TYPES AND SHADOWS
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
It is a miracle that God could sponsor activities over a period of 4,000 years that form an audio-visual, although symbolic, portrayal of our spiritual salvation. Just think of the wisdom and foreknowledge required to perform such a feat, while at the same time permitting people to make their own decisions. In the Bible we have future history written through to the last chapter of the Book of Revelation. How can this be?
TYPES AND SHADOWS
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. (I Corinthians 10:11)
There is a saying, "The New is in the Old concealed; the Old is in the New revealed. It really is true. This is why Dispensational theory, with its premise that the New Testament salvation is a new dispensation separate from the old, is incorrect and destructive. The Book is one whole, a perfect, complete account of Godís plan to restore what was lost in the Garden to Eden, and then to add much, much more.
That God could develop such a perfect plan from beginning to end, writing the end thousands of years before it has happened, and arranging the events described in the Old Testament so they symbolize the aspects of our spiritual salvation, is a marvel enough. But to add to this His giving to people the opportunity to make choices, brings us into the incomprehensible.
The only way I can imagine this being done is that time is not binding on the spirit realm. Perhaps God sees history as one great tapestry, such that God can view any event at any point in history, whether past, present or future, from our standpoint.
If this is so, and God can intervene at any point in history, past, present, or future, then as people make their choices, God can step in and modify subsequent events of the future based on the choices made in the past. The end then would be exactly as God has foretold, and yet people were free to make their choices.
For example: there might be an individual whom God planned to use in a mighty way, causing a worldwide revival. But the person fell through lust or the love of money. Then God would have to adjust the future by calling someone else or by some other means. Perhaps, just as probable, there might be a believer for whom nothing unusual had been planned, who surprised God by his or her resolute seeking of the Lord, enabling God to act in an unprecedented fashion.
I know it is taught that God knows everything. It is apparent from the Bible that God does not know everything in advance. When Abraham offered Isaac, God said, "Now I know you fear God." Also, it is written that God brought the Israelites through the wilderness so He might know what was in their heart, in preparation for their life in the land of promise.
So it is a wonderful adventure after all, full of surprises. It is possible for any one of us to surprise God by determining to be absolutely obedient. Whoever will be absolutely obedient to God enables God to take steps that ordinarily would not be possible.
There was a time when God searched Jerusalem and could not find one faithful person, one individual who spoke the truth. God said He would pardon the city if He could find such a person. In another place, God said He looked for someone who would stand in the gap on behalf of the land so He would not have to destroy it; but He couldnít find a faithful individual who sought God with his or her whole heart
If God could have found a person of integrity who walked with God like Enoch, He would have changed His mind concerning the area.
Could God find a believer in America who loves the truth and serves God faithfully? Would God spare our nation if there were one such Christian? I personally am determined He will not be able to say this about the city where I am living. How about you? Does this sort of determination appeal to you?
Paul told us it is God who hardens one and brings another to salvation. Even the Lord taught that no one can come to Himself unless the Father draws that person. Jesus stated that we did not choose Him, He chose us. Yet there is no doubt the New Testament teaches that whoever decides to do so can come to Christ. We err when we stress Godís sovereign actions too much or the will of man too much. We just have to permit the two seemingly contradictory concepts to remain unimpaired, because they both are scriptural.
So Divine sovereignty, Divine foreknowledge, Divine election, Divine predestination, and human choice interact to bring us to the new Jerusalem that in vision already has come down to rest in splendor upon a new earth.
It really is beyond our comprehension. Our task is to abide in Christ each day. Godís task is to bring everything to pass He has stated, while permitting people to choose good or evil.
A part of this grand scheme is what we Christians call "types and shadows." These are fancy terms for symbols. By types and shadows are meant the circumstances and things of the Old Testament that symbolize spiritual truth. For example, the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan symbolizes our Christian pilgrimage from our bondage in the world spirit to our full inheritance in the Kingdom of God.
I have written a lot about the types and shadows, the symbols found in the Old Testament. I have found that there are four major types: the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan; the seven feasts of the Lord, the seven furnishings of the Tabernacle of the Congregation; and the six days of creation followed by the seventh day of rest. I refer to these as the "four great types." It is absolutely phenomenal how these four types agree with each other, all proclaiming Godís plan of salvation.
