LOOKING FOR HIS APPEARING
THE COMING OF CHRIST IN THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
All over the world in this particular moment in history, the Spirit of God is speaking to the elect concerning an imminent manifestation of Christ. The trumpet has sounded - the appointed time has come. Christians in every nation have heard the voice of the prophets, foretelling of this most awesome intervention of God's power that is about to sweep the earth.
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 great event is impossible for us to comprehend presently, for we are still living and moving, for the most part, under the economy 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!
The Feasts of Passover and Pentecost found fulfillment in our Lord Jesus Christ. But we have no record at all of the Feast of Tabernacles ever finding fulfillment in the early church or the New Testament economy. Now, inasmuch as this Feast did not find fulfillment in the early church, nor has it found fulfillment at any time in the New Testament order of things - what deduction should we make from that observation? We should deduce that if God fulfilled the first two Feasts, HE IS GOING TO FULFILL THE THIRD! And this third Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles, REMAINS TO BE FULFILLED! The grand truth of this has been wonderfully quickened by the Spirit of God to multiplied thousands of faithful saints around the world in these last days.
What sets the Feast of Tabernacles apart from all others is the abundance enjoyed during the Feast. It's the full harvest. 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. On the spiritual plane this points to the fact that God has been using His people everywhere to whatever degree He has prepared the vessel for that revelation of the Christ. There has come a beautiful unfolding of His purpose, the outflow of His life and the manifestation of Himself throughout this church age, right up to the present time. But there shall yet come the ultimate, the total, and complete revelation of Jesus Christ - not a narrow, limited thing, not to get a number of people saved and filled with the Spirit, and healed and blessed and used - but the Kingdom of God coming with power and with glory, as an expression and a manifestation of God in His total capacity with no limitations, with all the power, with all the glory, all the might, all the majesty, all the authority, so that nations will be swept into the Kingdom of God, creation delivered, and the last enemy, even death, destroyed from off the face of the earth for evermore. What bright and glorious prospects loom before the vision of all who press on to the Feast of Tabernacles!
Since the church's birth almost every generation has known something of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Most of these moves would have to be characterized as something less than worldwide. They swept cities, states, even nations at times, but few were global. But now, even beyond the strength and influence of the celebration of the Feasts of Passover and Pentecost, there has been released from heaven in the last several years an even greater sense of expectancy. It is the expectancy that ALL HEAVEN is about to break loose in the midst of the Lord's elect on a worldwide basis. Do you identify with that expectancy? God is raising up voices in every hamlet and metropolis to say, "The earth is about to see the glory of God in a most remarkable way." I am convinced that a host of heavenly messengers has recently been released to every corner of the earth bearing the message, "And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it" (Isa. 40:5, NIV). 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.
In those blessed days of the holy visitations at Pentecost and in the years that followed, there was an humble disciple, filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom, who spoke to the people and did wonders among them. But some of the religious crowd of skeptics doubted all that he said. The Bible tells us they could not resist "the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake," so they "stirred up the people" and set up false witnesses, accusing Stephen of blaspheming both Moses and God. Stephen's anointed wisdom told that religious crowd that the Lord would destroy the temple of stones, to fulfill the temple and the law IN A PEOPLE, and would change their customs and worship (Acts 6:13-14). That is exactly what the Lord did, but the religious Jews refused to accept the change that came. So today, more than nineteen centuries thence, Jews the world over continue to worship in their synagogues according to the Mosaic customs in apparent ignorance of the fact that the mighty God has forever abolished that order and replaced it with the higher order of His Spirit in the true church which is His body. Likewise there are vast multitudes of Christians today who will not believe the anointed wisdom of the Lord's messengers who are telling of God's purpose to again change the order and establish a new spiritual administration over the earth!
God is speaking to His people today and saying to us as He said to Israel at Mount Sinai, "You have kept this Feast of Pentecost long enough ... you have enjoyed this realm to the fullest. It is time to move. Pack up your tents and begin to move. Leave this realm; embrace the experience and use it, but move on in Me." I think there are more movements built around the Pentecostal mountain than any other experience from God. We have the "tongues" group, the "prophecy" group, the "revival" group, the "Jesus' Name" group, the "healing" group, the "deliverance" group, the "New Testament Church" group, the "praise" group, the "Word" group, the "faith" group, the "shepherding" group, and many, many others. There is nothing wrong with each of these experiences and revelations when they are kept in balance. We need them working in our lives. But when we shift our bearings from GOD HIMSELF and place them on one or a number of these experiences and continue to go around and around them, as though these were the ultimate we are in serious trouble! These various experiences are not our inheritance, but merely a means of causing us to come unto that for which the Lord has apprehended us. God will plead with us to MOVE ON, He will woo and entice and urge us onward for a season, but if the call is not heeded, He will move on and those who will not heed His calling will march around and around their little mountain until they die in that terrible and dread wilderness! I have seen it happen so many times! Oh, my Father, give us ears to hear what Your Spirit would say to the churches, and grant us grace to move out and fulfill all your will!
