GOD WITH US
(Examining the Nature and Blessings of the Presence of God)
By Ward Fenley

CHAPTER 2
(Fulfillment of the Presence of God in the New Testament)

From Zechariah we turn to the N.T. that, with abundance, overwhelmingly supports the fulfillment of each of the O.T. passages discussed. Of course, there is the text that has been the foundation of this book:

Matthew 1:21-23 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. With simplicity the angel exclaims the result of the birth of MessiahóGod with us. This is precisely what every passage we have already studied has been implying. Christís appearance was not a partial and separate manifestation of God: His appearance was the very glory of God revealed to His peopleóa New Covenant blessing that was not to be accomplished until Messiah came: John 1:4-18 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John the apostle explains that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the light promised by the prophets (vv.4,5,7-9 cf. Job 12:22; 33:28-30; Psalm4:6; 18:28; 36:9:43:3; 89:15; 112:4; 118:27; Proverbs 4:18; 16:15; Isaiah 2:5; 9:2; 10:17; 30:26; 42:6,16; 49:6; 51:4; 60; Micah 7:8,9; Zechariah 14:6,7; Matthew 4:16; Luke 2:32; John 3:19-21; 8:12; 9:5; 12:36,46; Acts 13:47; 26:23; 2 Corinthians 2:4-6; Ephesians 5:8,13,14; Colossians 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 1:5-7; 2:8-11; Revelation 7:16; 21:11,23,24; 22:5). Luke uses more general terms to describe this: Luke 1:68-79 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. This Light came when Jesus came into the world. John associates this light with believers in Christ becoming the sons of God (John 1:12). Obviously sons have to be bornóborn again. Being born again is synonymous with becoming a child of God. Hosea predicted that this would not take place until the New Covenant kingdom: Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Paul confirms this in the epistle to the Romans: Romans 9:24-26 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Being a child or a son of God is inseparably related to beholding the glory and light of Christ: John 1:12-14 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John maintains that the beholding of glory and the manifestation of grace and truth was not present under the O.T. economy: John 1:16-17 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:1-2 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

This, of course, explains salvation in the book of Ephesians: Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: The significance of the passage pertaining to God dwelling among His people is seen in the eighteenth verse of John chapter one: John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. Under the Old Covenant no man had seen God at any time. Some professing Christians maintain that no man still has ever seen God. This would mean that we are still under the curse of the Old Covenant ministration of death. One of the blessings of the New Covenant is dwelling in the light of Messiah, i.e. dwelling with Messiah, God with us. If God is not with us then Matthew 1:23 has no meaning to us: Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. There was no postponement of this promise because of a supposed failure on the part of Jesus Christ, as many dispensationalists affirm. In fact, there is not even going to be a second separated phase two thousand years far-removed from this event. Those who are Christians are dwelling with God and have seen Him. This may seem absurd to those whose hope is in earthy, physical things. However, to those who have the mind of Christ, i.e. spiritual men (1 Corinthians 2:9,10), this is one of the great blessings of the New Covenant fulfilled in Jesus Christ. John explains the fact that we have beheld His glory (John 1:14). Some would argue that John was speaking of the Son and not God. This is simply a denial of the deity of Jesus Christ. They have forgotten the well-known cross-reference: John 1:1,14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. "We," John says, "beheld His glory." Is Christ our Light? If so, then we are beholding His glory. If not, then we are not under grace and truth but still under the law. In fact, John said in reference to the ministration of death, "the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining (1 John 2:8)". It is to be assumed that for God to dwell with us is for us to "see" God. John said (referring to those under the Old Covenant), "No man hath seen God at any time." If we stop there then we have radically distorted the context of the first chapter of John. John added an enormously important statement after He said this: "the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." The word declared is defined by Strongís concordance as 1834. exegeomai, ex-ayg-eh'-om-ahee; from G1537 and G2233; to consider out (aloud), i.e. rehearse, unfold.--declare, tell. Jesus is the manifestation or the unfolding of God to His people, thus we have seen God. Though there are several Greek words used for "seen" or "see," John chose to use the word horakane. This word is defined by Strongís as 3708. horao, hor-ah'-o; prop. to stare at [comp. G3700], i.e. (by impl.) to discern clearly (phys. or ment.); by extens. to attend to; by Hebr. to experience; pass. to appear:--behold. The Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament by Abbot-Smith (1986) notes at least 5 ways horao is used: 1) of bodily vision; 2) to see with the mind; 3) to take heed or beware; 4) to experience; 5) to visit. John in his Gospel and in his epistles very frequently uses the word in reference to mental perception or seeing with the mind. One might argue that, yes, in Christ, we have seen Christ, but certainly we have not seen the Father. This sentiment is dispelled by Jesus Himself in the fourteenth chapter upon Philipís inquiry regarding the Father: John 14:6-9 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Every time Jesus used the word seen in this passage it is the Greek word horakane, from horao. This is very important when considering Johnís statement that until the time of Messiah no man had seen (horakane) God. Yet Johnís added statement that the only begotten Son had declared God agrees perfectly with the statement of Jesus that if His people see Him, they have seen the Father. The objection might be raised that in the epistle of first John, John states the same idea that no man has seen God: 1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. He reiterates this point in vs.20: 1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? One might conclude upon a careless glance of these two passages that God was remaining unseen even in the New Covenant. Aside from the blatant contradictions this would impose upon the Scriptures we have examined, this assumption deforms the theme John is conveying. The context of this passage and a comparison with the fourteenth chapter of John will clearly show that the statement that no man has seen God at any time refers to those who do not love God nor His children. Here is the context: 1 John 4:7-21 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. Under the bond of the New Covenant, love for God and His people is the explicit proof that a person is born of God (vs.7). It also proves that a person knows God. John recorded the words of Jesus speaking about the same topic as He prayed to the Father: John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Once a person is in Christ, to know God is to love God. This is why Jesus spoke so forcefully regarding the necessity of love among those professing to believe in Him. In his first epistle, John teaches that the person who does not love does not know God. Verses 11,12 are very interesting to say the least: 1 John 4:11-12 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. It always perplexed me when I merely glanced at this passage. I wondered why John interjected what seemed to be unrelated material in saying that no man hath seen God at any time. The context before and after speak of the love of God and the love of His people. Why the sudden interjection regarding the seeing of God? If we remember Johnís words in the first chapter of his Gospel it becomes apparent: John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. God is seen as Jesus Christ. This revelation of Jesus Christ is proven when we love one another. This was not the case under the law of Moses: John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. This is exactly why John recorded the very next verse: John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. The two verses are basically proverbs explaining the same principles: the law given by Moses is synonymous with no man having ever seen God, even those who loved God and His people. Grace and truth that came by Jesus Christ are synonymous with the only begotten son in the bosom of the Father declaring God, i.e. the Father who is seen as we see Jesus. This, explains John in his epistle, is proven by our love for one another as believers in Jesus Christ. But in the first epistle John does not stop there. He associates one other element of the New Covenant kingdom directly related to our love for God and His people and our knowing God, and that is our dwelling with God, which is the subject at hand: 1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
1 John 4:15-16 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
The man who does not love his brother cannot love God. There must first be love for God before there can be love for our brother. There seems to be what one might call a tagma agape or an order of love. That is, God loved His people and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the sacrifice that satisfies the wrath of God) for their sins. It is because of this that we love Him. Hence, "We love Him because He first loved us." The inevitable result of Godís love for His people is that they will certainly love Him and His people. Therefore he that is born of God (a child of God) loves God and his brother, showing that God dwells in him and God is seen by Him. The man who does not love His brother has first never loved God and therefore has never seen God. 1 John 3:4-6 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. The implication is clear: just as the one who sins (proven by self-righteousness and hatred for the brethren) has never seen God, the one who loves and truly is trusting in the righteousness of Christ has seen God. In other words, under the bond of the New Covenant revelation and giving of the Spirit (vs.13 cf. 1 Corinthians 2:9-14; Ephesians 3:5,6), seeing God (looking upon things eternal cf. 2 Corinthians 4:18), and dwelling with God is proven by our love for the body of Christ. Christ seemed to make reference to this idea in the Olivet Discourse: Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. The relation to the theme of God dwelling with His people is clear. The prophets predicted that God would dwell among His people. Matthew recorded the angelís words to Joseph that Jesus Christ was Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. John says nothing different: 1 John 4:12-16 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. While Johnís theme is still fresh in our minds, we must analyze the subject of God dwelling among or in His people in the Gospel of John chapter fourteen. This is another passage that has been twisted and broken apart to suit eschatological schemes. Just as Matthew 24 is the key to understanding the timing of prophetic revelation, John 14 seems to be the key to understanding the nature of prophetic resurrection. Some futurists would argue that Matthew 24 refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, yet they maintain that the general resurrection of the dead could not have taken place then because we are still in our physically mortal bodies. John 14, however, explains that the resurrection cannot be separated from God dwelling with His people. We must remember that the outward visible sign of the destruction of the Old Covenant Temple was Godís sure testimony that the inward invisible New Covenant Temple had been consummated; i.e., as long as the Old Covenant Temple was still standing, the ministration of death had not completely passed away (2 Corinthians 3:11; Hebrews 8:13; 12:27). Thus, the ministration of life and righteousness had not yet been completed. Though we will not in detail delve into the nature of the resurrection, by a thorough analysis of the passage, the nature of the resurrection will become apparent as the subject of God dwelling with His people is considered. We have observed part of the chapter in reference to seeing God, now we will examine the passage within its context which actually begins in chapter thirteen: John 13:31-38 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. 37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. 38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice. 14:1-28 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. The ultimate goal of Jesus to be glorified is clearly seen toward the end of chapter thirteen. The glory which Jesus had with the Father before the foundation of the world (John 17:1-5) was about to be regained. However, in order for Jesus to attain this glory He must leave His disciples in a little while, for a little while (John 13:33; 14:19 cf. Hebrews 10:36,37). This would naturally leave the disciples in a frantic state after having physically been with the Lord for over three years. The ensuing discussion between Jesus and Peter, Thomas, Philip, and Judas (not Iscariot) takes place. Jesus reminds the disciples of what He had spoken to the Jews regarding them not being able to follow Him; a subject upon which Jesus seemed to place peculiar emphasis: John 7:34-36 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come 35 Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? 36 What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?
John 8:14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
John 8:21-22 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
John 12:35-36 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. 36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
If the hateful Jews were perplexed by these statements of Jesus, imagine the minds of His disciples. Jesus said: John 13:33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. When the rest of the context is seen it is obvious that Jesus was directing their attention to the key characteristic which proved a person to be in the kingdom of God, and that is love for Jesus Christ and His people: John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Peter, still troubled by the woeful statement of Jesus that His disciples would not be able to follow Him, was the first to question Christ: John 13:36a Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus sovereignly directed Peterís question to create a discourse that would lead the disciples to a greater understanding of Godís presence and love: John 13:36b ...Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Most scholars would agree that the place to which Jesus was going was heaven. Some have argued (from Peterís response) that Jesus is referring here to death. However, as we will see, this does not harmonize with the rest of the theme of John 14. Peter was not satisfied with Christís timing as to when Peter would be able to follow him: John 13:37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. It is possible that Peter interpreted the words of Christ as referring to death. The thrust of Christís consequent response to Peterís question was not to ask Peter to merely follow Him to death. Rather, Christ was reiterating a truth that was very prevalent in His teachings; and that is, that one must be willing to take up His cross if he is to be a follower of Christ: Matthew 10:32-39 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Matthew 16:24-28 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Mark 10:17-31 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. 28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. 29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. 31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

Notice how in each of these passages Christ associates the finding of eternal life with following Him. In each passage the kingdom of God is either directly or indirectly mentioned. In order to attain the age to come (which refers to the New Covenant age in comparison to the Old Covenant age - cf. Matthew 12:32; 1 Corinthians 10:11, Hebrews 9:26), one must be willing to lose everything in order to be with Christ. This was especially manifested in the lives of the apostles: Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

2 Corinthians 4:10-11 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

It is clear from these passages that the following to which Christ was referring (i.e. following Christ in forsaking all) would lead to following Him to the place where He was going; i.e. going to heaven to be with His Father. To say that He was referring to death is to join in the Phariseesí misunderstanding of His words: John 8:21-23 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. 23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. Peter assumed this: John 13:37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus lovingly questioned Peterís fleshly desire and informed Him that Peter would not even be willing to follow Him in death: John 13:38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice. Jesus then continues His own exegesis of eternal life dwelling with Him and His Father. He first admonishes His disciples to not be troubled. If He were referring to the following of Him in mere physical death in the verses above, this admonition would be entirely pointless. Essentially, if He were referring to physical death, He would be saying, "Follow Me in life and then die with Me. Let not your heart be troubled." The disciples would have great reason to be troubled if Christ was referring to following Him in mere physical death. Christís words obviously disturbed the disciples: John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. Here Jesus announces the proof of true faith in Godófaith in Jesus Christóthe foundation of everlasting life (Habakkuk 2:4; John 3:16). The manifestation of true and saving faith in God is faith in Jesus Christ. Christ makes this clear in His reproof of the Pharisees: John 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. Paul taught this as well: 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. If they were truly trusting God they would have trusted Christ, for He is God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 4:2,3; 2 John 1:7) and is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3).

