24. The Trumpets of God
WHAT ABOUT SIN???!!!??? – What about it?
24. The Trumpets of God
What are the things hindering the release of God into His church?
It is good to wait upon the Lord. I wrote that question after reading of what Christianity speaks and after groaning over the huge blockages that prevent God's people from knowing Him. But I have a different view of this question and its answer this morning.
What are the things hindering the release of God into His church?
All things exist as they are that God might make Himself known. Everything is in its place; God is working all things in all. God is not responsible for evil; He does not know it. Yet God continually bends the actions of evil towards unending goodness. All goodness is the presence of God who is good.
Yet here is what I said at the end of the last letter: – That opposition is appointed by God for this very purpose, that He might be glorified as He is victorious through us. And so I will mention briefly those things I know that are keeping God's people from knowing Him. –
More than that, think back on your own life at all the sidetracks you went down, all the false beliefs, all the mistreating of others, all the falling short. Now that we know that Christ lives as us, carrying all that inside Himself, we see it all as Christ teaching us the knowledge of God through all those things that by outward appearance did not look “Christ-like.” Thus we know that all things God takes His own ones through, even those things that do block His knowledge in their lives for the present season, we know that in the end, all of it will serve for nothing else than to glorify Christ.
I think of myself, that I am just no good at the outward pastoral anointing that brings life and deliverance and healing to people; I have never heard God speak to me to do this or that as so many testify of their own experience. Those who have such an anointing are not “in the right” and I “in the wrong,” nor vice versa. God appoints each one of us to our own expression of Himself. However, as I consider how God has limited me, I see that by my limitation, I have sought for Him in ways those who have such abilities might never know to seek Him; that is, I have sought Him by believing what He says regardless of my own experience and by speaking that what He says is true in complete disregard to my appearance.
Thus by my limitation I have come to know God in a most precious and intimate way, by the highest exaltation of what He says at the core of Paul's gospel as confirmed by John. HOWEVER, I can never think that I am experiencing “THE” way to know God, but only one facet of that way. God is big, and we as individuals are not. Thus I also know that those who are seeking God in power are also essential to His revelation. In fact, every member of that body of Firstfruits, regardless of how different their life experience and their expression of God might be, is essential to the revelation of God through all they have ever known in life.
So here is how we must ask the question, for we can never arrive at the right answer without asking the right question. What blockages that prevent His knowledge is God requiring fullness of in this world today as He causes Himself to be known by victory against the mighty backdrop He has unfolded out from Himself?
But there is also a second question that must be asked. What is the issue of the Day of Atonement that is brought to a final end in the action of the High Priest that changes the universe?
To search for an answer to these questions, let's look at the blowing of trumpets in the journey of Israel. You see, even though the Feast of Trumpets is on the first day of the seventh month, and the Day of Atonement is on the tenth day, with eight non-feast days in-between, yet these two parts of the overall feast of trumpets work closely together in making possible the full experience of Tabernacles coming into the experience of the Church. We will find the bridge that connects the blowing of Trumpets with the Day of Atonement in the journey of Israel.
Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps. When they blow both of them, all the congregation shall gather before you at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. But if they blow only one, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall gather to you. When you sound the advance, the camps that lie on the east side shall then begin their journey . . . (and so on) And when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but not sound the advance. The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets . . .
When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the Lord your God. Numbers 10:2-10
Notice that these two trumpets are not ram's horns, but pure silver trumpets, beaten into shape; the skill to make them cylindrical and narrow at the mouth would have to be remarkable. My understanding of silver has been that it represented the “nature” of Christ as gold represented the “nature” of God. I am not interested in the nature of Christ or of God; I am very interested in this Person, Jesus, who not only lives in my heart in glory, but who also lives as all that I am, and I am very interested in this infinite, eternal, and omnipotent Person, God, who fills me full in Person with all that He is.
It is the Persons of Christ and of God that we want, not their natures.
Yet the silver trumpet beaten into shape, that is, by travail, is the calling forth of Christ in Person into His full expression through us. Notice when the trumpets are blown. They are blown to call a meeting, either of the leaders or of the whole nation; or to call the camp to journey, each part in its time. The trumpets are also blown during all the feasts, not just the Feast of Trumpets, on the first day of each month, AND whenever a sacrifice is offered.
But most of all, the trumpets are blown every day that Israel is glad.
