COMMENDATIONS

     

  “Christians often speak of our “hope of glory,” as our heavenly reward. But is being a resident of the New Jerusalem the sum total of what the Bible says is the believer’s destiny?  What are we to make of statements such as that of the Apostle Paul to the Romans that not only are we heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus, but that we will be glorified together with Jesus with a glory not yet revealed? (Romans 8:17-18) In THE REVEALING: UNLOCKING HIDDEN TRUTHS ON THE GLORIFICATION OF GOD’S CHILDREN, authors Gary Huffman and S. Douglas Woodward argue that there is much more to the believer’s “hope of glory” and our life AFTER the rapture than is currently being taught. In fact, the glory of God and Jesus the Christ has a clear purpose in its manifestation through and in the children of God!  Don’t spend another day not knowing what your destiny is as a son and daughter of the Most High God!”

Dr. Mike Spaulding. Pastor, Calvary Chapel of Lima and Host, Soaring Eagle Radio

 

        “I am always amazed at the depth of insight and timeliness shown in works connected to Doug Woodward. THE REVEALING: UNLOCKING HIDDEN TRUTHS ON THE GLORIFICATION OF GOD’S CHILDREN, by Gary Huffman and S. Douglas Woodward, shows how God’s eternal purpose is the ultimate motivation for the church – to make known to the principalities and powers, the manifold wisdom of God. This book is not a call to retreat, but a much-needed call to engage.”

Pastor Larry Spargimino, Southwest Radio Church and co-author FINAL FIRE

 

        “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be.” (1 John3:2). That is exactly what Gary Huffman and Doug Woodward have explored for us in this exciting volume, pulling back the curtains of Scripture on the future destiny of God’s redeemed children. You will be stirred and challenged by this study on what awaits us the children of God.” 

Dr. Kevin Clarkson, host Prophecy in the News, Pastor First Baptist Church, Moore OK

 

        “THE REVEALING provided deep, detailed insight into many questions about end times Bible prophecy and the destiny for believers in Jesus Christ. This new book by Gary Huffman and Douglas Woodward is well-researched, thought provoking, and absolutely stunning! Well done.”

Lyn Leahz, host Lyn Leahz YouTube Channel, author SOUL DECEIVER, and Director of FreedomNationNews.com.

 

        “Within the pages of this book, Gary Huffman and S. Douglas Woodward provide a clarion call to the Remnant.  Now that we have assessed what the enemy has done, it is time to return to the biblical mandates of a pure faith, a holy heart, and a clear vision of the Messiah in the lives of His people” (from the Foreword).

Dr. Michael K. Lake, author THE SHINAR DIRECTIVE and THE SHEERIYTH IMPERATIVE, President and host, Kingdom Intelligence Briefing

 

        “Yet another volume from Woodward (and co-author Huffman) that challenges readers to rethink foundational biblical beliefs. Woodward, McGriff, and I did this in THE FINAL BABYLON when we proclaimed that America comprises Mystery Babylon today.  The Church must get beyond ‘being born again’ (John 3) and ‘cheap grace’ (Bonhoeffer). It’s time for us to grow up. It’s about sanctification and getting holy – now! Only mature sons and daughters will shine bright when God’s children are revealed.  

THE REVEALING is a wake-up call for the Body of Christ.  Know this: we will NOT face the Great White Throne Judgment, but we shall surely face the Judg­ment Seat of Christ, where we will account for those works done in our earthly bodies. Paul ran the race that was set before him – but are we in that race? If not, it’s high time we don our track shoes.  We must run ‘so as to win the prize.’” (1 Cor 9:24)

Douglas W. Krieger, author of many books and President, TribNet Publications.

 

        “Attempts to identify the Antichrist, Gog of Magog, the False Prophet, or Babylon the Great dominate our study of the end times. While Christian authors who write such books do great good, generally they overlook subjects that are most relevant to the questions we should be asking, such as: “What should we who follow Jesus Christ be doing now to “prep” ourselves for what comes next?  What is the connection between living “in Christ” now and “with Christ” later – after the rapture of the Church?  Is the afterlife for Christians just a time of bliss?  Or do we believers, who have been glorified at the “revealing” (the resurrection/rapture), still have work to do on earth?” 

        Authors Gary Huffman and S. Douglas Woodward explore this question which frankly, I don’t know if anyone has asked before. And they tackle sanctification (becoming holy) through sharing a basket-full of biblical material seldom touched by our most familiar prophecy authors today.  Prepare to have your eyes opened and your priorities reset!”

Derek Gilbert, Host, SkyWatchTV, author of The Great Inception, and host of the popular podcast, A View from the Bunker.

FORWARD

Dr. Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

19 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” Acts 3:19-23

IT HAS BEEN TWO THOUSAND YEARS since Peter uttered these words recorded in the Book of Acts.  When you understand the significance of what he was sharing, this apostle of old took us from his day all the way to the Valley of Armageddon.

There are precious few in the Church that recognize the prophetic significance of the Feasts of the LORD.   These powerful appointed times (moedim) were divine rehearsals and would find their fulfillment in Messiah.  The first time that Jesus came He fulfilled the Spring Feasts:  He was the Passover lamb, the unleavened bread come down from Heaven, and the first fruits offering.  We are currently in Shavuot (Pentecost), were Messiah is empowering us to be His witnesses in all the Earth.  And finally, we are racing toward the Fall Feasts, which we find played out in the Book of Revelation.  I believe the apostle Peter was alluding to the Day of Atonement.  We find in Leviticus:

27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.  Leviticus 23:27-29 (KJV)

There is a prophetic correlation between the Day of Atonement and the Valley of Armageddon.