There are, of course, other major types, such as the events that took place when Gideon attacked the Midianites (probably the greatest type of the coming of Christ), and the serpent erected on the pole, which to look at brought healing (a type of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
I will tell you how I developed an interest in types, although this makes it sound as though through my own intelligence I began a study of types. This is not true. What understanding I have has come through revelation, not study. In fact, my fairly extensive writings have not come from the normal process of study, outlining, research, and so forth. My understanding, such as it is, has come as a burden. When I feel the burden (for want of a better term) I start typing. I can tell when the burden has been set forth in writing. Then I stop. I preach the same way.
So it is true that I never intended to be a writer of types and shadows. These ideas have just come to me while I have been serving the Lord.
Anyway, while Audrey and I were attending a church held in a tent on the border of National City, California, we were exposed to the teaching of Brother Oliver Ellenwood, long since deceased. J. O. Dowell was the pastor of the church.
Brother Ellenwood had charts that showed the seven furnishings of the Tabernacle. This marked the beginning of my interest in the Tabernacle.
During one of his teaching sessions he mentioned the feasts of the Lord. I had never heard anyone even mention the seven feasts of the Lord, except for Pentecost (the fourth feast). In fact, I did not know the world "Pentecost" meant anything other than the baptism with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. I did not realize Pentecost was the fourth of seven feasts.
But when Brother Ellenwood mentioned the feasts of the Lord, something rose up in me, I can tell you that.
Soon after that the Lord spoke to me. I donít remember the exact words, only the substance. The Lord said His next move in His churches would have to do with Christ in us, and also with judgment.
Now you must remember that the preaching of that day consisted of "the great falling away"; the Catholic Church was the Antichrist"; and the "rapture." So what I believe the Lord was telling me was not included in the contemporary (1948) preaching and teaching.
I told Brother Ellenwood what I felt the Lord had said. I donít remember how he responded, but he appeared impressed.
Also in those days, Audrey and I were exposed to the teaching of Elmer E. Fullerton, a distinguished minister and I believe honorary presbyter of the Assemblies of God. Brother Fullerton was way ahead of his time in spiritual understandingóhe and his friend, Brother Scull of Arizona, another Assembly of God minister. Brother Fullerton maintained that God wanted to put more of Christ in us. He talked about the rest of God, mentioned in the Book of Hebrews.
Those were exciting days, I can tell you. During one of my New Testament Greek classes I was carried out of my body until I was at about the level of the ceiling. Then I willed myself to come down so I could participate in the study of Greek. I recall that while in this elevated state I could not remember what I had studied for the dayís assignment. I could not remember the Greek words, whatever that signifies. I suppose a Greek person having an out of the body experience could not remember the English he had studied.
In those days I wrote a booklet titled "The Temple of God," about fifteen pages in length. I think there is a copy around here somewhere. Now that same title has been expanded to several hundred pages. I donít know whether or not the text has been improved.
At some point after the time the Lord spoke to me I began to study about the feasts of the Lord, concentrating on the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus. Also, I put time in on the Tabernacle of the Congregation, found in the Book of Exodus. I wrote a book on each of these two subjects.
I know many scholars have presented the furnishings of the Tabernacle as types of Jesus Christ. I certainly have no problem with that. But what the Lord emphasized to me, both in the seven furnishings of the Tabernacle and also in the seven feasts of the Lord, was the application to the program of salvation as it works out in our individual life.
In the feasts we begin with the Passover. In the Tabernacle we begin with the bronze Altar of Burnt Offering. It does not require an extraordinary intellect to notice that these two major types prefigure our coming out from the world under the protection of the blood of the Lamb, and our forgiveness through the blood atonement made on the cross of Calvary.
The second feast is that of Unleavened Bread. The second furnishing of the Tabernacle was the bronze Laver. Both of these point toward our putting away the leaven of sin as we are baptized in water. The bronze laver, constructed from the looking glasses of the women of Israel, also portrays the Bible, in that as we read the Bible we can observe where we are dirty and proceed to put away our sins.
The third feast, Firstfruits, corresponds to the Table of Showbread. When we are born again a firstfruits of our personality, the beginning of the formation of Christ in us, ascends to the right hand of the Father to be hidden there in Christ.
The Table of Showbread speaks of the body of Christ, which we are to eat so Christ may be formed in us. Whenever the morning or evening lamb was sacrificed at the Altar of Burnt offering, which was out in the Courtyard, inside the Holy Place, not visible to those in the Courtyard, wine was poured out next to the Table of Showbread. Here we see the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the inner Life by which we are to live after we have been born again.