The blowing of the trumpets is the calling forth of Christ. Israel did not blow the trumpets for gladness nearly as much as we do.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions. Psalm 45:6-7
Do you want gladness in your life? Jesus alone is anointed with gladness; therefore, call Him forth as the One who fills you with His glory, as the One who lives as you, as the One who is your best Friend, as the One who shares Heart with you, as the One upon whose breast you always lean your head. Speak Christ, and you will share His gladness. The blowing of Trumpets is the gladness of Christ.
Too often the Day of Atonement has been cast as a day of gloom and judgment. No, it is the Day of JOY!
Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. Hebrews 9:28
There is no speaking of sin in the speaking of Christ.
Oh my! You know, I have just been overwhelmed at how perfectly the patterns of God in the Old Testament dovetail with the revelation of Jesus Christ as understood out from our perfect union with Christ in the present. Jericho is no different.
The walking around Jericho began on the sixteeenth day of the first month, the day of Firstfruits, the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the day of Jesus' resurrection; it then continued for six days and ended with the collapse of Jericho's walls on the 22nd day, the final Sabbath day of the Passover Feasts.
Jericho ties together the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Day of Atonement; it is the final piece of the groundwork we need to be able to do the one action of Atonement we must do to come into the knowledge and experience of the fullness of Christ through us.
The account of Jericho is in Judges 6; however, the scribe writing it did not hold mystery and suspense high in his valuation, thus he gave the punch line at the beginning and repeated it several times through the story. Let me give the story here as it happened according to the account.
On the morning of April 16th seven priests, each bearing a ram's horn walked towards Jericho just in front of the Ark of the Covenant carried by four priests. Behind the Ark walked Salmon and behind him marched around 650,000 men of war in a massive column about one hundred men wide (calculated guess). Before they had left the camp at Gilgal, however, Joshua had given specific instructions to this entire mass of armed men, instructions that are identical to Moses' instructions to Israel: “Hold your peace.”
“You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.”
Let's have the geography clear. The canyon wall juts up from the floor of the Jordan valley just behind the city of Jericho, with the top of that canyon right at sea level and the Jordan over 1300 feet below sea level. The distance between that canyon wall and the crest above the Jordan bottom is around five miles, with Jericho not much more than a half mile from the canyon wall. The walls of Jericho cannot be much more than a mile in diameter, thus the circuit around the city would have been roughly a three mile walk. For 650,000 men armed for battle to completely encircle the city, it would require a column more than 100 men wide. The walk from Gilgal to the nearer side of Jericho was also around five + miles, requiring a hike of somewhere between 12 and 15 miles each day.
Let's place our view out from the southeastern wall of Jericho; we are looking towards the Dead Sea in clear view about six miles away. Down in the lowlands of the Jordan near the Dead Sea is a great camp of two million people covering over a square mile in area. The crest of the Jordan bottom hides about half that camp, but the campfires of the further half have been clearly in our view each night for the last seven nights.
Let's have our mental state clear by the words of Rahab: I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.
And it's not just us standing here facing this enigmatic camp of horror doing something really weird down there in the bottom lands at the mouth of the Jordan.
So it was, when all the kings of the Amorites who were on the west side of the Jordan, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel until we had crossed over, that their heart melted; and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the children of Israel. Joshua 5:1
As we stand there this particular morning with melted hearts and no spirit, we see a dust cloud arise from that camp near the Dead Sea coming straight in our direction. In less than two hours the head of that column pauses just out of bow shot from our wall. We see seven men in white robes carrying ram's horns in front of four white-robed men carrying a gold box with wings on it in front of a man who, if we had known, has already been inside our city, in front of a massive column of men with spears around 250 feet wide. We think to ourselves, “We are toast.”
But then it really gets weird. The white-robed fellows with their ram's horns and gold box turn and begin to walk around the city in the direction of the canyon wall. The whole column of men turns and follows behind them. For the next two hours, we watch that column, row after row of men with spears, walk up to the line just beyond bow shot, do a left turn, and follow on around the city. After almost two hours, we see those same white-robed guys at the head of the column coming in from our left. As they approach the last lines of men swinging into the circuit of the city, they pause. For a few moments the entire city of Jericho is surrounded by a massive column of armed men, 100 deep. There is no space between, nor any view of the bushes on the other side of them. Every eye in that great circle is looking our way. “We are toast,” we think again.
