GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE FOR MAN

Preface
Man is the masterpiece of God’s creation. The Scripture reveals that God made man in His image and after His likeness. We find that God manifested Himself as a trinity, as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In order that man may be holy and without blame in love, he was chosen before the foundation of the world in Christ, Who is the second person in the Trinity (Eph.1:4). The eternal purpose concerning man was hidden in the eternal God. God was always working for the fulfilment of that purpose. It is for this that He made man eternal like He is. Nevertheless man fell into sin. Thus he became corrupt and mortal. But the Lord desired to redeem him from corruption and trans- form him and make him eternal. This purpose could not be fulfilled until He in Whom man was chosen, came into this world for its fulfilment. Christ Jesus was manifested in human form, did all that was necessary for man, died for man, rose up, and having ascended to the right hand of the Father, He continues to work as the Mediator between God and man even today (Heb.9:15). For this, He sends the Holy Spirit and the gospel of perfection, and is raising up saints who are His ambassadors to preach that gospel. During the apostolic period, this gospel was a hidden mystery to many. Even today it remains a hidden mystery to most people. The purpose of God is that man should become like God, and live together with Him eternally. This mystery, namely that of man being together with God, as Christ and the Bride, has been revealed by the Holy Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets. Man should live with God for ever and ever. Why? God wants to reveal Himself through man in Eternity. Preparing man to this end is the work the Lord has been doing conti- nually down through the ages. Prior to Calvary, no one reached this glorious experience. The gospel bestowed through the death and resurrection of Christ, is mani- festing that purpose and inviting man to that place. This book, titled “GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE FOR MAN”, has been brought out, for man to understand God’s purpose concerning him, as mentioned above. For, as St.Peter said in I Peter 1:12, this gospel is being revealed by the Holy Spirit, and is proclaimed to the world. May the Holy Spirit Himself enlighten your eyes of understanding and make you partaker of this glorious heavenly calling. Amen.
CHAPTER 1

GOD AND MAN

Man

is God’s chief creation. He is not only the chief of God’s creation, but, as the psalmist

has said, he is also artfully (curiously) made (Psa.139:14,15). While the Holy Bible says that man was created ‘curiously’, some say that he evolved from the monkey, and some others say that man is made of chemical substances having different characteristics, and yet others have different other views. Many scientists have now rejected the theory that man evolved from the monkey. When we search the Scriptures for details concerning man, we find that he was made by God. This being the case, why did God create him? And how did He create him? Does He have any purpose in creating him? We cannot but contemplate all these things. Was man made suddenly on an impulse? Or, did God create him with a purpose? The Bible explains that even before man was created, there was a plan concerning him in the mind of God. God is eternal and His purpose concerning man is eternal. This can be understood from the statement, ‘He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world’ (Eph.1:4). ‘Before the

foundation of the world’ shows an age without a time limit. Therefore, the pur- pose the Lord has concerning man has no time limit. Since it is said that the Father chose man in Christ, it is clearly manifest that the Father and the Son existed before the foundation of the world. When the Lord Jesus was on this earth, He spoke concerning this saying, “Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world” (Jn.17:24). What do we understand from this? We understand that a loving Father and a loving Son existed before the foundation of the world and that they loved each other. Concerning God Who created the whole universe, we read, “God is love” (I Jn.4:8). This is His unchanging nature. Since He is the embodiment of love He cannot but love. Apart from Christianity, other religions too teach that God is love. However, other religions do not say anything of the eternal purpose that is in the mind of God concerning man. Saying that God has chosen man even before the foundation of the world so that he may be found holy and without blame before Him in love, manifests that God is an embodiment of love and that He is holy. It was expedient for Him to work for the fulfilment of the purpose He had in His mind. If man is to be made holy and without blame in love, is it not necessary for that love to be revealed to man? How can man be made perfect in love, except by seeing, under- standing and experiencing this love? Therefore, even before creating man, God should have manifested His love. At least two persons are necessary for love to be revealed. Therefore it was necessary for God to reveal Himself as the Father of love and as the Son of love before the foundation of the world, for the sake of man. Though we say that God is one, we should under- stand that He could not have been single. No matter how loving we may be, as long as we are alone, we cannot reveal our love. If our love is to be manifested, is it not necessary for at least one other person to be with us? Likewise God Who purposed to make man an embodi- ment of love in order to reveal His love to him, could not have been single. For this reason, in all of Genesis Chapter 1, as well as in many other places, the word referring to God is rendered as “Elohim” in plural, in the Hebrew tongue. There is one God (I Tim.2:5). But, He had to be manifested as a trinity. Though the Father and the Son existed as separate personalities before the foundation of the world, we find that they were one. These are two persons manifested in one God. The Holy Bible very clearly states that apart from these two persons, there is one other person. He is the Holy Spirit, or Melchisedec, the priest of God. The word ‘Melchisedec’ appears first in Genesis 14:18. We understand that He is the priest of the Most High God, and the king of Salem. When Abraham returned from the slaughter of his enemies, He met Abraham, gave him bread and wine, blessed him and received tithes from him (Gen.14:18-20). Concerning this priest, St.Paul writes as follows: He is the priest of God; He is called Melchisedec, which by interpretation is King of righteousness; He is also called King of Salem, which means King of peace; He is without father, without mother and without descent; He has neither beginning of days, nor end of life, but is made like unto the Son of God; He abides as a priest for ever and He is greater than Abraham (Heb.7:1-4). Since it is written, ‘King of Salem’, some say that this Melchisedec was a man who ruled in Salem. And some others say that He is a foreshadow of the Lord Jesus Christ. But if we carefully consider every point mentioned above, we can clearly understand who He is. As it is written, ‘King of Salem which is King of peace’ it is evident that He was not a king who ruled in a place called Salem. It is written that He is without father, without mother and without descent. Adam, the first man had no father and mother but He had descendants and therefore this Melchisedec cannot be Adam. Since it is also said that He has neither beginning of days, nor end of life, He cannot even be an angel, for angels have a beginning. Since it says that He is the priest of God, He is not God the Father, but His priest. As it is written, that He is like unto the Son of God, it is obvious that He is not the Son of God, but another resembling Him. He is therefore, none other than the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of God (Gen.1:2). When the Lord Jesus gave commandment concerning baptism, He said, “...baptizing

them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” making it clear that God is triune (Matt.28:19). When Jesus came up out of the water after receiving baptism, the Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased,” and the Spirit of God des- cended like a dove and lighted upon Him. Here again we find the triune God revealed in one place as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is for the sake of man that God manifested Him- self as the Father of love, the Son of love and the Holy Spirit of love before the foundation of the world. The purpose concerning man was hidden in the triune God.
CHAPTER 2

THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

We

saw that God manifested Himself as a triune God (Elohim) before the foundation of the

world. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three persons manifesting the three sides of love. Who is the Father? He is the fountain of all goodness. Everything proceeds from Him. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” (Jas.1:17). He is the Father of lights, as well as the Father of spirits (Heb.12:9). Thus, because of love, He is seen as the Father, being the fountain of all goodness and the source of all good gifts. The Son signifies the aspect of working in obedience out of love. From the foundation of the world, He acted in obedience for the sake of man. Saying, “Lo, I come to do Thy will...” (Heb.10:7), He humbled Himself and became man. He was obedient even unto death (Phil.2:7,8). And in the coming Eternity too, He will be subject to the Father (I Cor. 15:28). The Holy Spirit has been working from the foundation of the world as the Priest of God. The Lord Jesus fulfilled the will of God at every stage—when He was slain at the beginning of the world, when He became man in order to be made a sacrifice, and when He received baptism. At each act by which He fulfilled the will of God, a Priest was needed to testify that He is a sacrifice without blemish. If a sacrifice is to be offered, three things are required: (1) The person who offers the sacrifice; (2) The object to be sacrificed (3) A priest to certify that the sacrifice is without blemish. These three are involved in a true sacrifice. Since it is written that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev.13:8), God the Father Himself was the One Who offered that sacrifice. The Son offered Himself to be made the object of sacrifice. The Holy Spirit was seen as the Priest of God to certify that the sacrifice was without spot, and to accept it. This is why it is written, “the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God” (Heb.9:14). The work of the Holy Spirit, Who is the Priest of God, did not end with this. He is also seen as the One Who sheds abroad the love of God in the hearts of men so that they might be holy and without blame in love. That which is written in Romans 5:5 signifies this. “Hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” We find the triune God working in this manner. He Who was manifested as the Son before the foundation of the world is called the Lamb. Concerning Him, St.Peter wrote that He is a Lamb without blemish and without spot, foreordained before the foundation of the world and manifested in these last times (I Pet. 1:19,20). When John the Baptist saw Him, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn.1:29). John the Apostle reveals Him as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev.13:8), and as the Lamb Who stands on mount Zion with a hundred and forty-four thousand (Rev.14:1). We see in the Scriptures, how this Lamb keeps revealing Himself to man in various ways in various periods—in the former Eternity, at the foundation of the world, then at Calvary, and in the

Eternity to come. He Himself is the firstborn of every creature (Col.1:15). He is indeed the Lamb figuratively slain in the sacrifices offered by the forefathers from the time of the fall of man till Calvary. The expression ‘slain from the foundation of the world’ signifies that He was slain repeatedly from the beginning of the world till He was once for all slain physically at Calvary. It was He Who went to Calvary as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. He is the Lamb chosen of God to be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom.8:29). It is He Who, being found in Zion, gives joy and light to the whole of Eternity. He manifested Himself in all these ways just because He loved man. Without Him there is no delive- rance for sinners, no glory for the saints and no heaven. He is the One Who lives for ever and ever. From this, we understand how excellent God’s eternal purpose concerning man is. God loves man so much. He has called him with such a high calling. He desires to make him like Himself. Glory be to His name!
FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD

We have seen that the Lord had an eternal purpose concerning man in His mind even before the foundation of the world. This can be compared to the image that is in the mind of a potter before he starts making an earthen vessel. And after making it according to the image in his mind, he steps back and rejoices in the beauty of his workmanship. In the same way, God also planned to create man holy and without blame in love. God made all the creatures that were necessary for him and all that pertained to him. The Son, Who was foreordained before the founda- tion of the world, consented to having the Father do this work of creation through Him and offered Himself. It is by virtue of this decision that He made in His mind to offer Himself, that Jesus was called “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”. The word ‘slain’ signifies His surrendering His own will as a sacrifice in order to do the will of the Father. This was the beginning for all of creation. And God the Father began to work towards this end. He used the Son as the firstborn of all the creatures. The words, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen.1:1), signify this. That which the apostle John wrote saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” (Jn.1:1-3), also signify this. God's Word is as old as God Himself. Since God is the embodi- ment of love, His Word too is love. The God of love began to create all the creatures by His Word of love. And all the creatures created by the Word of love, manifested the image of that love.
CHAPTER 3

THE CREATION OF THE ANGELS AND THEIR FALL

Concerning

the beginning of God’s creation, it is written, “In the beginning God created

the heaven and the earth” (Gen.1:1). At first, God created the heaven and all the creatures therein; thereafter he created the earth and all the creatures therein. This reveals the history of creation by the Word of God, even the slain Lamb (Rev.13:8). Jesus was the Lamb slain, in the sense that He offered Himself to do the will of God. All the creatures that were created by this Word, were not only creatures of love, but also those that did the will of God. The Scriptures say that there was a group that rejoiced when it saw the foundations of the earth being laid. We can understand this from what is written in Job 38:4-7: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Whom do the morning stars and sons of God refer to? Doubtless, these are creatures created before

the earth was made. These show the many groups of angels of God seen in heaven. Concerning this it is written, “For by Him were all things created,…thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him” (Col.1:16). Thus, the angels of God who were created by the Word of God are seen as four groups. Why were the angels created? They were created for God—to minister to Him (Psa.103:21; Mk.1:13), to worship Him (Heb.1:6), and for various other ministries. On the other hand, referring to the purpose for which they were created, it says that they are all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation (Heb.1:14). Therefore the angels were created to minister to the saints who are to be made “holy and without blame before Him in love.” God ordained His Son Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, in order to mould saints to be holy and without blame before Him in love, and so that He might become the firstborn among them. By His own blood, He has entered into the Most Holy Place and obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb.9:12). This is what is referred to in Hebrews 5:8,9 as “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” The expression, ‘all them that obey Him’ and ‘who shall be heirs of salvation’, refer to the same thing. These are they who shall enter into the Most Holy Place. They are the partakers of the salvation brought about by Christ. The angels were created for the sake of ministering to them. Though the angels were created for this purpose, the earth was created only after they were created. When the angels were created, they were aware of their vocation. Knowing that they were created to minister to the saints, they were looking forward to their ministry (‘the saints’ not being created as yet). This being the case, when the foundations of the earth were laid, they all sang together and shouted for joy. When teachers who have graduated from their training course with certificates of competency, come to know that the government is going to start a school, how happy they will be! Similarly, though the angels understood what their work was, the saints who were to inherit salvation (to whom they were to minister) were not found. So when the foundation of the earth on which these saints were to dwell was laid, the angels indeed sang and shouted for joy. Though the work of creating the heaven and the earth was over, the angels had yet to undergo a period of trial for the work they were to execute in the coming ages. Before taking on a responsible job, a period of probation was essential for them. They were looking forward to their ministry as well as to the place where they would execute their ministry. One group among them fell because they forgot that they were created to minister to man who was to inherit salvation, and resisted this in their minds. We see in Isaiah 14:12-15, as to why Lucifer, the son of the morning, fell. Concerning him, it is said, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! …Thou hast said in thine heart I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Here ‘the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north’ refers to the eternal habitation that the Lord had purposed in His mind for man before the foundation of the world. This is Zion. This is the place where a group of elect saints will stand together with the Lamb, Who was foreordained before the foundation of the world. The psalmist describes this place by saying, “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north” (Psa.48:2). The chief purpose of God was to prepare this place. Bearing this in mind, the Lord Jesus desired and prayed that His own should come and join Him in the place where He is (Jn.17:24). The work of the fallen angels is to work against the fulfilment of this purpose. One group of fallen spirits worked in one of the kingdoms that appeared on the earth, namely, the Babylonian Empire, and through that kingdom, revealed their nature (Isa.14:4-15). Since they entered into Nebuchadnezzar, the emperor of Babylon, the character of these spirits was found in him. They exalted him and cast him down (Dan.4:30,32). Apostle Jude writes about a group of fallen angels who kept not their first estate but left their

own habita- tion. We read that these angels are bound in everlasting chains and kept in darkness (Jude 6). Here the Greek word used for ‘habitation’ is ‘oiketorion’ meaning ‘garment’. So those who lost their first estate lost the garment of the glory of God. If children of God give room to these spirits, they also will lose their first state and become spiritually naked. These spirits work subtlely to make them forget that they were once enlightened, and become shortsighted (II Pet.1:9). They work like this in order to make them face the judgment of the Great Day just as they themselves will. That is why some who were once saints have lost their first state and have backslid. They are shortsighted, being unable to understand their true state. Though they claim to be preaching the gospel of God, they are in reality working as enemies to the gospel of God, making themselves worthy of eternal judgment. Some fallen angels worked in the kingdom of Tyre. The head of this group is ‘the anointed cherub who covereth’. We read of him in Ezekiel Ch.28. He walked among the stones of fire in Eden, the garden of God, being full of wisdom and of perfect beauty. Never- theless his heart was lifted up because of his beauty and wisdom and he was cast down. Since then, both he and the angels with him, work against the people of God. In the Old Testament period, God gave the children of Israel a kingdom and was leading them. David, Solomon and others ruled the people of God. Though the Most High was reigning in this kingdom, the people became worshippers of idols and forsook the statutes of God, and since they worked against the will of God, the Lord gave room for Nebuchadnezzar to demolish the walls of Jerusalem and the temple, and destroy the whole kingdom. These spirits worked for the destruction of the people of God. Likewise, after the destruction of the Babylonian Empire, these spirits later worked in the kingdom of Media and Persia. As these spirits were always enemies of the children of Israel who were the people of God, they enslaved them and worked against their deliverance. When the Jews were in captivity, Daniel kept praying for their deliverance. As soon as his prayer reached heaven, Gabriel was sent to Daniel with good tidings. Though the commandment had been given, since these spirits were opposed to the people of God getting their deliverance, they warred with Gabriel to prevent this. In Daniel 10:13, we find an angel telling Daniel how Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help him fight against these fallen spirits. THE PRINCE OF PERSIA, no doubt signifies the leader of the fallen spirits that were working in the Persian kingdom. History says that after the Medo-Persian Empire fell, the Greek Empire came to power and that after its downfall, the Roman Empire was established. We read of this being depicted in the vision of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan.2:31-35), and Daniel’s vision (Dan.7:2-8). All these kingdoms were in the dominion of the fallen spirits and worked conti- nually against the people of God. Even today these spirits continue to work in the same manner from within king- doms. That is why we read in Revelation 13:2,11,12 that a beast will rise from the sea in the end times, having a combination of all the physical features of the beasts in Daniel’s vision, and will work against the people of God. This beast is the Antichrist. It is evident that just as the prince of the Persian Kingdom (mentioned in Daniel 10:13) signifies fallen spirits, all the enemy nations of Israel mentioned in Ezekiel 38:2,5,6 signify the spirits that have entered into them and are working in them. Instigated by the spirits that are working from within them, these nations will come and wage war against the children of Israel at the end of the thousand year reign. We read of the company of Gog coming up and compassing the camp of the saints, and the beloved city, when fire will come down from God out of heaven and devour them (Rev.20:7-9). Thus Satan and the groups of fallen angels with him are working continually to hinder the fulfilment of God's eternal purpose. These fallen angels are arch-enemies of the group of saints who will inherit salvation. Satan is the head of these four groups. He is called by various names such as the devil, the old serpent, the dragon (Rev.12:9; 20:2), Apollyon (Abaddon) (Rev.9:11) and Beelzebub (Matt.12:24). The Word of God says that he was a murderer from the beginning, a liar, and the father of it (Jn.8:44). As soon as the eternal purpose of God is fulfilled in man, these spirits will be cast into their own everlasting habitation. This is called the Lake of fire burning with fire and brimstone (Rev.20:10). The devil as well as those who do his works will have their part in this Lake of Fire

(Rev.20:10; 21:8).
CHAPTER 4

THE CREATION OF MAN AND HIS DOMINION

The

groups

of

angels

mentioned

earlier

fell

and turned into devils. They became enemies of the eternal purpose of God. As a result of the fall of the angels, the earth lost its form and became void, and darkness was upon the deep. The earth was submerged in water. Nevertheless, in Genesis 1:2,3 we read of how God worked again for the fulfilment of His eternal purpose. God planned to bring the earth out of water again and change it and make it suitable for the habitation of man. God made light by His Word, ie. by the Son of God, Who was foreordained to be the first- born of all the creatures (Gen.1:3; Col.1:15). The Lord, by His Word, also divided the waters and made the firmament in this manner. When we read the whole of the first chapter of Genesis, we find how the Word of God worked in sequence, creating all that was required for man’s living. When this world was made, it mani- fested the character of God. The creation of God reveals the invisible things of God, even His eternal power and Godhead (Rom.1:20).
THE CREATION AND THE CHARACTER OF GOD

We saw earlier that the invisible God was seen as a trinity before the foundation of the world, in order to manifest His love. And when He began to work, the eternal power and Godhead of the triune God were manifested through the creation. If the ocean is so deep, how powerful would the God Who made it be? If the sun is so bright, how would the God Who made it be? If the tiny tip of the root of a tree is powerful enough to split a rock, how would the God Who created it be? The sun shines on the good and the evil alike. How would then the Father and the Son Who created these things be? The Creation helps us to understand properly the nature and the power of the Father as well as those of His Son. The Lord created a beautiful world and thereby mani- fested Himself. If we study every one of the creatures on the earth, we can learn thousands and thousands of lessons and get to know God. God has eternal power. He has eternal love. The Creation is a text book that teaches us this. Concerning this it is written, “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom.1:20).
IS GOD A DESTROYER OF THE WICKED AND A PROTECTOR OF THE JUST?

If man is able to understand God as the loving and powerful One, he will realize that God is a Father not only to His beloved Son, but also to all creatures. After the fall of man, many religions came into existence depicting God as an exterminator of the wicked and a protector of the just. Man had the knowledge that God abhors sin. He knew that God is holy. Therefore, man made up many gods, with the conception that they killed sinners, and began to worship them. People were unable to understand the perfect image of God. Until the Lord Jesus, the embodiment of perfect love appeared, they were only conscious of gods who destroyed the wicked and protected the just. Even Moses had only this sort of revelation concerning God, and hence he could not comprehend the image of perfect love. So when Jesus, the embodiment of love, came to this earth, the way of the Mosaic Law was nullified. It is written in the law that an adulteress should be put to death (Lev.20:10; Deut.22:23,24). Acting on this law, the Jews brought to Jesus a woman who was caught in the very act of adultery. “Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest Thou?” they asked Jesus (Jn.8:5). At this juncture, the Son, the embodiment of love, not desiring the death of a

sinner, replied, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (vs.7). When He said this, being convicted by their own conscience, they left one by one. The Jews who came to accuse the woman could not be accused by the law as they had not been caught red-handed in their sins. However they were not without blame in the presence of God. They were right- eous only in outward appearance, but were convicted by their own conscience. In the sight of God, they were just as guilty as the woman whose sin was exposed. Who then can help mankind? If Jesus too had manifested Himself as One Who came to destroy the wicked, He would have destroyed the whole earth. If One Who is the Father of the whole earth, so destroys the wicked, how can He be a father? The desire of a father is a change in the wicked heart of his wicked son—that he be made a saint, and never that he be killed. Here is where we see the need for the way (religion) that Christ has brought to mankind. How will the Son of God Who came to manifest the Father saying, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,” kill mankind, the creation of His own hand? How will He Who said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (Jn.10:10), kill man? He Who came as the true Light which lights every man that comes into the world (Jn.1:9), desired not the death of a sinner, but rather that he repent and live. Saying, “I lay down My life for the sheep,” He gave His own life and has redeemed man (Jn.10:15). It is here that we see the greatness of the way introduced by Christ. It is He Who holds the highest place in the whole of Eternity and Who is standing on mount Zion. He is standing on Zion, the holy mount, not as a destroyer of the wicked, but as One Who saves any sinner who comes to Him and changes him to be like Him. If the earth converts the decayed, stinking corpses like itself, how will the Father and the Son Who made the earth be? The Lord Jesus Christ is the only One Who says that He will make all those who surrender themselves to Him holy and without blame in love and bring them to the very place where He is. He is the Son of God Who is above all. To Him Who does not destroy the wicked, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
THE CREATION OF MAN

We saw that the creation of God keeps manifesting God’s love and power. Saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Gen.1:26), God made man in His image and in His likeness and man was bestowed with the work of governing the world that was created by God’s Word of love. From the words, ‘in our image and after our likeness’, it is clear that God’s IMAGE AND LIKENESS were found in the man who was created. What is His ‘image’? His image is love. What is His ‘likeness’? Though He is one, He is a trinity comprising three persons Who manifest love. So the Lord decided to make man in the image of love and in the likeness of trinity. “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen.2:7). Here it is clear that when God breathed His own spirit into that object that was formed of the dust of the ground, a soul was formed in it. Just as God comprises three persons namely, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, man was also made triune, having a spirit, soul and body. Therefore it is written in Psalm 8:5, “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels.” Though it is rendered ‘angels’ in many languages, since it is written ELOHIM or ‘God’ in the original tongue, we should read, it as ‘a little lower than God’. Therefore man is not inferior to angels. He was made greater than the angels in order to receive their ministration, but he was a little lower than God. Doubtless he was created as love incarnate and as a trinity. Many who are ignorant of the biblical doctrines concerning man, interpret the Word of God wrongly saying that, ‘man’ is a being having a body made of the dust of the ground and a spirit which is the breath of God. To give an answer to those who misinterpret the Scriptures thus, the Holy Spirit says, “...your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless” (I Thess. 5:23), revealing that man is triune. After the Lord made man, He Who saw that all that had been created was good, also said, “It is not good that ...man should be alone,” and made a woman from one of his ribs. As the woman was made out of man, she was found as one body with him and a help meet for him. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his

wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen.2:24). Thus God made one family, namely, one body found as husband and wife, and made them rule over the earth in His stead. We have seen how the first man and woman were made. When the man and woman who were found in the image of God, were made, they were seen in the following state: First, just as God is eternal, man too had eternal life. He was not made to die. He was made to grow to perfection in the knowledge of God. It is for this that the tree of life was given. It was the order of God that man, by eating the fruit of the tree of life, should grow in the eternal life that was within him. Secondly, man was made in the image of God. This shows the nature of God. And this is love (I Jn.4:8). Man loved God and God loved him. The man and the woman loved one another. Thirdly, man had fellowship with God. Man who was made in the image of God was able to see God and speak with Him and he was able to do His will and thereby please God. Like a child pleasing its father, he lived pleasing God. God too came to him and com- muned with him. This can be understood from the fact that God came to the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day in search of man. God was in communion with man and man with God. Doubtless, the man and the woman too had fellowship with one another. Wild beasts and tame animals alike had fellowship with man and fulfilled his desires. The plants too acted like this and all kinds of fruits were available according to his desire. Fourthly, he was given dominion. God commanded the man and the woman saying, “have dominion...over every living thing” (Gen.1:28), and kept them on the earth as His ambassadors. Every living creature was subject to man. He led them as he pleased. Having no evil nature in them, they conducted themselves in a way that pleased him. Fifthly, he was created with glory. “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Gen.2:25) because they were covered with the glory of God. It is said that the Lord had crowned him with glory and honour (Psa.8:5). They were not covered with earthly garments. When the Lord Jesus Christ died, they wrapped His body in a clean linen cloth and laid him in the sepulchre (Matt.27:59). After He arose, they found the linen cloth and the napkin that was about His head rolled up and laid neatly (Jn.20:7). So when He arose, He was covered with a garment of glory. When John the apostle saw Him, He was found clothed with a garment down to the foot (Rev.1:13). This is not an earthly garment. It is an appearance of being covered with glory. This was how Adam and Eve were also covered. Sixthly, man was created immortal. Though man was made of the dust of the ground, he was immortal just as God is immortal, because God’s life was breathed into him. Seventhly, he was given an inheritance. The earth, herbs and fruit-bearing trees were all consigned to him (Gen.1:29). He lacked nothing.
THE DOMINION OF MAN

