LOOKING FOR HIS APPEARING
THE COMING OF CHRIST IN THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
Even though we have heard that we are living in such a day of miracles and sensational happenings that people are shock-proof, let us remind you that people are not shock-proof! Soon a series of prophetic fulfillments of a sensational nature will be transpiring right here on this earth that will shock millions of people who thought themselves to be shock-proof heretofore! Truly, we are living in a day of miracles. Every time we look at a new born baby we are looking at a miracle, and every time we see a giant plane take off the ground into the air with hundreds of people on board, we are looking at a miracle. However, these will fade into insignificance, compared to the miracles that are just ahead.
The prophetic Word of the Lord gives promise of a time to come when the Lord will move mightily by His Spirit. At that time the Lord will restore that which was lost all through the ages past and the long night of man's selfhood and rebellion against God. There is an event soon to take place which shall overshadow and eclipse all former, lesser, manifestations of God's glory and power in the earth. The glories of this great event will inspire, initiate, and bring to fulfillment the times of the restitution of all things. The grandeur, the splendor, the glory and the great power of God to be manifest at the time of this event is impossible for us to comprehend presently, for we are still living and moving, for the most part, in the realm of the "firstfruits" of God's Spirit. The grand and glorious event to which we refer is the coming of Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles!
In previous articles we have explored the coming of Christ in relation to the throe great Feasts of the Lord in Israel. We need to understand thoroughly the truths concerning the three great SPIRITUAL FEASTS, of which the three annual Feasts of Israel of old were but types and shadows. God commanded, "THREE TIMES thou shalt keep a Feast unto Me in the year" (Ex. 23:14). Of the three Feasts the first was Passover. That foreshadowed Calvary. We are called to the SPIRITUAL FEAST of Passover in the experience of salvation. Jesus died and Himself became the sacrifice for our sins on the very day of the Passover Feast: "For even Christ OUR PASSOVER is sacrificed for us" (I Cor. 5:7). Israel of old was peculiarly a Passover company. They were saved by blood, the same as we are today; but their experience went no further because the time had not yet come for the outpouring of the Spiritual Feast of Pentecost. We are then called to the second Feast of the Lord when we are called to the SPIRITUAL FEAST of Pentecost in the baptism in the Holy Spirit. So, following the death of Jesus on the Passover, fifty days later we find that "...when the day of Pentecost was fully come ... suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1-4). In Israel of old the Feast of Pentecost was "the feast of the harvest, the FIRSTFRUITS of thy labours" (Deut. 16:9-12; Ex. 23:16; 34:22). Pentecost was the "firstfruits" of the harvest, and under New Testament economy it is fulfilled spiritually and is "the FIRSTFRUITS OF THE SPIRIT" (Rom. 8:23), the firstfruits of our inheritance. Christ's coming in the Feast of Pentecost saw Him descend on a little flock as the Comforter, which coming Paul tells us was but "an earnest" (or sample) of the Spirit (II Cor. 1:22; 5:5). "Earnest" means merely a pledge or first installment. The balance must follow. The fullness is guaranteed by the first installment. In other words, HE IS COMING A-G-A-I-N to pour out ALL His glorious and eternal fullness in great power and glory!
The Spirit-filled believer anticipates the fullness of God on the basis of this humble beginning. The "firstfruits" of the Spirit is at once a possession, a rich, blessed, and unquestionable reality, and an initial endowment. As an initial gift, it stands in direct line with the expectation. The very fact of its reality is "the guarantee of... the full possession of salvation." The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our full inheritance (Eph. 1:14). "Who hath also sealed us, and given the EARNEST of the Spirit in our hearts" (II Cor. 1:22). This scripture tells us that a down payment has been made to us by God. When we put something in layaway at a store, we have to put down a certain percentage of money on the purchase. That money is the same thing as an earnest. Partial payment is given in anticipation of the complete fulfillment of the transaction. We have earnest expectations or foretastes of the Kingdom as we see it now on its very smallest scale.