Can you sense the profound spiritual significance in these two major types: the seven feasts of the Lord and the seven furnishings of the Tabernacle of the Congregation?
Next we come to the feast of Pentecost. The fourth furnishing was the golden Lampstand. Both of these speak of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who enables Jesus Christ to bear the Divine testimony, and who enables us to live a holy life and bear witness of Christ.
Here is where we are now in the unfolding plan of salvation. We have come as far as the fourth feast and the fourth furnishing. I view the twentieth century as the century of Pentecost. During the twentieth century the Holy Spirit has been poured out in many places. Speaking in tongues, and other gifts of the Spirit, have spread throughout the Christian world,
Today Christian people are at many levels of salvation. At whatever level of salvation people are, they view the next major move of God, as far as their own salvation is concerned, as being residence in Heaven. The next stop is Heaven.
This is true of us in Pentecost. We see the next move of God as our going to Heaven. We may realize the Church is far from being the unblemished Wife of the Lamb, but we suppose somehow, sometime, somewhere, God will make us perfectóthat is, if we even think about the problem.
However, the truth is, there are not four steps of salvation portrayed in the types of the Old Testament, there are seven. As soon as the Church proceeds through all seven steps of redemption it will be unblemished.
Whenever God moves past where people are into the next phase of His plan, there is an uproar. Friends become hostile toward one another. Denominations issue edicts, forbidding their members to have any part in the work of the devil. It is a mess.
I remember well when the so-called "latter rain" began, in the late 1940s. The Hawtin party came down from Canada and held meetings in A. Earl Leeís place in Los Angeles. Audrey and I "happened" to be there. Why Audrey and I were there on that first Sunday is a story in itself and quite a miracle.
There was a wonderful spirit there. I knew this was what Brother Fullerton had been prophesying. The latter (spring; harvest) rain was here, a refreshing from Heaven. But problems began immediately. (My personal viewpoint is that the latter rain began with the Protestant Reformation, and its climax is yet ahead of us.)
Brother Frodsham came to San Diego. Brother Frodsham, the editor of the Pentecostal Evangel for so many years, recognized the latter-rain movement as being of the same Spirit as early Pentecost. Brother Frodsham wrote "With Signs Following," which may still be available by writing to The Gospel Publishing House, in Springfield, Missouri. If you have never read it you ought to send for it.
The Assemblies put Stanley Howard Frodsham out of the denomination. Can you imagine that! Brother Frodsham was a man of God if there ever was one.
When he was in San Diego he pointed toward a small merry-go-round in an amusement park. He said, "That is the Assemblies of God. He wasnít bitter, just kind of chagrined.
Do you know what the issue was; why Brother Frodsham was dismissed from the Assemblies? The big heresy was the laying on of hands and personal prophecy, a practice followed today wherever there is spiritual life. I am sure numerous Assembly of God churches allow laying on of hands and personal prophecy. Audrey and I are ordained ministers in the Foursquare denomination, and I know laying on of hands and personal prophecy are practiced among us.
The ferment was so ridiculous! Whenever God beings to move, Satan cries out, "That is of the devil!" It is just this ridiculous.
I do not know what eventually happened to the Hawtin party, or North Battleford, Canada, from which they emerged. I do know, however, that in the days of which I am speaking, God was present.
Sure there was error. There always is error wherever God is moving. The rain brings up weeds as well as flowers, and snails all over the place.
At that time there was the teaching that since Christ is in us we do not need to pray.
There was the teaching that there no longer was a need for Communion.
Some were suggesting that the sons of God should not marry.
Some were speaking of the "manifested sons of God." At that time I taught that the manifestation of the sons of God will take place when the Lord returns, and not before.
The believers are so starved today, because of the dead preaching of grace-Heaven-rapture, that they are vulnerable to error. And we have seen error in the "prosperity," "faith," "imaging," and "creative word" exercises in metaphysics. When the people are starved they will believe whatever new comes up, in the hope of getting some substance for their souls.
Saul is a type of ministry that is "head and shoulders above the people," referring to the exaltation of man. When man is exalted, it will not be long before the people are starving. Then they "eat food" that is not acceptable to the Lord.
Then someone said to Saul, "Look, the men are sinning against the LORD by eating meat that has blood in it." "You have broken faith," he said. "Roll a large stone over here at once." (I Samuel 14:33)
"Godís answer men" of today are decrying what they understand to be error in the churches. As I see it, they are not seeing the true error, which is the departure from the New Testament on the part of the majority of churches. Grace is being stressed in the place of righteous behavior. An unscriptural "rapture" is being emphasized in place of preparing the people to stand in the day of trouble that is ahead of us. They are focusing on the "latter rain" and William Branham. These critics are straining out gnats and swallowing camels.