God created man as male and female and said, “Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Gen.1:26). How did man rule over them? We saw earlier that even before making man, God manifested Himself as the Father and the Son for the purpose of revealing His love. We also saw that the Father is the source of every good thing, and that the Son, obeying the Father in love, works together with Him in love. Similarly, in the world that was made out of His love, the invisible God made man and woman rule, manifesting His love. Since God manifested the two sides of His love through the man and the woman, they were reigning over the creatures of love. We see that the world was made by the Word of love, and that in order to have dominion over it, the man and the woman who were reflecting His love, ruled all the living creatures being stablished in love. The sun rules the earth with its light and heat. All the plants grow towards the sunlight. Even if growing plants are tied away from the sunlight, they will bend towards it. When Moses blessed

Joseph, he was urged of the Holy Spirit to say, “And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun” (Deut.33:13,14). All these prove that the sun rules over creation. Thus man, who manifested the invisible God, had dominion over every creature. When the love of God was reflected through man, it was communicated to the rest of God's creation. Therefore man grew up receiving the love of God. Likewise the creation too received that love from man and grew. Just as a baby grows in health and strength looking at the face of the loving mother, the creation too grew up imbibing the loving nature of man. This is why, when man fell, all creation was sub- ject to bondage. When man became corrupt, the creation too was subjected to corruption.
CHAPTER 5

THE FALL OF MAN

Having

made man in His own image and after His own likeness, God gave him the earth

to reign over and a garden in Eden to dwell in, to cultivate and to keep (Gen.2:15). As it is written, that he was ‘to keep the garden’ it is obvious that someone who would destroy the garden existed already. Who is that? We have already seen about the angels who worked against the eternal purpose the Lord had concerning man before the founda- tion of the world. We also know how the angels fell during their period of trial, for they wanted to usurp the place designated for man. Therefore the work of the fallen spirits was to destroy man and the garden in which he dwelt, so that the will of God may not be fulfilled in him. The Lord put man in the garden in order to keep it so that such a thing may not happen; so that man and his garden may not perish. The man who was to keep the garden, was made in the image of God. Saying, “It is not meet for man to be alone,” the Lord made the woman in his (man's) image and in his likeness. As both of them were one body and remained one, they preserved the garden. The Lord had made for them all kinds of trees that were pleasant to the sight and good for food. He also made the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil grow in the midst of the garden (Gen.2:9). All these fruits were suitable for man to eat. Nevertheless, He commanded them not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He said, “In the day you eat it, you shall surely die” (Gen.2:16,17). Man who had received this commandment, continued to grow in his body and soul. By eating of the fruits that were pleasant to the sight and good for food, his body was strengthened and he was found hale and healthy. By eating the fruit of the tree of life, he continued to grow in life. He quenched his thirst at the rivers that watered the garden. The man and the woman remained together as one, experiencing all these things and ruling over the garden. The trees and plants obeyed them and gave them fruit. The beasts too lived in peace, seeing and sen- sing their divine love. Even as man ruled the creatures, they in turn remained subject to the man and the woman. Just as the angels had a probation period, we find that man too had a probation period. God Who purposed to make man holy and without blame in love, set this period for him, desiring to see man attain that state. Adam and Eve remained together as one; they ate and drank together and preserved the garden. As long as they remained in this state the garden was preserved. As long as they were together, the devil could not de- ceive them by his craftiness. But one day, against God’s word, “It is not good that the man should be alone,” they separated themselves from each other. Man was alone. The woman who was made of the bone taken out of man was also alone. Satan used this opportune moment to communicate with the woman. His work is to corrupt the family of love. He went to her when she was alone and, speaking against the commandment of God, cor- rupted her mind (Gen.3:1-6). Even while Satan was talking, sin entered into Eve. He changed the mind of the woman who had determined neither to eat nor to touch the fruit. Even while he was talking, she began to see that the tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes and one to be desired to make one wise. She touched it. She plucked it. She ate it. She gave it to her husband and he also ate it. How deceitful the devil is! How crafty his counsel is! It opened the eyes that were not opened to sin, caused the hands to

touch the forbidden object, forcibly made man sin, and brought about his fall. When man fell like this, he lost the seven blessings that God had earlier bestowed upon him. The first of them was eternal life. Since they had despised the warning, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” they died in their soul (Gen.2:17). Eternal life left them. The knowledge of God left them. Though Adam lived for nine hundred and thirty years after this (Gen.5:5), it was a life lived in the fallen state. Secondly, man lost the image of God. Since he lost the image of God, which is love, enmity developed amongst human beings. Enmity and strife developed among all the beasts too. Thirdly, man fell from the fellowship he had with God. When God came in search of him, he hid himself among the trees of the garden. He said, “I was afraid …and I hid myself” (Gen.3:10). Fear entered into him, and this fear was instilled in every creature too. Fourthly, man lost his dominion. When man fell, his dominion left him. As a result, this world and its dominion were usurped by Satan. The world rejected God and accepted Satan as its prince. In the stead of man who was the ruler of the world, Satan became the ruler. His authority was established on this earth until the death of the Lord Jesus at Calvary. Jesus’ words, “Now shall the prince of this world be cast out,” came true because of Calvary (Jn.12:31). When the fallen man lost his dominion, he became an enemy to the other living creatures too. He became a slave to all kinds of fears—fear of the sunlight, fear of the moon, fear of the beast, fear of man and so on. Fifthly, man lost his glory. St.Paul declares, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). When the first man sinned, he became aware of his nakedness. The glory had left them. So they made aprons for themselves. After that too, we see their descendants being aware of their sinful state and of their spiritual nakedness. So, contrary to the will of God and according to their own whims and fancies, they invented religions to suit their own desires and tried to cover up their sins. This is the nature of the fallen man. Sixthly, immortality left man. Man became mortal and his body was subjected to corruption. Man began to age. Infirmities and diseases took hold of men. This befell not only man, but also every other living creature. Seventhly, man lost his inheritance. We know that the earth and all the things therein were given to him for an inheritance. When man sinned, all these things slipped out of his control. Therefore, even as the Lord had told him, he had to labour, sweat, till the land, raise crops and eat of it for a living (Gen.3:19). The earth was cursed because of man. Thorns and thistles began to grow. Deserts came into existence. Thus man lost his inheritance and became a stranger. Although man fell in this manner and became the enemy of God, God still loved him. The state of the man after his fall became pitiable. Seeing this, the devil and his angels might have gathered together and rejoiced shouting, “Oh, man is fallen! Man is fallen!” They might have cried aloud saying, “It's all over.” The devil, the prince of darkness, might have commended his subtlety, saying that his darkness will now engulf mankind. But he did not realize that God never changes His plan.
GOD OF RECONCILIATION

Man fell in sin and was estranged from God. “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” was the immutable word of the Lord (Gen.2:17). Accor- dingly, when man ate the fruit, he died. What is death? Death is separation from God. The communion that existed between God and man was lost and a separation came into existence. Since this death entered into every creature, separation was caused, not only between God and man, but also amongst men. The living creatures too hated one another. This was the consequence of death that was caused by man eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Thus man got separated in his soul from God and from other creatures. He died in his soul. How- ever, he continued to live in his body and, in that fallen state, he begat sons and

daughters. Death first occurred in Adam's soul. After nine hundred and thirty years, death occurred in his body too (Gen.5:5). What did the Lord do to revive man who had so died in his soul? He revealed Himself to him as the God of love. The Lord set out to reunite man with Himself. Even before man committed sin, the Son was seen as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world in order to do the will of the Father. By Him was the world made. For this reason He became a sacrifice ie. He was slain in His mind to carry out the Father's will. When man committed sin, the Lamb Who was slain from the foundation of the world agreed to become a sacrifice for the atonement of man. In accordance with this plan, God the Father chose an animal as a shadow of the real sacrifice to follow. There should also have been a priest to certify that the animal was without blemish, and that it was suitable to be sacrificed for the sake of man. He is the Holy Spirit. The Lord God killed an animal and, with its hide, made coats for the man and woman and came to meet them. He could have destroyed the man who failed to do the will of God, with one breath of His nostrils, and could have made another man. But instead of doing that, God came forward to help him. He came, not as One Who destroys him but as One Who wins him; not as One Who separates but as One Who reconciles. God came in search of man who had become His enemy, in order to cover his nakedness. How unfathomable the depth of the love of God is! The immeasurable love of God abounded towards man. Though the Lord did everything that was to be done for man, man did not realize his fault or acknowledge it. Nevertheless, God helped him cover his naked- ness. He gave him a coat of skin to use instead of the apron of dried leaves he had made for himself. This reminded him all the days of his life that an animal became a sacrifice for his sake. The Lord did not allow him to remain in the Garden of Eden and eat the fruit of the tree of life in his fallen state. Here too the Lord was being gracious to him so that he who had fallen in sin might not eat the fruit of the tree of life and live for ever in that state (Gen.3:22-24). The Lord knew that if man ate the fruit of the tree of life in that fallen state, he would live forever as a sinner and, like the devils, have to experience eternal damnation. Therefore, in keeping with His purpose, desiring that man repent, become blameless in love, and be made like unto Him- self, He opened a way. Though the tree of life is hidden to man while on this earth, the Lord has arranged for him to eat of the fruit of the tree of life that is in the midst of the Paradise in Eternity. The Lord began to work in such a manner as to put to shame Satan who had been gloating over the apparent destruction of God’s purpose. Oh, how loving God is! He is rich in wisdom! His purpose concerning man and His love are unchanging.
CHAPTER 6

MAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE

It

is a sad thing that man fell. Who was respon- sible for his fall? How good it would have

been if God had not placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in that beautiful Garden of Eden! Man fell because it was there. Therefore many say that the Lord is responsible for man's fall. But when God created man, unlike the other living creatures, He created him on a higher plane. The dog has a biting nature. Similarly, all living creatures have their own peculiar inborn nature. Even if they are trained, that nature cannot be altered. But man was created with the special capacity of ‘the right to choose’. He was not created incapable of fall. Man was created with the ability to distinguish between what is good and what is evil. Therefore the Lord had kept two ways before him. One was the way of life and the other the way of death. Whichever way he takes, he will himself be responsible for the reward he would receive for it. The Lord made two trees grow in the midst of the Garden of Eden (Gen.2:9). The plan of God was that he should continue to grow in life by eating the fruit of the tree of life and attain the perfection of

God. On the other hand, the Lord had made known to him that on the day he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would have to expe- rience death. In the way that leads to death, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was kept, and in the way of life was the tree of life. How excellent it would have been, if man had eaten only of the tree of life and continued to grow in life! Instead, by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he chose the way of death. Thus he misused his right to choose and fell. He himself is responsible for that. Though all kinds of fruits were given to him for food, he disobeyed the commandment of God, and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, and became a sinner. Since that disobedience continues to rule over man even to this day, man is found opposed to the order of God. From what the Lord spoke to the children of Israel: “Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death” (Jer.21:8), we can understand that even today the responsibility for a man’s life rests with man himself.
CAIN AND ABEL

After man fell in sin, he was driven out of the garden of Eden. However, a mind of sacrifice was found in man. Two sons were born to Adam. The elder was named Cain, and the younger, Abel. The Word of God says that both of them offered sacrifices unto God, and that God respected Abel and his offering, but did not respect Cain and his offering (Gen.4:4,5). Why did the Lord do this? Here we see the right to choose as well as its consequence or reward. When the Lord sent man out of the garden, He said, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life” (Gen.3:17). We understand that after man fell into sin, unlike in the Garden of Eden, he now tilled the land and raised crops for his food. We know that before the Scriptures were written and given to man, details of the creation of the world and other happenings were transmitted by the patriarchs from one to another by word. Matters pertaining to God were reported by Adam to his sons, and by them to the generations that followed. Therefore Adam must have told his two sons how this world was created by the Word of God, about the fall of the angels and also about how he and his wife fell into sin. He would have also testified to them how the Lord did not cast him and his descendants away when he sinned, but sacrificed an animal and clothed them with its skin. He would have explained to his sons that he was told by the Lord to till the ground from which he was taken and eat by raising crops, and that he was doing just that. Of the two sons who heard this, Cain, the elder, took up his father's occupation and became a tiller of the land. On the other hand, Abel, the younger, took to tending flocks, probably realizing how the Lord had worked when his father fell into sin and made coats of skin to cover his nakedness. The right to choose their own vocation was placed before the two of them. One chose to live by cultivating crops in this cursed earth. But the other chose to be a keeper of sheep. The latter tended to manifest the mind of the Lamb that was sacrificed for the salvation of mankind. Their choices revealed their mind—Cain, the mind of man who lives on this cursed earth and Abel, God’s mind of propitiation. Cain brought of the fruit of the ground as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. By faith, Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. It was faith that made it so. The Lord accepted Abel and his offering. Thus man received from the forefathers, the practice of worshipping God through sacrifices. Until the Lord Jesus was manifested as the perfect sacrifice at Calvary, as a shadow, all the patriarchs followed the example of Abel. That is why the holy Scripture says that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. However, the Lord rejected the offering of Cain. There- fore Cain was wroth with Abel and killed him. Abel was killed for the sake of the sacrifice he offered. In his stead, the Lord gave Adam a son named Seth. We can understand that the generation of Cain went ahead in the way of death, and the generation of Seth in the way of life. Likewise, Noah, Abraham, and the other saints who were born in the lineage of Seth, were found having the mind of sacrifice. Thus they ran their course, continually manifesting, as a shadow, the real mind of sacrifice seen at Calvary.
CHAPTER 7

SALVATION IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Until

the Lord Jesus became a sacrifice at Calvary, the Old Testament saints offered received salvation

sacrifices as a shadow of that real sacrifice, and according to their spiritual state. There were two groups among them.

From the time man sinned to the time of Moses, the saints were ruled by the law of their own conscience. These formed the first group. The conscience that was given to them by the Lord, revealed to them the state of their life and led them in the way of life. Enoch was a notable man among them in that age. He was translated without seeing death. Noah, who lived after that, was a just man and perfect in his generation and he walked with God. His being preserved in the deluge that came in his days, revealed that he was obedient to the statutes of God. In Genesis Ch.7-9, we see that he and his family, and all the living creatures that came into count, were preserved and that a new era came into existence. Not only that, after him we find that patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob received visions of God and were led by Him. They lived as strangers and pilgrims on this earth and finished their course looking unto the God Who had called them. Till the days of Moses they lived by the law of their conscience. However, since their conscience began to work in conformity with the visions they received of God, they became recipients of a different experience. Though Enoch was found with his family, he alone came into this experience. Noah was given the great charge of preserving himself, his family, and all the living creatures. Although Abraham was called alone, he followed the Lord by faith and rose to become a father of many nations. But when the period of Moses arrived, people came to be led not only by their conscience but also by the law the Lord had given. These were the second group. Though they were led in this manner, they were not recipients of the perfection of the New Testament. The Bible says that their sins were not remitted wholly until Christ died at Calvary. This can be understood from the words, “...by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament” (Heb.9:15). The psalmist too says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psa.32:1). This is the measure of salvation that was received during the Old Testament period. We need to know where the saints of the Period of Conscience and Law went after their death. Though they were the saints of the Old Testament period, since their sins were only covered, and not forgiven, they descended to the lower parts of the earth after death. Only when Christ died, were their sins remitted. There- fore, when Christ rose up, they were carried up to heavenly places. That is, the place called Abraham’s Bosom which was in the upper part of the lower parts of the earth, was taken up to heavenly places by the death and resurrection of Christ. This is Paradise. Now these saints are resting in their respective habitations. When the Lord told the malefactor on the cross, “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in paradise,” it was this place (Abraham’s Bosom) that He referred to. After three days, when Jesus rose up, the malefactor was taken up to heavenly places together with the captives. It is about this that it is written, “Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive” (Psa. 68:18; Eph.4:8). Therefore, before Calvary’s sacrifice, ‘Paradise’ was the upper part of the lower parts of the earth, and it is evident that now it has become a place in the heavenly places (A detailed explanation of this follows in Ch.11).
CHAPTER 8

THE LAMB OF GOD

In

the previous chapter, we considered the salva- tion of the saints of the Old Testament

period. Everything that once served as a shadow has now ceased to be. When the times were fulfilled,

God sent His Son to the earth. He was born of a virgin. About seven hundred years before His birth, Prophet Isaiah spoke of His birth saying, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isa.7:14). When the angel Gabriel spoke of His birth to the virgin Mary, she doubted it because such a birth was unprecedented (Lk. 1:26-35). According as it is written, “He shall save His people from their sins,” He was named Jesus (Matt.1:21). He was foreordained by the Father before the foundation of the world. And He was slain from the beginning of the world. He is the firstborn of every creature. Nevertheless, born of a virgin, He manifested Himself to the world. There was no sin in His birth. As He was not born by the will of man, His birth was special. King David said, “In sin did my mother conceive me,” revealing that sin is in man from birth (Psa.51:5). But Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb. Born of a virgin, He was indeed without sin. Because He was born sinless, He was able to bear the sins of the world. Hence when John the Baptist saw Him, he proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn.1:29). He Who came to bear the sin of the world, lived in obedience to His parents until His thirtieth year. At the age of thirty, He received water baptism at the hands of John. When He came up out of the water after receiving baptism, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him. And the Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased,” thereby manifesting the relationship between Himself and Jesus (Matt.3:16,17).
JESUS, WHO WAS TEMPTED

From what happened at the time of Jesus’ baptism, we understand that when the invisible Son of God was manifested as the Son of man, He was approved of the Holy Spirit and the Father. The devil who saw this, tempted Him. The old serpent, Satan, who made man fall in sin, and who was working continually to thwart the eternal purpose of God, came to Him. By tempting Him, he endeavoured to destroy His ministry as well as the eternal purpose of God, the Father. When man sinned, he sold himself to Satan. As a result, the world which was in man's domain, went into the hands of Satan. Thus the wicked one became the prince of this world. This is why Satan showed all the glory of the world to Jesus and said, “All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matt.4:9). But the Lord Jesus overcame all the temptations by the Word of God (vs.10,11). When Jesus told Satan, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve,” he went away leaving Him. Thus Jesus overcame Satan and escaped his deception.
JESUS, WHO WENT ABOUT DOING GOOD

Jesus Who conquered the devil and started His ministry in His thirtieth year, revealed the purpose for which the Father had sent Him saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lk.4:18,19; Isa.61:1,2). Seeing the state of mankind that had departed from God, Jesus was moved with compassion (Matt.9:36; 14:14; 15:32). He healed the sick among them. He delivered those who were under the power of the devil. He gave food to the hungry. He thus went about doing good, and in accordance with the Word of God, He bore the sins of the world, became a sin offering and died.
CHAPTER 9

THE DEATH OF CHRIST

In spite

of being holy and without blame, Jesus Who walked about doing good, had to die in

order to fulfil the eternal purpose of God, the Father. The Phari- sees and scribes accused Him and delivered Him up to be killed. Nevertheless, His death was determined by God. When the first man sinned, the Lord cursed the serpent (devil) who was the cause of it. At that time God spoke to the serpent concerning the death of Christ and the bruising of the head of the devil saying, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel” (Gen.3:15). After this, the death of Christ was revealed as a shadow through various incidents. Abraham sacrificing Isaac, the paschal lamb that was slain in Egypt, the ten kinds of sacrifices, the death of the high priest, the two sparrows used for the cleansing of a leper, the red heifer, the brazen serpent, the scapegoat, etc, are all a shadow of the blessings we receive from the death of Christ. As we saw earlier, the Old Testament saints, having these as a shadow, unwittingly acknowledged the death of Christ. But we who are at the end times, truly experience the fruits of the death of Christ.
BLESSINGS RECEIVED BY THE DEATH OF CHRIST

1. Even as God foretold saying, “The seed of the woman shall bruise your head,” the Lord Jesus, by His death, destroyed the devil who had the power of death (Heb. 2:14). How is that? When Adam, the father of mankind, transgressed the commandment of God and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, he died in his soul and got sepa- rated from God. This is the first death that took place in him. The spiritual death, which was the first death that occurred in him, is experienced by every one of his descendants. The first blessing got from the death of Christ at Calvary is deliverance from this death. When man sinned, the righteousness of God pro- nounced a judgment on him. But the Love of God, took upon Himself this righteous punishment and determined to die for man. For this very cause, the Son of God Who is holy and without sin, bore the sin of mankind and was made sin at Calvary. At Calvary we see the mani- festation of the love of God and His righteousness. The cruelty and unrighteousness of man was met by the unfathomable love of God and His unchanging righ-teousness. The Son of God bore sins for the sake of man and was made sin. The cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” that resounded at Calvary (Matt. 27:46), reveals the experience of the Son, Who being made sin was separated from God and had the Father’s face hid from Him. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life,” said Jesus (Jn.3:14,15). It is concerning this that the Lord also spoke saying, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” (Jn.12:31,32). Everyone who believes that Jesus Who knew no sin was made sin for his sake, will be accepted of God. Thus the Father's face was hidden to the Lord Jesus, and He experienced a separation from God and then He died physically (Matt.27:50). Those dead in sins and trespasses, will have eternal life by Jesus, if they believe in Him. 2. When the Lord Jesus died at Calvary, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom (Matt.27:51). This shows the rending of the veil that was between the Most Holy Place and the Holy Place. This opened a way for mankind to enter the Most Holy Place in heaven. 3. By the death of Christ, the transgressions of the saints of the Old Testament were atoned for. This is evident as it is said that He died for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed during the first testament period (Heb.9:15). By the death at Calvary, the sins that were covered till then were forgiven, and they are thereby made worthy to enter into the habi-tation appointed for them. Thus Christ, by His death, having destroyed the devil who had the power of death, by giving eternal life to those who believe in Him, and granting them deliverance from sin, has made a new way for man to experience the blessedness of being together with Him in the Most Holy Place (Heb.10:19). Thus the death of Christ has become a great blessing to those who lived both before and after Calvary.

CHAPTER 10

HEAVEN

In

the last chapter we saw that when the Lord Jesus died, the veil of the temple was rent in

two from top to bottom. When the Lord brought the children of Israel into the wilderness, He commanded Moses saying, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exo.25:8). The tabernacle that was thus made had three main divisions. The first part was called the outer court, the second, the holy place, and the third, the most holy place. The Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain to show him the plan of this tabernacle. He strictly told him to make the tabernacle and all its instruments according to the pattern He showed him (vs.40). And Moses too completed the tabernacle accord- ing to the pattern God had shown him. About this, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says that the services they execute are an “example and shadow of heavenly things” (Heb.8:5). This tabernacle that was made after the pattern shown on the mount, is indeed an example and shadow of heavenly things. From this we can understand that heaven too has three distinct places. St.John writes saying that in his vision, after this earth and heaven passed away, he saw a new heaven and a new earth. Not only that, he adds that he saw the New Jerusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. We should bear in mind that these are the three places that will be found in Eternity. After the tabernacle was finished and erected in the wilderness, the Lord God came and dwelt in glory in the third place ie. the most holy place, just as He had desired (Exo. 40:34; Lev.16:2). Beyond the first part of the tabernacle viz., the outer court into which every circumcised Israelite could enter, there was the first tent into which only the priests could enter, and the second tent called the most holy place into which the high priest alone could enter. In the tabernacle that was made in this manner, the high priest and his sons ministered throughout the year in the holy place. But into the second tabernacle which is the most holy place, the high priest alone went once every year and made atonement for himself, his household and for the whole congregation of Israel (Lev. 16:17; Heb.9:7). All these were only a shadow. The holy place and the most holy place were separated by a veil. This tabernacle was with them throughout their journey in the wilderness. After they settled in Canaan, a temple was built by King Solomon after the pattern of this tabernacle, even as the Holy Spirit decreed in writing (I Chron.28:12,19). This temple was burnt down by King Nebuchadnezzar; the walls of Jerusalem were demolished and the Jews were taken captives to Babylon (II Kgs. 25:811). Nevertheless, after about seventy years, the temple was rebuilt by Zerubbabel. When the Lord Jesus was on this earth, the people worshipped in Herod's temple that had been built in place of Zerubbabel’s temple. Though these temples were constructed in different ages, they were made according to the pattern of the tabernacle that the Lord had shown Moses on the mount. The Word of God says that the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom. This refers to the veil that was between the holy place and the most holy place. As the Word of God says that this tabernacle serves as an example and shadow of the heavenly things, it is evident that the veil that was between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place in the true Tabernacle in heaven, was removed. This happened through the death of Christ—the way to the Most Holy Place in heaven was opened, and mankind received the right to enter it. Concerning this, St.Paul writes, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by

the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh” (Heb.10:19,20).
THE NEW WAY

As it is written that this is a new and living way, it is obvious that no one has previously entered it. About this, it is written, “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things” (Eph.4:10). The Lord Jesus Who has passed over all heavens is now seated at the right hand of the Father. Therefore we understand that the death at Calvary has bestowed on mankind the privilege to enter into the Most Holy Place. This way is opened for us, not that we may enter into an earthly tabernacle like the high priest, but that we may enter into the true tabernacle in heaven and be with the Lord Jesus for all eternity.

