Messianic Matrix















Loren W. Caudill




A Theological Abstract on Pentecost








































The Messianic Matrix


Copyright 2006 © Loren W. Caudill

All rights reserved







The Bible text designated NASU is from the New American Standard Bible Update, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation and is used by permission.


The Bible text designated NIV is from the New International Version, copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society and is used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishing.


The Bible text designated RSV is from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and is used by permission.


Bible texts without a designation or otherwise designated KJV are from the King James Version.







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To the memory of an extraordinary man



“My Pastor”



I am deeply indebted to a number of blessed souls for various types of help in bringing this book to publication. I must first of all acknowledge my church family in Creston Iowa for their faithful prayers over a number of years even while I was away from them for long periods of time. They also patiently listened to and faithfully challenged many of the concepts presented in this work. Sincere thanks go to my family for their patience and especially to my three sons Scott, Justin and Brian for continuously monitoring my activities to insure that I did not stray far from the project. Likewise, thanks go to my sister Lorrinda, her husband Bob Ertl and my niece Rachel for their intense scrutiny of both the grammatical and logical aspects of the work. Not the least among those who offered reviews was Nancy Hudson. Nancy was onboard early with a depth of biblical knowledge. From her ministry that spanned the entirety of the charismatic movement, Nancy had a feel for the pulse of Pentecost and its reaction to the new way of thinking. Though he is now present with the Lord, I owe a debt of gratitude to my brother-in-law Dr. Roy Arthur (Bud) Grindstaff who, knowing the nature of my endeavor, insightfully directed me to the Society of Pentecostal Studies (SPS). Additionally, I am profoundly beholden to Dr. David William (Bill) Faupel. Being an accomplished scholar, author and educator, Bill was my most important link to the academic community and was able to answer the nagging, omni-present question; “is this work academically credible?” His studied opinion sanctioned for me a working parameter in which to confidently present a responsible theology to the charismatic community.









Chapter One


Eschatological Salvation

The Original Creation

Restoration of Reality

The Age to Come

Eschatological Messiah

The Divine Presence

The Corporate Messiah

The Personal Resurrection

The Corporate Resurrection

Temple and City

The Messianic Wedding Feast

The Gathering

The New Creation

Eschatological Glory

Eschatological Ministry

Eschatological Sonship



Eschatological Kingdom

Eschatological Terminology


Chapter Two


The “Two Age” Model

A Changing of the Ages

The New Age in Jesus

The New Age “At Hand”

The New Age Church

New Age in Pentecost

The Ephemeral Age

A Millennium of Extremism

Charismatic Asceticism


Chapter Three


The Earnest of Righteousness

The Earnest of Resurrection

The Earnest of Saturation

The Earnest of Matrimony

Earnest and Grace

Earnest of Sonship

The Earnest of Glory”

Down Payment of Judgment

Down Payment of Reality


Chapter Four


The Christ In Us Mystery

Is Christ In All Believers?

Where Christ Begins

What is a Christian?

The “In Christ” Mystery

Paul’s “Body” Source

The Metaphor of Marriage

The Temple Metaphors

Dwelling in the Heart

The Messianic Metamorphosis

The Mystery and the New Creation

The Corporate Personality of Messiah

Messianic Formation (The Anointing)

The Anointing of Adoption

Solution of Seven Mysteries


Chapter Five


A Tale of Two Messiahs

The Messianic Tree

The Messianic Rock

The Messianic Abstinence


Chapter Six


Kingdom Entrance

The Messianic Prayer

Application of Imperatival Praying

Water Baptism and the Lord’s Prayer


Chapter Seven








Addressing the 3rd annual meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies in 1973, Church Historian Martin Marty stated that while the “Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements made twentieth century contributions to the life of a ‘nation of ’believers,’ they were in no sense theologically inventive nor were they constituted on intellectual or cognitive foundations.” He continued: “Bibliographer David W. Faupel condensed it all into one line, ‘a Pentecostal theology has never actually been written.’”1 More recently, Harvey Cox declared: “Pentecostal theology is an oxymoron.”2


Although such statements--including mine--are gross distortions, they contain an element of truth in that most observers of the Movement have assumed that Pentecostalism was first an experience that has ever since been in search of a theology. We have been blinded to the reality that at its heart, Pentecostalism is a new theological paradigm. This truth was well known to the Movement’s initial adherents. As Morton Plummer, editor of an early Pentecostal journal, pointedly articulated:


We are not, as many suppose, wholly taken up with the mere matter of individual experience, solely with reference to the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  This is prominent, indeed paramount, still it is but one phase of a many sided and mighty divine movement toward the restoration of the church to her lost estate.3


However, those same theological pioneers failed to convey adequately their theological understanding to the next generation of leaders. Frustrated, many of the passing generation just prior to World War II called for a new revival to reawaken this understanding. For example A. G. Ward, an early leader in the Pentecostal Church of Canada, took note of the situation and flatly declared that a new kind of leadership was necessary if the Movement was to accomplish its mission in its second generation, “Such a revival as we have in mind will require a new order of leadership. . . .leaders who will be strategists, rather than tacticians.”4


When the revival, known as “The New Order of the Latter Rain,” came in 1947, it swept across the Pentecostal landscape renewing and extending the theological vision of initial 1906 outpouring. It came with such force and authority that it refused to be ignored. The second generation leadership initially did not know what do with it, but one by one they came to reject its message thereby forcing it “outside the camp.” 


Though hidden from public view, the message would not disappear. Through networks of emerging independent churches and the leadership of independent evangelists like William Branham, Oral Roberts and T. L. Osborn the movement and its message, was embraced throughout the world, even penetrating the mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions. 


In the late 1970’s it became my task to trace the movement and articulate its message as it developed historically. When my internal examiner, David Ford, a Charismatic Anglican and now Regis Professor at Cambridge University, read my dissertation, he responded with stunned astonishment. “This is incredible theology,” he told me. “Someone from this perspective must do reconstructive work and engage the contemporary theological scene with this message.” I heartily concurred and prayed that I would live to see the day.


That day has come! In this sweeping, provocative and ground breaking work, Loren W. Caudill, steeped in the Latter Rain theological tradition, has immersed himself in the broader theological context and engages Pentecostal, Evangelical and Classical traditions in a stimulating, insightful, irenic manner. No longer can it be said:  “A Pentecostal theology has never actually been written”. In the pages which follow, you will find it fully developed and systematically articulated. I commend this volume to you with great joy.


David W. Faupel

Professor of Theological Research

Wesley Theological Seminary

4th Sunday after Pentecost 2006



The importance of the Pentecostal movement cannot be overestimated. In his book “Fire From Heaven,” Harvey Cox, notes “its the fastest growing Christian movement on earth.”1 With the advance of Pentecostal evangelism the church may be retuning to its original charismatic identity. Werner Hoerschelmann says, “Pentecostal spirituality is the future.”2 We must be encouraged that the climax of the church will probably be at least as glorious as was its beginning as evidenced by the present growth of Pentecostalism. Scripture is emphatic about the growth of God’s kingdom (his charismatic presence). It will fill all the earth (Num 14:21; Heb 2:14). Seemingly, the Pentecostal / charismatic movement is becoming God’s preeminent agent for the fulfillment of these prophecies. According to the statistics of Stanley Burgess, Charismatic and Pentecostal churches have by far the greatest rate of growth among all Christian groups: In 1900 they had just under 981,400, in 1970 they grew to 72,223,000. The total figure is 523 million as of AD 2000.3 Amazingly, this growth has occurred even-though the movement has yet no generally recognized or established doctrinal foundation. Arguably the most famous critic of Pentecostal doctrine, James D. G. Dunn has stated:


“Pentecostalism is built foursquare on Acts. So far as its doctrine of the Spirit-baptism is concerned Paul need not have written anything. Indeed Paul seems to be more of an embarrassment than an asset, so that time and again expositions of this doctrine conveniently ignore him, apart from a few face-saving references which are not always relevant to the doctrine as such.”4


Most Pentecostals assume that such comments are motivated by theological interests seeking to justify their own spiritual deficiencies. However, Dunn is not alone in his criticism nor is it unfounded. Gordon Fee, (Pentecostal scholar) while noting the positive side of Pentecostals states, “they are at the same time noted for bad hermeneutics.”5


Traditional Pentecostals have looked to the narrative of Acts and assumed that this was justification enough for the experience. In this they are probably correct. How much further along would the church be today had it tenaciously subordinated itself to the Acts 2 paradigm? Thank God for this ecclesiastical snapshot! It is a great plumb line against which the church may be justifiably evaluated. However, this historical photograph is no substitute for a full theological explanation of the experience. According to Donald Dayton Pentecostalism stands in a long tradition of a “subjectivizing hermeneutic.”6 And of course this is from focusing only upon the Acts narrative for scriptural authority. Acts 2 does not overtly correlate or subordinate for us the other great themes of scripture that elucidate the Pentecostal experience. Acts 2 does not by itself explain the intimate connection of Pentecost to the gospel of Jesus or the teachings of the epistles. Neither does Paul’s teaching on the gifts of the Spirit move us forward in any substantial way toward a theological foundation. The teachings of I Cor 12-14 (called “face saving texts” by Dunn) on the gifts of the Spirit were primarily pastoral in nature, not theological.


Today many assume that the present outpouring of the Spirit simply and sovereignly began in 1906 with the Azusa Street revival. However this just is not historical reality. The Azusa Street revival did not take place in an experiential vacuum. Its roots are to be found in the holiness movement with a widespread hungering and thirsting after personal transformation. Much contemplation had already occurred concerning virtually all aspects of the Pentecostal experience.7 As early as 50 years before Azusa believers were experiencing an outpouring of the Spirit that empowered them for holy living. Even then, there were isolated reports of believers speaking in other tongues.8 Occasionally it was being called the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”9 The believers at Azusa had access to this previous body of thought. They had at least a general idea of what to anticipate experientially. The Azusa revival was not unique in that people were experiencing the Holy Spirit. It was unique in that it established additional expectations for those who were to seek the baptism of the Spirit. The notoriety of the 1906 revival seems also to have altered the emphasis placed upon the experience. For the holiness movement the purpose of the experience was inner transformation.10 After 1906 the attention seems to have moved more to the quest of spiritual power through revitalization of the gifts. Dayton quotes W. B. Godbey, “Those who stayed closest to the Wesleyan tradition emphasized the ethical consequences and the “graces” rather than the gifts of the Spirit, but the push was increasingly toward the “spiritual gifts and graces.”11 Of course, there is both good and bad news in this. The church desperately needs a restoration of the gifts but it cannot afford to lose sight of the personal restoration of holiness (“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness.”) that must of necessity accompany any real move of God. Without holiness the gifts become a mere sideshow.


Members of today’s holiness denominations believe emphatically that they have experienced a second blessing that is sometimes called “entire sanctification.” Since experience is a highly subjective matter, Pentecostals cannot dismiss the holiness experience as something other than what they claim it to be, an empowering experience in the Holy Spirit. This is not unlike today’s third wave movement that embraces an experience in the Holy Spirit without fully embracing the chrisms. David Barrett views Pentecostals, charismatics and the third wave as one cohesive movement.12 Maybe holiness groups should also be added to this cohesive movement since they likewise tout an experience that is based in the dynamic presence of the Holy Spirit.


Regrettably, the commonality among charismatics ends with the experience. There is no prevailing consensus among those who share the experience as to just what the experience is or how to explain it doctrinally. Dayton has observed that there is a great variety in Pentecostal beliefs.13 Harvey Cox has commented, “Pentecostal theology is an oxymoron.14 Some believe that this lack of doctrinal unanimity exists because spiritual experience predictably precedes doctrinal understanding. McDonnal and Monaque quote Schweizer, “Long before the Spirit was a theme of doctrine, He was a fact in the experience of the community.”15 Hollenweger commented, “The experiential horizon of the interpreter can help or hinder biblical exegesis.”16 It is both normal and beneficial for believers to experience the Holy Spirit before attempting any in-depth understanding of the event or process. This was true even for the apostles. Jesus himself knew that his own apostles would not achieve full understanding until they had first experienced the indwelling of the Spirit, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things (John 14:26 KJV).” The day of Pentecost was that experience. Only afterwards did they begin to fully understand the words of Jesus, which were previously incomprehensible to them. Even so, the understanding came slowly. Karkkainen has commented, “This is clearly evident in the biblical record: A powerful, often charismatic experience of the Spirit came first; only afterward, and in a slow tempo, came theological reflection.”17 As we discover in chapter four, it may have taken 20 years and the spiritual wit of the apostle Paul before the original apostles comprehended the full theological implications of their experience.


Hollenweger in his quotation of Gordon Fee noted, “The Pentecostal’s experience has preceded his Hermeneutics.”18 It is understandable that in the excitement of the fresh outpouring, turn of the century pioneers made critical assumptions about the theological nature of Pentecost that were wrong. They rightly saw themselves as modern day pioneers of an experience. However, they failed to re-pioneer the theological foundation upon which their experience was based and to this day many of their flawed assumptions remain. Karkkainen in his book Pneumatology states that Nikolay Berdayev (the great Russian Orthodox theologian) named pneumatology as “The last unexplored theological frontier.”19 He is correct in this assertion but the theological problems with Pentecostal doctrine extend beyond mere pneumatology. Many of these flawed assumptions lie in our uncritical acceptance of basic fundamentalist doctrines such as ecclesiology, Christology and even soteriology.


The fathers of modern day Pentecost should have laid all of their theological cards (including soteriology) on the table for a complete evaluation in view of their new experience. However, they just did not understand the full extent of the restoration, which they were experiencing. God was not only restoring an experience to the church he was also restoring the understanding of that experience which had likewise perished in the medieval darkness. Any meaningful restoration of Pentecostal doctrine will of necessity challenge long held fundamentalist definitions of biblical terms and in the end it will certainly result in a redefinition of the church and of salvation itself. It will also produce greater theological distance between charismatics and fundamentalists. But in so doing, a clearer and more acceptable explanation of Pentecost will emerge. Of course this study will discuss theological deficiencies that were prevalent even in the reformation. However, fundamentalism will be highlighted as the primary source of doctrinal problems for Pentecostals. Because of this emphasis on fundamentalism it is important to briefly define just what we mean by “fundamentalism” in this context.


Christian fundamentalism is a biblical orintation that arose in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a conservative evangelical reaction to modernism. Fundamentalism embraced five fundamentals: inerrancy of the Scriptures, the virgin birth and the deity of Jesus, the doctrine of substitutionary atonement through God's grace and human faith. the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and the authenticity of Christ's miracles. The nature of the Christian fundamentalist movement, while originally a united effort within conservative evangelicalism, evolved during the early-to-mid 1900s to become more separatist in nature and more characteristically dispensational and premillennialist in its theology having eventually adopted the views of theologian Cyrus I. Scofield (author of scofield Reference Bible). Eventually others like B. B. Warfield begin to espouse the same views. Fundamentilsm did infact work wonderfully to counter modernity. However, in the process it took on its own narrow mindedness and the attitude that all knowledge and truth have now been achieved and nothing new can now be discovered about God or the Bible. This position of absolute correctness of both theology and of completeness of theological understanding is the real problem that we face today in recovering our Pentecostal doctrine.


Pentecostals have long been scorned by academics for their lack of scholarship. Now, because of the worldwide success of the Pentecostal movement, this too has changed. Our success speaks for itself and the academics are aggressively searching for explanations. Scholars want to understand in a theological way why the Pentecostal experience works. Presently the debate is lively and ongoing but among theologians there is yet no consensus on many doctrinal themes that underlie the charismatic experience. Even so, a stage for theological unanimity is being set. It is truly exciting that one of the hottest topics among today’s academics is Pentecostal theology and related doctrines. Eventually and inevitably their conclusions will filter into the church at large. This process will influence how we articulate the Pentecostal experience and will surely affect the believer’s experiential focus. Even without a well-defined theological base, Pentecostalism has now become the largest and fastest growing segment of protestant Christianity.20 It is within the context of this present theological fluidity that this work is submitted to the charismatic and classical Pentecostal community.


As previously noted the charismatic / Pentecostal movement has great cohesiveness in the midst of extremely diverse ecclesiastical and doctrinal environments. The charismatic spectrum extends all the way from Roman Catholics to Pentecostal Oneness groups. It is really amazing even miraculous to see such adamantly held diversity of thought totally eclipsed by supernatural unity in the presence of the Holy Spirit when such groups fellowship with one another. This speaks to the real power of the experience. However, the fact remains that there are great doctrinal schisms amongst charismatics. We cannot overlook the fact that some among us are struggling because of doctrinal misdirection. There are important ramifications associated with our doctrinal beliefs that determine the way we function as the church.


Since we derive our doctrinal beliefs from the way we interpret scripture it is therefore essential that we embrace a hermeneutical posture that will protect us from ecclesiastical activity that is detrimental to God’s real goals for his church. Historical violations of these hermeneutical principles by Pentecostals have led to oddities such as the deliberate handling of poisonous snakes, extreme fascinations with demons, the mistaken equation of emotional states with true spiritual experiences, rolling on floors, unconvincing proclamations in God’s name, animal howlings and many other fanciful diversions. Today some charismatic teachers have patented a brand of theology that is based upon the “One liner” use of scriptural text. It is in some extreme cases everything we have accused the Christian cults of doing by taking verses out of their contexts. As a result, much of the phenomenal growth of Pentecost is itself threatened by cheap theology that will in the end fail a multitude of unsuspecting enthusiasts worldwide. The exponential growth of Pentecost in our day demands that we quickly establish a sound theological basis for our experience. With the hyper growth of Pentecost also comes the hyper propagation of faulty theology.


To their credit, the charismatic faith ministries are having a tremendous impact worldwide. Hungry souls have quickly embraced the outstanding worship and powerful teaching of these ministries. Also the faith ministries have insightfully and diligently translated their teachings of the faith message into the various languages of these countries. But what really is the message being conveyed to these nations about the purpose of Pentecost? Is it about the dynamic transformation available through a supernatural encounter with God? Or is it only about the power in the gifts of the Spirit. Remember, spiritual manifestations can quickly become sideshows where there is no accompanying transformation of human character. How much of the real meaning of Pentecost is being inadvertently withheld from these nations because of a skewed theology of Pentecost? And what are the long-term costs to the kingdom of God as the misdirected theological focus is quickly replicated throughout the nations? In America the effects of errant theology can to some degree be mitigated by the abundance of corrective Christian literature. But in many countries there are no Christian bookstores, virtually no reference materials and very few theologians. Once the theological errors are disseminated generations will have come and gone before the errors are corrected. Hopefully their innate love for Christ will support them through the coming doctrinal / experiential crisis. Because charismatic evangelism is approaching warp speed, the need for a comprehensive theology of Pentecost is understandably urgent.


From its very beginning to the present, my life has been totally immersed in Pentecost. From the Pentecostal perspective I have witnessed the latter part of the Latter Rain Movement, Jesus Movement, Charismatic Movement and the Faith Movement just to name a few. I purchased all the books, listened to all the tapes, cast out demons, helped catch falling bodies, judged prophecies, spoke with other tongues, sang in the Spirit and laid hands on the sick. I have experienced the real thing many times but I have also watched as well intentioned but misguided saints preformed powerless rituals birthed in a purely Pentecostal tradition void of spiritual substance. Generally speaking, the Pentecostal / charismatic experience has not risen to the level of its own self-imposed and sometimes misguided expectations. Gordon Fee has commented: “In the final analysis, the health of the contemporary church necessitates that its theology of the Spirit and its experience of the Spirit correspond much more closely than they have in much of the past.”21


I had a close pastor friend who heartedly embraced the “faith” component of the charismatic movement. With great exuberance and energy this wonderful brother took leadership in his city to sponsor many conclaves and famous speakers. He also supervised the departure of his flock from their old-line denomination. He had firmly embraced the “faith by confession” line. He made all the right confessions, prayed all the right prayers, and always acted in accordance to his beliefs. However, my brother lacked a historical perspective of the Pentecostal experience that could have protected him. Pentecostals understand intuitively from years of experience that positive confessions do not empty hospital beds, no matter how much glossolalia is applied to the effort. Presumptuous faith born of flawed teaching and lacking real supernatural substance will eventually embarrass and disappoint those who embrace it.


This faithful pastor went about preparing for his mega church. He made plans to buy a large building and encouraged other fellowships to join him. But there were problems. Over the period of some months a young man in the fellowship fell ill with leukemia. Continuous and fervent prayer went forth from the church. But in spite of the effort the young man neared death. With great sincerity the pastor purchased a full-page advertisement in the local newspaper declaring that God would heal this young man. Within three weeks the boy was dead. The experience did not destroy my friend but it did end his pastorate at that fellowship and it also drew the curtain on his charismatic dream.


We Pentecostal / charismatics should evaluate our experiences and our beliefs and be honest about our doubts. Throughout my experience in Pentecost I have heard saints asking over and over the same question. “Where is the power of Pentecost?” Some years ago a famous evangelist came to a foreign city where I had also labored. There was great publicity about healing and miracles. So when the crusade came to town most of the Pentecostal and charistmatics attended the meetings. Among the saints in that city there were a significant number of deaf people that attended from one of the local ministries. The evangelist prayed for headaches, back ache pains and of course people who wanted to fall down. But not once did he offer to pray for the deaf. In spite of this he sold many books. Let’s be honest. This is by no means an isolated example. The deaf returned home still deaf. Where was God’s power for them?


I believe that the “faith movement” has been a serious but misguided attempt to address the problem of powerlessness within the Pentecostal movement. The Faith apostles recognized early on that the Pentecostal outcomes were not consistent. They concluded that the problem was the result of a lack of ones knowledge of scripture and of the timidity of ones confession. Their solution was to “Name it and Claim it.” Of course many wonderful blessings have come to us from this movement. They have blessed us with great forms of worship and brought many to Christ. But even in this movement the incongruities persist between rhetoric and reality. The “faith confession” approach to Pentecostal inconsistencies does not resolve the inconsistencies because it does not address the real problem. Much of the goofy hype found among charismatics comes from believers who have never seen a real move of the Spirit. They have never heard a real prophecy nor seen a real miracle. As a result they readily accept “brass imposters” thinking them to be genuine gold. They earnestly desire to see something that looks like Pentecost in their lives and ministries even if it lacks the real dynamic of the Spirit. Good biblical teaching would instruct them to patiently wait and to persevere in seeking the real thing. A doctrinal foundation would protect them from such presumptuousness.


I myself followed the faith line for a while. However, in one of my evening services I was expounding upon the potential of positive confession. So I asked those present to just confess things that God had put in their heart. One young adult male blurted out, “I am believing that the girl sitting next to me will marry me.” They were not really that close and after that night I never saw the young man again. Once while traveling I stopped on a Sunday morning at a faith type fellowship. The Sunday school teacher was expounding long and hard on the faith teaching. One of the attendees then commented that he had been having faith for a Lincoln Continental like the teacher had received by faith. Sheepishly he confessed that in his family’s need for transportation he had instead accepted an old Chevy. He assured the class that he was going to continue to believe for the Continental. He was serious but his belief was flawed. No matter how much that brother of few talents believes he may have to continue serving God with his few talents while driving old cars. I just hope that he does not become discouraged waiting for his experience to overtake his doctrine.


Consider also our Pentecostal experience with divine utterances. Many of them are truly embarrassing and tend to follow the same worn out path. “I love you, I am with you, be good, trust me, I have put my Spirit on you, I have called you to a great work,” etc and etc ad infinitum. Early in my ministry I addressed the triteness of utterances foisted as divine. In agonizing prayer for solutions I was impressed to make the people themselves judge prophecies. This was a wise policy to follow. When supposed prophetic utterances occurred each person was responsible to express the relative value of the utterance to them personally. If they had doubts or no feelings about the utterance they could simply remain silent. If a prophecy was for just one individual that person could seal the word by simply and honestly saying “Amen” which means, “so be it.” This practice became an enduring solution. Prophetic utterances soon became more rare but more powerful. We discovered very quickly that little true worth had been given to most prophecies and that the praise given them had been mostly perfunctory and courteous in nature. The silence became deafening for the want-to-be prophets and discouraged them from practicing without real grace from the Spirit. Truth and introspective honesty had won the day.


So this brings us back to the central theme. If we are all certified tongue-speaking Pentecostal / charismatics, where is the dynamic of our experience? Why are so many prophecies lame? Why do so many people fall down when so few of the lame ever rise? Why is the power not proportional to all the glossolalia? In the mid 80s I devised a questionnaire. It consisted of about 40 questions. In it I asked each respondent to label themselves as Pentecostal / charismatics and to define that label. Then in a retrospective survey I measured the before and after differences in their experiences as observed by each participant. Without exception each respondent used glossolalia as the criteria by which they derived their identity as charismatics. I questioned improvements in things such as soul winning, giving, Bible reading, prayer, acts of compassion, personal relationships, faith, abilities to work miracles, hearing God, fellowship and patience and the ability to live in moral purity. While the survey was less than scientifically implemented, it did underscore that a significant distribution of “Spirit filled” saints were not experiencing the things suggested by their doctrine.


Let us consider now our practice of speaking in tongues. As a youth in summer camps I began to earnestly seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Every year I experienced the same “Pentecostal drama.” The aspirants around me seemed always to move quickly and easily into the ability to speak with other tongues. I, on the other hand, could never quite “get it” and it was not from a lack of effort. I was always the last one out of the prayer auditorium. Even the altar workers normally gave up before I left. I did it all. I lifted my hands saying the phrases “Praise God, hallelujah and I love you Jesus” a thousand times. Often I was instructed, “Just repeat after me.” This was one admonition I just could not follow. During the charismatic movement this was a very common practice. Even some high profile ministers encouraged neophytes to mimic charismatic sounds. Their intentions were undeniably honorable. They felt certain that all any person seeking the Spirit baptism needed was to simply remove their superficial reluctance to speaking gibberish. This practice was and is an example of what can happen in the experience when there are doctrinal deficiencies. Their doctrine (or lack of it) tells them that speaking in tongues will jump-start the whole experience. During the 80s I also undertook a review of charismatic publications including books and denominational periodicals. I was not surprised that virtually all held speaking in tongues as being the most important factor for reception of the Spirit baptism. In fact it was the one topic under the “how-to receive” rubric that was consistently addressed. In other words, if you wanted to be filled with the Spirit you were predictably instructed in the art of speaking with other tongues.


I have a question for the charismatic community. Is it possible to speak in tongues but not to be filled with the Spirit? Do we not know that the world over many cults and isims practice the speaking with other tongues. Even actors practice what they call “Turkey Talk.” It is the combining of various emotions with nonsensical utterances. So now we come to the “unpardonable question.” How many of those poor souls that repeated someone else’s gibberish really got filled with the Spirit? And how many of them still speak “Turkey Talk” while believing they are praying in the Spirit? Of course, the larger question is really, “What is the baptism of the Spirit?” Once this question is definitively answered the question of tongues will dissolve into complete obscurity.


Additionally, It seems very risky if not just wrong to coach a believer in the speaking with other tongues. Tongues are an indication that something miraculous has occurred within the believer. We do not know the heart of those for whom we pray. It is all together possible that many wonderful believers have learned how to speak in tongues from well-intentioned prompters without having experienced the inner transformation of the Spirit. The neophyte leaves the coaching experience pleased that he can utter special words like the rest of his friends and will be accepted unquestionably by peers in his spiritual community. His right to participate in charismatic rituals will never again be held in suspicion. However, secretly he is disappointed that he does not sense the inner transformation. Like his friends before him, he adjusts to the secret disappointment and settles into a regimen of church related activity. He has achieved social acceptance in the charismatic society and has “Pentecostal carte blanche.” His Pentecost is a brass plated sociological experience. Sadly, he will never again seek the real experience being utterly convinced of his Spirit filled status. However, from time to time he is heard to say: “Where are all the miraculous powers of Pentecost in my life?”


We must become adroit in recognizing the difference between the genuine grace of God and imitation experiences. Like king Rehoboam (I Kings 14:25-28), we may be guilty of swapping the golden weapons for brass look-alikes because we are ashamed to face our real poverty. We are ashamed to admit that the laying on of hands is somehow rendered powerless in our own ministry. We learn from experience that nothing happens with the laying-on-of hands only. And the spectacle of spiritual silence is a moment of unbearable shame that admits defeat. At that moment we realize that the gold is gone. “The glory has departed.” Do we fall on our faces in utter humility or do we follow the irresistible temptation to replace the golden shields of the miraculous baptism with the brass impostors of manufactured glossolalia? As will be seen in the summation of this work, the real problem is neither weakness of confession nor flawed doctrine. The real problem with our experience is to be found in the depth of our own commitment to the Lord. However, our doctrinal deficiencies tend to conceal our true depravity.


Yes, the Pentecostal movement is exploding with growth and one might think that with this kind of results there should be no room for criticism such as this. I am not contending that all charismatic expressions are faulty. However, I do contend that much of the excitement and growth can be explained by mere sociological principles at work in a highly positive movement filled with many opportunities for the powers of human suggestion and social affinity. It is not my desire to damper the high spirit of the movement but only to buttress it with a biblical foundation that will support its exponential growth.


Ok, so there are problems with our experience. What about the doctrine itself? What really is the essence of the Holy Spirit baptism? I am convinced that the main reason we have experiential problems in Pentecost is because we have embraced an experience with inadequate doctrinal synthesis. We are guilty as charged. Most major Pentecostal colleges, training centers and discipleship courses use standard fundamental systems of theology to which are attached their own theology of the Pentecostal experience.22As a result of this practice, Pentecostal doctrine has become an addendum to fundamentalist concepts. But most importantly, Pentecostals are hindered in the understanding of their experience because the established meanings presently given to key biblical terms are not totally accurate or are being used inappropriately because they are fundamentalist in origin. In this study I have attempted to define New Testament terms according to their original Pentecostal settings.23 For example: What does the word Christian mean in the context of Jewish believers immersed in a sea of powerful charismatic excitement? What did the term “Born Again” mean to a faithful Jew who had witnessed the charismatic ministry of Jesus and who already believed in him? And what did the phrase “In Christ” mean to believers who walked in midst of charismatic ecstasy? Finally, what did the term “Fellowship of the Spirit” mean to believers who regularly experienced the chrisms?


This book is more than a doctrinal treatise. It is the establishment of a charismatic vision that defines the gospel itself and subordinates biblical concepts and images to that vision. Much of this work has proceeded under the belief that for every valid doctrine expressed in the New Testament there is a corresponding image to be found somewhere in the Old Testament. Because of this belief the book is dedicated more to the grand vista of doctrine than to the nuts and bolts of textual, historical, methodological, and linguistic matters. Since the Holy Spirit is very much active in the life of the church, it is the author’s belief that there is much enlightenment in empirical evidence found simply in “the way things are.” This in turn forces upon us the onerous of determining which manifestations observed in the church are valid expressions of the Spirit and which are purely sociological in nature. Once these determinations are made the common experiences found within the charismatic community may be used as illustrations that help clarify biblical concepts. The successful development of a Pentecostal doctrine requires more than the sterile investigation of academia. As Hollenweger observes, “The strength of Pentecostal hermeneutics is in fact that it takes into consideration the hermeneutics of his experiences.”24


In pursuing our goal (defining Spirit baptism) this study of necessity encounters innumerable theological issues. However our goal is not to give depth to every doctrinal matter but to present a kaleidoscope of interacting themes. When assembled and brought into focus these themes will present a startling new depiction of the Pentecostal experience. Due to the breadth of this undertaking and its somewhat controversial nature crucial points are supported by the scholarly opinions of those qualified to speak on the respective issues. Because of its complexity some applications and connections will be inferential only and will require of the reader some preexisting knowledge of scripture and of various theological issues. Even so, the conceptual flow of the study will yield great advancement in understanding even for the unstudied.


The temptation to skip forward to less challenging chapters should be resisted as each succeeding chapter is based upon the cumulative information of preceding segments. This study demonstrates that our experience is based in the gospels, illustrated in Acts and explained at length in the epistles. It also reveals the interlaced nature of the Holy Spirit baptism as it interacts theologically with the kingdom of God and the ideals related to the messianic anointing and the “In Christ” experience. As the reader will learn, the theology that under girds the charismatic experience stubbornly resists isolation for theological scrutiny. It is truly a matrix of theology and experience that welds believers to each other and experientially places believers into Messiah. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a messianic matrix in which the believer becomes immersed into the realities of the risen Christ. Throughout this work the terms “Pentecost and charismatic” are used interchangeably.


Hopefully, an enhanced understanding of the Spirit baptism will empower all to move more deliberately in the realm of the Spirit and to more effectively communicate the power and joy of Pentecost. This book is presented from the perspective of one who has objectively scrutinized, from a lifetime of participation, the Pentecostal / charismatic experience. While the author is not a scholar or even a theologian he is theologically informed and as such offers the reader concepts that have been evaluated in the light of current scholarship. Because of its potentially controversial nature this study is offered to the reader as a tentative abstract of truth that remains open to revision. Hopefully it will provoke and challenge original thought among Bible students and raise even more questions. It also goes without mention that there are no claims of divine inspiration here beyond that which is common to those who desperately seek a knowledge of that which is holy. The book is written from a deep conviction that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the most profound and satisfying state into which mortal man can enter.

Chapter One




Understanding the Pentecostal experience and its theology requires a working knowledge of eschatology (the study of last things). Because of its importance to this endeavor, more time will be devoted to this subject than to any other topic. There are two fundamental concepts found in biblical teaching about the Pentecostal experience that draw our attention to the subject of eschatology. First of all the whole idea of an end times anointing is intersected by both the anointing of Jesus and the infilling of the NT believers on the day of Pentecost. Both events are depicted as eschatological events (Isa 61:1 / Luke 4 and Joel 2 / Acts 2). Second, Paul and the author of Hebrews label the Pentecostal experience as being representative of future realities. Thus the phrases “earnest” (Eph. 1:12-14: 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5 KJV), “firstfruits” (Rom. 8:23 KJV) and “tasted… the powers of the age to come” (Heb 6:5 NASU) demand scrutiny of the coming age and a precise characterization of the believer’s inheritance.


In this chapter we shall look at the basic ideals of the future inheritance, which would have been commonly held by Jewish believers at the end of the OT period and the history of those views. We will discover that these beliefs were fundamental to the ministry and teaching of Jesus himself. However, this understanding unfolded gradually. Even at the close of the prophetic era many doctrinal implications of scripture remained obscure. During the four hundred years between Malachi and the coming of Jesus, God used the diligence of insightful Jewish scholars to establish many profound principles of theology. These views formed the cultural and religious background upon which the Sadducees and Pharisees confronted Jesus and were fundamental to concepts existing in the NT texts. Pentecostals and charismatics are generally incapable of utilizing the full doctrinal importance of these concepts because, like most fundamentalists, they do not clearly understand the foundational concepts that form the biblical notions of eschatological inheritance.


According to the apostle Paul the things concerning our inheritance are not easily understood (1 Cor 2:7-13). In fact, (according to this text) Paul believed the Christian future was a mystery understood only by people who had received the Spirit. Only those who have received the fullness of the Spirit of God have a clear understanding of their inheritance. But here Paul has in mind an understanding that is intuitional. It is a comprehension that Spirit filled believers obtain from their own experience in the Spirit. While our charismatic experiences are highly subjective they are nonetheless real in that they are the substance of spiritual realities even when they defy logical explanation. In other words, the charismatic is able to touch future realities with his heart apart from the natural powers of logic. With this spiritual perception the charismatic is able to utilize the graces of the future age. His experiences and spiritual sensations are glimpses of things to come. He can actually feel the future. “These things are given to us freely by the Spirit” and that is what the true Pentecostal community has.


While the charismatic community is dependent upon scholarship it is also dependent upon its own spiritual experience for understanding of these things. Ideally scholarship should be combined with intuitional knowledge. Indeed the non-charismatic is handicapped in his understanding of eschatology because he cannot feel it. However, this is not to say the charismatic has no need of scholarship. Scholarship can guide the charismatic in establishing valuable insights for his experience. The coalescence of theology with Pentecostal experience will eventually produce the theological foundation so desperately needed today.