Day of Atonement Valley of Armageddon
Those that have not humbled them-selves and been brought under the blood of the lamb sacrificed for atonement will be cut off. Those that have not humbled them-selves, yielded to the Gospel of the Kingdom, and   been brought under the blood of the Lamb of God for salvation will perish at the brightness of His return.

As we have progressed toward the restitution of all things, each generation since the Early Church has been given the holy tasks of maintaining the faith that was first delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3) and to grow by standing on the shoulders of past generations, until we finally reach the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13).  To be honest, the history of the Church has revealed many dark times in which Jesus could hardly be seen at all.  Yet, in the midst of that darkness, the Almighty would release a spark of truth that would ignite the Remnant in that generation; the results were repentance, revival, and reformation.

In our day, the ancient directive that was established in the plains of Shinar is now in full swing.  The globalist agents of the Mystery Religions have labored for well over a century to pervert our faith, entrap God’s people within a Laodicean materialistic prison, silence the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and prepare the hearts of mankind for the arrival of the Son of Perdition.  However, as the world races toward darkness, God’s flame of truth is reigniting within the hearts of the Remnant once again.

As the Remnant awakens, we have several tasks before us:

  • Assess the plans and progress of the enemy.
  • Regain the faith that was once delivered to the saints.
  • Return to the process of growing in our walk in the Kingdom.
  • Seek to reach the stature of the fullness of Christ.

There is a “showing” coming before the “showdown” in the Valley of Armageddon.  As the agents of the kingdom of darkness labor tirelessly to fulfill the promise of the serpent in the Garden, Heaven is preparing to release a fresh anointing to manifest the fullness of Christ through His Body on the Earth.  The greatest hour of the Church is nearly upon us.  The world is about to truly see Jesus glorified through His people.  As the mark of the beast is being prepared, citizens of the world must be given a clear choice:  the Kingdom of God or the kingdom of darkness.  Within the pages of this book, Gary Huffman and S. Douglas Woodward provide a clarion call to the Remnant.  Now that we have assessed what the enemy has done, it is time to return to the biblical mandates of a pure faith, a holy heart, and a clear vision of the Messiah in the lives of His people.  Gary and Doug have powerfully presented these truths as salvation, sanctification, and glorification, but from a unique eschatological point of view.  So, Remnant of the Most High God, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get about the business of the Kingdom.  May the Lamb of God that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!

Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

Kingdom Intelligence Briefing   May 2017

UNLEAVENED BREAD & THE SHEAF OF FIRSTFRUITS


  • Unleavened Bread

The observance of Unleavened Bread was regarded as the same as the Passover:

Luke 22:1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover.

Mat 26:17 Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

Lev 23:6-8 6And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. 8But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.’”

The Passover was the 14th day of the first month at evening time. Unleavened Bread was from the 15th day to the 21st day, a total of seven days altogether.

1 Cor 5:6-8 6Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Notice how Paul reinterprets the elements of Passover. Unleavened Bread stands as a “type” of their true meaning.  Leaven symbolized sin. Leaven possesses characteristics such as “spreading” and “penetrating” – like malice and wickedness that can spread among the believers in the life of an individual Christian or in the body of believers, the Church.

Mat 16:6 Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

Mat 16:12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

To observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to live a life free from the corrupting influences of sin and the flesh. Jesus used the Feast of Unleavened Bread (at the Lord’s Supper) to reveal the significance of the elements of the feast, symbols pointing to the spiritual meaning behind them.

Luke 22:19-20 19And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”


  • The Sheaf of Firstfruits

This particular ordinance was not instituted until the children of Israel were inside the borders of the promised land. This distinction is important. Likewise, the New Testament fulfillment came, as we shall see, upon an entrance into the Kingdom of God which was made available by Jesus’ death and resurrection:

Lev 23:10-14 10“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD. 13Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. 14You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

The Sheaf of Firstfruits was waved before the Lord ‘‘on the morrow after the Sabbath’’ that was the same day that Jesus rose from the dead (Mark 16:9). Before there was a general harvest, one sheaf was taken and waved before the Lord on the first day of the week during the Feast of Unleavened Bread:

Mark 16:19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

It was a reminder and a promise of a great harvest from God. In the same way, ‘‘Christ, the firstfruits’’ is a reminder of the great end-time harvest that God will bring.

John 12:24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

 1 Cor 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

1 Cor 15:23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

The one ripe sheaf testified that there would be a great harvest from God. We affirm, along with many other teachers, that the saints who arose at His resurrection were also part of this first ‘‘sheaf’’:

Mat 27:52-53 52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Paul teaches this truth, citing a prophecy in Psalm 68:18, in regard to the gifts of the Spirit being given to the Church. First, we cite the verse from the Psalms and then its fulfillment according to Paul:

Ps 68:18 Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men

Eph 4:8 Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”

The book of Acts is the story of the first portion of that harvest (Jesus was the seed – as John 12:24 above states). We will come back to the end-times fulfillment of the Sheaf of Firstfruits later in this book.

THE PASSOVER


THE THREE FEASTS IN SEVEN PARTS

There were three primary feasts divided into seven parts. All of Israel’s worship centered on these three feasts.  There are other worthy celebrations (e.g., Purim and Hanukkah), but they are not of Moses, not prescribed in the Torah. We see three of these in Deuteronomy 16:16:

Deu 16:16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.”