CHAPTER 11

THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT

The

Lamb Who was chosen before the foundation of the world, died in the fulness of times

in order to deliver man from the hands of Satan. He delivered mankind that was enslaved by the fear of death. He destroyed Satan who had the power over death, with His own death (Heb.2:14). He destroyed the power of death in this manner, and today, He delivers man and saves him. He died for the deliverance of the Old Testament saints too. The Lamb Who was chosen before the foundation of the world was slain from the beginning of the world for the sake of the creation of mankind. Moreover, we saw earlier, that when man committed sin, an animal was sacrificed, as a type. In this manner, the Old Testament saints looked forward to the perfect sacrifice that was to be found at Calvary. They offered sacrifices in accordance with the law. With the blood of bulls, rams and goats they drew near God. Nevertheless, their sins were not completely remitted by these sacrifices which were only a shadow (Heb.10:4). Though they were not perfected, they died looking forward to Calvary. Therefore, the Scripture says that when the Lord Jesus died, the transgressions that were under the first testament were remitted (Heb.9:15).
THE STATE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS AFTER DEATH

The Old Testament saints are the saints who lived from the beginning of creation till Calvary. They approached God by means of the sacrifices that were offered in accordance with the law. Nevertheless, we find that they were not perfected. Their deeds of sin or transgressions, were forgiven. However, the sin that was within them ie. their sinful nature, remained covered. David says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psa.32:1). This was the perfection of the saints who lived in the Old Testament period. That is why it is written that when they died, they descended to the lower parts of the earth. And till the death of Jesus at Calvary, they remained there. We see that the ‘lower parts of the earth’ consisted of two parts. One part is called Abraham’s Bosom, and the other is a place of torment. When the Lord Jesus was in this world, He told the story of a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus, and brought out a truth. Some profess that this is only a parable. As the Lord has said, “There was a certain beggar named Lazarus,” it cannot be a parable. Though the name of the rich man is not mentioned in the Bible, since the name of the beggar is given, it is certainly a true incident. The Lord said that this Lazarus was carried into Abraham‘s Bosom, and

that the rich man was taken to a place of torment, from where he spoke with Abraham. As said, there was a great gulf between these two places. We can understand that those who were in each of these two places, could see and hear those in the other place, but could not go from one place to the other. This was the state of the men who died during the Old Testament period. When the Lord Jesus died, the sins of the saints who were in Abraham’s Bosom were remitted. The words, “When He died, He descended first into the lower parts of the earth,” signify this (Eph.4:9). When Jesus spoke to the malefactor on the cross saying, “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in paradise,” He referred to the Paradise which was a part of the lower parts of the earth. When He died, not only were the transgressions of the first testament remitted, but He also descended to Abraham’s Bosom, to the spirits of those that died in Noah‘s days and were in prison, into the deep parts of hell called Abusos _ Gk. (Rom.10:7; I Pet. 3:19,20). Because the Lord Jesus went to those places, He ascended on high, leading captivity captive. When He descended into hell, since hell could not contain Him, it is obvious that there was no sin in Him. He triumphed over death and hell, arose and ascended on high. Abraham’s Bosom which was till then in the lower parts of the earth, was taken up to heavenly places when Jesus arose. In respect of this, the Scripture says, “When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive” (Eph.4:8).
JESUS, THE MEDIATOR

Concerning the Lord Jesus, St.Paul says, “There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men” (I Tim.2:5). We know that Jesus Christ ascended above all heavens and, being set between God and man, He received from the Father the anointing of the Holy Ghost and pours it on all those who ask Him. This is evident from the words, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:33). Since the Lord Jesus, the Mediator, poured forth the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the Church, His body was formed on this earth. As regards to this, St.Paul says, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (I Cor.12:13). Another work of the Lord is to perfect the New Testament Church and fashion it into His own image. Jesus, the Mediator, continues to work to that end. God has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but, is now made manifest by the appea- ring of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (II Tim.1:9-11). From these verses, we can understand how Jesus, the Mediator, works for our sakes. In this way, the hidden grace and the hidden gospel are continually coming to us from Him. The grace of God is indispensable for every one, and it is most essential for the moulding of the New Testament saints. By the sin that Adam committed, a separation was caused between God and man, man and man, and between man and other living creatures. Until man is manifested in perfection, enmity will remain. For this reason it is written that the whole creation groans and travails in pain for the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom.8:19,22). In order to make us sons of God, Jesus the Lord, Who is the Son of God, became man. To make us sons of God, the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven and He continues to work by sending forth the Holy Spirit. St.Paul confirms that we have become the sons of God by the anointing of the Holy Spirit saying, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (vs.15). We become sons of God not only by the anointing but also by being led by the Spirit of God (vs.14). St.Paul speaks of our future saying that we now groan within ourselves waiting to be manifested as the sons of God (vs.23). The truth we should understand is that an experience of this sort is not fulfilled by the anointing and by being led by the Spirit alone but also by the gospel. For this reason, the grace of God and the gospel that were hidden, are manifested through the Lord Jesus. Grace does not come alone. Of the appearing of the Lord Jesus, St. John says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of

the Father,) full of grace and truth” (Jn.1:14). Likewise the gospel that transforms us into the image of the Lord Jesus is also manifested together with grace. Though it is said, ‘grace and truth,’ when the Lord Jesus went to the presence of the Father, we find this grace and truth proceeding as ‘grace and gospel’, or in other words, as the gospel of grace. That is, when the gospel of truth proceeds from heaven, grace too comes with it from heaven in order to make that gospel of the truth our own experience. When the Word of God first comes to a man, it imparts to him the assurance of the forgiveness of sins, and a new heart. This is the work of grace. “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph.1:7). No matter how great a sinner we might be, the riches of His grace forgives our sins and makes us the children of God. At the same time, since we become the children of God, we are bestowed a heart like that of God. Just as we graciously received forgiveness of sins from the Lord, we also have the grace to forgive those who have done evil to us. If a child of God does not have a heart like that of God, how can he forgive? Look how salty the sea is! Even though the fresh water of all rivers flows into it, the salty nature of the sea never changes. Instead, even the fresh water that falls into the sea becomes salty. The sea is so rich in salt that it can make any quantity of fresh water, salty. This is an example of the riches of God's grace. The man who is changed into His likeness by His gospel, shall become a man of grace like Him. He becomes a man having the riches of grace to be able to forgive and love any enemy. Like this, when the gospel comes to us as the truth, step by step, it also creates grace in us. Just as the Lord Jesus is the fulness of grace (Jn.1:16), through the gospel, we too become people full of grace and are transformed into His likeness. As the gospel thus works in us step by step, Jesus, the Mediator keeps sending from heaven the truth of the gospel in order to make us perfect. Thus the gospel transforms us. This gospel aboli- shes the death that is within us. It creates within us fulness of life and immortality. When St.Paul speaks of this, saying, “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles” (II Tim.1:11), he indicates those by whom this gospel should be given to this world. Concerning this, St.Paul wrote to the Colossians, “The gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister” (Col.1:23), thereby manifesting the relationship between him and the gospel.
CHAPTER 12

NEW BIRTH

st.Peter

says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things,

as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet.1:18,19). This reveals the greatness of the redemp- tion we have received by the precious blood of Christ at Calvary. Having created an excellent redemption of this sort, and causing us to be born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible seed, by the living Word of God that abides for ever, God brings about a change of heart within us. This is indeed being born again. Traditional Christians do not understand this experience. Nicodemus, despite being a master in Israel, did not know of it. But Christ has delivered us from the religion of shadows and traditions, and has given us a new religion, a new way. We know that the Lord delivered the Israelites from the bondage in Egypt by the blood of the paschal lamb. He brought them into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea. He commanded Moses, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exo. 25:8). Obeying this commandment, Moses made a taber- nacle. The fittings and the instruments of that tabernacle were made of precious material such as gold, silver and precious stones. Though the offerings of the children of Israel were precious, they were perishable. As the materials were perishable, the tabernacle

that was made with them was also perishable. How can the eternal God Who is incorruptible, dwell eternally in this perishable tabernacle? Therefore, we understand that God did not intend to dwell in it forever. Similarly every temple made by men (by hands) thereafter was perishable so much so that the Lord did not intend to dwell in them eternally. Therefore, the Lord had in mind an eternal habitation for Himself, and that was man. The Lord has chosen us that we may be holy and without blame in love. But man fell in sin and became corruptible, without fulfilling that purpose. Therefore, for the fulfilment of His eternal purpose in us, the Lord transforms us (corruptible beings) into incorruptible beings. This work of the Lord first begins with the born-again experience. When the Lord met the Samaritan woman, He said, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (Jn.4:13,14), and revealed the blessedness bestowed on the man who is born again. The words, “It shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life,” signify that He transforms man who is corruptible and thirsting after sin, into one who is incorruptible and without a thirst for sin, by giving him eternal life. This experience is not attained in temples made of gold, silver or any other precious material. It is for this reason that the saints who have received this experience in the New Testament do not adorn them- selves with gold ornaments etc., for they are themselves precious. This experience is indeed more excellent than all other precious things. Therefore, while speaking of this redemption, St.Peter says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold ...but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet.1:18,19). Touching this, he says, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel” (I Pet.3:3). Likewise St.Paul too has spoken explicitly of outward adorning in I Timothy 2:9. When one is born again, the change in his heart is reflected in his outward appea- rance and he receives a new experience, and acquires the experience of Christ being sufficient for him for everything. The disciples of the Lord Jesus had the born-again experience when Jesus was with them. They had a knowledge of the Lord Jesus. When the Lord asked them, “Whom say ye that I am?” Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt.16:16). Jesus said that this revelation was not of flesh and blood, but from the Father Who is in heaven. St.John too, by saying, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,” confirms that all those who have received this experience are born again or born of God (I Jn.5:1). The man who is born again in this manner is indeed a man who has received the revelation of God. He being a child of God, has God sufficient for him—for his spirit, soul and body. The experience of being born again is none other than the grace bestowed by the Lord on a man, for him to receive yet another experience. It is not an experience of perfection. It is only an experience a man receives in order to see the kingdom of God. James, by saying, “Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (1:18), manifests the purpose of being born again. So, those who are born again, should grow step by step from that experience, and go on to the experience of becoming the firstfruits. That is, the Lord gives us the born-again experience so that we might become the firstfruits of His creatures.
CHAPTER 13

WATER BAPTISM

In

the last chapter we considered what the born-again experience is, as well as its need.

While conversing with Nicodemus, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of

water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (I Jn.3:5), referring to the experience of water baptism and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Some wrongly teach that being born of water refers to being born by the Word of God. The Scripture clearly says that the experience of being born again to see the kingdom of God, is by the Word of God (I Pet.1:23). When the Lord said that it is necessary to be born again in order to see the kingdom of God, and to be born of water in order to enter therein, how can these two experiences be one? Before entering into a house, we see it. After seeing it, we enter it. Seeing and entering are not one experience. Anyone can understand that seeing is the first experience, and entering, the second experience. The Lord told Moses, “Thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel” (Deut.32:52). What do we under- stand from this? Seeing and entering are two distinct experiences. Therefore, we must clearly understand that being born of water signifies the experience of water baptism.
MAN IS A SINNER IN TWO WAYS

First, he is a sinner by wicked works (Col.1:21). This refers to the sins that he commits by his deeds. He himself is responsible for them. The Lord Jesus shed His blood to deliver man from these. If we repent and confess our sins, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I Jn. 1:9). Therefore, when we confess our sins with penitent heart we receive the forgiveness of sins. Secondly, man is a sinner by nature. Just as David said, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psa.51:5), every man has such a sinful nature. This sinful nature is also called “disobedience”, “rebellious nature” and “Adam's nature”. This has been passed on to us through our forefathers, generation after generation, from our patriarch Adam who committed sin. All the trees that are grown from the seeds of a tree yielding sour fruit, will also bear sour fruit. Similarly, the generation of Adam who fell in sin is subjected to this sinful nature. A tamarind tree remains a tamarind tree whether it bears fruit or not. Similarly, even if a man does not commit sinful deeds, he is a sinner by nature (Eph.2:3). If one is to receive complete deliverance from this nature of sin, he should be brought into the death of Christ Who has no such sinful nature. That is, he should be buried with Christ in baptism (Rom.6:4). Christ was born of the Holy Spirit. Therefore in Him was no sinful nature. Neither was sin ever found in His life. Till His death, He was blameless in every way. He took upon Himself the sin of all mankind and died having no sin. Hence, when a man who has received the remission of sins is buried into His death, he dies to his sinful nature. At water baptism, a death as well as a burial takes place in us. That is why St.Paul writes, “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom.6:2). A man who is buried into the death of Christ, like a dead body that is kept in a grave, is kept away from connection with the external world.
SEPARATION

Since St.Paul says, “We are dead to sin,” we under- stand that sin and the world do not die, and that it is we who die to sin and to the world. This is what St. Paul means. This shows the victory that is got when we live reckoning ourselves to be dead to sin (Rom.6:11) and dead to the rudiments of the world (Col.2:20). Many years after a stinking corpse is buried, the earth turns it into dust like itself. Similarly the death of Christ makes one who abides in the death of Christ to die to sin, to the world, and to carnal nature, and transforms him and makes him like Christ. This is why baptism that causes us to be buried into the death of Christ, is most essential. So, St.Peter asked that baptism be administered even to those who had received the Holy Spirit but had not yet been baptized in water (Acts 10:47). This he said, because for us to be dead to sin and be made perfect, baptism that makes us partakers of the death of Christ, is indispensable. In immersion baptism we experience, as a shadow, the experience of

being buried into the death of Christ. For this reason the Scripture says that if we are planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be joined together with Him in His resurrection (Rom.6:5). (In the original tongue it says ‘in His resurrection’ and not ‘in the likeness of His resurrec- tion’). Moreover, the word ‘baptism’ originates from the Greek term baptizo meaning ‘immersion’. And it is evident that all the baptisms of the New Testament were given by immersion in water. When John was sent by the Lord to administer baptism, he chose the place Aenon as there was much water there (Jn.3:23). Likewise, as it is said that Jesus “went up...out of the water” after He was baptized (Matt.3:16), and that Philip and the eunuch both “went down...into the water” for baptism (Acts 8:38), this is clear. The early Church practised immersion baptism. It was later that the Roman church introduced sprinkling baptism and, as it was administered to little children, it has remained as a tradition. During the days of the early apostles and their followers, baptism was not adminis- tered to little children. Since the Lord has said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk.16:16), it is clear that baptism is not meant for children as they cannot ‘believe’, but for adults who believe in the Lord Jesus and have repented of their sins and received remission of sins. Further, before the Lord Jesus was taken up to heaven, He summoned His disciples and said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt.28:18-20). From these, we understand that the immersion baptism that is given to the adults who believe and have received the forgiveness of sins, is the correct baptism, and not the sprinkling baptism that is administered to children. If the man who is born again remains stagnant in that experience, he cannot grow to be a perfect man to fulfil the eternal purpose of the Lord. So it is necessary for the man who is born again, to be born of water. Therefore, the Lord has made clear the importance of the experience of water baptism through the following incidents in the Old Testament.
1. THE ISRAELITES CROSSING THE RED SEA

The Israelites who were redeemed from the bondage of Egypt by the blood of the paschal lamb, set out towards Canaan under the leadership of Moses. This experience shows our journeying towards heavenly Canaan having been delivered from the bondage of sin. We know how Pharaoh and his host pursued the Israelites and how the Lord divided the Red Sea and made them pass through it, and destroyed Pharaoh and his host in the sea, and that thereby the Israelites received salvation. St.Paul compares this experience to water baptism (ICor.10:1,2). For the children of Israel to go to Canaan, there was a shorter route, avoiding the Red Sea. It was the way through the land of the Philistines. Knowing that if the Israelites went by that way, they would be disheartened when they encountered war, and might turn back to Egypt, the Lord did not lead them by that way (Exo.13:17,18). He caused them to go round about by the way of the Red Sea. This was because the Red Sea would then become a barrier that prevented their returning. So the Lord led them by the way of the Red Sea and thereby expounded the truths of water baptism of the New Testament. When they crossed the Red Sea, the water stood on either side as walls, and above them also there was water in the form of a cloud. So their passing through it depicts the immersion baptism by water. The redeemed Israelites entering the Red Sea, is a shadow of the baptism that should be received by a man who has received redemption by the forgiveness of sins in the New Testament, at the beginning of his race towards heavenly Canaan. Here when the Israelites entered into the Red Sea, the Egyptians who pursued them perished. This death brought about a separation between the Egyptians and the Israelites. This is an experience obtained in the baptism of the New Testa- ment. Even as the Egyptians pursued the Israelites, the nature of sin continues to follow a man who has been saved. Since the Egyptians died in the midst of the Red Sea, a separation was brought about between the Israelites and the Egyptians. Similarly, in water baptism, a great separation is caused between the

man who is saved and the nature of sin. But, unlike the Egyptians who died in the Red sea, in baptism, it is not the nature of sin that dies; only, a separation is caused between the man who is saved and the sinful nature. Sin does not die here. We are the ones who die to sin. We should keep this experience of death till the very end. It is concerning this that St.Paul said, “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”(Rom.6:2). They were “baptized unto Moses” (ICor.10:2), signifies that in order to obey Moses, as well as to be joined to him, they were subjected to this act. This explains another aspect of water baptism. After they entered into the wilderness after having crossed the Red sea, they were led through divers kinds of sufferings for forty years. At that time, though they contemplated returning to Egypt on many occasions, the Red sea stood as an obstacle preventing their return. Had they been led through the shorter route, they might have returned to Egypt and gone into the old bondage. So we see that water baptism leads us to Canaan, and also prevents us from turning back. But those who despise water baptism make no room for spiritual growth and return to their old sins even after they are born again.
WHAT IS MEANT BY BEING ‘BAPTIZED UNTO MOSES’ ?

This means, being baptized in order to ‘obey Moses’ and in order to ‘be joined to Moses’. Hence, some say that we receive baptism in order to obey Christ and be directly joined to Him. As Moses is a shadow of Christ, what they say may appear to be correct. But they have this wrong understanding because they are ignorant of the perfection to be attained in the New Testament. Such an interpretation given to immersion baptism, rejects the need for the New Testament Church to be built and the importance of the fellowship of the apostles. Moses signifies not only Christ, but also the ambassadors of Christ (II Cor.5:20), as well as their doctrines (Acts 21:21; Matt.28:20). Hence it is written that on the day of Pentecost, the three thousand souls who received the words of Peter gladly and were baptized, continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, and fellowship (Acts 2:42). Hence, remaining steadfast in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, is just as important as water baptism itself.
2. NOAH’S ARK

Apostle Peter says that the ark of Noah is a shadow of baptism. “In the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing,...eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us...by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (IPet.3:20,21). Noah spent everything he had for building the ark, and was seen as a just man who preached about the forthcoming deluge. He is a shadow of the faithful ministers of the New Testament. The ministry of the New Testament is not a means to amass wealth. It is a path in which the one who does the ministry spends all that he owns for the sake of the Lord and for the sake of the gospel. After the ark was completed, every living creature in count entered into it in pairs. In the ark, the wild animals and domestic animals all lived together. The creatures that had been devouring one another while living outside the ark, were able to live together in peace once they had entered the ark. This is a shadow of the change that takes place in a man who has received baptism. The experience, “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” spoken of by St.Paul, is seen as a shadow within the ark. The men, the animals and the birds were able to testify that their evil natures did not function after entering the ark. The man who obeys the truth of water baptism too can live in this manner. This is the inner experience we receive in baptism. Apart from receiving an inner experience like this, it is also written that the eight who entered the ark were ‘saved by water' (I Pet.3:20). What does this mean? After all the creatures in count and Noah and his family had entered the ark, the Lord shut the door (Gen.7:16). When it rained and the waters increased, the ark was lifted up. The wicked men, the fierce beasts and the giants who were outside, might have attempted to break open the ark and enter it in order to escape the impending

danger. They could have killed Noah and his sons. But since the waters rose fifteen cubits above the mountains, all the living creatures that were outside the ark perished. No one could break open the ark, and the waters preserved the ark as well as all those who were within. This shows, as a shadow, how in baptism we too are preserved from the external world. It is thus evident that baptism is a means by which we are separated from wicked men of the world, unbelievers, backsliders, etc. As written in II Corinthians 6:14-18, we come to a state of having no connection with the external world.
3. LAVER OF BRASS

The Lord said to Moses, “Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein” (Exo.30:18). Accordingly, he made a laver of brass and kept it between the tent of the congregation and the altar. We know that this brazen laver was made of the looking glasses of the Israelite women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle (Exo.38:8). The Egyptian women used such mirrors for beautifying themselves. Israeli women too used these looking glasses to beautify their faces according to Egyptian culture and fashion. The women who thus beautified themselves like the Egyptians, had to part with their looking glasses. If they were not handed over, the brazen laver could not have been made. This is the shadow of a truth we have to observe in baptism. Women signifies those who are weak in the faith. When we come forward to take baptism, though we are born again and born into the family of God, if we are not separated from the world, we are weak in the faith. Like women, we lack courage. We are fearful. And we are pleasers of the world. By the experience of being buried into the death of Christ, we who had the nature of women, are made the sons of God by faith. Let not the beauty, prestige and ornamental jewelry of the world be found in us. We get the courage to partake of the death of Christ in baptism, and we begin to lead a victorious life. If we are not freed from the corruption of this world, there is no meaning in taking baptism. The brazen laver that is made of looking glasses is to be filled with water. The looking glasses mentioned here signify the Word of God which reflects to us the reality of heaven: “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass” (Jas.1:23). Those who are to be washed with water should be brought before this brazen laver that is made of looking glasses.
WHO SHOULD BE WASHED IN THIS LAVER?

Though the tabernacle had been made, the priests who were to execute the ministry in the priests' office had not yet been anointed. Aaron and his sons were washed in this laver in order to minister in the priests' office. In Exodus Chapter 29, we read of how Aaron and his sons should be brought to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the laver, and be washed with water, clothed with the holy garments and then anointed (Exo.29:4). Aaron and his sons stood and ministered in the holy place throughout the year, clad with their garments of beauty. But on the tenth day of the seventh month, the high priest would put off the garments of beauty and, clothed with the garments of glory, enter into the most holy place (Lev.16:4,29,30). He entered therein with the blood of bulls and goats, and made atonement for himself, for his household and for the Israelites. This laver is made for those who execute a ministry of this sort. The ministry executed by the high priest and his sons in the holy place refers to the holy ministry executed by Spirit-baptized people. They have been made kings and priests to God (Rev.1:5,6). The high priest entering into the most holy place once a year, shows our being caught up at the Coming of the Lord Jesus and living with Him for ever and ever. Those who were not anointed with oil could enter neither the holy place nor the most holy place. This anointing signifies the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament period. When the priests were anointed, the Lord said that the anointing would be an everlasting priesthood throughout their gene- rations (Exo.40:15). Only those who are anointed shall be perfected and will live with the Lord forever and ever. The purpose of making the brazen laver was to

wash the priests. We therefore understand that for one to serve the Lord and also for one to be caught up at the Coming of the Lord, baptism is essential. There is yet another thing to note here. Those who were washed at the brazen laver were not washed for the only reason that they received the circumcision. Rather, only those who offered themselves to minister in the holy place were washed. We are called to be a royal priesthood (I Pet.2:9). Therefore it is essential for those who have the experience of being born again, which is the circumcision of the heart in the New Testament, to take water baptism, to be able to minister in the Holy Place, that is, in the Church, in any capacity. There is also another purpose in baptism. The priests who were to minister in the holy place and also in the most holy place were washed at the laver. Even so, if we are to enter the Most Holy Place or be caught up at the Coming of the Lord, water baptism is indis- pensable. Some who are ignorant of these truths say that baptism is only an outward sign for the inner change of heart. If so, all those who had received circumcision should have been washed at the laver, revealing the outward sign. Not all the circumcised were washed at the laver. Aaron and his sons were brought before the laver, their old garments were removed, they were washed with water, and after having put on their new garments, they were anointed with oil. This shows one who desires to be caught up at the Lord’s Coming confessing and forsaking all his sins, receiving immersion baptism, and putting on the righteousness of God, being anointed by the Holy Spirit and being made ready for the Coming of the Lord. We can understand that all this is essential for those who are preparing themselves to be caught up at the Coming of the Lord.
4. MOLTEN SEA

When Solomon built the temple, according to the commandment of God he made a molten sea for the priests to wash in (I Kgs.7:23). First, this shows the doctrine of the baptism of the New Testament. This sea stood on twelve oxen. These oxen depict the twelve disciples of Jesus. These oxen were kept in three’s on every side and their hind parts were joined to the laver. This is a shadow of how the apostles who are anointed by the Lord should go in all four directions and declare the truth of baptism. For this reason, the apostles too, took the doctrine of baptism that manifests the death of Christ, wherever they went. That is why the Lord Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt.28:19). Thus the apostles preached the doctrine of baptism and buried the children of God who were born again, into the death of Christ in baptism. Besides, wherever they went, they went bearing the dying of Christ (II Cor.4:10). This is the second truth we learn from the molten sea. The man who is buried into the death of Christ becomes a partaker of the nature of Christ, as he dies day by day to the world, sin, the flesh and his own self. This is evident in the truth of water baptism. Hence baptism is indispensable.

