The simple question is, how do we get from A to B? How do we get from Christ as us to Christ revealed? How do we get from Passover to the final Day of Tabernacles? God has given us a Vehicle to take us there!!! That Vehicle is a Person, the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who introduces us to all the reality and meaning of living and walking and acting in heaven and in earth out from heaven. The Holy Spirit is our guide, our teacher.
Pentecost is a strange feast stuck by itself at the beginning of summer, a one-day feast. It commemorates the giving of the law from Mt. Sinai, yes, but for us in the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit replaces the law entirely in our lives. Thus we might say that the primary verse of Pentecost in the New Testament is Romans 5:5
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
This, of course, makes Pentecost not at all strange to us.
But Pentecost is the in-between feast. Thus Paul says, more than once, that the Holy Spirit is the down-payment, a first-part of all the fullness of God, a guarantee that the remainder will come (in our knowledge).
Here are the points of Pentecost from Moses.
• Pentecost is counted fifty days after Passover, starting with the Day of Firstfruits.
• Pentecost occurs on the day after the seventh Sabbath, thus on our Sunday.
• An offering of grain occurs before the offering of seven lambs, one young bull, and two rams (switched in Numbers to two young bulls and one ram).
• All sacrifices must be without blemish.
• Also one kid of the goats is sacrificed as a sin offering and two more lambs as peace offerings.
• The bread of first fruits and the two offered lambs are waved before the Lord.
• This bread is leavened bread.
• Pentecost is one day only, counted as a holy convocation, no customary work is done on it.
• The people are to offer a freewill offering out from the abundance of the Lord's blessing. Everyone is to rejoice in the Lord.
• Pentecost is sometimes called Firstfruits, though Leviticus 23 clearly places a Firstfruits inside of Passover. Pentecost is also called the Feast of Weeks (counting seven weeks).
To the Israelites the feasts all seemed pretty much the same. There is very little to distinguish one from the other in the activity taking place during each occasion. In actuality, the feasts take on real meaning only as they enter the life and experience of the church. Then, out from our experience in Christ, and out from the New Testament verses explaining those experiences, we look back at Israel's journey, at the reasons for the feasts in order to understand.
Pentecost is the difficult feast, the feast of leavened bread. – Here is why.
God's commission to man is to subdue all things, to bring all things under our feet and then to restore all things back to the Father. But this great task of God and us together making all things good can come only out of the rivers of living water flowing out of our bellies. That full release, that is, our full inheritance, comes on the great day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the final day of God's great work of transitioning His entire body into all the fullness of Christ. – Let's position some verses.
“. . . You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him (man), He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus . . . Hebrews 2:8-9
But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. Hebrews 10:12
Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . . but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— Ephesians 4:13&15
God does not distinguish between Jesus and us in the directive of bringing all things under subjection; rather, He speaks of man AND Man, and He speaks of us growing up in all things into the fullness of Christ.
Note that on the Day of Pentecost at Mt. Sinai, God spoke the ten commandments, which Paul calls the ministry of death. The law in the hands of man was man trying to subdue himself first and then all of life by his own effort. Paul says in Galatians and Romans that God's purpose was to prove to us that we have no ability whatsoever in ourselves to fulfill God's intention for our activity – to subdue all things. God gave us that knowledge to persuade Adam to shut up and be dead. Thus God gives us the Holy Spirit, God's original subduer, on top of our full understanding that “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord.
Now, let's position ourselves. Heaven and earth are a continuum that cannot be separated. We are as much of and in heaven right now as we are of and in earth. Our construction is fully spirit and fully flesh, fused together in a marriage union with our spirits the largest part of us, permeating all through our body and giving life moment by moment to every cell in the body. Meanwhile our soul, our self, our person, exists by the juncture, the union of our spirit body and our physical body.
Our spirit body is 100% spirit and in heaven.
Our problem is that we do not possess at the present moment the normal human capacity of seeing all the heavens all around us and of seeing the continual spirit/flesh, heaven/earth connection that takes place every moment and with all things. Everything in the physical is connected to and is continually coming out from it's counterpart elements in the spirit, in heaven. Yet we do not see what is obvious and normal.
We are blind. – Yet our blindness does not prevent us from living and walking in the Spirit any more than one who is physically blind is prevented from living and walking in the physical.
You see, people believe they are not in heaven right now. Their “believing” is simply delusional.