  • The Passover

The first feast was the Passover. The first Passover, you may recall, was on the eve of Israel’s departure from the land of Egypt into the wilderness. God judged Egypt, and their gods, for keeping His people, the Hebrews, in bondage.  He sent the angel of death to slay the first-born males of all the land, both animals and humans. The children of the Hebrews were spared if blood was placed over the door of their homes.

Exo 12:12-13 12For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

The Lord made this event the beginning of Israel’s calendar or ‘‘begin­ning of months’’, and thereby established a “new year” on the first of that month.  It has come to be known as “New Year’s Day” on the Hebrew reli­gious calendar. (Rosh Hashanah is “New Year’s Day” on the civil calendar).

Exo 12:1-3 1Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.

The Passover delivered Israel from the judgment of the firstborn, and prepared them for a new life as a separated, sanctified, and holy nation. In the same way, the cross of Christ is made the beginning for the child of God and delivers that man or woman from judgment.

1  Blood must be used as a covering to avoid judgment.

To appropriate deliverance for each family, the head of the house took responsibility to place blood across the doorpost. Similarly, in our day, the head of the Christian family stands as that family’s High Priest.  It is the head of the family who takes responsibility for his or her family to receive God’s blessing.

2  Recall: the lamb must be without blemish.

Exo 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

 1 Pet 1:18-19 18Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

To underscore this once more: Jesus was that Lamb without blemish.

3  And make note: the lamb must be killed.

Exo 12:6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

Jesus, our lamb, was crucified during the time of this feast.  He fulfilled the prophecy expressed as a “type” through this feast.

Mat 26:2 (Jesus said) “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

4  The blood must be applied to the doorposts of the house.

For us, there must be an individual appropriation, by faith, of the work of the cross.

Rom 10:9-10 That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 5  The flesh must be eaten.

Exo 12:8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

John 6:53-55 53Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.”

We eat His flesh by absorbing the Word, confessing our sins, making supplication through prayer, and by living conscious of our communion with Him (we practice the presence of God as taught by the seventeenth century Carmelite monk, Brother Lawrence). As we discern the Lord’s Body, all true believers (1 Cor 11:28-29) enter into that communion:

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (literally, “tabernacled”), and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

6  The people had to depart from where they were.

Exo 12:11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’S Passover.

Israel was to eat the Passover Lamb with loins girded and shoes on their feet, ready to leave Egypt. Likewise, the moment we receive Christ as our Passover Lamb, we must depart from the world and its corrupting influences and allurements. We must follow our Lord in separation from our old life and consecrate ourselves to a new life.

We will never escape our dependence on the work accomplished through the blood of our Passover Lamb, Jesus.  Thus, the feast became an ordinance forever:

Exo 12:14 “So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.”

THE FEASTS OF THE LORD

We mentioned earlier, Luke 24:27, 44-47, when Jesus showed His apostles many (if not all!) of the Old Testament scriptures that referenced His identity and His mission:

Luke 24:27, 44-47 27And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself… 44Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 46Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.e mentioned earlier, Luke 24:27, 44-47, when Jesus showed His apostles many (if not all!) of the Old Testament scriptures that referenced His identity and His mission:

The apostles used the Old Testament to establish Church doctrine in the New Testament. For instance:

1 Pet 1:10-12 10Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things which angels desire to look into.

1 Cor 10:1-11 1Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Heb 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

Paul, ‘‘rightly dividing the Word of Truth’’, made 80 references to the Old Testament in the Book of Romans, establishing the Gospel of the Grace of God as well as other key doctrines of the Church. Likewise, he made 18 references in the Book of Galatians. The writer of Hebrews (tradition teaches it too was Paul), employed over 100 references. Peter made 30 citations in his first epistle, and John included direct quotes and indirect references to nearly 400 Old Testament scriptures in his gospel, his letters, and in the Book of Revelation.

We can see from this that the Old Testament is vitally important to our understanding of the New Testament and vice versa. We have seen in the previous chapter how the Tabernacle in the Wilderness is a type and shadow of God’s plan for the Church. For this same reason, we must take a closer look at the Holy Days, aka, the Feasts of the Jews, to discern what important truths we can also discover there. The following provides an outline of these feasts:

  1. Feast of Passover or Feast of Unleavened Bread
  2. Passover (Ex 12:1-23; Lev 23:4,5; Deut 16:1-3)
  3. The Unleavened Bread (Ex 12:18; 23:15; Lev 23:6-8; Deut 16:3-4)
  4. The Sheaf of Firstfruits (Lev 23:10-14)
  5. The Feast of Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks, of Harvest, of Firstfruits (Ex 23:16; Lev 23:15-21; Deut 16:9-12; Acts 2:1)

III. The Feast of Tabernacles, or the Feast of Booths, or Feast of Ingathering

  1. The Blowing of Trumpets [Rosh Hashanah] (Lev 23:24-32)
  2. The Day of Atonement [Yom Kippur] (Lev 16:23,27-32)
  3. The Feast of Tabernacles [Sukkot] (Lev 23:35, 40; Deu 16:13-15)

I must credit George H. Warnock for many insights shared in this chapter concerning the Feasts of Israel. His book, The Feast of Tabernacles, was very influential in the Latter Rain Movement, [1]a movement considered a heresy by most Church historians today.  Despite that fact, I (Huffman) believe there is a baby in that bathwater that should not be thrown out!  Here is what I think Warnock got wrong: he taught that the typology of the Feast of Tabernacles, or the “manifestation of the sons of God” could happen to only a small group and even only one individual as specific truth was understood.