We now come to one of the chief texts that many use to support a physical heaven:

John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. It is imperative that we remember the context continuing from chapter thirteen. Jesus explained that He was about to leave: John 13:33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. He told Peter that he would follow Him later: John 13:36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. He now explains in more detail the place where He is going-His Fatherís house. He also explains why He is leaving. He is going to prepare a place. He then makes the promise that if He goes to prepare a place, He will certainly come again to receive them so that they could be with Him. The desire of Jesus Christ was to be with His people. This is an essential part of Christís High Priestly prayer: John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. Jesus longed for His people to be present with Him so they would behold His glory. Jesus told Peter that Peter would follow Him later. Previously in the Gospel of John, Jesus spoke the same thing in reference to those who are under the bond of the completed New Covenant: John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Jesus explains that He would be present with those who followed Him. Was this true only of the Apostles? Most professing Christians would agree that Christ is with us wherever we are: Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. What is interesting is the fact that John 12:26 has a greater context related to the passages we examined dealing with the cross-bearing of believers: John 12:23-28 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. 27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. 28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. Notice also how Jesus associates His glory with the father and His presence with His people. He linked the same two elements in John 17: John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
John 17:10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
John 17:22-24 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
As we have already seen, the O.T. is filled with passages expressing Godís desire to dwell with His people. Here are just that were previously cited: Psalms 132:13-14 For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. 14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

Song of Songs 7:10 I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.

Ezekiel 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

A question that might be asked is: Did Christ come to dwell among His people as God with us only to be disappointed and disappoint us, forcing us to wait thousands of years for the fulfillment? Also, is Christ still waiting for part of His High Priestly prayer to be answered concerning His be people beholding His glory? Just as Jesus said He would be with the disciples a little while longer, He also said that He would return in a little while. There was much confusion among the disciples concerning this little while: John 16:16-19 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. 17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? 18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith. 19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? Frequently the disciples forgot the words of Jesus concerning things of which He spoke. Jesus spoke concerning this little while in John 13: John 13:33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. In John 14, by explaining the place where He was going, Jesus answered the apostlesí question regarding the little while of John 16. After telling the disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them in His Fatherís house, and that He would come again to receive them to Himself so they could be with Him, Jesus says: John 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Jesus seems certain that the disciples knew the place where He was going and the way to get there. We must therefore conclude that either this information was mentioned in the O.T., or Jesus was speaking of Himself. Thomas, still clouded by fleshly thinking, asks the question: John 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Who is correct, Thomas or Jesus? Jesus said the disciples knew where Christ was going. Thomas said that they did not know where Christ was going. Jesus said that they knew the way to get there. Thomas implied that they did not know the way. Obviously Jesus was correct. However, the question we must ask is, what is the where, and what is the way? In order to answer the where, we must examine vv.4,5 with the verses immediately preceding: John 14:2-5 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? The where to which Jesus and Thomas were referring has many mansions (vs.2), will be prepared (vv.2,3), and will be the place where Jesus receives His people and resides with them (vs.3). Before we examine the Way, an extremely important factor must be realized which, in most commentaries, is completely disregarded. Jesus first said that He would go to prepare a place. He then said He would come to receive His people to Himself. No where does He speak about going again after He comes to His people. A prominent eschatological error (to which the author used to adhere) is the pre-tribulation rapture theory. This theory teaches that Christ came as Messiah, resorted to plan B (since Israel would not have Him as king), had to go back to heaven where He will wait until He receives (raptures) His people, who compose a parenthetical (temporary-Gentile) church; then, seven years later (after physical Israel opts to have Him as King) Jesus comes to the physical earth for exactly one thousand years, after which He then goes again and takes His people with Him. As Christ speaks with His disciples, however, He seems to have something different in mind. He taught the disciples that He would, very simply, go and come. This is in accord with all the passages which teach that God would set His tabernacle among men, the most well-known of which is found in the book of Revelation: Revelation 21:2-11 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. 9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; Here in Revelation we see the New Jerusalem (the church vv.9,10) coming down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband, which explains what Jesus said in John 14:2,3: John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. It is the bride whom Jesus was to prepare for her eternal residence. This preparation was the transforming work of the Holy Spirit building the New Covenant Temple of God (2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 3:3; Ephesians 2:15,22; 4:13,24; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 3:10; 1 Peter 2:5). This bride is seen again as descending out of heaven from God (vs.10). This explains vs.3: Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. The tabernacle of God is with men. God will dwell with them. This coincides with the answer Jesus gave to the Pharisees regarding their question concerning the coming of the kingdom of God: Luke 17:20-21 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Clearly, Jesus taught the invisibility of His coming (2 Corinthians 4:18; 1 Timothy 1:17), and that the kingdom of God would be within them, or, as Paul says, the glory that was about to be revealed in them (Romans 8:18).

At this point, another question should be raised: why would the Pharisees ask when the kingdom of God would come? Why did they not ask when they would go to the kingdom of God? Remember, Jesus said, "I will come again and receive you to myself," not "I will come again receive you to Myself, and then we will all go." It is to be noted that frequently the Pharisees were wrong in their understanding of Scripture. But how were they wrong? Usually their misinterpretation of Scripture had to do with nature rather than timing. This seems to be the chief problem that the Pharisees and the Sadducees had. As we shall see, this comes from not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God. An example of this is the Sadduceesí inquiry into the resurrection. Even though they denied the resurrection, they assumed that the Phariseesí interpretation of the resurrection as a physical resurrection was the correct interpretation. They inquired of Jesus regarding the physicality of marriage in the kingdom of God. Jesus told them that in the kingdom of God there was neither male nor female, for in the kingdom all live unto God. Here was a religious sect which was misinformed regarding the word and power of God. Even Martha expected a physical resurrection of Lazarus at the last day. Yet Jesus responded, "I am the resurrection and the life." Like many throughout church history, and especially in the twentieth century, the Pharisees were expecting a Messiah whose kingdom would be physical and earthly. They expected Messiah to come and conquer the dreaded fourth beast of Daniel, the Roman Empire. Why not? It seems clear that Messiah would perform this:

Daniel 2:39-45 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

Daniel 7:7-27 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. 9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

It is clear that during the time of the Roman Empire, Messiah was to set up His kingdom. The question is: did Christ fail? Did He have to resort to plan B; a plan for which we must still wait? There are some who say (as this author once said) that there will be a revived Roman Empire. Where in the passages from Daniel is this mentioned? One must search in vain to find it not only in Daniel but in the whole Bible as well. It is only when considering the words of Jesus Christ that we realize He was speaking of an unseen kingdom not of this world: John 18:33-37 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Beyond any reasonable doubt Jesus clarifies the geography of His kingdomónot of this world. Yet the Pharisees, with their fleshly works-salvation outlook, assumed (as do most futurists) that this kingdom to which Daniel referred was a fleshly kingdom to be established on planet earth. They were very aware of the promises of God to set up His kingdom. It is likely that the passages they remembered had to do with God setting up His tabernacle among men: Isaiah 33:20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.

Ezekiel 37:27-28 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

Once again, these passages speak of Godís tabernacle being among men, coming to men. It was prophesied that Messiah would come to men: Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. This gathering of the people unto Him would be when Shiloh came, which seems directly related to the prophecy given to Caiaphas: John 11:51-52 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. When these passages are taken into consideration, Christís words to the disciples become rich with prophetic realization: John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. The words of Jesus here are directly connected to His words to the Pharisees: Luke 17:20-21 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. "The kingdom of God is within you" is referring to none other than Christ coming and receiving His people to Himself. As we mentioned before, the Pharisees were frequently in error concerning the Scriptures. However, we have observed some of the Scriptures from which they derived their information. Regarding Christís coming they were correct. Jesus did not correct them regarding their interpretation of the coming of the kingdom. Instead, He corrected them concerning the nature of the kingdom. Christ knew that their interpretation of the kingdom was a physical and earthly interpretation (Philippians 3:19). Christ did not say, "The kingdom of God cometh not." He said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation," or as Strongís Concordance defines, 3907. parateresis, par-at-ay'-ray-sis; from G3906; inspection, i.e. ocular evidence:--observation. In other words, the kingdom of God does not come with ocular evidence. The timing of the "coming" of the kingdom is evident in the Gospel of Mark: Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. 9: 1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. The kingdom coming with power refers to the presence of Christ, or the Parousia, the presence from which Godís enemies would be cast away: 2 Thessalonians 1:4-11 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: Christ coming to dwell with His people was the "fullness of the blessing of the Gospel" (Romans 15:29), a blessing which, as we will see, would not be given to those who did not love the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus spoke of the place where He was going (His Fatherís house), and He spoke of the Way by which one could reach this house (Himself):

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. This passage is frequently quoted outside of its original context. It is generally agreed that this verse is referring to salvation in Jesus Christ. That is, when one believes on the Lord Jesus Christ (the Way) they have come to the Father. We must contend for the truth that coming to the Father is one and the same with coming to the Fatherís house, a place which Jesus went to prepare (vv.2,3). This house is the place where Jesus is (vs.3); a place which all believers are: Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Once this is understood, then it becomes obvious that where Jesus is there also are His people: John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Again, Jesus uses this same language in His High Priestly prayer for those who follow Him under the bond of the New Covenant: John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
In light of these passages, we must conclude that if we have come to the Father (the Fatherís house, where there are many mansions) through Jesus (the Way to the Fatherís house), then we have come to the place where Jesus was going. Therefore, we are with Him where He is. This is one of the chief objectives for which Christ died; the objective of bringing His people to the Father who dwells in the Holiest of holies: 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Hebrews 10:18-22 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

The significance of Christís phrase, "I will come again" (John 14:3), is understood when His office of High Priest is considered. Under the Old Covenant, once the high priest had finished making atonement in the Temple, the congregation was outside the Temple eagerly awaiting his presence with them: Leviticus 16:17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. No man could enter the tabernacle until the high priest came out of the Temple. The coming again of Christ is the substance of the shadow of the Old Covenant high priest coming out of the Temple, which is precisely what Hebrews 9:28 is implying: Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. If, as the futurist affirms, we are saved and our sins are completely removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), then why are the terms, "without sin" and "salvation" mentioned within this verse? Unless one is familiar with Old Covenant types, the significant meaning of this verse remains concealed. Christís coming again does not refer to a separated, distant future salvation and removal of sin; rather, it refers to Christís High Priestly ministry to fulfill the day of salvation, which was consummated with His Parousia or presence. This presence refers to the complete communion with God at the mercy seat. There is a clear type of this in the O.T.: Exodus 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Exodus 30:6 And thou shalt put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.

