. his kingly office and his priestly office.  He must be both our “Savior” and our “Lord” through faith.  This is sanctification as an operation, maintenance and strengthening by the Spirit.  The result is “peace with God.”

Isaiah goes further, to exhort the host of God’s elect to “sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself,” emphasizing that the true sanctification is the sanctification that belongs to Jesus Christ.  Likewise, we find that those that are ultimately victorious over the beast and his image are those whose sanctification is founded firmly in the Person and work of Jesus Christ rather than through any trust in themselves; for they sing the song of Moses, which includes:

Who will not fear, O Lord, & glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy;                                                                                    Rev. 15:4

This proclamation constitutes a key aspect of our sanctification.  To the extent that the inner-man perceives Holiness as  belonging to Jesus Christ alone, and that a saint, by definition, is one that exists within and is clothed by the holiness of Jesus Christ, is to the extent he will perceive the things of God; wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.  The holiness of the saints is none other than His holiness.

This is why the church stumbles as it does.  For until we apprehend that it is our death and not our righteous life that pleases God, we continue vainly under the first covenant wherein we raise up an idol as a contender to Christ.  We build our house upon a foundation of sand; doomed before it begins.  The sanctifying of Jesus Christ is typified in the mountain of transfiguration.  Peter reminds the church of this in his second letter:

And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.                            II Peter 1:18

The “holy mount” to which Peter refers, is a figure for the Church’s ascent into the sanctification of Jesus Christ wherein the divided house of Israel (represented by Moses and Elijah) is restored via the sanctification of Christ alone.  For recall that after Peter had awkwardly spoken of building a tabernacle for Moses and for Elijah, and for Jesus, He seems to have been rebuked by the voice from heaven.  The culmination of their ascent is that . . .

. . .  when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.                                                                                      Matt. 17:8

Why is it important to keep the Lord always before our eyes?  Recall whom the Lord is:

. . .  the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:   Col  1:15

Jesus Christ is the object of our Sanctification.  God reveals His Son, and we keep that holy image before our eyes through abiding in His Spirit.

iv. Effect of Holding a Model Dismissive of a Redemptive Work Subsequent Spirit Baptism

The dynamic established by the Finished Work doctrine wherein the evangelistic message assumed the place of a comprehensive explanation of redemption, seems to have caused the Church to neglect many of the original principles laid down by Christ and the apostles.  Apostolic Faith Group 1910Left without its doctrine of a Day of Grace to which it could look in its striving against sin and Satan, the Church of the Spirit-baptized, wandered into other areas of interest tangential if not entirely adverse to the kingdom of God.  Without the Church’s eye being single upon the Person of Jesus Christ and His work upon the Cross, judgment itself could not proceed so as to bring about the knowledge of Salvation that is the knowledge of God.

The Finished Workers perceived their “Day of Salvation” as behind them.  The Second Workers perceived their “Day of Salvation” as fulfilled prior to the Spirit’s baptism.  As to God’s power to intervene on behalf of those striving for the perfection of Christ, neither the Finished Workers nor  the Second Workers frankly saw the need.    Neither doctrine constituted an adequate explanation of redemption in relation to Pentecost.  But to dispense entirely with Holiness teaching seems to have been a course which diverted the greater part of the Pentecostal movement from its objective of Sanctification.

v.  Christ as the Faithful Performance of God’s Promises

Early Pentecost was looking for a comprehensive doctrine that would accommodate the event of the baptism of the Holy Spirit within the existing theological framework of the nineteenth-century.  The existing theological framework of the time consisted of two converse views of redemption; the Wesleyan view which looked for a Salvation to come; a work to be performed.  The Baptistic view looked backward upon the day of Salvation as already having occurred.  They perceived Salvation as a thing accomplished.

As to the principle of Salvation, the language of Scripture accommodates both a past and future orientation toward salvation, e.g.