As I mentioned in the preface, I hold that the prayer of Jesus in John 17 (which Warnock misinterpreted), will be answered when there is unity in the Body of Christ. This feast will therefore be, instead, a corporate event.  Our assertions in this chapter should correct that error and disclose the true meaning of the feasts of Israel for the Church at the end of the age. This is especially so for the feast we know as Tabernacles.

[1] Bill Britton, publisher, 1951, (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latter_Rain_ post%E2%80%93 World_War_II_movement).

HEAVEN IS NOT OUR REWARD!

ONE SHINY PENNY

Ever since the resurrection of Jesus, born-again believers who have died, have gone to heaven to be with the Lord. One day, those “sleeping” believers and the one generation of believers living on the earth at that time, will have their bodies changed. They will return to rule the earth in the authority of Jesus Christ and manifest His glory over all the earth. Some Christians will have been in heaven for (plus or minus) 2000 years – and some will have been there only a year, a month, or a day!ii The ones who are raptured, or taken up alive, may barely see “heaven”!

Even if they are taken up before the last seven years before Christ’s visible return (Daniel’s 70th Week), they will return right before or within the seven years to rule with Christ (the specific timing depends on your brand of eschatology). So, the maximum time in heaven for these saints could be seven years! If so, it seems heaven alone cannot be the reward that God has for those that love Him. God is just and His grace extends beyond our imaginings. What could the true reward be for those who believe in Him? Seven years isn’t enough. In this book, we argue His greatest gift is His glory in which we shall share.

Mat 20:1-16: 1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’ 8“So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ 9And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”

Jesus tells us about a man who hired laborers for his vineyard. The laborers hired at the eleventh hour were paid the same as the laborers hired the first hour – one penny. This tells us, indirectly, that heaven is not our reward but is “a wonderful waiting room” until all laborers are paid the same wages on the same day. We believe scripture teaches that our wages, our reward, begins at the resurrection when the glorification of each believer takes place. This, we believe, is the one shiny penny.

HEAVEN IS NOT OUR REWARD

Jesus taught us to pray, ‘‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven’’ – this prayer will be answered because it is the heart of God. God will bring His Heavenly Kingdom to this earth. The fullness of our inheritance is yet to come, even though we have already “legally” received all things in Christ (As far as the Most High God is concerned, it is settled – a “done deal”). Comprehending this fact constitutes our ultimate motivation to persevere until we finish the race and win the ‘‘prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus.’’

A quick study about heaven might help answer some reasonable questions the reader has about our final reward. We begin in Hebrews:

Heb 12:18-24 18For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20(For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”) 22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23to the general assembly and Church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

The writer of Hebrews says that we believers have come to Mount Zion, also calling it the City of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and the Church of the Firstborn. These are all terms for the Church… for believers… those that call upon the name of Jesus Christ! This does not consist in merely the location in the sky to which we will someday go. Heaven is a place. However, the reward goes beyond living in the “sweet by-and-by.” The reward is found among the assembly of who we are, the Church, as it is meant to be, even today.

Abraham waited for this city (the Assembly – not heavenly bliss):

Heb 11:10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Abraham’s offspring waited for this city:

Heb 11:16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

Even we are waiting until the completion of this city:

Heb 13:14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.

Even now, the Church is not yet built into that complete city. God continues in the process of building it. When the Church receives her inheritance, she will be that permanent city. Jerusalem is that city. But that city comprises believers from all time who become glorified – that they may dwell there. Jerusalem isn’t just a place, it is a people!

Gal 4:26 Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Here in Galatians, Paul refers to “Sarah” which represents the heavenly city of Jerusalem – which we see consists of those who believe in Christ.

Rev 3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

Rev 21:2-3 2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Rev 21:9-14 9Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

In fact, God plans to bring Heaven to Earth, restoring Eden to the entire earth for us to tend. This was Adam’s original job – a job at which he failed miserably. (We explore the concept of this restoration of Eden later in Chapter 8 for it is core truth, being much more than a metaphor.)

So how does God intend to do this? By manifesting His Kingdom through His Church to the earth! This is the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven to earth. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. One day all believers will be included in this throng. But our focus in this book is the Church of Jesus Christ – the people called out for His name. (Acts 15:13-15).

We read about this parenthetical process, known by God from the beginning:

Acts 15:12-18 12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. 13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

These verses all speak of the Church, but are commonly mistaken for descriptions of Heaven. Notice the New Jerusalem is prepared as “a bride for her husband” in Revelation 21. In verse 9, the angel says he will show John “the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” What does he show John as the bride? The great city, the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. This is not heaven, but rather comes down from heaven, and dwells on or exceedingly close to earth. The great city, the New Jerusalem is the bride of Christ. When Jesus returns to the earth with His holy ones in glory (remember saints means “holy ones” and that includes all believers), that is a partial fulfillment of the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven to the earth.
There have been many false distinctions made between the “place” of heaven, the New Jerusalem, and finally, of where and what believers consist. First off, a common mistake asserts heaven is the residence of all believers. Not so. Heaven can mean many things in the Bible, but we must not mistake it for the New Jerusalem which actually is the residence of all believers. (Be mindful that ultimately no differentiation in eternity (after the Millennium) exists between the Church and believers from all ages).