CHAPTER 14

THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
THE EXPERIENCE OF NEW BIRTH AND THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The

Lord Jesus Christ came to this world, preached repentance, healed the sick, and went

about doing good. He preached to the people about being born again (Matt. 4:17; Jn.3:3). Nevertheless, even the Jewish teachers of those times could not understand it (Jn.3:10). Why? During the Old Testament period, the truth of being ‘born again' was a strange thing to them. Those who repent and believe in the Lord Jesus are born again. They are called the children of God (Jn.1:12; I

Jn.5:1). This is the first expe- rience of the New Testament. The disciples of Jesus had received this experience. This can be understood from Jesus’ response when Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”—“Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven” (Matt.16:16,17). As the disciples were born again by the Word of God, they were the children of God. But they had not received the anointing of the Holy Spirit then. Neverthe- less, they preached; they cast out devils; they healed the sick (Mk.6:12,13). Just as they did these things even before receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, in the present times too, those who have the born again experience and have not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, can do these things. Their names were written in heaven though they had not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Lk.10:20). They had these experiences when they had not yet received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Still, can it be said that they did not have the Holy Spirit? No. Does not St.Paul say, “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (I Cor.12:3)? That is, the experience of believing and confessing that Jesus is the Lord cannot be had without the Holy Spirit. And yet, Apostle John said, “The Holy Ghost was not yet given” (Jn.7:39). Why did he say that? While Jesus was speaking with His disciples about this experience, He said, “Ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (Jn.14:17). Therefore, before the disciples received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit was with them. It is clear that He did not dwell in them. This was the experience they had before the baptism in the Holy Spirit; this is the expe-rience of a child of God. As the Holy Spirit is with the people of God even today, they have the aforesaid experiences also. They are indeed saved people. Notwithstanding, addressing those who had the aforesaid experiences, the Lord commanded, “Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Lk.24:49). Accordingly, they had to wait for the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14). While they continued waiting they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The baptism in the Holy Spirit led them to an experience which they had not received till then. What is that? From the words, “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (I Cor.12:13), it is evident that the church at Corinth was made the body of Christ through the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Here the body signifies the Church (Col.1:18). Since it is written, “whether they be Jews or Gentiles,” it is a truth that through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, not only the Corinthians but all who receive it, are made one body without distinction of caste or creed. Hence we see that the baptism in the Holy Spirit brings into existence, the Church, which is the body of Christ and that, without the baptism in the Holy Spirit, no Church is formed. Moreover, when St.Paul met the believers who were in Ephesus, he asked them, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” (Acts 19:2). Though they were believers and were born again by the Word, they had not received the Holy Spirit. Therefore it is evident that the Holy Spirit works in two ways. We have to understand that before the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit worked with those who believed the Lord Jesus, and, after the experience of the day of Pentecost, He worked within all those who have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Thus the Church, the body of Christ is formed by this latter experience. The prophecy of Joel—“I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28), is fulfilled here. The former rain and the latter rain We know that the children of Israel who were a shadow of the New Testament Church, were chosen of the Lord to be His own people, and made to inhabit Canaan. To them who lived in Canaan where milk and honey flowed, the Lord gave the former rain and the latter rain, for them to receive the precious fruits of the land. Concerning this, the Lord had promised them saying, “I will give you the

rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil” (Deut.11:14). These two rains were showered in the land of Canaan and they made the country fertile. Likewise, in the New Testament period also, the Holy Spirit is poured out in two seasons, namely as the former rain and as the latter rain, and He gives the Church the experience of Canaan that flows with milk and honey. First, in the days when the Church was established, the Holy Spirit was poured out as the former rain; secondly, in these times which are the days of the Lord’s Coming, He is poured forth as the latter rain. The two rains which the Lord showered on the earthly Canaan are a shadow of these. Having this in mind, Apostle James said, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain” (Jas.5:7). Here, ‘the husbandman’ refers to the Lord Jesus, and ‘the precious fruit of the earth’ signifies the perfected saints who will be caught up at His Secret Coming. During the apostolic period, the anointing of the Holy Spirit was shed as the former rain, and the Church enjoyed this experience of flowing with milk and honey. Similarly, in these end times, the Lord, according to His promise, is showering the latter rain and preparing the saints who are the precious fruits of the earth. Not only that, the happenings in the present age show that the Coming of the Lord is at hand. Of these, one sign is that the Jews, the earthly Israelites, have revived as a nation and have come into their own land, Canaan. They continue to excel in many fields pertaining to this earth and are considered a formidable nation. Another sign is, the present outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the latter rain for the spiritual Canaan to be revived. Cornelius, a Gentile, who was a just man and one who feared God, was not aware of the ministry of the New Testament or the doctrines. Nevertheless, there was a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in his house (Acts Ch.10). Similarly, in these days, the Holy Spirit is being poured out among people who have not understood the ministry or the doctrines of the New Testament in spite of being Christians. There are many in Christian churches who fast and pray, though they have not received water baptism, and are unaware of the perfect truth. To show that He is no respecter of persons, the merciful God continues to pour the Holy Spirit not only in Pentecostal churches but also in other Christian churches, before His Coming. This is the blessing of the Lord bestowed in the end times; it is the fruit of the longstanding prayer of the saints. When the latter rain was poured at the beginning of the present day Pentecostal movement, people rejoiced in the Lord speaking in tongues. Even though many Christians did not believe it or approve of it, in these end times the Lord is graciously blessing them by baptizing them in the Holy Spirit with the sign of speaking in tongues. This shows us that the Coming of the Lord is at hand. And since the Coming of the Lord is drawing near, the Lord is continuing to anoint people with the Holy Spirit; this is His grace. The anointing of the Holy Spirit makes us His temple. The Lord told Moses, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exo.25:8). The children of Israel brought offerings with a willing heart. With those offerings, a tabernacle was made. The Lord came and dwelt therein in glory (Exo.40:34). Though it was made of gold, silver and other precious materials, they were perishable substances. The taber- nacle that is made with corruptible materials is subject to corruption. How can the eternal God then dwell in the tabernacle that is subject to corruption? Hence the eternal God did not intend to dwell in that tabernacle eternally. After it perished, Solomon built a temple at a high cost. This temple was very beautiful and glorious. But even that temple was destroyed. Following that Zerubbabel’s temple and Herod’s temple were built. As these were also built with perishable materials, the eternal God did not intend to dwell there forever. Therefore the Lord desired to make an everlasting habitation for Himself, to dwell therein eternally. What is that habitation? It is the Lord God dwelling within man. Though man is corruptible, the purpose of God is to make him incorruptible, and dwell within him eternally. To fulfil this purpose, the

Lord causes man to be born again. According to the Apostle’s words, “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever” (I Pet.1:24,25), man and his glory are subject to corruption. To make such a man abide forever, the Word of God causes him to be born again. When the Word of God enters into a man who has received the remission of sins, it causes him to become incorruptible and eternal. Concerning this St.Peter says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (vs.23). When a man is thus born again, and is trans- formed into an eternal being, the Lord is setting the stage to dwell within him eternally. As asked by the Lord saying, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them”, an eternal temple is prepared for Him to dwell therein eternally. Through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the Lord comes to dwell within the man who has been prepared in this manner. For this cause, St.Paul says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (I Cor.3:16), and confirms the fact that those who have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit are indeed the temple of God. It was the doctrine of the early apostles, that in the New Testament, people of God should first come into such an experience. Therefore the apostle Peter, on the day of Pentecost said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). The baptism in the Holy Spirit and the anointing of the Holy Spirit both signify the one and the same experience—the gift of the Holy Spirit.

CHAPTER 15

GIFTS

It

is necessary for us to study about the gifts the Lord bestows on man. They are first, the gift

of God, secondly, the gift of the Holy Spirit, thirdly, gifts of the Spirit and fourthly, the gifts of Christ.
1. ETERNAL LIFE, THE GIFT OF GOD

“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.6:23). This is bestowed on man who is dead in trespasses and sins. To know the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent, is eternal life (Jn.17:3). When the Lord made man, he was made having eternal life. That is, man grew up in the knowledge of God. As he ate the fruit of the tree of life, he continued to grow in life. But when sin entered into him, he died (Gen.2:17). Being separated from the life of God, he could not grow in the knowledge of God. The first sin found in Adam was disobedience. His eldest son, Cain, became a murderer (Gen.4:8). Later we see that in the days of Noah, the whole earth was corrupt and all the people had corrupted their way upon the earth (Gen.6:12). Since the heart of man was corrupt, it was filled with divers kinds of filthiness (Mk.7:20-

23). Man became an enemy of God. In order to redeem mankind that was corrupt in this manner, God sent His only begotten Son to this world in the fulness of time. He manifested Himself as the giver of life and abundant life. He himself is the fulness of life (Jn.14:6; I Jn.1:2). This eternal life that is given to man in the New Testament is fully free. The term “eternal life” signifies a state of incorruption and refers to living endlessly. Besides, eternal life is a knowledge. Just as man grew in life by eating the fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden, in the New Testament period, the man who has fallen in sin is delivered from sin, receives eternal life and grows in it when he believes Jesus and walks in obedience to the Word. Had not sin entered, man would have been growing eternally. That is, we ought to have been continually knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent. But now this knowledge comes to man when he receives remission of sins and is born again by the Word of God. While in this world, we grow in this knowledge. When eternal life enters us, though we are on the earth as spirit, soul and body, spiritually, we are in Eternity. Therefore this eternal life has two main parts. First, while on this earth, we grow in eternal life and attain perfection in the spirit, soul and body. On receiving this perfection, we leave this body. Though such a body turns into dust, it is waiting to put on incorruption at the Lord’s Coming. At the Coming of the Lord, the spirit, soul and body that have been perfected in eternal life, meet the Lord. Secondly, those who have grown in eternal life and attained perfection, grow in the knowledge of God eternally in the Eternity to come. There is no end to this. God is like a vast ocean. The perfected man, though he has become like God, is like sea water taken in a tiny cup. Though the water in the cup possesses all the characteristics of the water in the sea, doubtless, it differs in quantity. We can say that that one is a great sea and the other, a tiny one. God and the perfected man are like this. If the sea is measured with that tiny cup, how long will it take to measure all of it? The sea water can never be measured with this tiny cup. Similarly, even if man keeps knowing God more and more from eternity to eternity, that knowledge never comes to an end. We saw that eternal life is a knowledge. We should also know the relationship that exists between the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent, and grow in eternal life. God, the Father sent Jesus Christ for the sake of man. Christ did not do His own will; He obeyed. When He was reviled, He reviled not again; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but lived committing Himself to Him Who judges righteously. Amidst all His sufferings, He was found having the fulness of life. When confronted with diverse tribulations and conflicts, although they were caused by men, since He counted them as having come from God, His Father, He bore them joyfully. For this cause we read, “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb.5:8). Though men bruised Him, the Holy Spirit bears testimony that it pleased the Lord to bruise Him and put Him to grief (Isa.53:10). Finally He was made sin. As a result, God the Father forsook Him. The voice of Him saying, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matt.27:46), reveals how God the Father bruised Him and forsook Him. Though He was bruised in this manner, He said, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit” (Lk.23:46), thereby revealing the fellowship He had with the Father. In the midst of such tribulation, He did not murmur about God the Father or about men, and be grieved, but, enduring them joyfully, He revealed that He had fulness of life. This is the path that we should tread. When we too remain joyful and obedient without murmuring in the midst of suffering, we are growing in eternal life. The sufferings that Jesus faced, bruised Him and led Him to be in communion with the Father as One Who did not do His self will. Neither guile, nor deceit, nor bitterness was found in Him. Similarly, the man who has re- ceived eternal life is taken through many kinds of afflictions. Though they are of men, if one understands that they are permitted of God to break his self, this knowledge grows within him. Instead, counting it to have come of men, if he harbours grievances, bitterness and anger against others, he loses eternal life. If we too will live just as Jesus lived, committing ourselves to God, the Father, we will grow in eternal life and we shall be resurrected just as He was. If we too maintain the relationship that existed between the Father and the Son while

the Son was being broken and bruised, eternal life will grow within us. Sin will not enter into those who are in fellowship with the saints. But some people, when faced with tribu- lations and sufferings, counting it to be of men, give up their love for the saints and separate themselves from them. Separating oneself from the saints is equivalent to separating oneself from God. According to St.Paul’s words, we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom.8:28). No matter what comes and no matter through whom, a child of God should accept that it is permitted of God and that everything will end in good. If one is not in fellowship with God, with men, and with the saints, he cannot be conformed to the image of the Son (vs.29). And eternal life will not be perfected in him. “God is light…if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another” (I Jn.1:5-7). Those who are partakers of ever- lasting life will be seen in the state in which the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent, are seen in Eternity (I Cor.15:28). The Son Who is subject to God, the Father, and those who inherit eternal life, shall live together like this for ever and ever. To preserve this experience, we should live just as Jesus Christ lived with the only true God while on this earth.
2. THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

On the day of Pentecost, Apostle Peter spoke to the people saying, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). Here the Holy Spirit Himself is called a gift. In Acts 10:45 also, St.Peter refers to the Holy Spirit as a gift saying that the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles. On these two occasions, the gift of the Holy Spirit was given with the sign of speaking in tongues. On the day of Pentecost, the Jews who had been scattered to the four corners of the earth had assembled in Jerusalem. The Jews had come to Jerusalem for the feast of the Pentecost from eighteen nations. At the same time, just as commanded by the Lord, the disciples and others, numbering about one hundred and twenty, were waiting to receive the power from on high. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and sat upon each of them. Every one of the hundred and twenty persons spoke in unknown tongues. The Jews who had come from the eighteen nations understood them. Therefore they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, “How do we hear these Galilaeans speak the wonderful works of God in our own tongue wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:7,8). The tongues spoken by the one hundred and twenty were intelligible to the Jews who had come from the eighteen nations. When the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out in the house of Cornelius and at Ephesus, we find that it was shed forth together with the sign of speaking in unknown tongues (Acts 10:44-46; 19:6). Even today, thousands and thousands speak in tongues and rejoice in the Lord when the Holy Spirit is poured on them. The anointing of the Holy Spirit that is now being poured is the latter rain. The Jews who had come from abroad on the day of Pentecost were able to understand the words spoken by the one hundred and twenty persons. Nevertheless, a few who were there could not understand them (Acts 2:13). These men mocked them who had received the gift of the Holy Spirit, saying that they were filled with new wine. Even today some mock like that. Why were the tongues not intelligible to them? Those who mocked saying, “They are full of new wine,” had not been abroad or returned from there. They were the Jews who dwelt in Jerusalem. They knew only the Hebrew tongue. Therefore they could not understand the languages spoken by the one hundred and twenty persons. Knowing only one language, they were unable to vouch like the others who had returned from abroad. Even today when Spirit-anointed people speak in tongues in the midst of people who know many dialects, there are indeed some who understand their utterances. But many, being unable to understand the unknown tongues, mock like the Jews who dwelt in Jerusalem. From that which St. Paul spoke in the later days saying, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the Spirit he speaketh

mysteries” (I Cor.14:2), we can understand that speaking in tongues may not be intelligible to others. Likewise, even today, we find people speaking in tongues and rejoicing in the Lord. While speaking with tongues is an outward sign, the love of God is shed abroad within, in our hearts. St. Paul says, “Hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom.5:5). That is, when the love of God is shed forth, out of the fulness of the heart, the mouth speaks. While the heart is filled with love, the tongue speaks in an unknown tongue. Is it not possible to praise God in one’s own tongue when filled with the love of God? one may ask. We can indeed praise God well in our own tongue. But if one speaks in one’s own language, how can it be a sign? As the heart that is filled with love takes control of the tongue, it does not speak what it pleases but speaks an unknown tongue. While speaking of the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power” (Mk.9:1). This explains that the kingdom of God comes into us by the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is, when the gift of the Holy Spirit comes into us, the Holy Spirit rules every one of our members. This is indeed the kingdom of God. Why is the tongue brought under control? We can bridle all our members. But the tongue cannot be controlled. St. James speaks of this in his epistle (Jas.3: 6-8). No one can tame the tongue; this is the nature of the tongue. Since the tongue that cannot be controlled is now tamed and speaks contrary to its wish, we can understand that someone has entered to restrain it. Who is he? He is indeed the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit enters a man as the kingdom of God and bridles the tongue, the tongue, having lost its liberty, speaks in unknown tongues. This is indeed the sign that the kingdom of God has entered into a man. For this cause, speaking in unknown tongues is a sign of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should know that at the baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues is the sign and that every one who has received the baptism in the Holy Spirit speaks in tongues. From Church history we can understand that not only on the day of Pentecost, but also after that, all those who received the gift of the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues.

Irenaeus, (AD 130_AD 202) a scholar of Polycarp who was a disciple of the apostle John, says in his
book Against Heresies (page 6): ‘We have many brethren in the churches having prophetical gifts and by the Spirit speaking in all kinds of languages.’

Tertullian,

(AD 354_AD 420) in defending orthodox Christia- nity, challenged Marcion in the following words, requiring him to produce evidence of any occurrence among his followers such as it occurred among his people:

‘Let him exhibit prophets such as have spoken, not by human sense, but by the Spirit of God, such as have predicted things to come, and have made manifest the secrets of the heart. Let him produce a psalm, a vision, a prayer, only let it be by the Spirit in an ecstasy, that is in a rapture, whenever an interpretation of tongues has occurred to him’ (Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol.4, Page 3310).

St.Augustine, (AD

354_AD 420) the noted theologian, author of the famous City of God wrote :

‘We still do what the apostles did when they laid hands on the Samaritans and called down the Holy Spirit on them by the laying on of hands. It is expected that converts should speak with new tongues.’

Chrysostom, (AD 341_AD 404) another of the early church fathers wrote:
Whoever was baptized in the apostolic days straight- way spake with tongues, for since in their coming over from idols, without any clear knowledge of training in the ancient Scriptures, they at once received the Spirit; not that they saw the Spirit, for He is invisible, but God's grace bestowed

some sensible proof of His energy, and one straightway spoke in the Persian language, another in the Roman, another in Indian, another in some other tongue, and this made manifest to them that were without it, that it was the Spirit in the very person speaking. Wherefore, the apostle calls it, “the manifestation of the Spirit which is given to every man to profit withal.”

Martin Luther :- In Souer’s History of the Christian Church (Vol.3, Page 406), the following
statement is found: ‘Dr. Martin Luther was a prophet, evangelist, speaker in tongues, and interpreter, in one person, endowed with all the gifts of the Spirit.’

Francis

Xavier, according to Schaff and The Encyclopaedia, had ‘possessed a remarkable exercise of the gift of tongues’. Charles Finney writes the following of his own experience:

Catholic

‘As I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire I received a mighty baptism in the Holy Spirit. Without an expectation of it, without ever having a thought in my mind that there was any such thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended on me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression like a wave of electricity going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves of liquid love, for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me like immense wings. No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy; and I do not know but I should say I literally bellowed out unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after another, until I recollect I cried out, ‘I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me’. I said, ‘Lord, I cannot bear any more’, yet I had no fear of death. How long I continued in this state, with this baptism continuing to roll over me and go through me, I do not know’ (Finney's Autobiography pp.20,21).

Days of D.L.Moody :- Trials and Triumphs of Faith by Rev.R.Boyd, D.D. (Page 402), states:
‘In the days of D.L.Moody—When I got to the rooms of the Young Men's Christian Association, Victoria Hall, London, I found the meeting on fire. The young men were speaking with tongues, prophesying. What on earth did it mean? Only that Moody had been addressing them that afternoon. What manner of man is this? I thought...I cannot describe Moody's great meeting. I can only say that the people of Sunderland warmly supported the movement, in spite of their local spiritual advisers.’

F.B.Meyer, writing to The London Christian, states:
‘It is very remarkable, at a time when the Lutheran Church of this land has lost its evangelistic fervour and is inclined to substitute forms and rites for the living power of Christ, that God raised up a devoted nobleman, Baron Uxhall, to preach the gospel in all its simplicity, and is renewing among the peasantry these marvellous manifestations which attend the first preaching of the gospel when God bore witness to the message of salvation with signs and wonders and gifts of the Holy Spirit. To have come across a movement like this is intensely interesting. The gift of tongues is heard quite often in meetings, especially in the villages, but also in the towns. Here at Reval, the pastor of the Baptist Church tells me that they often break out in his meetings. They are most often uttered by young women, less frequently by men. When they are interpreted, they are found to mean, ‘Jesus is coming soon; Jesus is near. Be ready; be not idle.’ When they are heard, unbelievers who may be in the audience are greatly awed. A gentleman who was present on one occasion was deeply impressed by the fact that those who spoke were quite ordinary people until they were uplifted as it were by a trance and then they spoke with so much fluency and refinement.’

General William Booth, in an article that was published in War Cry November 21,1914,
states:

‘A good deal of attention is given to what is known as the extraordinary ‘gifts of the Spirit’; that is, the ability to do something which is beyond the power of man to do, without doubt, possessed by the apostles, both before and after the death of our Lord. They had the gift of tongues; that is, they suddenly received the power to speak languages, which they had never learned. They had the gift of healing; that is, they cured the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped the ears of the deaf, and restored the dead to life instantly without the use of ordinary means.’

Dr.A.B.Simpson, the founder of the Christian Mission- ary Alliance, comments on the Pentecostal
movement in the following: ‘We believe there can be no doubt that in many cases remarkable outpouring of the Holy Spirit have been accompanied with genuine instances of the gifts of tongues and many extraordinary manifestations. This has occurred both in our land and in some of our foreign missions. Many of these experiences appear not only to be genuine, but accompanied by a spirit of deep humi- lity and soberness, and free from extravagance and error.’

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1968:- Vol.22 Page 75 under Gift of Tongues states the following:
‘Tradition has it that the gift of tongues was found also among the early Quakers and Shakers, as well as among the converts of John Wesley and George White- field; and St.Francis Xavier and St.Vincent Ferrer are said to have possessed it.’ In AD 1906, during spring, in the city of Los Angeles in California, an astonishing incident took place among a few Negroes who lived in a hidden building and were considered to be lowly men. Some Christians were praying earnestly to receive the same fulness of the Holy Spirit, which the early Christians experienced. God fulfilled their desire. All of a sudden a great many of them began to speak in tongues, like as it happened on the day of Pentecost. The experience, which started there, spread throughout the whole world and even today we find thousands and thousands of people speaking with tongues.
3. SPIRITUAL GIFTS

We saw that the gift, which God the Father bestows, is eternal life, and that the gift which the Holy Spirit bestows, is the anointing with the sign of speaking in tongues. Now we will explain the spiritual gifts, which the Spirit of God Himself bestows for the sake of the ministry. When the Holy Spirit Himself is received as a gift, the person speaks in tongues as a sign. Receiving spiritual gifts is not receiving the Holy Spirit Himself as a gift; it is the nine gifts of the Spirit that the Holy Spirit bestows through that anointing, for the common benefit of all. “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of Spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues” (I Cor.12:8-10). The church at Corinth had the gift of the Holy Spirit (I Cor.12:13). But to them, St.Paul says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (I Cor.12:1). If the gift of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts are the same, St.Paul need not say this. Hence they are not the same. Though they spoke in tongues having received the gift of the Holy Spirit, it is obvious that they were ignorant of spiritual gifts. Not only that, St.Paul again tells them, “Desire spiritual gifts” (I Cor.14:1). From this we understand that all who had the gift of the Holy Spirit had not received all the spiri- tual gifts and that they were ignorant concerning spiritual gifts. Those who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit ought to pray, desiring spiritual gifts. Moreover, one of the nine spiritual gifts, namely, the gift of speaking in divers kinds of tongues is not a sign like the unknown tongue got when receiving the Holy Spirit, but is one of the spiritual gifts that operate in the Church. I Corinthians Ch.14, gives answers to questions concerning spiritual gifts. As mentioned above, Ch.12 speaks of the nine spiritual gifts (vs.4-10), of the baptism in the Holy Spirit (vs.13), and of how

the Church which is the body of Christ works through eight types of ministries by the anointing of the Holy Spirit (vs.28). The words, “Yet shew I unto you a more excellent way,” explain the perfection which is to be seen in the Church of God through gifts. This is perfect love (I Cor.12:31; 13:1-8). St. Paul says that the operation of gifts is of no use if love is not perfected. He does not mean that gifts should not operate. When he writes, “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts” (I Cor.14:1), he not only reveals the relationship between love and spiritual gifts but also the indispensability of both. In I Corinthians Ch.14, particular mention is made of speaking in divers kinds of tongues and prophecy, which are two of the nine spiritual gifts. Since St.Paul writes, “How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying” (I Cor.14:26), we see how ignorant the church of Corinth that had the baptism in the Holy Spirit was, of the operation of gifts. Therefore, St.Paul who laboured in order to present the Church perfect in Christ, had to exhort them for their edification. Bearing these in mind, if we read I Corin- thians Ch.14, we will understand the necessity to speak in tongues, as well as how we should surrender our- selves for the Holy Spirit to operate in the Church. 1. He who speaks in an unknown tongue mysteries in the spirit (vs.2). 2. No one can understand one who speaks in unknown tongues (vs.2). 3. He who speaks in unknown tongues speaks to God, and not to men (vs.2). 4. He who speaks in tongues, speaks for his own edification (vs.4). 5. I desire that you all speak in unknown tongues (vs.5). 6. If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays (vs.14). 7. I speak with more tongues than you all (vs.18) 8. Believers speaking in unknown tongues is a sign to the unbelievers (vs.16,17,22). 9. Do not forbid speaking with tongues (vs.39) speaks

This being the case, if one still says that speaking in tongues is unnecessary, we can understand how much his knowledge is in darkness. Many who do not understand this correctly, out of ignorance, say that since they have love, which will never perish within them, they have no need to speak in unknown tongues. Since St.Paul says, “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away” (I Cor.13:8), they say that prophesying and speaking in tongues shall cease. They say this because they do not understand the Word of God correctly. If tongues should cease, accor- ding to that verse, knowledge too should vanish. If knowledge fails, what will be the state of a man? Oh, how great their ignorance is! What foolishness! St.Paul says, “When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (vs.10). What is ‘that which is perfect’? Is it not the perfection of love that will be found in us at the Coming of the Lord (vs.12)? If these cease at the Lord’s Coming, should not the gift of the Holy Spirit manifested with the speaking in unknown tongues, the nine spiritual gifts, and the speaking in divers kinds of tongues which is one among them, be found in the Church until His Coming? Therefore, the anointing of the Holy Spirit is most essential. Just as the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out in the apostolic period, when one who has repented and confessed his sins and received baptism at the hands of Spirit-baptized ministers of God, tarries for the Holy Spirit, it shall indeed be poured in the present times too. Satan uses many subtle ways to discourage child- ren of God who tarry for the Holy Spirit. One of them is to give them the thought that the anointing and the speaking in unknown tongues that is found in the present day Pentecostal churches are of the devil. The Lord has said, “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how

to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Lk.11:11-13). There was a generation in those days who spoke against the Lord in this manner, saying that He cast out devils through Beelzebub, the chief of the devils (vs.15). May the Lord enlighten the eyes of understanding of such people and bless them. How will the good Father give an evil spirit to those who ask Him for the Holy Spirit? How great this ignorance is!
4. THE GIFT OF CHRIST

This signifies the ministers that Christ bestows on the Church, His Body, as gifts (Eph.4:8,13). This is called the gift of Christ (vs.7). We shall consider this in the next chapter.

