Overview of Dwelling With God #2

Fred R. Coulter—September 29, 2015

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 Greetings, everyone! Welcome to the Feast of Tabernacles. During this Feast of Tabernacles we're going to do an overview of God's plan and how we fit into that plan, and what we are going to do.

We finished up part one by going through Deut. 18. Let's review this and let's understand that even though this prophecy was given at the time it was given, and even until later into the ministry of the apostles, they did not know that it was God Himself Who would be That Prophet.

The Lord spoke this, and this was the message from God the Father. But remember, in the Old Testament God the Father was not revealed. A lot of people think that the Old Testament was God the Father and the in the New Testament was Jesus Christ. Well, that's not true! Christ came to reveal the Father!

Deuteronomy 18:18: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, One like you, and will put My words in His mouth. And He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him." Didn't Jesus says that? As My Father taught Me, this is what I will do! And The Father commanded Me to speak these words, and this is what I speak!

Notice how powerful this is and what it will require, v 19: "And it shall come to pass, whatever man will not hearken to My words which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him."

Every human being that there is has been and will be, live, move and have their being through God. It is God Who created human beings, and it is God Who continues to create human beings through the process of pro-creation. Those genes and chromosomes that God originally put in Adam and Eve are replicated and replicated generation after generation.

That is so special to God because those originally came from God. And special to us because God has given us the blessing that as mothers and fathers we can create children after our kind and after our likeness, which is a replication of what God is doing so that we become the sons and daughters of God, so that we may dwell with Him!

From that time, going through all the rest of the Old Testament, all the histories; now let's come forward to see another prophecy. From the time out of the captivity from Babylon, the Jews were looking for the Messiah. All through the Old Testament it prophecies about Jesus Christ and His coming and what He would do. It also prophesies how the world will be under Jesus Christ and the saints when the Kingdom of God is ruling on this earth. It's important for us to know that before we can rule with Christ we must:

  • develop the character in this lifetime
  • be faithful unto the end
  • be raised from the dead
  • be changed to spirit beings

so we can dwell with God! That's the goal that we're looking for in this, and these sermons show us the process. In Mal. 3 we find a prophecy of John the Baptist. This becomes important, because as we see in the Gospel of John all the religious leaders were looking for That Prophet, were looking for the Messiah. They knew this prophecy:

Malachi 3:1: "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord…" Here's a prophecy that it would be God, but they never understood it.

"…And the Lord Whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant…" (v 1)—the covenant of eternal life; the everlasting covenant. Having the Spirit of God and being in the Church of God is a fantastic and wonderful thing, and it is for keeps, for all eternity! Think on that!

"'…in Whom you delight. Behold, He comes,' says the LORD of hosts" (v 1). Isn't that interesting? That's His first coming! The next verse is His second coming:

Verse 2: "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap. And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. And He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness" (vs 2-3).

All those who will be priests—there will be kings, rulers and priests—are going to serve Jesus Christ in administering the Government of God on the earth beginning during the Millennium.

Now then, there are many assistants to the priests at the temple who were the Levites. Likewise there will be priests and there will be Levites—whether they're called that or not—when we are serving as priests and teaching the people and bringing them the Word of God. There's an awful lot in here that really is quite fantastic when we understand it. As I explained in part one we learn more and more all the time.

Now let's see the fulfillment of John the Baptist. Who were those who were the final authority in Israel and Judah? The priests, then the judges under them! But the priests had the final word and authority. We are going to see that God in raising up John the Baptist worked through the priesthood. He is the One Who established it, and John the Baptist was the son of a priest. Think about that for a minute! So were Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and others of the prophets. God uses the authority He established.

Let's also understand that God—in dealing with them—revealed His will. There are certain key important things that are keys to give us the understanding of when Jesus was born. We have that in the Faithful Version Bible (Appendix E: When Was Jesus Christ Born?) Those keys are found in the Bible.

Luke 1:5: "There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest of the course of Abijah…" Why is that there? When you go back to 2-Chron. You find that David divided up the priesthood into 24 courses. God is the One Who inspired and gave that information to David. Why is this interesting? When you go to Rev. 4 and see John's vision of the Father and the Lamb, what are around the throne of God? 24 elders! God follows the pattern that He set.