But we have noticed something very odd through these last few hours, an oddity that will continue a few more hours. Not one voice is heard in that entire wall of men, not one shout, not one clash of spears. All that we hear is the steady marching of feet.
Then, without any sign or voice, the white-robed fellows turn away from us, heading back to their camp in Gilgal. And behind them, 650,000 men with spears, followed them around the city and back to Gilgal. In the mid-afternoon the dust begins to settle. We cannot think anymore; we have no answer. This is just too weird.
The next day the same, the next day the same, the next day the same, the next day the same, the next day the same. Six days, six times, this ultra bizarre thing unfolds before our eyes. We stand in our post because we don't know any better, but behind us in the city and all across the walls, people are going mad, shrieking and wailing, and the suicides are beyond count.
Early on the morning of the seventh day, we have still dared to be standing there on the ledge of the wall looking out again towards the Dead Sea. This morning, the dust cloud had begun much earlier, even before we had taken our posts on the wall. Just as before the entire column of men make the circuit around the city, but this time something is different. When the white-robed dudes carrying that gold box with wings come all the way around and are back in front of us, they don't turn away. They just keep on going around the city. It takes about an hour and a half for them to make the circuit, and that swinging wall of spears 100 men deep.
They go around and around and around, seven times through the day, except we are so dazed we have lost count. And through the entire day, we hear not one peep from anyone out there, not one word.
Finally, in the late afternoon, the white-robed guys are back in front of us for the seventh time. Then, suddenly, they stop. The entire column encircling the city comes to a halt. Every man of war turns towards our walls, every spear is raised, every mouth is silent. Our brains can hardly record what we are seeing.
Then, in that threatening silence, the seven white-robed fellows carrying the ram's horns step closer to the city wall, lift the horns to their mouths and blow. That blowing of the horns is the first sound we have heard other than the dull and ominous tread of the feet. When the clear trumpet call winds itself out, the blowing of seven horns, with a great voice, 650,000 voices together shout at the top of their lungs. They shout, but they do not move.
In that instant, the stone platform on which we stand drops away from our feet and we fall down, down, down, down, down.
We are toast.
It is the 22nd day of the first month, the final day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the same day, the same hour that the Red Sea had closed back in upon the Egyptian army exactly forty years before.
Do we see the picture? Do we see how graphically God has painted this picture for us?
We must come back to our second question. What is the issue of the Day of Atonement that is brought to a final end in the action of the High Priest that changes the universe?
Fred Pruitt shared in a recent letter that he and others had gone to a certain place to share the joy of our union with Christ with a handful of brethren eager to hear them. That same evening, over 1000 believers in Jesus attended a mighty deliverance service. Five for union with Christ – 1000 for the outward display of the power of God. There is nothing wrong with knowing the delivering power of God; God uses anything and everything to bring us to a full knowledge of Him.
But why do so few hear the wonderful truth of union with Christ, a union that changes the whole paradigm of deliverance from fearful hope and assertiveness bordering on arrogance to joy and peace and rest? Deliverance is still real; it just flows freely out of our rest in Him.
There is a simple reason why so few hear Christ living as us; it is an issue that Fred is asked all the time. It is the same reason why so many are so quick to bounce away from my website and what I share.
WHAT ABOUT SIN???!!!???
What about it?
Man's answer for sin, the answer of Adam, the answer of rebellion, the answer of most of the church is to STOP sinning. Since everyone knows that no one actually does such a thing, they all settle for “I'm just a sinner, saved by grace.” But every single one of them takes their continuing sin and places that sin in-between themselves and God. “My sin keeps God from releasing His fulness to me” Thus everyone then also concludes that physical death and subsequently “going to” heaven is the only thing that will end our sinfulness.
Why does anyone think or say that we cannot be filled with all the fullness of God right now? The reason is always one – what about my sin? My sin prevents God from being what God says right now.
You see, they imagine that Christ cannot be living as us, since that would mean that Christ is sinning. They do not believe that He already became our sin long centuries ago.
Christ as me is not the only truth of God, nor the only part of the revelation of Jesus Christ. But without any question, it is the most precious to us and will be so forever.
Here is the Heart of my Savior and my Salvation; here is the heart of my High Priest.
“Father, I will drink Your cup; Father, I will bear the sin of many. Father, I will be planted into the earth for three days and three nights, three thousand years, that I might become My Church, that I might live as those whom You have given Me, that I might live them into life.”
And then, in the midst of the horror, we hear these words: “Father, here am I, I and the children whom You have given Me.”