Let us illustrate another way. In eastern lands it ever has been, and is, customary for there to be an intermediary in arranging a marriage. The Bible picture of this is in Genesis 24, where Abraham's servant Eliezer, goes on a long journey to find a wife for Isaac. He takes with him a good report of his master's son, and tells how that his father has made him heir of all his vast possessions, and he then shows the damsel and her friends SAMPLES of this wealth in camels and jewelry, and gives them some of the latter. Thus allured, Rebecca left her known circle and took a long, desert journey to become Isaac's wife, though she had never seen him. Thus did Paul the apostle speak to the saints : "I have espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ" (II Cor. 11:2). Fulfilling the role of Abraham's servant, Eliezer, the apostle bestowed upon those who heeded his words a FORETASTE of the vast and immeasurable wealth of the Kingdom of God, by imparting to them the gift of the Holy Spirit with its attending love, joy, peace, righteousness and power in the measure known by our present experience. How bountifully the table has been spread before us with His presence and divers gifts of the Holy Ghost! How rich and wonderful, beyond explanation, has been the blessing and glory so lavishly bestowed! And yet, precious friend of mine, all that we have received up to this present time is but the "earnest" of the full inheritance which will be received when the betrothal is consummated at the marriage of the Lamb!
There is a mystery about the Feast of Tabernacles. It is the only one of the three major Feasts of Israel that as yet has not had a New Testament fulfillment. Therefore it has not been celebrated in a parallel Feast by Christians the world over as has been the case with the other two Festivals, those of Passover and Pentecost. Truly we can say - Passover HAS come, Pentecost HAS come, and Tabernacles MUST come, for each is a part of God's great plan for His people. We have had the Feasts of Passover and Pentecost and both of these Feasts have been fulfilled IN THIS AGE IN THE CHURCH which is His body, and right here on earth. For some strange reason men seek to postpone the last Feast to some future age, or give it to the Jews, or relegate it to some beautiful "Isle of Somewhere," and consequently the real spiritual meaning and import of the Feast of Tabernacles is completely obscured and lost. The grand truth is that like the others, the Feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled in the body of Christ RIGHT HERE UPON EARTH. It will be fulfilled dispensationally, it will be fulfilled in us individually, and it will be fulfilled in us as the Corporate Man. The grand truth of this has been wonderfully quickened by the Spirit of God to multiplied thousands of saints around the world in these last days.
The Feast of Tabernacles must have been most picturesque and striking. At the Feast of Tabernacles Israel set aside seven days unto the Lord. From the 15th to the 21st day of the seventh month they left their houses and dwelt in booths built of various trees and rejoiced before the Lord. The booths were to remind the people of the deliverance of the Lord when He brought them out of the wilderness where they lived in booths and brought them into the land of promise. The 1st and 8th days of the Feast were extra sabbath days. There are several names for the Feast of Tabernacles. It is called the Feast of Tabernacles, the Feast of Ingathering, the Solemn Feast, the Feast of Booths, the Feast of the Seventh Month, and the Great Feast.
There were seasonal rains in Palestine that pertained to this Feast. The Feast of Tabernacles was the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the agricultural year. At Tabernacles there were plenty of corn, oil and wine. This Feast, like the first two, was associated with the harvest. Whereas Passover was held at the time of the firstfruits of the barley harvest, and Pentecost was held at the time of the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, when with the ripening of the grapes, olives, corn, figs, etc. the harvest was complete, Tabernacles closed the cycle. Therefore, we see that the Feasts were associated with a PROGRESSION IN HARVEST, and speak of the ongoing process of the development and maturing of HIS LIFE in the life of the believer.
At the celebration of Tabernacles, not only had the barley and wheat been harvested, but also all other grains, the fruit of trees, the olives, the grapes, all that could possibly serve as food or drink. The harvest was complete. "...the Lord thy God shall bless thee in ALL THINE INCREASE, and in ALL THE WORKS OF THINE HANDS, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice" (Deut. 16:15). Thus, this Feast speaks to us of the FULLNESS OF GOD, and therein lies the challenge to move on "unto the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST" (Eph. 4:13). Can we believe God for a full and complete appropriation of the Christ-life and the Christ-character? Can we believe that we can be conformed to the image of the Christ? Can we believe for the manifestation of the fullest measure of His power and glory? Oh, beloved, whereas the Passover realities represent our initial experiences as babes in Christ and the Pentecostal experience adds a further measure of His Spirit, the Feast of Tabernacles speaks to us of a completed harvest, a fullness in Christ, full growth and maturity in Him, and the full measure of His life, wisdom, nature and power!