CHAPTER 16

WHO ARE THE MINISTERS OF GOD?

When

the Lord Jesus began His ministry on this earth, realizing the need for ministers,

He called some to follow Him. When the Lord called them to follow Him forsaking their all, they followed Him forsaking their boats and nets, and all that they owned. He chose twelve people like this, and called them apostles. The twelve following the Lord immediately when they were called, is a great miracle. These disciples who were called to forsake their all and follow Him, had not earlier witnessed any miracle performed by Him. When the Lord performed the first miracle at the marriage at Cana of Galilee where He turned water into wine, His disciples were with Him. Before He performed this first miracle, and before He preached to the people about repentance, He performed this great miracle in the disciples who followed Him. They were poor fisherfolk and publicans. When Jesus went walking about every city and every village preaching the kingdom of God, these twelve were with Him. They endured all the afflictions with Him. The Lord said, “Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me” (Lk. 22:28,29). From this it is obvious that they had followed Him all their life. Though the Lord had appointed them, Judas who was one of them, lost this apostleship because of his iniquity and hanged himself and died. Though all the others had promised to stand with Him till the end, when the end came, they all fled leaving Him. Peter too denied Him saying, “I know Him not.” Although they appeared to have failed in this manner, He knew their value. After He was resurrected, He appeared unto them many times and encouraged them. He manifested Himself not only to them but also to many more (I Cor.15:5-8). These men who were apostles were more precious than the others. Therefore, when He was taken up to heaven, He met only these and gave them the commandment, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt.28:19,20). Before those who had received this command- ment could begin their ministry, they were anointed with the Holy Spirit. Then, as commanded by the Lord, they departed, made many disciples, administered baptism, taught, and thus fulfilled the commandment of the Lord. The hundred and twenty persons who waited on the day of Pentecost and many others who waited in later days received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Though there were many who had received the Holy Spirit like this, the apostles were esteemed above the rest. Their life of consecration was the reason for it. According to Jesus’ words, “If any man

come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Lk.14:26), they had hated their own life. Not only that, according to the words, “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple” (vs.33), they had hated and left everything they had owned. Like their Master Who said, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head”(Matt.8:20), they too had nothing on this earth. Apart from these who were chosen during the lifetime of the Lord, people like Paul and Barnabas were also brought into this order later (Acts 4:36; I Cor.9:6). These were the called and chosen of the Lord to teach the doctrine and build the Church fitly framed together. Such men were ordained at the commencement of the early apostolic period; and the order of God was that such men keep rising till the end of the world. When the Lord said to them, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world”(Matt.28:20), what was in His mind? He meant that He would not only be with them who lived during the period of the former rain but also with the martyrs and saints who have forsaken their all during the latter rain period. Though the Lord had told only the eleven to depart and disciple all nations, they did not make disciples of all the nations. He desired therefore that the work of making all nations disciples, baptizing them and teaching them, should continue till the end of the world. This being the case, it is the purpose of God that just as the apostles rose during the period of the former rain, apostles should continue to rise during the latter rain period also. Nevertheless, some say that only those who were apostles during the time of the Lord Jesus are apostles and that apostles did not rise after that. We should not forget that Matthias was chosen to be numbered with the twelve, in the place of Judas who left the apostleship and died by hanging himself (Acts 1:24-26), and that Paul and Barnabas were chosen to be apostles after the lifetime of Jesus. Hence from the words of the Lord, “I am with you alway even unto the end of the world,” is it not clear that His purpose is that apostles should continue to rise in these end times also? In the Epistle to the Ephesians, when St.Paul speaks of the Church, he says “And (ye) are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Eph.2:20).
THE WORK OF THE APOSTLES

They hold the chief place in the New Testament Church. The Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the corner stone. Jesus, the Mediator, received the Holy Spirit from the Father, and poured it upon His people who were waiting. This is what happened on the day of Pentecost. When Apostle Peter said, “Repent, and be bap- tized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38), he spoke of the experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Though the anointing of the Holy Spirit was bestowed on the people of God who were born again, and who had received baptism, the work of teaching the doctrine to the Church was not given to everyone. This work was assigned only to the disciples who had forsaken their all and hated their own life. The work of administering baptism and teaching the doctrine belonged to them. When the Holy Spirit is poured out, the Lord fills the people with gifts according to the measure of their calling and separates them. These people who have renounced their all, are called apostles, prophets, evange- lists, pastors and teachers according to their election and grace. Though they had all left and hated their all, they are assigned different kinds of work according to the grace they receive. From the words, “He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby

they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Eph.4:11-15), their work is made clear. They are those who are termed as “the gift of Christ” in Ephesians Ch.4 vs. 7.
THE NEW MAN AND THE PERFECT MAN

When St.Paul said, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Cor.5:17), he referred to the change that took place in us when we received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. In view of this, it is written, “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him” (Col.3:10). In this new man, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (vs. 11). We need to have the faculty to visualize this. In order that we may thus grow in perfect knowledge, the Lord has anointed us and is giving us this knowledge through His servants. This is why, St.Paul says, “Where- fore henceforth know we no man after the flesh” as well as, “Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more” (II Cor.5:16). So saying, he declares that this perfect manhood is attained only when this knowledge comes into a person. In a place where a Spirit-baptized Jew and a Spirit-baptized Greek are living together, when the Jew sees the other as a Greek, he shows himself to be a Jew. Such knowledge shows that he is not sanctified. One sees this difference in another because he does not have the thought that old things have passed away and that all things have become new. This is not a change that is in others, but a change that is seen within the individual. Though a man be created as a new man, if he does not grow to a perfect knowledge, he shall not be caught up at the Coming of the Lord. If a Jew is not to see his Greek brother as a Greek, he should not see himself as a Jew. Not only that, if we are to see others as the sons of God, we should have grown into sons of God. For this we should not be babes but those who are gradually growing up into a perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Such a view depends on our growth. In the Word of God we read of saints of two different standards namely, the ‘babes in Christ’, and the ‘perfect in Christ Jesus’ (I Cor.3:1; Col.1:28). Who are the babes in Christ? Though they have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, they live with strife, divisions, envy etc. (I Cor.3:3). As the church at Corinth was in this state, some of them were found having schisms among themselves saying, “I am of Paul; I am of Apollos” etc. To present such people perfect at the Lord’s Coming, the apostles had to nourish and nurture them like a nursing mother. The food that is given to nourish the Church is the doctrine. Only those who are not drawn by divers and strange doctrines like a raft that is tossed to and fro by the wind, but become a perfect man through the perfect gospel, delivered by the right guides who have the apostolic consecration, shall be caught up at the Lord’s Coming. The perfected Church is one that is presented holy and without blemish, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing. These are those who are made one and have attained the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. When a baby is born, it has all the members of the body. Therefore it is a perfect baby. It has a small head and hands and legs and all other members that are proportionate to it. But it is not a perfect man. It is essential for it to grow up to be a perfect man. Otherwise that baby is of no use. It will die. And until it dies, it will be a burden to others. No parent would like his child to be like that. Similarly, in the spiritual world also, when one receives the baptism in the Holy Spirit, he becomes a new creature. He is perfect like a babe. Just like the babe dies if it does not grow up into a man, those who have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit will gradually die spiritually and become carnal if they too are not nurtured and do not grow to become a perfect man. They will backslide having no holiness. Hence, to make the babes in Christ a perfect man, ministers worthy of the office are required. For this cause, as mentioned above, the Lord has ordained five kinds of officers for the Church (Eph.4:11-15), to lead the Church that is Spirit-baptized. In spite of having received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, those who are not nurtured by the food of the doctrine of the apostles, remaining in their fellowship, cannot be made perfect. Therefore, we find that in the early apostolic period, those who

received his words gladly, took baptism, “and they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
CHAPTER 17

MINISTERS OF GOD OF THE EARLY CENTURY

We

saw in the previous chapter that the Lord Jesus chose apostles to be with Him. After the

Church was established, we find that the ministers fulfilled their ministry in various states and finished their race as perfected ones, being subject to the apostles. From I Timothy Ch.3 we can classify them as follows: Apostle Paul and those like him who had forsaken and hated their all, and carnal ties (including a married life): Apostle Paul, while writing to Timothy and Titus, says that the bishop must be the husband of one wife. Therefore, some preach that the unmarried and those who do not have a wife, cannot be a minis- ter of the church. As a result, many who had made the consecration have fallen prey to this evil doctrine, and broken their consecration, and perished. Since some contend that only if a person marries he can be a minister in the church, they are indirectly saying that Paul and Timothy were not ministers. How foolish this is! Timothy, a young man too had a mind like Paul. Timothy was taught of St. Paul to flee youthful lusts (II Tim.2:22). Apart from him, those like Clement and Titus who hated everything for the sake of the gospel and lived this way, can also be included in this group. As they were not as experienced as the twelve disciples, they had to be first stablished in the Lord and become strong in grace. Bearing this in mind, St.Paul writes many words of advice to those like Timothy and Titus. Married Bishops (I Tim.3:1-7): It is not a sin to marry. But transgressing one’s own consecration and the covenant made with the Lord, is sin. At the time of being anointed by the Spirit of God, some receive grace to forsake all their carnal ties and renounce everything. At that time they make certain decisions and determine to live like Paul, Timothy, Clement, Euodias, Syntyche and Phebe. The Lord honours the decisions of such persons. Some believers who did not make such decisions but who lived having one wife, had a good report and who ruled their houses well, were appointed as bishops in the churches. In the present times too, in places where there are no consecrated apostles, experienced believers with a good testimony are appointed as bishops over the churches. They are in charge of the church and they lead the church being under the leadership of the apostles. Deacons: “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also be first proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless” (I Tim.3:8-10). These deacons are further referred to in verses 12 and 13. This group may have comprised both married and unmarried persons. Women who assisted in the ministry as helps: “Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things” (I Tim.3:11).The two sisters Syntyche and Euodias laboured much in the ministry of the gospel. They worked together with Apostle Paul and Clement. There were no hindrances for both men and women to labour together. Their age was not a hind- rance. The women who had the apostolic consecration, did not do the ministry alone. They did the ministry being under the guidance of the apostles. Phebe, the servant of the church at Cenchrea was one such

person. She too had forsaken and left all that she owned. St.Paul has made mention of her in his epistle to the Romans, requesting that she be received as worthy of saints, and that she be assisted in all her work (Rom.16:2). All the above mentioned women helped Apostle Paul and ministered to the church together with him. Since it is written, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues” (I Cor.12:28), the group referred to as ‘helps’ includes women too. These are those who, according to the measure of their grace, execute the ministry of assisting the principal ministers like the apostles, and help build the church. Apart from this, these women did not execute any other ministry on their own. The words ‘their wives' in the English translation makes one think they are the wives of the deacons. The word ‘their' is not found in the original tongue. More- over, for both ‘wife' and ‘woman', the common Greek term is gune. The English translators have added the word ‘their’ to mean the wives of the deacons. They actually refer to deaconnesses such as Syntyche, Euodias, Phebe and others. The Amplified Bible renders it correctly. Thus we understand that there were many such ministers present in the early century church. They remained subject to the apostles and, being in fellowship with the apostolic doctrines, they executed the ministry. The Lord raises saints having the apostolic consecration and gives these groups into their hands so that they, abiding in the state in which they are called, may do the ministry and be preserved. As such, if they break their consecration and give room either for the flesh or for worldly materials, they become backsliders. And those who continue in this backslidden state will not be found at the Lord’s Coming. When St.Paul wrote to Titus, he not only explains in what state a bishop should be, but also gives him the responsibility of ordaining them (Tit.1:5,6) What do we understand from this? We see that Paul, the apostle, gave an occasion for the married who conduct the affairs of their own family well, to do the ministry together with him; we also see that he has written how they should be found at the time of their ordination and how they should excel others in grace in order to lead them.
CHAPTER 18

Zion

We

read of Zion in many places both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The

word is first found in II Samuel 5:7. It is Zion, the city of David. Following that, in the Old Testament days, the congre- gation of Israel was called Zion (Isa.1:8; 37:22). The Israelites who will be seen in the Millennial Reign that is to come, will be called Zion (Isa.2:3; Jer.31:12; Mic. 4:2). Apart from these, the Word of God makes mention of another place, namely, the heavenly Zion. This is mentioned in Revelation 14:1-5. This is the eternal habitation that shall be inherited by the New Testament servants of God who live like Christ. When the Lord Jesus was conversing with His disciples, after saying, “In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (Jn.14:2), He ascended to heaven. Our hope is that He will come again according to His word to gather us unto Himself. We know that when He died, the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom, and that the Most Holy Place in heaven was opened for mankind. No one had entered it before that. This Most Holy Place is the place the Lord spoke of as one He is preparing for us. He has entered into it.

It is concerning this, that St.Paul wrote saying, “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchi- sedec” (Heb.6:19,20). The words, ‘Jesus our forerunner’, indicate that we will be following Him. He is waiting for us to reach perfection. We know that Jesus, Who is waiting thus, became the corner stone of the building, which is the New Testament Church (Matt.21:42). This corner stone was laid in Zion.

THE CORNER STONE IN ZION
Prophet Isaiah who had prophesied about the New Testament Church, said, “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isa.28:16). This refers to Jesus Who was laid as corner stone in Zion. Apostle Peter explains this saying that the Lord Jesus is the corner stone and that Spirit-baptized people are being built upon that as lively stones (I Pet.2:4-8). So we understand that the Lord Jesus ascended to heavenly places and is making ready a place there, for which He Himself is the corner stone. Concerning this St.Paul says, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in Whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph.2:19-22). This is the New Testament Church. It is being built in the Most Holy Place. The Lord Himself is its corner stone. This corner stone was laid in Zion. Not only was the corner stone laid in Zion; the apostles and prophets are seen as the foundation of this building. Since the corner stone is in Zion, the foundation too is in Zion. And there is also a group of people who, no longer being strangers and foreigners, are built together on that foundation. St.Paul describes them in five ways. They are described as a house, a city, a temple, a building and as a habitation. The group of saints described in the above mentioned five ways is the Church. First there is the corner stone, then the foundation, and then the New Testament Church that is built on it. These three groups are seen as one group in the Most Holy Place. New Jerusalem is the building that comprises all these groups fitly framed together. It is this that St.John saw in a vision, as a holy city coming down from God out of heaven (Rev.21:2). This is the vision he saw concerning Eternity being established. We should understand that in the glorious building mentioned here, the foundation, including the corner stone, is Zion, and that the building that is being built upon it comprising lively stones, is the holy city, which is New Jerusalem. As this is being built within the veil that was torn by the death of the Lord Jesus, none of the saints who lived prior to Calvary enter into this. The Lord Jesus, having entered within the veil, became the corner stone, and from there He received the Holy Ghost from the Father, sends it to this earth and does the work of making the apostles and prophets the foundation, and that of making the believers of the New Testament, the building. No one who has not been baptized in the Holy Ghost shall enter into New Jeru- salem. For this reason, the Lord Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (Jn.3:5). Nevertheless, Zion is the highest place into which only the perfected servants of God enter. This is the place of which the Lord Jesus said, “If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be” (Jn.12:26).

CHAPTER 19

THE 144,000 ON MOUNT Zion

The

144,000 on Mt.Zion are the group mentioned in Revelation 14:1-5. They are the

foundation of New Jerusalem (Eph.2:20). On the foreheads of these people who are found joined together with Jesus, the corner stone, the Father’s name is written. These are they who were redeemed from the earth and from among men. They were not defiled with women. In their mouth was a new song that no man could learn. They have the Father’s name on their foreheads In the latter Eternity, New Jerusalem, which is found in the Most Holy Place, has two main parts. One part comprises the corner stone and the foundation. The foundation stones are the apostles and prophets who are joined together with Christ, the corner stone. The other part is the building that is built on it. Although Jesus is the Son, and did the will of the Father being obedient unto Him, He is found in the image of the Father. Like- wise, those who are found in Zion are in the likeness of the Father's glory that was seen in Christ. For this reason, the Father’s name is written on their foreheads. Having the Father’s name written on their foreheads, first means that they are those who had surrendered their mind (forehead) wholly to do the will of God. Secondly, they are those who do not do their own will. Thirdly, they are seen in the likeness of the Father's glory that was seen in Christ. Hence they are standing together with Christ. Since the Father's name is written on their foreheads, they are those who live like fathers. There is an important thing to be noted here. When the Lord Jesus has said, “Call no man your father upon the earth” (Matt.23:9), what is the meaning in saying that this group which is seen in Eternity or the 144000 on Mt.Zion, are like fathers? This is a state seen in Eternity; it does not have any earthly relevance. Jesus only said, “Call no man on earth your father”; He did not prevent anyone from living like a father. Apostle Paul also says that he was like a father. If a man is a father to the whole world, he sees everyone as his child. How can one who is the father of the whole world have a father? How can he have a mother? And who can be his wife? He has no need of a house of his own, as the houses of his children are his own. There is no need for him to save money for himself. He does not need land to cultivate for a livelihood. He does not have to keep poultry or livestock for a living as he performs his ministry. All that belongs to his children, belong to him. It is only those who live in faith like this, who are servants of God. They were redeemed from the earth When man sinned, instead of ruling over the earth and all that is in it, he was ruled by the earth and everything in it. He became a slave to them. Therefore the things of the world cling to him. He has become a slave to his country, houses, wealth, his vocation and other earthly goods. Unless he is redeemed from every one of these, he cannot receive the heavenly glory. Concerning this the Lord said, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple” (Lk.14:33). As the Lord found it necessary for His disciples to be thus redeemed from this earth, He made Himself empty for the sake of mankind. This was why He said, “The foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head” (Matt.8:20). His disciples, like their Master, Jesus, hated and forsook everything and lived having consecrated their all, having no place of their own to lay their head, and not being bound by any- thing of this earth. This is a shadow of what the Lord said to Abraham when He called him to come out of his country (Acts 7:3). They were redeemed from among men Man was created in the image and likeness of God. He had fellowship with God, as well as with other living creatures. Apart from that, he had no carnal ties. The man and woman were not enslaved to one another, had no carnal affections, and were found as one body without any sinful relationship.

But after they fell into sin, they became slaves to one another in the flesh. For this reason, after they had fallen into sin, the Lord speaking of the consequence of sin, told the woman, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Gen. 3:16). In this manner a fallen generation came into exis- tence. Hence these had to be redeemed from among men. Having this in mind, the Lord said, “If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Lk.14:26). The saying, “They were redeemed from among men,” referred to this. When man fell into sin, he was subjected to seven kinds of desires of the flesh. ‘Father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters’ signify the six carnal ties he has with others. And, hating one’s own life, which is the seventh, signifies living without doing one’s own will or desiring one’s own welfare. Concerning this the Lord said, “He that loveth his life shall lose it” (Jn.12:25). When the Lord said that if one does not hate the six kinds of family ties, he cannot be His disciple, He did not mean that they should live in enmity and hatred towards them. He meant that they should live hating the family ties with them. It is concerning this that the Lord said, “Who is My mother? And who are My brethren?” So saying He stretched forth His hand towards His disciples and said, “Behold My mother and My brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother” (Matt.12:48-50). Just because He said this, it does not mean He was angry with His mother and His brothers and that He hated them. It only means, that He hated His relationship with them after the flesh. Besides, He brought to light a new family having no relationship after the flesh but which is formed by doing the will of God. For this reason, St.Paul also writes, “We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh” (Rom.8:12). The Lord called Abraham and said, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee” (Acts 7:3). The ‘kindred’ here is a shadow of the relationship after the flesh. Abraham was instructed to leave his country and his kindred. Though he left his country immediately, he could not forsake his kindred at once. The Lord sepa- rated him, first, from his father, and later from his kinsman, Lot, from Hagar and from Ishmael, one by one. Although he had separated himself from these people, his wife was still a hindrance to his doing the will of God. So on one occasion he did not reveal to his wife what the Lord told him. In Genesis Chapter 22, the matter which the Lord spoke to Abraham at night in his tent, was not made known to Sarah who was also in that tent. Why? Since Abraham was determined to do the will of God, he was separated in his mind from her in this matter. There- fore, he rose up early in the morning, and having had no discussion with her or even with his son, he decided to take his son to the mountains of Moriah and sacrifice him there as instructed by the Lord. The Lord fulfilled all these things in Abraham as a shadow. If he who is a shadow is found so sacrificial, how much more sacrificial should we the saints who are to inherit the Most Holy Place be! ‘Hate' denotes strong dislike. The Greek term MISCHO used for ‘hate’ in this place, does not mean being angry in bitterness; it refers to hating the relationship after the flesh. The Lord Jesus said that it is indispensable for discipleship that one hate everyone who are after the flesh, one’s own life, as well as all of one’s possessions. When Apostle Peter began to say, “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed Thee,” the Lord looked at him and, revealing to him what He had in His mind— that not only hating those after the flesh but also forsaking them is an excellent experience, said, “Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life” (Mk. 10:29,30). What do we understand from this? According to Luke 14:33, we understand that the Lord acknow- ledges not only leaving houses and lands, but also hating and forsaking father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters and that recompense shall be made, now as well as in the world to come. The Lord said that while on this earth itself, they would receive houses, lands, mothers, brothers, sisters and children a hundredfold and eternal life. He who forsakes eight things receives only six things a hundredfold in this world ie. everything except father and wife. In this discipleship, as there should be only one Father, even God, no father is given on earth to those

who have left their father. “Call no man your father upon the earth” (Matt.23:9). Similarly, those who have hated and left their wife, have no wife. The words, “for My name’s sake”, and “for the sake of the gospel”, show two things. “For My name’s sake” signifies becoming like Him, and living, forever and ever. “For the sake of the gospel” signifies executing the ministry of the gospel of perfection. To be filled with the love of God, and grow to the perfection of Christ, as well as to execute this glorious ministry on this earth, this excellent consecration is essential. Others who do not have this consecration, may do the evangelical ministry and win souls. But they shall not come to Zion. Therefore these hundred and forty-four thousand standing on mount Zion are indeed the redeemed from among men and from the earth. They were not defiled with women Those who have no revelation of Zion, say that ‘women' refers to the great Babylon mentioned in Revelation Chapter 17 and those associated with it, and that ‘not being defiled with women’ means remaining undefiled and without associating with fallen churches. This experience is meant not only for the 144,000 but for the whole Church. The Word of God says, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” This means that we should be separated from fallen churches. Not only that, when St.Paul wrote, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (II Cor.11:2), what he had in mind was that the Church should be separated from fallen people. When he said, “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation” (Phil.2:15), he meant that the Church of God should be separated from such people. In Philippians 3:2, when he says, “Beware of dogs,” it refers to backslidden and fallen people who have taken back what they had left (II Pet.2:22). In this manner, the New Testament Church should be delivered from this world from the churches defiled by the world and from backsliders, and be made ready for the Lord’s Coming. This being the case, since Zion, the foundation of the Church, has to take the New Testament Church to this place of excellence, how much more excellent should the servants of God who comprise Zion be when compared to the saints who are the Church which is seen as New Jerusalem. When St.Paul emphasizes the importance of the state of separation, namely, that of the Church being a chaste virgin, it is clear how excellent Zion that comprises the ministers of God who have to present such a Church at the Lord’s Coming, should be. Hence the word ‘women’ in Revelation 14:4, refers to women literally. Those who inherit Zion, should first be born in Zion. Touching this, the Psalmist has written, “Of Zion it shall be said, this and that man was born in her” (Psa.87:5). This birth comes of revelation. When St.Paul wrote to the Church, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (I Cor.7:1), he meant that it is good not to ‘touch’ even in the mind also. The Greek term KALOS translated as ‘good’ has the meaning ‘most excellent’. If the Church should have such an exalted life, what a lofty life Zion, the foundation of the Church or the ministers of God who have offered themselves to take the Church unto perfection, have? If such a life cannot be lived, St.Paul would not have said so. Or, he too would have got married. While writing to servants of God, he would not have written, “Flee also youthful lusts” (II Tim.2:22). It is of course a fact that this sublime life is not meant for all. For, this is possible for only those who have received this gift as well as for those who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake (Matt.19:11,12). Those who enter Zion fall under this category. If so, a question may arise, as to whether the hund- red and forty-four thousand found standing on mount Zion are only men? When the Lord created man, we read of Him saying, “Let us make man in our image,” and creating them male and female (Gen.1:26,27). He created them male and female and called them ‘man’. Therefore, the Lord is working to make the fallen man, found as male and female, as the sons of God. In Eternity there shall be neither male nor female—we shall all be like angels. This work of transforming male and female into sons of God is going on step by step. Those

who believe the Lord Jesus, repent and become children of God, first become the sons of God by baptism through faith (Gal.3:26,27). Then, by receiving the Spirit of adoption, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and by being led by that Spirit, they become sons of God (Rom.8:14,15), and later as they make themselves ready for the Coming of the Lord, they grow, and are manifested as the sons of God. St.Paul said that even when this sonship commences, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal.3:28). If this is so at the beginning, how will they appear when they are mani- fested as the sons of God? Therefore this is not a matter for deliberation for those who are born in Zion and are journeying towards Zion. This is an overcoming life. Those in Zion are indeed without fault before the throne of God. In their mouth was no guile (Rev.14:5). They sing a new song before the throne of God We see that hundred and forty four thousand who stand on Mt.Zion sang a new song before the four beasts and the twenty-four elders, and that none other could learn this song. Hence, we understand that these are more esteemed in heaven than the twenty-four elders (saints of the Period of Conscience) and the four beasts (saints of the Period of Law), and that they are found dwelling together with the Lamb forever and ever.
CHAPTER 20