I know there is a Branham cult today. But Audrey and I were in Branham meetings when he was using his gift correctly. The Presence of God was awesome. But, as sometimes happens, a believer who receives an extraordinary gift is vulnerable to deception.
The errors in Christian teaching in our day are far more destructive than errors in the latter rain movement or in the ministry of William Branham. I will explain in a minute.
God has riches, riches, riches for us today, and we do not have to go into questionable doctrine to get some spiritual life.
I left you with the fourth of the seven steps of redemption, didnít I? We had gotten as far as Pentecost and the golden Lampstand of the Tabernacle.
The fifth step has to do with spiritual warfare. The fifth feast is that of trumpets. The fifth furnishing of the Tabernacle was that of the Altar of Incense. You can find the relationship between the Altar of Incense and the feast of Trumpets in the Book of Revelation.
Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. (Revelation 8:5,6)
The censer was filled with fire from the Altar of Incense. Then the trumpets began to sound.
The Altar of Incense, the fifth furnishing of the Tabernacle, was situated directly before the Ark of the Covenant and the golden Lid of Atonement. The ornate Veil hung between the Altar of Incense and the Ark.
As we move past the Lampstand, past Pentecost, we come to the Altar of Incense. The next move after that brings us into the very Presence of God and the Lid of Atonement Mercy Seat). All of this is highly significant for us who are at Pentecost.
The Altar of Incense speaks of death. The incense, compounded from frankincense, galbanum, stacte, and onycha, provides a holy odor, but its ingredients are symbolic of piercing, of cutting, of death.
Here is where we are to come. I wonder how many Pentecostal people are willing to leave the their comfortable religious experience and press into death to self-will; for this exactly is what the Altar of Incense representsódeath to our self-will.
As soon as any one of us is willing to bow before God and say, "Not my will but Yours be done," the trumpets of God begin to sound. The defeat of the enemy is at hand. We have to conquer the adversary by loving not our life to the death.
In the present hour we are entering the warfare of the Kingdom of God. Satan is to be cast down from the heavens. The Kingdom of God is to be installed on the earth. But the destruction can take place only as there are saints who are willing to die to their self-will. There is no other way. As long as we remain alive in our adamic nature, Satan can defeat us. I donít care how gifted or zealous we are, Satan can defeat us until we are ready to die to our self-will.
The only was we can get past the Veil and move into the Most Holy Place, is to bow in death to our self-will, to our first personality. Are you willing to do this? The Lord is looking for believers who will take this step in God. The Pentecostal experience and activities can be delicious, but after Pentecost comes death to our ambitions.
So we in Pentecost are to move toward the feast of Trumpets, signifying warfare and judgment (just as the Lord told me in 1948), and as part of this we are to deny ourselves and do the Lordís will.
Gifts and ministries are at the Pentecostal level. We are going to need the gifts and ministries until the Lord returns, for it is by these that the Holy Spirit builds up the members of the Body of Christ to the stature of the fullness of Christ.
At the same time, while we are being diligent with our gifts and ministries, we are to bow in death to self-will. Only our death will bring us to the fullness of fruitfulness and conquest that we desire. Only our death makes it possible for Christ to come to the fullness in us.
Well, we have made it through five of the major symbols. There are two more to go. I suppose the Christian churches, for the most part, have never ventured much beyond basic forgiveness, although some have moved forward to the gifts of the Spirit.
But it must be obvious God is not finished. After all, Jesus Christ is Alpha and Omega, the Beginner and the Finisher, of our salvation. His beginning at Calvary was a sovereign Divine work, although we have to choose to enter it. His finish will also be a sovereign Divine work, although we have to choose to enter it.
The first step past Pentecost, then, is to bow at the Altar of Incense and state with finality, "Not my will but Yours be done." Until we do that we cannot budge past Pentecost.
What will take place when we make that consecration? You guessed it. Warfare!
We may have thought we were a mature Christian, fully established in the Lord. Just wait until you try to move past Pentecost! You may find yourself in a whirlwind as God takes you at your word and begins to move you past the Veil, so to speak, into His very Presence.
What now? Now you have come to the making of man in Godís image. Remember, man was made in Godís image on the sixth day, just before God rested.