What sets the Feast of Tabernacles apart from all the others is the abundance enjoyed during the Feast. It's the full harvest. Passover came right after the bleak winter season, and there was little food to spare. Pentecost marked only the "firstfruits" of the wheat harvest. But at Tabernacles there was plenty! Everyone looked forward to enjoying the full fruit of their labors. It was the close of the agricultural season when all the products from grainfield, oliveyard, vineyard, and the fruit trees were garnered. Hence the name, "Feast of Ingathering," under which it was instituted (Ex. 23:16; 34:22). It is the ingathering of mature fruit or, to be more exact, of harvest. Only the mature fruit can be harvested.
Thus, the Feast of Tabernacles speaks to us of two things: abundance of fruit; and rest from our labors when the harvest is complete. All the Feasts are types of Christ. Each one, as a type, is complete and perfect in itself; but the last one, the Feast of Tabernacles, is the all-inclusive and greatest type. The lamb of the Feast of Passover as a type of Christ is indeed complete and perfect; yet it is a type of Christ in a much limited measure. As far as the Lord Himself is concerned, He is not limited at all, but as far as our experience of Him is concerned, there is such a limitation. When we come to the Lord and receive Him as our Salvation, the Christ we receive is whole, complete, and perfect; but as far as our experience of Him is concerned, we experience Him in only a small measure, just as the little lamb of salvation. From the time we experienced Christ as the lamb, we have always been progressing and advancing; we have continually made progress in our experience of Christ and received of Him more and more. This does not mean that Christ has become greater and greater. No, Christ is the same, He changes not! But as we grow in our appropriation of Him He becomes greater and greater TO US AND IN US. Day by day in our experience Christ is becoming greater and greater! At the stage of our experience in which we arrive at the last Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles, the UNLIMITED CHRIST, Christ is unlimited to us, He becomes ALL IN ALL. The other Feasts are limited, we know Christ by measure in them, but in the Feast of the SEVENTH MONTH we know Him in all fullness and rest with Him in all His glorious and eternal abundance for ever more! All the other Feasts can be measured. There is an extent, a limit, to the features and realities of Christ they prefigure. Not so with the Feast of Tabernacles, here the harvest is complete, all the fruits of the land are gathered in the people now rest and rejoice and eat to the full of the fruits of the land. Here Christ is known as the inexhaustible and immeasurable, and we rest from all our labors, and enjoy HIM as the fruit.
Oh, what a grand and glorious realm lies before us in the Feast of Ingathering! The day of the full fruit of the Spirit! The day of Perfection! The time of full and complete Redemption, spirit, soul, and body! The full and complete experiencing of HIMSELF! The fullness of Strength and Power and Glory! The Feast of Feasts! The strange part of the whole thing is this, that the whole purpose and plan of God for this day and hour is completely obscured and lost amidst the shout And euphoria over the "firstfruits," and most of the Pentecostals and Charismatics do not know what it is all about. They can see the healings, deliverances, miracles, prophecies, singing in the Spirit... and so forth; and they understand not that it is God in His great mercy inviting His people to enter on in to their full inheritance. They do not realize that all this is but the foretaste and earnest of their heritage, and that God bids them arise and come away with Him to the Great Feast that lies before!
There was much sacrificing of animals during this Feast. The first day 13 bullocks were sacrificed along with two rams and 14 lambs. Each day following for seven days of the Feast one less bullock was sacrificed, but still two rams and 14 lambs were offered each day. The sacrifices were not just burned up, they were eaten and there was more than enough to go around. Whereas at Passover and Pentecost there was only enough for the household, at Tabernacles there was plenty for all; the servants, the poor, the stranger - ALL could partake!
In all these types and previews we can see a glorious picture of the Latter Days. A time of harvest is coming, a great outpouring of blessing and love and power and glory will be upon the saints. Not an outpouring from heaven, but an out-pouring from the innermost being of God's matured ones, His HARVEST COMPANY, as mighty Niagaras of Living Water gush forth, a tremendous outflowing from the very Fountain-Head of the Rivet of God which will send streams of salvation into all the world. It will be a time of deliverance and blessing and transformation such as we have never known. God will "tabernacle" with His people in a new and glorious way, and will be manifested in their midst with such power that the whole world will know it. He will make a great Feast, and all who respond to the invitation will be welcome at His table. The latter-day Harvest of Ingathering will be reaped from the entire world. All nations will participate in His Feast of Tabernacles. The mountain of the Lord's house shall be exalted above every other mountain.
"The redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion" (Isa. 51:11). Joel, Micah, Isaiah, Zechariah, the Psalms, and other prophecies have given us the picture of the glory of the Latter House and of the fruitful Latter Day. "Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them ... He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing His sheaves with him" (Ps. 126). "Let the people praise Thee, O God; let ALL the people praise Thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for Thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon. earth. Selah. Let the people praise Thee, O God, let ALL the people praise Thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God shall bless us. God shall bless us; AND ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH SHALL FEAR HIM" (Ps. 67:3-7).