Past Tense Salvation

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling . . .               II Tim. 1:9

And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.                             Ps. 106:10

And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.     Luke 7:50

Future Tense Salvation

Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.                                                                                     Ps. 80:3

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.                                                                                    Mat.t 24:13

  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.                                Rom. 5:9

. . . that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.                                                                                       I Cor. 5:5

The baptism of the Holy Spirit brought this issue of Salvation to a boil.  As a broad generalization, the Second Work Pentecostals, viewing the baptism as a finishing of their sanctification, waded out into deeper waters of presumption concerning their condition before God.  In this respect their doctrine admonished them to preserve something that God likely had purpose in tearing down.  Also as a broad generalization, the Finished Work Pentecostals perceived themselves as “saved” with the issue of Sanctification casting little shadow of concern upon their mind.  Their doctrine of looking backward at a work “performed” served to insulate them from the stresses of seeking to enter that which lay before them, ie. the kingdom of God.  The issue was framed for Pentecostals in the word “WORK”; and certainly as God’s Work.  In actuality both doctrinal positions could have defined their view of redemption as the “Finished Work” as the Second Work Pentecostals (having received the baptism) perceived the Work as “finished” at Baptism.

Within the Pentecostal assembly, each newly anointed member of the body of Christ will inevitably ask himself/herself this question; “Is my baptism at the hand of Christ the evidence I have been saved?”  While this would require a lengthy study, we might rely upon Jude’s epistle to warn us away from this assumption.  He writes:

  I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.                   Jude 1:5

Nonetheless, we are called and baptized into the body of Christ for the purpose of Salvation; a purpose that can be resisted unto our own perdition.  But through abiding in the hope of salvation we shall be saved through the work of Christ in His Church, which is succinctly stated by the apostle Paul in words which should give us much hope:

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:                            Phil. 1:6

If he hath begun it, then He will perform it.  This must be true whether we have known the power of God to bear upon our soul in an act of kingdom power prior to our baptism, or whether we have as yet to experience such a day of Grace even though we have known the Spirit’s baptism.  But certainly we may take the baptism of the Holy Spirit as evidence and a sure sign that God will perform the work He has promised to perform to deliver Israel from all her enemies through the revelation of His Son.

  To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.                                                                                    Luke 1:72-75


[1] See Part I, Subpart G, Article 7 The Foursquare Gospel of Aimee Semple McPherson.

[2] “Initial regeneration” (as used by Pentecostals) refers to the initial operation of faith in Christ (particularly as emphasizing the atonement) that works the cleansing of conscience, allowing one to receive the Holy Spirit’s baptism.  (Acts 15:9)  The cited explanation of the Foursquare that “sanctification is already contemplated in initial regeneration,”[2] and is progressive thereafter” can be found in the official Foursquare history authored by Foursquare theologian Nathaniel Van Cleave;  The Vine and the Branches; A History of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, by Nathaniel M. Van Cleave © 1992 International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Los Angeles, CA at pg. 76

[3] Act 15:9  And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

[4] “Second, in her understanding, the title, “Baptizer with the Spirit” implied the giver of power for service, rather than for sanctification.” The Vine and the Branches; A History of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, by Nathaniel M. Van Cleave © 1992 International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Los Angeles, CA at pg. 76.

[5] Colossians 2:11

[6] See Isaiah 4:4  “by the spirit of judgment & the spirit of burning.”

[7] See Andrew Murray’s Waiting on God – chapter 19 for a good teaching on this principle.

[8] Romans 4:5

[9] John 5:34

[10] (Strong’s No. 6635)  tsaw-bah’ meaning; a mass of persons, battle company, hosts

[11] See commentary on Revelation 17:14  for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful”

[12] Revelation 7:9  “a great multitude, which no one could count.”

[13] Psalm 8:3  When I consider Thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon & the stars, which thous hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him. . .”

[14] I Peter 3:15

[15] Ephesians 2:15-16

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