The sixth feast is the Day of Atonement. The sixth article of the Tabernacle is the Ark of the Covenant. It was on the Day of Atonement, and only on the Day of Atonement, that the High Priest was permitted past the Veil that he might sprinkle blood upon and before the Lid of Atonement.
How can we recognize when God is dealing with us at the sixth level of salvation?
We know we are moving into the sixth level as God begins to deal with our worldliness, the lusts of our sinful nature, and our self-love.
All sorts of things crop up in our life. We then are to patiently name each area of darkness as the Holy Spirit points it out to us, confess it as sin, utterly denounce and turn away from it, and ask for more of Christ that we might never let evil that back into our personality.
How long does this operation of atonement, of reconciliation, last? It lasts until there is no darkness in us. Is this possible? Absolutely! We are not an endless source of sin. Sin is no more than a collection of nasty little bondages. Christ is more than able to break every chain in our personality.
In order to be in the image of God, two operations must occur in our personality. First, all darkness has to be removed. Second, Christ must be formed in us. When the darkness has been removed, and Christ has been formed in us, then the Father and Christ will come and make their eternal dwelling in us.
After that, all that remains is for us to get a new house.
Our body is a house for our inward man. Did you know? I know you believe it, but have you really thought about it?
If you were to look at me you would not see me. Why not? All you would see is my house. Isnít that right? I am an old man. This old house is in need of repair, I am not too concerned about it any more than I would be concerned about an old car that needs several repairs. It is time for a new one.
You do not see your friends. All you see is their houses, houses that soon enough will be decaying in the ground.
All you are looking at is the house. You are not seeing the real person at all. Think of it.
Paul prayed that we might be strengthened in our inner man.
Our problem in America is that our culture directs all of its attention to the outer man, until people believe our body is the real person, the one they should be concerned about.
Not so! The house is not the real you. The house is growing old and soon will be buried, before it starts to smell. Isnít that right? Leave it with the undertaker.
Well, where is the real person? The real person is in the spirit world. The rich man died and was buried. His real person was in Hell. True, or not?
People wonder if they will recognize people in the spirit world. The rich man recognized Lazarus and Abraham!
Donít you think it is about time we started to think about our real person, our eternal person, our person that will appear in the Day of Resurrection?
There are people in the world who are successful and prosperous. Some of them are Christians. We look at them and admire them and their fine clothes and expensive automobiles.
But what do they actually look like? Are they really handsome and strong? Or are they pitiful dwarfs, bulging with lust and covetousness? Do you see what I mean? It is not the outer man that counts, it is the real person, the eternal man, the inward individual.
All of us have an inward man. I would imagine he can be seen in the spirit world. Some day we will see ourselves, what we really look like.
The sixth step, the Day of Atonement, the Ark of the Covenant, typifies our being made in the image of Jesus Christ. The darkness must be removed. The inward man must be changed into the moral image of Christ until he is exactly like Christ in personality. You may believe this canít be done. We canít do it, but almighty God indeed can and will, if we will cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He leads us in putting away the darkness that is in us.
We have a ways to go, donít we.
Actually, the blood atonement gives us the authority to enter the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit gives us the wisdom and strength to enter the Kingdom of God.
Now we have come to the Kingdom of God, which is our change into the image of Christ, and then the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell in our new personality.
Soon our old house will fade into dust. But it shall be raised in the Day of the Lord and our inward man will once again inhabit it. Then a new house from Heaven will clothe our resurrected house and our inward man. And here is the point! The new house that you will get in the Day of Resurrection will look like your inward man.
Today your outward man may not look at all like your inner man. But in that day your new house, that which will clothe your resurrected outer man as well as your inward man, will show what you truly are. Here is perfect Divine justice.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (I John 3:2,3)
If you donít want to look like for eternity what you are inside at the present time, then now is the time to purify yourself. It may be too late then!
So we started with the blood of the Lamb, and now we have come as far as the sixth work of salvation. What is next?
The final work, the Omega, is that of God and Christ settling down to rest in our personality. Our inward man has been changed into the moral image of Jesus Christ. Our mortal body has been raised from the dead and has been joined with our transformed inward man. The Lord Jesus has brought with Him our new house, which has been fashioned as our inward man has been fashioned while on the earth. Our new house will be placed as a covering over our personality.
This unit is now one of the many "mansions" of which the Lord spoke. It is a room in the great house of the Father.
What is the seventh feast? The feast of Tabernacles. Does this agree with what we are teaching?