It is a wonderful day for a believer when he becomes conscious of the fact of the INDWELLING CHRIST; that it is, indeed, the very Christ of God who has come in and taken up His abode within man, and He is no longer a distant Christ in some far-off heaven somewhere. No greater truth can enthrall the ransomed spirit of a saint of God than the blessed truth that Jesus Christ HAS COME AGAIN! Has He come to you, dear one? Has He come to you in the Feast of Passover, revealing Himself to you as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? Has He entered into the deepest recesses of your being and washed you whiter than the driven snow? Has He come to you a second time? Has the Christ come to you in a second dimension of His presence and life and glory? Has He appeared to you as the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost and Fire? Have you appeared before Him in the joy of the spiritual Feast of Pentecost? I have good news for you, my friend. God does not stop at Pentecost. JESUS IS COMING AGAIN!
There are some who clearly see this blessed truth that Christ has come already as Saviour and as the Anointing Spirit, who then presume that the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was "the second coming of Christ" and that, therefore, all the scriptures pertaining to the coming of the Lord find fulfillment in our present walk in the Spirit. But these apparently overlook the fact that the entire New Testament was written AFTER PENTECOST - and it contains more than one hundred and fifty references to the coming of the Lord Jesus as being yet in the future.
However great the blessings may be with which His comings have already enriched believers and still continue to endow them, these blessings are merely the harbingers of the full harvest which the Lord has in store for those elect saints who "follow on to KNOW the Lord." It certainly cannot be said that the measure of the coming of Christ now experienced has brought the full realization of all the blessedness and glory that pertains to His coming again, and that it will be utterly in vain to look for any further coming of the Lord. As we have pointed out, the New Testament Epistles were written many years after the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost, and these Epistles repeatedly refer to the coming of Jesus Christ as something that was still future at the time they were written.
When we turn to the New Testament we find the thought focused in the coming of the Lord, and connected therewith is the word "until". When the times of the blessedness predicted by the Old Testament prophets are brought before our attention by the Holy Spirit, He says that they will be brought in by the coming of the Lord, for God will "send Jesus Christ ... whom the heavens must receive (retain) UNTIL the times of the restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21). When the Spirit reminds the saints of the responsibility to fight the good fight of faith, it is "UNTIL the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Tim. 6:14). When the Holy Spirit points out the need of taking heed to the more sure word of prophecy which we have received, it is "UNTIL the day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts" (II Pet. 1:19).
The apostle Paul added to the preponderance of evidence that, to the Spirit-filled saints in the Church, there was a coming of Christ that was yet future, when he penned these meaningful and encouraging words to the brethren at Thessalonica: "Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to WAIT FOR HIS SON FROM HEAVEN, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come" (I Thes. 1:4-6, 9-10).
The same thought is expressed in Titus 2:13, "LOOKING FOR that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." The words "looking for" are from the Greek word PROSDECHOMAI meaning LOOK FOR, WAIT, TO RECEIVE; thus A WAITING that keeps you LOOKING with the expectancy of RECEIVING! It requires this whole statement to actually give the full depth of meaning of this one word.
Paul wrote, "But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience WAIT for it" (Rom. 8:25). There is much that we do not see, it has not yet been brought to us, nor can we generate it in ourselves, therefore, since a man can receive nothing except it be given him from above, all we can do is look, wait, and expect to receive at HIS appointed time, while patience has her perfect work, and we are duly purified and prepared so as to be ready to receive when it shall come. There is a change in the prefix "pros" to "apek" in this word, but the overall meaning remains the same, and we'd like to give a few verses which use this word, to enlarge the scope of that for which we are waiting. "WAITETH FOR THE MANIFESTATION of the sons of God" (Rom. 8:19). "WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION, to wit, the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:23). "WAITING.FOR THE COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Cor. 1:7). "We through the Spirit WAIT FOR THE HOPE of righteousness through faith" (Gal. 5:5). "And the Lord direct your hearts ... unto the patient WAITING FOR CHRIST" (II Thes. 3:5). "Be patient...unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman WAITETH FOR THE PRECIOUS FRUIT of the earth ... be ye also patient ... for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (James 5:7-8). These saints were aware that the Christ had truly come and indwelt their hearts by faith. But it was as much a part of their walk in God to believe that He WOULD come, as to believe that He HAD come!