By comparison the fundamentalist view of inheritance is generally simplistic. The average fundamentalist understands justification by faith as the key to heaven, which to him is synonymous with eternal life. Official doctrines about future rewards are more explicit but as a whole they are generally content to see themselves as dwelling in a place called heaven in the presence of Jesus forever. Yes, the fundamentalist believes in a resurrection and in an age to come but in general he gives little thought or recognition to the details of his own doctrine. He is very simplistic in his views and thinks mainly upon his eternal stay in heaven as being his reward. The likely reason for this misunderstanding is the New Testament’s use of the term “kingdom of heaven.” Heaven is most certainly the location of God’s throne and the source of salvation but that does not define inheritance. Other texts that speak of treasures in heaven (Matt 6:20; Luke 18:22; 1 Pet 1:4) and heavenly dwelling places (John 14:2-3; 2 Cor 5:8) lend themselves to this simplistic understanding of eternal reward.


The spirits of departed saints are indeed transported directly to the presence of Jesus in heaven. At first glance these scriptures seem clear, saints receive the inheritance in heaven. But nothing could be further from the truth. Heaven is a glorious place but it is, for the present, just a glorious waiting place. As we shall see, any saint presently enjoying heaven and the presence of God has never yet received the inheritance that is reserved in heaven. Finally, consider Rev 6:9-11. Here is a picture of martyred saints in heaven. They are at the very throne of God but they are restless. They are given white robes and told to “Wait a while longer.” Here is the point to be made. They are in heaven and they are still waiting. Heaven is a waiting place for the saints just as hell is a place where the wicked await their finial reward (Rev. 20:13-14 “death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.” KJV) Going to heaven is not the focus of our inheritance.


Eschatological Salvation


The term “Salvation” in all of its forms is used extensively throughout scriptures. In the OT its usage generally applied to the nation of Israel and referred to deliverance from temporal or worldly situations of either the nation or of individuals. It was also used in a future sense but even then it applied to national salvation and was not directly personal. By this we do not intend to de-spiritualize OT salvation. God designed all of these references as examples for application to the spiritual and personal salvation of those under the new covenant (1Cor 10:6). By contrast the salvation of the NT is immanently personal and spiritual.


As fundamentalists, Pentecostals have depended greatly upon the term “salvation.” However, it has a very broad base of meaning. Sometimes we use it to refer to the means by which one comes into favor with God. The best term to use for this meaning is the word “justification.” It may also denote the process of having been purchased by God from sin and therefore belonging to God. The term for this concept is “redemption.” At other times we use it as a reference to the end result of our justification, e.g. one’s eternal destiny in heaven. Beyond these are concepts like sanctification, glorification, election and even predestination. All of these concepts and others are wrapped up in the idea of salvation. It is however, assumed that the reader of this book already understands justification or the means of salvation. Our immediate focus will therefore be limited to what we shall now call, “eschatological salvation.” It is in the accurate understanding of this future salvation that Pentecostals and charismatics may clearly see and define their own spiritual experience.


Eschatological salvation is the rubric that encompasses all themes of salvation related to final inheritance. The term “salvation” is translated from the Greek word “sodezso.” It can be used of healing, or of making whole or of preserving.1 Sodezso is used 109 times in the Greek NT but in its spiritual application it is used only once as a reference to present salvation. Indeed the focus of this word upon the future is indicative of the whole concept of salvation. Our salvation is begun now through faith in Jesus but it is only complete at his return. This ideal is emphatically taught throughout the NT (e.g. Heb 9:28). Eternal life is in the person of Jesus and whoever has embraced Jesus by faith has the promise of life. The NT is replete with scriptures explaining how one may obtain this eternal life (e.g. John 3:36; 17:3). However, other scriptures show conclusively that eternal life is also something not yet obtainable in this life and that it does not begin in its fullness until the resurrection of the dead at the return of Jesus. In this eschatological perspective it is portrayed as something to be inherited (Luke 18:30; Rom 2:7; Titus 3:7).


Eternal life is a term that appears simple enough to understand. It could be easily defined as life without end but this would be totally inadequate. Eternal life is the NT equivalent of the immortality discussed in the OT. Immortality as noted before was defined in the experience of Adam and Eve. They were in the very presence of God in the course of their daily lives. There is every reason to believe that Adam and Eve were experiencing eternal life. However, that life was clearly probationary and dependent upon their proven obedience to the creator. The only thing that Adam lacked was the permanence of that spiritual and physical (eternal) life which was represented in the Tree of Life. If Adam could have partaken of that tree, he and his descendants would have existed forever in a physical state of either life or death depending upon Adam’s obedience. However, they chose to disobey. Therefore he was driven from the garden, from the presence of God, from the tree of life and God placed cherubim with a flaming sword at the entrance of the garden to prevent his return. Man was truly “away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power” (2 Thess 1:9 NASU). This separation from God was “spiritual death.”


The restoration of eternal life is essentially the return of man to the presence of God and to the context of the life for which he was created. For Adam and Eve that context was the Garden of Eden. In that garden there was the tree of life and a river that flowed from the garden. The river enlarged itself as it progressed and divided into other rivers that flowed in different directions. Man was however, driven out of that garden through its gate. The cherubim and the flaming sword, which guarded the way to the Tree of Life, was man’s last glimpse of the garden and of eternal life (Gen 2:8-14; Gen 3:24).


The final verses of God’s word, describe man’s complete restoration to “Eternal Life” Rev 22:1-2, 14,17). In these texts man is being welcomed back through the gates. However the gates are no longer to the garden but to the holy city. Nevertheless the tree of life is there and the rivers that flowed through the Garden of Eden are now pictured as the “Water of Life.” In Ezekiel’s account (47:1-12) of the restoration the water is flowing from under the door of the house of God. Just like the river that flowed from Eden, this river increased in size as it went. And just like the river in the Revelation, it had trees on either side that bore fruit every month and its leaves likewise becomes healing for the nations. It is interesting that in Ezekiel and in Rev 22:2 the tree of life has multiplied and is seen growing all along the river of the water of life. Thus there are three great images of eternal life. The first of course is the holy city (which equals the Garden of Eden and represents the context of man’s eternal life), second is the River of Life and the third image is the Tree of Life.


This is the picture of eternal life. These scenes are startling depictions of what faith will have achieved. Amazingly, glorious depictions of saints are curiously non-existent in OT prophecies of the resurrection age. Having read the NT, one would expect to see depictions of beings that shine as the sun moving about the earth performing miraculous tasks. They are nowhere to be seen in the OT. In all probability the future glory of the saints is beyond human description. Any attempt to describe them in detail would only diminish their true splendor. Therefore we, the saints, are only depicted allegorically. The saints are the holy city. The church is the bride of Christ, this we already know, but John clearly depicts the bride as being the holy city. So where are the saints in those OT accounts of the age to come?


The Original Creation


Throughout Scripture there is an ongoing association between the ideal future and perfection of man’s original creation. However, it was John the revelator who made this connection better than any other writer. Citing the presence of God’s throne, the river, and the tree of Life, David Aune notes that, “the New Jerusalem is the eschatological counterpart of Eden (see 2:7; 22:1–5).”2 The Hebrew conception of salvation was very simplistic. Salvation would restore mankind to his original and perfect state. So in essence, the Garden of Eden will in the end have been transformed into a heavenly city. However, during much of the OT era relatively little thought was given to the concept of life beyond the grave. Yes, there were clues to the true nature of inheritance throughout the Hebrew Scriptures but it was not well defined until the inter-testimonial period. With thousands of years of history behind us, it is easy for today’s student to look at the Hebrew Scriptures and understand the texts that explain inheritance. But for those OT saints who were actually being used as living examples, it was not clear.


The foundations for inheritance are laid in the very first pages of the OT. First of all, we find that man is created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Then in Gen 2:7 we discover man is composed of both flesh from the ground and spirit from the breath of God. In the NT Adam is called “the son of God” (Luke 3:38) and as such he was likely clothed in the brilliance of divine glory. He knew of no other covering and was not naked. It is possible that his covering of glory had inhibited the desires of his otherwise naked flesh. Adam would have been the quintessential charismatic of any age. Almost certainly he began to radiate with transfiguration glory as the breath of the Spirit entered his body. Man was also created within the context of a perfect world. God warned man that disobedience would result in his death. Accordingly, man died the very day that he sinned (Gen 2:17). Before man sinned he was immortal and destined to live forever; the perfect being living in the perfect context (Eden) created just for him. His future held no sorrow and no toil. He was clothed in brilliance known to no other natural man. But in the day that he sinned Adam was separated from God who was the source of his life. In that same day he was also separated from his glorious covering and from the perfect context, the Garden of Eden, in which grew the tree of life. Both of these losses comprised his spiritual death. But this death would eventually separate man from his own flesh. This was physical death. His flesh continued to exist but in a substantial way he was now dead. Adam was like the widow of whom Paul spoke in 1 Tim 5:5-6. She was “dead even while she lives” (NIV). Death is simply defined as “separation.” It begins with a separation from God the moment man sins. It includes the separation of man from his flesh and is completed at his eternal separation from the glory of God (2 Thess 1:7-10). If it is nothing else, the torment of hell is the infernal knowledge of the eternal glory and power forfeited for the temporary pleasures of sin.


Because of sin, immortal man became mortal. All that Adam was, and all that he had before his fall, constituted his immortality. His immortality was not based in the hope of eternal existence (all rational beings, i.e. angelic, demonic and even unredeemed mankind, will exist forever.) Eternal existence and eternal life are not synonymous terms. It was based in his eternal proximity to the presence of his creator (“depart from Me”). Man’s death had separated him from this immortality. In the mind of the Hebrew believer the only possible inheritance suitable for the righteous was the complete restoration of man to the presence of God and to the perfect context of the original creation.


Restoration of Reality


Adam and Eve are the only natural human beings ever to have experienced original reality. One can postulate that changes resulting from the fall of man are more far reaching than humanly imaginable. When Adam and Eve walked out of the Garden of Eden they really walked out of a quasi-spiritual dimension. According to some Jewish legends, it was a heavenly paradise from which he was expelled.3 That dimension collapsed behind them and remains sealed to mankind. In other words a dimensional veil was drawn over the mind and eyes of man. Physical remnants of Eden still existed in the time of Moses (Gen. 2:11-12). However natural man can no longer find Eden as it is presently guarded by cherubim with flaming supernatural swords to prevent him from either seeing or entering the fullness of the now forbidden realm. When man relinquished the pre-eminence of his original domain, the powers of darkness took his place of leadership in that realm. So not only is fallen man frustrated being outside his original element, he is also greatly hindered by the clandestine forces usurping the position of his authority that was inherent within that domain. Virtually everyone has peered into the heavens and contemplated the expanse of the universe or has experienced the frustration of trying to conceptualize the beginning of God. This frustration is simple evidence of the limitations imposed upon our minds by this veil.


Today men value wealth and honor and power because they cannot see the true riches lying beyond the natural realm. Others grovel their lives away in a menial pursuit of self-preservation and social security. They just cannot see any other way. For them there is only one reality. The writer of Hebrews observes that man has been held captive all his life by the fear of death. Thus the god of this world, Mammon, has gained supremacy over men. In Job 2:4 Satan details the philosophy for his stronghold on men, “Skin for skin, all that a man has will he give for his life.” Satan knows that natural man when blinded to any other reality will give up any quest for freedom just to stay alive. Thus Satan and his clandestine minions maintain a veil of secrecy on the dimension of light.


Belief in the existence of multiple dimensions is not novel thinking. Noted physicists accept it as fact.4 Actually, the well-known Christian physicists / astronomer Hugh Ross subscribes to this theory. He makes a convincing case for it in his book “Beyond the Cosmos.” Ross explains how multiple dimensions exist and how each level can comprehend lesser dimensions without detection from below.5 While scientists use technical terms, the Bible also speaks of this phenomenon using spiritual terms recognized by all believers (Eph 3:10 “rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,” Eph 6:12 “the Powers of this dark world…in heavenly realms” NIV). These verses are only representative but they demonstrate how a dimension, beyond natural comprehension, continues to interact with mankind. Just from these two verses we can determine that an undetectable dimension exists coincident to our perceived 3D world. The existence of these parallel realms is reality. However, because of the veil mankind is vulnerable to continuous bombardment from sinister forces inhabiting the concomitant dimension. Man cannot overcome these forces because he does not understand the nature or the source of his opposition. With the appearance of Messiah and the outpouring of the Spirit the veil is lifted simultaneously with the creation of a new heaven and earth. The apostle Peter speaks of the destruction of the present heavens that cloud the minds of men:


2 Peter 3:7-10 the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment…The heavens will disappear with a roar…and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. (NIV)


Notice Peter believed the removal of the present heavens would expose the earth, “it will be laid bare.” Maybe Peter meant that the earth would finally be observed from a correct perspective because of a change in the heavens.6 Likewise Paul briefly mentions (I Cor. 13:9) the removal of the veil and its effects on man’s ability to see and understand, “we know in part.” With the coming of Messiah and the outpouring of Spirit, new heavens are created (Isa 66:22) that result in a forgetfulness of the former world. Suddenly, the nations perceive clearly the true nature of existence and see with their own eyes the glory of God. Then mankind enters an eternal state of reality previously unimaginable. That which formerly required faith to behold will become that which is normal and seen with natural eyes. Mankind will quickly settle into his new reality and soon forget his former unbelieving state promoted by a veil that hid reality from his mind. The spiritual will become natural. With the return of Messiah and the outpouring of Spirit upon the earth the veil is removed. In this great awakening mankind embarks upon his new vocation of service to God in the new and eternal age of reality.


The Age To Come


In all the complexities of this work there is one preeminent constant under-girding every theme. The great eschatological events of scripture are all portrayed as being initiated as a result of the future outpouring of God’s Spirit upon planet Earth.7 The term “eschatological” must always be associated with the final anointing upon the church and this world. This outpouring is the ultimate anointing from which all other anointings are patterned. From the Christian perspective this outpouring (Isa 44:3-5; Isa 32:15; Ezek 37:14; Joel 2:28-32) is best described as the ultimate Pentecostal experience.


The prophets represented this eschatological event as both the coming of Yahweh and as the appearing of Messiah (cf. the related language in Isa 35:4, 52:7 and 62:12). In one case the coming king is Yahweh, and in the other he is Messiah.8 From a strictly Christian perspective this is not difficult to understand as we know that Jesus is Yahweh and it is Jesus who baptizes both his saints and the world to come in the Spirit. Here the objective is to gain a general overview of the various aspects of the age to come as presented in the OT. So we see that the transformation of earth and the beginning of the new age happen because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the appearing of Messiah. Again, this is for the church the ultimate Pentecost. Because of God’s uninhibited presence on earth, everything will revert to its original purpose for existence. This will be true of both nature and natural man. This restoration will be complete and permanent. Understandably, the new age came to be known as “the times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19).


Commensurate to the outpouring of Spirit, the Hebrew believer envisioned a future prefect age with a perfect world inhabited by meek and faithful men. As per Klausner, “For the basic principle of the Messianic expectation is nothing else than the longing for the Golden Age in the future, whether near of distant.”9 In short this was the complete restoration of the immortality lost by Adam. They came to believe in a resurrection within the context of a perfect world. The resurrection was to restore the breath of God to man while the creation of new heavens and a new earth completed the “context” of man’s immortality. Resurrection is not just a personal event. The OT portrays the resurrection as the defining event that initiates a new and glorious age. That age became known as “the resurrection age” among early Jewish scholars. Jesus accepted that designation and freely conversed with the Jews of his day based upon the assumption that the resurrection event would include the recreation of human bodies in conjunction with the renovation of society and the earthly environment in which they would forever exist (Luke 20:35).


The OT scriptures that speak of this resurrection context are numerous but it is not our objective to give it comprehensive attention. For now we are only interested in the general conception of this future age from the OT perspective. Scriptures describe the eventual recreation of the planet, the longevity of mankind, divine social order, and the peaceful condition of nature. And, if they can be taken literally, also detail such things as the construction of homes, God’s blessings upon agriculture and the blessings of childbirth. And most importantly these prophecies proclaim the eternal presence of Almighty God dwelling upon earth with mankind (Isa 11:4-10; 65:17-25; 66:22).


Zechariah 14:3-21 is focused upon the actual events that precede the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth. It then proceeds to describe in great detail how Jehovah (Christ) will enforce his rule upon the nations. This text depicts Jehovah as fighting against the nations and standing on the Mount of Olives as it is divided. It speaks of Jehovah coming with his holy ones and of the living waters flowing from Jerusalem. Jehovah smites Jerusalem’s enemies with a consuming plague and Judah also fights at Jerusalem with a great gathering of spoil from the nations. It speaks of the surviving nations as making annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem to worship Jehovah called the king. Those who do not participate in this worship will experience drought and plague. While many OT scriptures can and should be allegorized, it is very difficult to spiritualize details like those found in this text. It speaks of meteorological and geological events that precede the coming of Jehovah as well as a great battle for the destruction of the wicked. Even Jesus interpreted this text literally (Matt 24:29).


Three times in this passage Jehovah God, the one who is returning, is called “The King.” While this text does not mention the resurrection nor describe the simultaneous restoration of the earth it seems clear that this is the beginning of the eschatological kingdom of God on planet earth. This is the fulfillment of the Jewish hope of eternal life and of immortality. Whenever Jesus spoke of the “Kingdom of God,” this is the picture that formed in the Jewish mind. Interestingly, while Jesus greatly broadened and clarified the actual scope of the “Kingdom of God,” he never once altered the Jewish ideal of an inheritance in the earthly context of the kingdom of God.


Of course there are major theological problems with these ideals for the fundamentalist. First of all, they portray the future of our planet as a place where God is dwelling with man. However, these men are completely natural. They are bearing children and therefore are presumably enjoying normal marital relationships. It seems quite clear, especially from Isa 65:17, that these people are enjoying a dramatically new earth. They are also engaged in manual labor and living in homes built from presumably natural building materials. Agriculture seems to resemble that which Adam himself might have enjoyed before his fall.47 It also seems that the nations will be required to make periodic pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Additionally it seems evident from this text and from many other OT prophecies that the city of Jerusalem was to become the future capitol of the world (Isa 2:2-5).


This future scenario just does not fit the fundamentalist concept of eternal life or of inheritance. This is not a simplistic view of inheritance. Now according to fundamentalists, Christians are supposed to live in heaven (not on earth) with God eternally in resurrected bodies that are not involved in natural childbearing (Luke 24:34). In addition (though seldom pondered) most fundamentalist systems of theology incorrectly believe that the “new heavens and the new earth” will only be created after a one thousand year reign upon the earth by the saints with Christ (this will be discussed later). Fundamentalists also simplistically expect the cessation of all natural human life at the return of Christ. So here we find a major paradox. The NT teaches that no flesh shall inherit the kingdom of God. Who then, are these natural human beings living blessed natural lives? Are these people the redeemed? Is this the kingdom of God?


Whenever we face incongruities like these, it points inevitably to flaws in other basic areas of scriptural understanding. We all follow trails made by other men who were themselves just wandering. Soon those paths became deep theological ruts out of which we choose not to venture. Mysteries like the ones before us cannot be solved until these flaws in our thinking are corrected. However, one must remain honest about the quandary and open to alternative suggestions or solutions will never be found. The paradox before us in these texts is a perfect example. We cannot blindly dismiss the incongruity with the excuse that “evangelism is more important so just forget it.” We could decide to spiritualize them or pretend that they are just so much prophetic poetry designed to convey a generalized hope. But in good faith we cannot leave these scriptures without at least some attempt to make them congruent. Remember, we are seeking an accurate understanding of the age to come and it must be credible. Therefore the following solutions are offered as tentative suggestions.


The first possible problem with our understanding of the above scriptures is a problem of faulty hermeneutics. By this I mean that we may not really understand the nature of OT prophecy and how it is properly applied to future events. One solution in understanding difficult prophecies is to grasp the immediate circumstances addressed by the prophet. A common phenomenon that may be observed in the OT is that the details of the prophecy often exceed what actually occurs in its historical setting. The excess detail must then become the focus of spiritualization or application to a future time. Klausner illustrates this well in his discussion of Zechariah. He notes how the term "Shoot" was first applied prophetically to Zedekiah by Jeremiah but was later applied to Zerubbable10 But in retrospect we discover that the real prophetic intent by the Spirit was to have it apply to the ultimate Messiah. Klausner presents another outstanding example of this divinely intended manipulation of prophecy in his discussion of Isa 9:5 with Isa 11:1:


"For a child is born unto us," and so on (9:5), and "There shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse" (11:1), were spoken originally with regard to Hezekiah….But Hezekiah was such a King-Messiah only to a limited extent; hence…the prophet…postponed the fulfillment…to a later time, the Age to Come.”11


In his book The Presence of the Future Ladd summarizes the research of Stanley B. Frost and T. C. Vriezen. Independently they identify four different concepts (prophetic genre) of the future in Hebrew-Jewish thought. Frost labels them, “Better Age, Golden Age, Future Age, and the Age to come.” Vriezen also found four that he called, “pre-eschatological,” “proto-eschatological,” “actual-eschatological” and “transcendental-eschatological.”12 His point is that prophecy is a mix of both historical and eschatological applications. “In all of these prophecies, history and eschatology (as well as poetic usage, Ladd p.50) are so blended together as to be practically indistinguishable.”13 Here we only want to underscore the fact that OT prophecy is not simplistic and a “one size fits all” assumption about prophetic hermeneutics is just foolish. But we have now said enough to make it clear that OT prophecy addresses many different things in many different ways. Most of our confusion probably arises from trying to force every prophecy into our own preconceived notions about eschatology.


Thus with texts such as that found in Zechariah, we must consider that it may have been written in an apocalyptic style of idealism or that it was spoken to a historical situation that is now completely beyond our ability to know.14 We are then left with the task of determining just how far we should go with our spiritualization over against a literal application to the coming age.


Now having said all of the above it still seems reasonable to conclude that there are natural men existing in a spiritualized world. One possible solution to this paradox involves our view of the justice of God and the manner in which it is executed on that day when he comes to exact vengeance upon the earth. It seems from many scriptures that some natural men do indeed survive the judgment at the second coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Matt 5:5 that the meek would inherit the earth. It is certain that this includes the church but is it also possible that there are those in God’s justice who just have not had the opportunity to make a decision that would have allowed them to be a part of the resurrection? There is currently an ongoing debate between scholars who embrace inclusivism (the inclusion of non-Christians in eternal life) and those who contend for restrictivism (the exclusion of non-Christians from eternal life) that has demonstrated the theological inadequacy in fundamentalist philosophy on just who will be “saved.”15 While this discussion is long overdue, it does not squarely address our immediate concern. Our quandary is more fundamental. We want to know about the precise nature of eschatological salvation. Will natural men exist forever alongside glorified saints? Only after having answered this question can we discuss who will fulfill the various roles found in eternity. The inclusivism / restrictivism debate does not tell us why there are natural peoples existing in the eschaton because it proceeds under an assumed definition of eschatological salvation that is unacceptably general. Hopefully this study will eliminate that deficiency.


Additionally, scholars are somewhat undecided by the words of Jesus concerning the separation of the sheep and the goats in Matt 25:31-46. It would seem that the judgment here is not between the church and the world but between the incorrigibly wicked and those who might be labeled “the meek” of the world. First of all, both groups are referred to as the nations. The word “nations” is translated from the Greek word “ethne.” It is a word that is commonly employed to distinguish the people of God (the elect) from all other non-Jewish people. In God’s economy one is either a Jew and a participant in his inheritance, or a part of the “ethne” that are cut off from the blessings of God. Now both of these groups are identified as being the “ethne.” Interestingly, they are both judged based upon their humanitarian concern for the weak and the misfortunate. It might be assumed that the recipients of their compassion were the saints because Jesus refers to them as “My Brethren.” However, Jesus is here intimating something profound but less understood about his own character. God who is perfect in compassion completely identifies with those of this world who are downtrodden and weak. No act of compassion unselfishly directed to the poor and the helpless will go unnoticed in the Day of Judgment and every act of callousness will likewise be remembered (Ps 18:25-28; 112:5-7; Matt 5:7; 7:2; James 2:13).


These nations do not seem to be judged based upon their faith in the blood of Jesus but only upon their treatment of the sick and unfortunate who were near them. In fact their response indicates that they were not even aware of the saving merits of their own actions. It seems they just acted out of human compassion and based upon that compassion Christ is granting compassion to them in his judgment. It would also seem apparent that the nations assembled are not merely those individuals alive at the return of Christ. The wording implies that this judgment includes all nations of mankind that have ever existed. Thus it is a judgment of both living and of all resurrected mankind.


Now, it is true that the sheep nations are told to enter the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the earth (Matt 25:34). This could be viewed as God’s gracious offer to the unevangelized in that, while being excluded from glorious inheritance of the saints, are nevertheless being granted the privilege of inhabiting the natural earth and of serving its new sovereign. They are not participating in the resurrection but are beneficiaries only of the same natural restoration that will be extended to the physical creation. Thus the ages to come will include both natural humans destined to live in a natural perfection and resurrected saints totally clothed in glorified flesh. It is true that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. But these souls are not personally participating in the resurrected glory of the kingdom. They are indeed the beneficiaries of glory, but it will only be like the glory experienced by Moses as he stood in the presence of God. This is a glory dependent upon proximity. Even with this reflective glory, Jesus would have excluded Moses (along with John the Baptist), as having been a kingdom person. The glory of the saints is the eternal indwelling of Christ. It is a glory that never fades because Christ is forever abiding in them and their glory is never dependent upon their external proximity to God. They are themselves the presence of Christ. It should also be noted that the holy angels are reckoned to be part of the kingdom of God and they too are totally without a blood bought redemption. They are also subject to this judgment and are likewise judged by merits other than their faith in the blood of Jesus.16


The idea of natural man existing on earth after the consummation is just not acceptable to most fundamentalists. They want black and white solutions in eschatological salvation and demand that one face the either/or destiny of heaven or hell. But this just does not conform to scripture. The true nature of eschatological inheritance cannot be understood unless this issue is resolved.


David Aune has suggested four Jewish eschatological expectations for the future status of gentiles. In two of his four options gentiles are either annihilated or brushed to the side as in (Isa 11:10–16). In another vein of thought gentiles become subservient to Israel and are required to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem to pay tribute (Isa 49:22-23; Jer 3:16-17; Zech 8:22; Zech 14:16-19; Ps 72:9-11). In his fourth scenario Aune shows that there is great anticipation of the nations entering wholeheartedly into the worship of God in the age to come (Isa 2:3-4).17


In the book of Revelation the presence of natural man in an eschatological world seems certain. So in Rev 21:23-26 the nations and the kings of the earth are present with but external to the New Jerusalem. The very fact that John sees the holy city as being apart from the earth seems to presuppose a fundamental distinction between those who live on the planet and those who compose the heavenly city. This is true even if the whole portrayal is metaphorical as opposed to an actual depiction of reality. While some scholars disagree,18 the idea that this city is the “dwelling of God” seems to offset any objection. From the words of Jesus (John 14:2) to the teaching of Paul (2 Cor 5:2; Eph 2:22) and from the OT (Ezek 37:27) there is little doubt that the church is this dwelling place of God. Additionally, John designates God’s dwelling as being “with” (KJV, NIV) or “among” (NASU) mankind. This may reflect the distinction made by Jesus in John 14:17 “he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (KJV). Here God is only dwelling “with” the nations whereas the church is more consistently described as being “in” Christ. Finally, the whole idea of wiping away tears (Rev 21:4) seems out of place if it were to apply to the saints. The tears belong to the natural world of men not to the already glorified saints who are appearing with Christ in glory and who are enshrined within the infrastructure of the city.


In Rev 2:26-27 Jesus himself promises to give authority over the eschatological nations to those who overcome the temptations of this present life. Even Paul believed the church would judge eschatological men. Who are these nations? Are they Baptists and other non-charismatics who just did not make the cut? Are these nations really the Jewish remnant having become (in relation to the spiritual Israel) gentiles? Because of the radical nature of this theological approach, I remain open to suggestions. However, the most logical solution is to view these souls as simply natural gentile nations inhabiting the eschatological world. This extreme departure from the simplicity of fundamentalist thinking lays the foundation for a radically new way of perceiving the charismatic experience. Its application will become apparent as we proceed but for now we continue to establish credibility for the position.


In addition to the above scriptures showing God’s future mercy upon those who are merciful, there are many verses that indicate God will look favorably upon those who are meek and humble in his judgment (Ps 76:8-9; 25:9; Isa 11:4; 29:19-20; Zep 2:3-4). These texts easily reflect the judgment depicted in Matt 25:31-46, which is seen as an interactive and contemplative event. There are other scriptures that lend support to this interpretation. Jesus said that his followers would “shine forth in the kingdom of God (Matt 13:43)” after the earth had been purged of the wicked. The manner of this phrasing seems to suggest that there would be those apart from the church who would be the ones to behold and to marvel at the glory of the saints of God (2 Thess 1:10). The idea that Christ will be on display and admired in his church is also reflected in other texts (e.g. Eph 2:7; Col 3:4). The underlying implication is that there are beings apart from believers who will do the marveling at Christ who is in his church.


Part of mankind will have become totally hostile toward the reign of Christ. The other part of mankind, having never received Christ, will survive this judgment based upon their sincere compassion and humble acceptance of the coming king. Nowhere among these nations (the sheep and the goats) is the church to be seen. This is the body of mankind that will either terminate in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels (Rev 20) or be allowed existence in the new world. The latter are those of Rom 1:19-20 who were faithful not to the gospel but to the invisible qualities of God as seen in the natural creation.19


It is important to note that mankind has never rejected God based solely upon atheistic belief. He has never been deceived into rejection of God. Men reject God because their hearts are wicked (John 3:19-21). When Christ appears some natural men will bow their knees in humble acceptance. Other men will vainly resist him. Like the wicked subjects of the master, (Luke 19:14) they will say “This man will not rule over us,” These are men who are totally and insanely depraved. Unlike those who are willing to bow the knee before him, these wicked men will, even in the face of certain eternal damnation, reject his reign over them. Unlike the humble without opportunity they are totally wicked.


God does establish a throne for the judgment of all men and it is at this judgment that these nations stand as either sheep or goats. If there is any redeeming value in any man, it will be so judged. Here the question concerns the nature of the ultimate throne of judgment. Is it a judgment designed to openly vindicate God in his harsh judgments upon the wicked? Or is it a judgment that includes final appeal and even final mercy? I cannot personally answer this question. But no matter what position I take I cannot fully understand the justice of God in regards to the final dispensation of men. If these humans are given the right to live natural lives throughout the ages it would seem only fair that men of all ages who exhibited the same human compassion should be allowed the same opportunity. Otherwise the only difference between going to the lake of fire and a blessed and eternal (albeit natural) stay upon earth would be the chance timing of ones existence upon the earth. This would seem to be a disparity in justice that is not based upon the fair evaluation of ones character. But if God were to make this kind of evaluation for those not alive at his return, it would involve a resurrection of natural men to a natural state. This would not really be a resurrection like that awaiting those who had faith in the blood of Jesus because Paul said that the resurrection of the saints would be a resurrection to a heavenly, not earthly, body (1 Cor 15:49). And it would not be a resurrection like the wicked because they are raised to eternal corruption. It would be a third kind of restoration, which is nowhere plainly taught in scripture though it might be inferred.


God’s words to Daniel (12:1-4) may also provide impetus for this third kind of resurrection to a natural state. This passage portrays the resurrection as having at least three distinct categories. There seems to be a major twofold division among those who share in the light. This accords well with other scriptures that provide for varying degrees of reward. But in practical terms, just how far may the division between the “brightness of the firmament and the shinning of the stars” be taken? As previously suggested natural flesh is capable of absorbing and reflecting the glory of God. This was seen in the case of Moses. So then it is possible that Daniel’s reference to a division in brightness may reflect the relative glory of mankind based first of all upon their status in Christ through his blood and for those not found to be wicked, based on their deeds.


Another disquieting possibility presents itself in the parable of the 10 virgins (Matt 25:1ff). All of the bridesmaids are called virgins. It is clear that all had aspirations of becoming part of the anticipated wedding. All had made some provision for what they considered a momentous event. However, half of the maids had not procured enough oil for entrance into the eschatological event. Without doubt the oil points to the Holy Spirit. Ostensibly this would have pointed to wavering Jews who were not quite willing to abandon the law for the righteousness that was to come on the day of Pentecost. Unfortunately, there are even today many individuals and religious persuasions who are likewise wavering. It is astounding but such wavering is found even in Pentecostal churches and organizations that still promote legalism as their way to righteousness. The problem with legalism is that it just does not work. Only the oil of the Holy Spirit can renovate and change the heart. This is the basis upon which we are judged and receive our reward. The foolish virgins did not enter the great eschatological event because their hearts had never truly been changed by the power of the Spirit. They were the Jews of old and the legalists of today (a subcategory of believers populating the entire spectrum of denominational Christianity) who just could not let go of an unworkable plan of righteousness. In other words, they failed the test because they were not righteous on the inside.


It is tragic but these outwardly wonderful people were disallowed an entrance into the kingdom of God. Even after the door had shut these souls sought entrance and could not find it. In Matt 25:31 where the sons of the kingdom are similarly excluded, the “regretful souls” are cast into outer darkness. In these parables it does not seem accurate to characterize the “regretful souls” as the wicked. There is of course room for this characterization as in Matt 13:50 where the truly wicked are indeed cast into the fiery furnace. Under no condition do wicked men wish to join the saints in the glory of God. “Regretful souls” like the foolish virgins immediately understand their loss. When it is said, “they are cast into outer darkness,” it is not necessary to also throw them into hell. These “regretful souls” are the nations of natural men who just failed to requisition the available spiritual resources for genuine holiness. Their experience in outer darkness is defined in their exclusion form the eternal brilliance of the holy city. Their darkness is relative. Even if they live forever in the glory of a restored earth, they will never radiate from within the eternal brilliance of God. They are the natural souls of the eschatological world.


If the resurrection allows for the restoration of men to a natural state, then presumably they are men who either lacked opportunity for deeper revelation of God or who, while really wanting God, just could not muster the human initiative required to overcome their natural inclinations (though not deemed wicked). If there is such a resurrection it would represent literally millions of souls but it would not be the “resurrection of the righteous elect.” All men including saints are judged by their actions (Matt 16:27, Rev 2:23, Rev 20:11–14) The difference between the multitudes of the regretful and the sons of light is in their foresight and determination to have appropriated the resources of the Holy Spirit in changing their hearts and thus their actions upon which all are judged. There are many things still difficult to understand about judgment but we know with confidence that the judgment of Christ will be absolutely fair and astoundingly just and the judge will be one who is “Greater than Solomon.”


The Eschatological Messiah


The blessings of the end times as presented in the OT became intimately bound to the belief that Messiah would eventually emerge on the world scene and dramatically influence the world order (e.g. Isa 2:2-4; 9:6-7; 11:1-9 and 40:3-11). Some OT texts apply to the first coming of Messiah. This would include references to the atoning activity of Jesus. Other texts are focused upon real time historical events that involved messianic personages. Examples of this usage may be seen in prophetic predictions of human leaders destined to arise and function in the arena of historical events. Sometimes the prophecies of these events refer to historical as well as eschatological events. Making these distinctions is sometimes difficult even for seasoned theologians. However, in this study we will do our best to isolate and comment on the purely eschatological aspects of the various messianic texts.