More than that, I do not believe that God takes Christians into all the fullness of Christ revealed the moment they die. I am convinced that no Christian living now in heaven only is experiencing the full meaning of the great day of the Feast of Tabernacles, that is, the normal human task of subduing all things. If they were, they would be here on earth in glorified bodies; they would be releasing all the glory of God flowing as rivers from them transforming the entire creation. If they were, no demons would remain in the human experience.
All Christians who have lost their physical bodies and are living now in their spirit body only remain inside of limited spheres of experience and knowledge. They are not yet fully normal humans; they have NOT yet received the entirety of the inheritance.
But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.
If Jesus is not yet experiencing the fullness of His inheritance, then neither is His body.
Let me simplify this. Christ living as me as I find myself to be from the moment I am born again on AND Christ revealed through me in all fullness setting all creation free by rivers of life and glory flowing out of me ARE two different expressions of Christ. Both are Christ alone, but the expression is different. Now, if Jesus, the resurrected and ascended Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father is not yet in that full expression how much further do we have between our present knowledge of Christ as us to that full outflow of Christ revealed?
So, the simple question is, how do we get from A to B? How do we get from Christ as us to Christ revealed? How do we get from Passover to the final Day of Tabernacles?
God has given us a Vehicle to take us there!!! That Vehicle is a Person, the Holy Spirit.
It is the Holy Spirit who introduces us to all the reality and meaning of living and walking and acting in heaven and in earth out from heaven. The Holy Spirit is our guide, our teacher.
No child graduates from college with a degree the day after they start kindergarten. No infant just born starts kindergarten the next day. More than that, kindergarten is actually a bad idea for the natural development of children. Children should not be taken out from their homes and their mother's watchcare and playing in the dirt outdoors until age 6-7 for girls and age 7-8 for boys.
So let's set the physical as our example. A child is born/born again. They grow up in the care of their mother for 6-7 years, then they go to school/the Holy Spirit. After that they spend twenty years in school before they can even begin to practice being a doctor/manifest son, bringing healing to people.
Growing up in the Spirit is not and cannot be any different. Yet we treat the realms of spirit as so completely “other” that we hardly grow up in the Spirit at all. This is a travesty of ridiculous nonsense, people who should be adults in the Spirit deliberately remaining infants, people who have been born again for forty years crying, “I don't need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Wah, wah, wah, I don't want to go to school.”
Why don't they want to go to school/be baptized in the Holy Spirit? Because they believe that God will make them do things they don't want to do or that God will give them a demon.
You see, this is why we very much NEED the balance of the last letter, “Firstfruits.” It is so very easy for the arrogant human mind to assume that “I” must have accomplished something before God in order to know the full immersion into the Holy Spirit while my brethren must be deficient, lacking the “maturity” I have, that's why they “refuse” to enter in.
You can see how such judgment underlies all the horrors of sad Christianity, turning the blessing of the Holy Spirit into a whip and the good news of the gospel into a superiority complex.
If God has given us the grace of knowing and living and walking in the Holy Spirit beyond what many of our brethren have received, then that means two things for us. First, it means that we are poured out for their sake, and second, it means that great responsibility lies upon the shoulders of Christ inside of us.
Even the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for “ability,” but for the shaping of the human heart to fit God.
Let me state my first main point openly rather than building a foundation for it first.
Pentecost is not that measure of the Holy Spirit by which a person is born again and comes to know Christ living as them. Pentecost IS being baptized by Jesus into the Holy Spirit, an experience in God beyond being born again.
There is a significant difference between Jesus' breathing the Holy Spirit into us when we are born again and Jesus' immersing us into that same Holy Spirit in a second experience. Those who know the difference know it, and those who don't know the difference cannot even see such a thing. No one standing in the outer court has any idea what is found inside the Holy Place. Those who enter the Holy Place can hardly relate any more with all the clamor and din of the outer court and the thin light of a natural sun, of limited human thinking.
The evidence that immersion into the Holy Spirit is a second experience in God is sufficiently detailed in Luke and Acts as well as God's patterns of the tabernacle and the feasts. But always we must ask why. There is a full and simple reason why God lays things out for us in steps, by a “way” that leads to life.
It's because He is kind.
And because God is kind, because He never pushes anyone around, because He fully allows time and seasons for us to grow as He gives us grace, because the experiences God has for His people cannot be confined into human boxes and defined, God requires one thing of each one of us each step along the way.
God requires faith. And faith requires asking.
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:9-13
Here are two people sitting side by side. They together read the same passage from the Bible.