Completeness and perfection, however much desired, are not obtainable through an "in part" possession. Once we understand this one great principle, we no longer condemn ourselves for not manifesting perfection here and now. It would be like giving a farmer a pound of seed and a bag of fertilizer and then expect him to raise enough food in one short season to satisfy the starving millions of Africa. A partial supply cannot produce a full result. As children of God, the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, we have received the EARNEST of our inheritance, but we are earnestly exhorted to "gird up the loins of your mind, and be sober, and HOPE TO THE END for the GRACE THAT IS TO BE BROUGHT unto you AT THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST" (I Pet. 1:13). We must, GROW IN GRACE and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, but don't demand completeness and perfection until JESUS CHRIST HAS BROUGHT US THAT GRACE AT HIS APPEARING WHICH WILL COMPLETE THE WORK WITHIN.
The Holy Spirit has left no doubt that the Christ has not returned in all the fullness of Himself. Christ has ascended into the heavens, and He has returned in a "firstfruit" measure of Himself, but His absolute fullness remains locked up, as it were, in the unseen realm, awaiting a day of manifestation. Now HE is the One "whom the heaven must receive UNTIL the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21). In spite of all the Holy Ghost revivals, soul-saving crusades, healing and deliverance meetings, and signs and wonders and miracles wrought through the ages, we are yet to see the genuine work of restoration begun. So long as the heavens continue to veil from our view the manifestation of HIS FULLNESS, the "times" of restitution have not truly come to their hour.
The inworking of the Christ which we have known thus far, however precious and glorious it might be, is still IN PART - with carnality, sin, limitation, sickness and physical death still upon us, and suffering being used in the purification process. Ah, the Christ HAS come, and the Christ IS YET TO COME, for truly He came, and He continued to come; He comes, and He continues to come; and He shall come, and shall continue to come until He has come in all the fullness that HE IS. Yes, the heavens have received Him, His glory has been reserved in the invisible realms, and kept in store for the progressive unveiling and revelation of His power and majesty.
He has come in the foretaste of His omnipotence, working all through this present age in the hearts of the remnant, gathering out of each generation A FIRSTFRUITS, until the times of restitution. Then He shall be released, breaking forth in visible manifestation of the fullness of His nature, power and being, to begin the great work of restoring ALL THINGS back into God. How we yearn for that fullness! How our souls pant after Him! How we groan within ourselves, waiting for the glory that shall be revealed! He shall not remain forever withholden in the invisible sphere, but we shall RECEIVE OUT FROM the heavens, for He shall come to us, and in us, and out of the invisible shall proceed the visible manifestation, as the prophet foretold, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and HIS GLORY SHALL BE S-E-E-N_U-P-O-N_T-H-E-E. And the nations shall come to THY LIGHT, and kings to the brightness of thy rising" (Isa. 60:1-3).
Jesus Christ IS LORD, but He is not yet the Lord of lords, exhibiting fully that Lordship in His body, to restore creation. If you don't understand that there are some things waiting to be accomplished, then you need help in the scriptures. There are those who would try and claim and appropriate to themselves the fullness and perfection of God right now. They are already perfect, mature sons, filled with the fullness of God, immortal and incorruptible, ruling and reigning with Christ - so they say. Their boast is louder than their living, and their claims exceed their experience. The reports of their great power and authority over the creation are highly exaggerated.
Christ is not coming to evacuate His poor, discouraged, bedraggled, defeated Church to some distant planet to escape the ravages of the antichrist. HE, the Head of the Church, is coming in power and victory to His body, to assume the Headship and Lordship over the Church. When He was on earth He said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have their nests; but the Son of man hath no place to lay His head." I can assure you, beloved, that Jesus was not in the least concerned about a place to sleep at night! He was the Head, and He was perfect. But there was not a perfect body imbued with all the fullness of divine life, ready for His Lordship. There was no place prepared for His Lordship to rest, no body to put His Headship upon so that creation would see the completed Christ, Head and body, in the glory and dominion of perfection. So the Holy Spirit has been perfecting that body. He has been producing sonship. He has been making a place for the Son of man to PUT HIS HEAD.