The church world today has no vision for what is about to happen. All it can think about is getting raptured away into the clouds. Our prime concern is to prepare the ground for the truth concerning the Feast of Tabernacles, which surpasses the glory of Pentecost even as the noon-day surpasses the brightness of early dawn. If the saints of God could only catch a glimmer of the glory of the Feast of Tabernacles which even now looms before us, they could not possibly cling to the stagnant remains of yesterday's visitations. If the Passover was wonderful - and it certainly was - how much more wonderful has been Pentecost in its fullness! And if Pentecost is wonderful, how much more shall we expect Tabernacles to exceed it in glory? And even now as the-first faint rays of this glorious Feast begin to appear on the eastern horizon, we have every reason to rejoice - knowing that the days of deliverance and restoration are here. And little by little we can see how the pattern is being unfolded before our eyes.
There was a time when doctrine was the passion of my life. I was an avid student of theology and meticulously examined various doctrines. Some of them I rejected, and others I embraced. I thought it most important to search the scriptures and, from the letter of the Word, determine what is the truth about a great number of things. Then I got into the gifts of the Spirit and for a season miracles were happening and wonderful hearings and deliverances, and the gift of prophecy gushed forth like rushing streams from the mountain tops. Then God began to open the realm of sonship to my wondering spirit, and He has brought me to the place over the past several years where my one and only desire is to SEE HIM and KNOW HIM. I am telling you that the Person of Jesus Christ is exciting me more than anything else that I have ever found in the Word of God or in the realm of experience!
I cannot emphasize too strongly the infinite importance of the APPEARING OF CHRIST. There is a people today who LOVE HIS APPEARING. Vast multitudes of Christians will be thrilled with the passing, temporal blessings of His next visitation, but the elect will behold the glory of Christ, and will be made ONE IN HIM in every aspect of Himself that He discloses. The nominal Christian will find great joy in the fact that a new anointing is present, and that glorious things are being accomplished throughout the earth, but the elect will SEE CHRIST and will be made glad PARTAKERS of His glory. CHRIST will be the theme of this next move of God in the earth. He is the great Subject, the central Person of all our desires and yearnings. We do not desire more messages ABOUT HIM, we are simply crying out to KNOW HIM IN ALL HIS GLORIOUS AND ETERNAL REALITY.
Though we find deep satisfaction in the sweet communion that we have with Him, and the secret converse we have together as He journeys with us through the wilderness, how oft our hearts long for a closer touch with our precious Lord! No words can express the rapture that is ours when we walk and talk with Him by the way; but we yearn for HIS FULLNESS, when all veils and limitations of earth shall forever pass away. There are times when He makes Himself so real that our small capacity can hardly stand the strain of such revelations. It is as though we were bringing a pint cup to receive the waters of Niagara; even the earthen vessel is almost carried away. But the day is coming when our capacity shall be so enlarged, that we can receive the full unveiling of our Lord and the glories that are His; and He will give us such revelations of the Father that we shall indeed enter into His joy and glory. Then we shall see Him face to face, and shall behold all things clearly, with nothing between to obscure the vision. This mortal shall have put on immortality, and this corruptible shall have put on the incorruptible. The Father's name will be written in our forehead.
"Behold, I come quickly" (Rev. 3:11). "And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Rev. 22:12). "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20).
There is an important and sublime truth contained in the passages just quoted. The word "quickly" is from the Greek TACHU meaning shortly, without delay, swiftly, SPEEDILY, or SUDDENLY." While there is significant truth, not understood by the average Christian or preacher, in the statement of Jesus two thousand years ago, that He would come shortly and without delay, it is to the thought of the SPEEDINESS or SUDDENNESS of the Lord's coming that I would now draw your reverent attention. This principle of SUDDENNESS adheres to almost all the "appearings" and "comings" of the Lord. Look closely for a moment at the following examples: "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall SUDDENLY come to His temple ... He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts" (Mal. 3:1). Here is a great one: "Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming SUDDENLY He find you sleeping" (Mk. 13: 35-36). "And SUDDENLY there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men" (Lk. 2:13-14). "And SUDDENLY there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:2-4).