Remember this: God put His presence in the tabernacle with a show of a cloud to show that the presence of God was there. Then if we read of the days of Solomon when the temple was dedicated, God did exactly the same thing. There was a great cloud that came down over the temple and all the people there could see it. God was saying, 'My presence is here.'

Now then, we're coming to the time when it would be God with us: Jesus Christ. But first there has to be the messenger and that is John the Baptist. Then it shows about John the Baptist.

Remember that we saw that God put His presence in the tabernacle and a great cloud came down and filled the tabernacle and everyone knew that the presence of God was in the tabernacle. Likewise during the days of Solomon when the temple was dedicated.

If we would take the time and go through the chronology, as I've done in the past, when it was dedicated, a great cloud came down and filled the temple to show the presence of God. There were great crowds of people there that saw this. They knew that God was there!

Now then, to begin to introduce the coming of Jesus Christ we have what God has done here in Luke. Let's read about the coming of the messenger John the Baptist. Every important thing that God does He prophesies of it ahead of time. Think of all the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the birth of Christ. Think of all the prophecies concerning the Millennium.

Coming back here to Zacharias, the father John the Baptist: God chose a priest and his wife who was barren. They were both blameless and descendants of Aaron.

God sent Gabriel. Apparently in the Bible, Gabriel is the one who handles all the prophecies concerning the coming of Christ. He appeared to Zacharias when Zacharias was offering the incense.

Verse 11: "Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. And when he saw the angel, Zacharias was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, 'Fear not, Zacharias, because your supplication has been heard; and your wife Elizabeth shall bear a son to you, and you shall call his name John'" (vs 11-13).

Think of the parallels here. What about Abraham? He and Sarah couldn't have children! Finally, with the Word of God, they were able to have Isaac when Abraham was 100-years-old. Likewise, Zacharias and his wife were advanced in age, meaning they were probably pretty close to 70. God is repeating what He has done in the past so everyone will know that this is from God. It's not of men.

Zacharias didn't believe the message that was given, v 18: "Then Zacharias said to the angel, 'By what means shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.' And the angel answered and said to him, 'I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God…'" (vs 18-19). Think about how important that is. Think how important John the Baptist was in the plan of God; to fulfill the prophecy of Mal. 3.

"'…and I was sent to speak to you, and to announce this good news to you. But behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day in which these things shall take place, because you did not believe my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time'" (vs 19-20). This one verse tells us an awful lot:

  • we have to believe the Word of God
  • we have to believe what He tells us
  • we have to believe what is written in the Old and New Testaments

This gives us understanding in how to put the Bible together, and was fulfilled in their time. Everything that God does has an appointed time. All the Feasts of God are appointed times. When we keep these appointed times the way God wants us to, He gives us understanding.

See how this fits in? God is 'the same yesterday, today and forever! I the Lord change not!' That's why we can rely on all the prophecies of God. Some of them we don't understand, yet, but we will!

After Zacharias finished his course he went home, his wife conceived, v 26: "And in the sixth month of her pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the lineage of David…" (vs 26-27).

For the genealogy, Joseph had to be of the linage of David. But because of the sins of Solomon, he could not be the father, because it had to come through the line of David, not through Solomon but through Nathan, a brother of Solomon, also of Bathsheba.

"…and the name of the virgin was Mary. And after coming to her, the angel said, 'Hail, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.' But when she saw him, she was greatly perplexed at his message, and was considering what kind of salutation this might be. Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found grace with God; and behold, you shall conceive in your womb and give birth to a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of David, His forefather; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob into the ages, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.'" (vs 27-33).

Quite a statement! You can take this statement and go back into the Old Testament and plug in all the prophecies that tell us this: 'behold, the virgin shall conceive'; not a virgin, but the virgin, a particular one.

Verse 34: "But Mary said to the angel, 'How shall this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?'"

This next verse is important. We will see what Jesus did to accomplish this and why was it so fantastic that God did this Himself and shared the whole human experience from conception to death. Amazing!

Verse 35: "And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest…'"—God the Father; in the Old Testament He is the Most High God and Ancient of Days. "…the power of the Highest…" shows the Holy Spirit is the power of God.