There was leaven involved in the ritual of the Feast of Pentecost, as the Lord commanded, "Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord" (Lev. 23:17). The loaves of bread would speak to us of God's people in union with Christ. "For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread" (I Cor. 10:17). Hence in the "two" loaves of this new meal-offering we have the completion of this new body of believers known as the Church, wherein all the believers were "made ONE" by the grace and Spirit of Christ (Eph. 2:14). The firstfruits of the wheat had been harvested, and now instead of a sheaf we have two loaves, a body of believers, God's witness in the earth. The loaves were baked with leaven because from the time of Pentecost right until now, the Church of Christ has never been really free from division, sectarianism, and carnality. How wonderful it is to know that God knew exactly what the Church would be like throughout her long history, and made the type to fit accordingly!
Thus, the Feast of Pentecost is not the fullness. Pentecostal people love to call themselves "Full Gospel"; there are people right here in little Crystal River who say, "We're a FULL GOSPEL Church!" No they're not! I am asked the question, betimes: What is the difference between what the Pentecostals and Charismatics preach and what you teach? Indeed, there are vast and varied differences! But fundamental to them all is the fact that they preach but TWO FEASTS, while we proclaim THREE. They preach two Feasts and call them the "FULL GOSPEL". The truth is, they are but two-thirds Gospel, at best! Pentecost is not the fullness! It's the firstfruits of the Spirit and the earnest of our inheritance. Pentecost included leaven, therefore it is "in part," and not the fullness.
I want you to see a principle, where God's mind is, where His heart is. It's to bring a people to maturity. When you live in a Church world that tells you that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the fullness of the Spirit you get into the same rut you came into in the Passover experience when the Baptists told you you received everything when you were first saved. Projections of that kind of thinking will do one thing - they will stagnate your growth. If you've got it all you don't need anymore; and if you have the fullness, what else can you have? It is alarming to some when you come along and say there is more than a Passover experience of the new birth, you can also receive a Pentecostal experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit like they had in the book of Acts. That bothers Passover folks! But not nearly as much as it bothers Pentecostal folks when you tell them that what they have is not the fullness, but merely the "firstfruits" of the Spirit and the "earnest" of their inheritance! That bothers them in the most horrendous way!
When you tell Spirit-filled people that they are just living on the "milk," they get bothered even more. But Heb. 6:1-2 gives us the foundation for the Christian walk which the writer says is "repentance from dead works, and faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment." All these are but the first elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ, for those, according to the apostle, who use milk! Now notice that one of these milk bottles is labeled "the doctrine of BAPTISM(S)." And what God knows is what I know and what I am telling you - the baptism in the Spirit, that blessed Pentecostal experience, precious as it is, is foundational, it is milk, it is just baby food! It's a springboard, not an ultimate. It's not an end, just a means to an end.
Now don't misunderstand me, and don't misconstrue my words. I would not for one moment minimize this foretaste, this firstfruit of the Holy Spirit which we have received in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Blessed Feast of Pentecost! I would not for one moment depreciate the great outpouring of the Spirit which began at the turn of the century, in which millions came to Christ and were transformed. Neither do I belittle in the least the glorious moving of the Holy Spirit which swept across the land and around the world beginning in 1948. I do not speak in derogatory terms of the speaking in tongues, prophecy, gifts of healing, laying on of hands, five-fold ministry and the mighty manifestations that accompanied the restoration of these gifts and ministries to the body of Christ. I myself have been a glad partaker of its glory. I may say with the esteemed apostle Paul, "I thank my God that I speak with tongues more than ye all." I would not deny it in life or in death. Since the day the Holy Spirit swept with indescribable bliss and glory into my life at the altar of a Pentecostal Camp Meeting, at the tender age of twelve, I have seen hundreds, yea, thousands, receive the power of the Spirit. Yet in my heart I know for certain that all the glory we have seen is but a faint shadow of the glory that shall be revealed at the Feast of Tabernacles, bringing the manifestation of the sons of God, for which all creation has groaned for six thousand years.
The purpose of the Holy Ghost is not to make you feel good, nor to enable you to speak in tongues, heal a few sick folks, and get your prayers answered. The purpose of the Holy Ghost is to baptize you with the Holy Ghost and Fire and purify your spirit, soul, and body, bring you into a realm with God where you are changed from strength to strength, from glory to glory, and faith to faith until you come into a walk with God where you begin to grow up into all the nature, wisdom, knowledge, power and glory of God. That's the heart-cry of God in this hour. God wants to mature a people and fill them with all the fullness of God.