Then there is poor Saul of Tarsus, who ran headlong into a blinding "suddenly": "And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, SUDDENLY there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" (Acts 22:6-7). The angels' sudden appearance at the birth of the Christ child was "in the fullness of time". Centuries of prophetic voices accumulated until one night they poured out on a Judean hillside, scattering excited shepherds into a hasty search for the Messiah's birthplace. Pentecost took place because its time had "fully come," and suddenly the Spirit of the ascended and glorified Christ Jesus swept gloriously into the lives of those waiting for the promise. And we, too, are admonished by the Lord to watch diligently for His coming, "lest coming SUDDENLY He find you sleeping!"
The coming of Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles will break just as unexpectedly and suddenly and startlingly upon a sleeping church and an unbelieving world as did the coming of the Lord as the Passover Lamb and His coming in mighty Spirit-power on the day of Pentecost. It is my deep conviction, and I share it prayerfully, that the Lord Jesus will come forth in fullness in His elect body on the exact date of the Feast of Tabernacles, in the fall of the year (not necessarily this year - but the cry of our heart is ever, Come, Lord Jesus!).
The Feasts of the Lord portray distinctly the three primary manifestations of the Christ, and it is of immeasurable importance that we thoroughly understand that the comings of the Lord have ALWAYS TRANSPIRED ON THE PRECISE DATES OF THE FEASTS WHICH FORESHADOWED HIS APPEARING. The Son, Jesus, was literally, physically born - not in December - but at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles in October (see our booklet, FIVE REASONS WHY THE SONS OF GOD SHOULD NOT CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS, free, upon request). The Lamb of God, Christ our Passover, was literally and physically slain for us at the exact hour when the gleaming knives were put to the throats of the Paschal lambs all across the land of Israel. The faithful disciples in the upper room were keeping the Feast of Pentecost when the day was "fully come" and suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind. Today, we would say that a formation of jets had come in for a landing. There was a roar like the sound of a mighty waterfall. Suddenly, instantaneously, this energy, this snapping, crackling, popping Light filled the house. It played like static electricity over men until they were illuminated and radiant with divine energy. They stood and staggered under this power but were not drunk with new wine, they were suddenly charged with such a wave length of power that they were renewed in their minds, transformed in their natures, and went forth everywhere doing great signs and wonders and miracles, proclaiming the Word of God with power.
The Feast of Tabernacles took place on the 15th day of the 7th month, the month of Ethanim (around October), and lasted seven days. I do not hesitate to predict that the manchild company, the sons of God, will be born, literally and dramatically birthed upon the stage of this world, in a blaze of earth-shaking supernatural power and glory, during the Feast of Tabernacles time. They will be the "firstfruits" that will enter into HIS FULLNTSS, the total incarnation of God upon earth. When the Lord comes in a mighty way once more at the Feast of Tabernacles, all flesh shall see the salvation and glory of the Lord. Whatever the year may be, the manifestation of the sons of God will take place when the Feast of Tabernacles is "fully come". That will be the greatest of all "spectaculars" the world has ever witnessed, when He erupts from within His many-membered body in the fullness of which Pentecost has been only a foretaste. The inhabitants of the earth will be terrified, yes, even paralyzed! Instantly they will know this is no natural phenomenon, no traditional religious service; while deep within, the Voice shall witness: TRULY, THIS IS THE SON OF GOD! The effulgence of His Person shall appear upon His chosen ones, the intensity of His brilliance, equating to that of seven suns, shining through the undulating "garment" composed of tens of thousands of glorified saints, a star-studded, super-spectacular, seven times the power of Pentecost, the likes of which has never been witnessed by man since the dawn of creation.
On Friday afternoon, Nov. 22, 1963, at 12:30 in the afternoon, President John F. Kennedy was shot to death by an assassin as he rode through the streets of Dallas, Texas. Within minutes, television and radio flashed the news across the nation and around the world. America was galvanized in a shock that brought us together unlike anything except the explosion of tte Challenger spacecraft. I'm sure I could ask each one of you where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news of Kennedy's assassination, and you would be able to tell me. I remember vividly where I was at that time - at the airport in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, preparing to fly across the Gulf of California to the western Mexico city of Los Mochis. I shall never forget the feeling of unbelief and shock. But there is another event coming, the magnitude of which the world has never experienced, which will take the inhabitants completely by surprise, and I can assure you, precious friend of mine, that you and billions of other people throughout the earth will forever remember where you were and what you were doing THE DAY THE SONS OF GOD WERE MANIFESTED!