"'…shall overshadow you; and for this reason, the Holy One being begotten in you shall be called the Son of God'" (v 35). The Greek reveals this as present passive participle, meaning the fact that the begettal was taking place right when he said these words. "…being begotten in you…"

In both cases God did a minor miracle with Zacharias and Elizabeth, now He does a major miracle, a one-time event in the history of mankind, and it was the begettal of Jesus Christ Who was God in the flesh!

  • How did God do this?
  • How does that apply to us?

Let's see what God did, what one of Elohim who became the Son did. This flow is central into everything that we do as Christians. Notice how this ties in with what I covered in the welcome message to the Feast of Tabernacles. God is showing His love and we will see how this fits in with everything that God does.

Philippians 2:1: "Now then, if there be any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any deep inner affections and compassions, fulfill my joy that you be of the same mind… [we're to have the mind of Christ] …having the same love, being joined together in soul, minding the one thing" (vs 1-2). That is attaining to the Kingdom of God!

That's the whole central purpose of it. That's why we keep the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast shows the central purpose of the coming of the Kingdom of God, of which we will be the firstfruits, the leaders and rulers under Christ and the patriarchs of the Old Testament. Think on:

  • how great our calling is
  • how great our destiny is
  • how wonderful it's going to be to dwell with God

But let's see what has to happen first.

Verse 3: "Let nothing be done through contention or vainglory…" If we can all overcome that in our lives and getting along and loving one another, that will accomplish a great deal—won't it? Yes, indeed!

"…but in humility, each esteeming the others above himself. Let each one look not only after his own things, but let each one also consider the things of others" (vs 3-4).

Verse 5 is the goal of conversion, and this is what has to happen before we can be resurrected. When we are resurrected, it will even be magnified that much more because we will have a spirit body and spirit mind.

  • this is the goal of our conduct now
  • this is what we need to be operating on to love and serve one another
  • this is why the Gospel is preached
  • this is why have Sabbath services
  • this is why we have the Holy Days of God

We are being taught by God to be prepared to rule the world!

Sidebar: What is the greatest problem with ruling the world today?

  • Satan the devil
  • carnal-minded evil men

That means they don't have the character of God. Whenever there is a good leader that is one who at least follows some principles in the Bible. But we are not to follow some principles in the Bible; we are to live by every Word of God! Think about that when we read:

Verse 5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Notice how Christ humbled Himself. Have you humbled yourself before God? Think about this, and look what He did to save all of mankind, according to His plan, but important for us is that we understand what He did!

Verse 6: "Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God… [in existence so will we be because 'we will see Him as He is'] …but emptied Himself…" (vs 6-7).

  • He gave up His glory
  • He gave up His power
  • He became a pinpoint of life

to be begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary, at the very time that the angel Gabriel was speaking to her. An amazing thing! Once in the history of the world, the virgin called Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ Who we will see was God manifested in the flesh.

All of this has to take place before we can dwell with God! Before we can rule in the Kingdom of God!

"…and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant… [Greek: 'doulous'—meaning slave] …and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (vs 7-8). Think on that for a minute and then tie in:

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life." The two mays are from the original Greek meaning there are conditions to being saved. We're going through some of those right here.

Philippians 2:9: "Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him a name, which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (vs 9-11). That is what is eventually going to happen. Then it tells us what our conduct should be!

What we are seeing is to dwell with God has been revealed in the Bible. Some here, some there and line upon line. Does that sound like how God put the Bible together and the way we need to study it? Yes, indeed!

It's really difficult for a lot of people who have their own ideas rather than believe God, rather than believe the Word of God. They want to bring their own ideas and attach it to the Word of God. Sound a little like Job? Most people don't understand the problem with Job!

Sidebar: What was the problem with Job? Even though he kept all the commandments of God, he was not humble and did not give God the glory. He took all the credit for it and he eventually thought his righteousness was greater than God. When you understand that, then you can understand why he went through so many difficulties.

Likewise with those who don't want to admit Who Jesus actually was. It's something to understand. The apostles did not immediately understand this. No! Not at all! This came later. So, we will see what they understood at first in just a little bit.

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. [How plain can that be?] …He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (vs 1-4).