What is the seventh furnishing of the Tabernacle? The solid-gold Lid of Atonement, the Presence of God resting on the Ark, which we have become.
Here is the fullness of the rest of God. It is the eternal Sabbath.
God spoke to me about two things, in 1948. One was (through Elmer Fullerton) that we were to be filled with Christ until we become an integral part of Him.
The other was that God was going to bring His Church through judgment.
At the time God spoke to me I knew a little about the Tabernacle, but not all the details I have just presented to you.
I knew nothing at all about the feasts of the Lord. It is since that time that I have learned that the Jews regard the Day of Atonement as the time when God judges the sins of men. I had no idea of this in 1948. I learned about Yom Kippor, the Day of Atonement, many years later.
So where does this leave us?
I have no doubt the next few years will see Divine judgment fall on the United States of America, because of the immorality prevalent in our land. I believe the Holy Spirit will pour out His Spirit at the same time, so there will be abundant opportunity for repentance.
But here is the problem. The current Christian doctrine in America is unscriptural and destructive. It is contrary to all God desires.
God desires that man be in His image. God desires that man live righteously, be merciful, and walk humbly with God.
What does our doctrine teach? Our doctrine teaches that if we will make the right profession of belief, God will be pleased and we will go to Heaven. We call this being "saved by grace."
But isnít this what the Apostle Paul taught? No, it is not.
When Paul spoke of grace he was arguing against looking to the Law of Moses for righteousness instead of to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me explain.
Do you remember that John the Baptist said, "The Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ"? Do you know what this means? It means grace and truth are to take the place of the Law of Moses, not the place of righteous behavior, but the place of the Law of Moses..
Whenever Paul spoke of grace, Paul meant instead of the Law of Moses. You must remember, Paul was working against a tremendous pressure exerted by those who were faithful to the Law of Moses. Since we Gentiles have not experienced that pressure, we cannot understand what Paul was saying.
When Paul spoke about salvation not being by our works, he meant the works of the Law of Moses.
We Gentiles define "works" as our attempts to do what is right, what our conscience tells us is righteous. Paul meant by works the attempt to gain righteousness apart from Christ by observing the statutes of the Law of Moses.
The Jews were trusting in their observance of the Law to earn them righteousness in the sight of God. Paul kept telling them that they could not earn righteousness, it is the gift of God through Jesus Christ.
Paul was teaching that we are not righteous by keeping the Law of Moses but by putting our faith in Christ.
We are teaching that we are not righteous by living righteously but by putting our faith in Christ. Obviously, as long as we believe this, there is no way the Holy Spirit can bring us to repentance.
Compare these two thoughts, for they are crucial if you are to understand what I am saying: "not righteous by keeping the Law of Moses"; not righteous by living righteously."
By keeping the Law of Moses. By living righteously. Paul was teaching we do not gain righteousness by keeping the Law of Moses. We today are teaching we do not gain righteousness by living righteously. Can you see the difference in the two understandings?
Most believers conclude that seeking to live righteously has nothing to do with being saved. In spite of the numerous exhortations, from Matthew through Revelation, to live righteously, we conclude that living righteously has little to do with being saved or going to Heaven.
What, then, can we expect to find? We can expect to find believers who do not understand the New Testament and who do not have the fierce determination to live in a righteous, holy, obedient matter that is necessary if we are to overcome the death in the American materialistic culture.
Why do the believers not have the necessary fierce determination to serve the Lord? Because they have been taught that they are saved by grace and not by their behavior.
Why have they been taught that their behavior is not an integral part of salvation? Because their teachers believe Paul was contrasting grace with righteous behavior, instead of grace with looking to the Law of Moses for righteousness.
We have Christian churches in America filled with believers who are stunted spiritually. They could be giants of righteousness, some of them, if they were taught Paulís Epistles correctly.
I have said, there is no way the Holy Spirit can bring us to repentance. Of what are we to repent, of believing in Christ? Or are we to repent of our adultery, covetousness, and unforgiveness? But why should we try to be morally pure, free from idolatry, and of a forgiving nature, since our righteousness has nothing to do with our behavior? Can you see the error here?
Ah, but we try to be morally pure, free from idolatry, and of a forgiving nature because this is a right thing to do, although it has nothing to do with our salvation. How long do you think such good intentions will last, given our sinful nature and the demonic environment we are living in? If the believers are going to cease sinning and begin to live righteously, they are going to have to be persuaded their actions today will directly affect what they receive at the Lordís hand when He appears. Until they believe this, most of them will not change their behavior.