In years past we were taught that Jesus would come again to this earth in a singular, limited physical body. And when He made this world-wide appearance, all the church would suddenly be raptured and taken up to heaven. Whenever I minister that the Christ has ascended and been glorified, assuming again that glory which He had with the Father before the world was, and that He now returns as a glorious Spirit-Being, filling all things, and that W-E A-R-E HIS BODY, some tell me that I have taken all their "blessed hope" away. But let me assure each reader of these lines that I have learned to never take away anything unless I can give something better in return. I may take your "hope" away, but in its place I give you REALITY.
Ah, God has not left us without a blessed and inspiring hope and ere we have finished this series of articles, the Lord permitting, we shall disclose to you, what, to us, is a most transcendent vision for the yet future fulfillments of the prophecies of the scriptures concerning the coming of our blessed Lord, to be completed in a cycle of events so stupendous and wonderful that we stand in awe as we behold them. Of this cycle, the ministry of Jesus nearly two thousand years ago was but a miniature. There is that glorious coming of Christ set forth by the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the apostle Paul, of which he says, "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire ... when He shall come to be GLORIFIED I-N H-I-S S-A-I-N-T-S, and to be admired IN ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would account you worthy of THIS CALLING, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power" (II Thes. 1:7-11).
This facet of the Lord's coming is called His REVELATION - "When He shall be REVEALED from heaven." When He comes in the Feast of Tabernacles His coming will be greater than the singular Man Jesus appearing in the sky. When He comes He will exhibit majesty, glory, power and such splendor as is now unknown and inconceivable. He will be "REVEALED FROM HEAVEN" - that is, He will descend out of the glory of the Father in heaven, and will come to be "GLORIFIED I-N H-I-S S-A-I-N-T-S, and to be ADMIRED I-N ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE."
The ground of the admiration which HE will receive will be what will be seen, not in the sky, not in Jerusalem, nor yet in that singular body which Thomas' thrust-out hand touched and felt, but IN HIS SAINTS. That is, their graces, their love, their nature, their glory, their wisdom, their perfections and powers will be the occasion of producing admiration of HIM, for HE will be seen as the source and reality of it all. One translator has rendered it, "and to be made marvelous in all them that believe." I have said it before, and I now say it again, I am not so concerned about the MANIFESTATION of the SONS of God; I look, rather, for the MANIFESTATION OF G-O-D I-N HIS SONS! There is coming a day, the glory of which is indescribable, when the Christ shall be manifested in an all glorious manner, and the source of His highest triumphs will be what is seen IN the saints. His main honor, when He comes in the Feast of Tabernacles, will not be the outward splendors, which Christendom is ever expecting, nor the angels which will accompany Him, nor the display of His power over the elements and all laws of nature, but the SAINTS who have been made ONE IN HIM, and through whom HE will be revealed. He shall then be admired and glorified in His TRUE BODY to a total and ultimate degree.
This appropriate honor of Christ in the church which is His body has never yet been fully seen. His people on earth have, in general, most imperfectly reflected His image! They have been comparatively few in number, and scattered upon the earth. They have been poor and despised. They have been persecuted, and regarded as the "filth of the world, and the off-scouring of all things." The honors of this world have been withheld from them. The great have regarded it as no honor to be identified with the elect of God in any generation, and the proud have been ashamed to be enrolled among the number of those who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. At the Feast of Tabernacles all this will be changed, and the in-Christed will show to admiring worlds what are the exceeding riches and power of His grace.
There is a church, which is His body, "which is the FULLNESS OF HIM that filleth all things" (Eph. 1:23). The church is the "fullness" of Christ. The "fullness" is a word not easily explained in our language, but it is not what some people call it - the "complement". Complement very often in men's minds means only supplement. And that is exactly how most Christians view themselves in relation to Christ - just a supplement! The real meaning of the word fullness is just what you would call a full blown rose with every petal seen. The church - the rose - is here in a visible way upon earth - and now ALL HE IS comes out through His body. Christ is the fullness of God, and the church is the fullness or plenitude of Christ. Nothing, therefore, can be clearer than the fact that the body of Christ, notwithstanding that it has manifested much carnality, weakness, blundering and failure through this age, will come out in the end as the magnificent exhibition of all the beauty of God's Christ. The saints shall be the expression and display of the full glory of the incomparable Son of God, for they are HIS FULLNESS!