At this point a brief description of the mercy seat is necessary for a broader understanding of the presence of God. In Exodus 25:17-22, God gave the instruction regarding the construction of the mercy seat. God ordained Bezaleel to construct the mercy seat. It is fascinating to note that Bezaleelís name means in the shadow (i.e. protection of God). For surely he needed this protection as he would construct the mercy seat; an object to be approached only by the high priest. God described Bezaleelís ordination in Exodus 31: Exodus 31:1-5 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: 3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. In Exodus 37 Bezaleel constructs the mercy seat: Exodus 37:6-9 And he made the mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half was the length thereof, and one cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 7 And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat; 8 One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 9 And the cherubims spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubims. Notice the positioning of the angels in regard to the mercy seat. They were placed on either side looking toward the mercy seat facing each other. In Exodus 25:22; 30:6 we observed that God would commune at the mercy seat. The mercy seat is said to have been on top of the testimony which contained the law. Romans speaks very clearly regarding the purpose of the law: Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
It is very evident that a mercy seat was needed in order to approach the almighty God whose law worked wrath against His people. Through the mercy seat, however, God would commune with Moses in the worldly Holiest of holies. Tragically, the devastating reality was, that as long as the first temple was still standing, the people of God could not enter the Holiest. Hebrews explains this in more detail: Hebrews 9:1-8 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tent was constructed, the first one, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the bread of the Presence; this is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a tent called the Holy of Holies. 4 In it stood the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which there were a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot speak now in detail. 6 Such preparations having been made, the priests go continually into the first tent to carry out their ritual duties; 7 but only the high priest goes into the second, and he but once a year, and not without taking the blood that he offers for himself and for the sins committed unintentionally by the people. 8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent is still standing. (NRSV) The positioning of the angels was toward the mercy seat signifying their awaiting the presence of God. The well-known vision of Isaiah sheds much light on the subject: Isaiah 6:1-7 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. There are several things to be noted as we consider the coming again of Christ: first, the angels were present in the Temple and crying to one another, "Holy, holy, holy." They obviously were in the heavenly Holiest of holies, for it is clear from the Scriptures that God does not dwell in temples made with hands: Acts 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Second, Godís glory is present in this Temple and filling the whole earth, which represents Gentiles coming to faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 15:8-12). Third, a picture of Christís cleansing is seen as the angel took the coals from the fire and purged the sin of Isaiah. The representation is unmistakable: the coals represent the sacrifice of Christ upon the altar of the cross. The earth being filled with the glory of the Lord signifies Godís tabernacle dwelling among men, as we have already seen (Isaiah 33.20; Ezekiel 37:26-28). This was the New Covenant glory that would never fade (2 Corinthians 3:8-11); a glory into which the first-century believers were being transformed (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The mercy seat of Exodus 37 is a manifest type of Jesus Christ. Romans is explicitly clear concerning this ministry of the heavenly High Priest:

Romans 3:23-26 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. The word "propitiation" is defined as a mercy seat. That is, Christ is the mercy seat by which (or Whom) we approach, and commune with, God; hence, the words of Jesus: John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Enjoying the full presence of God was a blessing unattainable under the curse of the Old Covenant. Hebrews is explicitly clear concerning this: Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. It was only after the abolition of the first tabernacle that the full presence of God would be experienced by His people, which is exactly what Hebrews 9 is implying, especially vs.8: Hebrews 9:8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent is still standing. Revelation speaks of the heavenly temple not being opened until Godís wrath was accomplished upon His enemies, the Jews. This wrath was consummated with the destruction of the earthly Temple: Revelation 11:18-19 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. It is important to see the relationship between the reward of the servants, prophets, and saints, and the judging of the dead with the opening of the temple (Daniel 7:7-14; Revelation 20:11-15). Later in Revelation, John makes reference to the same event: Revelation 15:2-8 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. 5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. 7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. Here we see the relationship between the opening of the Temple with the victory over the beast (vs.2), all nations coming and worshiping before God (vs.4), Godís judgments made manifest (vs.4), the vials with plagues of the wrath of God to be poured out upon Israel (vv.6,7), and the Temple filled with the glory of God (vs.8 cf. Isaiah 6:1-7).

Christís coming again or second appearing (which involved the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:1-3,34) is elucidated by the rest of the passage immediately preceding Hebrews 9:28:

Hebrews 9:8-28 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent is still standing. 9 This is a symbol of the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various baptisms, regulations for the body imposed until the time comes to set things right. 11 But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), 12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God! 15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. 16 Where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Hence not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying, "This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you." 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. 23 Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (NRSV) In vs.9, it is evident that the conscience needed purging. Under the Old Covenant this could not have taken place, because, under that inferior Covenant (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6; 12:24), everlasting life was impossible: Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. By the law was the knowledge of sin. Therefore, under the Old Covenant there was never any purging of the conscience. In fact, the opposite was true. The purpose of the day of Atonement under the Old Covenant was not to take away sin. Rather, its purpose was to remind the sinner that his conscience had not been purged, showing him that he was still in need of salvation and under the curse of the law of sin and death: Hebrews 10:1-3 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. A remembrance of what? Of sins. Through Christís sacrifice the conscience was purged forever: Hebrews 9:13-14 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? This purging of the conscience was entirely unknown to those under the Old Covenant, which is why the Psalmist exclaimed: Psalms 14:7 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. They had not yet obtained the salvation that came with Jesus Christ. Peter even admonished his readers regarding this salvation by grace: 1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:9-13 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

In examining Hebrews 9 it is apparent that this salvation which was to be fully consummated at the revelation of Jesus Christ is inseparable from dwelling in the Holiest of holies in the presence of God. The Old Covenant believers were waiting for the time of reformation, i.e. the time when Messiah would bring in everlasting life and righteousness: Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. The writer of Hebrews then continues to show the contrast between New Covenant heavenly things and Old Covenant carnal things: Hebrews 9:10-11 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; The Greek phrase ton mellonton agathon is used to show the imminence of the fullness of the New Covenant kingdom. By using the word mellonton translated as it should be (about to), the passage reads: Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things about to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; What good things were about to come? Hebrews 8 clarifies that the good things about to come were the promises of the consummated New Covenant: Hebrews 8:10-13 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. During the apostolic era the Old Covenant and its curse upon the people of God was in the process of decaying and waxing old. The end was so imminent that the writer of Hebrews could declare with certainty that it (the Old Covenant) was ready to vanish away. Hebrews 9 simply explains the details of the contrasts between the two covenants as does the rest of the book.

Hebrews 9:11 says that Christ is the High Priest by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle. This tabernacle is none other than that mentioned in Ezekiel and Revelation:

Ezekiel 37:26-28 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

The Old Covenant produced no eternal redemption, i.e. forgiveness, for the people of God. However, the New Covenant in the blood of Christ obtained eternal redemption once for all: Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. A similar statement is made in chapter ten: Hebrews 10:9-10 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Through purging the consciences of His people, proclaims the writer of Hebrews, Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant: Hebrews 9:14-15 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. The phrase, "Mediator of the New Testament" should bring to our remembrance what we have already studied regarding Jesus as the Way to the Father: John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Simply stated, there was enmity between God and His people, and the Old Covenant sacrifices could not abolish that enmity. However, Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant, could: Ephesians 2:13-16 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: Ephesians does not stop there. Paul continues the very theme we are examining: through Christ we have direct access to the Father: Ephesians 2:17-22 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. All the elements are there: sacrifice, access to the Father, the household of God, the holy Temple, and God dwelling with us. This makes the phrase, "Mediator of the New Covenant" so much more significant. As we have seen, this mediation to bring peace between God the Father and His people was accomplished through the blood of Christ; the new and living Way that brought His people into the Holiest of holies (Hebrews 10:19,20). Verse 14 continues to explain why this was done: Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. The promise of eternal inheritance was that to which Christ so frequently alluded, i.e. eternal life: John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
These promises of Christ were speaking of nothing less than Himself: John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: These same promises of the inheritance or the reward are throughout the Old and New Testaments: Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Psalms 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

Isaiah 28:5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
Isaiah 62:3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The reward, the crown of glory, the promise, and the inheritance are all contained in the Name above all names, Jesus Christ. The promise of eternal inheritance would be Christ in His people. The hope of glory was just that for the first-century saintsóa hope. This explains Paulís words to Titus: Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; The first-century believers were hoping for His presence, i.e. the unseen kingdom of God that would not come with observation: Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: They were waiting for the fullness of God to dwell in them. This may sound foreign if one is not familiar with N.T. language regarding the necessary transforming work of the Holy Spirit before Christ and the Father would dwell in believers.

Verses 16,17 of Hebrews 9 explain the necessity of the death of the Testator in order for the inheritance to become effectual:

Hebrews 9:16-17 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Even in the twentieth century we understand this type of language. If a father wills his estate to his son, in essence the promise is, when he (the father) dies then the benefits of the estate become the sonís, but only after he dies. Hebrews exclaims the same principle. The word testament simply means a contract (espec. a devisory will):--covenant, testament (Strongís). Testator is from the same root word. Literally, Jesus is the will-writer and the contractor who promised to give the inheritance (Himself) to His people after He died. The outpouring of the Spirit was essential in accomplishing the application of the inheritance. Both Jesus and Paul make clear references to this: John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14:18-20 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

The purpose of the indwelling Spirit was to guarantee that the inheritance (Christ) would be given to all believers (Galatians 4:19). It would be at this point that the fulfillment of 2 Corinthians 1:20 would be accomplished: 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Hebrews makes very clear the status of O.T. believers before the death of Christ: Hebrews 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. As long as Christ was living, the N.T. was of no strength at all. Therefore, O.T. believers could not have passed into heaven before Christ died. To affirm this would be to deny the necessity of the death of Christ for forgiveness of sins and entrance into heaven: Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
We must conclude, therefore, that it would be a grave error to affirm heavenly status for anyone before the death of Christ. Heavenly status and presence with Christ are inseparable. We must remember that the way into the Holiest would only be completed after the dissolution of the Temple: Hebrews 9:8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent is still standing.
Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Why would the writer of Hebrews tell them to have boldness? Primarily, because they were about to enter the Holiest at the destruction of the first tabernacle. Other writers allude to this same idea: Ephesians 3:11-12 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

The boldness here refers to, as Paul makes evident, approaching the Father. This boldness necessarily was absent from O.T. believers because Christ had not yet paid the penalty for sin in order for them to enter into the Holiest. Yet under the consummated N.T. (or promise) the writer of Hebrews states otherwise: Hebrews 10:21-22 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Notice that the performance of the High Priest was essential in order for believers to have confidence to approach God the Father. A similar assertion is made in chapter four where the writer speaks of entering into the eternal rest of God: Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Through the High Priestly ministry of Jesus Christ believers have come to the throne of God the Father in heaven: Hebrews 12:22-23 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, This status is in direct opposition to that in which all believers remained under the Covenant from Sinai: Hebrews 12:18-21 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) This entrance into heaven would only be granted by the work and intercession of the High Priest who had already passed into heaven: Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: In expounding upon the presence of God with His people by the blood of Christ, the writer of Hebrews shows the O.T. type: Hebrews 9:18-23 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. A popular theme among professing Christians who are somewhat familiar with the relationship between the O.T. types and the N.T. reality in Christ, is the fact that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission or forgiveness of sins. The writer of Hebrews said that any vessels associated with the Temple and its various ministries had to be sprinkled with the blood of calves and goats. Once this is understood, it is evident that the vessels in the O.T. Temple are patterns or representations of believers purged by the blood of Christ. Paul uses language with which first-century believers (especially Jewish believers) were well acquainted: Romans 9:21-23 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

1 Thessalonians 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

2 Timothy 2:20-21 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

The physical vessels of ministry under the Old Covenant represent the spiritual vessels of ministry under the New Covenant. This gives a little more light on Paulís identification of believers and ministers: 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. Just as the vessels in the earthly Temple pertained to earthly service under the Old Covenant, likewise, the vessels in the heavenly Temple pertain to heavenly service under the New Covenant. It is vital to understand that as long as the first inferior Covenant was instituted, there was no true remission of sins as we have already learned: Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Therefore, all those believers were still under the Old Covenant. Under the New Covenant, however, the writer of Hebrews shows the reality in Christ: Hebrews 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. The patterns or representations of things in the heavens had to be purified with the blood of bulls and goats. On the contrary, or rather, the reality of the substance of the shadow, heavenly things are purified with better things than these. Consider these related passages: Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
Hebrews 10:34-37 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. 35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

In these passages we see the comparison between the shadow and the substance. Hebrews 9:23 tells us that the heavenly things are purified with better sacrifices, i.e. the sacrifice of Christ. This explains the adjective better concerning the New Covenant: Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
Hebrews 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
What is important to understand is position of those things purified by the sacrifice of Christ. The writer of Hebrews says "the heavenly things." In other words, under the New Covenant those who have been purified with the blood of Christ are considered heavenly or heavenly things. This purification is seen throughout the N.T. Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Each of these verses contains the element of purging, all of which use some form of the Greek word katharizo. Hebrews tells us that it is through this purging that we are made heavenly, which fits perfectly with the rest of the book: Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; The heavenly things dwell in the Holiest which is not a temple made with hands. This presence of those purified by the blood of Christ in the Holiest is identical to the place which the writer of Hebrews says believers have come; a place directly associated with the presence of the Father and the Son: Hebrews 12:22-24 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Notice the various facets related to this presence with God: first we see the element of Mount Zion, an element which was predicted frequently in the prophets: Psalms 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Psalms 14:7 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
Psalms 50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
Psalms 69:35 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.
Psalms 132:13 For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

Isaiah 1:27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Isaiah 4:4-5 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. 5 And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.
Isaiah 12:6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

The city of the living God is also associated with His presence: Psalms 42:2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
Psalms 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
Psalms 84:2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
Psalms 87:3 Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.

Daniel 6:26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.

Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

Romans 9:24-26 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

The heavenly Jerusalem is also the place to which believers have come to be in the presence of God: Psalms 51:18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Psalms 68:29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.
Psalms 128:5 The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.
Psalms 135:21 Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.
Psalms 147:2 The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.

Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Isaiah 27:13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.
Isaiah 30:19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
Isaiah 33:20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
Isaiah 52:1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
Isaiah 52:9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
Isaiah 62:6-7 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence. 7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Isaiah 65:18-19 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
Isaiah 66:10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:
Isaiah 66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
Isaiah 66:20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.