It is not enough to tell the Christians in America that they will have a better life if they follow Bible principles. While such advice, and psychologic instruction, often is helpful in moving people in the right direction, if they are to have any hope of walking with God in the horrible days ahead of us they are going to have to be persuaded they will suffer at the hands of God if they do not press through to a victorious Christian life.
The Apostle Paul stated we are going to reap what we have sown. The American Christians must be taught this and must be persuaded of it, or they are going to lose part or all of their inheritance.
The Apostle Paul, who would be aghast at our making him responsible for our sinful behavior, told us in several passages of the consequences to the Christian of yielding to the sinful nature.
Paul warned we would die spiritually.
Paul warned that we would not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Paul warned that we would reap destruction.
Christ said we would be removed from Himself if we did not bear the fruit of His moral Nature.
The Book of Hebrews warns us clearly that if we continue to sin knowingly we make ourselves the enemy of God.
The Book of First John tells us that if we continue to sin we do not know Christ, and that sin is of the devil.
The Book of Revelation advises us that the promises each believer hopes to receive are reserved for the believer who overcomes sin.
But we do not preach or teach these warnings. We say the overcomer is the one who "accepts Christ." We say once we make a profession of Christ we can never be lost to Godís purposes no matter how we behave. We have a few favorite verses that are emphasized, while the remainder of the New Testament remains untouched.
When we do come to the warnings of Paul we say these are addressed to the Jews. It is even taught that the teachings of Christ do not apply to us because we are Gentiles saved by grace.
Now we are teaching a pre-tribulation "rapture" into Heaven to avoid Antichrist and the great tribulation.
Our teaching today is calculated to keep the believers as spiritual infants, and so they are. We are teaching traditions and not the Scriptures, and so our prayer for revival is not effective. How can God revive us when we are not in desperate earnestness about living righteously?
We quote the passage that tells us God will heal our land if we humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways. Then we teach in church that it does not matter if we turn from our wicked ways because we are saved by grace.
I am convinced from the Scripture that everything we do now is determining what we will receive in the Day of Resurrection. If we do not lay hold of the Lord and obtain His Virtue so we can turn away from sin, we are going to be raised in a state of corruption in the Day of Resurrection. Christ is coming and He is going to reward each one of us according to our works.
Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. (Revelation 22:12)
That verse alone (and there are several that say the same thing) ought to be enough to put the fear of God in every person. But we say it does not mean Christ will give to Christians what they have done because they are saved by grace. We are saying: "You shall not surely die. Yes, God has said you will receive what you have done. But He really doesnít mean this." It is the same old lie coming from the same old source.
Can you imagine, with all the dreadful warnings in the New Testament, that many preachers are telling the believers no matter what they do they are going to go to Heaven to live forever in peace and joy!
How do they suppose the believers will react to this teaching, especially if they live in the colorful American culture? Do they think these people will go out from church, deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Jesus? What a joke!
I have done all in my power, by writing and preaching, to warn the American Christians that they are going to reap what they are sowing. There is no more I can do. God will have to take the loaf and fish and feed it to people.
The spirit realm is becoming increasingly real to me as I grow older. I cannot see the invisible world anywhere near as clearly as I would like. It is still very vague. But I know it is not as our traditions picture it. It is a busy place where people are assigned to the place they belong. They are "gathered to their people."
Our tradition is that even though we live a careless life, once we as a professing Christian die we will go to be with the saints. I donít believe this is going to happen. The saints, many of whom left bloody footprints in the snow as they were hounded from one place to another, would not be happy with our immature foolishness and lightness, and we would not be happy with their stern dedication to the Lord.
We would not want to be with such a holy people now, why would we want to spend eternity with them after we die?
We may go to church and sing stirring choruses, but we still want to live in the American culture with its sin and foolishness. Would you and I really want to go where there is no sin, no foolishness, only purity and peace?
Those who defend the current "grace" teaching tell us how the thief on the cross was brought into Paradise by the Lord Jesus. My answer is, if they can hang on a cross, thirsty, suffocating, and still address Jesus as Lord and want to be in His Kingdom, yes, they can walk with Christ in Paradise.
But those who are using this example to prove they do not have to live righteously in order to go to Paradise would never respond like that on a cross. As soon as they experience suffering of any kind they begin to blame people and get mad at God. Have you seen this?