Then the glory of the Lord will fill the whole body of the sons of God in the fullness thus far known only by our glorious Forerunner and Head. His glory shall flow and flow and fill the earth. Then shall be fulfilled the words of the Saviour, "The works that I do shall ye do also, and GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL YE DO." The power of God shall at last conquer the nations, and sin, and sorrow and death shall be swallowed up in victory. The coming of the Lord in power and great glory is at hand. The time of the Feast of Tabernacles draweth nigh. The Royal House of King-Priests after the order of Melchizedek is about to be revealed. In that day the lame man shall leap as the hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. The eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped. The desert and the solitary place shall blossom as the rose. Men will learn war no more. The times of the restitution of all things will dawn in awesomeness before the eyes of all nations. Heaven and earth shall kiss and all things shall be reconciled to God. It will be the time of the manifestation of the manifested sons of God when the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
What I am proclaiming, announcing and declaring is that there is a THIRD experience in God. There is a visitation, an appearing and coming of the Lord called Tabernacles that is going to come to pass in the Church today, right here upon this earth, and the implications of this Feast go far beyond anything you or I could possibly imagine. Does not the scripture say that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it even entered into the heart of man the things that God has made available for those who love Him? People ask me what manifested sonship is going to be like. I do not exactly know. It is like trying to describe how a space ship works to a savage in the jungle. Most of the Church world today is like Sarah, laughing at the idea that God would visit His people again in a mighty way.
One cannot explain what Passover means to an unregenerated and unbelieving man unless God causes him to see it. Passover is distinct from anything that an unbeliever has ever experienced. There are those who have experienced Passover, having been born again by the Spirit of God, but they have no comprehension at all of what it is to experience Pentecost. It is like trying to explain the world of man to a worm. Today, there are people who have experienced both Passover and Pentecost and yet, they are as blind as bats to what the Feast of Tabernacles is going to be like. I am declaring that there is a THIRD REALM in God for us to experience. There is a fullness we do not yet have. This third dimension brings His Lordship. And this Feast, being the last, brings perfection! It will bring the consummation of our SALVATION, spirit, soul and body. This third dimension in God is the place where you and I, in the Spirit, move beyond the veil into the Most Holy Place of God's fullness. Blessed are they who are called to this great Feast, that which supercedes Pentecost, that which is the BALANCE OF THE MEAL of which Passover and Pentecost were merely the first courses! And the balance must therefore come, the remainder of the meal which will give strength to the laborers to go forth and accomplish great things for the Master. It is my deep conviction, precious reader of these lines, that the timing of this Feast is at hand. People ask, "Why haven't I heard this before?" If you search the scriptures, you will find that the Feasts were declared to be in their APPOINTED TIMES.
Great were the glories seen by men like Noah, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David and Solomon. Glorious were the manifestations of God's power that swept the Judean hills when our Lord spake as never man spake and healed, cast out devils, and even raised the dead to life again. Sublime beyond explanation were the holy visitations at Pentecost and in the years that followed as multitudes, both of men and women, were brought to the feet of Jesus Christ, and by the hands of the apostles God wrought mighty miracles and special signs and wonders until the world was turned literally upside down with the glory of the heavenly visitation. It would have been wonderful to have dwelt there then and to have rejoiced with them for all the wonderful works of God. Marvelous beyond description were the works of God as He birthed His infant Church! Blessed as were all those things and marvelous as were the results, yet more glorious still is the hope pulsating within the breast of all creation as "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, for the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD. Because the creation itself ALSO shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:19, 21, 22). As J. B. Phillips so beautifully renders, "The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own."
The supernal glories that lie like the towering Mount Everest before us are beyond compare. The grandest event of all time is now at the doors. For almost two thousand long years the Lord has been gathering out of all nations an elect people and refining them in the furnace of affliction, transforming them in mind and heart by the deep dealings of His Spirit, and preparing them in wisdom and knowledge to possess the reins of the government of the world. And while we rejoice and praise God for all the mighty visitations of the past, and those glorious visitations we have experienced in our own lifetime, yet I know by the Word of the Lord that the next great move of God will be greater than all - the manifestation of the sons of God. Nothing is more certain than that. The Spirit witnesses all across the land and around the world that the long awaited revelation is at hand. The unveiling of the in-Christed is now at hand. The cry of the groaning creation and the prayer of the travailing saint are joined with the unutterable longings of the Holy Spirit, all crying in unison and harmony for the arising of God's deliverers. The desire of all nations is at hand. JESUS IS COMING AGAIN!