"To an innumerable company of angels" is the phrase used to show the heavenly quality of believers. This corresponds with several other passages that involve the presence of angels or describe the nature of heaven: Isaiah 6:1-3 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

Genesis 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

John 1:50-51 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Matthew 16:27-28 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Luke 12:8-9 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luke 20:34-38 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. 37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.

This should remind us of that place in Scripture (where God communed or made His presence with Moses: between the cherubim or angels): Exodus 25:21-22 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. They signify Godís presence through the mercy seat. Cited earlier was Romans 3:25 which declares Christ to be that mercy seat: Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; If we have come to Christ, then we have come to the presence of the Father where the angels dwell. We commune with God in His presence and in the presence of the holy angels. Isaiah saw this picture in his vision. He was in the Holiest in the presence of God and the angels. But he could not endure it, for even he spoke: "Woe is me, for I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips." But what was the solution to Isaiahís problem? That is, what would enable Isaiah to have a clear conscience in the presence of God? The passage tells us that the angel took the tongs and one of the coals of the altar (representing the sacrifice and bloodshed of Christ) and cleansed the unholy lips of Isaiah. It was at this time that Isaiah would be able to respond with a clear conscience to Godís request for an evangelist to reach the people. Hence, Isaiah says: "Here am I. Send me."

From the passage in John (1:50-51) where Jesus is seen speaking with Nathaniel, Jesus says that Nathaniel will the see the fulfillment of the dream Jacob had regarding the ladder. The ladder represents Jesus Christ, the Mediator between the Father and His people. The angels are the ministers which carry believers, as they did Lazarus, into the presence of the Father. This is what the writer of Hebrews implies in the first chapter:

Hebrews 1:13-14 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? This of course is related to Jacobís dream: Genesis 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And its fulfillment: John 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. What is so significant is that the context in Genesis concludes with Jacob identifying the blessing of what he had just seen: Genesis 28:12-17 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. 16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. 17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. Jacob calls it the house of God ("whose house are we" Hebrews 3:6), and that surely "the Lord is in this place." That is, Jacob recognized that entrance into the house of God was by the ladder, which of course represents Christ. Christ is that ladder, or as Jacob also says, "the gate of heaven." We enter into heaven through the ladder. Christ identified Himself as that door or gate to the pasture: John 10:7-9 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. This sheds enormous light on that most familiar passage of Scripture: John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Coming to the Father through Jesus the Son is synonymous with salvation and heaven, or the house of God (the church), and the elements of Hebrews 12:22-24 that include presence with an innumerable company of angels. Believers are said to have come to the "general assembly and church of the firstborn that are written in heaven." This is referring to none other than the church, the Bride, who is the body of Christ, a body in which Paul said there is neither male nor female. This corresponds with the comparison Jesus made between believers and angels in the resurrection, "they neither marry nor are given in marriage...for in the resurrection all live unto God": Galatians 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Romans 6:10-11 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ephesians 1:22-23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Then the writer of Hebrews finally gives the most magnificent element in the New Covenant. He declares that believers have come to God the Judge of all and to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. Here we have the clear presentation of that exclusive method by which believers have access to the Father and the rest of the heavenly elements: the blood of Christ. The writer contrasts the effectual quality of the blood of Jesus with that of the sacrifice given by Abel; a sacrifice which, though superior to that given by Cain, nevertheless represented the inability of the Old Covenant to give life: Galatians 3:21-22 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, the elect of the Father can now approach Him boldly. Believers are in the presence of God, forever never to die under the curse of sin and death: John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
This resurrection life in Jesus Christ is the glory of the New Covenant as believers are face to face with Him in the presence of God the Father. When this is understood, the pregnancy of Christís statement is unmistakable: John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Christ here unites several important features of redemption: Through coming to Christ we have come to or through the Way, and we have the Life, and we come to the Father, or as we have noted, the Fatherís house.

Before the fullness of these things could be accomplished Jesus Christ had to fulfill the High Priestly ministry, which involved taking the sacrifice into the Holiest of holies to appear in the presence of God for the people.

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Some have mistakenly assumed that when Christ rose from the dead He had entered into the Holiest of holies. Christ however, denies this: John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Christ distinguishes that which He was going to consummate: the accomplishment of the tabernacle of God with men: 2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Revelation 21:1-3 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

The glory of the Hew Heavens (the New Covenant) is the presence of God as He tabernacles among His people. This glory is greater than the Old Heavens (the Old Covenant) which was in the process of passing away (or "being shaken" ) in the first century: 2 Corinthians 3:11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

Hebrews 12:25-28 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." 27 Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

The proof that the "earth and heaven" mentioned refers to the Old Covenant is clearly seen in the context (Hebrews 12:18-28). The appearance of Christ before the Father was so that the people of God could be brought unto Him by His blood. This was the purpose of the death of Christ: 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: The contrast shown in Hebrews 9 between the Old and New proves that the writer was acknowledging that the ministry of the High Priest was not yet accomplished. The sacrifice of Christ had to be accepted and applied to the vessels just as sacrifices were accepted and applied to the vessels under the Old Covenant: Hebrews 9:21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. Once the sacrifice of the earthly high priest was accepted then he could appear to the awaiting congregation: Leviticus 16:17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. Likewise, no man could enter into the Holiest until Christ would come out; the only difference being, that under the Old Covenant the people were never allowed into the Holiest holies. The entrance of Christ into the Holiest of holies was to completely perform the office of High Priest. Because His sacrifice was through the eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9:14), it was acceptable in the sight of the Father. This sacrifice was declared to be the sacrifice once for all (Romans 6:10; Hebrews 7:27; 9:12,26,28; 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18). Therefore, He was able to bring His people into the Holiest of holies to commune with God the Father; something which was never accomplished under the Old Covenant: Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. From the next two verses in Hebrews 9 the difference between Christ and high priests under the Old Covenant is obvious: Hebrews 9:25-26 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. At the cross, Christ appeared to put away or cancel sin by His one-time sacrifice. This, of course, is in stark contrast to the office of earthly high priests, who not only had to enter yearly to offer sacrifices; they also had to offer sacrifices for their own sins. Christ, on the other hand, was under no such obligation, for He was sinless:
1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Also, because the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins, the earthly high priests would come out of the Temple only to remind the congregation that they were still under the curse of sin and death. He could not "bring them to God" into the Holiest of holies. This is the enormous difference between the weakness of the Old Covenant and the strength of the New Covenant: Hebrews 7:18-19 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. The truth of Hebrews 9:27 is often cited to show the urgency of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ lest a person die and enter into eternal punishment. This doctrine is very true and the application is appropriate. Nevertheless, it will serve us well to understand the significance of the relationship between vv.27 and 28: Hebrews 9:27-28 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. The word "So" in vs.28 shows that Christ was to follow the pattern of dying and bearing judgment. He was to die and bear the judgment of His people.

The rest of vs.28 flows perfectly with the entire context of Hebrews 9:

Hebrews 9:28b ...and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. It is evident that the writer had the first-century audience in mind by using the phrase, "and unto them that look for Him." The writer has stressed this point throughout the book: Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Hebrews 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10:36-37 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Hebrews 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
The writer is exhorting the Hebrews at Jerusalem to "look for" the second appearing of Jesus Christ. We must ask why the writer was so intent on conveying to the Hebrews that the return of Christ was so imminent. This admonition would clearly give the Hebrews the impression that they were to look for the second appearing of Christ. Were the Hebrews who received this admonition disappointed even though they looked for His appearing or presence?

Beyond this is Christís appearing without sin unto salvation. "Without sin" refers to the sacrifice of Christ being offered for sin to "put away" sin (vs.26). That is, Christ took upon Him the sins of His elect. But we must remember that after His death and resurrection He still had to ascend to Holiest of holies to become the mercy seat for the people of God:

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (mercy-seat) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; We noted earlier that before Christ ascended to the Holiest of holies to offer the acceptable sacrifice unto God, He requested that Mary Magdalene not cling to Him, for He had not yet ascended to His Father (John 20:17). After His ascension, however, Christ was fulfilling all the requirements of the High Priestly office: Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Pertaining to performing of the High Priestly office, Hebrews 10:9 is very enlightening: Hebrews 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. The verb "taketh away" is in the present tense. Jesus Christ, during the transformation period, was taking away the Old Covenant and establishing the New Covenant. In fact, the context of Hebrews 10 teaches that just as the earthly high priests were still offering sacrifices, Christ was fulfilling His heavenly ministry: Hebrews 10:7-14 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. The significance of those ministries of Jesus Christ which were being performed during the first century must be emphasized. First, we see in vs.8 that the earthly high priests were still offering (present tense) sacrifices under the law. On the contrary, however, the heavenly High Priest was taking away (present tense) the first covenant so that He would completely establish the New Covenant. In vs. 10 we see the clear substance of the O.T. shadow. As we have observed, under the Old Covenant the priests would first offer the sacrifice upon the altar. After this they would enter the first tabernacle to accomplish the service of God: Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. Of course to fulfill the type, Christ, our heavenly High Priest, also had to enter the first tabernacle to accomplish the service of God. This service of God is crucial to understand. Later in Hebrews 9 this service is illustrated: Hebrews 9:21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. The vessels, as we have learned, represented believers in Jesus Christ, or vessels prepared for honor. The earthly minister took some time to sprinkle the vessels of ministry. Jesus, therefore, performed the substance of this shadow as well. It was this ministry that Jesus was performing during the first century between Pentecost and the destruction of the Temple: i.e. the ministry of sprinkling or sanctifying the vessels. This is precisely why the use of the sanctified is in the present tense: Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are (being) sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. At the time of the writing of the book of Hebrews the earthly high priests were still performing their earthly ministries: Hebrews 10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: Both words ministering and offering are in the present tense. This is understandable especially when we consider that the Temple and Jerusalem had not yet been destroyed: Galatians 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. Before the destruction of Jerusalem, Paul identified it as still existing. So did the writer of Hebrews: Hebrews 9:8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent is still standing. Therefore, as long as the Temple was standing, the earthly priests were daily ministering and offering sacrifices which could never take away sins. Concerning the heavenly service, Christ, at the same time the earthly priests were performing their earthly service, was performing His heavenly service. That is, while the earthly ministers were sprinkling and sanctifying the earthly vessels, Christ was sprinkling and sanctifying the heavenly vessels: Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. The New King James Version translates this with more clarity, emphasizing the present tense of the verb "sanctified": Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. This important theme of progressive sanctification and transformation is taught in numerous other places including Hebrews 8:13: Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. However, it is especially clear in 2 Corinthians 3. Consider Paulís use of present tense verbs in this context: 2 Corinthians 3:9-18 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. 12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. 15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. 16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Verse 9 teaches us that the ministration of righteousness was exceeding (present tense) in glory in contrast to the Old Covenant ministration of death which glory was passing away (present tense-vs.11). The ministration of righteousness was in the process of excelling (vs.10) opposing the Old Covenant which was being abolished (present tense-vs.13); the same veil which was being done away in Christ (vs.14-also present tense). Of course vs.18 describes the transformation that first-century believers were experiencing as the Covenants were in transition: 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. This present-tense transformation first-century believers were experiencing pertained to the changed from Old Covenant glory to New Covenant glory. It was at the completion of this glory that believers would be fully transformed into the heavenly image of Jesus Christ. This would take place once the outward sign of the destruction of the Temple occurred. This outward sign of the destruction of the Temple would fulfill the wrath of God upon Israel (Luke 21:23). Once this transpired, then the heavenly vessels which (who) were being sanctified could enter into the Holiest of holies to be completely in the presence of God the Father forever and ever. This explains the significance of the phrase in Hebrews 9, "without sin unto salvation." Once the transformation was complete and Christ sprinkled and sanctified the vessels, He could come out of the Holiest of holies into the first part of the tabernacle where the sprinkled and sanctified vessels were. Consequently He would bring them in with Him (their mercy seat) as they appeared before God the Father-holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight: Colossians 1:20-22 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: The outpouring of the wrath of God seen in the destruction of the earthly Temple was the visible sign that the heavenly Temple was finally opened so the people of God could enter: Revelation 11:18-19 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Revelation 15:1-8 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. 5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. 7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

The reward that God would give His people was entrance into the Holiest of holies to be with Him (Revelation 11:18,19; 15:2,5,8): Hebrews 10:15-22 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. This reward of being in the presence of God the Father is what Jesus, the apostle John, and Matthew said would take place in their generation: Matthew 16:27-28 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Hebrews 10:36-37 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Revelation 22:10-12 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Again, the Scriptures remind us that the presence of the Lord was the reward: Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Isaiah 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

Colossians 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Psalms 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

This last reference referring to God maintaining the Psalmistís lot concerns the land or inheritance he and all other believers would receive at the return of Christ: Hebrews 11:39-40 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. Daniel was told of this same lot: Daniel 12:13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. This lot or inheritance is none other than presence with Jesus Christ and the Father, the complete restoration to that which was lost in the garden, and the ultimate goal of redemption.