The term Messiah is a modification of the Greek form of the word, according to the Hebrew. It is used in the OT mostly of kings and priests who were ceremoniously anointed for their office of service. It is also used of the heathen king Cyrus (Isa 45:1) as being chosen by God. He is nevertheless unlikely to have been physically anointed by any representative of God. John Watts has stated, “the term ‘Messiah’ as a special title is never applied in the OT to the unique king of the future. It was not until the later post-prophetic period that the term was used in a technical sense”20


The first intimation of a coming deliverer predates even the formation of the Jewish race (though it was first recorded by a Jewish writer). This of course is the idea found in Gen 3:13 that one would crush the head of the beguiling serpent. In retrospect we can see that Adam himself was a type of Messiah as also was the ark of Noah. But for the present we are not considering mere messianic images. We are looking for the idea as it is found in prophetic statements. Gen 22:17-18 contains a vague reference to Messiah, “Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me" (NIV). The idea is somewhat clearer in Gen 49:10, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his” (NIV).


Messiah is also predicted to come as the preeminent prophet, The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him” (Deut 18:15 NIV). For Christians it is easy to identify Jesus as the prophet but this was not so for the Jews of his day as they seemingly had not associated the prophet to come as being one and the same with Messiah (John 1:21,25; 7:40 ff).21 Since there does not seem to be obvious references to any eschatological function of Messiah in a prophetic role, we must assume that predictions of his prophetic role are limited to his first coming and are thus beyond our immediate concern.


Another important portrayal of Messiah is that of his priestly character. In Zechariah Joshua becomes the type of the coming "Branch" of the Davidic house (Zech 3:8). In this portrayal He receives the crown, which is a symbol of union between the kingly and priestly offices in the Messiah (Zech 6:11 ff). It is also likely that Ps 110 is a depiction of Messiah in both roles.22 Again there are hints of priestly ministry in His final eschatological role but it is more likely that Christ is presently fulfilling this ministry from heaven. (Heb 4:14).


One could speculate that the ministry of Messiah may be divided into three distinct categories. He came as a great prophet like Moses wherein he established the word of God for a new testament and led the faithful out of evil. Then Messiah begins his priestly ministry in the heavens by applying his blood to whosoever believes on him. “He ever lives to make intercession.” Finally, Messiah returns to earth to begin his eternal reign as sovereign king forever. The eschatological facet of Messiah as king is the chief element in OT messianic thought. The promise of an eternal sovereign became explicit with God’s promise spoken by Nathan to King David (2 Sam 7:12-16). Many later Psalms and prophecies were based upon Nathan’s word to David (e.g. Ps 2; Jer 23:5). The messianic king as prophesied by Nathan would rule in righteousness and attain universal dominion and David’s descendant would forever sit on the throne of Israel. This prophecy furnishes the foundation upon which all other prophecies of an eschatological messiah are based.


It is obvious from a quick reading of the gospels that the term “Son of Man,” (according to Stalker) “was Jesus’ favorite self-designation. In Matthew it occurs over 30 times, in Mark 15 times, in Luke 25 times, and in John 12 times. Outside the Gospels, it occurs only once in Stephen's speech (Acts 7:56), and twice in the book of Rev 1:13; 14:14.”23 But why does Jesus emphasize this seemingly diminutive term for himself and from where does the phrase come?


The OT the phrase is found in (Psalms, Ezekiel, Daniel). In Ps 8:4 it is used as an equivalent for “man.” In Ps 80:17 it seems to be a direct reference to Messiah. In Mark 13:26 Jesus uses of himself the phrase “Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory.” And in Mark 14:62 he uses the phrase “sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven" (NIV). Also compare Matt 24:30, Matt 25:31 and Matt 26:64 (“Son of Man coming in glory”) with Dan 7:13-14:


"I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, 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" (KJV).


Thus, by his usage of this phrase, Jesus identifies himself as the apocalyptic personage of the future. But what did that really mean to Jesus? Many present day believers assume Jesus preferred the title as a means of identifying with mankind and as a means of reaffirming the humble nature of his kingdom. According to Ladd “He called himself the Son of Man because this title made an exalted claim and yet at the same time permitted Jesus to fill the term with new meaning.”24 However, as James Stalker suggests, “Christ by this phrase represented Himself as the head, the type, the ideal of the race."25 This is a strategic observation that will be fully discussed at a later juncture. In the “Son of Man” designation Jesus saw himself as the new Adam in whom dwelt a new race of men.


Ladd has identified four distinct usages for the term “Son of God” in scripture. The first he identifies as the “nativistic sense” wherein a being is directly created by God as was Adam (Luke 3:38).26 Ladd also identifies a “moral-religious” category that he equates with adoption. However, in this study we will view adoption as an integral part of the “messianic meaning,” which is his third classification. Finally Ladd believes the term is used uniquely of Jesus in that he had a divine nature distinct from his acquired messianic identity. This he calls the “theological meaning,”27 We are most interested in its messianic use based on Ps 2:7 as it relates to 2 Sam 7:13-14 quoted above:


Ps 2:7 "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. (NASU)


Psalms 2:7 is thought to have been the quoted text of a coronation ceremony of the Davidic kings. The descendents of David having been anointed would read “The Decree,” (“You are my Son today I have become your Father.”) based upon the prophecy of Nathan to David (2 Sam 7:13-14).28 Hence the Anointed King was called “My Son.” From this OT context the phrase “Son of God” receives its messianic connotations. Craigie notes: “I have begotten you” is metaphorical language; it means more than simply adoption, which has legal overtones, and implies that a “new birth” of a divine nature took place during the coronation.”29 As will become apparent later, “adoption” and “new birth” are enormously important to our understanding of Pentecost.


Finally, Ladd makes an interesting observation on Jesus’ baptismal pronouncement of Sonship. He contends that the voice from heaven “conflates” Psalms 2:7 with Isaiah 42:1 being translated (by Ladd): “This is my only Son, him have I chosen.”30 This observation suggests to us that election is an integral component of the messianic ideal.


The Divine Presence


The actual presence of Jehovah upon the earth seems to have been the most anticipated aspect of Hebrew eschatology. From Abraham onward the concept of a divine and enduring presence had taken root. At Sinai while receiving the law, God told Moses to go up to the Promised Land. However, God had determined that He would not personally go with Moses and Israel but rather send an angel to go before them (Ex 33:1-3). Moses and the people were devastated by this news. Whoever this “angel” was, it was not good enough for Moses. God had told Moses to go and take the promised land but Moses realized the futility of such a task without the presence of God himself. This would have been much like Jesus commissioning the disciples without having prepared for them the presence of the Holy Spirit. For the Pentecostal, the intercessory dialog that follows between God and Moses must be seen as watershed theology:


The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?" (Ex 33:14-16 NIV)


The text is rich. We discover that it is God’s presence that gives rest to God’s people. Ten times the writer of Hebrews refers to the rest that remains for the people of God. This is the rest and it is found only in the dynamic presence of God. We also learn that it is the presence of God (not his theological omni presence but that which is observable and dynamic) that makes them unique among all other peoples. In Ex 34:29-35 when Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets he was not at first aware that his face was radiating with glory from having been in God’s presence. This so deeply awed and moved the people that they stood by their tents and worshiped God while Moses went in to speak with the Lord. This dynamic, observable presence of God was so exciting to the people that they actually experienced discouragement as the glory dissipated from the face of Moses.


What other nation had a god who could make the bodies of his people radiate with light? This is the OT foundation for the NT term “hope of glory” (Col 1:27). This phrase is not a reference to some wishful musing about a future utopia. It is a reference to the anticipation (hope) that arises in the human heart when God’s presence (glory) is perceived as residing in human flesh. The glory of God in human flesh points directly to the resurrection of Jesus and to the eventual glorification of those who trust in Christ. The spectacle of God’s presence residing upon Moses speaks to the real potential of human flesh. So because of Moses’ intercession, the observable presence of the Lord continued to grace the Jewish nation throughout their wilderness wanderings and into the promise land itself. The cloud and the fire continued to lead Israel from above the tabernacle and inside the tent his presence dwelt between the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant.


All of these images suggested to the Hebrew mind that mankind desperately needed the presence of God dwelling in their midst. For wherever this presence dwelt, there was provision, safety, rest and hope. Eventually defining prophecies would immerge idealizing the eschatological messiah as being the actual presence of Jehovah. Isaiah is the first of the prophets to refer to this extraordinary king of the future. And it is from his words that we first clearly understand that the Messiah (God with us) is the Divine Presence. The following scriptures demonstrate this association:


Isa. 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (NIV)

Isa. 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. (NIV)


Of course much controversy exists over Isaiah’s use of the word “virgin.” Did Isaiah mean virgin or did he intend to say “young woman.” The birth of a son to a young woman would not have been predictive of any miraculous event. Fundamentalists are particularly guarded as to the translation of this verse because of Matthew’s use of the text in reference to the birth of Jesus, "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" which means, "God with us" (Matt 1:23 NIV).


Fundamentalists are concerned that if Isaiah is allowed to say “young woman,” it will contradict Matthew’s claim that the virgin birth of Jesus was not really predicted. However, this fear need not trouble us as we consider the nature of OT prophecy and the hermeneutics that accompany it. Remember all OT prophecy has its own historical context. In this setting Isaiah encourages Ahaz not to react to the military threat confronting him.31 Isaiah proceeds to give him a sign of a son to be born of a virgin. The original idea here was no doubt that the promised son would be born of a young woman. Because of Isaiah’s use of the term Immanuel, Ahaz may have had some hope that the child to come would actually be the divine personage. “Isaiah himself may have thought he was announcing the advent of the eschatological personage in his own time, but he would have been soon disappointed.”32 However, as Keil and Delitzsch observes, even after realizing his misapplication of the prophecy, Isaiah “handed it down to succeeding ages as awaiting a future and infallible fulfillment.”33 Regarding the name “Immanuel” Keil and Delitzsch further comment, “The expression did not preclude the fact that the Messiah would be God and man in one person; but it did not penetrate to this depth, so far as the Old Testament consciousness was concerned.”34


So now it is important to have faith in our understanding of just how Hebrew prophecy worked. Isaiah was speaking to a historical situation that was in his view. The prophecy that he gave seemed to fit his situation but he spoke beyond what he understood. We must have faith also in the inspiration of Matthew in that he identifies Jesus as fulfillment of both the virgin birth and of Immanuel. It really does not matter what Isaiah thought about his own prophecy. What really matters is what God intended for the words that were spoken. Here God intended for us to recognize Jesus as the divine presence of God who would bring about righteousness and justice upon the earth forever. In 9:6-7 (from above) Isaiah presents Messiah “Immanuel” as the Presence of God on earth. In 11:1-9 the prophet sees Immanuel as one who would bear the eschatological Spirit:


The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him…with righteousness he will judge the needy…will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth…will slay the wicked…the wolf will live with the lamb…lion will eat straw like the ox….The infant will play near the hole of the cobra….They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (NIV)


The context makes clear that the wonderful changes to come are the direct result of the Holy Spirit resting upon the Messianic personage.


The Corporate Messiah


There is no small problem in the OT with the identification of this coming Messiah. In some texts he is seen as the collective personage of the nation of Israel. At other times Messiah is more clearly one individual. A careful reading Isa 49:1-6 reveals this messianic ambiguity. It cannot from the text be determined if it is referring to Israel collectively or to an individual. Klausner in referring to Daniel 7 makes a cogent point:


“It is clear that the "son of man" (meaning human being) coming "with the clouds of heaven," whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, is the same as these "saints of the Most high," for Verse 18 is only an explanation of Verse 14… Actually, there is no individual Messiah in Daniel: the entire people of Israel is the Messiah that will exercise everlasting dominion throughout the whole world.”35


Many of the corporate messiah texts in Isaiah are intimately interconnected through the suffering servant concept. This idea “lies hidden in Isaiah 42:1-7; 49:1-9; 50:4-9; 52:13-15; 53:1-12.”36 Here Messiah is composite in nature:…Messianism came to be either the individual "servant of the LORD,"…or the collective "servant of the LORD." Thus the whole people Israel in the form of the elect of the nation gradually became the Messiah of the world37 in Hebrew thought. The corporate theme was also noticed in rabbinic speculation on the body of Adam in who dwelt all mankind. Likewise noted was the fact that all of Israel was in the loins of Jacob. Finally, as discussed elsewhere, Dan 7:13 clearly demonstrates a corporate nature relating to the messianic hope.38


For the serious student of the word these messianic texts seem to cloud the identity of Messiah. The solution to this conundrum will help to explain the mysteries of Christ spoken of by the apostle Paul. Its implications for the Pentecostal are astounding and will be discussed in later chapters. But for now it is important to understand that the idea of a corporate Messiah, namely Israel, was a very valid concept supported by accurate understanding of the historical context of OT scriptures. It was not an either/or belief. The whole idea of a messianic figure was divided between the individual messiah and the corporate ideal and the dividing lines between these ideals were deliberately blurred in their divine inspiration.


The Personal Resurrection


In the OT there are a number of exhilarating texts that whet our spiritual desire and tantalize our quest for a better knowledge of the resurrection (e.g. Ps 17:15; 49:15; Isa 26:19; Job 19:25-27). The book of Job (considered the oldest book of the Bible) records the first and also one of the best descriptions of man’s hope of eternal life. Job is describing a physical resurrection at the time when Christ returns to earth. It is noteworthy that Job did not believe that he would see his redeemer with physical eyes until the day of his resurrection. Job identifies this day as a day when he would once again stand upon the earth. The hope of an eternal existence in the fundamentalist heaven would never have satisfied Job in his physical torment. The book of Daniel contains two powerful statements on eschatological resurrection. In the first instance (12:2-3) Daniel is told that of the multitudes who “sleep in the dust” there will be a bifurcated resurrection. Some will rise to “everlasting life” but others to “shame and everlasting contempt (NIV).” Among those who arise to life there seem to be two major distinctions (12:3-4). The “wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever (NIV).” Finally (12:13), Daniel is informed that he himself would join the multitude in the dust. However, this will be for him a “rest” that would last until the end of the days at which time he would receive his personal inheritance.


With spectacular clarity God tells Daniel that he would be in a state of rest until his resurrection from the dust and that he would not receive his inheritance (“allotted portion NIV”) until that event. Both Daniel and Job believed their inheritance or reward would be in their resurrection from the dead. If these texts are to be plainly understood, then rewards will not be granted until the resurrection of the dead, which does not take place in heaven. They did not then see heaven (or any other resting place) as a reward or even as a place where rewards were to be received.


The most dramatic portrayal of the eschatological resurrection may be found in Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones (37:1-14). In this powerful vision Ezekiel (referred to as “Son of Man”) is twice commanded to prophecy over the dry bones of an army long since defeated and deteriorated. As a result the bones come together, the Spirit enters the army and it is suddenly restored to life and power. Unquestionably, the prophecy has as its primary view the historic exile and captivity of Israel in Babylon. God did indeed bring the captives back to their land but there were no literal resurrections. So this prophetic excess belongs uniquely to the church as a picture of its great eschatological hope of resurrection. As with all elements of the eschatological hope, this resurrection is intimately bound to the final and great outpouring of God’s Spirit in the age to come.


The OT foundations of resurrection theology are irregular, vague and speculative. By contrast the NT commences with a seemingly well-developed set of preconceptions upon which there was wide acceptance. Apparently the Holy Spirit had been working for hundreds of years in marvelous ways to influence the minds of many faithful Jewish believers notwithstanding a declared cessation of prophetic revelation. The NT contains an abundance of material and many concepts will follow. However, we are only concerned with aspects of resurrection that directly influence our understanding of the eschatological inheritance.


We learn from the discourses of Jesus that the resurrection from the dead transforms the believer into a son of God like the angels (Luke 20:36). Accordingly Paul describes Jesus as the “Son of God with power by reason of his resurrection of the dead (Rom 1:3–4).” As stated elsewhere, this sonship identifies Jesus as the Davidic Messiah.39 Later this will emerge as a powerful Pentecostal principal. The resurrection is also linked with the acquisition of eternal life. It can be said that to be resurrected is to receive eternal life. In Acts, Luke “twice ties the future resurrection to Jesus’ judgment of all humanity” (17:31; 24:15).40


Finally the personal resurrection of Jesus serves as a resurrection paradigm for believers. In Phil 3:21 saints are encouraged that God will transform their natural bodies to look like the glorious body of Christ. The disciples were given a glimpse of this glorious body at the transfiguration of Jesus (Matt 16:27-17:2). In this context Jesus had been warning his adherents that if they did not sacrifice their lives they would forfeit their own souls. Then on the mount of transfiguration the disciples were shown just what they would lose if indeed they decided to save their own lives by not following in his suffering. The resurrection is the glory of God in human flesh. This is the personal aspect of resurrection that is promised to every follower of Christ. It is the ultimate infilling of the believer’s personal temple with the presence of God. But this is just one side of the resurrection. Next we will consider eschatological incorporation of saints into the body of Messiah. This we will call the corporate saturation. It is the most glorious aspect of the great resurrection.


The Corporate Resurrection


Through the process of scriptural inspiration the city of Jerusalem finally emerges as a powerful symbol of eschatological inheritance. It was David who first captured this city and built it into the capitol of Israel. Just as God promised an eternal throne to David through his decedents, so he also declared that the place of his throne should be Jerusalem forever and ever (Jer 3:17). However, the most curious aspect of Jerusalem is found in its dual role as a bride. In Isa 62:1-5 the prophet predicts her glorious destiny. Jehovah had vowed that Jerusalem’s righteousness would become a beacon of light. She was to receive a new name and become married.


In Rev 21:10-14 and 17-24 John also sees this eschatological city and shares the details of her magnificence. In the Spirit he first sees the city coming down out of heaven from God. Then he notes her brilliance is like that of a very costly stone. It had a great wall around it with twelve gates each of which were made of a single pearl on which were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. The walls had twelve foundation stones that were named after the twelve apostles. And the city was oriented according to the four points of the compass. The city is measured by human measurements. Its streets were made of transparent gold. It had no temple and no need of the sun or the moon because the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple and their glory provided light for the city and for the nations who seem dependent upon it. The beauty of this city, as described by John, is utterly unspeakable. There are no other celestial glories to which it might compare. The psalmist calls it “the perfection of beauty (50:2 NASU)” and declares that God loves her gates more than all the other dwelling places of Zion (87:2-3). In 48:1-2 it is called Mount Zion and the joy of the whole earth.


However, there are several peculiarities that bear mention. First of all John says that it came out of heaven. “This strongly suggests the “new heavens” has the holy city as its spiritual focus (cf. Isa 65:17-25).”41 We can accept this without question. However the city is directionally oriented to the earth. So how is it that a city from heaven uses the four points of the earthly compass? Then the city is measured by a human standard of measurement. We also discover that the city is cubical in design. This is quite striking and “probably an intentional allusion to the cubical design of the Holy of Holies in 1 Kgs 6:20.”42 Since there is no temple in this city it may point to the city as being the eternal resting place of God as well as to its priestly nature. Even though glorious, it is inconceivable that any physical structure could contain God who created the endless universe (2 Chr 6:18). Regardless of its physical appearance, the city is fundamentally spiritual. In this respect it is similar to the incarnation of Christ. In fact we are probably looking at the ultimate incarnation for this is the new body of Christ (John 2:19).


Finally and most curiously, the materials of which this city is constructed are all found upon our present earth. We can understand how the names of the apostles might have been inscribed upon its foundations but if it came from heaven one must wonder if there are quarries in heaven where precious minerals and gold are mined. In this regard one must also consider its gates. They are each made of a single pearl. Now, of course God is free to make synthetic gems without our criticism; but God deals in the real thing and these are real pearls. John did not say they looked like pearls, he said that each gate was a single pearl. We must then conclude there are very large oysters in heaven. Assuredly, it is unnecessary to dwell upon fanciful details of this nature, but there is an important message here.


The most obvious analogy of the stones may be seen in the number of them. There are twelve kinds mentioned. The 12 tribes of Israel are likewise identified with twelve stones elsewhere and as such represent the church. But we should not stop with that comparison alone. Natural gems are precious because they are beautiful and because they are rare. They are the product of the forces of nature. Gold and other metals were formed at the beginning of the creation of the universe but this gold has been refined and polished like glass. Peter said that the endurance of trials would be more precious than gold. It represents the endurance of the saints in persecution. Gems are formed from a combination of sedimentation, heat and pressure. They also reflect the various degrees of trials and suffering experienced by the church. God’s choice of pearls for the gates is significant. In nature, pearls are unique among the gems. They are formed within a living organism, the oyster. Once a grain of sand or other impurity infiltrates its muscle, the oyster begins to secrete a substance called nacre that forms a hard shell around the source of irritation. In artificially induced pearls the size of the pearl is determined by the size of the irritant but in naturally formed pearls the size is determined by the length of time the irritation remains. Paul said that it is only through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). What an appropriate image for the suffering church! In Ps 87:2 it is stated, “The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwelling places of Jacob (NASU).” God has not constructed his temple city out of common materials. These materials are precious and rare. We are hard pressed to find represented within its structure the lives of comfortable saints who have never paid a price for their faith. There is no representation for those who have not given up their lives in love and service to Christ. Maybe the comfortable church will be found among the nations that visit the city. They have washed their robes for sure and they are called the saved but they are just visiting the city. They do not comprise the city’s infrastructure and are therefore not a part of the bride.


Peter and Paul made great contributions to this analogy. Paul taught that the church is presently under construction and that the building would be an eternal dwelling place for God (Eph 2:20-22). Peter taught that we are “living stones” being presently placed in this city / temple (1 Peter 2:4-5). The construction of Solomon’s temple (the temple and city are intimately linked in scripture) helps explain how a city with such earthly orientation comes down out of heaven. David and Solomon are respectively types of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Before his death, David provided huge stockpiles of materials to Solomon his son for the construction of the temple. All of his life it had been in the heart of David to build a temple to God. However, because David was a man of war, God gave the task to the one who was to follow him. The point to be made here concerns the manner in which Solomon, the type of the Holy Spirit, went about building the temple unto God. In this massive project that lasted 7 years, Solomon ordered great and costly stones to be quarried for the foundation of the house (1 Kings 5:17-18). At the construction site itself there was never heard the sound of any hammer or axe or of any iron tool. The entire cutting, hammering and shaping of these “precious stones” was done away from the actual erection of the structure. In other words it was constructed in a noiseless and graceful fashion. All of the noisy work on those costly stones with the dust and flying chips of stone was being done at the quarry. So, what does it all mean and how does it relate to the holy city?


Planet earth is that quarry and the Holy Spirit has this very day his workman assigned to shape and to polish believers for their future placement in the magnificent temple which he is building. In looking at the end result, it would seem that the Holy Spirit used a lot of tribulation and persecution to shape his stones. Before Jesus left his disciples, he said that he was going to prepare a place for them, that where he would be they would also be forever. Well, the holy city is the saints dwelling place forever. It is presently under construction in heaven but the quarry is on earth. Like it or not, the Holy Spirit is using trials to define and artistically43 situate the believer in this glorious city. A master craftsman has been assigned to every believer. With loud noises and dust and pain the craftsman removes every offensive burr. With persecution and trials the eternal identity is polished to perfection. Those who run from the stonecutters in pride or flinch in self-preservation or persist in sin diminish their future glory and placement in this city. Believers who seek to save their lives are becoming common stones and may become unusable in the building of which God proclaims, “I am not ashamed.” There will be no common or unsightly stones placed in this building.


It is absurd for teachers and theologians to boldly proclaim that God seeks to deliver his church from trials and percussion. These are the very means by which he has chosen to create all those precious stones. It is through great persecution and trials of faith or by great personal commitment and sacrifice that the lives of saints become immortalized as living, story telling stones in the walls of this city. Paul said that the believers were epistles known and read of all men (2 Cor 3:2). They were living and breathing stories about the grace of God. How true must this be concerning the placement of living stones in the celestial city?


The church is distinct from the nations that visit the city. “The church does not dwell in the city; the church is the city.”44 We are the city that is set upon a hill (Matt 5:14-16). This hill is Mt. Zion, the mountain of God, to which all men will forever gaze in awe. Jesus likely had in mind the holy city when he said, “Let your light shine before men.” He could see his bride, the city, with men of the world going in and out. His temple / city is alive. It is built with living stones that radiate their stories of his glorious grace. According to 2 Chr 2:6 “The heaven and the highest heaven itself cannot contain the Almighty (NIV).” However this city is the new heavens and Heb 11:16 declares this holy city to be the place worthy of his habitation; “of it God is not ashamed.” The old heaven where the saints once waited before the throne of God has passed away (Matt 24:35). God said, “I create new heavens and a new earth”. This is the new heaven. It is his new throne and his eternal dwelling place; it is the new body of Christ, the resurrected church. For believers it is the context of eternal life.


Temple and City


The eloquent description of this holy city evokes great emotion. What believer does not long to gaze upon such celestial magnificence? In a way it may seem disappointing but the whole notion of a city built with actual gold and precious stones is possibly a metaphorical only representation of reality. It is a means of conveying the otherwise inconceivable unity between eschatological believers and Christ. Whether real or Metaphorical it is never the less, a divine device given for the perception of truth and must be scrutinized as given.


The temple image is another metaphor intimately connected to the holy city motif.45 Both images support the ideal of God’s indwelling presence. Actually, the book of Revelation brings the two metaphors together into sharp focus. In 21:22 we discover that the essence of New Jerusalem supplants any further need for an eschatological temple and in 21:1-3 he comments that the “dwelling of God” which was formally the temple was now with men in the presence of the holy city.


Here is an amazing phenomenon. The temple and holy city metaphors that ran in parallel thru thousands of years of Hebrew history now merge suddenly and unexpectedly into one final image. In 21:3 John uses the word tabernacling to describe God’s new eschatological presence with the world and with the church. It is the same word used in the OT to describe the tent where God would meet with his people and in John 1:14 it describes the fleshly manner in which Jesus “dwelt” among us.” The city and the temple are places where God can dwell with man. Interestingly, both metaphors are described as having eternal patterns from which the earthly models were created (Gal 4:26; Heb 8:1-2, 9:24; 11:10,16).46


Though previously mentioned, more needs to be said about the relationship between the body of Christ and this temple / city. “The expression by John “I did not see” (Rev 21:22) implies that he was surprised that there was not a temple in the city.”47 This helps us to understand the importance of his revelation for the church. It shows us that John (and by extension the church) had not until then comprehended the full implication of Jesus’ body / temple teaching. When Jesus predicted the resurrection of a new temple from the destruction of his body (Mark 14:57-58; John 2:19-20), his reference was in reality to the ultimate “body of Christ,” an eschatological temple, the New Jerusalem. According to David Aune “Jesus’ figurative use of the Greek word “naos” for “temple” in John 2:19,21 as reference to his physical body is almost without parallel.”48 Aune further notes that Jesus did not use the word “hieron” (temple) denoting the temple building but rather he used “naos” which was “the sanctuary in the ‘Temple,’ into which only the priests could lawfully enter,… being of the tribe of Judah, and thus not being a priest while upon the earth Heb 7:13,14; 8:4, did not enter the ‘naos.’”49 So by use of this term we can be sure that Jesus is denoting the resurrection of his body as being the beginning of the eschatological city of which “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev 21:22).


At his resurrection the body of Jesus began a metamorphous from an earthly body into a heavenly city. In other words, Jesus’ body ceased being his personal temple and became the beginnings of the New Jerusalem designed as a place of cohabitation. So the city represents a new dimension of the body of Christ. This body / city / temple is the “New Creation” into which all saints will be baptized by the eschatological outpouring of the Spirit. The foundations of the eschatological city began with the resurrection of Jesus. It is the eternal dwelling place of which Jesus said, “I go and prepare a place for you,” and will be our mode of togetherness and fellowship forever. (John 14:3). Hence, Jesus dedicated his personal temple to the indwelling of the church and in so doing his temple of necessity became a city.


The whole idea of a holy city coming down is part of the resurrection motif. The city coming down is the same thing as Christ returning with the bride. However else the resurrection is described, this is its most beautiful depiction. Here all the elements of resurrection are in play, a bride and her beauty, physical union, a new name and the unity of the bride within herself. The holy city needs no temple because it itself is the resurrected temple of Christ’s broken body.


The Messianic Wedding Feast


The relationship between the holy city and the messianic marriage represent a major eschatological theme that is intricately interwoven throughout both testaments. Jerusalem (also symbolized as an eschatological mountain, Heb 12:22 and as the “new creation,” Isa 65:16-17) is depicted as a glorified entity composed of saints from all ages and inhabited by God and the Lamb who is its lamp (Rev 21:23). This image of ecclesial consummation is then easily and naturally integrated into the whole ideal of marriage because the same dynamics that create a marriage are present in the formation of a city (cohabitation, indwelling and the sharing of an identity). Interestingly both the ecclesiastical city and the marriage are representative of the corporate resurrection ideal. Jesus, the head of Christ, becomes one flesh with the bride and similarly abides together with resurrected believers in the holy city. This corporate aspect of resurrection seems to have a much greater representation in scriptural references than does the idea of a believer’s personal and bodily resurrection. The idea of the New Jerusalem is not that it is inhabited of resurrected believers but that it is entirely constructed of individual believers resulting from the eschatological ingathering. It is an apocalyptic representation of the consummated body of Jesus that depicts the completed metamorphous of Christ’s body which began at his resurrection. The resurrection of the saint places him in this eschatological rendition of the resurrected body of Jesus. Instead of having extremities with eyes and ears and a mouth, the resurrected body of Jesus will have achieved it’s completed metamorphous and will have become a divine city. The head of the body has now become the lamp of the city. The saints who were formally eyes and ears and mouths of Christ’s body (“individually members.” 1 Cor 12:27 NASU) have now become foundations and gates and pillars and even the landscaping (i.e. trees). They are still individual members but instead of body parts they will have become structural and ornamental components of a holy city.


In turn the eschatological marriage has many complementary metaphors that effectively work to render the marriage theme ubiquitous throughout scriptures. These themes arise from OT images and prophetic statements. The first and most prominent of these interconnected metaphors is that of the messianic banquet. This banquet is prefigured in the coronation banquet of King David (1 Chr 12:38–40). At this banquet we see the presence of a messianic personage, the celebration of faithful warriors as well as his former enemies giving him recognition by bringing food with meat and wine being in abundance. In Isa 25:6-8 the banquet takes on prophetic eminence. Isaiah predicts that it will transpire on Mount Zion. All the inhabitants of the mountain (New Jerusalem) will be served at this feast, which will be prepared by the Lord himself. Here the festive occasion is expanded into an opportunity to remove the veil that covers all the nations, all tears will be wiped away and the destruction of death will occur. God will also at this time remove the reproach borne by his people throughout history. In other words, God’s eschatological transformation will reach into the hearts and minds of the natural nations to change their thinking about his redeemed and the church will finally receive the honor it has long deserved from the nations of the world.


Throughout the NT the messianic feast (Isa 25:6-8) and the messianic marriage (Isa 54:5) are so tightly bound together that wherever one is mentioned the presence of the other is tacit (e.g. Matt 22:1–14; 25:1–13; Luke 14:15; John 1:1–11; Rev 19:7-9). The miraculous provision of wine in abundance at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1–11) is obviously intended to point to the feast predicted by Isaiah.50 Jesus is asked by his mother to help solve the wine shortage. Jesus responded, “My time had not yet come (NIV).” In essence he was saying that the eschatological day in which he would supernaturally provide wine had not yet arrived. It is significant that this was the first miracle of Jesus and it pointed directly to the supernatural character of his blood and that there will be enough for all of those attending the eschatological feast. In Mark 14:24-25 Jesus compares the wine of the Last Supper to his blood and gives it an eschatological context:


"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them. "I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God." (NIV)


Notice, that the blood is not the covenant. The blood is that which seals the covenant, which is the marriage agreement. In Matthew 25 the 10 virgins are left waiting for the “delayed” bridegroom. Some of them even fall asleep while waiting. This is probably a reference to natural death while the delay may have been due to the bridegroom’s negotiations for the purchase of the bride.51 Jesus is now negotiating for the bride and the delay is great. Because of this great delay the wine is aging and taking on the flavor of human history. This wine has aged through the millenniums and emits the bouquet of a suffering church and possessing the savor of life, it is truly the best wine. Like the wine in Cana, Jesus’ blood is being held in reserve until the whole church in heaven and earth and can partake together.


Isaiah’s depiction of the “choice meats” probably translates into the food miracles of Jesus (e.g. Matt 14:13-21)… and the “numerous references to table fellowship” with him (Matt 9:10–13).”52 Thus the NT practice of communion must be interpreted as a present day manifestation of the final eschatological meal in which “it is ‘breaking of the bread’ that signifies the presence of the Lord at the community meals (Luke 24:30–35).”53 However, the church is implicit within the broken bread. Dennis Smith has made an important observation on the Didache, thought to be a first century document written by an eyewitness to the grace of the early church:


“In a different context, this same theme is utilized in a Eucharistic passage in Did. 9.4 to represent the unity of the Church gathering at the table: “As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains, but was brought together and became one, so let the Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into thy kingdom.”54


By this statement Smith highlights an all-important concept that is portrayed in the “food motif” of kingdom consummation. The writer of the Didache is almost certainly making a reference to the miraculous feeding of the multitudes (the five and the four thousand) on the mountains. The bread is first blessed, and then broken and finally care is taken to gather the fragments. The same procedure is carefully replicated in the institution of NT communion. The bread is first blessed then broken and finally consumed completely, “Eat ye all of it” (i.e. “gathered).” The importance of this gathering (comments to follow) cannot be over stated within the context of our search for a theology of Pentecost.


Isaiah’s “choice cuts of meat” represents the body of Jesus and a spiritualization of the “one flesh” (Gen 2:24) aspect of marriage. In the NT the brokenness of the bread (the flesh) is particularly emphasized. The only way the church could join Jesus in the “one flesh” of marriage is if his human body had first become broken. This brokenness is the means by which we can become “one flesh” with our husband. The writer of Hebrews uses the analogy of the temple to illustrate the importance of both the blood and the body of Jesus. The blood gives us the confidence and the right to enter the dwelling place of God. But it is only through the veil that we can enter. That veil is here called the body of Jesus and it is likewise torn and broken (Heb 10:19-20). By the broken bread of the covenant we have access to marital unity with Christ. But that is only one half of its significance. By the same brokenness the bride of Jesus must of necessity present herself as one body to her bridegroom:


1 Cor 10:16-17 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. (NIV cf. John 6:53; Eph 4:4; Col 3:15).


Thus the brokenness of the bread allows the individual members to become one with each other. The supernatural consolidation of the bride is therefore conceptually implicit within the wedding feast itself. The supernatural fabrication of Solomon’s temple is also predictive of this very moment. The establishment of the holy city and the consolidation of the bride are references to the same event. The consolidation of the bride is an integral part of our inheritance. We should with great expectation look forward to the perfect unity that we will experience with one another at the return of Christ.


Another exceedingly significant portrayal of eschatological marriage is discovered in the OT account of the giving of the Law at Sinai. The story begins with Moses demanding of Pharaoh the release of Israel from Egypt (Ex 5:1). Moses initially tells Pharaoh that Israel must go into the wilderness to celebrate a feast unto the Lord. Later as Pharaoh is protesting the total nature of their departure, Moses insists that Israel must also take with them all of their possessions because they did not know exactly what would be required of them in their worship of God (Ex. 10:9). While there are many details that cannot be covered here, it becomes evident as Israel arrives at Sinai with all their possessions that the feast they are about to celebrate is really a wedding feast initiated by God himself. However, before the feast could commence Israel is presented with and agrees upon a covenant dictated by God and written in a book by Moses that spelled out the responsibilities of both parties (Ex 24). Throughout this wedding drama we are made to understand that this wedding ceremony is transpiring underneath a divine chupah (Hebrew for canopy) of the Shekinah glory of God (the cloud and the fire). After having agreed to the marriage covenant representatives of the whole house of Israel Partake of the wedding feast provided by God himself (Ex 24:11). It must not escape our notice that this event is very much evocative of the eschatological wedding feast described in Isaiah 25:6-7. The feast on Mount Sinai is clearly predictive of the marriage supper of the Lamb that will be prepared by God on Mount Zion in the eschaton. So the formal beginning of the nation of Israel begins with a wedding ceremony that is predictive of the eschatological status of the people of God.