Let the mountains reverberate with the sound of the message, let the hills shout aloud for joy, and all the trees of the forest clap their hands! For we now stand on the threshold of a new dimension of the Kingdom of God, and we must be prepared to receive HIM in fullness. As we earnestly look for His appearing, we are to receive ALL THAT HE IS, for when He appears all the traditions of yesterday will be swept away and the realms of limitation swallowed up in His surpassing glory. I cannot overemphasize this great and important truth: When Christ appears to His elect in the Feast of Tabernacles, we must then be prepared to receive Him in fullness. We cannot tell Him what portion of Him we will receive and what portion we will not receive. WE WILL RECEIVE HIM IN FULLNESS, and without any reservations or preconceived ideas, or we will not receive Him at all. Either we will go up and keep the Feast according to His Word, or we will miss the glory of His coming. Vast multitudes of Christians will not see Christ when He appears because of their tradition - but their time of visitation will come later. But for those who are willing to pay the price, to be thoroughly purged of all that is of the flesh, the world, and the devil, and are disposed to turn loose of the past religious traditions, the old forms and ceremonies, and the stagnant remains of yesterday's visitations, there awaits great glory and heavenly wealth, and a world-shaking ministry beyond the comprehension of mortal mind.
At the closing of this article I am deeply impressed to share the following vision received by an old prophet of God many years ago, one of the Lord's pioneers of this Gospel of the Kingdom in these last days. He wrote: "In that vision which lasted all night, the most wonderful vision I ever had, in which I saw the sons of God in action all over the world, ministering to the multitudes in every tongue and nation, to all people, I saw both men and women ministering. I saw them standing, suspended in mid-air, in the midst of a busy intersection of a large city, with all traffic stopped, and thousands of people seeing them with their eyes, and hearing them with their ears, regardless of distance, and without the aid of mechanical devices. I saw them speaking to a people of one language, and in a moment's time I saw them transported to another people of another language, speaking to them in their own language, having power over all mechanical devices and natural laws, so that they could cause every activity to cease, and every eye to be fixed upon them, until their message had been delivered.
"I saw them walk upon the water; and I saw the terror in the faces of the wicked, at the sound of their voices. I saw the professing Christians fall upon their faces in true repentance, crying out for mercy, and I saw them being genuinely converted. I saw the skeptics being convinced, and the blasphemy of the wicked, as they would rail and mock, only to be struck dumb or blind at just a word from the manifested sons and daughters of God.
"The vision lasted all night, as in my spirit I was living in that future time, when God will be manifested in fullness in His sons and in His daughters, while my body was back there in bed alongside my wife. Sometimes the scenes would make me weep and I would sob, my body shaking violently with pain and agony, whereas another scene would cause me to laugh with holy laughter, as I witnessed the genuine repentance of the shallow Church members.
"I'll never forget the vision of the young girl (the daughters of God) who spoke with the voice of many waters. Human language could never describe the quality of her voice. All I can say is, it was so filled with love and compassion, it would break the hardest stone, and at her command, every infirmity, every sickness, every blindness, every lameness was healed; every one was made perfectly whole, even those who had been lunatic from birth.
"Sister Britain got no sleep that night, and finally when the dawn was ready to break, she asked me why I didn't get up and write the vision. I did try, but could not hold my hands on the keyboard of the typewriter. Some unseen force held them aloft over my head. I walked the floor and wept, and begged the Lord to permit me to write some of the visions I had seen, to preserve them in black and white. At last He did, and I wrote just a very few of the visions I had seen, for a large book could not contain them all.
"What did the experience do for me? That vision set my soul aflame! Should I publish what I had written? What would people think of me if I did? Surely they would think me mad! I was just getting started in the writing and publishing ministry, and surely, I thought, that one message would cause all men to lose confidence in me! Finally with tears streaming, I said, I'm going to publish it, regardless of the cost. I know it's true! I know it's going to come to pass! And though all men turn against me, I'm going to publish it anyway! And so we did. We then waited anxiously to hear the reaction of the people. To our surprise, the message thrilled their hearts. THEY BELIEVED IT! They still believe it!" -end quote.
And now many years after, the old prophet has long ago passed from the scene. But today, not only the small number who were touched by his word, but multiplied tens of thousands of saints in every nation under heaven have been quickened to these wonderful truths. A vast army of saints is now in preparation for the greatest day in earth's long history - the Feast of Tabernacles, the manifestation of the sons of God.