I tell you what; I don't live anywhere else than in those words and in that Heart.
Man's answer for sin is to stop sinning or at least to try; God's answer for sin is to shut your mouth.
Hold your peace – You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth – That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
The tree of knowledge, the law, is the knowledge of good and evil. Eating of evil is evil, but eating of good, that is, not-evil, is far more deadly and therefore far more evil.
Sinning is sinful, and it will kill you, but not-sinning is far more deadly and therefore far more evil.
God did not create us to sin; God did not create us to not-sin.
God created us to be filled with God.
There is a term in the Bible that means “not-sinning.” That term is self righteousness. There is one human word, a very Biblical word, that conveys to us God's estimation of self righteousness.
Jesus said, For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Matthew 5:18
Let me give you the news if you have not already heard. You are too late. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So what if you succeed in this filthiness called not-sinning. You are too late! The law must be fulfilled, and you MUST die.
One sacrifice for sins forever. – For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, only it's not me, it's Christ, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loves me and gives Himself for ME!
No consciousness of sins.
The guys on the wall of Jericho represent sin to us, but the wall itself is far worse. The wall is not-sinning; the wall is this horrific, evil, and filthy practice of continually placing one's sin between one's self and the God who already fills all things. The wall is self rightness; all that the Lord says we will do.
Sin is already toast, but only because not-sinning has gone down first.
What is Salvation?
You see, in part of the answer to what blocks most of our brethren from entering into all the fullness of Christ is, very simply, the Christian definition of salvation and the Christian definition of God. The Christian definition of salvation is that we “stop sinning” only after we lose our physical bodies, our “sinful flesh,” and only after we then, “go to” heaven. The Christian definition of God is one who tortures all sinners in agonizing hellfire forever and ever. BOTH of those beliefs stand behind the question, so offensive to God and so spitting upon Jesus, “What about my sin?”
And thus both heaven and hell must be shattered before the many will receive Jesus as their only life.
I had earlier thought to go further into those things along with the exaltation of a pretend Israel, the idea that a political entity, a human beast, has replaced Jesus as the Salvation of the Jews, and the worship of the world, it's flags and its militaries that so fills the church, at least in America. These things God intends to bring to their fulness in the human experience, that all might see the great contrast between all this nonsense and the reality of Christ, a Man, the express image of an invisible God. However, those things have faded in my sight over the last year or so and are now simply a given part of the purposing of God and incidental to the real issue at hand.
The real issue in all the universe is the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement in the life of the Church.
What is Salvation? I'll answer out from my response to a sister's questions concerning things she had read.
– I want to be like Jesus, but I can't do this "super-Christ" stuff. Jesus was not a super-Christ; He was just a man filled with God. That's why they killed Him; He was not "Christ-like" enough for them.
I am a man filled with God.
God, 100%, all of God, in Person, inside of me, 100% man, all of me, just me, yet Christ (He who humbled Himself) as me, this Person, God, merged together in every conceivable way with me, my person, in a symbiotic relationship where He is God and I am man. Yet we are one. By looking out of "my" eyes, I am looking out of His; by looking out of His eyes, I am looking out of mine. We are utterly together in sweet communion. I don't need any super-Christ manifestations in order to know God, which is eternal life.
It all boils down to the integrity of what God says. If God says that Christ is in my mouth by the word of faith which I speak, then I know that it is true. I don't wait until some holy vibes prove that Christ is now, finally, in my mouth, flashes of lightning, power emanating out so that everyone knows I'm special. No, it is because God says, and I am content to be a man, just the way God made me.
I am not and never will be content, however, NOT to be filled with God.
This way of thinking (dying to the flesh, seeking the will of God) always pushes God far away, and without God in Person, the goal, then is for us to obtain God's "nature," that is to be like God ourselves. I don't want to be like God, I want to be like Jesus, an ordinary man filled full with God.
I became very angry recently as I saw the horror of this kind of teaching that kept me separated from this God whom I know and love who always fills me full regardless of what I "feel" like or look like outwardly. That false separation that I lived in because of this theology was an endless torture chamber for me – years of agony ending in utter hopelessness. Some people can be powerful Christians with God "far away" and "someday";
I never could.
You see, many are so close, just on the other side of the veil; they speak of many things pertaining to living in the Holiest. But whether they will actually enter in when they see there is no veil, no flesh separating them from God, but that Blood is everything, and all they have to do is just be who they are and God fills them, when they see that, whether they will turn around and sit down upon the Mercy Seat or reject God manifest in human flesh remains to be seen.