And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” . . . When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Acts 19:1-6
One of these two readers says, “Oh, there is more of the Holy Spirit than what I have known since believing in Christ. Father, I ask you to give me this further experience in the Holy Spirit, and having asked, I now believe that you are immersing me into the full overflow of the Holy Spirit.”
The other says, “Well, I don't think there is “more.” How could God have more than what I already know in my own experience? See this verse says they weren't baptized correctly. So there is nothing else in God for us.”
It is only God's grace that I, seeing anything in the New Testament beyond what I presently know, would ask God to fulfill it in fullness in my life now and here. When I look at my brother or sister who simply refuses to ask for whatever walled-in reason to which they hold tightly, I can only leave them in the care of that same Holy Spirit and bless them and go on.
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” . . . But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 2:4-8
This “tarrying” in Jerusalem is the counting of the fifty days from the resurrection to the Day of Pentecost.
We will see in the next letter that the body of Christ, the witness of Christ, the second proof that what God speaks is true here in this earth, cannot be built according to the Pattern except by full immersion into the Holy Spirit, an immersion that, typically, includes speaking in tongues and prophesying, that is, the Spirit-speaking of Christ. (That full immersion is also necessary for us to see the progression of time as God sees it.)
Firstfruits leads, day by day, directly to full immersion into the Holy Spirit. All the fulfillment of Christ that comes, then, in the Feast of Tabernacles, can be known only out from that immersion.
To be immersed into the Holy Spirit is to be introduced to, awakened to, the realms of Heaven in which we already live and move all the time, but have not known. Immersion into the Holy Spirit is the first entrance into the school of becoming a normal human being, one who lives and walks fully in heaven and earth all the time.
One way to comprehend the difference between the Holy Spirit's role in our being born again and that same Holy Spirit now as the One into whom Jesus immerses us is by looking at our construction. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit enters into union with our spirit, we become one Sspirit with Him. But the realms of spirit are a big deal, like the halls and classrooms of college to a five-year-old boy. Thus the Holy Spirit limits Himself just to our spirit. Because our spirit permeates our entire being, so does the Holy Spirit. The limitation is that we do not know it.
God's path for us is always a walking, step by step, by faith. And faith always requires asking. We may possess everything of God in substance, but we know and experience nothing unless we ask God for it and then, in asking, believe that we receive all that we ask. Yet that “believing” does not mean “go to sleep”; rather, it means wait upon God in the full expectation of faith until we enter into the full experience of God's next step for us.
The human will is the wall between the human mind and the human spirit/Holy Spirit. The soul of man is primarily mind, with the will on the side of our spirit bodies and the emotions on the side of our physical bodies. Thus for the presence of the Holy Spirit to enter into our full knowledge, into our souls, the will must say “Yes, Lord.” That “Yes Lord” comes in a different manner personal to each one of us, but it carries certain traits that are the same.
First, the “Yes Lord” that opens Pentecost to us is a full surrender, and second, that full surrender is to another Person. When Jesus has that surrender from us, then He immerses us into the Holy Spirit, that is, our mind, will, and emotions are engulfed by the same Holy Spirit that already resides in union with our spirits.
The primary outward evidence of the Baptism in the Spirit is speaking in tongues and prophesying, that is, the gifts of the Spirit. Those gifts are given by God for great and everlasting purpose. I have no connection with those who would make light of them as if “we don't need the Holy Spirit's gifts.” Such a claim is blind arrogance.
However, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for a far more important purpose as well. It is here that the third metaphor of God, the tabernacle of Moses, comes into play. Neither the event of Pentecost, Mt. Sinai, nor the feast of Pentecost gives us the real picture of what Pentecost means to us.
The furnishings of the Holy Place in the tabernacle do give us that picture. Those two pieces of furniture that are the immediate experience and “proof” of Baptism in the Holy Spirit are the bread of the table of showbread and the light of the seven-branched lampstand.
What those mean in the experience of the believer is best expressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 2.
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory . . . God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God . . . Now we have received . . . the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
Simply put, those who have not experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit simply do not know the realm of spirit, the power that exists in that realm, and the knowing of truth and life that comes only by such immersion. It doesn't take long in visiting with such brethren to know that they do not know Spirit power or Spirit word.
Now, let me qualify what I mean by “Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” God can never be forced into anyone's box. He treats each one as an individual, and thus can reveal Himself to someone on the other side of the world or the street in a far different way than He reveals Himself to me. A person is well able to grow into the experience of full immersion in the Spirit without any dramatic experience and without ever speaking in tongues.