The Gathering


Maybe the most under emphasized aspects of eschatology found in both testaments is that of the gathering of God’s people. While there were historical applications to many of the OT texts depicting a gathering, it must be concluded that virtually all of them point to an eschatological (therefore messianic) fulfillment. Throughout the OT the imagery and out-right prophetic declaration of the gathering of God’s people is abundant and can be found in all textual genres (e.g. Deut 30:3-4; Ps 106:47; Isa 1:12; Mark 13:26-27; Rev 7:5-9). There is much variation within these occurrences. Sometimes the gathering of God’s people is to the land of Israel and sometimes it is to Jerusalem or more specifically, Mount Zion, and sometimes it is to the Lord himself. Even so, it would seem that in the final analysis of the imagery the New Jerusalem is equivalent to the “Holy Nation” being composed of its constituent members. And in the final scheme of all things the elect are gathered to God in the eschatological city. For this reason our focus will ignore any fine distinctions that could be discovered between the various types of references.


In Zechariah 8:3-8 three crucial elements are made to coincide with the gathering of Israel to Jerusalem. First the return of the Lord was to occur and with this return the Lord’s indwelling of Jerusalem (8:3) would begin. At this time Jerusalem would be renamed with two new names, “Faithful” and “Holy Mountain”(RSV). These names imply “that whereas previously Jerusalem has been unfaithful, now she is to be faithful.”55 There are two other passages that speak of Jerusalem’s new eschatological names. In Ezek 48:35 the new name for Jerusalem, which the prophet describes, will be “The Lord is there.” This is significant since in many of the “gathering” texts the object is to bring Israel and the faithful of the nations to himself (e.g. Isa 49:5 “to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself” NIV).


Paul certainly understood the significance of the OT gathering texts as he makes their fulfillment to occur at the coming of the Lord (2 Thess 2:1). They were the basis for his “so called” rapture text (1 Thess 4:17-18). Even Jesus applied these texts to his own return (Matt. 24:31) stating that his angels would gather His elect. The other passage that speaks of a new name for Zion (Isa 62:1–4) also speaks of Zion (Jerusalem, see Heb 12:22) and of the new name by which she should be known. Amazingly, Isaiah links the renaming of Zion to its marriage. This is also seen in Revelation 3:11-13:


I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name (NIV cf. Rev 3:12).


Ralf Smith quotes Eissfeldt on the renaming of Jerusalem: “people, places, and institutions (such as a prophet, 1 Sam 9:9) are renamed when there is a change of status.”56 This comment helps us to understand what is otherwise a quandary in many minds. How is it that so much of OT prophecy depicts the eschatological Jerusalem as a physical city while many other prophecies portray it as a spiritually based entity? Smith may have given us an important clue. In putting all the facts together one could speculate that the identity of Jerusalem changes from physical to spiritual with the gathering of the elect. The eschatological changing of names (as suggested by Eissfeldt) represents a resurrection of ancient Jerusalem to a celestial entity, hence a change of “status” from that which is natural and unfaithful to that which is spiritual and faithful. The resurrection of Jerusalem may be seen as simultaneous and corresponding to the resurrection (gathering) of the elect. The marriage, the gathering, the appearing of the New Jerusalem and the renaming are all part of an extensive resurrection motif woven throughout scriptures. So Neh 1:9, “I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name” (NIV).


A comparison of Isa 27:12-13 (“you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one. And in that day a great trumpet will sound.” NIV) with Matt. 24:30-31(“his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect” NIV) indicates that the purpose of the eschatological gathering is to bring God’s elect into the New Jerusalem. The mention of the “loud / great trump sound in both texts is evidence that both texts have the same eschatological event in view. It is unfortunate that today’s “escapism theology” has hindered so many fundamentalists from understanding lofty themes of the gathering (so called rapture). Here it is clear that the gathering is for the purpose of bringing to (or more specifically forming) the New Jerusalem.


The final image to which we have come (Ezek 36:24-29) in our survey of the eschatological gathering has obvious and direct application to the Pentecostal definition that we are pursuing. Here (36:26) we see that the elect are being gathered seemingly for the purpose of inner transformation (“I will give you a new heart"). This renewal is accomplished through the impartation of a new spirit that is compared to the sprinkling in clean water. In short this text predicts the great and ultimate outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the end of the age. Like the cosmic outpouring of Spirit that transforms the heavens and natural earth, this outpouring is also on the elect and likewise brings a transformation that is permanent and complete.


Many components of eschatological consummation seem to culminate in the New Jerusalem. The gathering is for the purpose of bringing saints to the celestial city, the messianic feast and of course to the Lord. The ideas of the revelation of glory and of the revelation of the body of Christ also terminate here. The city is the bride and wife of the lamb and is the new dwelling place of God. It also seems to be the locus of the eschatological feast and of the kingdom of God. The saints, while supposedly being caught away from the earth are simultaneously depicted as returning to earth with Christ. At the same time we see the New Jerusalem, being called the bride of the Lamb, coming down out of heaven from God. The word also declares that the church will be revealed with him in Glory. Finally the city becomes the light of the world and the joy of the whole earth as it radiates its unimaginable glory.


There is a coherent scenario for the management of these particulars. When Christ returns his angels will indeed gather the elect from the four winds. They are not escaping tribulation or leaving to await a seven-year period of earthly turmoil. They are being gathered for the final construct of the celestial city. This consummate event transpires, by the natural estimate of time, in a quantum moment, “in the twinkling of an eye.” In one instant the church is transformed into the holy city. This is their corporate identity forever. This is their ultimate union with and consummation into the body of Christ. For those involved in this ultimate eschatological event, time becomes irrelevant. They have just entered a dimension of the Spirit. While the nations of natural men gaze with shock and awe, the saints within have already begun the great eschatological feast. The feast itself is the ultimate partaking of Christ. The saints partake of his flesh and of his blood (John 6:53). By this act the saints accomplish the prayers of Jesus for a trinity like unity with the saints (John 17:20-23).


In this way they become perfectly united into one entity and together join themselves in one flesh with Messiah their eternal spouse. Thus the bride becomes the glory of the groom and the light of the world. It’s the city set on the hill for the entire world to behold and is revealed in glory with Christ. To the world this phenomenon appears in an instant but for the church time is standing still as the eternal wedding feast begins. Thus is fulfilled the invitation of Jesus: “Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” It’s “the joy of the whole earth, Mount Zion the city of the great King” (Ps 48:1-2 NIV)


The New Creation


This holy city, “New Jerusalem,” is the new identity of the church. It is the ecclesiastical expression of the new creation (Rev 21:1-3). The holy city is the ultimate dwelling place of God:


Ps 132:13-14 For the LORD has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling: "This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it—(NIV)


As such it appears at the restoration of all things. It is situated in the midst of natural mankind and is itself the presence of God. It is a living city composed of the resurrected bodies and souls of those who have become one with each other and one with Christ. It is the ultimate incarnation. This “new creation,” is the immediate context of the believer’s resurrection and is the eternal corporate identity of the church. It is corporate life at its best. In Ps 122:3, it is described as being “compacted together.” The word connotes planning and fellowship. It implies “sharing and participation” apparently the psalm (in its OT context) referred to the fellowship enjoyed by pilgrims returning from the Babylonian captivity.57 This city was architecturally engineered to bring things together and to remove gaps between buildings thus enhancing its communication, i.e. fellowship.58 This is “the fellowship of the Spirit” in its ultimate form.


The believer also has an individual identity but it is nowhere emphasized or pronounced. It is only intimated. Those who envision eternity as time spent predominately with family and personal friends may well be disappointed. However, those who enjoy the presence and fellowship of the saints are going to love eternity. Actually our present love for the saints is proof that we belong to God and to this city (1 John 4:12-13).


Eschatological Glory


From the declaration of Isaiah’s seraphim that the whole earth is full of the glory of the Lord, it becomes apparent that there exists a substantial disconnect between reality and the way natural man perceives it. This condition will exist until the eschatological removal of the veil upon the minds of men. The most profound revelation of all will be the discovery of God’s eternal glory “And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it” (Isa 40:5 NIV cf. Hab 2:14).


The word “glory” is translated from the Hebrew word “kabhodh” which seems to designate a “heaviness” or “weightiness” of the divine presence.59 It is the “brightness or supernatural splendor emanating from God as in the “shekinah glory.”60 However, in response to Moses’ request for a glimpse of God’s glory, he was shown instead the ethical and moral nature of God. This of course must be at the heart of our definition of glory. God’s glory is the byproduct of his holiness. Accordingly, the seraphim were continuously crying “Holy, Holy, Holy” as Isaiah beheld the manifestation of God’s glory before the throne (Isa 6). Then in Isa 62:1 the Lord says, “For Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness (NASU).” So God is committed to the transforming of Jerusalem’s righteousness into glory but without righteousness there can be no glory.


The glory of God is not ordinary light. By physical manifestation of God’s glory Paul was blinded on the road to Damascus (Acts 22:11). When Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord he fell facedown (Ezek 1:28 see also Dan 10:15; Matt 17:6; Acts 9:3-4; Rev 1:17). Others experienced terror or even death in the presence of God’s glory but most significantly, Jesus by the same glory was raised from the dead (Rom. 6:4). Finally, and more directly to our point, the eschatological revelation of God’s glory will also resurrect and transform believers into the very image of Christ both morally and physically (I John 3:2-3).


The foundations of divine glory are laid in the narratives of Moses who was closer to the glory of God than any other OT figure. Beginning with the burning bush and the accounts of Sinai it is Moses who best models for us the effects of God’s glory on an individual and on human flesh. However, our greatest paradigms of glory are to be found in the presence of God dwelling in the inanimate temple structures (Ex 40:34-35; 1 Kings 8:10-11). In the wilderness the Israelites were already familiar with the glory of God in the form of the cloud and pillar of fire. They had witnessed the glory of God as it appeared to them on Mount Sinai but now, with the completion of the tabernacle, a brand new venue appeared for the glory of the Lord. We understand the allegorical nature of this depiction. The pattern Moses had received was only an illustration of some other reality. Even though the temple plans given to Solomon by David (1 Chr 28:2,11-13) contained substantially more detail it was still based upon the wilderness plans. So from the beginning it was understood that the dwelling places being constructed and filled were only representations. Both Solomon and Isaiah understood its figurative nature:


1 Kings 8:27-28 "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! (NIV cf. Acts 17:24;)

Isa 66:1 This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? (NIV)


However it is Jeremiah who actually sets forth the full implications of an allegorical temple:


Jer 3:16-17 In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land," declares the LORD, "men will no longer say, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. (NIV)


Jeremiah may have believed that the temple was actually patterned after the eschatological city. He understood a future Jerusalem would replace any need for the symbolic throne of God, i.e. the ark and by extension, the temple itself. Jerusalem would eventually come to represent the presence of God to the whole world.61 In other words, Jerusalem was to become to the world what the ark had been to Israel. Nevertheless, it is within this realization that astounding depictions are made of God’s glory residing in the temples made by hands. Now, what meaning must we assign to the particulars of these portrayals? Here the essential task is to identify a focal point for the temple analogies. It is none other than the “Jerusalem from above (Gal 4:26; Heb 11:10, 14–16; 12:22; 13:14; cf. Phil 3:20).” Without doubt the temple structures are somehow patterned after a city, the New Jerusalem. Hence, entrance of God’s glory into the ancient temples portends a future event relative to the appearance of the holy city. In its final analysis, the entrance of God’s glory represents the eschatological transformation of the church.


Finally our discussion of God’s glory in the temples must not conclude without a reflection upon Ezekiel’s temple and his description of it (especially: Ezek 10:3-5; 43:1-5,10; 47:1-2, 8,12). While the glory of God similarly fills this temple, it is unique in that it is a temple having never been built. Here it is important to understand the historical setting in which the visions of Ezekiel unfold. At this point in the writings of the prophet the Jews are already situated in their Babylonian captivity. The nation as a whole was there because of wanton idolatry and gross immorality. Understandably they felt abandoned but the captivity was God’s way of gaining their attention. Now in their despair the Jews willingly listened to Ezekiel. His visions of the temple had a twofold purpose. First, the Jews were encouraged that God ordained for them a new temple and that offered a hope of return. Secondly, the astonishing presentations of divine glory and the scope of the divine plans anticipated a redemptive shame in the people of God (43:10).


Now, we know that Ezekiel’s temple is in actuality not an earthly structure, for the Lord says about it, “this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet.” (NIV) From other related references we know the place of God’s final resting is the eschatological Jerusalem (Ps 132:13-14; Isa 60:1). Also we know this because John incorporates this eschatological river with trees of healing (Rev 22:1-3). In Psalms this same river is said to be coming from the Holy Place just as Ezekiel pictured it but the psalmist also envisions the Holy Place as the city of God, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High” (Ps 46:4 NASU).


Thus the water is coming from the holy city as John in Revelation has described it. So from the temple imagery of Ezekiel we again determine the close relationship between eschatological temple and eschatological city. However, having reestablished this point, we return to our main thesis. The eschatological resting place for the glory of God is the New Jerusalem. In the NT the eschatological manifestation of God’s glory is given much greater detail. Of course the whole notion of revelation is quite relative. Divine creatures continuously behold his glory and apparently the whole earth is full of his glory (Isa 6). Natural man is the only creature that finds this incredulous because the veil covers his eyes. Hence only men need a revelation. In the transfiguration of Jesus (Luke 9:25-31) God momentarily pulled back this veil and granted the disciples (us included) a wonderful preview of his coming revelation.


The context of this transfiguration is indispensable for understanding its purpose. Jesus had been warning his disciples that a refusal to deny ones self would result in the loss of their eternal soul (cf. Matt 16:23-28). We are made to understand that the appearing of God’s glory on the mountain is the way the kingdom of God will appear in the eschaton. Later Peter reflects upon this event and identifies the glory as “majesty and power (2 Peter 1:16-18).” The narrative incorporates several important eschatological themes. The suffering of the saint is the first theme to emerge. The disciples were invited to this glorious debut so that they could see first hand just what would be lost to followers of Christ who would not accept suffering. This theme is also highlighted by the fact that Moses and Elijah are talking to Jesus about the suffering that he is about to endure in Jerusalem. The same idea is seen in the death of Stephen in that he experiences a transfiguration in his own suffering (Acts 6:15). There is also a strong link made in all transfiguration accounts between the praying of Jesus and the appearing of glory. Additionally, there is a strong suggestion that the glory of God is somehow that which identifies a “son of God.” But for our present purpose the most important theme to follow is the glory of God as a cloud.


In our present narrative the first appearance of glory comes forth from within Jesus himself. Then Moses and Elijah seem to appear in an expanding version of the cloud. Finally the three apostles are overshadowed by the same glory. This eschatological “glory cloud” is a major image that runs throughout end time themes. There are numerous gospel accounts of Jesus predicting his return in a cloud of glory. At his ascension the angels promise his return in a cloud (e.g. Matt 24:30). The identity of the cloud is not particularly difficult as we simply consider the prophetic visions of the OT. The cloud of glory is the presence of God. However, the scripture has much more to say concerning the clouds of glory.


It is no surprise that John presents Jesus himself as being the glory of God (John 12:41). However, Jesus is also portrayed as coming with the clouds of glory (Rev. 1:7). What are the clouds of glory? Together Paul, the author of Hebrews and John the revelator provide the answer. In 1 Thess 4:16-17 Paul offers his perception on the details of Christ’s return. The dead will rise first. These first raised saints immediately enter into or become part of a glory cloud. The living saints are then quickly translated into the same glorious amalgamation. The author of Hebrews provides further definition to this glorious entity. He calls it “the cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1).” It is the church. However, John’s description is definitive. The glory cloud is the holy city (Rev 21:11-12, 23-24). So Paul’s cloud (1 Thess 4:16-17) is really the earth’s first glimpse of the New Jerusalem (the bride) and we are given the details of her final preparations for public debut. It is the final side room preparations of a bride before the wedding ceremony.


Individual saints never receive the eschatological glory as their own. They only share in the glory (2 Thess 2:13-14; 1 Peter 5:1), which belongs to Jesus Christ alone. The appearance of the holy city is the ultimate revelation of both Jesus and the saints. This corporate cloud is the eternal identity of Jesus. He is forever married to the church and has become one glorious flesh with her forever. It is the ultimate baptism into Christ. It is the consummate “Christ in you / in Christ” state of holy saturation. It is both saturation and matrimony, “I in them…them in us:” Again, this fulfills the prayer of Jesus for oneness (John 17:18-20).


The book of Revelation does indeed depict the revelation of Jesus in his glory. But the New Jerusalem is that revelation! It is only in this respect that the church shares in his glory and is revealed with him. The brilliance of the holy city is the indwelling glory of God and of the lamb (Rev 21:23). This city is the eternal revelation of God for endless generations of natural men. It is through the church that all men will henceforth perceive Almighty God. Both nations and kings will come to her glory and show due reverence (Ps 102:15-16; Isa 60:1-3, 14). It is almost paradoxical. The scriptures clearly indicate that saints will experience a glorious resurrection of their individual bodies (1 Cor 15:43; Phil 3:21). However, in reality the only true depiction of a glorified saint is in the context of his identity with the holy city.


Eschatological Ministry


Again we are considering the biblical ideal of inheritance. An important aspect of this inheritance is the ministry that will be delegated to each participant of the great resurrection. The priestly nature of the New Jerusalem is undoubtedly represented by the inclusion of the twelve stones of the OT high priest. These stones cover the foundation of the city and point to its ministerial character. Both Peter and the writer of Hebrews reference the eschatological impartation that will empower this priestly ministry in the coming age. Peter refers to this future ministry as “the grace to be given” (1 Peter 1:13). The author of Hebrews calls it “the powers of the age to come”( Heb 6:5). In 2 Cor 12:9 Paul brings together the ideas of power and grace through the words of Jesus to him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (NIV).


Paul is giving to us a working definition of grace. Grace is God’s imparted ability. It is therefore the power to do God’s work or to perform his will or to minister. When Peter tells the church to hope for the eschatological allocation of grace he is really telling them to anticipate the reception of power in the coming age. We might also say that the impartation of grace results in power or ability for ministry. In this section we will explore the biblical images that depict the saints in their eternal ministries and their relationship to the grace that enables them.


The book of Revelation depicts what may be individual roles of ministry for the saints. We have already noted the future presence of the Tree of Life. In the Garden of Eden this tree stood alone and most certainly it represented Christ. However, it may now be seen as having multiplied and growing everywhere along the river that flows from the temple (Rev 22:1-3). Isaiah 44:3-4 and Ps 1:3 compare believers to trees planted by the streams of water. Of course it portends the charismatic experience, but it also describes eschatological existence of believers in the age to come. This is precisely what is being described in the book of Revelation. The saints are indeed the trees. They are there because they have been resurrected and have sprung up in the age to come as dispensers of healing and provision to the remnant of natural mankind. Notice that in John’s view the eschatological river with its attendant trees flows only along the main street of the city. For John’s purpose, unlike Ezekiel 47, the prophetic river does not continue its flow onto the earth. The nations are thereby denied direct contact with the river and the healing / provisional properties of the trees are not within reach of the nations for whom they grow.62 The imagery is both profound and apparent.


The trees are representative of the original tree, which was a type of Christ. The original tree was never pictured as drawing its strength from a river. However, it is clearly intended that we see the relationship between these trees and the river. Of course this river is a clear type of the Holy Spirit. It flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb and produces fruit and life saving leaves (In Ezek. 47:11-12 the fruit is designated as food presumably for the nations). The picture of multiple trees is a representation of the new identity of Christ. Like the original representation of Christ these trees are providing life. Now the messianic tree has multiplied. The eschatological trees are exact duplicates of the original. They differ only in their dependence upon the river. The trees exist for the dispensing of their life giving fruit and leaves to the nations. This is the eternal ministry of the church and it must not be limited to physical healing. The fruit and leaves are representative of all, both spiritual and physical, provision. The nations do not receive their life directly through God. It will come through the church, hence the priestly character of its eschatological existence. The river is indicative of the power of the Holy Spirit that will enable ecclesiastical ministry in the age to come.


If the natural body is indeed a temple of the Spirit, how much more true is it in the resurrected body? The trees represent the resurrected church forever ministering by the power of the Holy Spirit through them. There is no greater joy for the Spirit filled believer than to be used by the power of God’s Spirit. The saints are here pictured as drawing their strength for ministry from the river by which they have been planted. The image of trees dispersing healing may correspond to Paul’s assertion that all creation is awaiting the revelation of the saints (Rom 8:18-25). Here Paul adds two important elements to our understanding of eschatological ministry. He first equates the revelation of glory with abilities of eschatological saints to serve the creation (“the glory revealed in us”). Secondly, Paul refers to the freedom of the saints. Just what is the “glorious freedom of the children of God?”


We must at this point give a quick definition of freedom. Freedom is being what you were created to be. For a bird freedom is the ability to fly. It is created with wings for this purpose. Replacing its wings with hands would give it the ability to do more things but it would then lose its created freedom of flight. For men freedom is being a temple of the Holy Spirit. He was created for the indwelling of God and for righteousness. Only then can men become really free. It can never be realized in a permissive society or even through the benevolence of human governments. Only through the indwelling of God’s Spirit can man realize the full significance of his existence. Man was not created for indulgence or for sin (John 8:36). Sin is the handcuffs of man. Thus the glorious freedom of the saints comes as they are eternally indwelt by God’s Spirit. This condition will only exist in the resurrection and the whole creation is awaiting the ministry of men who have found their true identity through the eschatological indwelling.


Every true charismatic knows that his most exhilarating moments in life are realized in the flow of God’s Spirit through him to accomplish some great task. We were created for service and this will never change. Greater service in eternity will result in greater eternal glory. Jesus predicted this in his parable of Luke 19:11-19. Faithfulness in a few things was rewarded with even greater opportunity for service when the Lord returned. By using and growing in grace now we are earning for ourselves even greater grace in the future by which we will forever serve the creation (including natural men). So the more grace we experience the more ministry we will encounter and correspondingly, greater glory and joy is realized in greater ministry.


The river is the grace that will be given at the return of Jesus. It is the power of the age to come and it will belong exclusively to the resurrected saints and is given for the eschatological ministry of the saints. There is a direct relationship between the grace we achieve here and the eschatological grace endowed in the age to come. Grace and glory and power in the age to come will be directly proportional to the delegated responsibilities of each individual saint. This resurrection is not designed for those saints who are just fleeing hell. It is designed for those who love ministry. What saint does not desperately long for the power to change his world? A wonderful new day is approaching for all who hate evil and have longed for power to change their world. For them a river of power and of grace and of joy will flow forever.


Eschatological Sonship


Sonship is another great eschatological ideal bound up in the kingdom of God theme. We know that angels are called sons of God (Job 38:4-7). In this text God also called them “the morning stars” and describes them as shouting and singing together at some moment in God’s creative past. Other than Jesus and these angels, only one man has ever borne that title. Adam, the first man was given this designation by a writer of the gospels in the genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:38). Apparently, the son of God designation belongs to creatures who are directly created by God. However Adam represented a new and unique son of God in that he carried with himself the seeds of an entire race of creatures who could forever replicate themselves.


Gabriel stated that Jesus could bear the title “Son of God” because of the manner in which he came forth by the power of the Holy Spirit, i.e. a physical conception initiated by the Holy Spirit. We must also mention that Jesus was not a son before he took on human flesh. In every way he had been co-equal with God and the Spirit. Jesus only becomes the Son of God upon accepting a human identity. This has in no way reduced the status of God. It has only resulted in the exaltation of mankind. Now the sonship of Jesus and Adam differ in two substantial ways. Jesus was never created and, though he contained the seeds of a new race, his procreation is spiritual and not physical. Thus began the two great branches of humanity. The natural branch began in the first human son of God. The spiritual branch began in the second human Son of God. Adam’s sonship is the result of his having been created directly by God as were the angelic host. Jesus is “called the son of God” by reason of the Spirit’s function in his human birth (Luke 1:35) and is “declared the Son of God” by reason of his resurrection (Rom 1:4). Jesus also contributed to our definition of the term when he described believers in the age to come as “sons of the resurrection (Luke 20:36).


So here is the basis for which we may determine our status of sonship. Those who have experienced a resurrection, or have been individually created as was Adam and the angels, are sons of God. Jesus is unique in the manner of his virgin birth and the physical involvement of the Holy Spirit. Beyond this those who likewise experience a resurrection may similarly be deemed sons of God. Now, it is in his resurrection that we find the greatest testimony to the sonship of Jesus, “Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead (Rom 1:4 NASU). In the most technical sense it might be reasonably concluded that believers really only become sons of God at the eschatological resurrection. Hence the resurrection and its declaration of sonship for the believer (Rom 1:4) will become a reality at the return of Jesus. It is their reward.


We are presently sons but only in a prenatal sense, “it has not appeared as yet what we will be” (1 John 3:2 NASU). Yes, we are justified by faith, which is the substance of reality. And by this faith we are sons of God but we have not yet come forth from the womb. Yes we have life but we do not have final recognition or authority. We are actually sons of God in the making and in many ways our eternal identity, like that of a fetus, is still being determined. This explains the comment of John, “He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (John 1:12 NASU).


By this statement, “the right to become,” John seems to be saying that full sonship will begin at some future moment. In this life we proceed under this “right to become.” We function but only in a limited way. It is important for us to understand that for the present time the most important aspect of sonship is our growth and development, because our real ministry will begin at the resurrection when we finally come forth from the womb. In the Pentecostal context the “power ministry” is often the all-important reality. However the real “power ministry” of the charismatic is what he has beginning with the resurrection in which all believers become charismatics. We do not think about this however, because our fundamentalist theology has crippled our ability to envision any future ministry. What possible ministry could unfold for believers in a “spirit only” heaven where all problems have already been resolved? If there is not ministry in the eschaton, what is the meaning of the phrase “powers of the age to come?” There is good news for all charismatics. Real ministry and serving Jesus by the power of the Spirit will occupy the believer’s eschatological future. But for now, God is more concerned about what we are becoming than what we are doing. In this life the believer is in a gestational phase and God’s goal is to bring him into the image of Jesus for his presentation as a son of God at the resurrection.


Paul’s claim that God is coordinating the believer’s life for His own “good” purpose (Rom 8:28) is said in the context of our becoming sons of God. There is only one “good” to which all things work together. That “good” is the same thing for all believers and it is the goal of becoming like Jesus. Our trials are all focused in on this objective. We are individually being prepared for a glorious inheritance as sons of God. This life is only preparation for the real charismatic “stuff.” Now, in Rom 8:18-23 Paul gathers together the full scope of this eschatological hope of sonship. Here Paul links together three important concepts. First of all he is describing the day in which the sons of God will finally come forth from the womb in which they have been concealed. Then in verse 23 he calls this process adoption. So the term adoption may be defined as the process in which sons of God are manifested. He then equates this adoption with redemption. In this context, that redemption is the resurrection of the physical body. Of course redemption begins within the affections of men but without the restoration of the human body, it is not complete. So it is in this respect that we understand Jesus’ admonition, “lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28 NASU).


Jesus was referring to his second coming and the resurrection. Our redemption takes place at the return of Christ and not before. Therefore, full-orbed sonship begins at the resurrection of the dead and is another hope upon which inheritance is based. Sonship of course is a great honor but Paul places before the believer another great expectation for the future ministry. The whole creation is waiting for this manifestation (resurrection) of the saints to accomplish its deliverance. Paul does not specify exactly how the saints will deliver the creation but he does give us a clue. The sons of God in their transformation will experience what Paul calls “the freedom of the sons of God.” What is this freedom? In some subjective way we have already hit upon a part of the answer. In the resurrection, saints are no longer bound by physical limitations. They will be able to move about freely. In his resurrected body Jesus could appear and disappear at will. He even entered a room that was locked without using the door. The saints themselves will be able to serve the creation in ways that we cannot now imagine. The saints will go forth and serve the creation with the same anointing and goals that Jesus proclaimed for himself in Luke 4:18-19. In this declaration, Jesus alludes to the Year of Jubilee, “the favorable year of the Lord.” This was the year set apart in the law of God whereby all debts were canceled, all slaves were freed and the land returned to its original owner. It will be the privilege of the saints to administer this year of Jubilee to the whole earth. The liberty of the saints is the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through them to the whole earth. Paul said. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2 Cor 3:17).” The ultimate manifestation of this charismatic truth is realized in the resurrection of the saints through the Holy Spirit in them. This is the “power of the age to come.”




When the eschatological Spirit is poured out upon the earth in the age to come righteousness will flood the natural earth and transform its inhabitants. 2 Peter 3:13 refers to this promise of righteousness that is laced throughout OT prophesy. He calls the new heaven and the new earth “the home of righteousness.” (NIV cf. Isa 32:15-17; 51:5-6)


Of course Peter makes a distinct reference to the new heavens and earth mentioned in Isa 65 and 66. The hope is grand and picturing it is not really difficult. Righteousness may be defined simply as “being right.” It is not just the heart of man that becomes right it also the rightness of all creation. The deserts and even the animal kingdoms become “right.” Society also becomes “right” but this is essentially a moral rightness.


Again there is an assumption in these scriptures that natural men (in contrast to the saints) are recipients of the outpouring. This discussion has already been undertaken. However, it could be suggested that the outpouring of the Spirit as it relates to mankind is twofold. First it affects those who are under the blood. These the word describes as the elect. Second, it reaches to the favored nations allowed to inhabit the new earth. In both cases there is a transforming effect. In the case of natural man, it perfects his fallen character. In the case of the saints it transforms even their bodies. It may also be concluded that for the elect, moral completion is only found in this eschatological event (Ezek 36:25-27; Isa 44:3). Ultimate righteousness is a promise that remains unfulfilled even for Christians. Believers are now judged righteous but none are yet truly perfect in nature.


The most “relevant” element in the idea of righteousness is that with Messiah comes the outpouring of the Spirit and with the Spirit comes the will of God. With the will of God, all things are transformed and renewed. The earth and all it contains becomes a paradise: “a world in which God’s will is done. This is the mainstream of Jewish and Christian eschatology.”63




Eschatological judgment is a clear and often mentioned theme of OT end time prophecy. However, it is important at this point that continuity of the prophetic themes not become confused. We must recall that the fundamental concept in view is the presence of Jehovah or of Messiah upon earth. In turn the presence of Messiah correlates with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is manifested wherever Messiah appears. Thus, all eschatological themes by definition fall under the rubric “Holy Spirit outpouring.” While the OT speaks of both Spirit outpouring and of eschatological judgment they are not tightly bound together in prophetic thought until the later apocalyptic literature as reflected in the kingdom pronouncements of John the Baptist (Matt 3:11-12 Judgment accompanies Spirit baptism cf. Mal 4:1). So the final judgment is a result of the final outpouring of Spirit.64 The references to this judgment describe a cosmic event that includes all of mankind (Ps 96:13; Dan. 7:9-10; Matt. 16:26-28). It results in the destruction of wicked men and in the repayment of the righteous (Heb 10:27-28; 2 Cor. 5:10). This eschatological judgment is also depicted as an ongoing process that involves the saints. In Rev. 2:26-27 Jesus confers upon overcoming saints the same right to judge the nations as was attributed to himself, “I will give authority over the nations.”


Interestingly, God also takes the occasion of mankind’s judgment to judge the angelic world:


Isa 24:21 In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below. (NIV)

Jude 6-7 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home-these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. (NIV)

2 Peter 2:4-5 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; (NIV)

1 Cor 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (NIV)


Saints will participate in a judgment of angels that brings the evil beings into eternal torment (Rev. 20:9-10) but the details of their involvement are not clear. Some scholars believe the judgment of angels by men is like that found in Matt 19:2865 where the twelve apostles are destined to lead (not condemn) eschatological (natural not spiritual66) Israel. In this view men would be examples to faithful angelic beings as they are in the present time (I Peter 1:12; Eph. 3:10). However, the real emphasis is placed on the judgment of evil angels.67 So with the outpouring of the Spirit in the Age to Come the saints are launched into a role with Christ as judges of nations (I Cor 6:2) and of angelic beings.


Eschatological Kingdom


The concept of natural man’s presence in a perfect world has been belabored throughout so that important nuances of eternal life may be understood and through it all one thing seems clear. There are natural “flesh and blood” humans being sustained by the ministry of trees planted by the streams of living waters that are flowing from a holy city / temple. These natural generations of man are able to wash themselves and even able to enter the holy city but the permanence of their eternal life is dependent upon the trees of life dispersed throughout the earth. These nations cannot be the church. The church is already consummated in Christ. These nations will indeed live forever in human perfection but they will never share in the infrastructure of the holy city. They will never become a part of Christ nor will they ever experience the trinitarian like unity with Almighty God. They will never become a part of the bride of Christ and so be one with him. This is true salvation. This is the hope of our calling and for this there is no second chance. It happens here and now in the midst of doubt and persecution or it will not happen at all. This salvation is based on our faith. After Jesus appears the door of faith will close. Paul said, “Hope that is seen is not hope (Rom 8:24).” Once the invisible world of the Spirit is revealed there will no longer exist the possibility of entering by faith. There is only one path to the resurrection of the righteous and participation in the city and that is through faith in the blood of Jesus. That blood (and its acceptance by faith) is no longer available after the resurrection of the dead and the removal of the veil.


The fundamentalist church does not like to think about or discuss all of this because it might lull good people into ignoring the message of the blood of Christ. However, we need to clearly place before the world the real hope of our calling. That hope is not that we would miss hell or that we will even go to heaven. Neither is our hope in the ability to live the natural life forever. Our hope is in becoming one with Christ forever. It is based upon our love for him. And it is only through his blood and involves our suffering. If this desire is not present then there is no salvation anyway. The contrast of the gospel is not between those going to heaven and those going to hell. The contrast that should be made in our evangelism is between those who are becoming a part of the bride and everyone else even if they somehow live forever in the flesh. God is not calling people who just want to miss hell. He is calling people who want to join with him in the Bride of Christ.


The eventual appearing of a new age is an underlying principle everywhere affirmed in the NT writings. It is truly amazing that fundamentalists are so intently focused on a heavenly experience while the NT places overwhelming emphasis on the glorious future of our planet. The terms “age to come, coming age, this present age, what is to come, world to come, in the resurrection” and other inferences are found everywhere in the NT. In Matt 19:28 Jesus called it the “Regeneration.” By this phrase he alluded to a restoration motif that is often displayed in OT prophecies. This restoration included the resurrection, a New Jerusalem, the new heavens and a new earth. Jesus only once used the word “regeneration” but the concept was at the heart of his message. In the teaching of Jesus the “Kingdom of God” was that regeneration and it had already begun in him.


Like salvation and eternal life, the kingdom of God has both present and future eschatological, fulfillment. These aspects are taught throughout the NT. The polemic between future and the present fulfillments are brought into sharp focus in Luke 17:20-24. To the Pharisees Jesus said that the kingdom of God was not coming with observation but was already in their midst. This temporal aspect remains the focus of our investigation. However, to the disciples Jesus declares that the coming of the kingdom would be like lightning that is seen by all. This is the eschatological manifestation of the same kingdom. Again it is upon this manifestation that our present Pentecostal experience is based. We will discuss its temporal implications later.


From the earliest times of Israel’s history there was a building expectation among Jews that God had selected them to become his own unique kingdom. In Ex 19:5-6 we learn that God intended them to become a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” unto him. It was eventually understood that this kingdom would have a king who would be a messiah (Isa 9:6-7) and that the kingdom of this Messiah would never end (Dan 7:13-14). The Jewish hope for participation in this kingdom was also eloquently articulated in Dan 7:18 “But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.” Jesus was in his own conception clearly that Messiah (Luke 1:32-33). The teaching ministry of Jesus was almost completely devoted to this kingdom ideal. Using parables and the power of the Spirit Jesus went throughout Israel proclaiming and explaining the fulfillment of this great Jewish hope. The term “kingdom of God” may be simply defined as “the rule of God” and refers to His sovereignty.68 Wherever one finds God’s kingdom, they will find the rule of God being obeyed or enforced. The age to come is called the kingdom age because God’s rule is finally realized everywhere on planet earth.