Iwant to take you back to that scene which transpired twenty centuries ago on the Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Let me briefly describe to you how that "last great day" was conducted. Early, early on the morning of that day, a million people and more, who had been dwelling in tents and booths all around Jerusalem, arose, on the Last Great Day of the Feast. Early in the morning, Priests and Levites, singers and players on instruments, those that sounded silver trumpets, those that played on the goldenharps, the tabrets, viols, wind and stringed instruments, the great orchestra of the great Temple, all gathered with the magnificent Temple Guard, with all the pomp and display of that splendid, most inspiring, most touching, and Divinely-appointed ceremonial.
What was the scene? From the Temple there issued forth the High Priest, bearing in his hand the Sacred Golden Vessel. With him were all the attendant priests of the Sanhedrin, and all the pageantry and flourish of the Temple Guards. With the Urim and Thummim on his breast, and all his attendants following in train, he passed through the Temple and walked slowly and solemnly down the Temple Mount. The beautiful music that had come down through the ages swelled forth in mighty volume. The sweet singers sang this song with joy, "With joy shall ye draw Water out of the Wells of Salvation," as they went down the Temple Mount to the sweet, sweet stream of Siloam, that Sacred Stream which flowed out of the earth under the Temple Mount, and went away around Moriah and Zion, and then was lost in the gardens of Ophil - a strange river.
They went down to Siloam and the High Priest dipped the Golden Vessel into the clear, pure Water. Then having taken the Sacred Water, he reversed the procession, and passed up with the Water in his hand, while the choir sang, the instruments played, and the people chanted that great song, the twelfth chapter of Isaiah: "Behold, God is my Salvation; I will trust and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and song; and He is become my Salvation; THEREFORE WITH JOY SHALL YE DRAW WATER OUT OF THE WELLS OF SALVATION." They swept upward to the Temple amid the hush of the multitude, whose hearts were touched by the inspiring scene. Then came the last great ceremonial on that Last Great Day of the Feast, when the High Priest, in the presence of all the people, took the Water he had taken from the Sacred Stream, and poured it out upon the Altar, while a great shout went up from the people, "With joy shall ye draw Water out of the Wells of Salvation!"
Just at that moment a young Man, humble, an untitled Rabbi, stood forth before the multitude. Not as King did He come, but stepping forward He took the place, doubtless, of the High Priest. Standing there beside the Sacred Altar, He lifted up His hands to the multitudes on Mount Moriah, Mount Zion, and Mount Olivet, and cried with a Voice that re-echoed down the Valley of Hinnom: "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow Rivers of Living Water!" What a hush fell upon the people! What a wonder that any man should be so daring as to step forward and take the High Priest's place and declare that He Himself was the Sacred Fountain opened in Judah for sin and all uncleanness.
That day Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit, just as when at Sychar's well He said to that woman of Samaria, "If thou knewest the Gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of Him, and He would have given thee Living Water." She did not understand. But, oh, how gently He made her know! Into that parched and weary woman's heart, who had had five husbands and was now living in shameless adultery, there came - into this barren, barren heart - the Water, a Well of Water, a Spring of Water, that made her a Messenger of God. She went into the city and broughtout all the men of Sychar to the feet of Jesus. There is a thirst in the heart of every man for the Fountains of Living Water. The vast majority of mankind has mistaken the thirst they have for Living Water to be a thirst for some temporal thing. Vainly they imagine that their thirst can be quenched by partaking of the stagnant waters of earths cisterns. Like lost sheep they wander through the wilderness of life seeking satisfaction and finding none. Place after place they roam in their pitiful search for the Fountain that satisfies, but find it they never can until at last they come to Christ. "If any man thirst," says Christ, "let him come unto Me and drink!" He becomes all in all to every searching heart. When Jesus comes, the thirsty soul finds the Fountain of Living Waters. There his thirst is slaked forever. Henceforth the River is in Him, a literal Niagara of Living Water springing up unto eternal life. "The River of God is full of Water."
With reverent heart and bowed head I now direct you to the wonderful truth that it was on this Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, at the ceremony known as "The Pouring Out of the Water," that Jesus stood and cried, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me...out of his belly shall flow Rivers of Living Water." This He spake of the Spirit which they should receive. That the time would come when men would no longer draw their experience from wells of Divine provision, but an artesian fountain of Living Water would rise up in the soul, and flow forth unto humanity in mighty Rivers of Blessing and Life.