Anyway, they have invented a "rapture" that will keep them from experiencing any kind of crucifixion.
The Holy Spirit is looking today for those who will die to their own will that they might live in the resurrection Life of Jesus. But this entails the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ!
The entire Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi, teaches us that God wants righteous behavior on the part of all mankind, especially His elect. The scepter of Christís Kingdom is a scepter of righteousness. The Lord works only in righteousness, and it is righteousness that brings eternal life. There is no eternal life where there is no righteousness, no holiness, no stern obedience to God.
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:22,23)
Romans 6:23 is preached by evangelists. They ought to add Romans 6:22, because it is 6:22 that defines 6:23. Eternal life is the result of slavery to God and a holy life.
The entire Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi, teaches us the utter importance of obedience to God. Obedience is more highly esteemed than all forms of sacrifice.
The entire Old Testament teaches us the importance of holiness, that God is holy and those who serve Him must be morally pure.
The entire Old Testament tells us that we are to serve God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. That we are to have absolutely no idols that come between us and the Lord.
The Old Testament warns us that even though we are Godís elect, if we are disobedient and unbelieving we will not enter the inheritance He has prepared for us.
The entire New Testament tells us the exact same thing.
The New Testament tells us the utter importance of obedience, that we are to present our body a living sacrifice and thus prove the will of God for our life.
The New Testament teaches us the importance of holiness, that we are to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
The New Testament tells us that we are to turn away from the world, take up our cross of self-denial, and follow Jesus each day. We are to be one with Christ as He is one with the Father.
The New Testament warns us that even though we are Godís elect, if we do not persevere in faith to the end of our discipleship we will not be made a partaker of Jesus Christ.
But we of today say this is not so. With all the types and shadows the God has provided for us in the Old Testament, with all the warnings of the Prophets, we say that we are free to sin. The teaching is that the new covenant is a parenthesis of some sort, not even related to the old covenant. It is a new covenant of grace, a new dispensation whereby we, as Taylor says, " go to Heaven, not by doing good or anything like that."
God has so much more for us, but we receive the inheritance only as we seek the Lord, obey His commandments in the New Testament, pray every day, read our Bible every day, gather on a regular basis with fervent disciples (if we can find any), and otherwise live as a true disciples. This includes denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following the Lord at all times.
We can notice the Words of the Lord Jesus in the Gospels, how He spoke of the importance of His teaching: not just of believing in His teaching, but obeying His teaching.
The following verse describes the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles:
Jesus replied, If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
What is the condition for participating in the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles? We have to obey the teaching of Christ. If we love Him, we will obey His teaching. Is this what Jesus said?
There is no such thing as faith apart from obedience. Faith without obedience is worthless. To not obey God is rebellion. True faith always and inescapably results in obedience. It is impossible to have genuine faith in God and not obey God.
Where then, does the current grace teaching fit in? What we have today is partly a delusion, not the fullness of the biblical salvation.
What did Christ teach us? He taught us, from His own mouth and through His Apostles, that we have to live a godly life if we are to inherit the Kingdom of God.
If we are to be candidates for the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell in us, we absolutely have to live a godly life. The Holy Spirit will assist us in doing just that.
I cannot help but believe the current teaching is coming from Satan. Who more than he has a desire to keep Godís children separated from God in this manner? I do not like to accuse people who do not agree with me of being of the devil. There has been enough of that. But what are we to conclude? The current blindness is so profound there has to be a spiritual cause.
The solution is for all of us who claim to be shepherds of Godís flock to forget everything we have been taught, and just start reading the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation. And then teach what it says, not what we imagine it says. This would bring revival quicker than anything else.
We have had wonderful revivals in America. Just in the last few years we have had Aimee Semple McPherson and Billy Graham, for instance, and there have been several others.
But today we are backslidden as a nation. Why is this? It is because of our unscriptural doctrine. No matter how wonderful the revival is, it will not result in lasting change in the believers as long as the doctrine is unscriptural.
I sincerely believe God is going to pour out His Spirit in America in the near future. I believe also we Americans are going to suffer in different ways. These two events, the abundance of the Spirit and the suffering, have the potential of waking up Godís people so they begin to live righteously. Then God would heal our land.
But no matter how much of the Spirit we are given; no matter how we suffer; no lasting good will be accomplished until we recognize that the teaching of forgiveness apart from moral transformation is not the new covenant. It simply is not the Christian salvation that is described in the New Testament.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, Trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. (I Peter 1:10-12)