The eschatological outpouring of the Holy Spirit belongs to this “kingdom” rubric. This outpouring is the ultimate means by which God’s will for the earth is accomplished. Wherever the Spirit resides, there God’s perfect will is done. The presence of Messiah, as noted, brings with him the presence of the Spirit. Thus judgment upon the wicked (though not detailed here), the creation of new heavens and earth, the resurrection, the restoration of societal righteousness and the celestial establishment of Jerusalem are all part and parcel of the kingdom’s consummation. To speak of the coming of the Lord and of the presence of Messiah is to speak of the kingdom.69 Without having stressed the point, we have now covered nearly every OT expectation for the appearing of the Kingdom of God. It might be said that the distinction between the phrases “Age to Come” and the “Kingdom of God” is semantical only. The terms are used synonymously whenever the focus is eschatological in nature. The kingdom of God involves the intervention of God in human history and “is always an earthly hope.”70


The term “kingdom of God” actually appears nowhere in the OT. However, the concept is ever present.71 Israel was always a theocracy and God was her king. Initially, human kings did not rule Israel. God led through patriarchs, prophets and judges. The fundamental ideal of God’s kingdom was that of sovereignty found in his presence. “The hope of the coming of the kingdom was the hope in the coming of the Lord.”72


Eschatological Terminology


The word Parousia means both coming and presence. When applied to the coming of Jesus, it refers to the fact that he has arrived but most importantly to his sustained presence. There are other words that could have been used to express the idea of his coming that would not also have connoted his remaining (e.g. erchomai). New Testament writers used the word Parousia to make clear their intended reference to a sustained and transforming presence of Messiah on earth in the age to come. When we say we are looking for the Parousia of the Lord, we are really looking for his sustained presence and for all of the changes that will then take place because of it.


Generally speaking the fundamentalist church, which includes charismatics and Pentecostals has accepted the “Pre-tribulation” theory of the coming of Jesus. This is an incorrect interpretation of scripture and because of it much of the church believes that the Parousia of Jesus is a secret coming in which the saints will disappear from the earth. To hold to this belief, one must ignore the very meaning of the word Parousia. The clear teaching of scripture is that there is only one Parousia of Jesus and it will last forever. In 2 Thess 2:8-9 the word Parousia is used two times. It is used of the coming and sustained stay of Jesus and it is used of the coming and sustained stay of the anti-christ. It is the Parousia of Jesus that destroys the parousia of the anti-christ. At the same moment, Christ’s kingdom is completely established upon the earth. Our hope is not for some disappearance or escape of the church. Our hope is fixed on the eternal presence of Jesus that results in our resurrection (or “rapture” for those who are living at the time of his return, I Cor 15:23) and the transformation of the earth. Like the flood of Noah, (Matt 24:27-41) the presence of Jesus upon this earth will sweep away the wicked. However, the same presence will be an ark to the righteous. It is the wicked that will disappear from the earth not the righteous. Therefore the “Parousia” of Jesus is to the wicked a flood of destruction but to the righteous it is an ark of safety. Both the flood and the ark appear in the same day. The Bible calls this day, “The day of the Lord.” The Bible nowhere teaches a “secret Parousia” of Jesus. This would be the ultimate oxymoron. When Jesus comes Peter says that the heavens and the earth will be destroyed by intense heat (2 Peter 3:12). In Matt 24:27 Jesus said that his “Parousia” would be like lightning. This is not a secret event.


In the NT there is a “manifestation” motif that utilizes several Greek words. The fundamental idea is that Christ “will be revealed “phaneroo” (1 Peter 5:4 NASU) in the Parousia. In 2 Cor 4:10 Paul uses the same word to describe the revealing of Jesus in the body of believers. It is also found in John’s narrative of the wedding at Cana where Jesus is said to have “manifested” his glory. In 1 Cor 12:7 “phanerosis” (same root) is applied to the revealing of the Spirit in the charismatic gifts. “Apokalupsis” is used by John the revelator of Jesus’ eschatological revelation in Rev 1:1 and by Paul of the revealing of the sons of God (Rom 8:19) and in Rom 16:25 of the revelation of the mystery. In 1 Cor he uses it four times in references to the charisms. Whenever we encounter this revelation ideal in charismatic themes it will be speaking to the idea that Pentecost is the present means whereby God removes the veil from men and manifests something of the age to come.


The Greek word “Epiphaneia” further describes the nuances of Christian inheritance. The word basically means “shining or brightness or radiance (2 Thess 2:8; Titus 2:13).” This “epiphaneia” describes for us the “Parousia” of Christ. It is a supernatural brightness that destroys the wicked and at the same time transforms the righteous. Moses once asked God if he could see His glory (Ex 33:18-23). In 33:11 we discover that God was already talking to Moses “face to face.” However, in verse 18 Moses asked to see the glory of God but God said he could not see his face. In response to that request, God allowed Moses to see only his backside. God at that time told Moses he would not be allowed to see his face. This is not a contradiction. While Moses did indeed talk to God face to face, he had never yet seen his full glory.73 The glory that was hidden from Moses was a moral brilliance.74 We know this because as the glory of God passed by Moses, God declared his moral excellence of compassion, love, forbearance, forgiveness and justice to Moses (Ex 34:6-7).


The “epiphaneia” of Jesus is a shining that radiates in every frequency of existence. In the physical world this brightness will burn the earth with laser precision. It will at once destroy and recreate. The heavens will flee this brightness (Rev 20:11). But there is also a moral shining that brings judgment to the nations. From this moral brilliance the hand of God shielded Moses. God called this glory “My Face” (Ex 33:20). It is the most glorious aspect of the Almighty. Only the Blood of Jesus can protect us from this kind of glory. It is this same moral “epiphaneia” (face of Christ) that destroys the wicked at the coming of Jesus. It is also this “moral epiphaneia” that will judge the works of the saints and burn up things done with selfish motives or in human strength. In Rev 6:16 the wicked speak, “mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb (KJV).” However, for those who are under the blood of Jesus this same moral shining will result in their transformation. In 1 John 3:2 we are told that we will look just like Jesus when he returns because “we shall see him just as he is.” So also Rev 22:4 says that, “we shall see his face! In other words saints will behold that which would have destroyed Moses. So at the same moment the face of Jesus is destroying the wicked, the church by the same face (epiphaneia) is transformed into that very same image of brilliance. The difference is in the application of the blood of the lamb.

Chapter Two


The “Two Age” Model


The goal of this chapter is to explore the manner in which John the Baptist, Jesus and other NT authors believed the end of the age had arrived with a dawning of the new. The implications of their beliefs will contribute greatly to our quest for a definition of Spirit Baptism.


The Greek word at the heart of our present discussion is “aion” hence the title “Aionic Overlap.” Aion may be translated as "an age or era" and “signifies a period of indefinite duration, or time viewed in relation to what takes place in the period. The force attaching to the word is not so much that of the actual length of a period, but that of a period marked by spiritual or moral characteristics.”1 It is also translated “by implication, the world; specially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future)”2 and is “focused upon administrative periods with moral or spiritual distinctives and relates to the rule of either God or Satan.”3 Thus a change of the “aion” is more suggestive of moral or ethical change than the simple movement of time from one epoch to another.


We have now completed our survey of the global and spiritual conditions that will exist in a future age distinct from this present world. The concept of two ages was more or less implicit even during the intertestamental period. However, somewhere during the rise of rabbinic tradition it became a technical term4 that was accepted by Jesus and biblical scholars (except the Sadducees) of his day. Thus the NT is replete with references to the duality of the age (Matt 12:31-32; Luke 18:30; Eph 1:21). Beyond these duality references there are many inferences that speak of the end of this age (Matt 13:39,49; 24:3), the coming age (1 Tim 6:19; Heb 6:4-5) or simply refer to our present age (1 Cor 1:20; 2:6-10). Any reference to an “age” of necessity brings with it an inherent implication of multiplicity.


A Changing of the Ages


The ages really embody God’s administration (2 Cor 3:7-13) of two dramatically divergent covenants with man, the “Law and the Spirit.” Just as the new covenant was to replace the old so also the new age would displace the former (Heb. 8:8-13). Simply stated, the Spirit age was to replace the age of the Law. It was not supposed that the two ages would gradually blend, the one into the other. The ages were to change abruptly and apocalyptically, (2 Peter 3:10 “The heavens will disappear with a roar” NIV). For the Jew this change would be easily recognized by the sudden appearance of Messiah and by an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon the earth. It would be realized in the glorious appearance of the new creation and the astonishing metamorphosis of Jerusalem into a heavenly entity. Directly, God’s rule (the kingdom of God) would produce righteousness, peace and joy on earth (Rom 14:17), ending all suffering and fear. Every vestige of the former age was to vanish into the utter totality of its transformation even to any recollection of its previous existence (Isa 65:17). The old age was to disappear completely!


In the midst of this eschatological certainty John the Baptist appeared with his compelling message. It was everything a truly faithful Jew could have hoped to hear. He was proclaiming the soon appearing of God’s kingdom and the appearance of the Lord (Matt 3:1-11). It was a hopeful message that imposed personal preparation for the appearance of the Lord upon all. John saw himself as the voice from Isaiah 40:3 who was crying out for Israel to prepare a way for the coming of the Lord. This preparation included confession of personal sins and the washing of baptism. At its noblest, baptism would have signified a ritual and priestly washing. In its most humble implication baptism may have represented an imposition of the ceremonial bath required of gentile proselytes.5 Either way it was a befitting gesture for those welcoming the new age and Messiah.


John was the son of a high priest and would have been knowledgeable in Jewish eschatological thought. He certainly understood the apocalyptic nature of the kingdom's appearance. We are not therefore surprised that John was somewhat unsettled by the apparent meekness of Christ’s appearing. Like the many prophets before him John simply prophesied the word of God without full understanding. However, he was perfectly clear as to his immediate revelation. “The kingdom was just about to appear.” In this he was unambiguous. Each individual Jew was responsible to prepare himself because, unlike Isaiah’s “Immanuel,” the fulfillment of this prophecy was not to be left for some later historical event. It was here and it was now! “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” and without any doubt John also believed (and may have taught) that the changing of the ages was likewise “at hand.”


Among the fundamentalist “rank and file” there is a general perception that John’s message was fulfilled with the appearing of the Lord for whom he was preparing the way. In this respect that is a correct perception. However, the fulfillment of “the kingdom is at hand” prediction is not so straightforward. We must consider the fact that John continued baptizing and preparing Israel for the kingdom even after the baptism of Jesus. This must surely indicate that the baptism of Jesus in the Spirit was not John’s sole mission and the “kingdom at hand” message pointed beyond the immediate ministry of Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus embraced an identical message and continued to declare the imminent appearance of the kingdom (Matt 4:23-24) indicating its lack of fulfillment solely with his own appearance. More will be said of this later but for now we are focused upon the belief of both Jesus and John that the kingdom was appearing in their day. This proclamation must have caused both consternation and excitement since it would have implied to all that the end of the age had arrived.


At this point crucial distinctions become imperative. Throughout the discourses of Jesus, both sayings and parables, three distinct perspectives of the kingdom age relative to his own ministry are exposed. His references to the future and apocalyptic appearing of the new age are the most easily recognized. From among the many parables on this aspect are: “The parables of growth, the unjust steward, and of the talents among others.6 Many of the ideals covered by this type of end time parable have been discussed in the previous section. However, for our present purpose the crucial distinctions relate to the juxtaposition of the new age in Jesus himself to the kingdom activity looming in the immediate future of his contemporaries. We will now discover that for Jesus the kingdom had in one sense already come and in another sense it was just about to appear. What can we learn from this distinction? First we shall explore the kingdom presence already existing in Jesus.


The New age in Jesus


For most charismatics it is unnecessary to ponder the beginnings of a new age in the life and ministry of Jesus. It is sufficient for us only to acknowledge his baptism by John as the occasion whereupon the Holy Spirit anointed Jesus as Messiah. Thus began the new age of the Spirit in Jesus, i.e. his messianic ministry. In his first public appearance as Messiah, Jesus attended the Sabbath gathering at his hometown synagogue in Nazareth at which time he took opportunity to declare his presence and his anointing to be the fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1-3. The context and meaning of this text was never in dispute. It was a text that looked forward to the new age and the eschatological salvation of Israel.7 Jesus concludes his reading of the Sabbath text with an astonishing declaration. "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing (Luke 4:21 NIV)!” But how could this be? There were no apocalyptic earthquakes, new heavens or judgments. There was no indication of Jehovah’s glorious appearing. Yet Jesus seems adamant that the new age had begun with his appearance in that Jewish synagogue.


Jesus made many additional statements affirming that indeed the kingdom of God had arrived. In Luke 11:20 he said, “If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you” (NIV). In Mark 2:19, while not making any direct affirmations, he clearly compares his presence with the disciples’ (and their apparent disregard for fasting) to the joyous eschatological feast of the kingdom.8 He was insinuating that in some manner the kingdom of God had already begun and his disciples had already tasted of its joy.9 And of course that “joy” was in the presence and fellowship of the messianic king.


John had been imprisoned early in the ministry of Jesus and was soon to die. His bewilderment as to the messianic identity of Jesus and the appearing of God’s kingdom is understandable as the subject is still debated by some today. But John had to know for sure. He sent his disciples to ask once and for all, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else (NIV)?” Still, John cannot shake free of his certainty about the eschatological scheme of things that should have occurred with the appearing of Messiah. His confidence in what he saw and heard at the baptism of Jesus was waning. Somehow he needed a scriptural affirmation to validate his ministry and to quail his uncertainty. In Matt 11:4-6 Jesus sends an apt response to John by quoting Isa 35:5-6:


"Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me." (NIV)


Of course John would have been familiar with this text but it surely did not answer all of the specific issues that confused him. Remember also, John was a cousin to Jesus though he had never met him (John 1:31). However, because of the interaction between their mothers Mary and Elisabeth, John would have been familiar with all the circumstances accompanying Jesus’ birth, hence the remark, “I need to be baptized by You” (Matt 3:14 NIV). In himself John may have believed that Jesus was the Messiah even before His baptism. With this knowledge he may also have imagined that the apocalyptic end of all things was in his immediate future. When this did not happen as he had assumed he was thrust into self-imposed confusion by the same shortsighted theology that plagued the Pharisees. However, when this text was combined in his thinking with what he had seen and felt at the river Jordan and with what he already knew of Jesus, it was enough. John must have reasoned to himself that all the healings and deliverances had to be the finger of God pointing to Messiah. It is simply beyond refutation, Jesus believed and taught that the kingdom had already arrived in his day and this with an apparent indifference to a lack of the anticipated eschatological signs. But how can we allow this unorthodox application of Hebraic prophecy? George Eldon Ladd is brilliant in his observations on this perplexing issue. He comments:


“The eschatological consummation does not appear to be on the horizon. The point of Jesus’ answer is that fulfillment is taking place without the eschatological consummation. Therefore Jesus pronounced a special beatitude upon those who are not offended by the character of the messianic fulfillment (Matt. 11:6). The fulfillment is indeed taking place, but in unexpected terms.”10


Here Ladd coins the phrase, “fulfillment without consummation.” He is suggesting that the only way to correlate the OT teachings with those of John and Jesus is to make a distinction between a present, partial fulfillment and a fulfillment wherein all things are finally consummated in Christ. This required more than the mere knowledge of scripture by his adherents. It required faith and an innate goodness capable of simply recognizing the presence of God apart from the intellectual concurrence of established doctrine. Hence, only men of good will and those who truly loved the light (John 3:21) could accept the presence of the new age apart from its ultimate consummation.


In his response to John the Baptist Jesus concludes with this statement: “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me (NIV).” What an amazing statement! Jesus knew how desperately John and all faithful Jews of his day had longed for the coming of the kingdom with its full consummation. But he also knew that Jews who loved truth would surely recognize the love and goodness of God’s Spirit in spite of their pre-conceived notions of just how the new age would begin. In the short term, believers would just have to trust their righteous instincts about him. However, as we know many Jews who were otherwise fascinated by Jesus just could not make the leap of faith from their eschatology to the diminutive form of the new age in Jesus. They just could not accept a kingdom presence (regardless of its loving nature) without the anticipated consummation. These were the multitudes who had listened to Jesus speak, saw his miracles, ate of the loves and fishes but called for his crucifixion. They had rejoiced for a while in his version of the kingdom but in the end they fell away from him because they just could not accept Jesus and the Spirit that was in him without an eschatological consummation. They were “offended” by the seeming lowliness of his messianic stature. Their love of the light and their innate hunches about Jesus were just too week to overcome the ridicule of influential leaders using doctrine to mask their own disdain of truth.


Ladd is also brilliant in suggesting that Jesus pronounced a special beatitude (“And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me” Matt 11:6 NASU) upon those who were not offended by the character of the messianic fulfillment.11  Maybe this “blessing” upon those who were not offended at the lowliness of his messianic stature was also at the heart of the other beatitudes (Matt 5:3-10). Scholars of all generations have debated the nature of the beatitudes. Some have actually postulated that they applied to another age entirely. However, it would seem that Ladd’s insightfulness might have also unlocked their precise nature. They are the blessings of Jesus upon the Jewish disciples who humbly accepted the inconspicuous nature of his messianic personage. These beatitudes are themselves antithetical not to the kingdom of God but the contemporary Jewish preconception of it. Any disciple who would have accepted the beatitudes as a constitution of the kingdom of God would also have accepted Jesus as its king without being offended. It was his blessings on those accepting the work of the Spirit without the predicted consummation. It was Jesus’ blessing upon those moving with their heart into the Spirit of the New Age. It is the blessing of Jesus upon those who would accept the Pentecostal experience as the appearing of the kingdom of God.


The New Age “At Hand”


In other passages it becomes clear that Jesus envisaged the kingdom presence (and correspondingly the new age) as transpiring in the near future. In this respect his message was identical to that of John the Baptist, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt 4:17).” It is also instructive that the disciples were dispatched with the identical message. In these instances it is just inescapable that the intended sense was of something so near that it was now tangible (at hand). Another significant text in this vein is Luke 17:20-21:


"The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'there it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”(NIV)


It is quite telling that the Pharisees had not understood Jesus to be teaching that the full-blown appearing of the kingdom was transpiring. We know they were listening very closely to his words in order to catch him in some error. So they had correctly understood this much. Nevertheless his assertions that the kingdom was both present and “at hand” had given them pause. In an attempt to more fully understand Jesus’ timing of the kingdom appearing, they asked the above question. “When will the kingdom of God come?” It was a straightforward question. But there was no possibility of a straightforward answer. While there was indeed a pre-ordained timing for the “at hand” appearing of the kingdom, i.e. the day of Pentecost, that event of necessity would depend upon the spiritual condition of the individual participant. Hence, the “at hand” experience would be predominantly a question of inner receptivity as opposed to a particular day. “The kingdom is within you.”


With this answer we see that Jesus was indeed teaching the coming of the kingdom as a future but fast approaching event. Jesus was telling the Pharisees that the coming of the kingdom was in fact something to happen within the believer. Before the day of Pentecost this was an experience exclusive to Jesus. (Under the auspices of Jesus the disciples were allowed to share in his anointing but it was still exclusively Jesus’ kingdom anointing that was going forth through them. It was not possible for the kingdom experience to have been in anyone other than Jesus himself since only Jesus at that time had been baptized in the Spirit.) Thus we are sure that Jesus was teaching both a current and a near future appearing of the new age. Like John, Jesus was just instructing Israel on how to repent and prepare for the kingdom. But unlike John, Jesus was demonstrating the affects of that which was in his own self and coming soon to Israel.


When Jesus spoke of those who were trying to enter the kingdom (Matt 23:13) he was speaking either of their desire to immediately follow him in his ministry (Luke 9:57-10:4) or their entrance preparations for a quickly approaching event (as will be seen later with Nicodemus). When he speaks of those who were forcefully entering the kingdom (Luke 16:16), we are to envision followers obeying the call to repentance and actively engaging themselves in preparation for the changing of the ages. John was eliciting the same type of responses from his audiences as was Jesus and for precisely the same reason, kingdom preparation. The followers of Jesus were preparing in faith for the coming of the kingdom. And their faith was based upon the teaching and the miraculous signs offered by Jesus.


Before moving on we must pause to summarize the preceding thoughts. First of all the kingdom did indeed come with the baptism of Jesus. The kingdom began in Jesus with the entrance of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus told the Pharisee that the kingdom would come within, he was speaking from his own experience. The eschatological kingdom was present in Jesus because the Spirit was present in him. In other words it was not "where I am is the kingdom but where the Spirit is there is the Kingdom.”12 Thus Jesus could both proclaim and demonstrate the presence of the kingdom wherever he went and at the same time prepare the Jews for their own similar experience in the coming of the kingdom of God and a “personal” changing of the ages. So Jesus declared the presence of the new age in Himself (and those sent out by him i.e. the disciples, the seventy and potentially other individuals like the rich young ruler) and proclaimed the nearness (“at hand”) of the new age for everyone else.


The New Age Church


Throughout fundamentalist Christendom the “end time” message is pervasive and the church has carefully immunized itself against the end time gainsayers. For after all Peter warned the church against those who would decry the long delay in the appearing of the new age:


 2 Peter 3:4 They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." (NIV)


With words such as this, who of any age could possibly question the veracity of our nearness to the end of the age? However, in a sense this is precisely what we must now do. There is, generally speaking, an unverbalized question in the minds of many contemporary believers. How is it that the saints of every age have believed they were the end time saints? Fundamentalists typically confront objections with the “If they were close, then we are much closer today” answer. But does this response really address the doctrinal dilemma? Logic would tell us that all preceding saints who held this view were seriously mistaken. However, this logic would also cast the same disparagement upon virtually all NT authors. Unfortunately many modernist theologians in their inability to correlate the apostle’s belief in the nearness of the end times with its non-eventful appearing have succumbed to this very logic. Many tell us that the NT authors were mistaken as to the end of the age. Consider the following synopsis of new age thinking from among the NT authors:


Acts 2:17 In the last days I will pour out my Spirit…Before the day of the Lord comes. (NIV)

1 Cor 10:11-12 the fulfillment of the ages has come. (NIV)

1 Tim 4:1-2 the Spirit says (concerning Timothy’s time) that in later times (NIV)

2 Tim 3:1-5 in the last days (concerning Timothy’s day) (NIV)

Heb 1:2-3 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. (NIV)

Heb 9:25-27 now he (Christ) has appeared…at the end of the ages. (NIV)

1 Peter 1:20 He…was revealed in these last times for your sake. (NIV)

2 Peter 3:3-4 understand (concerning Peter’s day) that in the last days scoffers will come. (NIV)

1 Peter 4:7 the end of all things is near (NIV)

1 John 2:18 this is the last hour (NIV)

Jude 18-19 in the last times there (in the time of the NT church) (NIV)


The above texts all speak clearly of a belief that the NT church had already enjoined the end times in their day. How could these five authors (two being renowned theologians, not including Luke who uses history as a theological implement) have been so wrong?


New Age in Pentecost


Again we restate our immediate endeavor to understand the sense in which Jesus, John and the NT authors believed the end of the age had arrived in their time. The solution to our quandary begins to unfold within the book of Acts and the events surrounding Pentecost.


By this point it should be patently clear that the ministry of both Jesus and John pointed directly to Pentecost. Both had been actively engaged in preparing Israel for the coming of a new age and that coming began at Pentecost. Remember, Wherever the Spirit is, there is the kingdom. A few days before Pentecost Jesus compared the water baptism of John to the quickly approaching immersion of his disciples. John’s baptism was in water. It was only preparatory but they were to receive the anticipated Spirit baptism in only a few short days. Very soon all of the “kingdom is at hand” admonitions would cease with the actual dawning of a new age.


While some misconceptions may have remained in the minds of the disciples, they were not totally clueless about the unfolding events. They must have been fully aware that the gift of the Spirit was going to be given on the day of Pentecost. Jesus had just told them it would be within a few days. This is why they were altogether in one place. They knew ahead of time that the Spirit baptism would occur on the day of Pentecost.


After having been saturated into the Spirit, Peter immediately begins his explanation of the Spirit’s outpouring (Acts 2:16-21). It is not perfectly clear whether Peter’s understanding of the outpouring was from Jesus’ previous instruction about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3) or if he was suddenly endowed with supernatural knowledge. While Peter’s speech was of course inspired it is also likely he already understood the principles of which he spoke. In essence Peter was declaring the fulfillment of John’s proclamations. The kingdom had finally arrived and the new age had actually begun with the Spirit’s outpouring. Peter referenced this in Acts 3:19 with the expression, “the times of refreshing,”13 which was Jewish code for the new age. It seems also that Peter believed he was still in the end of the old age since he quoted Joel’s prophecy and the promise of a spiritual outpouring “before” the great day of the Lord’s coming. So, in the absence of any apocalyptic occurrences it was painfully apparent that though the new age had begun with the presence of the Spirit in the Pentecostal experience, the old age would continue. However, it was understood that because of the Spirit’s presence the days of the end were drawing to a conclusion. They could now see “a light at the end of the old age tunnel” but for a while it would continue.


In light of this painful recognition Peter offered the multitude a reasonable course, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation” (Acts 2:40-41 NIV). Peter recognized that Israel had now been given a new option. Along with the reception of Jesus as Messiah and as the national atonement for sin, God’s people could now escape the old world order. They now had options on the age in which they should live. It involved escaping the norms of the old life (“take no thought for your lives, but seek first the kingdom” as per Jesus’ words) and their dependence upon Jewish law.14 And this they did joyously:


Acts 2:42-47 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (NIV)


For this multitude the new age had come and having tasted of the Spirit, who initiated it, they gladly chose to live by the new rules freshly embossed upon their hearts (Jer 31:31). They had finally discovered the pearl of great price and were cheerfully selling all they had to fully possess and appropriately celebrate its incomparable worth. The Spirit was surging in their midst and the necessities of the old age were behind them. The old age continued its existence but this crowd no longer chose to participate. The cares of life, like the old age, were vanishing. The new age had dawned and they were reveling in its glory. Their reaction to the baptism of the Spirit was entirely appropriate for those whose eyes had been opened to a new age in the Spirit.15


Jesus had already noted and explained the extraordinary behavior of the Pentecostal throng, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it (Matt 11:11-13 NIV).” Likewise Luke, “The violent take it by force.”(KJV) The presence of the kingdom via the Holy Spirit requires, rather demands a radical response.16 If it is not radical (albeit, biblically so), it is not Pentecostal! Pentecostal extremism requires innate faith and reflects the realities of a future and consummated age. They were not moving out of some fanciful philosophy of human goodness. They were functioning in the sheer power of an eschatological revelation that instantly radicalized their aionic perspective and their lives. In the words of a modern idiom, “don’t try this at home.” This is the lifestyle of the spiritually rich and famous but it only works in the light of eschatological revelation. Without this eschatological manifestation of Spirit the church is forever restrained from full messianic participation because it can never answer the question, “How can we do this?” or quail the “what if” syndrome. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit eliminates the question “How” from the believer’s vocabulary and releases him from the fear of the future. Wherever you find believers struggling with questions of “how can we do this?” you will find believers who are no longer participating in the eschatological anointing.


Luke carefully notes the cause of this great epiphany among the people. They had accepted the message and were being baptized (Acts 2:41). The text does not specify the nature of their baptism. Was it water or was it a Spirit baptism? Later we will again see this baptismal ambiguity in Acts. However, it is most evident, judging by the transformation in the multitude, that this was a baptism in the Spirit. It is unlikely that the spiritual saturation of the 120 alone created such corporate response. According to Peter’s assurance, the promise of the Spirit was for them all. It is reasonable to conclude that these converts were first baptized in water in obedience to the command of Peter and were subsequently transformed by the Spirit. But they were transformed! We also reason that they experienced their own infilling because Luke mentions them having been added to “their” number. He must have meant, “added to the church” since this event was its beginning and no one enters the church except through Spirit baptism.


Thus the book of Acts chronicles the seismic beginnings of the new age. It began with the baptism of Jesus, the cornerstone. Then its foundation took on definition with the Spirit baptism of the apostles and the beginnings of the New Jerusalem at Pentecost. Since that time the old age and the status quo world has experienced the gravitational disturbance of this growing celestial entity. It continues to shake and disrupt the old age. Thus the dynamic interaction of two distinct ages with two diametrically opposed forces defines our present world and the ministry of the church. Modern scholars17 have appropriately designated this aionic confluence as “The Overlap.”


The Ephemeral Age


The old age that is passing away is not just a period of time. It is a personality. At the foundation of this age lies a malevolent mind. In its essence, the age is personal and is evil (Gal 1:4). It is the diabolical mind of Satan and it blankets humanity like a fog. It is a philosophical stupor that is continually projected into the thinking of men. It is a mental anesthetic by which humanity blithely conforms to the will of Satan. It creates within all people the fear of death. In the matter of Job, Satan revealed the essence of his mental venom. “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life (Job 2:4 NASU).” In Heb 2:14-15 we are told that the devil holds men in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. This is therefore the fundamental means by which Satan has become the God of this world. Satan is the God and king of every man controlled by fear. And of course fear is also the foundation of greed and man’s quest for power. In the new age there is no need for greed or for power as God is sovereign and his blessings enable supernatural provision for every need (Phil 4:19).


The veil upon this age facilitates the unbridled onslaught of satanic deception by which he governs nations and the souls of men. Satan has the ability to create in every man whatever clandestine scenario he chooses. For natural men these mental depictions of reality are most irresistible. As a consummate playwright Satan relentlessly creates personalized scripts for the unsuspecting. As director, he and his emissaries are continually arranging theatrical stages upon which the naive perform his drama. He co-ordinates disasters, creates despair, hatred and prejudice. He prepares the mind for lustful encounters and destructive habits. It’s the infernal parallel of Hollywood. Every play ends in disaster. And of course the sons of the new age are likewise susceptible. Even for the church he writes scripts creating evil suspicions, slander and the “desire for other things.” These images are called the” fiery darts of the wicked (KJV).”


In Rom 12:2 Paul encourages the saints to escape the mental management of this world (age) by allowing the transformation or renewing of the mind. By this Paul is referring to the transformation of Pentecost. In transferring souls from one age to the other, we change their script and alter their aionic stage. The Parousia of Pentecost is the presence of God in the new age. It is the only power capable of casting down the clandestine imaginations of this age. And wherever this new age presence manifests itself, all satanic scripts are rewritten to the glory of God. However, it only manifests itself from within the charismatic church.


So now we must understand the dynamics of the two ages. It is really the coexistence of two powerful entities. Satan controls his age through the minds of men. Paul calls it the wisdom of this age. This control is totally clandestine and befalls men even against their will. These are the men who are trapped and longing for release. Other men are what Jesus called “sons of the wicked.” These include the rulers of this age who love their evil. While they do not generally acknowledge the existence of a personal devil they willingly do his bidding because it is their true nature. They love evil and will not come to the light. The power of the new age is the Parousia of Jesus in his church. This presence destroys the presence of evil. The lawless one (Satan) is always overthrown by the splendor of Christ’s Presence (2 Thess 2:8). However, unlike the power of the old age, the power of the new age is not compulsory. It only comes at the behest of the individual believer who himself is subject to the influences of both ages. The efficacy of this “Personal Parousia” is directly proportional to the believer’s relationship with Jesus (i.e. his abiding experience) and his resistance to the “Old Age” mindset.


Gordon Fee has rightly commented, “Even though we do indeed live in the “overlap of the ages,” believers are essentially eschatological people whose lives are marked by and determined by the indwelling and empowering Spirit.”18 “We either live according to the age of flesh that has been condemned or according to the Spirit of the coming Age.”19 Believers are essentially eschatological people caught in the overlap of the ages.” Indeed, the Spirit filled believer finds himself in a pivotal position of tension. In his own existence he is constantly wrenched between the ages. Jesus labeled it as the struggle against “double mindedness.” But in the world, he must serve as a priest of the coming age. Hence, each believer must first conquer the battle of the ages within his own mind before engaging the same battle in unbelievers or in the charismatic aspirant.


The clash of the ages is a struggle between the Spirit filled believer and the systemic presence of evil. In the presence of a Parousia empowered saint, evil will lose every time. However, the individual believer’s Parousia is not a static certainty. Herein lies the battle of the ages. If believers continually abide in Christ and in his Spirit, the new age prevails, if not, the status quo (the default age) remains. James Dunn (not a Pentecostal) believed that this was the fundamental purpose of Pentecost. “The fact is that the phrase ‘baptism in the Spirit’ is never directly associated with the promise of power, but is always associated with entry into the messianic age or the Body of Christ.”20 While Dunn’s inability to recognize the full extent of Pentecost is puzzling, he has correctly noted its eschatological importance. The baptism of the Spirit is indeed that which ushers believers into the new age, and into the Body of Christ.


A Millennium of Extremism


“Extremism” is a highly relative term and is based upon the aionic perspective from which the assessment is made. But it is a great barometer of ones aionic affiliation and affection (I John 2:15). For example, to believe in and practice divine healing is viewed by the wisdom of this age as foolishness since it is not comprehensible to the natural mind. It is hostile to the intellect and dedication of modern scientists. If recognized at all, it is relegated to the status of shamanism or is labeled “fanatical religiosity.” In the age to come the nations will routinely and naturally enjoy health and healing by the same faith and glory as manifested among contemporary charismatics. Conversely, in the age to come, modern medicine will be deemed (if remembered at all) ancient alchemy. In this passing age science and medicine are gods. And in the wisdom of this age everyone is clamoring for more. But in the age to come men will look to God (and his bride) as the provider of all things. The extremism of today will have become the status quo. Similarly, charismatics are noted for their exuberance in heart felt worship. To this age the lifting of hands and the public display of emotion for worship is just extreme. However, the identical display within the context of sports is expected, even encouraged. If it is not extreme in the eyes of this world, it is not “new age Pentecostalism!”


In this age “self preservation” is the key to understanding all human activity (remember the words of Satan, Job 2:4). And in the diabolically devised wisdom of this age mankind has placed all of his hopes upon human innovations for survival. He looks to governments and financial institutions for his social security. He capriciously surrenders his life to political and satanic functionaries (Luke 4:6-7) for physical security. And even among believers, how many powerful ministries have been thwarted by a perceived need for health insurance and retirement or jobs that offer them. This is diabolical “old age” thinking. In the coming age concern for individual needs will cease.


In Rev 12:11 a voice from heaven told John that those who had overcome Satan were those who, “did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (NIV).” These are the true charismatics of our day who have won the battle of the ages in their own minds. They are the believers who have renewed their minds by the Pentecostal transformation and walk continuously in the eschatological revelation. They are the extremists who reason, “Even if I die a beggar, I will sacrifice my life for the extension of God’s kingdom on earth.” They are the ones who reason, “I will take no thought for my life (Matt 6:33 with context). I will seek the kingdom of God first and let God provide what he will provide and if He allows me to die in poverty, it will be an eternal badge of honor.” This is the eschatological attitude of every true Pentecostal. His spiritual baptism causes him to live and rationalize from the perspective of a future age. His anointing drives from him all fear of future adversity and of old age. Of necessity the authentic Pentecostal is truly radical in the eyes of this “corrupt and misguided and fearful generation (Acts 2:40).” The real Pentecostal knows that the “seeking of the kingdom” is solely a matter of procuring the Parousia of Jesus. “Double-Mindedness” born of fear will defeat this endeavor every time. The genuine Pentecostal experience causes the light of a future age to shine forth from within the believer in practical ways that appear foolish and extreme from the darkness of this passing age. The true Pentecostal has “messianic adrenalin,” and is like unto the horse that God describes in Job 39:19-25. He fears nothing and is not distracted in battle by concerns for personal safety or security


In Luke 4:6-7 Satan while tempting Jesus, said "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours (NIV).” Satan had already tempted Jesus with thoughts of self-preservation and has now turned to the temptation of pride and the desire to do God’s will from natural strength. The possession of the kingdom was the purpose for which Jesus had come but this act would have forever confined Jesus and all the earth to the present age. His future coming would have been thwarted and the default power of the age would have remained forever. In Matt 28:18-20, after his resurrection, Jesus reflected upon Satan’s claim to power when he told the disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations (NIV).” Only his death and resurrection could break the power of the old age. Satan was now effectively bound by the resurrection of Jesus. His authority to rule had been crushed and, with the apocalyptic destruction of the age, would be completely removed (Rev 20:10).