Next, the usual perspective separates the place from the people that comprise the New Jerusalem. The Scripture equates the two. It is not an easy concept for us to grasp – that the glorified believers and the city itself are identified as essentially “one and the same.” Certainly, we can reckon that glorified believers would make the city gleam. But the connection is more than that. This composition of the city as the glorified believers and not just the “pearly gates” is what Scripture teaches and is a cornerstone of the book you are reading.

INTRODUCTION

Douglas Woodward

WHAT IT TAKES TO HAVE A BEST SELLER

The bestselling books on eschatology sell well primarily because they are ultra-sensational, not because they are, at their core, thoroughly Biblical.  Fearsome images of destruction, fantastic predictions about doom, little-known facts about ancient giants, exposing the diabolical and paranormal, along with controversial stories peppered with speculation about extraterrestrials and UFOs, dominate the eschatology genre today. Not that these subjects are off-base.  Nor are they necessarily wrong-headed.  I would be the first to admit, I have written a number of those books myself and often recommend them. Nevertheless, does eschatology demand we focus only on stupendous if not supernatural subjects? Reviewing the most successful titles today certainly suggests this is so.

However, in this book, The Revealing, author Gary L. Huffman (with a little help from me along the way) takes a very different tact in exploring what we affirm is the most important topic in Bible prophecy; that is, what believers can expect when Christ comes for them in the clouds and how we prepare ourselves for this transition to the next life.

As you will see, the principal author of this book proclaims that there is, basically, a third work of grace as “holiness” groups might term it.  But there is no real need to affix any label.  For the essential issue is connecting the various meanings of the Feast of Tabernacles (aka Booths or Succoth) to the process of sanctification – culminating in our glorification.  Conse­quently, we will study many Old Testament passages and unite them with New Testament truths that explain their meaning. However, the process works both ways.  We will show how we can derive great value in grasping the meaning of Old Testa­ment symbols and “types”, allowing them to disclose us as to what the deeper biblical teaching actually is.

More specifically, the author will answer questions like, “What will we be like after the Rapture happens?  What will “the raptured” be doing next?  Will we just rest, retire, refresh relationships with friends and family, and merely repeat song after song singing of God’s lovingkindness and grace?”  I certainly want to engage in those things. However, will we be left out of the battle taking place on planet Earth?  Or will the newly glorified saints discover instead that we are stepping up our efforts to reach unbelievers?  Joining with the two witnesses, will we also display signs and wonders to convict and convince a dying world that God earnestly desires those that don’t know Him to become His children?  This book argues that is exactly what we will be doing. And the case will be made that this is what the Bible teaches.

Those of us who believe that the Rapture of the Church happens some time before His visible return at the Second Coming will find the most unique assertion of this book fascinating.  In other words, those who believe the Rapture precedes the visible Second Coming by some allotted period of time will be particularly blessed by the revealing of this truth. Therefore, Pre-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation, and Pre-Wrath Rapture adherents can more easily adopt the “Huffman Hypothesis” without altering their perspective on the Rapture. The “time gap” between the Rapture (at which time the Church is snatched up to be with Jesus) could be as much as ten years or as little as 30 days (as my friend and former co-author Douglas Krieger espouses).  No matter. The unusual interpreta­tion around which this book is based can be incorporated into any of these views.

On the other hand, Post-Tribulation Rapture believers will reject the premise of our particular proposal for how the Church is involved during the Great Tribulation. Despite disagreeing with our supposition about what happens after the Rapture, the good news is that these brothers and sisters can nevertheless benefit from all other subjects taken up in this work, which is about 95% of the material readers will find here. This is so since the majority of our subject matter deals with sanctification and glorification, perhaps the most under-studied, misunderstood, and nearly abandoned doctrines of our day especially for those committed to the study of prophetic themes.

OUR PRIMARY ASSUMPTIONS

Right up front, I wish to present other key presuppositions of the book, besides the distinction between the Rapture and the Visible Second Coming I’ve already disclosed.

First, the typology of the Old Testament is crucial to the conclusions drawn in this book.  Explicit passages on Huffman’s view of the role of the Church during the tribulation period are few, but the typology is plentiful. As the reader will discover, the many scholars we reference also support his conclusions, although at your first encounter you may be stunned.

Secondly, both Gary and I affirm that salvation involves spirit, soul, and body.  Our deliverance by the power of God is through regeneration of the spirit, sanctification of the soul, and glorification of our body.  But what we usually miss is how sanctification connects to glorification.  As I asserted at the outset, there is great interest in fossils of giant humanoids, in the burgeoning appearance of flying saucers, in the frightful cases involving the paranormal, and in the many proofs of the Christian worldview.  Think of the Shroud of Turin. Or archeological finds that verify challenged geographical facts and historical dating of the Bible.  While these intriguing matters attract our attention, think how little we concern ourselves with developing holiness in this life and exploring the nature of our life after this one. In other words, little interest exists in how we become holy – and whether we should even bother with it, since God is loving and forgiving anyway!  We have little grasp of how deepening holiness now translates into glorification at the resurrection or the aforementioned event we all call The Rapture. Does this seem smart?