Yet the deep cry of the firstfruits remains, to know ever more fully, ever more deeply, this One who already fills us with all of Himself.
Any expression of “We've arrived; there's nothing else,” is an expression of not-firstfruits.
Let's attempt to comprehend Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Personal. The Holy Spirit reveals God the Father in the heavens. Heaven, the realms of Spirit/spirit contain many things both persons and non-personal elements. Think about the realms of the physical, just on this earth. The variety and distinction of things above, upon, and within the earth is just beyond comprehension. Animals, bugs, fishes, bacteria, humans, weather, geology, geography, plants, trees, flowers, every one of these terms contain vast realms of things, so many, many things to study and to know. The heavens, the realms of spirit, that sustain and connect with all these things in the physical, is far vaster and more varied.
When Jesus shared in His parable that a “wall” separated between those with Abraham and those apart from Abraham in Hades, He was speaking of a state of being, not a literal wall separating two geographical places. If you could see as a normal human sees, you would see angels and demons in your heavens in the same room with you. Angels and demons are not separated geographically, but rather, they live in two totally different realms of being inside themselves.
Hades is part of heaven, part of the realms of spirit all around. I suspect that Christians are scattered all through the realms of hades/heaven, each according to their faith and knowledge of God.
Yet all of these things in the heavens, including ourselves, live and move and have their being inside the same Holy Spirit who is merged completely with our own spirits.
May I suggest that if you were to see right now all the realms of the heavens, all the realms of spirit, in which you live and move, you would be so overwhelmed with both fright and awestruck wonder that you would cease breathing. Jesus said, “Watch out,” most often, and “Don't be afraid” almost as much. He says the same thing now to those in heaven only.
The skin of the beast, this thing that keeps us blind to normal reality, is God's mercy to us.
Yet when the present physical body is taken from us we are thrust full bore into those realms completely unprepared. That's why people fear death. Most Christians, though born again and thus able to live and function in the better parts of the heavens, are utterly unprepared for the full reality of the realms of spirit.
Heaven is as shattered by sin and darkness as earth is.
Living and walking in the heavens right now, in full immersion into the Holy Spirit who contains everything that is inside those heavens inside Himself, is God's clear instruction to us. We must go to school. The gifts of the Spirit develop in us essential qualities of Christ as us that we must know to navigate those realms in which we already live and will be thrust without recourse at the loss of our physical bodies.
BUT!!!! There is one way alone by which we navigate these dangerous and overwhelming realms of spirit safely. That one way is found in the next letter, “According to the Pattern.”
In Stephen Spielberg's animated story of Moses, Prince of Egypt, when Moses and Aaron first confront Pharaoh with the staff-turning-into-a-snake scene, the two priests of Ra sing a song against Moses and Aaron (the film is a musical). In the lines of that song is a repeated phrase that is very penetrating and telling.
“You're playing with the big boys now.”
This is the problem. The first thing needed by firstfruits is full immersion into the Holy Spirit. Only that experience gives us all that we need to continue on to all the fulfillment of God's purposes. Everything else God has for us to walk in is found only inside that same immersion into the Holy Spirit.
Here is the picture God gives.
Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become one who knows good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24
Part of this “driving out” was the encasing of man in the skin of a beast, an outer limitation that prevented man from knowing the realms of spirit.
Yet God wants to bring us back to the tree of life that we might eat from it. Thus the way is wide open for whosoever will. BUT!!!! Our transformation is not complete. Yes, Christ lives as us, but pretending has certainly not vanished from our arsenal of stupidity.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. – Alexander Pope.
What a mess God has proposed; what risks He is willing to take.
God has proposed turning a bunch of arrogant humans loose inside the realms of Spirit in the hopes that some of them will find their way through to the tree of life without being mesmerized by the outward stuff inherent in the nature of Spirit in the heavens. Because we Christians do not know God, His nature and being, but rather define Him by the outward characteristics of the serpent in the kingdoms of men as a Being of “power over,” of command and control, what a mess we make of “authority” in the heavens!
“You're playing with the big boys now.”
This great risk God is taking in opening up the precious elements of His Spirit to a bunch of pretending humans is the acceptance of dishonesty, leaven, into the very Vehicle who carries us all the way from Point A, Christ as us, to Point B, Christ revealed to all.