In his resurrection Jesus had defeated Satan and taken the keys of sovereignty for himself. But those keys were the “keys of the kingdom” and would become accessible to the disciples only through the Pentecostal Parousia and the appearing of the new age. Thus, while telling the apostles to go into the entire world, he also told them to wait for Pentecostal power (Luke 24:49). Satan is only bound within the power of the coming resurrection age but continues to exercise authority in the old age. It is only as believers walk in the eschatological Parousia that they encounter the devil as bound. Believers have no power at all against Satan except where they themselves are walking in the personal eschatological reality of the Spirit, i.e. the resurrection presence of Jesus. Again, Satan is not bound in this age. He is still a rampaging lion. He is only bound where confronted with the Spirit of the eschatological age to come. Believers must confront him from the vantage of their own aionic orientation. Demons do not cry out for mercy or dislodge themselves unless they are confronted within the dimension of the new age.21 The kingdom of this age is not shaken by the intellectual prowess of a well-educated presbytery or at the sight of an imposing edifice. It does not move or tremble because of skillful musicians, professional media presentations or political activism. Only the Parousia of Christ can shake the powers of this age. And that presence is found only in genuinely Pentecostalized believers. Thus the battle of the ages is only engaged from within the community of the “Spirit filled” and every believer must personally wait until he is “endued” with the presence and power of the new age before confronting Satan.


There are two fatal doctrines found commonly within fundamentalist based Pentecostalism that have greatly frustrated the understanding of charismatic ministry in our day. First is the doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture of the church. Actually, any thought of “rapture” at all is misleading. The word rapture as it is commonly employed today misrepresents the true nature of the event. The Parousia of Christ is the appearing of a new age administered by the saints. It is not the disappearance of believers regardless of its relationship to any perceived end time tribulation. By this logic and backward looking extrapolation, believers would then be obligated to disappear upon having received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Just the opposite is true. To use the misguided term, Pentecost is for believers a type of rapture. It is the gathering of the saints into the church and unto the eschatological age. They do indeed disappear but only from the human ledger of souls trapped in this present age. Upon departure from this age they then become the ever-present eschatological lights of this world (a preamble to the sacred metropolis). They become witnesses of the world to come declaring their presence in the kingdom of God. They are the eschatological trees of our day planted by a Pentecostal river dispersing life-sustaining fruit having the leaves that heal the nations.


The second fatal philosophy concerns the millennial reign of Christ. For Pentecostal believers, the millennium has already begun. The acceptance of this truth is absolutely paramount to the understanding of today’s Pentecostal activity. However, a great doctrinal disservice has occurred over the centuries especially by fundamentalist who have assigned this millennium to a future age. The belief is derived from a hasty interpretation of Rev. 20:1-10. The mistake is quite understandable when the text is read without due regard for the larger context. In his three-volume book “Renewal Theology” Rodman Williams has presented a superb summary of the most pertinent issues in the section titled, “The Millennium.” In this overview Williams discuses the impossibility of any limited eschatological reign of Christ followed by a satanic insurrection. He also covers the manner in which Satan is both bound in this age and how he is eventually loosed. Then he tackles John’s terminology of the two resurrections. However our specific interest in this treatise is with his definitive thoughts on how we should perceive the thousand-year reign of the church with Christ. Williams notes that John’s visions (Rev 19:11-21 and 20:1-10) are “chronological visions rather than chronological occurrences.”22 Therefore it is not necessary to place John’s millennial vision at the end of this present age. He also sites the text’s markedly symbolic environment.23 Williams demonstrates that John’s millennium terminology is descriptive of the present day activity of the church. Thus (for us) the Pentecostal era becomes a divinely designated period of time in which those who are led of the Spirit rule and reign with Christ. It is the period of time whose length, said by Jesus, is known only to the Father.


It is John’s way of designating “The Overlap of Ages.” It is a divinely determined period of time wherein the church is given an opportunity to gather fruit unto eternal life. In other words, the church is now over two thousand years into the one thousand year reign of Christ. Satan is potentially bound or immobilized but only for those who walk in the Spirit. Rom 5:17 is also a reference to the reign of saints in this overlap. Paul refers to the power that enables the reign of believers. It is the Pentecostal experience but Paul speaks of it in a circuitous manner. He calls it “abundant grace and the gift of righteousness.” Later these concepts will be discussed at length. But for now, the certainty of our present reign with Christ through the Pentecostal reality is key. The 1000 years are symbolic and depict the present day.


Charismatic Asceticism


As will be seen in the following chapter, for every aspect of the age to come there is a counterpart to be realized in the Pentecostal experience. This is true even of the lifestyle exhibited by true Pentecostals. In the age to come the church will have unspeakable wealth but it will have no earthly possessions. This same mode of existence was on display in the Spirit filled life of Jesus. Other than the clothes upon his back, he owned nothing. Jesus also imposed this same lifestyle upon all who endeavored to work with him in the exciting ministry of the Spirit. The true Pentecostal will not view this lifestyle as austere. There was nothing “severe” about the way Jesus lived. His anointing allowed him to enjoy a life absolutely devoid of the cares of this age. He lived under the conventions of the coming age and was completely free. It was not austerity. It was freedom.


Beginning with Jesus’ call to the Spirit filled experience there has been an intricate connection between asceticism and spiritual realization. At the opening of Jesus’ ministry he reveals his intentions of proclaiming the good news to the poor (Luke 4:18-19). This would be the most fertile field for his ministry. This good news was not about his personal role in the atonement. For the most part Jesus only spoke of his death in veiled terms to the masses (e.g. John 10:1-20). The disciples were given more insight into Jesus’ role as the Lamb of God but even after three years of working closely with Jesus the importance of his death was not clear to them (Luke 18:31-34; Luke 24:13-27). Jesus had not emphasized it even though it was the main purpose of his coming (Mark 10:45). He came forth from the Father to lay down his life but his message was largely something other. His message was focused upon the coming of the Spirit, i.e. “the kingdom of God,” and the Pentecostal lifestyle. As fundamentalists we unconsciously impose the message of the Epistles upon the gospel preached by Jesus. For us there is no such thing as a Pentecostal message without the atonement of Christ but this was not true for Jesus. His message was to the Jews and implicit within that context was the Hebrew recognition for the need of a blood atonement. Apparently Jesus did not find it necessary to emphasize his role in the atonement that was already accepted by the masses. Jesus deliberately ceded the proclamation of this association to those that followed (1 Cor 1:18; Gal 6:14).


It seems clear that the proper response to the presence of Jesus was a simple acceptance of his person even without a full understanding of his mission. The Spirit was in him but for others to also receive that Spirit they had to first receive his person. This did not require a depth of theological acuity. Neither the masses nor the disciples seem to have clearly understood his assignment as the “Lamb of God” not to mention his true identity as God and creator of all things. All who came to him had to simply love and trust in him. They were not required to understand that he was God nor that he was going to die for their sins or even that he was indeed the messiah. All they had to do was to intuitively recognize his divine character and to fully embrace him. By embracing Jesus in this way they were actually embracing God (Matt 11:27, John 1:18; 5:23; 14:6, 9; 8:19; 14:21; 14:23 “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him NIV).”  John puts it succinctly, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13 NASU).” This is a profound statement by John about the immediate results of Jesus’ presence among the Jews. Those who were receiving him were given the right to become Children of God. In essence, John is telling us that those who embraced Jesus during his ministry among the Jews were given authority to receive the Spirit (become children of God by means of the divine adoption intrinsic to the Pentecostal experience) at Pentecost. So the gospel message of Jesus was all about the indwelling of the Spirit.


Now Jesus’ message of the kingdom (the Spirit’s indwelling) was focused upon the poor and downcast of this world. To them the possibilities of an alternate lifestyle in the Spirit (as demonstrated by miraculous signs and wonders) must have seemed truly encouraging. Additionally, Jesus’ message was about how to enter into this exciting and fulfilling lifestyle. It was truly radical; “You must sell all” to function in the kingdom of God. This theme dominates in the calling of the apostles (Matt 4:18-22; Matt 9:9; Mark 2:14). When confronted by Jesus, they immediately left their professions and families to follow him in his charismatic ministry. This seems to have been a prerequisite for working closely with him in his charismatic ministry. In Luke 9:57-10:4 we encounter four situations wherein individuals are confronted with the possibility of following Jesus in his kingdom (charismatic) ministry. There was first of all the nameless man who wanted to follow Jesus wherever he went. While his request was not rejected, Jesus did warn him that the pursuit of a charismatic ministry meant he would have to live the lifestyle of a homeless person (as did he and his disciples). For another man the opportunity of a lifetime occurred when Jesus invited him to follow along with his Pentecostal band. Though this man was willing to go with Jesus, he felt it necessary to delay his participation in the kingdom ministry in order to return home for his father’s burial. A third charismatic hopeful, like the first, also declared his intentions of following Jesus but like the second he also requested that his commitment be delayed long enough to go home and say good-by to his family.


We may confidently assume that none of these three individuals were allowed to share in Jesus’ charismatic ministry for in the very next verse Luke declares that seventy-two “others” were appointed (Luke 10:1) who apparently accepted the terms of Jesus appointment. These others were told that they could take no provisions and that they were not allowed to socialize along the way. In the context of the seventy-two having been appointed, Jesus observed that there were not enough workers for the size of the harvest. Since Jesus had just disqualified three workers that were seemingly excited about the prospects of following Jesus in his charismatic ministry, it seems reasonable to conclude that his observation on the scarcity of workers was a commentary on the lack of commitment he was encountering among people who were otherwise excited about their own prospects of functioning in a charismatic ministry. The same polemic is again encountered between Jesus and the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-31). This narrative highlights a conversation between Jesus and another individual who was seeking what seems to have been an inner assurance of eternal life. Amazingly, (in answer to his need) he is encouraged to sell and dispense of all his possessions in order to follow Jesus and the apostles in their charismatic endeavors (maybe this would have resolved his inner conflict.). In the course of discussing the rich man’s apparent refusal, Peter notes that they (the disciples) had left all to follow Jesus. Jesus responds by indicating that the abandonment of homes and lands as well as whole families should be considered a normal price paid by those wishing to “follow after Jesus and his gospel.” For Jesus the high cost of discipleship was compulsory, “anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me (Matt 10:38).”


Now the teaching of Jesus about this commitment is not exactly subtle. In the context of Luke 14:25-35 Jesus is quite clear about what is required of individuals who were responding to his Pentecostal message about the kingdom of God, “any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out (NIV).” For Jesus anything less than a radical commitment of self-disencumberment was for all practical purposes worthless. In Matt 13:44-46 he compares their discovery of the Pentecostal reality to both a treasure hidden in a field and to the discovery of a pearl of great price. In both cases the discoverer sells all he has in order to possess what was found. Again, we must emphasize the context in which Jesus calls his adherents to the disencumbered lifestyle. Jesus was going about by the power of the Holy Spirit healing every sickness and all diseases and delivering everyone possessed of demons (Matt 9:35-36; Acts 10:37). Jesus identified this as a manifestation of the kingdom of God and it resulted in great excitement from the miracles and signs that followed. If this happened today, it would generate the same enthusiasm. In today’s environment of fundamentalism it is difficult to correctly identify the pearl of great price or the hidden treasure since the miraculous activity of the Holy Spirit (kingdom of God) has been dispensationalized into oblivion. Fundamentalists have substituted the “personal relationship” with Jesus for the more specific idea of the kingdom, which forms the context of these parables. The pearl of great price was not simply the presence of Jesus. It was the presence of the eschatological Spirit and Jesus called it the kingdom of God.


With the exception of third world manifestations of miracles and isolated first world incidents there is little present day equivalency to the ministry of Jesus and the NT church. Our present day media depictions of the Holy Spirit manifestations are often mere fabrications of a reality that does not permeate our present experience. These Media events do not qualify as NT manifestations. There is no overwhelming urge among the viewers to sell all and pursue a Pentecostal ministry. And of course there is no call to such from the “so called” Pentecostal media. Much of our present excitement in the charismatic genre is focused more upon the potential of what can be than upon any realized manifestations. The present day emphasis among charismatics upon a “prosperity gospel” is completely antithetical the gospel of the kingdom as preached by Jesus. There is just nothing “new age” or “millennial like” about the prosperity message.


Jesus invested much time teaching about the believer’s responsibility regarding the Spirit’s presence in their midst. In Matt 6:19-34 Jesus warns those that have gathered in fascination of his ministry that kingdom followers must protect themselves from double mindedness. They could not at once concern themselves with self-preservation and charismatic ministry. The kingdom lifestyle was to be pursued with a priority nearing absolute abandon. Their daily needs were to be only a secondary consideration. This same discussion is recast in Luke 12:13-48. In this account Jesus encourages his followers that they should not be fearful of selling all they have in order to pursue the charismatic life, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor (vs. 32-33 NIV).” It is presently difficult to envision any situation in which the average believer could be so profitably empowered by the Spirit as to merit such a life of impoverishment. To our credit it must be acknowledged that for the average charismatic the real problem is probably not in their commitment. It is a problem of vision. Who among us would not disavow his or herself of everything if only we had the genuine ability to work great miracles on the behalf of the hurting humanity around us? Our compassion does rise to this level but our vision is generally too weak to accommodate our true desire. So Jesus was encouraging (Fear not, little flock,” KJV) the charismatic hopefuls that they should have faith in the heavenly Father’s commitment to the empowerment of every believer. In our spiritually non-invasive experience it is understandable that we should critically ponder such extreme asceticism. However even in the midst of Jesus powerful demonstrations of eschatological power Peter enunciates our own incredulity,  "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone (vs. 41)?” But Jesus was deeply convinced of the transforming effects that the Pentecostal event would have upon his hearers. In fact he was actually encouraging the masses (in answer to Peter’s question) to free themselves form the possessions and cares of this age so as to be available for the demands of the Pentecostal experience.


In our day we are so accustomed to professional ministers bearing the responsibility of ministry (and our financial support of them) that the average believer can hardly conceive of his or herself being so completely immersed in charismatic ministry as to merit such radical measures. Yet this is exactly what Jesus was communicating to the masses. Peter himself seems somewhat surprised by the possibility of the masses being personally immersed in charismatic ministry (If Jesus’ immediate answer did not convince him, the Pentecostal experience most certainly did.). Jesus’ answer to Peter, while not vague, requires some explanation. Peter’s question (Does this command apply to everyone?) had arisen from his uncertainty about the application of Jesus’ call to sell all they owned for the kingdom lifestyle. Jesus gives his answer in verse 48. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked (NIV).” Jesus seems to be saying that the level of sacrifice must be commensurate to the level of understanding or giftedness that has been given to each individual. In other words those with tremendous insight (or anointing) must be expected to impoverish themselves for the sake of their knowledge. And those who possess great giftedness by the Spirit must also fully divest themselves of their possessions to be fully available for the ministry obligated by their giftedness.


Now, less we think the charismatic asceticism advocated by Jesus was extraordinary, we must consider the ongoing philosophy of asceticism that was firmly embraced by the Pentecostal church. Beginning with Peter’s words to the lame man at the city gate: “Silver and gold have I none (Acts 3:6 KJV),” we encounter the NT link between asceticism and ministry full of spiritual power. We must wonder if Peter could have realized the same results had he flown into town on his own private jet or reached out to the lame man with fingers adorned in expensive jewelry. Then of course there are the unforgettable words of James; “Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? (James 2:5-6 NIV).” In the present perversion of the gospel, wealth has become the evidence of charismatic faith but James has given recognition to the asceticism that was valued by Jesus. For James (and as was expressly stated by Jesus) the poverty of the believers was fertile soil for the charismatic gospel and for the faith that was required to function in it. Then of course there was the lifestyle observed by the Apostle Paul (1 Cor 4:11-13; 2 Cor 6:10). In Phil 3:7-14 Paul discusses his philosophy of asceticism. For Paul the loss of all things was necessary for the ability of knowing Christ in the power of his resurrection. Paul is here expressing the intricate link between his personal commitment to asceticism and his charismatic experience. In Tim 4:10 Paul complains about his co-worker Demas because his love of the world had resulted in his departure from the ministry. Like Jesus, Paul required those who ministered with him to reject the cares of this age.


The cost associated with the ministries of both Jesus and Paul was more than the simple rejection of wealth and possessions. It was much deeper than that. Jesus said that a man’s foes would be the members of his own household (Matt 10:36). Of course this included opposition but it even required followers to ignore the needs of their loved ones as they went forth into the charismatic harvest. Just the act of returning home to briefly say good-by or to bury a family member was cause for exclusion. For the sake of the charismatic ministry Jesus sanctioned celibacy (as did Paul, I Cor 7:32-35) and did not even allow his disciples to engage in socialization along their way. This lack of social protocol would have offended many. These requirements must have ripped at the heart of his followers. So we must ask ourselves just what kind of charismatic attraction did Jesus have? We must wonder at the powerful influence that his vision exerted upon his followers. We can somewhat accept Jesus’ exclusion of the wealthy and even of socialites but we are amazed at the exclusion of those deeply devoted to the cohesiveness of family life. Is this a legitimate paradigm for Pentecostal ministry? The answer is of course, yes, so long as that which we demonstrate is the real thing and not some media imposter. If it is a real manifestation of Pentecost, there will be divine oversight of all contingencies both financial and personal.


Truly all the compelling powers of the age to come should be active among us. We are after all, in the midst of the millennial reign of Christ described in the book of Revelation. These powers are still specifically focused upon the destruction of satanic activities of our day that continue to imprison the multitudes. Joy and peace accompany the reception of these powers but they are not meant for our comfort or convenience. Quite the opposite is true. A personal Parousia demands a violent response of self-denial. It is not optional. There is just no such thing as a complacent charismatic. Complacency is utterly antithetical to Pentecost. A genuine Pentecostal experience launches every believer into a radical new age mentality with an endowment of power called the “Earnest of the Spirit.”



Chapter Three




The manifestations of the Spirit were seen as part and parcel of the believer’s inheritance and were integral to the normal function of the NT church. It was anticipated that each believer would receive these gifts upon having been baptized in water.1 We mention four NT images that portray this understanding. Twice in Heb 6:4-5 the writer uses the term “tasted” in referencing the manifestations of the Spirit which he calls the “powers of the coming age.” Paul uses three additional images, “the earnest, the firstfruit and the seal.” The earnest or down payment (Eph 1:12-14; 2 Cor 5:5; 1:22) is a pledge given in advance of a full payment. The firstfruits (Rom 8:23) are the part of the harvest that gives promise of a full harvest. The third metaphor used by Paul to describe the charismatic experience was the “seal” (Eph 1:13; 4:30; 2 Cor 1:22) Typically a seal was the insignia of a person stamped in either wax or clay.2 These images are listed below, however we will concentrate on the down payment or pledge metaphor.


Additionally, the NT uses the concept of “manifestation” as a reference to the appearing of the end time Spirit in the activity of the church. This usage is dramatically demonstrated in John 2:11. It is said that Jesus “manifested” forth his glory. This is of course the glory that he had received at his personal baptism in the Spirit.3 John intentionally uses this terminology to communicate the eschatological nature of Jesus’ ministry. He was “manifesting” the glory that would eventually appear at his second coming. The second occurrence is found in I Cor 12:7. In this context Paul is itemizing various manners in which the Spirit functions. Paul calls these functions, “manifestations of the Spirit.” Of course Paul also thinks of these manifestations as eschatological (end time) events. When a supernatural miracle or gift operates it is a glimpse into the normal function of life in the age to come.


For every component of eschatological salvation produced by the future outpouring of the Holy Spirit there is a contemporary, albeit partial and temporary, equivalent to be realized in the charismatic experience. Our future salvation inheritance is totally charismatic and it is completely messianic because we will have become one with Messiah by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Remember, the church will be “manifested” with Messiah when he returns (Col. 3:4). Therefore the “firstfruits” of that salvation inheritance are likewise charismatic and messianic. Since our saturation into Jesus begins the future messianic age in us so also our participation in the “Millennial Overlap” begins with our present saturation into Jesus by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Hence, the goal of this section is to undertake a discussion of these temporal messianic manifestations and in so doing, further define the baptism of the Holy Spirit.


The Earnest of Righteousness


The prophet Jeremiah believed that God was going to relocate his law (Jer 31:31-34). He believed it would eventually move from the tablets of stone and the scrolls of parchment into the very hearts and minds of God’s people. Ezekiel goes further and actually pinpoints the timing of this relocation. It would happen with the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit. From the perspective of an OT prophet this had to have been very good news. The source of Israel’s historic and chronic problems was her inability to embrace the heart of God embodied in his laws. Israel continuously stumbled in disobedience to the laws written on stone but God had a remedy. He would give them a new nature. But when does the believer receive this new nature? Klausner believed that this messianic promise (Jer 31:31-34) was fulfilled in the dramatic and permanent preoccupation with the Torah that came over Israel in the Babylonian exile.4


Klausner’s observation is really quite remarkable. It would also seem plausible that indeed this may have been an immediate fulfillment to the OT prophecies. However, it is clear from the NT that the real focus of the OT prophecies was on the day of Pentecost and the NT experience. Again we are indebted to the apostle Paul as it is predominantly his insights that make these connections clear. In Rom 5:5 he comments that the “Love of God is poured out in our hearts. This is taken from Joel 2:28 (see Titus 3:6).5 In Gal 5 he lists the personality traits of Christ and calls them the fruit of the Spirit. We should have no uncertainty here about what Paul intends to communicate. The Pentecostal experience is that which produces the personality of Jesus in believers. Those who do not exhibit these traits just cannot be said to be full of the Spirit. Similarly, Paul demonstrates that the OT analogy of circumcision is fulfilled in the Pentecostal experience. The OT Law could never have removed the carnal nature of the believer.6 It is only in the ongoing Pentecostal experience of the believer that the old nature (like the foreskin) is detached. “If we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Conversely the lust of the flesh will return as soon as the believer ceases his walk in the Spirit. Again the new nature is a temporary and partial manifestation of that which is to come. In the age to come the transformation will be permanent but for the present it is dependent upon the believer’s faithful and ongoing quest for the presence of the Spirit in his life.


For today’s charismatic the Pentecostal experience is generally viewed (at least in part) as a spiritual enhancement to the changes that have already occurred in the lives of those who have been (in fundamentalist vernacular) “born again” or justified in the blood of Jesus. Power to witness and the ability to work the miraculous is the most touted of these enhancements. The typical fundamentalist based charismatic inaccurately believes his experience with the Spirit is a bifurcation of justification and the Pentecostal experience. On the one hand, he agrees there is a reception of the Spirit at justification and on the other hand he thinks there is more of the same Spirit to be received in the baptism. By contrast, James Dunn in his classic work “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” sought to demonstrate theologically that the Pentecostal experience was and is no more than the establishment of Christianity and that to become a Christian is to experience Pentecost.7 Actually, Dunn is precisely correct but for the wrong reasons. It is indeed true that reception of the Spirit baptism is the experience of becoming a Christian. The problems arise in Dunn’s assumed definition of the word “Christian” which has been for centuries co-opted by fundamentalists as though it applies to anyone who accepts Jesus by faith. This is not to suggest that those who have no personal baptism in the Spirit are somehow lost spiritually. As will be seen in later chapters, the term Christian should apply only to those who are moving in the Pentecostal anointing. Remember, the word “Christ” in all its forms refers to the Pentecostal-charismatic anointing. A “Christ-ian” is a believer who has a messianic encounter like that of Jesus’. The doctrinal malaise current in Pentecostal theology is sustained by the inability of Pentecostals to make this distinction.


In general charismatics do embrace the idea that the baptism of the Spirit produces changes in the believer that affect his moral character as well as his ability for ministry. Both of these results are real but inner transformation must be seen as the most dynamic change that can occur in those who are baptized in the Spirit. It is from this charismatic transformation that all the blessings of dynamic love and of grace and power are realized. The Spirit baptism produces the inscription of God’s laws upon the tables of the human heart.8 Hebrew theologians made a distinction between types of writing materials in their application to the Law. They note that the Law was not written with ink. In this type of writing the words do not become a part of the material upon which they are written, as they are different substances. However the stones on which the Law was written actually became a part of the message since it was engraved upon the stone and not written with ink. So in 2 Cor 3:3,7-8 Paul is implying that the same is true of the Spirit filled believer. Fundamentalism is like Judaism. The Laws of God are something to which he gives mental ascent and something that he embraces by the strength of his will. However for the true Pentecostal God’s Laws are “engraved” on his heart in the Pentecostal experience. He has become one with the law and the nature and the will of God.


The Holy Spirit came upon Samson and enabled him to do great things. He also came upon King Saul and allowed him to prophesy but in both cases there was no dynamic inner transformation. This is the difference between the OT impartation of the Spirit and the Pentecostal experience. In the OT the Spirit was given in order to accomplish specific tasks. At Pentecost the Spirit was given for the purpose of transforming God’s people into sons who bear his very nature and image. In short, Spirit baptism has a “divinizing” effect on the believer.9


We are not here saying there are no personal changes that accompany justification alone. Even converts to Judaism who were justified under the law experienced changed attitudes and among the Jews themselves there were sinners capable of repentance and transformation in character. But, God wants more for those who wash themselves in the blood of his Son. God wants more than a mere change of worldview or a simple maturation of human character. When we come under the blood of Jesus we of course come with human determination to change our ways and to live a life pleasing to God. But God wants more for us. The Pharisees themselves were determined to keep all of God’s commandments. Many of the Pharisees were sincere in there pursuit of holiness. It is unfair to paint them all as hypocrites. According to the NT we know that many of them accepted Jesus as their messiah. However, to the Jews Jesus stated that their righteousness would have to exceed even the best efforts of the Pharisees. Justification is just the beginning of God’s righteousness in his people. When I first accepted the blood of Jesus for my sins God said to me, “I am now declaring that you have no sin.” Thus I am now in a position of having been declared sinless. This is justification. I still sin and have faults but if God declares me sinless because of the blood of Jesus then who can challenge God? This then is a position I have before God that I do not deserve. It is only a position in which God has placed me and as long as I maintain my faith in Jesus I will remain in that position. This position is not dependent upon my good behavior. It is dependent upon my faith in Jesus. However, God has called us beyond this positional righteousness. He has also called us to receive our own personal righteousness through the transforming experience of Pentecost.


Ezekiel proclaimed that God would remove from his people the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). The expression “hearts of flesh” may seem somewhat awkward. But God wants us to think about the difference between stone and flesh. Mankind is capable of heinous crimes just because his heart is stone. Believers also have some propensity for callused behavior. The heart of flesh that God is here offering is not a heart for lusting after fleshly things. It is a heart that flexes when it is touched. Unlike stone it can feel and respond. We are talking about compassion. God wants us to experience with our heart the suffering of the world just as he feels and grieves for the world.


Every day God sees every hurt and every offense. He sees the suffering inflicted upon mankind but more than that he perfectly identifies with each hurt. He actually feels our pain. Jesus said, “if you did it unto the least of these my brothers you have done it unto me.” He understands fear and disappointment. He feels the claustrophobic terror of the paraplegic and the confusion of the deaf and dumb. He cries with the orphan and shivers with him in the alley on the cold winter night. He is in perfect empathy with all of his creation. He is personally grieved when his people close their eyes to the suffering of others. The world is filled with inexpressible suffering. Just acknowledging its depth stretches human endurance. It is overwhelming and unbearable. His perfect empathy is beyond our comprehension and infinitely surpasses our ability to emulate. God’s love is incomprehensible, supernatural and beyond the reach of men, but to it we are called. Through the transformation of the Pentecostal outpouring, God wants to give his church the ability to feel the suffering of those around them. He wants us to grieve with him and to allow his Spirit to groan in us for the helpless among us. The new nature born of the Spirit creates a supernatural sensitivity to the suffering of others. The creation of this new nature is paramount and takes precedence over all other creative works of the Spirit in the believer (see 1 Cor 13).


The righteousness of the OT Law was fulfilled in one command, Love thy neighbor as thyself (Gal 5:14).” We are talking about compassion not just holy camaraderie. It is what God has always wanted from his own people. Yes charismatic people should be expected to work the miraculous and yes, charismatic people should cover themselves with exuberant praise. However, without a basis in compassionate love, we are nothing (I Cor 13:1-3), we have nothing and we are most definitely not Pentecostal.


Faith works by Love (Gal 5:6) and this love is the motivation for all of God’s coveted power. Before tongues or prophecy or any other spiritual gift we must covet for ourselves, and especially the neophyte for whom we pray, the very nature of God. God is love (I John 4:8) and there is nothing more important to God than the divine nature of his children. According to 2 Peter 1:3-4, “God has granted to us his precious and magnificent promises (“the promise of the Spirit” from OT scriptures), so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature.” In 2 Cor 3:9 this transformation is called the ministry of righteousness.


There are at least three “paths of righteousness” (Psalms 23) revealed in the scriptures. The first path is through repentance and comes as an act of the human resolve. We call it “human righteousness.” In addition to all the strength God provides, you are responsible to do everything humanly possible to imitate the goodness of the heavenly father. The epistles (written to Spirit filled saints) are full of admonitions toward personal responsibility for righteous living. Consider the three days of preparations made by Israel before the giving of the Law. Likewise, consider the church in waiting before Pentecost. Human resolve and attention to the details of righteous living are prerequisite to receiving the gift of the Spirit. (“So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Luke 16:11 NIV) Both Peter and John the Baptist made human repentance a prerequisite to the receiving of the Holy Spirit.


The second “path of righteousness” is through the Blood of Jesus and we call it “Positional Righteousness.” This righteousness fulfills the letter of the OT Law (Rom 10:4) and was achieved for us by sacrificial work of Jesus on the cross. We have this righteousness because God says we have it and it is based on our faith in Jesus. We may still sin, (and we do), but because we embrace Jesus we stand before the omniscient God as though we had never sinned. In positional righteousness I am righteous because Jesus is righteous (I Cor 1:30). However, I personally experience problems where my human resolve is not enough. I am the man of Romans 7 who wants to do right but continually fails.10 I do not want to experience hatred, but I do. I do not want to think lustful thoughts, but I do. I do not want to lie but I do. We do not know just who is speaking here. It may have been Paul’s own experience or it may have been the hypothetical experience of the church in general. Either way, it is the every day experience of believers who walk only the paths of human resolve and of “positional righteousness.” Thank God for positional righteousness but am I hopelessly locked into the frustration of my sins and the weaknesses of my mortal flesh? Can I ever experience my own righteousness while living in this body of death? Yes! Romans 8 points the way. It’s by the Spirit.


The third “path of righteousness” is through the Holy Spirit and we call it “personal righteousness.” In Galatians 5:22-23 it is called the fruit of the Spirit, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (NIV). This is the very personality of Jesus’ divine nature,11 but it is not achieved through human determination. It’s the result of God’s presence dwelling in us. It is actually a gift but one must remain in the presence of Jesus to receive it. In commenting on the life opened to us by Jesus’ death Fee notes: “That life is not merely “positional” righteousness, it is the real thing predicated on Christ by his Spirit living out God’s own life in us.”12 This is the kind of righteousness that comes with the baptism of the Spirit. It is a personal righteousness that belongs to the believer. It is “the real thing” and it transforms the believer as it “divinizes” his existence.


Before anything else, a real Pentecostal experience transforms the believer. Every day the real Pentecostal walks in divine nature. Paul, in Romans 5:17, calls it “the gift13 of righteousness.” That is right! You can experience additional righteousness beyond that obtained through the blood of Jesus. It is the “gift of righteousness.” The Holy Spirit has been poured out for this very purpose. Remember Jeremiah 31:31? When you receive his Spirit and remain in him (John 15:1) you will bear the fruit of divine nature. You will walk in his law and be faithful to obey all his commands. Accordingly, Paul promises, “If you walk in the Spirit you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” It’s the promise of the Father. It’s the path of Pentecost and before anything else it leads to “personal righteousness.”


Without the charismatic experience believers are simply OT proselytes who believe in Jesus. Now when we consider the great OT men and women of faith this is still no insignificant position. Actually there were also great believers of faith in the NT who likewise never experience the down payment of divine nature. These were people like John the Baptists and Anna the prophetess, Simeon who waited to see the messianic child, The poor woman who put all she had into the temple treasury along with countless other Hebrew believers who never heard of Jesus. But without the transformation of the Spirit we, with them, are left to a righteousness based on our own efforts. Even James Dunn has commented, “Without the Holy Spirit Christianity is little different from Judaism.”14 Thomas Kempis, one of the great church fathers, wrote what is now heralded as a classic essay titled “The Imitation of Christ.” In it believers are encouraged to observe the life of Jesus and pattern their own lives after it. The recent “What Would Jesus Do (WWJD)”15 fad has captured the essence of imitating Christ. However, it has completely missed the gospel message. The gospel message is all about the positioning of believers in the blood Jesus for a supernatural endowment of righteousness and divine nature received in the Pentecostal experience. A Spirit filled believer should never have to ponder right and wrong. It just comes naturally by way of his new charismatic transformation. Gordon Fee has rightly commented, “When the believer is transformed the torah becomes irrelevant.”16 Likewise, the Spirit baptism is an experience in divine righteousness that eclipses all human attempts at emulating Christ. The Spirit’s goal in us is to make us like Christ in our nature as well as our abilities. However, this is accomplished by the transforming work of God’s indwelling Spirit and not by human emulation.


The divine nature effected by Spirit baptism is a part of the down payment. It points to the eventual perfecting of the saint at the Parousia of Christ but like all of the present manifestations of the Spirit it is partial and temporal. It comes and it goes based upon the intensity of the believer’s desire for God.


The Earnest of Resurrection


To this point we have discussed at length those ideals that comprise our future existence. These include the resurrection of the dead, the eschatological formation of Christ, the formation and marriage of the bride, the formation of the holy city, the Tree of Life and the new creation. All of these concepts are resident in one major theme; “The Parousia of Jesus.” The presence of Jesus is itself the grand and comprehensive theme of the second coming. For the natural world the Parousia transforms the earth and its social order and at the same time brings judgment and permanent eviction of the wicked. This Parousia of Jesus is the “power of the age to come.” This will be an endless age that the NT calls “The Resurrection Age.” All themes of eschatological salvation are subordinate to the idea of resurrection. Therefore any “likeness” of future inheritance must of necessity exhibit traits realized in the coming resurrection.


In Rom 6:3-4 the down payment concept is clear. We are first baptized into Christ’s death. This is a restatement of Jesus’ words, “You must be born of water.” To be baptized into Christ’s death is the covenant we make with God of personal commitment. It is the messianic washing of the Laver. Ideally this baptism is immediately followed by the infilling of the Holy Spirit or the anointing of spiritual oil. For Paul this baptism qualifies believers for a resurrection unto glory just like that experienced by Jesus. However, Paul is not talking about the future. He is talking about a present day resurrection that has all the qualities of the future event. He calls it the “newness of life.” However, this “newness of life” resurrection is only possible through the presence of the glory of God working in believers. We are only able to walk in this temporal resurrection through the charismatic dynamic of the Holy Spirit. This resurrection opens to us all of the “powers of the age to come.” Our present charismatic resurrection is indeed partial and temporary (I Cor 13:8-12) but it is presently the most powerful force upon planet earth. It is a temporary and partial Parousia resident within the present mortal bodies of charismatic believers. It is this temporary Parousia in human flesh that we now explore.


