Going On To Perfection – 2/17/17

In the Bible we read “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Ph.2:12). This apparently means that when we have questions concerning spiritual growth it is important that we come humbly before God and ask Him to lead us. In humility we are to ask him what we should believe and how we should behave. And yet within this spirit of humility we are also encouraged to “come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb.4:16). For “when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide us into all truth” (Jn.16:13). And finally we read that we “have an unction (or anointing) from the Holy One… and we need that no man should teach us” (1Jn.2:20&27).

Unfortunately, many Christians find it much easier to be told how to think, what to believe and how to behave. The result is that the believer often becomes vulnerable to highly dogmatic and religious individuals who all too often are like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. These so-called “Teachers of the Word” can come across presumptuous and even quite offensive. They are typically argumentative and contentious. To the Christian they will say, “I need to straighten you out.” Flee from those you meet with this spirit (Ep.5:6-11). In all likelihood this is not just some kind of personality trait you are encountering. When around individuals who are behaving in an argumentative and contentious manner be aware that you are probably dealing with demonic forces.

But if we have to be cautious regarding Bible teachers how are we to invite the Holy Spirit to teach us all things as he promised? If we are honest with ourselves we will admit that there are aspects of Christian growth that can appear confusing or can seemingly complicate the believer’s desire for a closer walk with Christ. Some seem to just give up and remain stagnant in Fundamental-Evangelicalism. Certainly, there can be no doubt that God wants us to move on to higher ground, to press towards the mark of the prize of the high call of God in Christ Jesus. Without a doubt it is His desire that we all become involved in a spiritual journey that takes us out of the worldliness associated with spiritual “Egypt” and into the “Promised Land.”

Now most Christians have no problem correlating the 1st celebration out of Egypt, known as the FEAST OF PASSOVER, with their salvation experience. The blood of the Lamb was applied to the horizontal and vertical “cross-beams” of the household door and the Death Angel “Passed-over.” Or, in spiritual terms, when you repent and accept Christ as Savior the blood of Jesus that was shed on the horizontal and vertical beams of the cross is spiritually applied and you receive the promise of eternal life. Moreover, most Christians agree with Paul and acknowledge that water baptism was foretold in type and shadow when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea (1Cor.10:2). In this case more could easily be said to correlate this experience with the 2nd and 3rd FEASTS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD AND FIRSTFRUITS. But we will defer the detail of these feasts that speak of commitment and dedication to the get to the heart of the matter, Christian perfection.

And so, moving on we now come to the 4th and highly controversial Pentecostal Feast, which is called FEAST OF WEEKS in Exodus 34:22 and, which was celebrated in the wilderness. It was initiated by God to commemorate the giving of the 10 Commandments or the WORD OF GOD, literally written on tablets of stone. Likewise, the New Testament Pentecostal experience described in Acts 2:4 was a celebration of the WORD OF GOD given spiritually; “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Paul describes this experience as a foretaste of the glory to come, or “the earnest of our inheritance” (Ep.1:13-14). That the “giving of the word of God on tablets of stone” was a foreshadowing of the events that occurred in the 2nd Chapter of Acts, there can be no doubt.

But what is also apparent is that both are wilderness experiences. That is, in the same way the 10 Commandments were given to the people of God while they were in the wilderness, this Pentecostal experience (associated with gifts) is a wilderness experience. All too often Christians are led to believe that the gifts of the spirit equate to the Promised Land. Many ultimately reject this experience altogether and claim that this Pentecostal feast was intended only for the “apostolic dispensation.” But we know this is not true since “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb.13:8). And yet to others on the opposite end of the spectrum these gifts have become the endpoint in spiritual growth. Though the lame walk, the blind see, and the dead may be raised, this does not necessarily mean that the individual is possessed by Christ. Beloved, the goal is to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rm.8:29). “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (Jn.17:21). If there be tongues, healings or miracles, these will eventually cease (1Cor.13:8). Many who call themselves Pentecostal have decided to end their journey with the gifts. But God seeks not just to fill us but to possess us fully. Indeed, many Pentecostals have even heard this and reject it outright. Nor is the great call of God on our life simply evangelism, but it is “to be conformed to His image” (Rm.8:29). “And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ep.3:19).

So we look to him not for one or two experiences and call it quits. Look at Hebrews 6: “leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment, LET US GO ON UNTO PERFECTION (τελειό-τητα). And this will we do, if God permit.” Please know the author is not simply talking about maturity in the human sense as many new compromised and anemic translations insist. How do we know this? Because in Matthew 5:48 Jesus said, “be ye PERFECT (τέλειοι) as my Father in heaven is perfect.” Notice the same Greek word is used in both verses. Hence, he is not calling us to “Christian maturity” any more than he is calling his Father mature. Instead the author is writing about “coming to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ep.4:13). So there is much more beyond the Pentecostal experience that has been hidden from the spirit filled believer. And yet some Pentecostals are content to remain in the wilderness, while others actually want to “go back to Egypt and enjoy the leeks and garlic” so to speak (Nu.11:5).

Instead, let us be determined to go on to perfection. Numerous other feasts are clearly outlined in Scripture that take us beyond Pentecost and point not only to the Promised Land but to the “glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rm.8:18). These feasts are like a roadmap described in the Old Testament in type and shadow, providing for us direction for our journey from beginning to end. Now I am painfully aware that the more I write the less likely these posts are read. So in the interest of time I will simply share the remaining feasts as the Lord has revealed them to me and suggest their meanings without detail. In no way am I offended if you disagree with me. I only share these with you and pray that perhaps you might come to an understanding regarding some Christian experiences that remain unclear. Certainly I encourage you to pray about any and all of this information that I share with you. I have utmost faith that the Holy Ghost will not mislead you.

THE 5TH IS THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS, which refers to “the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation” (Ep.1:17).
THE 6TH IS THE DAY OF ATONEMENT and equates to Trials, Tribulations and Deliverance (James).
THE 7TH IS THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. In Christian circles it is often called the Kingdom Walk since it correlates to the crossing of the Jordan into the Promised Land. Some call this “Preparation for Ministry.”
THE 8TH IS THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE. (If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chr.7:14). Some call this the “Ministry.”
THE 9TH IS THAT FEAST OF PURIM which speaks of the Ministry of Intercession, introduced in type and shadow in the book of Esther but revealed by Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
THE 10TH IS THE SABBOTH, which speaks of a day of rest, a work of Holiness or Baptism of Fire.
THE 11TH IS THE SABBATICAL, or the 7th year of rest: the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.
THE 12TH IS THE YEAR OF JUBILEE’S speaks of Restoration or Total Possession by God: Sonship.

The Lord Jesus is calling a remnant, the Joshua’s and Caleb’s onto the PROMISED LAND, into KINGDOM LIVING in this lifetime (Josh.1:3-5). Yes indeed, this Jesus of Nazareth is “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col.1:27). “It is no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me” (Gal.2:20). Commit yourself this day to press “toward the mark of the prize of the high call of God in Christ Jesus” (Ph.3:14). “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God” (1Jn.3:1). Be blessed in Jesus name.

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