In dramatic contrast, 100 years ago, sanctification was serious business and on the heart of most American Christians.  A breakoff denomination from Methodism, the Nazarene Church, taught its members the “Second Blessing.”  While Pentecostals connected a “second work of grace” known as the Baptism of the Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues. (the first work of grace was justification), the Nazarenes taught “total sanctification.” In essence, their teaching was this: if you worked hard enough at being holy, one day God would eradicate your sin nature and you would BE completely holy from that point forward.  My loving grandmother (my father’s mom) was indeed a saint, but she could also be ridden by guilt if she did something she considered a sin. That usually amounted to little more than watching the famous CBS TV Western, Gunsmoke, which ran from 1955 to 1975, the longest running action series ever in the United States.  This was one of her guilty pleasures, featuring Miss Kittie’s infamous saloon, The Long Branch. Should she be watching a TV show where many of the scenes took place in a saloon (and brothel!)  My grandmother Minnie’s concern for living a sinless life, in my view, went just a bit too far and became an unhealthy obsession as she fretted over vices and entertainment, like playing cards and dancing. (At least she played “Old Maid” with me – it was great fun.)

John Lithgow’s strict preacher character in the movie, Footloose (1984) exuded the “holiness hang-up” – kids shouldn’t go footloose!  Of course, Kevin Bacon demonstrated otherwise.  Kid’s “got to go footloose!” Despite Hollywood’s derision of such “holy convictions,” we still must ask ourselves in the twenty-first century, “Doesn’t the LORD call us to live holy lives?”  The answer should be obvious to readers.  But how do we obtain it?

Literature about the processes of sanctification and glorification is scarce.  What does exist, with only one or two exceptions, was published at least 20 years ago.  There are no popular books on these subjects nowadays, because the subject isn’t popular by all counts even among enthusiastic prophecy buffs. And yet, one would think the incredible prophetic prospect of sharing the glory of God would be a captivating topic for all earnest believers and especially those who hold prophecy out as one of their favorite subjects to study.  We acknowledge a supernatural worldview and we believe that God is active in our everyday world. But the most supernatural event of all, our resurrection or rapture culminating in a new, glorious body free from sickness and sin, isn’t a “hot topic.”

Indeed, the wondrous promise of partaking in the divine nature remains easily overridden by topics that focus on apologetics or simply titillate the imagination.  It is incumbent upon us to realize that defenses for the faith do NOT really target unbelievers.  Proofs for the Bible are popular because they strengthen the faith of the already faithful.  What this says about us isn’t very hard to pin down.  Simply stated, we would rather entertain topics that encourage our faith instead of hearing a sermon or reading a book dedicated to the process of “growing in holiness.” We would much prefer to be “wowed” by an astonishing discovery on the Nephilim more than learning what the future life of believers will be like. Why is this so? One is hard to swallow (it demands the elimination of sin in our lives), while the other is incredulous (“We partake of the divine nature – are you serious?”).  Both doctrines challenge our mindset and lifestyle. They require we reset our priorities. Our routines ought to require spiritual workouts and finding ways to spike our interest in future glory.

Going one step further: there are three baptisms, water, the Spirit, and fire (Matthew 3:11).  Christians, even the more spiritual among us, avoid the baptism of fire like the plague.  But Huffman insists we face the fiery furnace.  Concerning the baptism of fire, his instruction constitutes an inspired and hopeful perspective acquired through his many years of personally living out the life of Christ. His words encourage us while still adhering to the uncompromising plain talk of scripture. The Word always yields the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-24) which develops in the life of the believer as a result of the Spirit’s work and through “the crucifixion of the flesh” (overcoming the power of sin in the flesh).  “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Romans 6:6, KJV)

PUTTING FIRST THINGS FIRST

Regardless of the topics chosen by most Christian writers and teach­ers, we believe it is obvious that subjects which occupy first place in the teachings of the Apostles should be priority for us as students of the Word.  Biblical prophecy, for those that study eschatology, stands out as one of those teachings.  However, learning about “what is the hope of His calling” and “the glory of the inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18) is a positive, wonderful promise of Bible prophecy that deserves greater emphasis – even though it seldom finds its way into sermons, serious bible studies, or best-selling books. I find this lapse especially disconcerting. It has caused me to rethink my writing subject matter. And I believe students of eschatology must balance what they read and study.

One such priority that must be underscored to make our way to our “future state,” consists of the essentials of salvation.  Here typology helps. Huffman explains that the pattern God has established through His “Tabernacle in the Wilderness” reinforces the stages of salvation.  The Tabernacle confirms and illustrates justification, sanctification, and finally, glorification. When finally considered, we realize how all three stages combine into one seamless package.  We see this plainly in one paragraph from the book that also highlights the insights in store for the reader:

Sanctification blossoms through internalizing the Word of God, taking it into our hearts and feeding upon it daily.  We grow progressively as we “absorb” the knowledge of God’s Word, and actively practice its teachings. And it is the Spirit that is the catalyzing agent, taking God’s Word and applying it to our “hearts and minds.”  We develop in what was once called, “the Deeper Life” through the dual action of the Living Word and the Divine Spirit. Obedience to the Word and the Spirit is the “warp and woof” of how we grow in our faith, experience the life of Christ living in and through us, conquer sin, begin our progression toward holiness, and carry out our mission as Christians. Furthermore, as it relates to the subject of this book, this process constitutes the doorway through which we must pass to ultimately obtain glory“The Revealing” commences in our earthly life NOW, and will be completed to the fullness of the measure of Christ, at the Day of Christ. However, and this is vital, if we do not commence the process of sanctification now, we have reason to doubt we will see our salvation completed later.  Our salvation is not made sure unless we progress into the inner sections of the Tabernacle.

This book’s goal might be summarized in this one verse, “(That) the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling and what (are) the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18).