Tie this in with what we just read in Philip. 2, v 14: "And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us…" That means He dwelt temporarily among us. God came to:

  • dwell with His people
  • teach His people
  • bring them the understanding of the Gospel and so forth

"…(and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and Truth" (v 14).

Verse 16: "And of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace." {note sermon series on grace: The Grace of God in the Bible, Grace of God and Commandment-Keeping and Grace Upon Grace} That is the most important thing, because that tells us that we, with the Holy Spirit of God, have direct access to God the Father in heaven above, and with His Holy Spirit God is dwelling in us! We are to develop the character of God.

We can learn an awful lot with this. After Jesus was resurrected and came and appeared right in the room where the disciples were, doors locked, everything closed up for fear of the Jews. Two of the disciples that He walked with down to Emmaus came running back and said, 'We've seen the Lord! We've see the Lord!' Then all of a sudden Jesus appeared right in the middle of the room.

Sidebar: When Jesus was resurrected from the dead He was the Firstborn from the dead and Jesus was born again. Was He born in the flesh of the virgin Mary? His name was to be Jesus, which means the same as Emmanuel, God with us! Here are the disciples and they were taught certain things. But the really didn't understand very much because as Jesus was talking to the two going to Emmaus, He said, 'Oh, slow to believe and hard of heart!'

Now then, He appeared to the disciples and when He appeared, Luke 24:36: "Now, as they were telling these things, Jesus Himself stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be to you.' But they were terrified and filled with fear, thinking that they beheld a spirit… [demon spirit] …apparition. Then He said to them, 'Why are you troubled? And why do doubts come up in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I. Touch Me and see for yourselves; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see Me having'" (vs 36-39)—that is a demon spirit.

Verse 40: "And after saying this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they were still disbelieving and wondering for joy, He said to them, 'Do you have anything here to eat?' Then they gave Him part of a broiled fish and a piece of honeycomb. And He took these and ate in their presence. And He said to them, 'These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.' Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" (vs 40-45).

This is why after His resurrection He taught them for 40 days. He appeared to them. He appeared to over 500 brethren at once. He had to open their minds to understand! This becomes important in the plan of God, because God is not dealing with the whole world for salvation at this time. That will not come until the return of Jesus Christ and the setting up of the Kingdom of God.

Then He told them that they were to go into Jerusalem, and wait until they receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 1). We will see how God fulfills His Word, and how He backs it up and how He also brought the Church into existence on the Day of Pentecost at the temple. Very interesting, indeed! Jesus taught them for 40 days and then He told them that He wasn't going to establish the Kingdom then.

Acts 1:7: "And He said to them, 'It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has placed in His own authority; but you yourselves shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth'" (vs 7-8). Then He was taken up, they went into Jerusalem and they selected Mathias through the casting of lots. It meant that God chose Mathias to replace Judas who fell.

On the Day of Pentecost, I want you think on this:

  • How did God show His presence when the tabernacle was setup? By a big cloud filling the tabernacle!
  • How did He show His presence in the temple when Solomon dedicated it? By filling it with a cloud!

Here the apostles are assembled on the Day of Pentecost at the temple and that's the place where God placed His name. He gave the Holy Spirit there to them at that place, at that time, so that everyone would know that this was from God! That's why it couldn't have been done in any other country, or any other part of the Holy Land. It had to be where God placed His name and stamp of authority, because He caused it to be. What happened?

Acts 2:1: "And when the Day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was being fulfilled, they were all with one accord in the same place. And suddenly there came from heaven…" (vs 1-2). Not from a hole out of the earth.

  • Where is the abyss? It's a big hole in the earth!
  • What comes out of the abyss? Satan the devil and the demons!

This came from heaven down to the earth.

"…a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire…" (vs 2-3). This is more than just the presence of God. This is the Spirit of God, so that's why it's tongues of fire.

What happened then? They began to preach the Gospel in tongues! Everyone from wherever they were from could hear the wonderful works of God! This was a sign to them that this is from God!

Peter got up and preached and told them, 'Listen! I want to tell you about Jesus Christ, and understand that David has not been resurrected from the dead. Then he said:

Verse 36: "'Therefore, let all the house of Israel know with full assurance that God has made this same Jesus, Whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.' Now, after hearing this, they were cut to the heart; and they said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?' Then Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you yourselves shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'" (vs 36-38).