Historically the most used and maybe most important term in the charismatic / Pentecostal vernacular is the word “power.” The Greek word is “dunamis.” In Luke 24:49 Jesus instructed his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had been clothed with “dunamis.” In Acts 1:8 Jesus told them that they were about to receive “dunamis.” Now this verse is somewhat misunderstood even by Pentecostals. Traditionally we have used it as an explanation for the powerful work of evangelism accomplished through Pentecostals. This application persists because of our superficial investigation of its real meaning. Jesus did not say that the disciples would witness or begin to evangelize after they received “dunamis.” He said, “You will “BE” my witnesses. Now, what does it mean to “be a witness?” Jesus is telling the disciples that by the transforming “dunamis” of the Holy Spirit they were to become evidence of the resurrection of Jesus. Both in their irresistible manner of speech and in their supernatural abilities they demonstrated that Jesus was alive and continuing his messianic work through them. They were to become “exhibit A” for evidence proving the resurrection of Jesus. God wants the transformation “dunamis” in our lives to be compelling, pronounced and inexplicable. He wants the world to look and to wonder at our lives with its charismatic transformation. He wants us to walk in a newness of life that is only explicable by the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Jesus wants the world to know that he is alive, powerful and living in the church. We are God’s evidence that Jesus is alive. We are witnesses not by reason of our words but by reason of the extraordinary dynamic of the life residing within us. The “dunamis” does not make us verbal clones for evangelism programs. We are the tracts. We are the literature. We are the living epistles and through our “Spirit customized” lives we each declare a unique message about the glory and resurrection of Jesus. This Pentecostal “dunamis” is the “Power of the Age to Come.” It is a temporal manifestation (“down payment”) of the eschatological Parousia of Jesus.


The transfiguration of Jesus is a pictorial description of the kingdom of God (Matt 16:28). The resurrected body of every believer will look like the body of Jesus in the transfiguration. It will permanently radiate the glory of God. Our present bodies are also capable of the same spiritual retention and reflection. Human bodies are temples or vessels divinely engineered for the dwelling of God. However, we have the right to fill our vessels with whatever we choose. We can fill them with all manner of human desires, both good and evil. But they were engineered for the charismatic presence of God. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit our temples are filled with the glory of God. This is our temporary resurrection by the Parousia of Jesus and it affects our human flesh:


The messianic anointing conscripts the human body for messianic service. When Paul spoke of giving life to the “mortal body (Rom 8:11)” and of Jesus being “manifested in mortal flesh (2 Cor 4:11),” he was not speaking of physical vitality. It does not mean that the elderly suddenly recover from their decrepit conditions. It simply means that Messiah becomes active within the flesh of those who are anointed by the Holy Spirit. The messianic anointing can flow through the mortal flesh of a paraplegic just as easily as he can operate through the body of a young Christian athlete and is infinitely more than any verbal testimony. It is the life of Jesus that is being manifested. It is the transforming Parousia of Jesus radiating inexplicably from us. We are aware of it but we are not required to know how it works. Our most important messianic task is to simply make our bodies available to that Parousia. This is “Messiah In Us.” It is the presence of Jesus in us that is doing the work. His presence may operate through the prayers we say or a supernatural revelation or some other miraculous manifestation. Or it may function through us completely detached from any external activity or awareness on our part. However, it is dependent upon one thing, the Parousia of “Christ In Us.” This is the “hope of glory.” This is the most powerful force on earth and it points directly to the ascension and eventual appearing of Jesus. It makes my existence purposeful and valuable beyond human calculation regardless of my age or physical condition. It is our taste of the powers of the age to come and it is glorious but it can only move and operate in human flesh. The Parousia of Jesus is never to be found outside of a human body in this age.


Actually, there is no temporary resurrection apart from natural flesh. Again, believers who are waiting in heaven are neither filled with the Spirit nor experience any kind of resurrection at all. God cannot dwell in man apart from human flesh whether mortal or immortal. Our bodies are dwelling places that are designed for both human and divine habitation. Sometimes evil spirits take advantage of this human capacity. They become un-welcomed guests in a building designed for the cohabitation of God and men. Man’s body is incomplete without the charismatic presence of Jesus. In Matt 12:44 Jesus said that evil spirits look for “unoccupied” dwelling places in human beings. Without the presence of Jesus in our human flesh there is a glowing sign attached to our bodies that reads, “Vacancy.” When your body dies it can no longer be occupied by either man or God. Man loses his dwelling place but more specifically, man loses his ability for messianic anointing and ministry and glory. In this respect the earthly church is more blessed than the church in heaven.


The Babylonian magicians contemporary with Daniel parroted a statement straight out of Satan’s handbook of important lies. “God does not dwell with mortal flesh (Dan 2:11).” We must remember that it is the mortal feet of Jesus that are now crushing Satan’s head. The more messianic anointing we realize in our mortal bodies the more of Satan’s kingdom will fall before us. In Romans Paul admonished believers to present their bodies to God for the purpose of having them transformed (12:1-2). The Greek word he used for “transform” is “metamorphoo.” From this word we get the English word “metamorphose” which is commonly employed in describing dramatic changes that occur within nature. We use this word to describe the change experienced by a tadpole when it becomes a small frog. Likewise larvae must undergo “metamorphoo” before they can become butterflies. This Greek word is found only four times in the NT, once in Matthew and once in Mark to describe the transfiguration of Jesus and twice in the writings of Paul. Because of the strategic importance of our bodies to the present work of Messiah, we are urged to present them to God as a holy sacrifice. Messiah cannot use bodies that are filled with lust, bitterness, envy, greed or anger. He can only use bodies that have been set apart in holiness. In Rom 12:2 Paul sets before us God’s plan for the use of our mortal bodies. First we are to direct our minds away from all the allurements of this present world. This reflects the words of Jesus, “Take no though for your lives.” We are only holy as we have singleness of vision. We cannot be holy and be entangled in the affairs of this world. Then we are to allow ourselves to be transformed / transfigured by the renewing of our minds. He uses of the word “metamorphoo” and we are made to think of the transfiguration of Jesus. To experience the physical messianic transfiguration of the kingdom of God as seen in Jesus, the mind must somehow be renewed. This renewal is explored in 2 Cor 3:18, “we are “metamorphoo” (transfigured) as we deliberately set our gaze on Jesus, who is the Spirit. It is as we “Abide in Jesus” that we are transfigured. It is no more profound than that. We experience the ongoing anointing of Messiah as we spend time with Jesus. There is no greater charismatic experience than a moment in the presence of Jesus. It transforms our mind and establishes within our human flesh a temporary but glowing Parousia of Jesus.


Now, temporary glory is almost never observable to the natural eye but it is none-the-less observable. When Jesus turned the water into wine he “manifested forth his glory” (John 2:11). It was the same glory that the disciples saw when he was transfigured but presented in a different way. This is easily understood in the various applications of electricity. In the same way the Holy Spirit manifests his presence (the Parousia) in us in many different ways. Given mankind’s propensity for idolatry it would be counter productive for us to walk about in shinning bodies. God’s glory is most appreciated at the point of man’s greatest need. A physical glowing would be interesting indeed but not particularly needed. Natural vision is seldom the most direct path to the human heart. God’s glory is usually optimized in the personal touch of a friend at the point of their greatest need. Every time Jesus preformed a miracle or spoke a supernatural word of knowledge or of wisdom, he was manifesting the presence of the Holy Spirit. Paul said that prophecy would cause unbelievers to fall on their faces and declare, “God is among you (I Cor 14:25).” It is the same power that causes human bodies to glow but it is manifested in a different way and it affects men just as powerfully as if they saw the glowing with their natural eyes.


We are sometimes afflicted with a false assumption about evidence. We assume that men will only accept evidence that can be detected with the five senses. So we limit our charismatic expectations to those things that are similarly measurable, i.e. visible miracles and dramatic healings. However, mankind is not as limited in his sensory capacity as the atheistic secularists would like us to believe. His most acute sensory ability is not physical at all. Man was built first of all as a receptacle for the Spirit of God. Men immediately accept the inexplicable Parousia of Jesus as infallible evidence. There are just some things that are common sensations to all men. We all love the smell of flowers and the taste of sweet fruit. Our eyes are all programmed to appreciate beautiful color schemes and our ears are programmed to enjoy certain acoustical progressions. Even our arms and senses of touch are designed for the embracing of others. All of these capacities converge in the minds of men where conclusions are formed. However, mankind’s most acute sense is his ability to detect the presence of God for which he was originally designed. The Parousia of Jesus in us overpowers all other conclusions, which men have made about reality. We do not need discourses debunking Darwin. We do not need scholarly presentations about Bible prophecy. We do not even need theological degrees to effectively change the minds of men. “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”(2 Cor 10:5 NASU) by our divinely powerful weapons. These are not the weapons of logic. They are the weapons of the Parousia. The presence of “Christ In Us” is right now lifting the veil of false reality from the minds of those around us (Isa 25:7). This veil is not lifted by education or logic it is much to heavy for that. It is only removed by the charismatic presence of Christ shinning in us. And it is working. The world is falling to the charismatic church. Man does not have to hear a prophecy, see a miracle or a physical glowing, or even hear a sermon to feel the presence of God. There are many stories and even present day examples of Spirit filled men whose presence alone brought men to their knees in weeping and repentance. This is the Parousia in us. It is the down payment of our future shinning. If we have to tell the world around us that we are shinning (i.e. that we are charismatic or messianic) then we are not. If they have to come to our services and watch us dance and hear us sing to determine that we are Pentecostal, then we are not Pentecostal. Like the light of the “city set on a hill (Matt 5:14),” it is impossible to hide the true shinning of Pentecost. It is either there or it is not. If we are personally and continuously abiding in the presence of Jesus then it will be there and it will be easily detectable by mortal men all of whom were created to appreciate its glowing even when invisible to the natural eye. We do not need a check-list to determine our condition. An excellent biblical illustration of our relationship to this “pre-resurrectional” shinning is found in 2 Cor 5:1-5.


Some scholars have concluded that the verses 1-5 and their reference to nakedness are only explicable in terms of Jewish thought. Therefore this text reflects a Jewish revulsion of being without a body.17 From the Jewish perspective this was totally unacceptable since nakedness rendered the individual as “less than human.”18 Unlike the animal world man was created with an inherent need for covering. The text is usually understood as an expression of the church’s desire to escape the nakedness of disembodiment experienced between death and the Parousia.19 However, our focus is to look at an additional but subtle comparison found in this text.


 In verse one this contrast is set for us. It is a comparison between the earthly tent and the building from God. The polemic is rather obvious. The tent is the present mortal body whereas the building from God is the resurrection body. However, these are not ordinary objects from the daily experience. The “tent” is a reference to the tabernacle in the wilderness. God designed it as his personal dwelling place, but it was also easily dismantled. In the same way our mortal bodies are the present dwelling places of God and are easily dismantled. In verse two Paul said, “For in this ???? we groan.” As you can see question marks are placed after the demonstrative pronoun “this.” Paul did not supply a noun in this space so it is up to the reader to decide just what word should be placed there. Many translations have inserted the word “building.” This translation overlooks the subtle distinction, which Paul is surely making. The demonstrative pronoun is of the neuter gender and as such it refers back to the word “tent” (which is neuter) in verse one.20 There are two Greek forms for the word “building.” One is masculine and the other is feminine. However, the demonstrative pronoun that precedes Paul’s deletion is neuter and demands a neuter antecedent. The only possible choice is the neuter word “tent” from verse one. Paul wants us to catch the difference between two structures. So we are not groaning in a “building.” The groaning is confined to a “tent.” One structure is a temporary dwelling of God and the other structure is a permanent dwelling of God. The temporary is called a tent but the permanent is called a building. Paul is contrasting the difference in the two most important structures in Jewish history, the tent in the wilderness and the temple of Solomon.


You will remember of course the curious conditions that accompanied the construction of Solomon’s temple and marked it as a type of the great resurrection. This was a structure built for permanence. It was not designed for dismantlement or temporality and in this it is a type of the resurrected body of the believers. Both structures served the same purposes. They both provided covering and were dwelling places. The Spirit of God manifested himself in both structures but his presence was not permanent in the tent as it was in the temple. It is in this respect that the tent in the wilderness typifies the relationship of the Holy Spirit to our present mortal bodies as a “down payment” of that which is to come, i.e. the permanent temple. Now, there are lessons to be learned. Both structures represent the “Christ in you” experience. After construction was completed, the Holy Spirit gloriously filled both structures.


Solomon said of his temple, “Its your (God’s) dwelling forever (1 Kings 8:10-13).” In Exodus the glory of the Lord frequently lifted from off of the tabernacle (Ex 40:34-37). It was temporary. As we read the full account of the tabernacle we discover that the Levites would take the tent apart as soon as the presence of God left the structure (Num 9:17-22). In the same way the Holy Spirit also lifts himself from our personal tabernacle. We would like to think that once we are filled with the Spirit that we are thereby permanently Pentecostal. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We are not always moving in the power of the Holy Spirit. There are times in our experience that God lifts his Spirit from us. Sometimes it is because of our negligence toward daily devotions. At other times it may be the result of some uncleanness, which has crept into our tents. In Galatians Paul said that the flesh lusts against the Spirit. When this happens, you can be sure that the Parousia of Jesus will depart until we have repented of our sin. However, there are other times that the Spirit lifts from our mortal flesh for reasons that may never be clear to us. It is not uncommon to suddenly feel dry and lifeless. You cease hearing the voice of God in your mind and there seems to be no answers to your questions or response to your requests. The text from Numbers above shows us what to do in this situation. Suspend the normal work of ministry and earnestly seek the reestablishment of God’s Parousia upon your life. Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” It is futile to just perfunctorily plod along in a “zombie like” mode when there is no leading of the Spirit. We must do what the priests did, pack up the ministry and just concentrate on following the Holy Spirit until His glory rests anew upon the mortal tent. We may then resume our messianic ministry. But notice that we are not seeking new ministry. Nor are we seeking better methods of ministry. We are seeking only the presence of God in our temples. Nothing else matters to the legitimacy of our messianic ministry. In the words of Jesus, “You must seek and keep seeking, ask and keep asking, and knock and keep knocking.” This Jesus said about receiving the Holy Spirit. It is all about the present Parousia of Jesus. We cannot effectively serve those standing at our door in their midnight hour if there is no glory upon our tent. We should not pretend the glory is there if indeed it has departed. Our pastors and ministers are not exempt and it is unreasonable for us to believe or insist that they always be filled with the Spirit. They are after all only human and like everyone else they are themselves groaning in their tents. We must, without condemnation, allow them to pack up their messianic ministry and just seek the Parousia. It will return!


The anointing that makes us messianic is supernatural and it is mysterious. We are totally at the mercy of God in receiving it. It is a wind and we do not know where it is coming from or where it is going but we must make the following of it our highest priority in ministry. We do not look at the priests of the tabernacle with shame because they interrupted their usual ministry to follow the cloud. Without the presence of that cloud their tent was just another structure. The same is true of charismatic ministry. Let us not kid ourselves. Pentecost today has evolved and taken on a lot of religiously cultural things that are not necessary to the ministry of the Spirit. These are things that we have come to enjoy and expect. However, these enjoyable things (like our music) tend to obscure the absence of the glory of God. In the presence of “charismatic extras” we can easily coast along for a while without noticing the absence of God’s Parousia. We must be honest with ourselves and respond as quickly as possible to the departure of God’s Parousia from our ministry. It is not a shameful thing to have the Holy Spirit lift his cloud from our lives or corporately from our assemblies. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is just leading us to new depths of commitment as we seek the return of his presence. The only shame associated with the change is our reluctance to acknowledge his absence and to alter our course.


While interceding with God for His continued presence amongst the Israelites, Moses made a powerful observation. “It is God’s presence (Parousia) in His people that distinguishes them from all others (Ex 33:14-16).” It is not our doctrine, our music, our outreach programs, our assemblies or even glossolalia that makes us essentially different from other groups of people. It is only the charismatic glory of God in us that distinguishes us as “messianic.” All other peoples of the world are shamefully and embarrassingly naked “for all have sinned and come short of the “GLORY” of God. Unfortunately many believers are also shamefully and embarrassingly naked. Actually, many believers have lived in spiritual nudist colonies since birth. They have never seen a fully clothed believer nor has anyone ever taught them about clothing. But for the charismatic it is a shame to knowingly strut about in public while naked. Now, we all find ourselves unexpectedly naked from time to time. It’s a common situation in which to find ones self. And there is only one solution common to all charismatics. It is an unattractive alternative to ministry but it is necessary for all. It is the closet. Sometimes we are simply built up and reclothed by the fellowship of the church but at other times nothing works but the seclusion of the closet. There is nothing shameful about nakedness in the confines of the closet. We just excuse ourselves from the ministry and go as quickly as possible to the nearest closet (Prayer Closet). There we find something to cover our nakedness. “If God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you (Matt 6:30)?” Time in the closet is time well spent. We all like, and look nice, in new clothing from time to time. Paul calls this process of seeking and clothing ourselves, “the groaning:”


The inner groaning of the saints is an interesting phenomena discussed by Paul in two separate contexts (Rom 8:22, 23, 26 and 2 Cor 5:2, 4). This same inner groaning may have been recorded of Jesus “Sighing deeply in His spirit” (Mark 8:12 NASU) and “Jesus again being deeply moved within” (John 11:38 NASU). In Paul both contexts link the phenomena to the down payment of the Spirit. In Rom 8:23 Paul states that we groan because we have the firstfruits of the Spirit. In the 2 Cor context Paul associates the groaning to the down payment by saying “He gave us the Spirit as a pledge.” His thought in using this statement was that the groaning is a result of having received the pledge. In Romans Paul uses the whole creation as an example of this groaning. Creation is said to be suffering the pains of childbirth. In other words, it is participating in a process by which the messianic sons of God will eventually come forth to rescue planet earth. In both Romans and 2 Corinthians we discover that the groaning is experienced only until the time of the resurrection. Therefore it is a part of the “mystery of the kingdom” which ends at the resurrection (Rev 10:7). The groanings themselves may be thought of as somewhat mysterious. They are inarticulate expressions that are too deep for human articulation. We cannot understand to what each utterance is specifically addressed but we do know its overall purpose. In 2 Cor Paul calls it a “longing” to be clothed with the resurrection body. To be honest a “longing” does not at first seem like something that could accomplish much. However, in Rom 8:26-30 Paul gives a more detailed description of this “longing.”


The groaning has two separate parts, the human side and the Holy Spirit’s side. On the human side of the groaning we have the physical sounds coming from the mortal body. For the saint it expresses only his desire for completion as a human being. It is his deepest “longing.” However, the longings of men are extremely complicated and beyond the usefulness of actual words for intercession. It involves all of the human emotions and physical desires of mortal man. There are yet no human vocabularies by which we might describe in prayer the nuances of our distress. It is just too deep and we are far too complicated. Man is himself a physiological mystery and the solutions to his complicated existence are beyond human investigation. It is not just that we are looking for a new physical body. It is more than that. We are also longing for deep and permanent solutions to our complex existence. These solutions will all appear with our new bodies but until then we can only groan.


Now these groans have no direct affect upon the quality of our eventual resurrection. Technically they are not a part of my down payment. They are only actions that occur in believers who have received the down payment. But they (the groanings) do dramatically affect our present mortal condition. This brings us to the Spirit’s side of the prayer. He does understand the complicated mix of human physiology. He knows how we are created and he knows perfectly just what we need and joins with us in our groanings and articulates for us that which is beyond the human power of introspection. Therefore, in response to his (the Holy Spirit’s) skillful and highly accurate intercessions in the midst of my highly inarticulate “longings,” God is making all things to work together for “the good” in my (very complicated) life. But what exactly is “the good” that God is working in me as the result of my groanings?


This is another scriptural concept that is often misapplied. We miss a plane, it crashes; we then quote Rom 8:28 “All things work together for the good.” If God spared your life then you would do well to be thankful but that is not what this verse is describing. It is not talking about God’s orchestration of my daily affairs. It is talking about the goal, which he is working in each of us. That goal is to bring us into a present condition where we look like Jesus through the ongoing transformation of the Spirit. Paul gives a list of theological actions which God has undertaken to bring us all to the image of Jesus. This list ends with “glorification,” which is the clothing of the saint. In all of these theological steps (foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification, glorification) our groanings only affects the last item in the list. But this is that for which we inwardly groan, “to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven.” The Holy Spirit supplies the highly personal details about our nakedness as we groan. God the Father hears those details from the Spirit’s prayer and responds by once again hovering over our tabernacle with his Parousia. It is a cooperative process. I must supply the groaning out of a personal sense of longing and weakness. Without this human emotion there can be no intercession by the Holy Spirit.


We often lament our adversity and ask ourselves, “Why is this happening to me?” Many times there just are no answers for all the trouble in our lives. But this statement by Paul certainly helps us to understand one important truth. Our trials, at the very least, move us into a life of groaning. Our groans are essential for they are the only medium in which the Holy Spirit can perfectly join with us during intercession. Without these groans there is no supernatural assistance. Those among us who live comfortable lives in wealth and security have no part whatsoever in this ministry of the Spirit. “The Good” of Rom 8:28 is the same idea as “The manifestion of the life of Jesus” in 2 Cor 4:10-11. We are delivered unto death by our trials so that his life will appear in us. We begin the deep groaning within ourselves. Then the Holy Spirit comes along beside us. God, with his perfect compassion and powers of empathy, personally enters our inarticulate utterances and makes them his own.


Those who have raised children or enjoy being around them have witnessed the process that makes groaning work. For very small children it seems to work almost every time. Find a normal happy child that is having an otherwise good day. Then start to cry and weep mournfully. The otherwise happy child will quickly begin to morn with you. As we grow older we lose much of this empathic proclivity. The ability to empathize is without question a human characteristic. But where did we get it? We are made in the image of God. God is himself empathetic. Sometimes we become callous to suffering but it is not always because we have cold or evil hearts. It takes supernatural strength to identify with the needs around us. Some of the walls we build in our lives are unconsciously designed to hide ourselves from it all. But God has never lost his empathy and he most certainly does not hide himself from our groanings. We are never closer to Jesus than when we are groaning together in his Spirit. There are no less than 41 outright references to groaning in the scriptures and many more inferences and illustrations (e.g. Ex 2:24; 6:5; Jud 2:18; Ps 5:1; 12:5; 79:11; 102:19-20; Ezek 9:4; Acts 7:34). It is unlikely that Paul is here describing the practice of speaking in tongues. For Paul tongues were actual languages of either men or of angels. The groaning may be a form of that same process but there are differences. Either way, it works and we are thus clothed in his glory, our personal weaknesses are temporarily suspended and we resume our messianic ministry.


The Earnest of Saturation


Again the ultimate saturation will come at the great resurrection from the dead when the saints receive physical bodies capable of permanently sustaining the eternal indwelling of the Spirit and at which time all things are summed up “saturated” into Christ. This is the Parousia of Christ, the ultimate Pentecost. On the day of Pentecost the church received its first taste of this indwelling though in a partial and temporary manner. The baptism of the Spirit then is a temporary and partial abiding of the Parousia of Christ. It is a temporary and partial version (the down payment) of the ultimate consummation of all things into Christ.


Like Jeremiah and Ezekiel before him, John the Baptist understood a new covenant would one day overtake Israel as the result of an outpouring of God’s Spirit. John the Baptist also knew that the man standing before him in the river Jordan would be the one to implement this covenant. But notice just how John viewed the implementation of this covenant; “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,” (Matt 3:11 NIV). So, John correctly identifies the new covenant and the outpouring of the Spirit as a baptism? Then what precisely is a baptism and exactly into what are we baptized? The idea of baptism is best understood as saturation where the identities and characteristics of two entities become indistinct. “The Greeks used the word baptism to signify the process of dying a garment, sinking a ship, dipping a cup in a bowl of wine, also to drench, dunk, deluge, swamp, or saturate. Plato uses it metaphorically, of being overwhelmed with questions. Jesus used the word to describe his pain and death on the cross (Matthew 20:22).”21


The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a supernatural (but partial and temporary) saturation into the person of Jesus Christ. It is saturation into his personality (fruit of the Spirit) and into his abilities (gifts of the Spirit). When we speak of the baptism as being “in the Spirit” we must understand it as a reference to Jesus himself. In 2 Cor 3:18 Paul identifies the meaning of “Spirit.” “The Lord is the Spirit.” In John 14:17 Jesus stated: “you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” (NASU). Then in John 14:25 Jesus clearly attempted to identify himself and the Spirit as being one in the same: “These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you” (NASU). Finally, although Jesus is instructing them in the coming of “another,” (John. 14:16 “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper” NASU.) Jesus insisted that He would personally be the one who would return and make His abode with them (John. 14:18,20). In this baptism it is Jesus who sends the Holy Spirit but it is the Spirit’s job to miraculously create the presence of Jesus in us. Amazingly, this saturation is similar to that which makes the Holy Trinity one (John 14:20 and 17:21).


Jesus discussed this spiritual saturation (baptism) throughout his discourse on the coming of the Holy Spirit. However, instead of the term baptism Jesus used the phrase “you in Me and I in you” (John 14:20; 15:1,5; 17:21) to describe his then future and non-corporal saturation presence in the individual believers beginning at the day of Pentecost. The double reference “I in you and you in me” makes the idea of saturation quite clear. In John 14:20 and 17:21 Jesus further describes the extent of this saturation by demonstrating that it is in fact the same type of saturation that makes the Trinity one. However, Jesus and others who were to use his terminology usually shortened the phrase to “abide in me or simply used the word “abide” to make clear their reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Other saturation terms such as, “Christ in you, in Christ, in the Spirit and filled with the Spirit,” are also derivatives of Christ’s original saturation terminology. In Gal. 4:19, Paul said that he was again in labor for the Galatians, “until Christ is formed in you (NASU).” Paul was not saying that the believers were lost and without Jesus. They were still justified by faith. However, Paul realized that they had decided to abandon their reliance on the saturation presence of Jesus in order to embrace the letter of the old covenant. If personal righteousness could have been achieved by human determination then the Pharisees would have won the honors.


The Galatians were proof that the Pentecostal experience is not a static experience. They had begun well but were being talked out of their initial experience in the Spirit. We are not Pentecostal just because we once entered between the cherubim and were transformed by God’s Presence. We are Pentecostal only as the result of a present, ongoing state of nearness to God. The saturation is a condition miraculously created by the Holy Spirit wherein the presence of Jesus is actually formed in the believer.


Beyond saturation terminology there are saturation parallels, which also have clear reference to the Pentecostal experience. In Luke 24:49 Jesus said: “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high (NIV)." Paul uses the same parallel in Gal 3:27, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ (NIV).” Notice that the terms “baptized in Christ” and “in the Spirit” are interchanged. Not everyone who is justified automatically puts on Christ. Not everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus immediately abides in him. So there are innumerable saints among us who are washed in the blood of the Lamb that have never put on Christ like a garment.


In the book of Hebrews the writer links the phrase, “draw near” to the Pentecostal experience of entering the Holy Place. (Heb 10:19-22 “since we have confidence to enter the Holy Place by the blood of Jesus…let us draw near.”) Since the baptism of the Spirit is a saturation into Christ himself, it is the ultimate state of nearness to God. Before Pentecost no man was in Christ nor was Christ in any man nor was it possible. Today it is possible for all men, yet only those who are baptized in the Spirit and are dwelling in his presence are experientially “in Christ.” Before the death of Christ, God warned men not to approach his presence, but since the veil of the temple has been torn man is invited to draw near. It was at Pentecost that man first drew near to God through the torn veil. God still seeks the nearness of man beyond the veil. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. No state of man could be closer to God than to be saturated in Christ.


The Earnest of Matrimony


The connection between the giving of the Law (a prototype of the eschatological marriage) and the feast of Pentecost is now well known even though there are absolutely no OT statements that make the connection between the two events. It is commonly believed that the Sages arrived at this connection by comparing the biblical chronology of the two events. Thus, in looking at the Jewish celebration of Pentecost we see that they traditionally included the reading of the Law. So also we discover that it was celebrated 50 days after Jesus rose from the dead, which was the precise period of time set between Passover and Pentecost in the OT.


There are also a number of comparisons that help us see the connection between Pentecost and the Sinai depiction of an eschatological marriage. The Commandments of God (the wedding contract) were written on tablets of stone (Exodus 24:12) while the Spirit of God (the NT equivalent of eschatological marriage) is written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 11:19-20; 36:22-27). The Law was written by the finger of God (Exodus 31:18), while the new covenant was written by the Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 3:3). On Sinai 3,000 were slain (Exodus 32:1-8,26-28). At Pentecost 3,000 were added to the church (Acts 2:38,4).


Our point is that Pentecost is a down payment of the eschatological marriage predicted at Sinai and in Isa 25. So in a very real way the charismatic believer is experiencing in a partial way the marriage relationship that will begin with the marriage supper of the Lamb. This reality is wonderfully acknowledged in the Jewish tradition of reading the book of Ruth during the feast of Pentecost. The message of this book perfectly fits with our contention that Pentecost is a temporary and partial marriage experience. The story takes place during the time of harvest, as does Pentecost. Ruth leaves her family and her culture to embrace the God of Israel. This commitment to God and Israel culminates in her marriage to Boaz. Out of this relationship was born King David who (according to the Talmud) was born and died on the day of Pentecost. Just as in the story of Ruth, our commitment to abandon our own life and to embrace God and his people should culminate in a Pentecostal experience that has all the intimacy of a marriage.


Earnest and Grace


Peter refers to the “powers of the age to come” as the “Grace that is to be given (1 Pet 1:13 NIV)” to the saints in the eschaton. Thus charismatic grace may be included as another down payment of the coming age. The idea of grace may best be understood as the impartation of ability or “Effortlessness.” It is the impartation of divine ability to perceive, to communicate, to become or to accomplish apart from human striving. Romans chapter 5 discusses two types or aspects of grace. The first type of grace is called “introductory grace” and is mentioned in Rom 5:1-2. This type of grace or effortlessness is received from God and enables man to believe and to be justified before God by faith in Jesus (Eph 2:8-9). However, in the same chapter of Romans, Paul mentions another essential type of grace (though subsequent to justification) that he calls “Abundant Grace” (Rom 5:17). This “abundant grace” is more than introductory grace. It is a surpassing grace that actually causes those who receive it to “Reign in Life.” Paul has in mind the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is the abilities that saints receive when they become saturated into the person of Jesus Christ by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is the grace that transformed the believers at Pentecost and empowered them to become one with each other (Acts 4:33) and to continue the miraculous work begun by Jesus (Acts 6:8).


Today the church misses much of the meaning of the word grace in the Bible because fundamentalists have held to the very narrow definition of grace as being “unmerited favor.” Actually, many references to grace in the NT are direct references to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the divine abilities that flow from the Pentecostal experience. To recapture the meaning of these references we must give the word “grace” a more accurate meaning. To the charismatic, the idea of abundant grace must become synonymous with the idea of divine ability or the strength that comes through the baptism of the Spirit and that comes with the impartation of supernatural gifts. This notion is easily understood in 2 Cor 12:7-10:


To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace (Ability) is sufficient for you, for my power (or grace) is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power (His grace or ability) may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (NIV “Parentheses mine”).


In this text Paul relates God’s own words that were spoken to him about grace. In it Jesus refers to his grace and calls it “power.” Paul then himself calls the sustaining grace of God that was given to him, “Christ’s power.”22 The word used for “Power” in this text is “dunamis.” This is the same Greek work that is used of the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised to his disciples in Acts 1:8. Here Paul has demonstrated that grace and power are interchangeable concepts. Thus the baptism of the Spirit is a temporary infilling of grace that enables the believer to continue the work which was begun by Jesus.


In 1 Peter 4:10-11 two words accurately describe and are used interchangeably with grace. The first word is “gift.” Grace is a gift (The word commonly used for spiritual gifts “charisma” has as its root the word grace.) and it can always be said that God’s gifts are unmerited. But this text also redefines the gift of grace as “The strength that God provides.” This is then the preferable definition for grace in every usage. Grace is the gift of God’s strength. It is imparted ability from the Almighty and it enables us to move about with “effortlessness.” When we watch talented dancers we say they are “graceful.” By this we mean that they move in a seemingly effortless manner. This aptly describes those who experience the abundance of grace in the Pentecostal experience.


Earnest of Sonship


In the section titled “Eschatological Sonship” it was demonstrated that messianic sonship begins with the Parousia of Christ. So with the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost those who were immersed in the Spirit similarly began to function in a temporal version of messianic sonship. This is not to imply that believers without the Spirit saturation are not beloved children of God. However, there is a messianic sense of sonship that only comes with Spirit baptism. Though Jesus was already a son of God by his unique birth, he only enters his messianic sonship at his baptism in the Spirit (Luke 3:22). With this new pronouncement of sonship, Jesus embarked upon the messianic life. Likewise every believer similarly saturated in the Spirit begins a life of messianic authority. As never before they are lead of the Spirit into a life of dynamic spiritual encounters (Rom 8:14).


In Rom 8:15 Paul’s discussion of sonship provides an invaluable definition of the Pentecostal experience. He calls it “the Spirit of adoption” (KJV). What we receive in the baptism of the Spirit is not yet full adoption for that only begins with the resurrection of the body (Rom 8:23; John 1:12). In other words sonship is an eschatological reality. In this context Paul explains the whole ideal of sonship. Sonship is a part of our inheritance. When we believe in Jesus we are slated for adoption but the resurrection of the body is the official pronouncement.23 For Paul the earnest aspect of sonship is like the hope of glory, “In hope we have been saved (v. 24).” Our charismatic experience is proof that true sonship will someday occur. By it believers enter into the most intimate of relationships. We are able to speak as a child from our innermost beings. Because of our Spirit saturation we can cry “Abba Father” and groan inarticulately with profound depths of prayerful significance.


Additionally, Paul mentions the eschatological freedom of the sons of God. He calls it “the freedom of glory.” True freedom is being that for which you were created. Man was created as a temple for presence of God and was also created to rule the lower creation. Because of sin, man lost his ability to care for the creation. Only by the restoration of man to his Adamic glory can the creation also return to its blessed state. So we may understand that in the earnest of sonship there comes a true experience of freedom. The believer is never more completed or at ease with himself than when he is filled with the Spirit. This is true freedom. It is through Spirit immersion that the “Son makes us free indeed (John 8:36).”


An illustration of this dual mode of sonship is to be found in the OT. In Ex 4:22 Yahweh says to Pharaoh, “Israel is my son, my first born.” No one can deny that the sons of Israel were also the sons of God as they departed the land of Egypt. However, their identity took on a whole new dimension as they crossed the river Jordan (a type of the Holy Spirit baptism) and began to rule and reign in their “inheritance.” The life of Jesus itself is also illustrative of the dual nature of sonship. For thirty years he functioned in obedience to the Father. However, it was not until his Spirit saturation that he began his prophetic ministry as “Son of the Most High.”


In Luke 1:32-36 Gabriel declared that Jesus would be called “the Son of God (also the “Son of the Most High” Luke 1:32-36 NIV). This is who Jesus was destined to be in the flesh but it was never so until his human flesh had been saturated in the Holy Spirit. At the moment of his anointing, Jesus took unto himself the prophesied identity of the messianic Son of God. However, this anointing was only “partial and temporary.” The ultimate anointing of Jesus predicted by Gabriel and the prophets occurred in the heavenlies at his ascension (Acts 2:33,36). It was here in resurrected human flesh that Jesus received the eternal crown of glory and power. And it was only after this coronation that he could pour out of his messianic blessing upon believers. This blessing is exactly like his own blessing in mortal flesh that he received at the Jordan River. It is partial and temporary. But just as it was for Jesus it is a vindication of who we are destined to be as sons of God. For both Jesus and us this Spirit vindication is a down payment of what is to come, “vindicated by the Spirit” (1 Tim 3:16 NIV).