The Jewish people have always believed that their Messiah would appear on this last, Great Day of the Feast. In fact, they still believe it. This is why Jesus had to be there on that Day. He had an appointment to reveal Himself to Israel on that literal, typical Day and He did. He was right on schedule. He always is! As the Water was poured out on the Altar, it was customary for the priest to quote, as we have pointed out, from Isaiah twelve. He would have concluded with the words: "Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." What irony there would be in those words! He knew nothing of the true Messiah who stood right before him; and yet there it was written, and he spoke forth these words in utter ignorance of the truth they conveyed: "Great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee!" There He stood, the Holy One of Israel, the very Fountain of Life, and the Substance of all their ceremonies and festivities. He does the same today. He stands in secret in our very midst, waiting for admittance. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if ANY MAN hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Rev. 3:20).
We must keep in mind that when Jesus appeared in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles two thousand years ago, Ho appeared as a physical man at a symbolic ceremony, and that ceremony was not the Feast of Pentecost, but the Feast of Tabernacles. It was at the Feast of Tabernacles that Jesus presented Himself as the Giver, by the will of the Father, of the Holy Spirit as Rivers of Living Water. And yet, is it not true that we have always associated the Rivers of Living Water with the gift of the Holy Spirit received at the Feast of Pentecost? How dull of hearing and understanding is the carnal mind! We have looked to Pentecost as the source of the Rivers of Living Water, and in so doing have misappropriated the symbol entirely, and missed the larger fulfillment of the type! I have been greatly blessed and enriched by reading the comments of the late George Wylie on this subject. I am especially impressed to share the following words of wisdom and revelation from his pen:
"After surrendering my heart and life to the Master I heard of the infilling of the Holy Ghost, and sought it with all my heart. I was told that this would be the fullness of God. I expected that I would be filled with His fullness and have power to turn the world upside down and do all kinds of miracles and impossible things. How disappointed I was when I found that I didn't have that kind of power, and I wondered why. Later I discovered that far from being filled with all the fullness of God, I had merely received the firstfruits of the Spirit - far from fullness. What Jesus said about Rivers of Living Water flowing has not happened yet. O yes, we have seen little trickles and gushing little rivulets here and there, but nothing like mighty Rivers.
"Once I was visiting a church shortly after coming back from our missionary stay in Liberia, Africa. We saw the Lord do many wonderful things there; wonderful hearings and transformed lives; but I still realized there was a tremendous lack. There wasn't the flow of the Rivers the Lord spoke of. There was a tremendous hunger in me and great desire for more of God, and to break the bounds of the limiting things that seemed to cling to me and hinder me from being what He had said I should be. The Elder asked me if I would like to say something, so I just unburdened my heart, and shared the deep longing of my spirit to launch out into the deep of God. There was a song we often sang then:
Launch out into the deep, Let the shoreline go;
Launch out, launch out, In the ocean Divine;
Out where the full tides flow!
"I quoted these words and said how I longed to do just that, to launch out into the deep and be swallowed up in the Divine Fullness. The Elder's wife got up and said, 'Bro. Wylie, if you had been with us in the prayer meeting on Friday night, you would have been out in the deep.' I answered her, 'Sister, there is a world of difference in having a little shower of rain fall on you, and launching out into the depth of the Divine fullness.' O my, how can we be content with a little trickle when there should be Rivers flowing! I believe the day is here for these Rivers to break forth and flow as they ought to. The scripture says that this had not happened yet, when the Lord spoke these words, because that He was not yet glorified; but when He was glorified it would happen. As I am sitting here meditating on these things, and talking to the Lord about it, I said, 'Father, now that your Son has been glorified, why has it not happened as He said it would?' Do you know what He just told me? He said, 'The Christ has not yet been glorified.' As I considered those words I realized that the Head has been glorified, but the body has not yet been glorified, and when the rest of the Christ is glorified then the prophecy will be fully fulfilled. Then there will be Rivers of Living Water flowing in the totality of all that that means!" -end quote.
None can deny that Jesus spake of the outpouring of the Spirit that would follow the glorification of the Head; but there was also a deeper teaching in His loud utterance, for, after all, Pentecost is just a stepping-stone to Tabernacles. What then, in brief, is the conclusion one is compelled to arrive at in piecing together these types and passages? That the blessing of Tabernacles proclaims the inward revealing of the life of Jesus Christ in a fuller and mightier way than ever before experienced; that whereas Pentecost is a "firstfruit" or "earnest of the Spirit," Tabernacles is a HARVEST, or greater manifestation, a flowing of the Living Waters in such power that even the mortal and corruptible workings in our flesh and blood shall be swallowed up in HIS LIFE, and shall overflow to a fainting and thirsting world in such glory and power that it shall change and transform all things.