This is profound, because to dwell with God in person, God must first dwell in you with His Holy Spirit. That's why Christ came in the flesh. That's why He is the only offering and sacrifice to forgive the sins of those who repent.

But we're going to see something else that is very important and we need to understand in what God is doing.

Verse 39: "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God may call."

How many were at the temple? We don't know! How many were baptized? Three thousand! They answered the call! That's one of the keys to understanding about the coming of the Kingdom of God.

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We have seen how Jesus said that He would dwell with us. He came in the flesh, then He taught His disciples, His apostles, what they should do. Then on Pentecost He sent the Holy Spirit in great power.

Just think how similar that is to filling the tabernacle with a cloud. When God established His Church He did the same thing. He put His presence with the Spirit of the Father in us, and this is where He is dwelling. He did it in a way that paralleled the putting of His presence in the tabernacle and the temple.

Let's understand the phrase: as many as the Lord our God shall call. It says, 'many are called but few are chosen.' Why is that? Because few answer the call!
Let's see that there is a difference between the rest of the world and those who have the Spirit of God. God's calling is exclusive. The witness goes to the world:

  • they hear the Gospel
  • they hear the Word of God

But few are chosen! Why? Because few really repent! We know that it is God Who leads us to repentance. Why would He lead some to repentance and not those in the world? It's explained with the parable of the sower!

Matthew 13:1: "Now, in that same day, Jesus departed from the house and sat down by the sea. And so great a multitude gathered around Him that He went into a ship and sat down, and all the multitude stood on the shore. And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, 'Behold, the sower went out to sow'" (vs 1-3). Christ is the sower; the seed is the Word of God.

Verse 4: "And as he was sowing, some of the seed fell by the way; and the birds came and devoured them. And some fell upon the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up because the soil was not deep enough; but after the sun rose, they were scorched; and because they did not have roots, they dried up. And some of the seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. And some fell upon the good ground, and yielded fruit—some a hundredfold, and some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear" (vs 4-9).

The disciples really didn't understand this. Let's see how they approached Jesus:

Verse 10: "And His disciples came to Him and asked, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given'" (vs 10-11).

How do you understand everything that you understand so far, and things that are in the future to be understood? It comes from God through His Spirit and through His Word!

We're going to see that the world cannot understand the Word of God as far as understanding the plan of God. They have it, but they don't read it. The difference is this: Jesus said that we're 'to live by every word of God.' Paul wrote that we are go by the teachings of Jesus Christ and His sound words.

Here we're going to see an absolute amazing thing that God has been doing from the time of Jesus Christ and will continue down to His return.

Verse 11: "And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given.'" It's like the Apostle Paul said, 'You have nothing that you didn't receive!'

  • any understanding of the Word of God
  • any understanding of the plan of God

comes from God. We understand it by His Spirit because they are 'spiritual discerned' (1-Cor. 2).

Notice something else that is true; this is living proof—and we have seen this from those who have left the Body of Christ to go their own way, and that's quite an amazing thing in itself:

Verse 12: "For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given… [same with the parable of the pounds] …and he shall have an abundance, but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him."

We've seen that with people who have rebelled against God, gone the way of the world and accepted worldly Christianity. What has happened to them? They've lost their understanding of the Word of God! Taken from them! If God gives it and they are unwilling to do what God has said, then God will take it.

Verse 13: "For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them'" (vs 13-15). Quite an amazing thing!

This ties right in with the Laodiceans. What does God tell the Laodiceans? I would that you would be either hot or cold—converted or not converted—but you're lukewarm! After having so much given to them, He says they have to go through the trial of fire, so that they can really have the pure gold that is tried by fire. They need to repent! In some ways, through Rev. 3, we can see how it applies even to the Church.

Verse 16: "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard" (vs 16-17).

This is why there is the calling. Then we have to answer the call. When we begin to answer the call then God begins to draw us. As we have covered, He has the seven eyes of God, which are the seven spirits going into all the earth seeking out those who are seeking God.

If the person is sincere in it and wants to know more about God, then the Father Himself will begin to draw that individual and God will lead them to repentance, then to baptism. That is answering the call. People can't come to God any old way. We can't come to God any old way either.