The problem is not the Holy Spirit. All things already live and move and have their being inside of Him. He carries all evil beings and evil actions and thoughts, tucked into their own walled-off little bubbles, already inside Himself.
The problem is us.
From the Day of Pentecost on Mt. Sinai, God gave Israel seven days of glory in His presence. Then He called Moses up to Himself upon the mountain. The first thing God said to Moses was, “Build Me a dwelling place in your midst.” Then He said, “Build My dwelling place according to the pattern I will show you.”
The experience of the human in ransacking and plundering the realms of Spirit as “God's anointed ones” persuades us that speaking the entirety of Christ as our pattern is so absolutely essential to us.
An essential part of Pentecost is the freewill offering of the people to God out from God's abundance in their lives. It is that freewill offering out of which God builds His dwelling place.
God is a big Fellow, well able to take all the reckless foolishness we humans are able to dish out as we careen around mostly blind in realms of Spirit far beyond us. Christians make a mess of things in the earth; you can be sure we make a mess of things in the heavens as well.
But God bears with all of that, carrying us utterly inside Himself, conforming Himself to our weakness, transforming us from the inside out, arising on high out from death into life, and we inside of Him.
Freedom, that which is given freely, is the only thing God wants for His dwelling place. That freedom is found in the full experience of total immersion into the Holy Spirit, into all the heavens of God. God willingly bears all the cost of that freedom inside Himself, waiting with full expectation of faith until His enemies are made His footstool. – But then we see a very important verse again inserting itself.
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Heb. 12:5-8
We live and walk in the Spirit; we live and walk in school.
Word always leads and Spirit always follows. Yet Word cannot come into our experience except Spirit comes first. God places us into Spirit first so that Word, coming into us, can find its resting place inside our faith.
The Holy Spirit comes in fullness first on the Day of Pentecost, then the full Word comes immediately after, “See that you make My dwelling place according to the pattern shown you on the holy mountain of God.”
Speaking Christ, prophesying, has no meaning to those who are not immersed in the Spirit. Those are “just words” to them, the words on the page. They cannot know those same words as Christ Himself living now in us.
Only when our mind, will, and emotions are fully bathed in the Holy Spirit, directly part of our immediate awareness, does the Holy Spirit take those same words as we speak them and cause them to be Christ inside of us, inside of all that we are.
Let me illustrate further.
We humans are made by God with the nature and desire to bring all things into subjection under our feet. That is why manipulation, exploitation, and control are so prevalent in the human experience. More than that, if you look closely at those who cry the loudest against “exploitation” and “domination” you will find them more guilty of the lust to control and dominate than most anyone else. All of this need to subdue, crafted by God, is turned by empty man into a tool of the serpent. The need to subdue, empty of rivers of life flowing out of the Spirit, is a continual expression of evil.
In almost all teaching you will find on “the kingdom of God,” that kingdom is presented by the model of the kingdoms of men, that is, a king tells people what to do and a kingdom is those who do what he says.
ALL kingdoms of men, all human governments on this earth, gain compliance by violence. They inflict torture in order to secure their will over individual people. Modern democratic government rules by those exact same means. If all violence directed against people were to cease on this earth, all human government would cease as well, and all distinctions between human “nations.” No one ever gives compliance to any human government as a free will offering from the heart.
Command and control is the kingdom of Satan.
God requires only a free will offering for the building of His house.
Yet the pretending human, now immersed in the gifts and anointings of Spirit/heaven realities, loves nothing better than turning his or her God-created desire to subdue all things into one of many religious forms of command and control, manipulation and abuse.
Moses knew from the time he was a boy that he was somehow called of God. At age 40, when he first discovered who he really was, he sought to exercise that calling to set his people free by violence. It was God who chased Moses into the desert, not Pharoah. Moses needed to abandon himself as a lost cause before God could ever move through Him as Spirit to set His people free.
God's power is Spirit, arising as life. There is nothing in the imagination of the human that shows us God's power. All human playing with power is serpentine, the serpent coming through as the subduer by violence.
We are immersed into the Holy Spirit. We live and walk inside of, we are one with, utterly merged together with, all the Power of God springing up into life.
We are in school. We are learning to be Christ revealed.
We already are one with the Lord Jesus Christ; walking in the Spirit means we are learning to be Christ revealed.
We do that by speaking Christ. We learn of Him; we walk in the direction our tongue takes us.
We are built in all ways by the Pattern God spoke from the beginning, the All-speaking of God.