This returns our attention to the passage that is the key to understanding the presence of God with His people and that is, John 14. The last verse we studied was vs.6:

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. In vv.7-9 Jesus admonished Philip that seeing Christ was seeing the Father. Jesus then proceeds to explain to Philip that the Father is in Him and He in the Father: John 14:10-11 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. The difference between Jesus and the disciples (at that time) was that the Father was not yet in the disciples. Notice that the works and words of Jesus demonstrated that the Father was dwelling in Jesus and Jesus in the Father. Jesus explains to Philip that those who believe on Christ would do greater works than He: John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. We should note the "greater works" that believers would do; for this is a result of the initial significance of the passage: and that is, He who believes on Christ will do the works of Christ. Some have mistakenly assumed that the "works" to which Christ was referring were restricted to the physical miracles of healings, raising the dead, feeding the hungry etc. This, however, is not only Scripturally untenable, it is also experientially untenable; for obviously believers in Jesus Christ are not still performing the same miracles Christ performed. This was something exclusively restricted to Christ and the first-century believers: Hebrews 2:3-4 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (cf. Mark 16:16-18). Many passages would seem to imply that the works referred to the miracles performed by Jesus Christ: Matthew 11:2-5 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. John the Baptist was requesting proof that Jesus was the true Messiah. Jesus did not say, "Yes, it is Me, but I am not performing what the Scriptures clearly teach I must perform once I really do come to set up the Messianic kingdom." Some, however, would affirm this as the case. Jesus, on the contrary, deliberately told two of Johnís disciples to merely tell John of the various aspects of the Messianic kingdom which were being performed by Him. Christ seemed to think that this would convince John. We believe He was not mistaken. Jesus was not trying to fool John. He was telling John the truth. The questions must then be raised: How would this convince John and what knowledge did John previously have that would lead him to believe that Jesus was the Messiah? The Scriptures that predicted the miracles and presence of God with His people are clear: Isaiah 35:3-10 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. 4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. 8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. 9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: 10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. This passage clearly teaches that in the Messianic kingdom, not only would the blind be given sight (vs.5), the ears of the deaf be unstopped (vs.5), the lame leap like an hart; we also see that the tongue of the dumb would sing (vs.6), cleansing, holiness, redemption, and ransoming would be accomplished (vv.8-10), judgment would take place by the vengeance of God (vs.4); finally and most related to our subject, God would come and be present with them and save them by the waters, i.e. the Living Waters of Jesus Christ: John 4:10-14 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Revelation 22:1-2 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

We must ask, was John the Baptist familiar with the book of Isaiah? He seemed to be familiar enough with chapter 40 that he honestly believed he was the fulfillment of the voice crying in the wilderness: Isaiah 40:3-6 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. 6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: Compare this with Johnís own words: John 1:22-23 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself 23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. We should not assume that John the Baptist was unfamiliar with the Scriptures, let alone the book of Isaiah. Therefore, we must conclude that John was very familiar with not only Isaiah 35 but also every other Scripture that speaks of the Messianic kingdom.

The time of the Messianic kingdom was approaching (Matthew 3:2; 4:17) and Jesus the Messiah was performing the physical miracles which proved the far greater spiritual kingdom was near. At this point, it should be noted that Jesus gave a very specific command to the disciples:

Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. The context in which this is seen gives us great insight concerning the kingdom of God: Matthew 10:7-8 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Why did Christ command the disciples to preach that the kingdom of heaven was approaching rather than present if the disciples were going to be performing healings etc. while preaching? The same question could be asked regarding Christís words to the Samaritan woman: John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. Was Christ saying that immediately He would give her the Living waters? Certainly this could not be the case; for this would contradict the clear teaching of Scripture of when the Living waters would begin flowing: John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Christ was merely teaching that the time had come for the Messianic kingdom to be built. This would begin at Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit who was the deposit or guarantee of the inheritance. This inheritance was Christ, whose presence came at the destruction of the O.T. Temple (Hebrews 9:8). Both Christ and Paul described this time of Living Waters as the "day" or "day of salvation: John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Hebrews describes this period similarly: Hebrews 8:8-10 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: It was during this "reformation" period that God would take away the first covenant to establish the second covenant on better promises: 2 Corinthians 3:11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

During this transformation period, the apostles would obey the command of Christ to preach that the kingdom of heaven was at hand: Romans 13:11-12 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

James 5:8-9 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!

Revelation 22:10 And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.

These same apostles would certainly be performing the physical miracles Christ gave them the ability to do: Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. This is confirmed in the book of Acts as well: Acts 3:6-8 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
Acts 5:14-16 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
Acts 8:5-7 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
Acts 14:7-10 And there they preached the gospel 8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked 9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed 10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
Acts 20:9-10 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead 10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.
Acts 28:8-9 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. 9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
It is very important to notice that in many of the cases of healings, the Gospel was preached. In fact, the great significance of the book of Acts was not to show the physical miracles God was performing through the apostles but rather, the spiritual miracles performed through the preaching of the Gospel: the miracle of raising spiritually dead men to life: Acts 5:20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
Most Christians would agree that the great miracles of healing the blind and the deaf, and raising the dead etc., have the far greater and deeper spiritual meaning of "seeing" life and being healed of sin-sickness and being raised from spiritual death: John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Romans 15:20-21 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: 21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.

Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:

1 John 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

This is precisely why spiritual life is what is emphasized in the N.T. epistles. It is fascinating to see that when power is mentioned it is frequently connected with the preaching of the Gospel to give life from the dead: Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 15:18-19 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Romans 16:25-26 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began 26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 4:19-20 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
1 Corinthians 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

2 Corinthians 4:5-7 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Ephesians 1:18-19 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

This same Gospel power shows the contrast between the O.T. and life in Christ under the N.T.: Hebrews 7:14-16 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. What we have seen in the book of Acts and in the epistles is the emphasis placed upon the power of the Gospel to heal and to judge the nations: 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Revelation 2:26-27 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Notice that the passage in Revelation declares that it is he that overcomes who will rule the nations with a rod of iron. This phrase is typically seen as referring to Christ as the word in these passages: Revelation 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
Revelation 19:11-16 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
It is this "rod of iron" which performed and is performing the greater works of which Jesus spoke.

We should be aware of the fact that the word Israel has significant meaning. The basic Hebrew translation is defined by Strongís as Yisra'el, yis-raw-ale'; from H8280 and H410; he will rule as God. Just as in the O.T. Israel ruled as God physically over the nations, likewise, the new Israel of God rules spiritually as God over the nations both to save and to destroy. This was clearly predicted in the O.T.:

Psalms 96:13 Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
Psalms 149:5-9 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. 6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; 7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; 8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

Isaiah 28:9-13 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
Isaiah 41:15-16 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. 16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Micah 4:13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.
Micah 5:8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.

Zechariah 12:6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
Zechariah 12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Zechariah 13:3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.
Zechariah 14:12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
Zechariah 14:17-19 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Malachi 4:3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

Jesus clarified this as He spoke concerning those who remain in unbelief: John 12:44-48 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me 45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me 46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness 47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. Through the word of God, the spoken expression of Christ, the Gospel is preached and shows condemnation or life: Romans 10:5-18 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
Romans 15:20-21 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: 21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.
Romans 10:5-18 teaches that ascension into heaven is not by the deeds of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. It is in heaven where Christ dwells. Therefore, comparing chapter 10 with Romans 15:20-21 we see that through faith in Jesus Christ we ascend to heaven by the door (John 10:1-16) to enter the green pastures where we see Him and hear the voice of the good Shepherd.

Returning to John 14 we now have a clearer understanding of the "works" to which Jesus was referring:

John 14:10-12 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. Through the analysis of Christís life as the sinless Lamb of God, we find that not only were His works demonstrated in the physical healing of the people and His complete obedience to the law; more importantly, His works were demonstrated in preaching the Gospel to the poor (the poor in spirit) and the consequent healing of their soul: Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. This gives light concerning Christís words pertaining to the sheep and the goats: Matthew 25:31-46 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Christís intent, contrary to many, was not so much to draw attention to those suffering under these physical circumstances; rather, He was addressing the need of His sheep. Under the enormous apostasy of Israel, the false prophets did not feed the sheep of Christ. Instead, they devoured them through their false teaching and hypocrisy: Isaiah 58:6-10 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. 9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; 10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: Christ through His people spiritually satisfies this need: Isaiah 49:8-10 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; 9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. 10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. This is why Christ identified not only Himself as the light of the world: John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
He identified believers as the light of the world as well: Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Paul also believed this: Acts 13:46-47 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles 47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. Through the preaching of the Gospel (the same Gospel Christ preached), those who believe in Christ join with the apostles in doing greater or more works than Christ. When the passages are compared it is clear that Christ rules through His body the church. It is through the church that Christ performs the greater miracles than what He performed. These greater works are the fruits of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Living Waters for the healing of nations: Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Revelation 22:1-5 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
We now come to a very enlightening section of our passage in John 14: John 14:16-23 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. The popular teaching of "accepting Christ" into our hearts is often very abused. Many times people view the phrase, "Christ in your heart" as some sort of an instant cure for emotional strain, troubles in life etc. Though Christ certainly can heal those problems, yet the greater meaning of Christ in the heart is lost. This is partly due to the fact that in many of those places where people are taught to accept Christ, they are also invariably taught that it is because of a certain repetition of a prayer or the recitation of a particular formula that the God of heaven is obligated to reside in them. Hence, not only are there multitudes of false conversions, there is also a comprehensive deficiency of the spiritual meaning of Jesus Christ dwelling in the heart.

The words of Christ in John 14, diametrically opposed to many popular "invitational messages," teach a truth so superior to twentieth century evangelism that it entirely deems what is inferior as a perversion of the Gospel. Even in so-called reformed circles, there is a great depletion of knowledge concerning Christís words in John 14. Jesus taught that before He would come to His people, He would send the Holy Spirit (the Comforter). The purpose of the Comforter was to transform the first-century believers into the image of Christ out of the Old Covenant curse of death (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Comforter is identified as the "down payment" of the believersí inheritance:

Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. The earnest was the believersí guarantee that Christ (the Inheritance) would come to dwell in their hearts. The world did not "know" nor "see" the Holy Spirit of truth: John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. Before Pentecost, the first-century believers did not have the Holy Spirit in them: John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Jesus said: John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive.... Paul uses this same language as he explained spiritual understanding to the church at Corinth: 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. It is clear that it was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost that turned true believers in God into spiritual men. Most reformers err in saying the Spirit of God was "in" O.T. believers as it pertains to a redemptive indwelling. This, however, is an erroneous effort to defend the total depravity of man. Their argument is that the "spiritual man" is the only person who can exercise true faith in God. It is true that the natural man cannot exercise true faith in God unless the faith is caused by God. It is also true that the unbelieving natural man is totally depraved and is totally unable to believe in God. Only God has the power to show a man his utter rebellion and hatred toward God. Only God has the power to cause him to believe. Our purpose, however, is to show that the prophetic outpouring of the Spirit was the event which created "spiritual" men or as the Bible says, the new creature in Christ. This can proven through an analysis of the passage in 1 Corinthians which was a quotation from Isaiah 64: Isaiah 64:3-4 When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. 4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Most Christians would agree that his had not taken place during Isaiahís life. The N.T. confirms this as a reality among first-century believers: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Ephesians 3:4-5 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

1 Peter 1:9-12 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

It is evident that these two passages are referring to the same revelation: the heavenly realities in Christ Jesus. If we continue the context in 1 Corinthians, the spiritual man is entirely a New Covenant reality resulting from the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2). This was a sign to Peter that the prophecy of Joel was being fulfilled: Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: Peter defines Joelís "afterward" as the last days: Acts 2:16-21 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. This outpouring of the Spirit was the preparation for the actual presence of the first and second persons of the Godhead, Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:19:John 14:23). This outpouring is prophesied elsewhere in the O.T.:

The first of these is found in Proverbs 1 where wisdom cries to the rebellious:

Proverbs 1:21-33 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. Notice the elements associated with the outpouring of the spirit: God would make known His words (i.e. the Gospel and glad tidings of Jesus Christ; vs.23 cf. Romans 15:21; 1 Corinthians 2:9,10); judgment (vv.26-31); and lastly, the safe dwelling place of those who listen (vs.33 cf. Psalm 23 and John 10:1-16).