In the parable of the marriage supper, what happens? Someone showed up and wasn't properly dressed! That means they didn't follow the Word of God so they would be clothed with the wedding garments, which are the fine linen pure and bright, which is the righteousness of the saints. They couldn't get in.

  • this is the calling
  • God does the choosing
  • God is One Who makes it possible

To dwell with God right here is a very important and powerful thing for us to understand!

Let's see that just like the putting of the presence of God into the tabernacle and into the temple, and God giving the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost at the temple, in much the same manner that He put His presence in the tabernacle and the temple, God puts His presence of His Holy Spirit within us! Notice what that does:

Christ came to dwell with us and live among men, now He is ascended to heaven and He and the Father come and make Their abode within us! That's quite a thing! This is very important for us to understand in our relationship with God and how we stand before God. If we have the Spirit of God, which we should; we need to grow in grace and knowledge, which we should; we need to understand our relationship with God so that when we're resurrected then God will give the reins of the Government of God under Jesus Christ so we can be kings and priests and rule and reign with God. Then we can get into the full meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles with God dwelling on the earth. First, it has to be done this way:

1-Corinthians 3:11: "For no one is able to lay any other foundation besides that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ." We are to be built on that Rock. He is the Cornerstone.

Verse 12: "Now, if anyone builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble." All of these represent the degree of our choosing of loving God and being zealous and serving, however it works out with the things that God has given us to do.

Because God is dwelling in us, He wants to perfect us, and we need to overcome human nature, then this applies in our lives:

Verse 13: "The work of each one shall be manifested; for the day of trial will declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall prove what kind of work each one's is." Those are the fiery trials that we go through; those are to prove us! God doesn't want any mistakes after the resurrection. The plan of God is to get rid of all of that first! Then at the resurrection we receive the fullness of the Spirit.

Verse 14: "If the work that anyone has built endures, he shall receive a reward." Gold, silver, precious stone! That endures! Wood, hay and stubble: stubble and hay is just gone; maybe some wood could endure.

Verse 15: "If the work of anyone is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet, as through fire."

Verse 16 is very important to dwell with God, because right now we are dwelling with God because God is in us, but we are not in the presence of God to dwell with Him as spirit beings because the resurrection has not yet occurred.

Verse 16: "Don't you understand that you are God's temple… [everyone that has the Holy Spirit. God has put it within us. This is why we are to be Holy] …and that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God…" (vs 16-17). How is that?

  • by sin
  • by false doctrine
  • by rejecting Truth
  • by not growing in grace and knowledge

"…God shall destroy him because the temple of God is Holy, which temple you are. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks himself to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, so that he may be wise in God's sight" (vs 17-18).

We find in 2-Cor. 6 what is very interesting, also. Remember, the work will be burned up. What kind of bad works are built?

  • becoming part of the world
  • accepting false doctrines

2-Corinthians 6:14: "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? And what fellowship does light have with darkness?" Our fellowship is to be with God the Father and Jesus Christ because we are a temple of God and They are dwelling within us, and we are the children of God. All of this is necessary in order to dwell with God in His Kingdom, in order to serve Him during the Millennium.

Verse 15: "And what union does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols?…." (vs 15-16). Think of that for a minute since we are a temple of God? Ask yourself: What idols do you have in your mind? We need to get rid of those!

"…For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said…" (v 16). To dwell with God; God is dwelling with us now with the earnest of the Spirit that He has given to us.

"…'I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people'" (v 16). The fact that we have the Father and the Son dwelling in us; as Jesus said, if we love Him we will keep His commandments and His Word, and the Father will love us and WE will make Our abode—dwelling place—with him. That's a wonderful thing.

We, in a sense, are like a temporary building. Or as Paul says a tabernacle (2-Cor. 5), in which God is dwelling in our heart and mind, so that we can:

  • have fellowship with Him
  • have a relationship with God
  • grow in grace and knowledge
  • prepare for the resurrection
  • prepare for eternal life
  • prepare for the work that God is going to give us to do as the Millennium is fulfilled, as pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles

Quite a fantastic thing when you view it with the overview and then fill in the details.

Verse 17: "'Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty" (vs 17-18).