THE SEALED 144,000 AND THE millennial REIGN

In

Revelation Ch.7, we read that at the end of the first three and a half years of the

Tribulation Period, an angel, having the seal of the living God in his hand, sealed a 144,000 people. These will be sealed and sepa- rated from among the twelve tribes of Israel (vs.4). During the period of Great Tribulation, all the Jews except the 144,000 who are sealed, will be destroyed. In the thousand-year reign, these people who are sealed to escape destruction, will grow and multiply. The promi- nent nation on this earth in those times will be Israel. These 144,000 and their descendants will live on this earth in their human bodies, and experience a new era. In the Millennial Reign, this earth will have the per- fection of Eden. There will be no wilderness, no thorns and no thistles. No one will draw the sword against another; wars will cease. “The young lion and the fatling together...the lion shall eat straw like the ox…the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrices’ den…for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa.11:6-9). “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days” (Isa.30:26). The Scripture also says that the earth will be under a canopy so that the heat may not affect man. Thus the earth and the heaven (firmament) will be renewed (Isa. 4:6). This is the new earth and the new heaven men- tioned in the prophecy of Isaiah. This is not the New Earth and New Heaven in Eternity. The Seventh Day Adventists say that this new heaven and the new earth are in Eter- nity. They teach this to prove the erroneous doctrine that there will be the observance of the sabbath in Eternity.
From the points given below, between the thousand-year reign and Eternity can be understood. the differences

Thousand-year reign Thousand-year reign 1. There will be death (Isa.65:20)

2. There will be curse (Isa.65:20) 3. There will be houses built 4. They shall plant vineyards (Isa.65:21) 5. People will multiply on the 6. There will be a sea (Ezek.47:8) 7. There will be the sun and the moon (Isa.30:26) Eternity Eternity There will be no death There will be no curse There will be eternal houses not made with hands (II Cor.5:1) They will eat the fruit of the tree of life (Rev.22:2). There will be no birth (Matt.22:30) There will be no sea (Rev.21:1) There will be neither sun nor moon (Rev.21:23) Where will the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation Ch.7, and their descendants be found after the Millennial Reign, in Eternity? At the commencement of the Millennial Reign, the habitations of the various groups of saints mentioned in Revelation 20:4-6, namely, New Jerusalem (including Zion) and New Heaven, would have been built. The over- coming saints (servants of God and believers together) will be found in one place. No one else can enter in after that. This is Zion and New Jerusalem. Likewise, the Old Testament saints, namely, Abraham, Moses, Daniel and the other saints who lived according to the light of the revelation they received, shall inherit New Heaven. Besides, Enoch and Elijah who were translated not seeing death and who will come again to the earth and die and rise again, New Testament martyrs who are not included in the group of perfected saints, those who were be- headed for the sake of the Word of God and those who died as martyrs during the Tribulation Period, not worshipping the beast or receiving his seal, will be found in New Heaven in their transformed bodies. No one will enter it after that. The saved and the sealed Jews mentioned in Revelation Ch.7, who were found in the thousand-year reign, and their descendants, will partake of the Second Resurrection and will be taken to the New Earth. Eternity is thus established. Before this the former heaven and earth will pass away. We read that a white throne was established, that all the dead stood before God, that the books were opened, that another book which is the book of life was opened, and that the dead were judged and rewarded according to their works (Rev.20:11-13). Therefore, we should understand that the 144,000 Jews and their descendants, will not receive a place either in Zion, New Jerusalem or New Heaven, but that they will rise up with the others who died having their names written in the book of (Rev.21:4) (Rev.22:3) with hands (Isa.65:21) and eat the fruit thereof earth (Isa.65:23)

life, and will inherit New Earth. We have thus proved that the 144,000 who are standing in Zion (Rev. 14:1-5), and the sealed 144,000 Jews (Rev.7:4-8), are two distinct groups of people and that they will dwell in two different places in Eternity.
§§§§§

CHAPTER 21

THE ETERNAL OF THE SAINTS

HABITATIONS

Thus

far we have seen what the eternal God has done for the fulfilment of the purpose He

has concerning man before the foundation of the world. God accomplishes this purpose—that man be holy and with- out blame in love—step by step. When He made man, He made him as an embodiment of love and worked in order to rule the world through him. Though the fallen man lost his dominion, God worked for his redemption and perfection, in order to make him have dominion once again. God is immortal and eternal. In the same way, His love is also undying and eternal. Similarly, He is shaping man that he may be eternal. New Jeru- salem is the habitation He is creating for man to dwell in and reign eternally. Apart from New Jerusalem, we saw in the previous chapters, that there are two other habitations for the saints. Touching this, Apostle Peter says, “Wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Pet. 3:12,13). Here ‘new heavens’ signifies the New Jeru- salem and the New Heaven found in Eternity. Apart from these two, we find that there is New Earth also. St.John says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven” (Rev.21:1,2). Therefore, Eternity comprises three places, namely, New Jerusalem, New Heaven and New Earth. St.John says that he saw New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven. Before it descended, it was found in heaven. In the thousand-year reign, the overcoming saints, those souls who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, and those martyrs who neither worshipped the beast nor his image nor had received his mark upon their foreheads, will reign with Christ. These are all partakers of the First Resur- rection. They are five main groups viz. (1) Christ (2) The Church, His Bride (3) The martyrs of the Tribula- tion Period (who lived without worshipping the beast or his image or receiving his mark) (4) The firstfruits of the Old Testament, namely, Enoch and Elijah (5) The Old Testament saints and the general martyrs of all periods. After the White Throne Judgment, the Church, the body of Christ will be seen as New Jerusalem, the Old Testament saints and martyrs as New Heaven, and those who were judged at the White Throne and termed as righteous, will be seen as New Earth.
NEW JERUSALEM

God and the Lamb shall dwell in New Jerusalem. This New Jerusalem is indeed the Bride of Christ (Rev.21:9,10). There are two groups of people in this. The 144,000 consecrated servants of God will be in Zion and the perfected believers in New Jerusalem. Both these groups are filled with the glory of God. Hence it is written, ‘New Jerusalem having the glory of God’ (Rev.21:10). The corner stone and the foundation of a building are not seen—only the building above is

seen. Like- wise, Zion, the foundation of New Jerusalem shall be invisible. Similarly, in the Bride too we see two parts. Just as a man has two parts, namely, the outward man (that is visible) and the inner man (that is invisible), one part of the Bride, namely, New Jerusalem will be visible, and the other part, namely, Zion will be invisible. Since the triune God has always wanted man to be with Him and He with man, He will dwell eternally in New Jerusalem. Where is the Holy Spirit in Eternity? In the begin- ning we read of Him moving upon the face of the waters. When Abraham returned after defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings with him, He revealed Himself to him as Melchisedec and blessed him (Gen.14:18,20). In Eternity He dwells within everyone who received the anointing of the Holy Spirit and is perfected and found in New Jerusalem. Even as Christ entered within the veil accor- ding to the order of Melchisedec, the perfected saints found in New Jerusalem are the ones having the anoint- ing of the Holy Spirit, and united with the Lord according to the order of Melchisedec. Therefore, the words, ‘God will dwell in them’ show the triune God, ie. the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, dwelling within them. Apostle John saw this city having twelve founda- tions. On these foundations, the names of the twelve apostles were engraved (Rev.21:14). This shows the per- fected Zion, ie. twelve apostles as well as the perfected saints who had the apostolic consecration and ministered under their leadership. Apart from these twelve apostles, it also shows the saints who have a similar consecration, ministry and holiness, until the Coming of the Lord. We find that the wall of this city was built of jasper stone. Whom does this wall signify? As this wall is built of jasper stone, it signifies the saints of the New Testament who kept the Church, not counting their own life precious, for the sake of the gospel. This cannot be the Old Testament saints, as some think. Besides, the city was made of pure gold, which was clear as crystal. This shows a glorious life without spot or wrinkle. The saints of the Old Testament did not have this standard. The Holy Spirit says that this city had a great and high wall (vs.12). Hence the saints who are walls cannot be the Old Testament saints. If so, what is the reason for the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel to be written on the gates? That shows that the Old Testament saints can come only up to the gates of New Jerusalem. Moreover, Apostle John writes, “And I saw no temple therein” (Rev.21:22). He only says, ‘I saw no temple therein' and not, ‘there was no temple therein’. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of New Jerusalem. Though God and the Lamb are the invisible temple, the entire New Jerusalem is the temple of God (Eph.2:19-22; Rev.21:2,3). There are also pillars, which are the strength of this temple. These are the overcoming saints (Rev.3:12). This city has no need of the sun and the moon to light it, for the glory of God lit it. The Lamb Himself is the light thereof (Rev.21:23). God shall shine conti- nually from the midst of it. God is like a power house. However powerful the electric current may be, if there is to be light, a bulb is needed. Light comes continually from the Lord God. If that light is to be seen on the outside, a light source is needed. The Son Himself is that light source. That light shines from Zion and lights up New Jerusalem and gives light to the other habitations too. That which is called the glory of God, is the love of God. This shows the triune God reigning over the whole Eternity through man, by love. God Who said, “Let us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness,” created man as the embodiment of love, and caused him to rule over everything. Though man failed, he now makes him worthy to be with Him, Who is the embodiment of love and makes him rule by love. This is the joint-heirship the Lord bestows on man. For this reason, the Lord said, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne” (Rev.3:21). Thus God and man, being one, will rule Eternity. New Jerusalem is found so clear that light can pass through it. It is for this reason that the saints who are to be caught up at the Lord’s Coming should be holy and without blame and glorious,

without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Therefore our life should be found wholly sanctified and without spot or wrinkle. A 144,000 will be found in Zion. But New Jeru-salem is a great city, its length, breadth and height being twelve thousand furlongs. It is not mentioned as to how many shall dwell there. Thus the Most Holy Place in Eternity will comprise two parts namely, Zion and New Jerusalem. About this, Apostle John was told, “Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife” (Rev.21:9). This great city found in the Most Holy Place as well as its foundation, Zion, together constitute the Bride. This is a city fitly framed together. In other words, it is made up of people who are joined together. Though they are found as many they are indeed one. This is the perfect man (Eph.4:11), the Church which is His body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all (Eph.1:23), who will reign together with the Lord for ever and ever. This is New Jerusalem.
NEW HEAVEN

In the New Heaven, the Old Testament saints and the martyrs of all ages will be found. Apostle John, saying, “The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament” (Rev.11:19), indicates that the Old Testament saints are also a group found in New Heaven.
NEW EARTH

In the New Earth shall be found, the saved, the remnant of the thousand-year reign who are declared righteous at the White Throne judgment, those who in spite of having received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, did not have an opportunity to obey the doctrine of making themselves ready for the Coming of the Lord, as well those found unworthy to go to New Heaven of those who lived in the Period of Grace. The malefactor who died on the cross with Jesus will be found here. Those who received salvation, the forgiveness of sins like him at the last moment, and died, not having got the opportunity to proceed to the next step of salvation, will be found here. The 144,000 Jews sealed for the Millennium and their descendants, will also be here. They will be led by the light that proceeds from New Jerusalem. The glory of God shall come to the New Earth, proceeding from Zion and New Jerusalem. As the inhabitants of this New Earth see the light of God through these saints, they shall be ruled by that knowledge. “The kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it” (Rev.21:24). This signifies that there will be kings in this New Earth. These are not those who received the ordinary experience of salvation; they are found having a higher experience than that. As the inhabitants of the New Earth will receive the light of God forever and ever, the New Earth is ruled by this light. They bring glory and honour into New Jerusalem, and, manifesting their obedience as well as their fellow- ship in the will of God, they offer glory to God. Thus, Eternity shall remain established in the will of God. When we think of how God, having an eternal purpose concerning man, loved man so much and, in order to make him a joint-heir with Christ, forgives him, anoints him with the Holy Spirit and works through the gospel, how much we should humble ourselves! Yes, how great are the riches of God’s wisdom and know- ledge! Truly His grace and mercy are unsearchable.

CHAPTER 22

THE MOST HOLY FAITH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD

AND

The

eternal life of man and the place that he will inhabit, vary according to the measure of

the righteous- ness of God each received on earth. This is why St.Peter said, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Pet.3:13). Here ‘new heavens’ refers to New Jerusalem wherein dwell the perfected saints of the New Testament and the New Heaven wherein dwell the Old Testament saints and the martyrs of all ages. New Earth is the habitation of the saved. Though all the habitations of Eternity are established by righteousness, their brightness shall differ. Righteousness has bright- ness (Isa.62:1). The Eternity to come will have bright- ness of varying measures according to the standard of the people who dwell there. As the righteousness of those who enter into New Jerusalem excels all other righteousness, New Jerusalem will rule over all the other habitations in Eternity, being more excellent than them all. The chief purpose of God is to accomplish this. For this reason, the Lord Jesus Who is our righteousness (I Cor.1:30), over- came death and hell and, ascending up far above all heavens, has brought about eternal redemption. How? “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the most holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb.9:11,12). When the Lord Jesus died, the Most Holy Place in Eternity was opened. Before that no one had entered it. Since the Lord Jesus Christ entered it, a hope is given to us. That hope is that we too shall enter within the veil (Heb.6:19), and shall live with Him eternally and reign from His throne (Rev.3:21). The Lord fills us with His love so that we may spiritually enter into the Most Holy Place and remain stablished in this experience. The words, “Hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom.5:5), explain this. When we are thus anointed with the Holy Spirit and filled with love, we obtain faith too accordingly. For this cause we read in Hebrews 11:1 that “faith is the substance of things hoped for”. When the hope of entering into the Most Holy Place is formed in us, if a faith proportionate to that hope is not formed within us, our hope will be in vain. It is true that the Old Testament saints as well as those who lived in the former ages, had faith to a certain measure. But no one except the high priest, entered within the veil once a year. Hence they did not have the hope or the faith to enter the Most Holy Place. They were not given the anointing of the love of God (Jn. 7:38,39; Rom.5:5). When we say that they did not have this hope, it is evident that they did not have even the most holy faith, which is the assurance of this hope. The faith, which we are to attain in order to enter into this Most Holy Place is called the most holy faith. When the Lord chose man before the foundation of the world, His purpose was to make man like Himself. Therefore, in spite of the fall of man, the Lord is continuing to work in order to bring him to His own stature. What does bringing man to the measure of His own stature mean? It is changing the self-righteousness that is found in the fallen man, and clothing him with His own righteousness. That is, man should be brought to the measure of the righteousness of God. St.Paul says that this is manifest by the faith we have in Him. Just as it is written, “The just shall live by faith,” St.Paul says that the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel from faith to faith (Rom.1:17). This righteousness is not the righteousness that comes by the law, which was revealed in the Old Testament period. This is far more excellent than that. This is what is written in Romans 3:20-23. We receive this through the sacrifice of atone- ment at Calvary. It is for this that the Lord Jesus died at Calvary. When He died, we find that the Most Holy Place was opened, and that from there came, for our sake, faith, hope and charity, which were not revealed to anyone earlier.
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD WE RECEIVE AT CALVARY

As

written,

“For

He

hath

made

Him

to

be

sin

for

us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor.5:21), we find that the Lord Jesus was made sin, bearing the sins of man in order to help mankind, which was drowned in sin, to grow unto the measure of the righteousness of God. Bearing this in mind, St.Paul delivers the doctrine of reconciliation. This reconciliation refers to the fallen man being made one with God. The yardstick God the Father has granted us to be made one like this, is Jesus. Though He was holy, sinless and without guile, He was made sin for the sake of man. God sent the Lord Jesus in order to manifest His own righteousness. He was taken through all kinds of tribulations and temptations, and proved sinless. Finally, at Calvary, bearing the sin of the world, He was made sin. At that time God too forsook Him. Though the voice crying, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me,” sounds like a cry of defeat to the whole world, to a sinner who is struggling to be set free from the bondage of the power of sin, it is the voice of rejoicing and a shout of victory. A ray of hope dawns in him—“Since the Holy One was forsaken, I, a sinner am not forsaken. As One was forsaken for my sake, I am accepted for His sake.” The Lord Jesus rising again from the dead gives man the joy that he too can over- come and be with Him just as He overcame and is seated on the throne. Man should grow to the measure of the righteousness of Christ. This is indeed the measure of the righteousness of God, the Father. Such a revelation draws him to Calvary. What happens there? When man who is expe- riencing death due to the curse of sin, goes to Calvary, he meets Jesus, the righteousness of God. A transfor- mation takes place there. Prophet Isaiah says, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isa.64:6). Casting off these filthy rags at Calvary and putting on Jesus, the righteousness of God, is that transformation. Though the Lord Jesus bore the sins of the whole world, the sins of an unbeliever are not taken away. We who believe, leave our sins at Calvary and receive the righteousness of God. This is the experience we receive when we first meet the Lord Jesus. The experience of thus putting on the righteousness of God pertains to the New Testament alone and was not experienced in the former ages. This is because we of the New Testament period receiving the righteousness of God, is indeed the most excellent experience. How can this be? When we meet the Lord Jesus, we receive the righteousness of God. Nevertheless it is not made our own. In other words, we should grow to the measure of Christ. By receiving the fulness of the righteousness of God alone, we can meet the Lord in the Most Holy Place. For example, let us suppose that one goes to a shop and purchases a car worth Rs.4 lakhs. When he pays an advance of Rs.1 lakh, he receives the car on certain terms and conditions. By paying just Rs.1 lakh he gets the vehicle costing Rs.4 lakhs. But it is not his own. Still, he has the full right to use it. On the one hand, he says, that the vehicle is his own. It is not wrong either. How- ever, by the terms of the agreement he made with that shop, the vehicle becomes his own only if he pays monthly instalments of Rs.10,000 for 30 months. If he fails to pay but one instalment, the vehicle will be for- feited even though he may have paid about Rs.4 lakhs. Just because he fails to pay one instalment, he not only loses Rs.4 lakhs but the vehicle too is taken away. If one has to be so careful to fulfil such conditions when buying a car, how much more careful we should be to receive the measure of the righteousness of God and make it our own! When we first meet the Lord we leave our sins at Calvary and receive the righteousness of God. Neverthe- less it is necessary for us to continue to grow in the righteousness of God and be perfected. We receive this by faith. The righteousness of God that we receive by faith in this manner, is revealed from faith to faith. (Rom. 1:17). Just as we make the car our own by paying the money in 30 months, there is one condition for us to meet in order to receive the fulness of the righteousness of God. That is, to grow to the fulness of Christ, or in other words, to grow to the measure of the righteous- ness of God, it is necessary for us to get rid of the faults and shortcomings found in us. The power of darkness, the strength of sin, and the nature of the old man found in us being cut off day by day, we should grow in holiness, become perfect in the righteousness of God, and grow into the image of Christ. Since we are made like Him, we become His bride. The righteousness of God becomes our

own. For this cause it is written, “The marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Rev.19:7,8). This means that the righteousness of God becomes the righteousness of the saints. In this growth, a work of putting off and of putting on should take place in us. To explain this, the Scripture teaches us to put off the old man, and to put on the new man: “...have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Col.3:10,11). This is sending all distinctions to Calvary. In like manner, St.Paul says that it is necessary to mortify all the natures of the old man by putting off all lies, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry (vs.5). While this part of putting off is being fulfilled in us, even as it is written, “Put on there- fore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col.3:12,13), we should put on the character traits of God. In doing this, the righteousness of God is perfected in us. This does not happen in a day. Since we have committed ourselves wholly to the Lord, when His life enters us step by step, this takes place. A gardener is happy when a mango tree that yields sweet fruits, blossoms. Though the tender fruits are unpalatable, he is not discouraged. He continues to manure it and water it. The unripe fruit is first pungent, then sour. In order to make its fruits sweeter, the tree keeps absorbing the fertility of the ground through the root. No one knows how its pungent taste turns to sourness. Not only that; as days pass, sourness in the mango changes into sweet- ness and it gets sweeter day by day. Like the husband- man believing in such a work, we also believe and receive this perfection by faith. Many are disheartened because though it is many years since they received the experience of salvation or the forgiveness of sins and the anointing of the Holy Ghost, they still have not attained the experience of perfection. They doubt whether that perfection will be consummated in them. As a result they go away from God and the saints. Hence they perish, not having the perfection of the righteousness of God and not being made worthy of the throne. The reason for this is their unbelief and ignorance of the truth. There is nothing that kills man like unbelief. That is why the Scripture says, “The just shall live by his faith” (Hab.2:4; Rom.1:17).
THE PERFECTION OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD

The perfection of the righteousness of God is the perfection of the most holy faith. We saw how by paying money for a car in instalments, it becomes one’s own step by step, and how a mango gradually grows and becomes a sweet fruit. In the same way, the righteousness of God that comes of faith makes us like Him. By the appearing of the Lord Jesus, grace that was hidden was manifested. Apostle John wrote, “The Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us...full of grace and truth” (Jn.1:14). Thus the perfection of grace and the perfection of truth was manifested perfectly in Jesus Christ. Truth is the gospel that abolishes death and bestows life and immor- tality. This is given by the apostles as doctrines to take man to perfection (Col.1:28). Since we receive this step by step, we are perfected in grace. We become like Him. We make the righteousness of God our own. Seven steps are found in this righteousness of God. 1. New Birth The first step in the righteousness of God is being born again. When we confess our sins, we are washed by the blood of Jesus. Thus the part which is to be removed in us is removed. This assurance of forgiveness of sins alone is not sufficient for the experience of salvation, which is the first step in the righteousness of God. We should also be regenerated by the Word of God (I Pet.1:23). This great work is wrought by faith. For electric light to be produced, two wires are needed. Just as

electric light is produced when the anode and cathode are connected together, for the fulfilment of the first step of the righteousness of God, two things are necessary. First, the grace that was hidden hitherto comes to a man through the gospel. Secondly, the faith that is formed in a man when he hears the Word of God, together with grace, creates an experience. This is the gift of God. About this St.Paul says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph.2:8). Grace does not come alone. Grace and truth come together. When hearing the truth, faith is formed in man (Rom.10:17). Grace and faith together bring about an experience. Thus, in the first step, we receive a certain measure of faith and the righteousness of God to that measure. For this reason it is called a salvation (Lk.1:77; Eph.1:7). 2. Water Baptism Water baptism is the second step in experiencing the righteousness of God. The statement, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” is concerning this (Mk.16:16). The gospel is given for us to receive this salvation by grace. The grace that is obtained in this salvation gives us the experience of dying to sin (Rom. 6:2). By believing the gospel, and being buried into the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, we die to the nature of sin that dwelt within us. This is the part that is removed from us in baptism. On the other hand, the part that is joined or added is becoming sons of God by faith (Gal. 3:26,27). By this, a divine nature, namely, obedience, enters into us. This is the faith we receive by deter-mining to do the will of God. Therefore, it is said, “Like- wise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.6:11). This overcoming life comes out of counting ourselves to be dead to sin. This is indeed the faith that is caused by being buried into the death of Christ. This is living in separation from sin and the world, thinking, “I am dead,” and thereby experiencing the second step in the righteousness of God. Thus, we grow in faith and come to the third step in the righteousness of God. 3. Divine Healing The third step of the righteousness of God is attained by experiencing divine health or divine healing. The Israelites crossing the Red Sea is a shadow of water baptism. When they crossed the Red Sea and came to Marah they received the statute regarding divine healing (Exo.15:26). Hence it is necessary for every one who has received water baptism to experience divine healing and grow further in the righteousness of God. Our body has been purchased of the Lord for a price. In spite of our body belonging to God, sicknesses may come owing to many reasons. For this cause the Lord Jesus bore our sicknesses and infirmities at Calvary (Matt.8:17). Many are the reasons for sicknesses to come. When the Lord led the children of Israel in the wilderness, He said, that if they would diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord God and do that which is right in His sight and give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, they could live without sickness, and that if diseases came, He was the Lord that healed them. It is His will to preserve us from falling sick and to heal us if we fall sick. In the Old Testament period as well as in the New Testament period, we read that saints suffered from diseases and that the Lord healed them without medi- cation. Even today this is our own experience. In the Old Testament Period, when the Lord met Abraham, he was aged and the womb of his wife, Sarah was dead. Still, when the Lord told him that his seed would be as the stars of the sky, he believed Him. The Scripture says that the Lord counted it to him for righteousness (Gen.15:5,6). He waited patiently for twenty-five years and received the promised seed. According to the saying, “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness” (Jas.2:23), he became righteous. Here, receiving the promised seed did not matter much. But believing the Lord and being made righteous was what mattered most. By this blessing which he received in his body, he was reckoned a righteous man in the sight of God. Likewise, when we also believe the Lord for the healing of our body, it is counted as our righteousness. Therefore, it is written, “He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies” (Rom.8:11). Thus we understand that for the resurrection of our bodies, it is necessary for our bodies to be quickened by the Holy Spirit even while

living on this earth. 4. Baptism in the Holy Spirit We attain the fourth step of the righteousness of God by receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The man who is buried into the death of Christ in water baptism continues to experience a death, as well as a burial, being dead to sin and the world. Touching this, St.Paul said, “Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead” (Col.2:12). In baptism not only a death and a burial but also a resurrection takes place. St.Paul says that this resurrec- tion is the resurrection that comes of the faith one has on the operation of Him (God) Who raised Christ from the dead. This means that this is the resurrection that is of faith, which is like experiencing through faith, a thing that we do not have. If so, the real resurrection comes after this. When do we receive it? When St.Paul wrote, “Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Rom.6:4), he referred to this. The body of Jesus that was dead was raised by the glory of the Father. Jesus was resurrected by that glory. The Glory of the Father The Lord said, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exo.25:8). God dwelt in the tabernacle that was made according to this command- ment. Since it is written, “The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exo.40:34), we can see how God dwelt there. The glory of God descended and dwelt in the midst of the two cherubim in the most holy place. Not only in the tabernacle of the congregation, but also in the temple that was built later, this glory filled the most holy place and dwelt there (II Chron.5:14). We know that until the death of the Lord Jesus, this was the highest blessing received by the people of God. When the Lord Jesus died, the veil of the temple was torn (Matt.27:51). The Lord Jesus was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father (Rom.6:4). This glory is the Holy Spirit or the Priest, namely, the third Person in the Trinity, Who was before the foundation of the world. We understand that this Priest bare record that the Lord Jesus was without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, and raised Him from the dead. For this cause St.Paul writes “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom.8:11). The glory of the Father and the Holy Spirit are both the same. Before Jesus entered into the Most Holy Place after being raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, the Holy Spirit Who dwelt there was not poured out on this earth. To meet this exigency, the death of Christ and His resurrection became necessary. For this reason, Apostle John says, “For the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn.7:39). Because this glory or anointing of the Holy Spirit is poured forth into our heart, we reach the fourth step of the righteousness of God. Regarding this St.Paul says, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6). The man who is resurrected by faith in baptism, is quickened and seated together with Christ in heavenly places by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. That is, though his body is found on the earth, his soul, being risen up together with Christ, experiences the blessings of heaven. After the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, they journeyed towards Canaan. Though they were in the wilderness, their souls and their minds were in Canaan. Similarly, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, when we are raised together with the Lord to heavenly places, our body is found on the earth. Concerning this St.Paul, saying, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col.3:1), speaks of the sublime experience of being seated together with Christ. Here we enter into yet another step of faith. Just as the ship that has entered its haven, remains unmoved being anchored, this faith brings about a joy and hope because of the certainty that we have entered into the Most Holy Place (Heb.6:19). In order to grow in this faith, we grow in the experience of being dead to the nature of the old man, dead to self, dead to the world, and dead to the flesh. For this reason St.Paul says, “We are

debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh” (Rom.8:12). Thus the anointing of the Holy Spirit makes us grow in the righteousness of God. 5. Life of Consecration The fifth step in the righteousness of God is attained by living a consecrated life. As our faith grows our righteousness also grows. In a life that is found like the Lord Jesus, it is necessary for us to live consecrated like Him. To the young man who asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” the Lord Jesus said, “Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me” (Matt.19:21). From this we understand that consecration is essential for a life of following Him. Not only that, when the Lord spoke of discipleship, He says, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple” (Lk.14:33). For this reason, the apostles who led a sublime life, hated and forsook all they had and followed the Lord. It is the counsel of the Lord that they follow Him forsaking their all, selling and giving away their all. And this was the practice during the apostolic period. “And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, the son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 4:36,37). Then he ministered unto the Lord joining the apostles (I Cor.9:6). There are two sides to a life of consecration: (i) The consecration of the ministers who offer them-selves for the apostolic ministry (ii) The consecration of the believers who offer themselves to stand together with the consecrated servants of God in order to be caught up at the Coming of the Lord. As these two groups of people are waiting for the redemption of the body, it is expedient for them to be delivered from the flesh, and the world, which keep the body bound. This is something that must be compulsorily done. As the Lord has said, the ministers having the apostolic conse- cration of the discipleship of the New Testament should forsake and hate their kindred and their all. For this cause the Lord said, “If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Lk14:26). Here, the Lord says that the ministers of God who execute the ministry of leading the people of God to the Most Holy Place that is in heaven, should hate all their kinsfolk after the flesh, and their own life too. The Lord does not mean that a minister should hate his kindred with bitterness or anger towards them but that he should hate the attachment that he has for them, after the flesh. Hating one’s own life does not signify that one should be vexed with himself and commit suicide by going hungry, but that he should execute the ministry hating his welfare, self and beauty. But the believers who are getting ready for the Coming of the Lord along with them, may love their kinsfolk; provided, that love in no way exceeds their love for the Lord. Therefore, the Lord said, “He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt.10:37). The Lord has set this to be the limit to which we should have affinity with our kinsfolk after the flesh. Similarly, when speaking of earthly goods, the Lord has said that a minister of God who has the apostolic consecration should hate and forsake all that he owns (Lk.14:33). But the Scripture says that even the believers who surrender themselves to get themselves ready for the Coming of the Lord, should be strangers and pilgrims on this earth (I Pet.1:1,2; 2:11). They need not forsake their all like the servants of God. Although they have a job, house, or land they are to live as if they did not have them. Such will be caught up at the Coming of the Lord together with those who have the apostolic consecration. For this reason, when St.Paul wrote to the Corin- thians, he said, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away” (I Cor.7:29-31) and says that these things of the world should not be misused. Thus the Lord has explained the state in which the servants of God, as well as the members of the congregation

ought to be. The Lord also spoke of how His servants are not only required to hate those after the flesh, but also to forsake them. When Peter began to say, “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed Thee,” Jesus answered and said, “Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life” (Mk.10:29,30). From this it is obvious that it is the will of God that servants of God not only hate those after the flesh, but also forsake them. He meant that by doing so, a new family that does the will of God can be formed on this earth (Matt.12:48-50). Therefore it is necessary for the ministers of the New Testament not only to hate but also to forsake everything that has to be forsaken. To do this, a great faith is essential. By forsaking everything through consecration, the Lord brings His servants to the place where they consider the Lord alone to be sufficient for them. Since they live in this manner, they receive brothers and sisters and mothers and children a hundredfold. Since an apostle, who is the minister of the New Testament, lives trusting in the Lord alone like this, there comes about a state of living looking at the face of the Lord for all necessities. The Lord arranges that he live, not with those who are his own after the flesh, but with others having the same consecration. For both these conditions faith is essential. Since he hates and forsakes everything, trusting in the Lord, God counts it as righteousness. By believing in God through a consecration of this sort, we get a fellowship with the Lord and the saints. This, which is of faith, is a blessing received by the righteousness of God. Being delivered from carnal and worldly attachments and growing in the righteousness of God, is the blessing received by this life of consecration. 6. Perfect Holiness We saw how consecrated saints live by faith and receive heavenly blessings, and how they get delive- rance from worldly possessions and from their own kins- folk after the flesh. But, to be perfected, this is not sufficient. To be perfected in the righteousness of God, perfect sanctification is essential. The term sanctification means ‘separation'. This is effected in us in three ways. They are (i) sanctification by the blood (ii) sanctification by the Word of God (iii) sanctification by the Holy Spirit. (i) Sanctification by the blood The blood of the Lord Jesus gives us two things. We saw earlier, that the blood of Jesus Christ first forgives sins (Lk.1:77; Eph.1:7; I Jn.1:7-9). But the second aspect of being sanctified by the blood, is entirely different. Since these experiences are received by faith, they are essential for the perfection of the righteousness of God. We read in the epistle to the Hebrews of how the Lord sanctifies the people with His own blood. “Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate” (Heb.13:12). Saying, “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach” (vs.13), the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews explains what is meant by sanctification by the blood. That is, we should understand that Jesus suffered without the camp, and that, going to Him, is sanctification by the blood. There is a matter of great importance to be taken note of here. The camp signifies the twelve tribes of Israel. They lived in the wilderness having separated themselves from the world. These were the ones circumcised. Similarly, in the New Testament, there are many who are saved and have received the circumcision of the heart, which is the casting off of the body of sin (Col.2:11). They are indeed children of God who live in separation from the world. It is they who are considered as this camp. Though they are saved, if they do not suffer together with the Lord bearing His reproaches, they will not be caught up at the Coming of the Lord. Therefore, sanctification by the blood is obtained by leading a life of separation from such people. Red Heifer: As a shadow of this, we see how in the Old Testa- ment period, a red heifer was brought and

how its blood brought about a separation. (Read Numbers Ch.19). A red heifer that was without spot and without blemish and upon which a yoke was never laid was brought and given to Eleazar, son of Aaron. He took it without the camp, killed it and sprinkled its blood directly before the taber- nacle of the congregation seven times. What was the reason for shedding the blood outside the camp? As the blood was shed outside, we should picture it in our mind as standing as a wall. From Hebrews 13:12,13 we can understand that this red heifer is a type of Jesus and that He has the love of a mother, that in order to separate man from sin and sinners, He was taken without the camp, and that all those who desire to become like Him, should go without the camp carrying His reproaches, and be with Him. Even if one has the experience of salvation, which is the forgiveness of sins, and has received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, he should realize that there are fallen people, backsliders and evil teachers on this earth. It is the counsel of God therefore that those who desire to become like Jesus should separate themselves from such people and be made one. From verse 14 we understand that this sanctification by the blood is essential for those who seek New Jerusalem, the city that is to come. Regarding this, on the day of Pentecost, Peter spoke in exhortation, saying, “Save yourselves from this unto- ward generation” (Acts 2:40). Separating ourselves from this untoward generation means departing from sin, sinners and from sinful teaching (evil doctrines). Concer- ning this, St.Paul commands us in I Corinthians 5:11,12, not to keep company with such men. When the Lord Jesus too was on this earth, He lived separating Himself from the scribes and the Pharisees who were counted as the people of God by man. During the apostolic period, in many epistles it is written that we should separate ourselves from such people (Rom.16:17; I Cor.5:11-13; II Cor.11:13; Phil.3:17,18; II Thess.3:6; II Jn.10). In Numbers Ch.19, it is written as a shadow, that one should separate oneself from a dead body, one slain with the sword, the bone of a man, a grave, every open vessel that had no covering bound upon it, from one who has touched any of these, and from him who has touched the one who has touched any of these. The blood stands as a partition wall preventing those who have thus separated themselves and stand together with Jesus Christ without the camp, from returning to the camp. It is essential for us to thus remain separated for the sake of holiness. This experience of being sanctified by the blood commences at the experience of salvation. That is, it shows our living in separation so that the sins we have forsaken may not re-enter our lives. This was manifested as a shadow even in the life of the children of Israel at Egypt. The commandment given to the children of Israel on the day when the des- troyer smote all the firstborn in Egypt, manifests this. “And none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning” (Exo.12:22). As they obeyed this commandment, all the children of Israel remained within the houses that were sprinkled with blood. The blood that was sprinkled on the two side posts and on the upper doorpost of the houses stood as a shadow of their expe- rience of salvation, in being preserved from the des- troyer. And their experience of not leaving their houses till the morning shows their separation from the Egyptians. For this reason, sanctification by the blood teaches us about separation from sin and sinners. Therefore, sanctification by the blood commences at salvation, which is the forgiveness of sins. (ii) Sanctification by the Word of God For the people of God who are to be caught up at the Lord’s Coming to be perfected in the righteousness of God, sanctification by the Word of God is essential. Before creating man, God, by His Word, created all things that were necessary for him. After man sinned, we know that the creatures created by the Word of God became corrupt, and that the fellowship between them and man was cut off. Therefore for the Lord to bring back man into a new creation, the very Word that created the world was needed. For him to be sanctified, it is necessary for him to be separated from the fallen world by the same Word and be recreated. The Lord set a shadow in the midst of the children of Israel. For this cause the people who were redeemed by the blood of the paschal lamb were brought into the wilderness after crossing the Red Sea.

Thus the man of God who has the experience of salvation and has taken baptism, enters into the wilder- ness in order to receive the sanctification by the Word. The wilderness is a place of vast stretches of sandy tracts and dunes where there is neither water nor sowing nor harvesting. There is no pathway for man to tread on. The Lord brought the people to such a place. Before taking water baptism, a man is drawn by the world and the beautiful and attractive things in it. But after the same man takes water baptism, he sees the same attrac- tive place as a wilderness. The mansions, gardens, lands and worldly positions he saw earlier as beautiful and attractive, now appear despicable and as dust. St.Peter says, “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass” (I Pet.1:24). This manner of looking at things is not the difference that is caused in the world, but the change that has taken place in the heart of the man who obeys the truth of water baptism. The Israelites who were delivered by the paschal lamb, left Egypt and came into the wilderness. That is, they left their earlier abode and came to another place. But in the New Testament the saved man who has taken water baptism continues to live in the same place and in the same circumstances in the world but with an entirely different outlook. This is the experience of the wilderness. Since the man who is thus separated, lives by the revelation received from the Word of God, you cannot satisfy him with any kind of special food. This is why it is written, “Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live” (Deut.8:3). Therefore, the Lord leads man into the wilderness that he may live by His Word. A man who sees that there is nothing good in this world, is nourished by the Word of God. The experience of being sanctified by the Word commences at water baptism. This is essential for every- one who offers himself to do the will of God (is buried into the death of Christ, and lives by faith). In the Old Testament period two kinds of food were to be eaten by the children of Israel and by the priests. This shows that the anointed people who are to be caught up at the Lord’s Coming should eat a special food that excels that eaten by others. For this reason, in Hebrews Ch.5, the writer says that there are two kinds of spiritual food—the milk that is given to those who are like babes, and the strong meat for those who have their senses exer- cised to discern both good and evil (vs.12-14). Not only that, St.Paul says, “We speak wisdom among them that are perfect“ (I Cor.2:6). From this we can understand that among people of God there are those having different kinds of experiences and that from among them, the people of God who are waiting for the Coming of the Lord should be nourished by special spiritual food. It is concerning this that the Lord too, when praying to the Father for His disciples said, “Sanc- tify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). The Word of God clearly specifies the food the Israelites were to eat. The food eaten by the Israelites signifies the spiritual food that we who are the saints of the New Testament eat for our spiritual growth. Manna When the children of Israel came into the wilder- ness manna fell from heaven all over the camp. Every- one had to go and gather it. This was something that could not be found in Egypt. He who has not received the experience of salvation, which is the forgiveness of sins, and he who has not offered himself to do the will of God in water baptism, cannot find this manna. To find this, one should come into the wilderness. That is, as mentioned earlier, we should be those who consider the world and its goods as corrupt, and, instead of living by those things, should have an earnest desire to live by the Word of God and become incorruptible people. Such people read the Word of God and receive reve- lations according to their own standard. These revela- tions are to be received by every one of the people of God. This is an experience that should be proved every day throughout our life in the wilderness. Still, only if we are cleansed as written in I Peter 2:1,2, will this revelation be pleasant to us. “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.” Such will grow unto salvation. “If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” That which is translated as ‘grow’ should be read as ‘grow unto salvation’, as in certain other trans- lations. Here, salvation means receiving the last salvation which is the adoption of sons, namely, the redemption of our body.

We read of manna in Exodus Ch.16 and in Numbers Ch.11. Manna depicts the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Who is the Word (Jn.6:57). When one is nourished by the Word of God, he becomes like the Lord Jesus. Manna had the following qualities: a. It was received from heaven (Psa.78:23,24)—The Lord Jesus said of Himself that He is the manna come down from heaven. b. It was small—(Exo.16:14). The Lord Jesus humbled Himself. c. It was round (spherical) (Exo.16:14)—Jesus has neither beginning nor end. d. It lay fallen on the ground (Exo.16:14)—anyone in the wilderness may easily take it and eat it. Jesus came down to earth in human form and so anyone could easily approach Him and experience Him. e. It was white (Exo.16:31)—Jesus is holy. f. The taste of it was like wafers made with honey (Exo.16:31) and like fresh olive oil (Num.11:8)— The Lord Jesus is sweet and He is our strength. g. It should be eaten on the same day (Exo.16:19)—Each day we should receive from the Lord the revelations needed for that day. h. It should be gathered early in the morning before the sun became hot (Exo.16:21)—We should seek the Lord Jesus early in the morning. Clean animals, fishes and birds Apart from manna, the Israelites were also given clean animals, birds and fishes to eat. These are written as a shadow for the sake of the New Testament saints. For man to be entirely sanctified in spirit, soul and body by the Word of God, these three kinds of creatures were given to the Israelites as a shadow. Eating clean animals shows the sanctification of the body, eating clean fishes shows the sanctification of the soul, and eating clean birds, the sanctification of the spirit. In Leviticus Ch.11 animals that chew the cud and are cloven-footed, fishes that have fins and scales, and certain specific birds, are termed as clean. Sanctification of the body: Animals that part the hoof and chew the cud (Lev.11:3). Parting the hoof shows a life of separation and chewing the cud shows meditating on the Word of God. When we meditate on the Word of God, we will not conform to the fashions of this world, but will be able to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice in order to do the will of God, our minds are renewed by the Word of God and we will be able to live a sacrificial life in our bodies (Rom.12:1,2). For people of God to be sanctified by the Word, they should have the spiritual experiences depicted by these clean creatures. In Psalm 1:1-3, the Psalmist has mentioned the blessings enjoyed by the man who meditates on the Word of God, main- taining a life of separation. Sanctification of the soul: Fishes that have fins and scales (Lev.11:9). Fins help the fish to swim against the water current. This signifies the hope that enables us to resist the traditions of this world and go forward. This hope is referred to as the anchor of our soul that takes us within the veil (Heb.6:19). The scales which are a protective covering to a fish, signify the faith that preserves our soul in holiness in this present evil world (I Jn.5:4). The gospel, which is the word of truth, has the two aspects, namely hope and faith, which sanctify the soul (Col.1:22). Sanctification of the spirit: Clean birds and doves—Jesus said, “Ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you” (Jn.15:3). The clean birds permitted to be eaten, show the life of purity in being sanctified in the spirit through the Word. Like the bird which flies in the air, after taking water baptism, we are called to live a sublime life of being raised up together with Christ in the spirit by faith (Col.2:12). Christ is the Word of God. When we abide in Him and He in us, we are sanctified by

the Word. That Word quickens our spirit to seek the things which are above and not the things of the earth (Col.3:1,2). We who are thus sanctified should be preserved blameless, and be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ (Phil.1:10). God is able to sanctify our spirit, soul and body by His Word, and preserve us until the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Unleavened Bread The feast of the unleavened bread was one of the feasts ordained by the Lord for the Israelites. This feast was observed for seven days following the feast of the Passover. The Lord had taught that all the Israelites had to eat unleavened bread during those days. There are two kinds of leavened bread mentioned in the Scripture. Leaven of Doctrine: “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matt.16:6,12). Leaven of Life: “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Cor.5:8). People of God should be sincere and truthful and live without these two kinds of leaven. Just as every one of the children of Israel ate unleavened bread, people of God should live in holiness and keep themselves away from malice and wickedness. Shewbread Apart from the food eaten by the Israelites, there was also food that was to be eaten only by the priest and his sons. It is the shewbread etc. The shewbread was made of fine flour. Every sabbath this should be set in order upon the table. It had to be before the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day, the priest and his sons should eat it. When it is taken off on the sabbath day, on the same day it had to be replaced by hot cakes (Lev.24:5-9; I Sam.21:6). This is food given from the presence of God. This signifies the ministers, who, having forsaken their all, are waiting in the presence of the Lord in order to be made food to the Church, and also the strong spiritual food that is given through them. This is not to be eaten by everyone. It was for Aaron and his sons. Aaron and his sons are those who minister in the sanctuary. They were anointed. This is the food given to the anointed ministers of God. Not only that, we also know that Aaron enters into the most holy place. Hence, in another sense, this refers to the Church of God that is caught up at the Coming of the Lord and enters into the Most Holy Place in heaven. Hence this shewbread is the strong meat that is given to the Church and to the ministers who are waiting for the Coming of the Lord ie. it is the gospel of perfection. Here, ‘the males shall eat’ means that the food is the doctrine given to those leading an overcoming life, and also that the food is given to one for him to lead an overcoming life. (iii) Sanctification by the Holy Spirit When St.Paul says, “...that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost” (Rom.15:15,16), he says that for the accep- tance of the Church at the Lord’s Coming, sanctification by the Holy Spirit is essential (II Thess.2:13; I Pet.1:2). The experience of being sanctified by the Spirit com- mences when one receives the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This was revealed as a shadow by the blessing caused by the descending of the glory of God on the tabernacle. As the glory of the Lord filled the taber- nacle, that place was sanctified by His glory (Exo.29:43). This is a sign of the experience caused by the fulness of the Holy Spirit. Though a man may separate himself from sin, sinners, the world and worldly things, it is also essential for the filthiness found in his flesh and spirit to be removed. This is why St.Paul wrote, “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Cor.7:1). The filthiness found in the flesh and spirit should be removed, for us to be perfected in holiness.