It is the healing, life-giving stream that we read about in Ezekiel: "These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh" (Eze. 47:8-9). Jesus said, "I will make you fishers of MEN." The manifestation of the sons of God shall eclipse anything we have ever read about in the Bible or church history! This Water has been flowing ever since Pentecost; we realize that; but soon it shall gush forth from HIS HARVEST COMPANY who have drunk deeply at the blessed Fountain-Head of Life, and shall empty into the mighty oceans of humanity, bringing life and blessing and salvation to a dry and parched wilderness where no life is. A great outpouring from beneath the very throne of God, the dominion of God personalized in His obedient elect, will send streams of salvation into all the world.
Truly, in a way never imagined by sinner or saint, the burning words of the prophet will be fulfilled: "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" (Isa. 40:5). Isaiah again enlarges on this prophecy: "The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God" (Isa. 52:10). It is true that this has happened in measure throughout this Gospel age, but it has never happened on the scale where all things are transformed under the Lordship of God's Christ. We have been made, eye-witnesses of the firstfruits; now we await the HARVEST! We have been made glad partakers of the rivulets of Pentecost; now our souls pant for the gushers of Tabernacles!
The message of this article is just this: Jesus is coming again! He will never come again into the body of His humiliation, never again walk to rest upon the well, or sleep in the storm tossed boat, never to again be smitten in the face and spit upon and crucified. Can we not all thank God that that part of it is finished? "In like manner as ye have seen Him go away," so will be the manner of His coming. It was an hour of His Kingdom glory and the holy rapture of His translation. And so will He return. So He has returned. So He does return. His return on the day of Pentecost was in a mighty rushing sound, in tongues of flame, in prophetic ecstacy, in gifts of apostles and miracles. He came to fill His body, His church, with this power. Can we even begin to comprehend the greater glory of His coming in the Feast of Tabernacles? All this will be reproduced on a larger scale. It will be the FULL HARVEST of His life. He will come with the keys of death and the grave in His hands for His elect sons. He will come in power as the Judge of the living and the dead. He will come as King of kings and Lord of lords in sovereign grace to carry out the great work of reconciling and restoring ALL THINGS. Some presume that they have already received this anointing, already reign as kings in the Kingdom. Their lives and their ministries give the lie to their claims. I have not witnessed a power and a glory greater than Pentecost in any place, nor in any person, nor through any ministry anywhere on this terrestrial globe. Have you? But it is coming. You can count on it!
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was never intended to accomplish so great a purpose. God's purpose in this age has been, not to deliver the whole creation, but to "take out a people for His name" in order that, by His goodness to us in Christ Jesus, He might display in the ages to come the transcendent RICHES OF HIS GRACE (Eph. 2:7). Having accomplished His purpose for this age, the Lord shall then use the finished product from this age, a company of sons in His own image, to be the deliverers of creation.
We have heard many so-called Gospels. The world is full of poor deluded souls who are trying to establish their own particular creed of imaginings and mistakes. We try to go to the world, we try to tell them the message, by using all the world's own methods, to advertise, to appeal to their emotions, to entertain them with music. It only proves our impotence, that we have not left the world very far behind if we can return and employ the world's ways so easily. Today, everyone with a little bit of preacher's "itch" is attempting to get themselves a little congregation, a little following, to build a little kingdom. These all imagine that somehow they are going to go out and storm the world and "take the world" for Christ. But a new day has dawned, a day when the pure and unadulterated Gospel of the Kingdom must go forth to the whole world. Religionists have tried in vain to lift the world out of its shame by their ambitious programs and preaching their own ideas and the doctrines of the antichrist. It simply would not work. The world has grown steadily worse. Their lofty phrases, and text-book prayers, and apologetic platitudes, and time-honored traditions have utterly failed. Now a new company is to go forth with a burning message of truth direct from the throne, and in the fullness of power reserved for this day. The anointing of the sons of God shall be an anointing WITHOUT MEASURE, and the message of these sons shall be a message stripped of all the ineffectual absurdities that have been preached throughout the years. Religionists have side-stepped, and mollycoddled, and back-slapped too long. Their day is done. The sun is sinking in the western sky of this age of the "in part" realm. A new day is dawning for those who have been quickened from above. A new army is being prepared for this new day, an army of the sons of God perfected in His image, filled with the precious mind that was in Christ Jesus, radiating the effulgence of His glory, demonstrating the omnipotence of His power. And there shall be an exultant victory. For now the day is dawning when "A-L-L nations shall come and worship before thee" (Rev. 15:4). "And... all the nations ... shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to KEEP THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES" (Zech. 14:16). It cannot be denied by any that throughout this age all the nations that have come to worship the Lord have worshipped Him in the Feasts of Passover and Pentecost. But there is a day, glorious day! when all the nations shall know the Lord and feast with Him in the blessing and glory of TABERNACLES!