Also in Isaiah is a prediction of the outpouring of the spirit:

Isaiah 32:15-18 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. 16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; Here Isaiah associates prosperity with the outpouring of the Spirit (vs.15), righteousness and justice (the imputed righteousness through the blood of Christ cf. vv.16,17 & Romans 3:21,22), peace (cf. vs.17 & Ephesians 2:13-15; Colossians 1:20-22), the effect of righteousness: quietness and assurance forever (cf. vv.17,18 & Hebrews 2:15; 6:18,19; Titus 1:2), and finally, Godís people would dwell in sure dwellings and quiet resting places (cf. vs.17 & Ephesians 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:22: 13:14; 1 Peter 2:5). Isaiah again in chapter 44 speaks of the outpouring of the Spirit: Isaiah 44:3-5 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: 4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. 5 One shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel. In this particular context, the New Covenant subject of living waters is intimated. We must constantly remember that all the promises of God in Christ are yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). Therefore, confirmation of the particular promise that God would pour water upon him that is thirsty is seen in Christís discourse with the Samaritan woman: John 4:10-14 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The actual fulfillment of this promise chronologically would not take place until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) This passage explicitly tells us that the outpouring of the Spirit (the outpouring of water of Isaiah 44:3) could not have taken place until after Jesus was glorified. Hence, the outpouring of water and the Spirit found in Isaiah 44 are synonymous. Isaiah states that this outpouring is a blessing: Isaiah 44:3b ...I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: It is generally agreed that the outpouring of the Spirit is referring to the Holy Spirit from heaven. Peter certainly reached this conclusion: 1 Peter 1:9-12 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. The blessing therefore refers to the presence of God through the Spirit and ultimately through Jesus Christ: Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: Some would say that the phrase "Spirit of Christ which was in them" was a soteriological indwelling of the Spirit. However, this does not at all necessarily have to be the case. The Spirit was said to have been in Saul: 1 Samuel 11:6 And the spirit of God came upon Saul in power when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled. But later we read: 1 Samuel 16:14 Now the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. The Spirit coming upon Saul was simply that of a kingly anointing: 1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah. The "Spirit in them" is referring to that anointing by God for the prophets to write Scripture, i.e. to testify of that which would come 2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.: But to say that the phrase "Spirit in them" is referring to a soteriological indwelling is not only unfounded in the text; it also cannot be supported when considering the whole redemptive outlook of the Jesus and the prophets. Paul considered the outpouring of the Spirit the earnest of the first century believerís inheritance which would be Christ at His appearing (Titus 2:13): Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. It is not to be inferred that this earnest or down payment would be the only activity of the Holy Spirit upon these first century believers before Christ would come to dwell in their hearts. In fact, the N.T. the essential aspect of the transforming work of the Holy Spirit upon these believers: 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. The greater context of chapter 3, as we have seen, is dealing with the contrast between the Old and New Covenants, not the outward sanctification of the believer. The fullness of this transforming work of the Holy Spirit would consummate at the destruction Jerusalem and the Old Covenant Temple (Matthew 24:1-3,34). When Luke 21 is compared with Ephesians 1 this is more clearly understood: Luke 21:20-32 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. 29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. 31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Christ, speaking to His disciples, tells them in no uncertain terms that when these signs take place they (the disciples) were to look up (i.e. to heaven) for their redemption (the presence of Jesus Christ in their heart, cf. Luke 17:20,21) would draw nigh (Luke 21:28). This is the same redemption to which Paul refers: Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. When compared with Luke, it is very obvious why the N.T. writers believed the return of Jesus Christ (their inheritance and redemption) was imminent. Hence they commanded their brethren to "look up" as Christ commanded them: Romans 13:11-12 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

1 Corinthians 1:7-8 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1 Timothy 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time about to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Hebrews 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory about to be revealed:

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Clearly, the N.T. writers admonished the first-century believers to "look up," for their redemption was drawing nigh. Their redemption was none other than Christ dwelling in their hearts by faith: Ephesians 3:1-19 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. The fullness of the blessing of the Gospel was the result of the transforming work of the Holy Spirit preparing the first-century believers for Christ to dwell in their hearts. The presence of Christ in the believer is the glory of the believer. To have Christ is to have glory; a crown of glory that will never fade away. This is that to which Christ was referring when Judas (not Iscariot) inquired of Him concerning His manifestation. When the context of this manifestation is seen with the verses above pertaining to the sending of the Comforter, the purpose of the Comforter and the end result are evident: John 14:16-23 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. The Holy Spirit was to prepare the place (the house of John 14:2): John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. Jesus would prepare this house (Hebrews 3:6; 1 Peter 2:5) through the Comforter whose ministry was to comfort and transform the first-century believers into the fullness of the New Covenant age (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 3:11,14,18; 1 Timothy 6:13; Hebrews 8:13; 10:14; 12:27,28; 1 Peter 3:21).

Jesus promised that not only would He send the Comforter to dwell in them. He also promised that the fullness of resurrection life would be consummated with Christ dwelling in His people. He said, "At that day," which is the same day He mentioned in John 6:

John 6:44,45 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. In John 14 we read these words: John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. Being raised and living are synonymous. At the last day (of the last days of the Jewish age) this resurrection and life out of the curse of the law of sin and death would be complete. Notice the phrase Christ uses in John 6:44 that at the raising of those whom He would draw to Himself, they would also be taught of God, clearly implying that He would be present with them. This was a reality that was taking place in the hearts of believers after the outpouring of the Spirit: Ephesians 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: Jesus said: John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. True resurrection is being taught of God, which Paul describes as becoming spiritual or, believing in Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. This resurrection would be complete when Christ would dwell in their hearts: Ephesians 3:16-19 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Paul longed for the saintsí comprehension of the magnitude of Godís love for them. The expression of that love was shown through Christís death, resurrection, and finally His Parousia or presence with them. Paul used the phrase, "filled with all the fullness of God" to describe the imminence of the consummation of salvation. Peter believed the same: 1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Paul also alluded to the phrase, "the fullness of God" in the first chapter of Ephesians: Ephesians 1:22-23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Christís body, the church is the fullness of God who, during the first century, was filling His church as she was growing into completion. The verb, "filleth" is in the present tense and should literally be read, "the fullness of Him who is filling all in all." This more clearly shows the transformation of the church as she was being changed into the image of Christ. This is also seen in Chapter 4: Ephesians 4:13-15 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Colossians speaks of this same present tense transformation of the church during the first-century: Colossians 2:16-19 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. The church was increasing with the increase of God; i.e. she was in the process of being filled with God as she was transformed from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. Even John in his Gospel addresses this crucial aspect of redemption-God filling His people: John 1:14-17 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. There is a very important point that John is conveying regarding the relation of grace and fullness. Notice first that John declares the beholding of Christís gloryóa glory which was being unveiled to the first-century church as they were being transformed from Old Covenant glory to New Covenant glory. The apostle declares that Christ was "full of grace and truth." In other words, Christ was the perfect Lamb of God without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19). This fullness of grace and truth is not a combination of virtues restricted to Christ for eternity. Through the glory of the New Covenant this same fullness is bestowed upon the believer in Christ Jesus. Consider the train of thought from verse 14 to verse 16: "the WordÖdwelt among us, full of grace and truthÖand of His fullness have we all received. The point is clear. John is implying exactly that which Paul was implying: that the church under the bond of the New Covenant is full of God. The fullness (complete unrestricted presence) of God is not a yet future event. It is an accomplished status under the New Covenant. The problem lies in the fact that many refuse to see that the glory of the New Covenant was not consummated until the destruction of the physical, earthly Temple. The New Covenant came by process, not suddenly. Paul understood that, though the physical veil was torn symbolizing access into the holy of holies, Christ nevertheless had to perform the ministry of the Holy Spirit to transform the early Christians into the New Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; Hebrews 8:13; 10:9). He described this as a "short work on the earth": Romans 9:28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. This short work was to accomplish the complete restoration of Godís elect to Himself. This restoration is presence with Him; a blessing lost in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:17). Because of the work of Jesus Christ, the believer is brought into the presence of God. Otherwise we have no right to claim that restoration to God is complete. Jeremiah and Joel both predicted this restoration: Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

Joel 2:25-27 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.

Notice that Joel equates restoration with God dwelling in the midst of His people. And even though the passage in Jeremiah does not specifically speak of the actual presence of God, yet God equates the glory of His people with this restoration in the very next two verses: Jeremiah 30:18-19 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. 19 And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Through the transformation of the Holy Spirit to bring the first-century believers from death to life, restoration to God was being accomplished. This is why Paul told the Hebrews that they were receiving (present tense) a kingdom (Hebrews 12:28).

Paul understood the transformation of the church into the image of Christ to be taking place in the first century. Not only this: he also understood the consummation of that change to also take place within the first century. Jesus taught the fullness of this transformation:

John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. Judas (not Iscariot) had one of the same questions that Christians have had for two thousand years: John 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? A question that must be raised at this juncture is: why would Judas ask this question? How did he know that Jesus would manifest Himself only to believers and not to the entire world? The answer is found in the response of Jesus to the question raised by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God should come: Luke 17:20-21 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. The Pharisees wanted to know when, but Judas wanted to know how. Jesus answered the Phariseesí question of when by alluding to the fact that He must "first suffer and be rejected of this generation" (Luke 17:25). Judas, however, understood (at least to a degree) the significance of what Christ taught concerning the nature of the kingdom; i.e., "The kingdom of God cometh not with observationÖ for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." This is precisely why Judas asked the question, "Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?" Judas seemed to at least be acquainted with the truth that when the kingdom would come it would certainly not come with observation; i.e., it would not be observable. He also apparently understood that the kingdom would be a manifestation within believers in Christ. This is shown by the question of Judas, "How is it that you will manifest yourself to us." In other words, Lord how are you going to bring your kingdom to us without the rest of the world seeing it? The answer Christ gives is extremely enlightening as we consider the presence and fullness of God with those who trust only in Him: John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. This was the answer Christ gave. The way He would manifest Himself to believers and not to the rest of the world was by dwelling in them. Jesus said that He and the Father would come unto him. Jesus and the Father would make their abode with the one who trusts Christ as their Savior. In John 6 Jesus makes a strong statement concerning His dwelling with the believer: John 6:55-57 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. At this point it should be brought to our attention that the filling of the church with Jesus Christ is not to be separated from His dwelling in her or her partaking of Him. This theme of partaking with Christ is essential to understand not only concerning the theme of His dwelling with the church; it also must be joined with the imputation of righteousness. The themes of partaking of Christ and righteousness are united in a prophecy of Christ during the sermon on the mount: Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. The implication is clear: those who truly were hungering and thirsting after righteousness would certainly partake of Christ who alone could be their righteousness. This satisfaction of hunger and thirst would not begin to take place until Pentecost: John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) The Gospel of John, chapter six teaches this subject in detail: John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. The basic problem of the Jews was two-fold: they sought after physical satisfaction. This is evident by the words of Christ to those who temporarily followed Him: John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Ultimately, however, this statement of Jesus would lead to a far more significant problem and that is the continued rebellion of the Jews in trying to attain righteousness by the deeds of the law. These Jews wanted physical blessings by a fleshly means. Their whole concept of righteousness and satisfaction was based upon the efforts and desires of the flesh. This is the root problem of mankind. Many professing Christians today are obsessed with a self-affirmed autonomism and freedom of the will. That is, they believe they are able in and of themselves to come to Christ (come to His presence) in their depraved condition, even though Christ specifically said: John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw (lit. drag) him: The Pharisees believed in the same concept with the exception that they overtly trusted in their works and denied Christ. By their works they would attempt to gain what they desiredónamely, a physical, earthly kingdom. This is nothing new. These errors still affect people today. The Jews responded with these words to the words of Jesus pertaining to everlasting life and that by which it is obtained: John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Their question was not about the Life of which Jesus spoke. As far as they were concerned this "life" was physical satisfaction with food, drink, etc. Their question had to do with how they could attain this life; hence, their words, "What shall we do that we might work the works of God." Jesus explained that the work of God was to believe on Him whom God had sent. Nevertheless, they still desired a sign, i.e.; something physical to prove Christ was the Messiah (vs.30).

Of course the dialogue continued with Jesus claiming to be the bread which comes down from heaven:

John 6:32-35 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. Their desire was for a physical bread that they could eat and forever be satisfied. Because they had these expectations, however, Jesus dashes their hopes and dreams by announcing Himself as the Bread of Life, on whom if any man believes they would never thirst nor hunger.