I would be amiss if I didn’t point out that the claims made in this book demand strong scriptural support. Happily, I can boast that seldom has a book paid more attention to providing biblical evidence of what it teaches.  You will benefit greatly by working through the many scriptures provided here, topic by topic, a good portion of which the reader may not have understood before now. Because of the plentiful presentation of scripture in the pages ahead, we offer this book hoping it becomes a useful resource to “recharge your batteries” and “realign you wheels.”

IT’S ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE, AFTER ALL

Almost all religions speak of an afterlife.  Perhaps the exception would be those teachings that advocate reincarnation, a continuous process of jumping from one imperfect life to another in pursuit of purification – someday – but only if you perform enough good works to earn it. But for most other religions, the afterlife is viewed as a destination. This is where the teaching of the Bible is so different from all other religions.  In effect, Christianity comprises the opposite of reincarnation.  To be more specific, Karma means “getting what you deserve” while the gift of glory, what God promises those that trust in Him, “is getting what you don’t.”  “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) Our “next life” unlike the teaching of other religions, centers on a perfected corporeal nature – a tangible, powerful, almost “superhero” body.  And that body is no longer subjected to corruption. That leads me to ask the question, “How much more would we look forward to the next life if we were promised living in a body like Superman?”  Guess what?  The promise of the Christian’s future life is nearly that – without the Kryptonite.  And It’s even better than looking forward to the company of 72 virgins, that Islamic extremists like to contemplate. [Has anyone ever noticed how sexist that view of the afterlife is?] In Christianity, men and women – there is no distinction – will be glorified at our resurrection or the Rapture.

Marx said that religion is the opiate of the people.  Some critics describe the Christian faith as “Pie in the sky, by and by.”  Other have slammed believers by saying, that we are “so heavenly minded, we are no earthly good.”  Well, we are here to say it’s high time we get ourselves focused on the promise of the glory of God to be imparted to us.  Our translation comes closer.  Our transition to the next life may be only weeks or months away.  We must make the most of our time for the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16).  And as the Psalmists says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12 KJV)

DIVING INTO THE DEEP WATER

In addition to providing a readable narrative from cover to cover, the book employs a technique called a “Deep Dive” invented in my very first book, seven years ago (Are We Living in the Last Days?)  Huffman employs it to appeal to authorities, highly regarded scholars (and a few from a writer like me), with evangelical backgrounds committed to the infallibility and inspiration of the Bible.  What they teach adds significant depth to the book’s thesis.

In some cases, the reader may feel the guidance provided hovers a bit “over their heads.”  I would request that the reader recognize that those who pick up this volume have varied backgrounds and differing levels of teaching under their belts. For those more studied, the Deep Dives don’t hold back in supplying solid scholarship.  Ultimately, we hope that everyone will gather at least a measure of value from them. In contrast, for those readers who are more skeptical, we hope that having a cadre of other teachers sharing their understanding on these topics helps to confirm our own.

Most of the points made in this book, readers will find easy to accept.  But some points Huffman makes will no doubt challenge readers to “search the scriptures to see if these things be so.” (see Acts 17:11) Additionally, I should indicate Huffman attempts to differentiate between what is specula­tion and what we believe the Bible presents without much (if any) debate. Nevertheless, the arguments are developed carefully and thor­oughly to avoid as many anticipated counter-arguments and possible challenges as possible. And I should also note, there are many heresies based on “the manifest presence of God” so we must carefully watch our steps.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Now, I should explain my involvement in this effort. First, I contribute as an editor and to a much lesser extent, a co-author, offering some clarification along the way.  Gary and I have met many times and exchanged too many emails to mention.  We took these opportunities to discuss the more controversial issues I confronted when reading his manuscript. It wasn’t always easy for Gary to convince me he was right about what he had written. We accomplished this meeting of the minds through a number of long distance phone calls over Skype (Gary lives in Montana and I in Oklahoma).  And also, we did have the pleasure of meeting once face to face at my daughter’s apartment in Seattle when I was visiting and Gary was driving back to Montana from a vacation just completed in Washington State.  Consequently, while I’d like to share only in the accolades this book might garner, I deserve more than equal blame for any mistakes and errors contained herein. This owes to my performing the work of a contributing author, its editor and its publisher.

On that count, to those that have followed Faith Happens, this book is the first officially published by me under the new corporate title, FAITH HAPPENS BOOKS LLC. I hope many others will follow under this banner.  I certainly have no lack of ideas myself and hope to work with other authors who have great ideas to share as well as demonstrating the work ethic of a Gary Huffman.

If you appreciate what we have presented here, do share with your friends, and show your gratitude by offering up a sacrifice of writing a short review on one of the various on-line services where book reviews are encouraged.  It’s a big help.  It might even be rewarded by our Heavenly Father for blessing us with your important contribution to spread the word!

Douglas Woodward

JESUS CHRIST: GOD’S PATTERN FOR RESTORATION

Now we will look at God’s Pattern for Restoration – JESUS CHRIST.

Please see the pattern graphic on THE PATTERN post.

The Old Testament typological patterns point to JESUS CHRIST the LORD and that is the basic premise upon which our study will be based. We know that God’s eternal plan has always been summed up in Jesus Christ:

Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We find that a closer look at the meaning of His name, title, and office will give us an insight into God’s plan to restore His Church and complete the work He has started:

Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him.

The name, Jesus, means ‘‘savior’’ – which speaks of salvation – to which our initial “born-again” experience opens us.  This is “the way’’ spoken of by Jesus in John 14:6:

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Jesus is the new and living way to the Father by His sacrifice on the cross:

 Heb 10:20 By a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh.