I believe I speak the truth when I say that many of us have reached the point of no return - there is nothing to go back to, not in the flesh, not in the world, not in the church systems; there is nothing out of which we have been drawn by the Spirit of God to which we would return; it is all so empty, meaningless, lifeless, worthless. Now we must FOLLOW ON TO KNOW THE LORD IN HIS FULLNESS. It is vain to come out, unless we are committed to ENTER IN. We are committed to a course which cannot be altered, for it is fixed in its destination - His throne! "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne" (Rev. 3:21).
We do not desire the throne for what we can get out of it, for our own fame and fortune, but for the infinite potential it holds for blessing and restoring the creation. "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation GROANETH AND TRAVAILETH IN PAIN together until now" (Rom. 8: 20-22). Today, the world is full of broken hearts, the hospitals are crowded, the cemeteries are being filled, even nature itself is groaning. You go down to the seaside and you can hear the sob of the waves, you go to the mountains and you can hear the low sigh of the wind in the tree tops. Creation is groaning, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.
It is not more preachers we need. It is not more radio broadcasts or television programs. It is not more missions and missionaries. It is not more tracts or even Bibles. It is not more programs and crusades. It is not another revival. All we need is the cry of the groaning creation and the prayer of the travailing saint to be joined with the unutterable longings of the Holy Spirit, all crying in unison and harmony for the manifestation of the sons of God. There is an elect people who, even as I pen these words, are being made participators in this grandest of all dramas of history. Their prayer, praise God, is soon to be answered. The long awaited revelation is at hand. The glorious Lord is soon to be revealed from heaven in flaming fire to be exhibited in great glory and power and admired IN HIS SAINTS.
Ah, my brother, my sister, do not sell creation short! Do not settle for less than God's best! All creation is standing on tiptoe, waiting and counting on you. If you love Israel; if you love the peoples and kindreds of the earth who know nothing of the Saviour; if you love the sad, the tormented the sick and the dying; if you love the burdened brute creation; if you love the mountains, the trees, the rivers and the oceans so mindlessly being destroyed under the hand of greed - you will joyfully welcome the hope of the manifestation of God in His sons; for it is the hope that shall bring to the groaning creation, emancipation from the bondage of corruption, into the liberty of the Children of God; to Israel her Messiah; to the heathen idolater, the knowledge of God; to the rebellious, correction; to the sick and dying, health and life incorruptible; to the Bride, the presence of the Bridegroom; to mute nature, blessed release from the cruelty of man and the blight of the curse.
You have kept the Feast of Passover. We trust that you have also kept the Feast of Pentecost. But will we now move on from Mount Sinai to Mount Zion, where we may keep the next Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles? The power of His presence will be manifested in a way never seen before. Let us go up to the Feast! Jesus will meet us there! Oh, my friends, let us listen for the sound of His coming!
In the crimson of the morning, in the whiteness of the noon,
In the amber glory of the day's retreat,
In the midnight, robed in darkness, or the gleaming of the moon,
I listen for the coming of His feet.
I have heard His weary footsteps on the sands of Galilee,
On the temple's marble pavement, on the street,
Worn with weight of sorrow, faltering up the slopes of Calvary,
The sorrow of the coming of His feet.
Down the minster aisles of splendor, from betwixt the cherubim,
Through the wondering throng, with motion strong and fleet,
Sounds His victor tread, approaching with a music far and dim-
The music of the coming of His feet.
Sandaled not with shoon of silver, girded not with woven gold,
Weighted not with shimmering gems and odors sweet,
But white-winged and shod with glory in the Tabor-light of old-
The glory of the coming of His feet.
He is coming, O my spirit! with His everlasting peace,
With His blessedness immortal and complete,
He is coming, O my spirit! and His coming brings release;
I listen for the coming of His feet!