Jesus then addresses the fact that they would not believe and then explains who would believe and why they would believe:

John 6:36-37 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. The promise of life would come to those whom the Father had given to the Son. Because of the decree of the Father those whom He had given to the Son would most certainly come to the Son. Jesus then explains that coming to the Son could not be accomplished unless the Father dragged to the Son those whom He had given to the Son: John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. There is nothing spoken of regeneration in this verse. It is simply a miraculous work of the Father in changing the will of man to come to the Son; a prophecy mentioned in the book of Psalms: Psalms 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. It is because of the Father's dragging that those whom He has given to the Son will be made willing in the day of God's power. This is the gift of faith. God causes this faith. Therefore, the one who has been given to the Son must and will be caused by God to come to, or approach the Son. This also is a prophecy in the book of Psalms: Psalms 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. What makes clear that this verse and Psalm is a prophecy is the fact that the result of being caused to approach God is dwelling in His Temple: clearly referring to the New Covenant Temple. Not only this, but the preceding verse speaks of the purging of iniquity: Psalms 65:3 Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away. Certainly under the law iniquity prevailed against the people of God. But the Psalmist knew there was a time when iniquity would be purged. It would be through this purging that those whom God had caused to approach Him would dwell in the Temple in His presence. In His presence they would be satisfied with the goodness of His "house." In John 6 Jesus implies that this satisfaction would take place only through coming to Him. Through coming to Christ the believer is then given everlasting life. It is in coming to Christ that God then indwells the believer or what Colossians says, circumcises them with the circumcision made without hands. This involves the believer's spiritual baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ: Colossians 2:10-13 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Notice in vs.12 that we are buried and raised with Him through the faith of the operation of God. It is through or by faith (faith of the operation of God) that we are resurrected (i.e. saved): Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Christ was speaking of no different salvation in John 6: John 6:44-51 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. At this point it is critical to see the reference Jesus makes to the believer having learned of the Father: John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. There are other references that speak of the believer having learned of God: Ephesians 4:20-21 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

1 John 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

A problem arises for the futurist when considering these verses in comparison with the words of Christ in John 6:45. Jesus associated this learning and being taught of the Father with resurrection life (vs.44). John and Paul, however, imply that this learning and teaching of the Father was already a reality in the hearts of these first-century Christians. It is not, as some say, an already-but-not-yet reality. Rather, the New Covenant transformation which began at Pentecost (Philippians 1:6) was working in the hearts of these believers. What Jesus was saying in John 6:44,45 was that by the time the resurrection at the last day (a day which was approaching for the first-century believers cf. Hebrews 10:25) came, the elect of God who had trusted in Christ would all be fully taught of God. This teaching is not referring to the cognitive knowledge of the intellect of God. It refers to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as the Savior and fulfillment of the kingdom of God. Even Hebrews speaks of this same subject: Hebrews 8:10-13 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. The knowledge of God is no different than the spiritual things of 1 Corinthians 2; things which refer to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and eternal life: John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Jesus then continues relating everlasting life with seeing the Father. This is inseparable from eating the bread of life. Through believing on Jesus Christ, the believer eats the bread of everlasting life. It is this everlasting life that is equivalent to having learned and been taught by God. These once again are the spiritual things of 1 Corinthians 2. Through eating the bread of life, we come to the Father: John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. or as Jesus says, His Father's house: John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. This house is the body of Christ, the church: Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. The Jews strove among themselves when Christ told them that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. This especially aroused them when Jesus declared that through eating His flesh and drinking His blood a person would obtain eternal life: John 6:53-58 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. Christ clearly spoke of eating His blood and drinking His flesh. He equivocated this with believing on Him: John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
John 6:50-51 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
To believe Christ is synonymous with eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Eating His flesh and drinking His blood is synonymous with eternal life and dwelling with Him. It is in the very next chapter that the timing of this life and its relationship to the things of the Spirit of God in 1 Corinthians 2 are clarified: John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Notice that thirst is quenched through coming to Christ and also that the Living Waters are that which quench the thirst. These Living Waters represent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was not yet given because Christ was not yet glorified (risen from the dead). There is only one account of a generally redemptive giving of the Spirit, and that was at Pentecost. It was at Pentecost that the Living Waters, which Jesus promised to the woman at the well, would be given. These Living Waters were that which would quench the thirst of those who believed. This is precisely why Peter, though he had believed, had not yet been converted. Hence, Christ's words to him: Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. It would be through conversion (the giving of Living Waters) that believers would enter into the kingdom of heaven: Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Finally in John 6 Jesus really exposes the heart of the people. He had already exposed their obsession to be satisfied physically. Upon their murmuring, however, Jesus addresses a far more serious issue, the root of the problem: the works of the flesh: John 6:60-65 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. Not only does Jesus decimate the physical hopes and dreams of the Jews, He utterly contradicts the method by which they thought they could attain the physical pleasures for which they were longing. Jesus bluntly tells them the truth of the attainment of spiritual life: John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Neither Jewish nationality or deeds of the flesh could give them the eternal life of which Christ was speaking. Jesus eliminated any possibility of life by the deeds of the flesh by saying, "the flesh profits nothing." The life to be given could not be attained by any deed of the flesh. To drive this point even further, Jesus explained that even coming to Him could not take place by the deeds of the flesh: John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. It was this statement that exposed all of the shame and pride of the Jews; for in their minds at least they could have some say in the matter of coming to Christ. But not even this could happen if the Father did not give the faith. John the Baptist spoke of the same concept: John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. The knowledge of the Father through Jesus Christ was unattainable as far as human ability. Jesus elaborated on this in the Gospel of Matthew: Matthew 11:25-27 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. The revelation of the Father is equivalent to everlasting life. This life and revelation is determined solely upon the good pleasure of Christ: John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. This life, knowledge and revelation about the words of life of which Jesus spoke would be revealed at Pentecost-the giving of the Spirit. They would reach their climax at the destruction of the Jewish Temple, the outward sign that the entire Godhead would now make His abode in the hearts of His people.

Related to what we have examined concerning the words of Jesus, here is a prophecy from Isaiah:

Isaiah 55:1-2 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. The means by which these spiritual blessings would be attained are found in vs.3: Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. The life of the soul would take place through coming to Christ. God here compels the O.T. Jews to come to Him (i.e. believe in Him). Those who truly believed in Him did not receive the fullness of the promise of life until the Parousia (Hebrews 11:39).

From John 6 it has been especially clear that to partake of Christ (i.e. believe on Him) is to have Christ indwell the believer. This is made very clear in John 6:55-57:

John 6:55-57 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. Something imperative to understand is the Greek word used for "abode" or "dwell." The word is monane. This word is translated in Strongís as a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode. The depth this word is seen when the beginning of the context in John 14 is examined: John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Fatherís house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. The word for mansions in vs.2 is the identical Greek word that is used for abode in vs.23, except that in verse 23 is in the singular form: John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. Christ told Judas that the one who loves Jesus is the mansion in whom He would dwell. In vs.2 Jesus said, "In My Fatherís house are many abodes", or literally, dwelling places. Once again Hebrews 3 declares all believers under the New Covenant as the house which Jesus built: Hebrews 3:3-6 For this man (Jesus) was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. The writer of Hebrews was convinced that believers under the New Covenant are the house of God. Jesus specifically told the disciples that there are many mansions (abodes) in His Fatherís house. He then said He would go to prepare a place for the disciples. This place is the house which began to be built by the Spirit at Pentecost. This was prophesied in Amos: Amos 9:11-12 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. This was house or tabernacle was in the process of being built according to James in the book of Acts: Acts 15:14-17 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Peter certainly agreed with this: 1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. The phrase, "are built up" is in the present tense, literally read, "are being built up." This is exactly theme Paul had in mind in Ephesians as he described the church "growing up" in Christ. Christ sending the Comforter was the way He would "prepare a place" for His people. The Spirit would transform His people from Old Covenant glory to New Covenant glory in order to prepare them for Jesus and the Father to make Their abode with them. The first-century Christians were hoping for Christ to dwell in them. He would be their inheritance. Paul identified this as, "the hope of glory": Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Many have misinterpreted this passage to say Christ is in us and therefore we have hope for a yet future glory. Not only does this belittle the significance of Christ dwelling in us, it also is a distortion of the passage. Notice that the passage describes "the riches of the glory": Christ in them. Christ is the riches of glory. They were hoping for Christ who would soon be their riches and crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4; Isaiah 28:5). Paul went to great lengths to describe the magnificence of the gift of Jesus Christ: Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; This is exactly what Christ was saying to Judas when He promised what would come upon those who loved Him. Christ, the resurrection and the life, was the reward and inheritance given to all who were trusting and loving Him. The same reward, Jesus Christ, the Lord of heaven and earth, is given to all who cease from their self-righteousness and trust entirely upon Him for the salvation of their souls. By the faith in Christ, the faith that comes by the unmerited favor and sovereign pleasure of God, the believer is immediately translated into the kingdom of God by Christ dwelling in their hearts. This is how the kingdom of God comes to His elect. This is how God manifests Himself to His chosen people and not to the world.

It is for this reason that Christ went on to tell Judas and the rest of the disciples they should rejoice in the fact that He was leaving:

John 14:28-29 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. If Christ at this point had opened their understanding to comprehend the unsearchable riches His presence would bring them, the disciples surely would have been ecstatic about His leaving them; for they would be certain that the Comforter would come and eventually Christ Himself would come to dwell in them. What is interesting is how Jesus tells them that He told them beforehand so that when He would return they could with certainty know and believe that their Savior was now ruling and reigning in their hearts. This ruling and reigning in the heart signifies the reign of righteousness under the New Covenant: Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Certainly this reign is, and forever will be, none other than the God of heaven dwelling in the hearts of those who love Him.

In John 17 we find Christ, the High Priest praying that certain blessings would come upon His elect. One of those blessings is, indeed, the presence of Christ with His elect. After praying specifically for the disciples, He then includes the rest of those who would believe on Him through the preaching of the disciples. Within this prayer is the blessing that Christís chosen people would be with Him:

John 17:20-26 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. The desire of Christ for His people to be one is evident. This unity is not based upon intellectual or doctrinal agreement as many suppose (though essential doctrinal agreement is a fruit of this unity in Christ). The oneness in Christ, however, is inseparable from being present with, or in, Christ. We must remember that this presence with Christ was necessarily preceded by the deposit of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of first-century believersóthe Spirit who was transforming them from Old Covenant glory to New Covenant glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). This would ultimately gather the people of God as one, as seen in vs.21: John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. After He prays that they would be one, He immediately relates that association with His own relationship to the Father. This is crucial to understand especially as we consider that just as Christ is the Son of God, likewise, under the New Covenant, believers in Him are called sons or children of the Living God: Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Paul confirmed this prophecy as fulfilled under the New Covenant: Romans 9:24-26 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Even John confirms this in the first chapter of his Gospel: John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Luke was explicitly clear as he recorded Jesus equating resurrection with being a child of God: Luke 20:34-36 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Jesus, the almighty God identified Himself as the Light of the world. He spoke of being children of Light: John 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. Because the covenantal transforming work of the Holy Spirit was operating in the first-century believers, Paul could say with certainty: Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Speaking of the same subject Paul writes: Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. The accomplishing of this glorious adoption, Paul says was the immutable plan of God to save His elect: Ephesians 1:3-12 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. The inheritance is Christ, the glorious gift given to all those who put their trust in Him for the forgiveness of sins. Paul calls these children heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). Even the writer of Hebrews cited passages from the O.T. as confirmed in Jesus Christ pertaining to the children of God: Hebrews 2:10-13 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. In the Messianic kingdom the elect of God are called the children or sons of the living God.

Jesus then proceeds to speak of His desire to be in His people and His people in Him:

John 17:22-23 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. First, Jesus says, "the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them." We must ask the question: Why would Jesus state this if it was not to take place for thousands of years? Jesus was simply describing the glory of the New Covenant and the significance of being raised with Christ in newness of Life (Romans 6:4,10,11). Even more, Jesus says that the purpose of Him giving His people glory was so "they may be one." Implication: without this glory, we could never be one. Yet through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit Paul declares otherwise: Galatians 3:26-28 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Paul says, "Ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Is this not identical to what Jesus said? John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. This is clear proof that the unity in Christ is based upon the believers relationship to Christ and not on whether a certain denomination agrees intellectually with another denomination. The perfection is based entirely upon the spiritual communion in Christ. If we are in Christ, we are one with Christ and His people regardless of physical proximity or acquaintance: Hebrews 12:22-24 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Believers have come to the spirits of just men made perfect; hence the words of Christ, "that they may be made perfect in one." This union and/or presence in Christ and with His people is not based upon our gender or nationality, which is why Paul said, "there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." In other words, in the presence of Christ we are not regarded as male or female, regardless of our physical gender. Therefore it follows that in this union we are not even regarded as married even though physically we may have marital status. Jesus and Paul are unified on this subject; Luke 20:34-36 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world (Greek: aeon or age) marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world (Greek: aeon or age), and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. This tremendous blessing of the communion of believers with Christ and each other is necessarily founded upon believers being in Christ and Christ in them. The prophets wrote of this union with God with His people and His people with each other: Isaiah 62:4-5 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. 5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. Christ even spoke of the New Covenant completion to His disciples pertaining to this union with Christ and the spirits of just men made perfect: Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 26:27-29 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Fatherís kingdom.