You see, many long for Christ and many lust after "Christness" and the distinction cannot be known until a people lay down their lives as the second witness of Christ in the earth. That's not being a super-Christ, that's just being you and me, filled with God.
God doesn't share His nature with anyone, that's not the deal. The deal is God Himself being God, filling us full in our knowledge and living and walking in a full symbiotic relationship with us, Person inside of person.
I just love this answer of God, it's all I've ever longed for, to be just me, nothing less and nothing more, and to be filled full with all of this wonderful and glorious Person whom I love.
There is no question that we will see mighty things. But we will simply be watching, quietly as humans, just as Jesus did, as God does what God is. –
What about sin? The New Covenant is the binding oath of God. If we can't believe God on this, how can we imagine that we believe Him on anything?
Their sins and their iniquities I remember no more.
Let me position our sin with a word picture.
Blood – Savior – Blood – Be silent! –Blood – Savior – Blood
Jesus – I drink Your cup – became sin – empty tomb – Eh? What's that? – the Father
Blood – Savior – Blood – Speak Christ your only life! –Blood – Savior – Blood
Now, let me ask a simple question.
Is the Christian life all about invading that mighty fortress all the way into the center of an empty tomb so that you can extract your sin, purchased from you by Blood, so that you can go around claiming that the sin belongs to you and that it keeps you from being right now filled with all the fullness of God in Person and all that you are the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person?
Is that the Christian life or is that the epitome and full measure of evil?
The boldness of faith seated upon the Mercy Seat or the cringing whining of unbelief hanging around just outside of a veil that has not been there for two thousand years, “What about my sin? What about my brother's sin? – The Day of Atonement.
Let me share my experience. The more I see and think and tell myself that I am filled with God in Person who lives all through every part of me in a symbiotic relationship of Person inside of person, the more both sin and not-sin disappears into a blank fog of meaninglessness. Living for thirty years inside the wilderness of rebellion crying, “There are two lives in me, oh dear, oh dear, there are two lives in me,” never changed me once, not one little bit.
Living now in love with a God who fills me with all of Himself and living without consciousness of sin has brought into my experience the “things of God” that I could never find before. But although this God who fills me full possesses many things, I am a man. Oh, how wonderful it is to be just a man, a man filled with God.
How wonderful it is to be just like Jesus.
But here's the deal. The Promised Land, the Feast of Tabernacles, is not Christ living as us, but rather Christ revealed through His many-membered Body. Christ is a corporate man. Thus the real issue is not what about my sin. The real issue is what about my brother's sin.
Adam chose sin/not-sin because of the face of Eve. Now the situation is reversed. The Day of Atonement is far more than removing “my” sin from my consciousness. The great walls of Jericho going down represent to us the removal of all sin regarding all my brethren out from my consciousness. No consciousness of sin.
One final picture of trumpets from which I have shared several times before, Gideon and his 300. Let me give the climax of the story here, from Judges 7. The “army” in the “camp” is more than 100,000 Midianites.
Gideon and his 300 each have a torch in one hand, hidden by an earthen vessel, and a trumpet in the other. They possess no weapons; they will not be fighting. The year is 1202 BC; the month is not indicated.
So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him (300 in three companies) came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled . . .
Gideon and those with him (representing the first fruits) have no weapons and do not intend to fight. First they break their earthen vessels, then they hold up the light in one hand, while blowing the trumpets with the other. Then they shout at the top of their lungs, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”
That's it. Everything helps happens because it does, without any further involvement of the firstfruits. All Israel comes out and defeats the enemy, everyone who had hesitated before, everyone who had cried over sin, everyone who had preferred power and display over Christ living as them.
The firstfruits opens the door. The firstfruits shows everyone what is already true for all.
The letter on the Day of Atonement comes next. I have built up suspense so that I think now, “Oh dear, what if I don't deliver?” Then I stated that the letters following the Day of Atonement are about the things that fill my mind and heart, seeming to get myself off my own hook.
The Day of Atonement, in itself, is not a big deal. It just brings to an end what has already been brought to an end. That which proceeds forth from the Day of Atonement is the big deal, living in all ways, in every moment, in every direction, in the mind and heart of Christ, in the thinking of Jesus, in the faith of the Son of God.