Jesus is the way (and the only way) to the Father by the Spirit:

Eph 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

He is the door (way) of the sheep into the sheepfold.

John 10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

The door speaks of God, the Son, justification by faith in Jesus (Romans 5:1), and the regeneration of the spirit of the believer, bringing to life, or salvation of the believer’s spirit (Romans 8:10). Salvation here means deliverance of the believer’s spirit or salvation from spiritual death.

Next, His title, ‘‘Christ,’’ means ‘‘anointed one’’ – which speaks of the anointing of the Holy Spirit – to which our experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit opens us. This is the ‘‘truth’’ spoken of by Jesus in John 14:6.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

1 John 5:6 This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

These passages present God, the Holy Spirit, and sanctification of the believer’s soul by the Spirit of Truth. This encompasses deliverance or salvation of the soul (1 Peter 1:9).

Third, and finally, Christ’s office, ‘‘Lord,’’ means ‘‘supreme in authority,’’ or controller. This speaks of Jesus as Master and King over His Kingdom. He is our King and we are His subjects. Our obedience is implied. Brought by the Holy Spirit, the Kingdom brings life and ultimately the manifest presence of the Father into our lives. This is the ‘‘life’’ spoken of by Jesus in John 14:6.  As we proceed, you will see that this glory is directly connected with the glorification of the believer at our resurrection and deliverance from the corruption present in our body.

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

Rev 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

1 John 1:2 The life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us.

John 5:26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,

Mat 19:17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

This speaks of God the Father – His rule or Shepherding of His family, the Church, through His Son Jesus Christ. This prepares us for the glorification of the Church to come.

In the next passage, we discover substantial biblical evidence of the pattern in the threefold nature of human beings as the creation of God:

1 Th 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this verse, Paul mentions the spirit, soul, and body – the three parts of humanity – in the order of our deliverance. Even if your view of our nature is “Freudian” and doesn’t accept the biblical teaching of our tripartite (threefold person), Paul uses the concept here to imply the whole person, and the expression just happens to fit the Biblical Pattern of salvation. The order of deliverance is regeneration of the spirit, sanctification of the soul, and glorification of the body. These three parts of the Pattern overlap because they all are constituent portions of our complete salvation.  In a few words, salvation can be summarized as follows:

  1. Regeneration (Titus 3:3-7) is the salvation or deliverance of the spirit.
  2. Sanctification (Romans 6:22) is the salvation, or deliverance of the soul.
  3. Glorification (Colossians 1:27) is the salvation or deliverance of the body.

First, we see salvation or deliverance of the spirit (regeneration):

Tit 3:4-6 4But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Secondly, the next two verses both speak of the second phase of salvation, or deliverance of the believer’s soul (sanctification):

Phil 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

1 Pet 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.

The New Testament teaches that sanctification is an ongoing process.  Paul and Peter appear to speak as if sanctification can be achieved in this life.  While the issue of “complete sanctification” is a subject we don’t wish to explore in depth, arguing for or against it, what is crystal clear is that we are to set our eyes on sanctification as if it can be achieved fully in this life.  We are not to have a “defeatist” attitude: “Nobody’s perfect, especially me.” We are to look upon Christ through His word.  As we learn of Him, as we follow this pattern, we are transformed from “glory to glory.”  This is one of the most essential duties of the Holy Spirit – to make us like Christ.

2 Cor 3:17-18 17Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.  (KJV)

Finally, we read of salvation or deliverance of the body (glorification):

Rom 8:20-23 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Another of the greatest shortcomings in the Church today, is a lack of teaching on sanctification as well as glorification.  Christians do not understand the connection.  I hope to remedy that here.

THE PATTERN

The Old Testament typological patterns point to JESUS CHRIST the LORD and that is the basic premise upon which our study will be based. We know that God’s eternal plan has always been summed up in Jesus Christ:

Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“The Revealing” shows the Pattern of God’s Plan throughout scripture:

THE TABERNACLE IN THE WILDERNESS

THREE TYPES OF LIGHT

Note that there are three types of light, symbolizing salvation, revela-tion (illumination), and God’s glory. These three light the tabernacle:

  1. The Outer Court is lit with natural light (sunlight) and at night some light from the burning sacrifice on the brazen altar. God reveals salvation by shedding light on a historical, earthly event – the death of His Son, the Lamb of God. Sunlight (natural) was not allowed into the Holy Place or Holy of Holies.
  2. The Holy Place has the light from the candlestick and some light from the altar of incense (both symbolism of a spiritual light). This is revelation that comes from the Holy Spirit as well as praise and worship to God.
  3. The Holy of Holies is lit only by the glory of God. We believe the majority of us have not experienced the revelation that comes in the manifest presence of God. We have something incredible to look forward to that exceeds anything the transhumanist movement might have in mind regarding an upgrade to humankind’s physical ability, mental capacity, or a high-speed, direct brain-link to the Internet to search Google!

Clearly, the same Divine Pattern resides with the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. God’s Plan at the end of the age is to bring the Church into the Holy of Holies, manifest His glory to the Church, and then through His Body that it might present His glory to a dying and desperate world. God wants His cloud of glory to again fill the house of God, the Church. For now, we should understand, This Pattern of the Tabernacle can be summed up as Jesus Christ the Lord – who portrays the very pattern for the Church.

God’s Pattern for Restoration, The Tabernacle © Gary Huffman 2017