Luke 13:28-29 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

Paul shows a strong relationship between those believers under the New Covenant and Abraham: Romans 4:12,16 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Galatians 3:6-9,14,16 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Paul emphatically addresses the singular "seed," which Paul identifies as Christ. That is, all those who are of faith are the children or "seed" singular of Abraham. But how can Christ and believers both be called the "seed" singular of Abraham? From the beginning a man would leave mother and father and cleave to His wife and the two would become "one" flesh. Christ, through His marriage to the bride, the church, has become one with that bride in answer to His prayer: John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: And even more conclusively: John 17:23-24 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. Christís desire was for His bride to be with Him. That is the great goal of redemptionónamely to reconcile God and man. This is what Christ meant when He said: John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. So then when Paul speaks of Christ and the believers as the seed singular, he is addressing this marital union between Christ and His bride and the members of the bride with each other. We are all one in Christ Jesus, and thus we are the children or "seed" of Abraham. Many assume that Abraham was perfected once he believed or when he died. This assumption, however, is quickly seen as false when the writer of Hebrews recites the names and status of O.T. believers. Included in those names is Abraham: Hebrews 11:8-10 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. The question is: Did Abraham receive the promise, or any other of the O.T. believers for that matter? At the time of the writing of Hebrews the answer was a resounding no: Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Hebrews 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

The conclusion of the writer is obvious: the O.T. believers did not receive the promise, which promise was Christ, their crown of glory (Isaiah 28:5; 1 Peter 5:4) More importantly, pertaining to our subject, the O.T. believers would not be made perfect without the first-century believers: Hebrews 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. This is the same perfection and union for which Christ prayed. Related to and inseparable from this union is the presence of Christ with His people as they behold His glory, the N.T. glory that was coming to completion: John 17:23-26 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. To behold the glory of Christ is to have Christ dwelling in us and communing and dining with Him. This beholding of glory was taking place in the hearts of the first-century believers: 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Paul is speaking of no different glory than that for which Christ was praying. Beholding the glory of the Lord is to behold the glory of the New Covenantóa glory into which the first-century believers were being changed. The end result of this transformation would be presence with Christ and beholding His glory. The first-century believers were waiting for this completed fulfillment of glory. This is the chief and earnest expectation in the N.T.: Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Until the presence of Christ at His return, the first-century saints did not have the fullness of glory. It was only in part: 1 Corinthians 13:9-12 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. The "seeing" and "knowing" is not physical or intellectual as many affirm. Nor is the fulfillment of these blessings of a different nature than what is written. It is simply referring to the consummation of these spiritual blessings that were coming to completion (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Christís prayer in John 17 is realized and answered in the heart of every believer in Christ Jesus. Christ comes to dwell in the believer. Christ prayed that they would be with Him where He is so that they would behold His glory. This should remind us of the promise of the New Covenant we originally cited:

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Even David expressed his longing to be in the presence of the Lord: Psalm 27:4-6 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

Psalms 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Davidís one desire was to dwell in the house of the Lord. This could not have been referring to the Old Covenant Temple for the obvious references made by godly men concerning the inability of that Temple to contain God: Acts 7:48-49 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
Acts 17:24-25 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with menís hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

1 Kings 8:26-27 And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father. 27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Notice that David says he desired to dwell in the house of the Lord in order to behold the beauty of the Lord. When we speak of beholding Christís glory and beauty in His Temple, we are certainly not referring to the Old Covenant Temple. Therefore we must conclude that the beauty and glory which Christians behold is within the New Covenant Temple, the church of Jesus Christ. David explicitly states that beholding the beauty of the Lord takes place within His Temple or house. In numerous places in the N.T. the church is described as being the Temple of the Lord. There are only two Temples, earthly and heavenly. The earthly is temporal and the heavenly is eternal: 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. The eternal New Covenant things began with the outpouring of the Spirit to apply the beginning of resurrection life and heavenly blessings to the church (believers) (John 7:38,39; 1 Corinthians 2:9,10). What is also interesting about what David says is the fact that he knew that in the secret of Godís tabernacle, God would set David upon a Rock. Obviously that Rock is Christ. Christians behold Christ as they are founded upon Him and dwelling in His Temple or house.

Even Isaiah and John the Baptist agree that salvation and glory are synonymous, and that under the New Covenant, even the Gentiles would see the glory of God. Compare these passages:

Isaiah 40:3-6 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Luke 3:3-6 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

This beholding of glory is a realized blessing in the hearts of all those to whom God has chosen to give faith in Jesus Christ. Even Simeon testified: Luke 2:28-32 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. If Simeon said this pertaining to Christís physical presence, how much more the actual application of resurrection through the Spirit and Christís eternal presence in the heart of the Christian? Consider the apostle Johnís words on this subject: 1 John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. What exactly was it that would make these Christians full of joy? The preceding verse is clear: "that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." In other words, fellowship or presence with Jesus Christ and the Father constitutes real and full joy. David was well aware of the significance of being in the presence of God and the consequential joy: Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. In Godís presence there is fullness of joy. The path of life (or the Way) is Jesus Christ. There is one resurrection life and that Life is Jesus Christ. When we are in His presence our joy is full. This life in and presence with God are through faith in Jesus Christ for the remission of sins: Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; Refreshment, life, and joy are all apart of being translated into the kingdom of Godís dear Son: Colossians 1:13-14 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Jesus spoke enlightening words as well concerning this subject of joy: John 15:10-11 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Fatherís commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. Abiding in Him and in His love is what brings joy. True joy is having the Father and the Son dwelling in us. Jesus goes to greater lengths to explain this joy and presence with Him as He comforts the disciples before He leaves: John 16:19-24 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? 20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. 23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. Jesus here explains that full joy rests entirely upon His presence. The receiving of which Jesus spoke was that of the Holy Spirit poured out at Pentecost. Consider this passage: John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Jesus quoted a passage referring to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Therefore the passage must be examined in comparison with the words of Jesus: Isaiah 12:1-6 And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. 2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. 5 Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. 6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. The elements associated with this joy are salvation (vv.2,3), water (vs.3), and God dwelling in the midst of His people (vs.6); all of which correspond with the New Covenant and the words of Jesus. Paul also taught that joy is in God: Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. This joy during the transformation was in the Holy Ghost: Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. As we have seen, John the Baptist confirmed with Isaiah that salvation and glory are synonymous. Because the fullness of the covenantal transformation had not taken place, Peter recognized that the fullness of salvation and glory was not yet complete. In fact Peter was clear in describing the actuality that these first-century believers were being saved by the Spirit: 1 Peter 3:18-21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Peter affirmed that the same resurrection that happened to Jesus Christ was at work saving and resurrecting these first-century believers. Because of this Peter also describes that the fullness of salvation and glory was imminent: 1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christís sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Paul shares the same truth: Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be (Greek, mello: lit. "about to be") revealed in us.

Romans 13:11-12 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Finally, in regard to fullness of joy and Godís presence, we see Jude expressing that the two are inseparable: Jude 24-25 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. This faultless presentation before God was explained distinctly by Paul as he described the New Covenant in its fullness once the transformation was complete: Colossians 1:20-22 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Those who believe that Christí Parousia (presence) has not taken place are forced to believe that we are not yet presented as faultless before His presence. Jude clearly stated that this faultlessness would take place at the presence of His glory. Yet so many would affirm that we are holy and blameless before Him. This is true, but it could not be true unless He has made His presence with us.

Exceeding, or full, joy would come for these believers when Christ would come as the inheritance and fullness of life to dwell in their hearts:

Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you

Ephesians 3:16-19 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Previous to this coming or presence, the Holy Spirit, the deposit and guarantee of the first-century believersí inheritance, was preparing these believers for Christ to dwell in them. This is the coming of the kingdom of which Christ spoke (Luke 17:20,21), a kingdom that comes within the heart and without observation.

Jesus Christ said that the Father always hears Him (John 11:42). Based upon the testimony and prayers of Christ we can be certain that this prayer of Christ was answered:

John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. For all those in Christ Jesus, He has manifested Himself to us and we are beholding His glory in the Holiest of holies, living in His presence. Through believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ the sinner enters into an unbreakable, unalterable relationship with the King of kings to enjoy Him forever. Certainly our primary text shines forth: Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Romans addresses this magnificent topic of God dwelling with His people: Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. "Access" is a theme that is clearly summarized in the words of Christ: John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. The reasoning behind Romans 5:2 is evident: "we have peace with God (the Father) through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom we have access into this graceÖ" Ephesians speaks of this same access: Ephesians 2:17-19 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; Through the blood of Christ we have access "by the Spirit unto the Father." This is also seen in the third chapter: Ephesians 3:11-12 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. We have already seen that the residence of the Father is the holy of holies, a place we enter with "boldness" through the blood of Jesus: Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; This access is by faith in Christ as is clarified in Ephesians 3:12. What is significant in the passage in Romans is the reference to "grace." Here a distinction needs to be made. It should be noted that the term grace is used in at least two ways. It us usually defined as a gift or unmerited favor, i.e., receiving something undeserved. We are told that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord when he was rescued from the flood (Genesis 6:8). The Lord told Moses that he found grace in His sight as the Lord went with the Israelites through the wilderness (Exodus 33:17). These are examples of temporal grace given for certain situations. The phrase, "saved by grace," however, pertains to the unmerited favor of God in giving eternal life to the elect through the faith that God gives. It is imperative that we make this distinction in order to fully appreciate the New Covenant. It should be noted that many believe that O.T. believers were saved by works. This is simply is not true. For under no circumstances were men ever able to save themselves by works. John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

However, on the other side, many in reformed circles have erred in saying that the O.T. saints were already saved by grace; making no reference to the entrance of the New Covenant and obvious changes contained therein. The New Covenant terms, salvation and grace, are synonymous, therefore they cannot be separated. Both terms are used in the N.T. to describe not only the fullness of New Covenant life once all was consummated; they also are used to describe the yet future consummation of the New Covenant as it was growing to completion. Here is a well-known example of the use of the words grace and salvation referring to the New Covenant consummation. This is from a perspective of what it means to be under the fullness of the New Covenant: Ephesians 2:5-9 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Here it uses the past tense in describing the New Covenant salvation. It says that believers are saved. Yet Paul says what seems to be a contradiction in Romans: Romans 13:11-12 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Paul here seems to be implying that the salvation was yet future. To add to this apparent confusion, Peter says 1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: The phrase "doth also now save us," is in the present tense. Literally it reads, "is now saving us." The typical reformed motto concerning this dilemma is, "We are saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved." There is no problem with this statement if two very important factors are considered: First, the timing must be restricted to the first-century. Second, the salvation must be referring to one salvation that was taking place during the first century and would be consummated at the Parousia. The reformers apply the motto to three separate aspects of salvation. Their analysis of the motto is this: "We are saved" refers to the salvation of the soul. This contradicts Peter who clearly taught that the fullness of this salvation was not complete: 1 Peter 1:9-10 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: They say, "We are being saved" refers to the outward sanctification in the life. If this were true, then Peterís statement that baptism was saving them (not the removal of the putting away of the filth of the flesh) would be negated. Is this not what reformers mean by outward "sanctification?" Thus the only other man-centered alternative for Peterís passage is that it is referring to physical baptism which is illogical; for this would mean that the present tense, "being saved" would necessitate a continual physical baptism. Otherwise, how could they be being saved? The only possible conclusion to uphold the Biblical view of salvation is that there is one salvation that was in the process of being brought to completion from the time of Pentecost to the Parousia. This was the transformation from Old Covenant glory to New Covenant glory: 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are (being) changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. "We are saved" would be correct if it is restricted to a first-century analysis of what it meant to be saved once the transformation would be complete. "We are being saved" would be correct if restricted to the covenantal transformation that was transpiring during the first century. We will be saved would be correct if restricted to the final consummation of the same salvation.

Ephesians 2 says, "By grace are ye saved." Under the New Covenant, grace is the means by which we are saved.

1 Peter 1:12-13 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; Paul in Ephesians was simply describing the glory of the completed New Covenant. Frequently in Ephesians Paul addresses the whole theme of riches, upon which theme we have briefly touched: Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace
Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Ephesians 3:16-19 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Paul in that last passage equates the filling of the fullness of God with the unsearchable riches of Christ. When we ponder what was lost in the garden, the rebellion of man against God, the suffering and shame of Christ, and His glorious ascension to the throne at the right hand of the majesty on highóthen these riches show their unfathomable quality in Christís willingness and joy to make His abode or dwelling with us. His everlasting title as Emmanuel is clearly defined as Jesus Christ, God with us.

Ward Fenley


CHAPTER 2

ESCHATOLOGY.COM / KOSG