That's quite a thing, isn't it? Yes, indeed! This is what God wants! That's why we need to be perfected.

2-Corinthians 7:1: "Now then, beloved, since we have these promises, we should purge ourselves from every defilement of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God."

This is individually, what about us collectively—let's look at both. Let's see what Peter wrote, and how all of this ties together. This is a wonderful thing that God is doing, a special calling. We need to be so thankful and grateful that we can have direct access anytime directly to God the Father and Jesus Christ in heaven above, because They're dwelling in us with Their Spirit in us. That is quite a fantastic thing!

Here's what we need to do, 1-Peter 1:13 "For this reason…" of everything that went before this of being begotten again by the Spirit of God, going through trials, knowing and understanding things that even the prophets didn't understand

"…be prepared in your minds… [converted; God dwelling in us] …be self-controlled, and be fully hoping in the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (v 13).

Grace is not finished until the resurrection. Think of that! Here's what we need to do, v 14: "As obedient children, do not conform yourselves to the former lusts, as you did in your ignorance. But according as He Who has called you is Holy, you yourselves also be Holy in all your conduct" (vs 14-15). God wants the character first.

  • with His Spirit we can build it
  • with His Word we can understand it
  • with His Truth we can live it

This is what we are to do, brethren. Think of the great calling

  • to save this world
  • to bring it peace
  • to rule with Christ
  • to show them how to live
  • to have the authority to teach them, to help them
  • to rebuild this earth

Think of how destructive the return of Christ is going to be. All of that has to be rebuilt, and it will be rebuilt under our direction. Our direction will come from Christ. So, be Holy in all your conduct!

Verse 16: "For it is written, 'You be Holy because I am Holy.' And if you call upon the Father, Who judges according to each man's work without respect of persons, pass the time of your life's journey in the fear of God; knowing that you were not redeemed by corruptible things, by silver or gold, from your futile way of living, inherited by tradition from your forefathers; but by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; Who truly was foreknown before the foundation of the world…" (vs 16-20).
You are part of the greatest plan that God conceived before the creation of the world!

  • that's why it's so important that we understand the Word of God
  • that's why it's so important that we realize:
  • what we're going to do
  • how we're going to do it
  • understand the Word of God
  • that we love each other and get along with each other
  • that we love God the Father and Jesus Christ

Verse 20: "Who truly was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for your sakes; even for you who through Him do believe in God, Who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God" (vs 20-21).

Here is the character we are to build, v 22: "Having purified your lives by obedience to the Truth…" What is Truth?

  • Jesus said: Your Word is the Truth!
  • David wrote:
    • your commandments are true
    • Your laws are true
    • All Your precepts from the beginning are true
    • God Himself is true

"…unto unfeigned brotherly love through the Spirit, love one another fervently with a pure heart. For you have been begotten again, not from corruptible seed, but from incorruptible seed, by the living Word of God, which remains forever" (vs 22-23). Then Peter says the Word of God endures forever.

Notice what we are to do; this is exactly what Paul said in 2-Cor. 6: We're to:

  • love God
  • follow His way
  • have nothing to do with the things of the world
  • we are to purify ourselves

and as Peter says:

  • by obeying the Truth

See how all of the Word of God fits together? Every bit of it!

1-Peter 2:1: "Therefore, having put away all wickedness, and all deceit, and hypocrisies and jealousies, and all slanders… [Wow! That's a lot to overcome!] …as newborn babes…" (vs 1-2)—instead of something like a ho-hum Laodicean. No! You are to hunger and thirst after the Word of God just as a newborn baby hungers and thirsts for his mother's milk. We are to grow out of the stage of needing milk and be able to take strong meat, which is what we are doing.

"…yearn after the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow, if you yourselves have indeed tasted that the Lord is gracious. To Whom coming, as to a living Stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God, and precious" (vs 2-4).

Christ is building the Church. He is building it as a temple of God so that we can literally go out and help the world recover from all of the effects of Satan the devil and the sins of man.

Verse 5: "You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a Holy priesthood—to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

Let's see how Paul says the same thing; that Christ is building a temple of God, and we are that temple of God!