For this reason, in Colossians Ch.3, St.Paul says, “If ye then be risen with Christ...mortify your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry.” These are the sins that arise in the mind of a man. If these sins are not to enter in the life of a man, he should exercise himself in the experience of con- fessing, “I am dead,” as well as keep himself filled with the Holy Spirit. If sins of this sort return in the mind, he should confess them with penitence, and thus pre- serve his spiritual state. Not only that, we put on the image of God by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. With regard to this St.Paul says, “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him” (Col.3:10). Though we have put on the new man that is renewed, this knowledge is not perfected. To point out that we are yet to grow in this knowledge it is said that we should ‘continue to grow in knowledge’ in the future tense (in other translations). Hence, in order to become like the Lord Jesus Christ, it is essential for us to grow in the perfect knowledge of Christ. Saints who received the anointing of the Holy Spirit and are growing to attain the perfection of the knowledge of Christ, are not only sanctified of the uncleanness seen in their flesh and spirit, but they are all also made one and gradually become like Christ. The Holy Spirit is bes- towed so that all those who have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit may be made one. A doctrine is given to them for them to be made one. By this, the Greeks and the Jews, the circumcised and the uncircumcised, the Barbarian and the Scythian, the bond and the free, should all be made one and be brought to the place where Christ is all and in all. To be made one, we need a desire. The distinctions of caste, nationality, social status etc. mentioned here, originated from the fallen spirits. The Holy Spirit is poured out for the removal of all such differences. The nine gifts of the Holy Spirit are all given for the purpose of making us one. The apostolic ministry and the doctrines established by the Lord, are meant for this. All these make us one. The spirit that creates differences between a Jew and a Grecian, should be removed and they should be shaped by the Holy Spirit. It is the order of God that men who are so formed be found as one. When every one is purged of all the filthiness found in the flesh and spirit and made one, this work is consummated. When the work of the Holy Spirit is fulfilled in a man and he grows towards the fulness of the knowledge of Christ, a great transformation takes place in his spirit, soul and body. His mentality changes. He becomes like Christ. As such, a change is caused within him. When he sees others, he finds that Christ is all, and in all. This is not a change in others. It is a change that has taken place in him. Such an outlook makes us one with others. For example, when a Jew and a Greek are together, if the Jew regards the other as a Grecian, it means that he is yet to be sanctified. If he sees the other as a Greek, before seeing him as such, he reveals himself as a Jew. Likewise, differences in nationality and other diffe- rences, originate in us and not in others. When we see one another with such distinctions, we should understand that it is because we have not given room for the Holy Spirit to sanctify us, but continue to remain in an uncom- promising state, being unable to be made one. Hence we see that sanctification by the Holy Spirit is, not only cleansing ourselves of all the filthiness found in our flesh and spirit, but that it is also in our being made one with all the saints. This ability to see that Christ is all and in all, belongs to saints who have sanctified themselves. The seraphims in Isaiah Ch.6 are hovering over the throne of God, testifying of the Lord of hosts and of the earth. Though their testimony of the Lord of hosts is true, when they beckon to one another and say that the whole earth is full of His glory, it does not sound true. For, how can the earth be filled with the glory of God after man has fallen in sin? This is not the change that has taken place in the earth. It is the glory in the eyes of the seraphims that is the reason for this different outlook. Similarly, when we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit, a great transformation takes place within us. Owing to this change, like the seraphims, saying, “Christ is all and in all,” we live together with others. We look at every good or apparent evil that comes to us through the saints, as coming to us through Christ. This change is within us and not in others. Those who have such a vision, will be found as the sons of God, being delivered of all the filthiness in the flesh and in the spirit. If we are to see others as sons of God we must first be transformed into sons of God. If we look

at others as those of a different nationality, it means that such distinctions have not left us. For this reason, in perfect sanctification, not only by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, but also by cleansing ourselves according to the measure of the righteousness of God, we make ourselves holy in order to be one with others. The sanctified alone can be one. So we should first be sanctified. Sacrifices offered during the Old Testament period were a shadow of the experience of being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. They were burnt by fire and reduced to ashes. This shows all the human nature in us being re- moved and reduced to ashes by the fire of the Holy Spirit. There are five major sacrifices and five minor sacrifices. Major sacrifices : 1. Burnt offering (Lev.Ch.1) 2. Meat offering (Lev.Ch.2) 3. Peace offering (Lev.Ch.3) 4.Sin offering (Lev.Ch.4) 5. Trespass offering (Lev.Ch.5). Minor sacrifices: 1. Drink offering (Lev.23:18; Exo.29:40) 2. Wave offering (Lev.23:20) 3. Heave offering (Lev.7:14) 4. Thanksgiving offering (Lev.7:12,15) 5. Freewill offering (Lev.7:16) All these show sanctification by the Spirit, as a shadow. 7. Being preserved in victorious living by faith: The righteousness of God which is of faith, and which is being revealed from faith to faith is experiencing the perfection of the righteousness of God. In other words, the last step of the righteousness of God is ‘being preserved in victorious living by faith'. This is received by the most holy faith and preserved in it by going from faith to faith to be made worthy to enter into the Most Holy Place. When we receive the perfection of the righteousness of God, we receive the perfection of faith. Signifying this, Apostle Peter says, “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Pet.1:4,5). It is essential for us to be clothed with the power of God in order to come to this place, and be preserved in it. In this experience a faith is caused in us by which we are preserved. The fruit of it is, being preserved as overcomers, not taking back amidst divers conflicts, the sins we forsook and not giving room for schisms, etc. It is this that St.Paul refers to when he says, “...your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thess.5:23). In Revelation Ch.12, we read of a woman clothed with the sun. Though she was found in heaven, she was not taken up to the throne. Only the manchild she gave birth to, was caught up to the throne. This manchild shows a group of saints who are kept by the power of God by faith, having overcome everything amidst many kinds of conflicts. A throne is waiting to accept such a group. These saints who have received the perfection of the righteousness of God, will be made one, and caught up at the Coming of the Lord. This perfection of the righteousness of God is indeed a blessing received by the gospel. For this reason, St.Paul says that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith by the gospel (Rom.1:17). We reach the perfection of the righteousness of God by growing continually from one step to another. This is, growing from faith to faith and growing from salvation to salvation. The righteousness of God that we have received from the Lord Jesus, is made our own by progressive growth. For the righteousness of God that is revealed through Calvary to be made our own, the nature of our old man should be removed day by day, and through the seven steps mentioned above, we should receive the perfection of the righteousness of God. None other, save those who have grown through these seven steps, shall be caught up at the Coming of the Lord.

CHAPTER 23

MARRIAGE

Marriage

is an ordinance instituted by God even at the time of the creation of man. God,

the embodiment of love, created all the creatures by His Word. God made everything and found them to be good. Thereafter, saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”, He made man in His own image, and after His own likeness (Gen.1:26). Even after the creation of all the creatures and man, His work of creation had not ended till He had created the woman. God Who created all things and found them all to be good, said, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen.2:18). Before making the woman, when God brought before man all the living creatures made by His Word, he named them. The Scripture says that there was still not found a help meet for him. What does this signify? “O eagle, created by the Word of God! However high you may fly, you are not meet to be my help; O lion! No matter how mighty and bold you may be, you are not a help meet for me.” Adam might have spoken like this of every creature. In this manner none of the living creatures made by the Word of God was a help meet for him. Therefore, the Lord God had to make a help meet for him. The Word of God says that God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam, and taking one of his ribs, made it a woman, brought her to him, and that Adam named her Woman, and that the two were called one body. What is the need for marriage? Two things are contained in a marriage. Firstly, it was instituted for man to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth and have dominion over the earth. Secondly, it manifests the relationship between Christ and the Church. Of these, let us consider the first one. The Lord said, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our like- ness and let them be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and have dominion.” Therefore, it was the purpose of God that the man and the woman be together to have dominion over the earth and to be fruitful and multiply to form a holy generation. Both of them ruled over the earth in the stead of God. But replenishing the earth by multiplying was not accomplished before man sinned. The will of God was that they should be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth and have dominion over it, even while they were in the image of God (Gen.1:26). For this cause, the Lord appointed their food, for them to be strengthened in the body and become perfect by growing in the soul. All kinds of trees and the tree of life were given for this purpose. The order of God was that he should eat the fruit of the tree of life, grow in life and be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth after he is perfected in life. But because man ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil before the fulness of time came, he fell. Man who had not been fruitful and not multiplied thus far, now began to be fruitful and multiply after falling into sin. He called his wife, Eve, meaning ‘mother of all living’ (Gen.3:20). Therefore through Eve, Adam begat a son in his own image and after his like- ness (Gen.5:3). He who was to be fruitful and multiply children in the image of God and beget sons and daughters in the image of God, now began to beget sons and daughters in his own image and thus multiply. This was not the perfect will of God.
MARRIAGE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT PERIOD

Though man fell without the purpose of God being fulfilled in him, the Lord instituted a married life and through them made the people be fruitful and multiply. Thus Seth and other people of

God came into existence. Before Jesus came to this earth, many such saints walked with God according to the revelation given to them. They were Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah, Zerubbabel, Daniel, Nehemiah, John the Baptist etc. Though they were all called saints, they were righteous only to the measure of the revelation they received. Hence they could not manifest the perfection of the image of God. Many among them were married and a few remained unmarried. Therefore it is clear that in the Old Testa- ment period too, marriage was not compulsory. John the Baptist, the greatest of all the Old Testament saints (Matt.11:11), was unmarried. And yet he does not come in the order of the New Testament saints. Though John the Baptist was a great martyr among the Old Testament saints, he was born in sin like the others. When King David said, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psa.51:5), he reveals the fact that every man is born of sin by nature. All the Old Testament saints, excepting a few, led a married life. Some had not one, but many wives. They will be judged according to the revelation they received; also, none of them was perfected in the image of God. Though the perfect will of God is to bring man to the image of God, the Lord permitted married life after the fall of man, for man to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.
THE PERFECT MAN OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AND MARRIAGE

When the Lord Jesus, the perfect man of the New Testament, came to this earth, He manifested Himself as the One Who saves His people from their sins. For this cause He was given the name, Jesus. If He Who saves people from their sins, had been born in sin like others, how can He save them from their sins? There-fore, He had to be born sinless. About seven hundred years before His birth, the Holy Spirit spoke through prophet Isaiah saying, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son” (Isa.7:14). A virgin conceiving and bearing a son is referred to as the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15. What was the reason for the Lord Jesus to be the seed of a woman? Though the woman is subjected to disobedience, it is only when the relationship with a man is made that sin enters into the child that is born to her. For this reason, both in the Old and New Testament periods, children born of the will of man are by nature the children of wrath (Eph.2:3). But as the Lord Jesus was not born of the will of man, sin did not enter into Him. He lived without sin. The Scripture says that He was in all points tempted like we are, and was yet without sin (Heb.4:15). He is indeed sinless. He takes away the sins of the sinners and is able to make those who go to Him perfect like Himself. Therefore, not being subjected to marriage to beget an ordinary generation like other men, He became the beginning of a new creature to create a new generation by His Word. He remained unmarried and appeared as a father to everyone. His work was to regenerate people from the fallen mankind by His Word and make them a new creation. Nevertheless, He honoured marriage by doing the first miracle in the marriage of Cana. He manifested a life of excellence, gave the doctrines pertaining to that, and died and rose again. Secondly, we saw earlier that marriage depicts the relationship between Christ and the Church. When St.Paul speaks of marriage, he says, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph.5:22-32), and refers to a mystery hidden in married life. Just as the husband and wife are one body in this earth, Christ and the Church are one spiritual body. This is the mystery. Therefore he said that we are “members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones” (vs.30). Besides, he also says, “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (I Cor.6:17); “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church” (Eph.5:31,32). If a man or a woman leaves father, mother, house, land etc. to join the spouse, no one has any complaint. But when one leaves these to join Christ to serve Him forever, many, even some spiritual people cannot understand. That is why this is called a mystery. St.Paul manifests the relationship between Christ and the Church. For the making of such a

Church, which is a spiritual body, the Lord Jesus rose again, entered into the Most Holy Place and became the Head (Col.1:18). The body should be of the same nature as the head. Even as He was found without sin, holy, without spot or wrinkle and perfect, His Church too should be brought to that same state. For granting this experience, the anointing of the Holy Spirit is poured, and the Church which is the body of Christ is established on this earth. From the verse “...Whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit,” this can be understood (I Cor.12:13). At the time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the firsttime, the body of Christ (the Church), was formed on this earth. Is marriage or married life a sin? Not at all. In fact, the Word of God says, “Marriage is honourable in all” (Heb.13:4). If marriage is honourable, married life is also definitely honourable before God. Marriage or married life cannot be a hindrance to go at the Coming of the Lord if one walks with God. However, there are some who are called to be eunuchs for the kingdom of God (Matt.19:12). John Wesley says that one of the greatest gifts that a man can receive from God is the grace to live as a eunuch or the call to remain single. However, all do not have this gift or calling. Some are called to live a married life. St.Paul says, "But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away" (I Cor.7:29-31). Does this mean that as the time is short, those who have wives should not lead a married life? If that is so then as the time is short, those who have to weep, should not weep, those who have to rejoice, should not rejoice, those who have to buy, should not buy etc. St.Paul after mentioning this, in that text itself, clearly gives the true meaning of that statement ie. “they that use this world, as not abusing it”. For example, some married couples abuse their married life by going for abortion, family planning etc. Any birth control other than self control is abomination in the sight of God and is inviting the judgment of God. Similarly, one can abuse other things also. Some people may be lavishly spending money to buy things of luxury and some others may have the spirit of possessing too much of lands, houses and other properties. St. Paul is warning here that as we live on this earth, we should not abuse or misuse any of these earthly things, but use it properly realizing that the time is short and the Coming of the Lord is very near. The cure for abuse is not disuse, but proper use.
THE MINISTRY OF GOD AND MARRIAGE

The ministry of God is of many kinds. By the ministry of some, people may be led to salvation, the forgiveness of sins and to water baptism. By the ministry of some others, people receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Some receive healing from sicknesses. Though all those who execute such ministries are called ministers of God, the Lord said that only those who live having hated everything and forsaken their relations after the flesh, and hating even their own life, can be His dis- ciples. Perfect discipleship is manifested here. Those who do not have this experience cannot prepare the Church for the Secret Coming of the Lord even if they do any other ministry. Therefore, only those who have offered themselves as mentioned above, are the ministers ordained of God to lead the Church to perfection. They are the apostles. And they are the ones who have overcome the flesh. Some of the apostles who followed the Lord led a married life before they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. But after receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, though it is mentioned that some of them went about with their wives, it cannot be said that they led a married life. They would not have had the time to even think of it. And we do not know whether they had any children. Apostle Peter, a married man, has written, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (I Pet.3:7), manifesting the place of the wife in a married life, and what the husband ought to do for that. Apostle Paul too writes saying, “Except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give

yourselves to fasting and prayer: and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency” (I Cor.7:5). It is right for those who are not under such a vow to live together. The mind of St.Paul concerning how those under this consecration in their spiritual life should live, is revealed in I Corinthians 7:29. It cannot be said whether the apostles who re- ceived the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, got married or led a married life after that. For this cause, St.Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, Clement and many others did not get married. However, there were also married ministers during the apostolic period (I Tim.3:2). But they were not apostles. If we read I Timothy Ch.3 carefully, we see that there were minis- ters of many kinds and that they were led by Paul and Timothy who were called as eunuchs for the kingdom of God. This has already been explained. Though this is the case, there are still many who speak and write against this life of consecration. This is due to their ignorance. Eunuchs When the Pharisees asked, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” the Lord answered and said unto them, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” At this juncture, in answer to the question posed by the disciples concerning married life, the Lord spoke of eunuchs (Matt.19:3-12). Here the Lord speaks of the three kinds of eunuchs. First, those born as eunuchs from their mother’s womb. These do not enter into marriage because of the condition of their body. Secondly, those who are made eunuchs by men. In olden days, to guard the harem in the palace, men were chosen and made eunuchs, they could not join with women. But the third group of people, unlike the other two group, live having made themselves eunuchs by consecration for the sake of the kingdom of God. Of these three groups of people, the third have received the grace to live for the Lord hating the pleasures of the flesh for the sake of the gospel. The words, “have made themselves”, show that it is not the Lord’s compulsion. It is clear that these people received the grace for it because they offered themselves willingly of their own accord. This experience is not meant for all. Therefore the Lord said, “He that hath an ear let him hear.” He meant, let him who is able to accept this revelation, receive that grace and grow. This is why we find those who have thus made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God, standing on Mount Zion. These were neither born as eunuchs, nor made eunuchs by men. They are indeed those who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God. But this does not imply that the hundred and forty-four thousand are all unmarried. Whether they are male or female, married or unmarried, they are those who, after receiving this revelation, lived making themselves eunuchs and not defiling themselves even in their thought-life. Among them there are those who, like Peter, are married and also those who are unmarried like Paul. This being the case, we understand how sacrificial a life ministers of God should live. In the Old Testament period, the Scripture says that if a man had betrothed a woman he was unfit to go to battle. He ought to return, get married and live with his wife (Deut.20:7). If married life can be an obstacle for one to go to a literal battle, how consecrated the ministers of God who work for the fulfilment of the purpose of the Lord and execute the glorious ministry of God should be! Therefore, it is evident that those who long for a consecrated ministry should live such a life of holiness. If so, why did the Lord say, “It is not good that the man should be alone”? There are many reasons for it. Firstly, for ruling over all the creatures by love, man who has been created cannot remain alone. We saw earlier that before creating man as the embodiment of love, the Lord, Who is the embodiment of love could not have been single. He manifested Himself as the Father of love and as the Son of love. Hence the Lord said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” Secondly, the Lord made man and woman as one, and kept them in the garden to preserve it. Satan was waiting to destroy this garden. He waited to see when man would be alone and corrupted the man, the woman and the garden at a time when the man and the woman were separated. This is also one reason for the

Lord to say, “It is not good for man to be alone.” There is one more reason for the Lord to say, “It is not good for man to be alone.” He had a plan to reign with man forever and ever. We saw earlier, how, for this cause, Christ became the Head and how through man, the Church, His body was formed. The Lord saying, “It is not good for man to be alone,” and making a woman, is a shadow of how Christ shall live in the Eternity to come with the Church, which is His body. Being igno- rant of the mystery hidden in this, men impose this burden, even a married life, upon all, and thereby add afflictions. This is the result of the ignorance of the Scrip- tures. Therefore, understanding these things clearly, let us run towards the place of our eternal living, and finish our course victoriously.

CHAPTER 24

OUR GROANING

When

St.Paul says, “We…ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we

ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom.8:22,23), he manifests the state in which he and his church were found. He, as well as all the saints of those days, were looking for the Coming of the Lord. They were continually preparing themselves for that day. As written in the epistle to the Hebrews saying, “Unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb.9:28), the saints were eagerly waiting for the Lord’s Coming. Even when indulging in any kind of work, their heart was one with the Lord. When the Lord said, “There shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left; two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left; two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Lk.17:34-36), He revealed that those who are waiting ardently shall be caught up at His Coming even if they are involved in any work at the time of His Coming. Work is not an obstacle for one to be caught up at the Coming of the Lord. This means that those who live as saints, looking for the Coming of the Lord, shall be caught up no matter what work they are doing. Firstfruits The word ‘firstfruits’ was in common use among the children of Israel in the Old Testament period. As it is written, “a sheaf of the firstfruits” (Lev.23:10), and “two loaves of the firstfruits” (Lev.23:15-17), this is obvious. When St.Paul says, “Ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit” (Rom.8:23), he signified the experience of the New Testament which was manifested as a shadow, by the two loaves of the firstfruits in the Old Testament. When the children of Israel entered into Canaan they sowed seed, and when they reaped the harvest, they brought to the priest a sheaf of the firstfruits of their harvest as a wave offering unto the Lord. Counting from the day they brought the sheaf after the completion of seven sabbaths, on the next day after the seventh sabbath, that is, on the fiftieth day, they offered a new meat offering as a wave offering to the Lord. They were two loaves baked of the corn of the firstfruits (Lev.23:17-20). Just as the sheaf that was waved was the firstfruits, these two loaves that were to be waved were also the firstfruits. These three firstfruits were a shadow of the firstfruits to come in the New Testament. This first sheaf showed the resurrected Lord Jesus being accepted of the Father. When the Lord Jesus Who is the Word of God, rose again after having lived without spot or blemish or any such thing, He was declared to be the Son of God with power and accepted of the Father. After His resurrection, He appeared unto His own people for forty days, and then ascended to

the Father. On the tenth day after His ascension to heaven, He poured the Holy Spirit upon His own people who were waiting in obedience to His commandment. In this manner, we know how on the day of Pentecost, the disciples, as well as all those who were with them, were anointed. The Israelites baking two loaves and offering them as a meat offering to the Lord on the fiftieth day after the day of offering the sheaf of the firstfruits, was a shadow of this. On the day of Pentecost, the anointed were seen as two groups, namely, those who had forsaken their all having the apostolic consecration, and the common believers. As concerns this, in the epistle to the Hebrews it is written, “Ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb.12:22-24). Yes, doubtless, these two loaves of the firstfruits signify the New Testament Church seen as Zion and New Jerusalem. Just as Zion is the firstfruits (Rev.14:4), New Jerusalem is also the firstfruits. At the feast of Pentecost, all the devout Jews who had come to Jerusalem out of every nation literally baked two loaves and solemnly observed the feast. At that time, in an upper room at Jerusalem, a spiritual group of people were made two loaves by the Lord through the anointing, and were accepted of the Lord. How amazing it is that the Lord has set this as a shadow in the church of the Israelites during the Old Testament period! These loaves were made of two tenth deals of fine flour and were baked with leaven. Here, those who are called to Zion by the anointing, and those who are called to be New Jerusalem by the anointing are those who have received a spiritual experience comparable to the loaves baked out of two tenth deals of fine flour. ‘Ten’ denotes the law. This became two principal command- ments in the New Testament, namely, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”, and “Thou shalt love thy neigh- bour as thyself” (Matt.22:37-39). Thus the Lord explains the law in two parts. By this it is manifested, as a shadow, that whether called to Zion or to New Jerusalem, one should be found in the perfection of love. ‘Baked with leaven’ signifies that those who are Spirit-baptized have the power to make any one who joins them like unto themselves. Therefore, this experience that is received on the day of Pentecost explains how every one who has received this experience should be perfected in love as well as help others to be filled with that power and become partakers of this experience. Therefore, when St.Paul wrote, ”Ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit,” it is this that was in his mind. Therefore, we who have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit should wait to receive the adoption, namely, the redemp- tion of our body. Everyone who has received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, irrespective of their vocation, should keep groaning continually for the redemption of their body. From what should the body be redeemed? We saw in Ch.5, that when man sinned, he lost the seven things that the Lord had given him. As he lost those things, he was ensnared by the world and the flesh. It is in order to set us free from these bonds that the Lord fills us with the Holy Spirit. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost that is given to us (Rom.5:5). We should abide in that love. As we grow in grace, desiring the sincere milk of the Word of God, and receiving the lofty revelations of heaven, we are perfected in this experience. For this reason, the Lord gives us the anointing of the Holy Spirit and revelations of heaven. We must keep groaning continually in this manner for the Coming of the Lord. A woman clothed with the sun We read of a woman clothed with the sun in Reve- lation Ch.12 (vs.1,2). The moon was under her feet, and upon her head was a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and, travailing in birth, was pained to be delivered. Who is that woman? Many interpret that this woman who was found in heaven, is Virgin Mary; some say that she is the congregation of the children of Israel, and so on. But when we search the Scriptures, we can understand that she is none other than the New Testament Church. We are aware that the New Testament Church is in heavenly places (Eph.2:6). By the

anointing of the Holy Spirit, the Church is raised up with Christ, and dwells with Him in heavenly places. This woman being clothed with the sun signifies the New Testament Church being clothed with the righteousness of God. This righteousness is far more excellent than the righteousness of the law (Rom.3: 20-22). It is the righteousness of the Father that we receive by Jesus Christ. Since the brightness of the sun exceeds the brightness of all the other lights in the firmament, we understand that this righteousness is the most excellent of all righteousness. The moon being under her feet signifies the grace of Christ Who is a faithful witness. This is evident as it is written, “His seed…shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven” (Psa. 89:36,37). When the moon is seen in full it gives light. Besides even after it wanes and one day appears to be non-existent, it once again waxes and comes back to its original state, thereby manifesting that it remains stablished in heaven. In the same manner, though the Lord Jesus was oppressed, despised and afflicted in the midst of divers kinds of tribulations, and died, He rose from the dead and, proving Himself to be incorruptible, He is seen as the faithful witness (Rev.1:5). The crown of twelve stars signifies the apostolic ministry established by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Stars refer to those who turn many unto righteousness (Dan.12:3). Many are made righteous through this ministry. Just as the sun, the moon, and the stars of the old creation give light, even so, in the Church of the New Testament which is the new creation, these three types of lights keep shining. That is, the New Testament Church continues to shine by the light of the sun which is the righteousness of the Father, by the light of the moon which is the testimony of the Son, and by the light of the stars ie. the apostolic ministry which is by fulness of the Holy Spirit. This woman who was found in heaven was with child and, travailing in birth, was pained to be delivered. This travailing in birth shows, as a shadow, our groaning, in that, we who have received the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption, namely, the redemption of our body (Rom.8:23). The manchild brought forth by her was caught up to God and to His throne. Concerning this child it is written, “She brought forth a manchild, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Rev.12:5). Who is this manchild? This manchild signifies a group of overcomers, who will be caught up to the throne from the New Testament Church (Rev.2:26,27). The overcoming saints are indeed born of the travailing of the New Testament Church. What do we understand from this? Though the New Testament Church is dwelling in heavenly places, it will not be caught up to the throne; only the overcomers brought forth by the travailing shall be caught up. Therefore, we ought to be groaning within ourselves, waiting for the adoption namely, the redemption of our body. Only such will reign together with the Lord, being on the throne (Rev.3:21). The whole creation travailing in birth We saw that the Church that will be caught up at the Secret Coming of the Lord, groans waiting for the adoption, which is the redemption of the body. Not only that, we also read of the creatures travailing in birth in this connection. This is clear as it is written, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the mani- festation of the sons of God…For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Rom.8:19-22). Man was created in the image of God. Before he was made, every creature was made for him. Just as he was incorruptible, they too were found incorruptible. And like him, they had neither enmity nor strife. Even as he was growing in love, they too were growing. When he fell in sin, he became an enemy of God. Therefore, these creatures too became his enemies. Because of his fall, the earth brought forth thorns and thistles (Gen.3:18). The Scripture says that in this manner, because of the fallen man, all the creatures are subject to vanity. So the whole creation is waiting for man to return to his first estate.

Only if man receives deliverance, will the crea- tures too get deliverance. Hence they groan and travail in birth for the sake of the deliverance of man. Not only they, but also all of heaven works for the manifestation of the sons of God. It is to this end that the gospel is preached. The whole creation groans and is travailing in birth. Therefore, we too should groan within our- selves waiting for the adoption, namely, the redemption of our body. Therefore this experience of man being made perfect to be manifested as the sons of God at the Lord’s Coming and being caught up to the throne, is the most excellent of all spiritual experiences. When man is thus made perfect, and revealed as the sons of God, the enmity that existed between God and man, between man and man, between man and all the creatures and among the creatures, will vanish, and the earth will be brought to the perfection of Eden. Then there will be no enmity and no strife, no desert and no thorns. This is the experience that will be found in the thousand-year reign. We should understand that Eternity will be esta- blished after that, and that according to the measure of the righteousness of God that each man received, his eternal life will be decided. This life depends on man’s manifestation as the sons of God. Being revealed as the sons of God depends on our groaning, and waiting for the adoption, namely, the redemption of our body. This groaning, found as a shadow in the woman clothed with the sun, should work in full measure in every one of us who has received the anointing of the Holy Spirit. There- fore, O Church anointed of the Holy Spirit, keep groaning and travailing in birth in order to be made perfect. By that shall your eternal life as well as that of those who shall inherit the other habitations in heaven, be confirmed. Therefore, shedding off all earthly and carnal groaning, let us keep groaning for the Coming of the Lord.

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