Ephesians 2:18: "For through Him we both…" Jews and Gentiles, because if you are Christ's and Abraham's seed and heir according to the promise—where there is neither male nor female, free nor bond, rich nor poor—all the children of God through Abraham.

"…have direct access by one Spirit to the Father…. [that's an amazing thing] …So then, you are no longer aliens and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of the household of God. You are being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone in Whom all the building, being conjointly fitted together, is increasing into a Holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit" (vs 18-22). This is what is going to prepare us:

  • to be able to be the kings and the priests
  • to be able to serve God
  • to be able to serve the people
    • to bring them the Word of God
    • to bring them the Truth of God
    • to bring them the understanding of what God is doing
      • they'll need a lot of love
      • they'll need a lot of help
      • they'll need a lot of our spiritual strength
        • to show them
        • to teach them

Just think of the experiences that they will have gone through by time the Kingdom of God is setup on the earth.

Rev. 20 is where we get our assignments that God has prepared for us. You can tie in the parable of the pounds and the parable of the talents. Those add to it, and this is just the way the Word of God is. You have some here, some there, and you have to put it together.

After Satan is put into the abyss and locked up, Revelation 20:4: "And I saw thrones…"—rule and authority. Just like the leaders in the world today, they can't lead rightly because they do not have the Spirit of God. They do not understand the Word of God, and do not realize that every problem in the world is caused by Satan the devil and human nature. All are spiritually related because of rejecting God, having other gods, idols, and the way of man, which is death, destruction and war. That's the world we're going to inherit, and we're going to have to build it up.

"…and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them…" (v 4). We are going to judge! We are going to teach! That's why it's important that we get qualified character-wise now.

"…and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and those who did not worship the beast, or his image, and did not receive the mark in their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (v 4). That's just the introduction into eternity and the universe. Think of that!

Here's a parenthetical statement, because everyone asks: If there's the first resurrection and only God is choosing a few now, which He is—and it's important that we grow in grace and knowledge and overcome—what about the rest of the dead? There's a parenthetical statement put in here as the Apostle John was canonizing and finalizing the New Testament.

Verse 5: "(But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed.)…." What is described above that fills in with this next sentence:

"…This is the first resurrection. Blessed and Holy…" (vs 5-6). What did Peter tell us to do? We are to become Holy because God is Holy! When we're resurrected we will be Holy. We will see God as He is! We will see Jesus Christ as He is! Of course, that shows that we have the same existence as God.

Verse 6: "Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power…." Because we'll be immortal and live forever.

"…But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (v 6).

That is really a wonderful thing that we are going to do! With all of this said in day one and day two of the FOT, and how we need to be prepared for what God is going to give us to do—as it's detailed right here in Rev. 20—we need to change, grow and overcome, and build the spiritual character of gold, silver and precious stone! We need to develop Holy righteous character.

We have been given opportunity to escape the corruption and the carnal-mindedness that we have in the world, and to receive the Divine nature. That's what Peter wrote in 2-Pet. 1.

Here it is fulfilled. All of this is needed to go back and understand all the prophecies in the Old Testament that we find in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the Psalms concerning the Kingdom of God and the rulership of God.

Brethren, come back tomorrow and we will see what God has in store for us now that we are ready to serve as kings and priests!

Scriptural references:

  • Deuteronomy 18:18-19
  • Malachi 3:1-3
  • Luke 1:5, 11-13, 18-20, 26-35
  • Philippians 2:1-7
  • John 3:16
  • Philippians 2:9-11
  • John 1:1-4, 14, 16
  • Luke 24:36-45
  • Acts 1:7-8
  • Acts 2:1-3, 36-39
  • Matthew 13:1-17
  • 1 Corinthians 3:11-18
  • 2 Corinthians 6:13-16
  • 2 Corinthians 7:1
  • 1 Peter 1:13-23
  • 1 Peter 2:1-5
  • Ephesians 2:18-22
  • Revelation 20:4-6

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 4
  • 1 Corinthians 2
  • Revelation 3
  • 2 Corinthians 5
  • 2 Peter 1

Also referenced:

Appendix E: When Was Jesus Christ Born(The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version)

Sermon Series:

  • The Grace of God in the Bible
  • Grace of God and Commandment-Keeping
  • Grace Upon Grace

Transcribed: 7/26/15

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