Because of the partial and temporary nature of this mortal saturation it is subject to constant challenge. After his baptism in the Spirit, Jesus was led of the Spirit into the wilderness for a time of fasting and for a time of divinely sanctioned temptation. Twice in the course of the three specific temptations Satan himself directly challenges the messianic identity of Jesus, “If you are the Son of God.” In essence Satan was attempting to create doubt in the mind of Jesus about the implications of his Pentecostal experience. Remember, it is the Pentecostal experience that initiates messianic sonship. This was true with Jesus and it is true with each individual similarly anointed. Also remember that the Spirit anointing is the predicted (Matt 13) “pearl of great price, hidden treasure and lost coin.” It was that which once found necessitated (due to its incalculable worth) the abandonment of all other possessions and responsibilities (i.e. “cares of this life”). The messianic anointing requires the recipients presence in a completely other dimension. If Jesus had ceded to the temptations of Satan he would have denied his status as messianic son. Thus having compromised his anointing he would have forfeited his presence in the heavenly realm and his ministry.


It is unquestionably true of Pentecostals today. Satan is constantly bringing situations into the lives of Spirit filled believers designed to force a compromise in their messianic identity. It is the anointing that destroys the work of the devil and causes believers to reign in life over him. The real baptism in the Spirit is no capricious matter. It is not for the spiritually curious or the charismatic hobbyist. When believers embrace their messianic identity as sons of God they jeopardize all human possessions, relationships and entitlements. Once messianic sonship is truly embraced the recipient must immediately unencumber his life to allow for the Spirit’s direction.


So in our own experience of Spirit baptism we are following a divine paradigm of messianic sonship. We receive a partial and temporary anointing just as did Jesus. With this anointing comes the “power to rule and reign in Life, Rom 5:17.” Then at our resurrection we receive the ultimate inheritance of spiritual saturation. Both at Jordan and in the heavenlies Jesus received the pronouncement of messianic sonship. The saturation experience of Jesus was different from ours in only one way. His flesh was never affected by sin. Therefore the Spirit in him made perfect utilization of his mortal temple. When we consider Jesus, the messianic head, we are looking at our own human potential for messianic ministry. Never once did Jesus limit the messianic anointing to himself. Much to the contrary, his kingdom discussions were focused upon sharing it with his followers.


In his resurrection and ascension Jesus was anointed with the eternal Spirit and declared to be the messianic Son of God. Now out of this exaltation to eternal Lordship he reigns from heaven, “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor 15:25-26 NIV, See also Rev 5:10; 11:15,17; 20:6; 22:5). Interestingly, Jesus is now ruling and reigning in the midst of his enemies and the presence of death. How can this be? Jesus is not seated among enemies or in the presence of death. This messianic reign and the presence of Jesus is only realized among those who have entered into and become one with Christ, the messianic entity. It is Jesus’ charismatic body that resides in the midst his enemies and his presence is in that body. His presence and reign on earth is only in those in whom the charismatic Spirit abides. His reign as messianic son is through the Pentecostal experience that he is now pouring out upon earnest supplicants. So it is that believers only move into messianic sonship and ministry through a messianic anointing, the baptism of the Spirit. This reign in the Spirit is a down payment of the end time identity of the church as “sons of God.”


The Earnest of Glory”


The glory of God is virtually synonymous with the Presence of God or of Christ. The glory is a physical manifestation of the divine presence.24 It describes the form in which Jehovah (Yahweh) reveals himself or is the sign and manifestation of his presence.25 So when we behold the glory of God we are in the presence of Christ. Therefore it is somewhat difficult to make any real distinction between God’s presence and his Glory. Nevertheless, because the term is used extensively in the NT it is incumbent upon us to follow the baptism of the Spirit relative to this usage.


We recognize that Jesus had an inherent glory that was his from eternity (John. 12:41) by virtue of his divinity. However this glory had been set aside by Jesus to become a man (Phil 2:5). When Jesus prayed “Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began” (John 17:5 NIV) he is speaking of the moment in which he would ascend into the Father’s presence and receive the promised Holy Spirit. In other words Jesus was praying that he, as mankind’s representative (the Second Adam), would receive back his original glory as a man. However, Jesus also spoke of the glory that had been given to him already by the Father (John 17:22). This was the glory that he had received at the Jordan River. It was his personal down payment of the glory that he was to receive in his ascension. In this prayer to the Father Jesus mentions that he had given this previously received glory to his disciples (John 17:22-24). Now since the disciples had not as of that occasion demonstrated any glory that would have “united” them, and since Pentecost had not yet occurred we are left in a quandary as to its exact meaning. Beasley-Murray has suggested that the author or redactor of John is incorporating an additional prayer of Jesus from his source of writing materials.26 Either way the text is forward looking and speaking of all believers and the effects of Pentecost. The words “I have given them the glory” (NIV) is in reference to John 17:20, “those who will believe in me through their message” (v 20 NIV). Therefore the phrase cannot describe some past event in the ministry of Jesus. It has to have been a bequeathal, the last “will and testament” of a man who knows he is about to die. He is saying to the Father, “I Jesus the Son of God bequeath all of my glory to those who hereafter believe on me.” Of course he was speaking of the Pentecostal experience.


Because of the importance of this distinction let us summarize Jesus’ involvement with the glory of God. Jesus received the ultimate glorification in his ascension and exaltation (Luke 24:26; Heb 2:9). Since there are two separate and distinct occurrence of the glory of God coming upon Jesus, it is not unreasonable to conclude that the glory manifested in his mortal flesh was the down payment of the ultimate glory that was to be given to him in his resurrected human flesh. Jesus received a partial and temporary endowment of glory at his spiritual baptism. Then he was endowed with the full prophetic weight of glory at his ascension (Luke 24:26). Again, we are following a divine paradigm of glory.


New Testament references to the saint’s inheritance of divine glory are abundant (e.g. 1 Peter 5:3-4). However, the believer’s present need of glory is not so well known. In Rom 3:23 Paul puts it into proper perspective, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (NIV).” For Paul the consequence of sin is more than mere death. Sin is reflected in the absence of glory in the believer’s life. As we know, it is the blood of Jesus that has solved man’s sin dilemma. But without the baptism of the Spirit and its resulting glory the believer continues to suffer the consequences of sin. He has none of the glory of God on his life.


For Paul the glory of God comes only to the saint in the “Christ in you” experience. From previous discussions we now know that this experience is indeed the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” However, for Paul this experience in the glory of God is no one-shot occurrence. The glory increases upon the believer with his determination to continually behold the Lord in the Spirit (2 Cor 3:18). In this text Paul contrasted the present charismatic glory of Pentecostal believers to the glory experienced by Moses. Paul called the present glory “that which lasts (2 Cor 3:11 NIV)” and comments that the later glory is greater than the visible glory that shown on the face of Moses. In other words the charismatic down payment of God’s glory upon the believer should have even greater affects upon this world than it did upon those around Moses.


For Paul the “hope of glory” is no mere anticipation of future bliss. Paul understood it as having already been given to the Colossians.27 It is a substantive reality. Our great hope is that we would someday become one with Christ and thus share his glory. But the hope of that eventuality is the present, though temporary and partial, (charismatic) indwelling of Christ himself. Paul might just as easily have said, “Christ in you is the down payment of glory.” Actually, he said just that in his prayer for the Ephesians (1:18): “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (NIV),” Paul has prayed that the Ephesians would become spiritually aware of their glorious inheritance. It is clear from the context both before and after that he has in mind that which he terms “the seal the, promised Spirit, the deposit guaranteeing the inheritance, and an incomparably great power for us like the resurrection power.” In essence Paul was praying for a their spiritual renewal in the baptism of the Holy Spirit which he calls “the hope of…glorious inheritance. To experience the down payment is to possess the hope of glory. With every manifestation of the Spirit comes the abiding certainty of future glory. Thus the phrase “hope of glory” is just another way in which Paul designates the baptism of the Holy Spirit.


Down Payment of Judgment


This discussion parallels a previous section devoted to the timing of the millennial reign of Christ. Again, the 1000 years mentioned in Rev 20 are symbolic in that they represent a divinely designated (but unknown to man) period of time. That period of time wherein Christ reigns with his church is between Pentecost and the Parousia. This is the overlapping of the ages. It is a time characterized by the collision of the two eras. The demonic spirits and their human accomplices that control this passing age are now entrenched against the victorious advance of charismatic saints marching with an eschatological empowerment to free the lost. Therefore, the focus of this section is to explore the capacity of the saints to impose the eschatological judgments of God upon the recalcitrant powers of this present evil age.


We understand how the power of the saints to rule and reign is derived from their partial and temporary saturation into the eschatological anointing of Jesus. This partial anointing is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and Paul calls it the earnest of our inheritance. Once again let us look at our inheritance to see what the future holds concerning our involvement with the final judgment:


In the Parousia of Christ saints will be somehow active in the judgment of men and angels (Matt 19:28; 1 Cor 6:3; Jude 14-15). Yet it is nowhere clear as to the manner in which they judge either men or angels. Some believe it may be a judgment as in Matt 19:28 where the saints preside over angelic or human activity.28 Others think the saints will be involved in the final destruction of evil beings following the “apocalyptic motif.”29 In the case of 2 Thess 1:10 the question might not be so much about the saints ruling with Christ as it is of Christ actually ruling from within the church (He comes to be glorified “IN” his saints). Either way the saints are clearly involved in eschatological judgments. It is important to understand that the church via the charismatic down payment now has the ability to exercise these same powers in controlling hostile and supernatural beings. One of the hallmarks of the millennial reign according to Rev 20:2-3 is that Satan is bound for the entire one thousand years. But the stated purpose for this imprisonment is to prevent him from deceiving the nations. So, as previously suggested, the real under-heralded message of our day is that Satan cannot withstand a charismatic advance for souls.


In Mark 1:23-26 Jesus confronted a demon. It is very interesting that Jesus insisted the demon “Be quiet! (NIV)” as he was being cast out. The word Jesus used to command silence is revealing. It is the Greek word “phimoun,” which literally means to “tie shut” or to muzzle.30 Here, Jesus is demonstrating his charismatic ability to bind Satan. It was the eschatological power to make Satan (and his emissaries) just “shut-up.” Well, how many of the worlds problems could be solved if we could just stop the lies of Satan and his ability to influence mankind? How much more effective is the gospel presentation when the voice of Satan is completely silenced? Indeed, the voice of Satan is “tied shut” by the Parousia within charismatic believers. Indeed, “we are pulling down strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (KJV) through the indwelling Parousia of Christ. This is precisely the point. The new age of the Spirit began for the church in general at Pentecost. For the individual believer it begins and is maintained by his saturation into the eschatological Spirit, i.e. the baptism of the Holy Spirit.


Matthew 12:28-29 (“if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God” KJV and Luke 11:20-22 “if I with the finger of God” KJV31) highlights two important points germane to our present topic. First Jesus is demonstrating that by his baptism in the Spirit he is able to effect the removal of spiritual interlopers from would be temples of God. He is also modeling the means by which the church will remove evil beings in the age to come and in the spiritual millennium that was quickly approaching (i.e. Pentecost). He was further teaching that the ability to remove devils by the Spirit of God was a sure sign that the kingdom of God had appeared. In distinguishing the miracles of Jesus from his Jewish contemporaries Donald Hagner notes that the phrase “Spirit of God” is key in that it points directly to the larger significance of who Jesus was and to his proclamation of the appearing of the kingdom.32


Many factors fall into play when considering spirit exorcism. However, this study is only interested in two, the indwelling Parousia and the gifts of the Spirit. We have already made the point that “where the Spirit is, there is the kingdom.” This is as true now as it will be in the age to come. Many times the demons would just cry out in the presence of Jesus. One can only imagine the outcry of this demon-infested world when Christ returns in all his glory. It requires supernatural power for demons to remain hidden and to go about their covert activities. But when exposed to the Parousia they lose their power of deception and fall from their hiding places. They are exposed. It is also true that Jesus used the gifts of the Spirit in dealing with demons. As we consider the NT accounts of exorcism, it is apparent that the chrisms also played a vital role. Actually, the “discerning of spirits” gift is reasonably dedicated primarily to the detection of evil spirits for their removal. It is a gift specially designed for the saints work of judgment in the “overlap.”


Down Payment of Reality


At the Spirit baptism of Jesus the synoptic gospels record an intriguing phenomenon. The heavens were opened to Jesus (Matt 3:16; Mark 1:9-13; Luke 3:21-22). He began from that moment on to see all things clearly in the heavenlies. Somehow in a partial way the veil that covers the eyes of all men was pulled back for Jesus. He began to see things as they really were. It is not unlike Elisha opening the eyes of his servant to see the supernatural army around him. We must now keep in mind that the Jordan experience was Jesus’ down payment experience. It is only at his ascension that Jesus receives the full anointing and the ultimate designation as Messiah. Only then did he move completely beyond the earthly veil. So for Jesus the Jordan anointing was a down payment of his ascension. By contrast the anointing received by believers in the Pentecostal experience is a down payment of the Parousia experience as a result of Jesus exaltation.


Now our present thesis is this: The baptism of the Spirit is more than just saturation into the Spirit. It is essentially an immersion into the whole of the spirit realm otherwise called the heavenly places or simply the heavenlies. These heavenly places, though hidden from natural scrutiny, determine the fate of all natural existence. In other words, the natural earth only reflects that which is occurring in the heavenly realms. The heavenly places are the ultimate reality but they are hidden to natural men. We will recall that in the Parousia this veil will be removed from the natural earth (Isa 25:7). Since we are profiling the life of Jesus as the paradigm of Spirit baptism we anticipate finding the same principals in the experience of believers.


Pentecost is the experience of entering the heavenly places. It is not a static experience, but dynamic. Neither is it realized theologically but experientially. One cannot say he is seated with Christ in heavenly places just because the Sunday school teacher says so. It is not the believers’ default mode of existence. Believers are only seated in heavenly places because they are experiencing the Spirit saturation. They come and go in that realm based upon their spiritual condition. Likewise, this reality is depicted in the OT beginning with the Garden of Eden. Adam may have actually been created in these same heavenlies. He would have ruled the world in a concomitant dimension. “According to some Jewish legends, Adam lived in a heavenly paradise (the third heaven, 2 Cor 12:4; 2 Enoch 5:1) and was expelled to earth for his disobedience.”33 If this is the case, Adam’s fall may have been much more precipitous than typically imagined. He fell from the same heavenlies into which we are raised when we are filled with the Spirit.


Likewise, the tabernacle imagery is depicting something similar. Man cannot reenter Eden for the same reasons he cannot enter the holy places of the tabernacle / temple. In both Eden and the Holy of Holies cherubim are stationed to guard the presence of God. These images represent the same thing. We cannot even find Eden now because it is a spiritual dimension superimposed upon the earth. Once man is qualified to enter through the blood of Jesus, he can (by the Spirit) see it and enter it and begin ruling from it. The veil that rests upon all human flesh hides Eden. (In essence, spiritual beings are responsible for keeping men in the dark as to the location of Eden. It is still there but not observable to natural man.) However, the veil is lifted temporally for those who are filled with the Spirit (it opens and closes based upon our spiritual condition). This is the essence of Jesus’ discourse with Nicodemus. He would see the kingdom and enter once filled with the Spirit. This discussion had nothing at all to do with Nicodemus escaping divine judgment in the fundamentalists’ hell. He was a good Jew (and as with all good Jews he was not in danger of damnation) who had a good confession of Jesus and he wanted to know how to function in the kingdom like Jesus. The answer to his unspoken question by Jesus was all about the coming day of Pentecost. (Can we imagine the irony of non-charismatics’ use of the term “You must be born again?”) On the day of Pentecost the believers moved into these heavenlies. And yes they passed and were welcomed by the cherubim as they entered. The 120 were the first humans after the second Adam to reenter Eden. The cherubim were in evidence by the fire and the wind (see Ezekiel). Jesus passed this way also as he was seated in the same heavenlies (Ps 24). So, moving into the heavenlies is the experience of being “born again” and it is a Pentecostal experience. Every time a believer is filled or re-filled with the Spirit he experiences a new but temporary ascension not unlike that of Jesus’ wherein all the advantages and blessings of the new age and the original creation are realized. Ironically, we recover our glorious past when we move into our eschatological future.


The fire and wind that were present on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) are often thought of in terms of John the Baptist’s prophecy: “He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” The wind could have indicated the presence of the Spirit, the fire a supernatural purging. While this may be true there are scriptural reasons to believe something even more fundamental is happening. However, to fully appreciate this phenomenon we must revisit our discussion of the original creation.


Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden because of their sin. They had been in the very presence of God. God had personally planted the garden in which they had lived. God actually walked in his garden in the cool of the day. When one lays aside all the theological pondering and just allows for a humanization of the whole picture, the scene might resemble an earthly king who has a flare for horticulture with a special garden in his backyard. Only in this case he is also growing a man and a woman.


So this is a very special place particularly as we realize God stationed cherubim to prevent man’s reentrance. “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life”(Gen 3:24 NIV). Assuming the cherubim are still there and given that there is now no place on earth inaccessible to man, (It is unlikely the cherubim drowned in the great flood.) it could reasonably be assumed that the garden was actually a spiritual / physical dimension. It might have been a strategic environment from which Adam would have held absolute dominion over the whole earth. Whatever he did in this spiritualized dimension would have been established upon the earth. In some ways it fits the description of a heavenly place. It was the reality upon which all the earth was dependent.


 However, for now let us consider the cherubim that guarded this domain from which Adam fell. In Ezekiel 1:2-5,13-14 the prophet describes the cherubim. The windstorm that preceded or surrounded them was the first attribute to capture his attention. Next he noticed their appearance was like that of burning coals or torches. Now Moses made no note concerning any wind surrounding the cherubim at the garden gate but he did mention a sword flashing back and forth to guard the way. Presumably it was the cherubim wielding the sword. And of course Ezekiel sees much the same thing with respect to their service in God’s presence. The same creatures figure prominently in the tabernacle in the wilderness as well as the temple of Solomon. As for the tabernacle, the cherubim were represented as abiding above the Ark of the Covenant where Jehovah says “I will meet with you” (Ex 25:22). In Ezek 10:1-2 the prophet sees them at the throne of God. They were also placed upon the veil that covered the Holy of Holies as if to say, “Don’t even think of coming in here without permission.” So now, the cherubim have moved from protecting the Garden of Eden to protecting the Holy of Holies. However, as one might suspect the two venues almost certainly represent the same reality. From the tabernacle experience we gain a graphic impression of the cherubim’s disposition, power and authority.


Nadab and Abihu had foolishly and capriciously entered the Lord’s presence and offered strange fire to God (Lev 10:1-3). Immediately fire came out from between the cherubim over which the presence of the Lord hovered. It was the cherubim’s flaming sword. Nadab and Abihu were the first humans to challenge the gatekeepers of Eden. However, others have also met similar doom at the hands of these flame-wielding warriors. There were the hapless Philistines who stole the Ark (over which stood the cherubim guarding the presence of God) and Uzzah who, with good intentions, was instantly slain (doubtless by the protecting cherubim) for touching it without divine authorization. Through Israel’s history the only souls to have successfully approached the presence of God were the high priests who offered the prescribed sacrifices and others who found special favor with God.


So what does this have to do with reality and how does it relate to events in the upper room on the day of Pentecost? The narrative of Acts is from the perspective of how the Pentecostal event impacted the lives of the Jewish believers. To understand the rest of the story we must think about the event from the perspective of what transpired in the spirit realm to initiate the moment. We must answer the question, what went on in the heavenlies between the ascension and the day of Pentecost? (See Eph 1:19-23; 2:6; 3:19; 4:10,13; Heb 9:24; 10:19-21)


First of all we understand that Jesus ascended into the heavens. Once in the heavenly realm the structure of the heavenlies was altered to reflect his legitimate claim to power (Matt. 28:18). This restructuring seated him at the right hand of Power (Gr. “dunamis," Mat 26:64). It also placed the principalities and powers both good and evil under his control. So, for the first time since Adam, a man holds the place of power in the superintendent realm that controls all forces influencing this world.34 Second, though closely related to the first item, Jesus situated himself so that he could “fill all things (Eph 4:10).” In an apparent reference to this new mode of existence, Paul calls him, “the Lord, the Spirit (2 Cor 3:18; 5:16).” Finally, (at least for our purpose) Jesus is said to have entered the true tabernacle in heaven (Heb 9:24). Here he made atonement for us with his own blood and received the gift of the Spirit. We must assume this means that because of the cleansing power of the blood offered for believers the person of the Holy Spirit was made available to Jesus for the anointing of his new body, the church. However, the anointing that he pours out upon believers is only partial and temporary as his earthly body is still corrupted by sin and their natural flesh has an attenuating effect upon the presence of the Spirit (Gal 5:17). Yet because of the ongoing efficacy of his blood and incessant cleansing, believers have constant access to the Spirit.


Because of the intricacy of all that is being presented, it is necessary to correlate the information. Keep in mind that our stated goal is to explore the manner in which the down payment of the Spirit effects reality in our experience. We are suggesting that man was originally created to inhabit a quasi-heavenly dimension from which he would have ruled over the earth. We also suggest that the OT image of the tabernacle was another way of presenting the whole dilemma of man’s fall from the heavenly places. The Holy of Holies represents the Garden of Eden and favored state of original man in the presence of God. The veil covering the Holy of Holies is the same veil upon natural man that inhibits his ability to peer into and function within the forbidden dimension. Now remember Eden is depicted as the residence of God himself. Even so, Adam was apparently able to move about freely. Adam was truly a son of God and must have surely radiated with his glory. As stated previously, the moment Adam sinned his glory departed (Rom 3:23). This was the most immediate and dramatic result of his disobedience. When Adam left the garden he left the heavenly place wherein resided the throne of God Almighty. The tabernacle is just a graphic manner in which to portray God’s goals for us as to our reinstatement in the heavenlies and the manner in which they are to be achieved.35


Now when Jesus is said to have “filled all things” it is revealing something of the nature of the heavenly place itself. The heavenly places are completely pervasive dimensions coexisting in and through everything. However, these are spiritual dimensions and are not bound by space or time constraints. We see evidence of this in the supernatural teleportation36 of Philip from Gaza to Azotus. It cannot with confidence be said that his filling of all things means that all things are thus filled with the Spirit. However it does mean that for the church. His body (the church) is called, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” (Eph 1:23 see also 3:19; 4:13 NIV). The difference of course is the presence of the blood in the lives of believers, which allows this infilling.


It is important to think clearly about existence in the heavenly places because it affects our understanding of the nature of Spirit baptism. Of course a common even biblical expression to denote the baptism of the Spirit is “to be filled with the Spirit.” This is an accurate designation but it only describes one half of the experience. The baptism of the Spirit is infinitely more than our fleshly bodies being saturated by the presence of God. It is that without question. But the baptism of the Spirit is the permeation of the believer into the heavenly place itself. We like designating believers as “filled with the Spirit” because this is what we see in the natural side of his experience. If we could see beyond the veil as believers are being saturated in Spirit we would observe their transference from a carbon based physical world of liner time and space into an existence based upon non-material substance. In fact it is based upon the substance of faith and love and purity and obedience and forgiveness and gentleness and patience and hope and joy and glory and desire and holy blood and the name of Jesus. No one can enter or remain who in the natural realm embrace hatred, revenge, lust, anger, envy, pride, impatience, fear, striving, unthankfulness, capriciousness, and etc. These substances form the base of existence in the heavenly places just as subatomic particles support existence in this physical world.


Even while dwelling in the natural state we believers have been beckoned into the heavenly places to be seated with Christ. Yet this realm is duly protected from unholiness by cherubim. To enter this realm the believer must have an intense desire for holiness and an insatiable longing for the presence of Jesus. Remember these attitudes are the true substances of the heavenly places. And of course even the noblest believer cannot enter beyond the cherubim without the personal covering of Jesus blood by faith. Now as the believer enters this timeless, spaceless, incorporeal dimension he becomes one entity with Jesus and with other believers who likewise enter. The baptism of the Spirit is not so much that it enters us but that we enter the Spirit. Upon entering the Spirit we lose a sense of individuality. But it is even more than that. Because of the intensity of love (of course we are entering the personality of Jesus) in this dimension we no longer crave individuality or even personal identity. We lose cognizance of race and of gender and of ethnicity and human status. It just is not possible to dwell in the Spirit of Jesus and be otherwise. So the lifestyle of the early church was explicable and more importantly it was predictable. They were just abiding in heavenly places. Their reality had changed. They had moved back into Eden and were engaging their world from the heavenly places.


The Pentecostal experience is the movement of the believer into a spiritual state of ultimate reality. But what exactly transpired in the upper room on the day of Pentecost? In all probability the only ones to hear the wind and to see the tongues of fire in the upper room were the 120 themselves. So what was the wind and what were the tongues of fire? The answers to this lie in specifics already noted. Remember these disciples were moving into a new dimension comparable to the Holy of Holies and guarded by powerful beings called cherubim. It is likely, had there been non-believers present, they would not have heard the wind or seen the tongues of fire. Even though these manifestations were real they were not occurring in the natural world. The believers were hearing the same windstorm as observed by Ezekiel and experienced the fire that was flashing between the cherubim. Incredibly, the 120 found and entered the gates of Eden. The flaming swords that had for centuries prohibited the entrance of man now welcomed the believers as they entered the Holy of Holies. One can imagine that the cherubim christened each individual believer with their flaming swords igniting the sacrifice of Christ on their lives and purging what remained of their human scent. It was the throne of God and the cherubim were the ancient gates, the same gates through which Messiah had passed just 10 earth days before (Ps 24). Since we know the 120 were entering the Holy of Holies, we do well to examine the OT temples for additional parallels to help explain the day of Pentecost.


It also seems more than just coincidental that 120 trumpet blowing priests accompanied the musicians and that all the inaugural participants sang of the “goodness” of God (2 Chr 5:11-14). When we observe the glory of God flooding these OT structures (Ex 40; 2 Chr 5) we are really witnessing a graphical depiction of what happened in the heavenlies on the day that the 120 entered the heavenly realm.


Now there are profound implications for this “dimensional saturation.” The first point has already been mentioned. When any believer enters this dimension he automatically becomes one entity with other believers likewise immersed in the Spirit. This is the basis of the body of Christ. In 1 Cor 12:13 we discover that the formation of the body of Christ is only possible by the baptism of the Spirit. Actually, by virtue of the believer’s immersion into this realm he is locked into a holy interface with every other charismatic believer. Together they are linked with Messiah. It is a “Messianic Matrix” wherein every believer can simultaneously interface Christ and each other. As a result every part of the messianic body functions in perfect harmony so long as it remains faithful to the matrix.


This is the fullness of Christ and the hidden (to natural man) domain of the kingdom of God. God’s will is always done in these heavenlies. However, it is only through the concentric nature of Christ’s physical body that his will is accomplished in the natural realm. In the natural dimension Christ’s body touches every venue of fallen man. However, this same (charismatic) body is also present in the heavenly realms. In this respect the church is a priest of the heavenly kingdom. On the one hand the charismatic believer dwells in the heavenlies with the sovereignty of Jesus while simultaneously present in a world of tumult. The saint’s ministry to the natural world is not dependent upon his education, intelligence, comeliness, or financial means. It is based solely upon his ability to access the spiritual resources abundantly supplied to him in the heavenly realm. Charismatics must therefore become adroit in functioning between the two realms. Those who regularly access the spiritual realm understand reality from a completely different perspective. They soon learn that supernatural dreams and visions have earthly applications designed for the purpose of extending God’s will to men. They quickly learn that the manifestations of the Spirit are the appearing of heavenly realities from behind the veil to accomplish specific objectives.


The sovereignty of God functions flawlessly when it is truly initiated from the heavenly places. So it is that those who have the keys of the kingdom (Spirit saturation) of God may bind upon the earth and be assured that it has already (ahead of time) been bound in the heavenlies. This is not the presumptuous “name and claim it” game. “Binding and loosing” works only for the charismatic who has genuinely entered into the heavenlies and accessed the sovereignty of God’s kingdom (his presence).


It is the baptism of the Spirit that causes me to move into and understand the concomitant dimension from which the natural world is controlled. In the baptism of the Spirit the veil that hides the holy places of Eden is temporarily lifted for me. The goal of the charismatic is to continually walk in this reality and by this means establish the will of God wherever he goes. Paul describes this charismatic reality as “looking in a glass darkly.” It is “seeing in part and knowing in part.” It is a partial lifting of the veil accomplished through personal participation in the Pentecostal experience. Though it is temporary and partial it is nonetheless incomprehensibly powerful to enable believers in transforming their world.


Many references are made in the NT concerning the day of the Lord and the return of Jesus. However, the victory that will be manifested on that day has already taken place. All of the principalities and powers have already been defeated. Their dominion was utterly destroyed when the lion of Judah roared into the heavenlies and was seated at God’s right hand (Eph 1:18-23). The coming day of the Lord adds nothing to the ascension of Jesus into the heavenlies. It will only manifest what has already occurred. That day is more significant from a natural perspective than from a heavenly perspective. From the world’s view it is a moment of incomprehensible triumph. But from the heavenly perspective the triumphant moment occurred when Jesus ascended into the heavenlies. The ultimate outpouring of the Spirit has already occurred upon the man Jesus (Acts 2:33). Peter’s assertion that Jesus “received the promise of the Spirit” is the greatest understatement in the scriptures. Jesus entered the heavenlies as a man. From John 17:5 we understand that Jesus had forfeited his divine glory as an essential prerequisite to his incarnation. However, from this same text we learn that as a man this same eternal glory was to be given back to him in the ascension. This is the “promise of the Spirit.” Jesus as a man was to receive back all of the glory that had formerly belonged to him as God Almighty.


Now in relation to his reception of this divine glory much needs to be said regarding the body of Jesus. The whole discussion of Jesus’ resurrected body must be understood in terms of what is happening in the heavenlies and correspondingly what happens in the Pentecostal experience. Again, it is paramount that we understand that Jesus is now forever a man and that as a man he has received the glory (by the agency of the Spirit) that had formerly belonged to him only as God. Even though he had laid it aside in the incarnation, it was still rightfully his. The Father had held it in reserve for him and gifted it back to him as he arrived in the heavenlies. So in essence, Jesus received the Spirit as the head of all mankind. C.I. Montague has commented, “Jesus does not give the Sprit but receives it for the church (as in Matthew) the disciples are not given authority but are to exercise that which has been given to him “all authority is given to me.”37 The Holy Spirit is in Jesus and we participate in his saturation as we abide in him.38 One might describe the baptism of the Spirit as redeemed but scattered humanity flowing back into the Second Adam who dwells in Eden.


However, no other man could have benefited from this endowment unless Jesus had allowed his own body to be broken. Because his body is broken our bodies may be added to his new Adamic (Christ) identity through that breach. Hence the church (the body of the Second Adam) is growing in the heavenlies. This heavenly body is depicted in the apocalypse as the New Jerusalem, the bride. It is the “Father’s house” with many dwelling places that Jesus is now preparing. However, this preparatory activity of Jesus while initiated in the heavenlies is manifested in the building up of the church by the charismatic gifts within his earthly body. In other words we may comprehend the body of Jesus in the heavenlies by observing the charismatic church on earth.


In these heavenlies the Parousia is now a historic (if the term can be applied to a timeless dimension) reality. For this reason the coming Parousia is portrayed as the “Revelation of Jesus Christ.” The coming day of the Lord is a manifestation of the way things have already been for 2000 years in the heavenlies. It is a revelation (manifestation) of Jesus the man having received the glory that belongs to God alone. It is also a revelation of Christ’s body and bride (the holy city) that has been under construction for thousands of years and of the glory of God abiding in it/her. Absolutely nothing new will transpire at the second coming of the Lord. It is ONLY a revelation or unveiling of reality. The revelation is only the removal of the veil that has hidden Jesus and the charismatic church from the natural world. The only difference between then and now is the final destruction of the veil that hides this momentous victory of Christ and the true identity of the church from the natural world. Hence, for those Pentecostals who are joyfully ascending into the heavenlies the veil is lifted and the Parousia has already begun. Paul’s use of the term “manifestation” (I Cor. 14) is quite understandable in this context. A manifestation similar to the “Revelation” occurs every time the gifts of the spirit are in operation. The Pentecostal church is a visible expression of its invisible existence in the heavenlies.


In these heavenly places Satan is bound before the saints. Principalities are under their feet and the captives are still being led captive to the knowledge of Christ. For the Spirit filled believer the joys of the kingdom of God have already begun. In the charismatic life we are blessed with every spiritual blessing that is in the heavenlies (Eph 1:3). Dwelling in the heavenly places through the Pentecostal experience enables the believer to abandon the minutia of Mammon and take on the challenge of struggling with the real spiritual forces behind the human dilemma (Eph 6:12-13). Because of my ongoing Pentecostal experience I hold supernatural keys that faithfully release the will of God wherever I go (Matt 16:19-20). In the heavenlies our inheritance was achieved when Jesus received the “Promised Holy Spirit.” This was his inheritance. When we abide in him we share in that inheritance and the charismatic life is the earnest of all that Jesus has already received for us. When these heavenly places are finally manifested at the return39 of Jesus then each believer will enter fully into the inheritance of the Son of God.


Chapter Four




The book of Revelation is focused on the final manifestation of Jesus Christ and the coincident appearing of the kingdom of God. Then, according to Rev 10:7, “The mystery is ended.” So there is indeed a mystery connected with the present day activity of the kingdom of God that will only end with the Second Coming. The mystery is not about the future. It is about the present age. Whatever that mystery is, it will no longer be needed once the Kingdom of God appears. Ladd commented that the hidden leaven (a metaphor of the mystery) shows that the mystery is about the insignificant beginning of the kingdom of God.1 However this misses the real point since the leaven is hidden but remains active and significant to the very end of the age. But what specifically is this mystery of the hidden leaven? Actually there are seven mysteries or at least seven aspects of the mystery mentioned in the Pauline corpus. The solution to the mystery resolves or demonstrates just how each of the following aspects is accomplished in one unifying principle. These seven aspects are listed below:2


1. The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, i.e. the gospel (Matt 13:10-11; Rom 16:25).

2. The mystery of Israel's separation from the vine (Rom 11:25).

3. The mystery the “rapture” of living saints at the coming of Jesus. (1 Cor 15:51-52; 1 Thess 4:14,17).

4. The mystery of "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Gal 2:20; Col 1:26-27).

5. The mystery of the church as the Body of Christ, being composed of both Jews and Gentiles. (Eph 3:1-11; 6:19; Col 4:3).

6. The mystery of the church as the bride of Christ (Eph 5:28-32).

7. The mystery of “Christ Himself" (Col 2:2,9; 1 Cor 2:7; I Tim 3:16; “Christ is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.” Conversely, the "mystery of lawlessness" 2 Thess 2:7, is Satan in bodily form)


According to Paul (Rom 16:25) the mystery of the gospel was hidden throughout past ages but it has now been revealed through the apostles and prophets (Eph 3:5). Vos has commented that the hiding of Messiah (the mystery) and his consequent revelation was actually an OT notion.3 Paul calls the mystery; “my gospel” and he had dedicated his life to making it known. This of course is the same gospel of the kingdom to which all saints are commissioned. It cannot then be some secret knowledge to which only a few become privy. Never the less, (Rev 10:7) there remains a sense in which the mystery continues. This remaining aspect of the mystery will be the focus of our attention.


Since it was the apostle Paul who most prolifically understood and explained the “Mystery of the Gospel,” we shall consider the context in which Paul received his revelation. The following chronology will give us added insight into the importance of the mystery to the NT church as well as furthering our understanding of it.


The birth of Jesus occurred in approximately 5-6 B.C. He was then crucified in about 30 A.D. Of course he was raised from the dead three days later regardless of which year it occurred. The Holy Spirit was then poured out upon the believers 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus. Between 4–5 years later the Apostle Paul met the risen Lord on the road to Damascus. The year was either 34 or 35 A.D. According to the scriptures below Paul immediately went to Arabia for three years after his conversion where he presumably spent time reflecting on his new revelation of Messiah and the Kingdom of God. About three years later he went to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Peter (Gal 1:15-19). Fourteen years after meeting with Peter4 Paul went back to Jerusalem (about 50 to 51 AD5). In Gal 2:2 Paul states that it was because of a “Revelation” that he went to Jerusalem. Acts 15 details this event and shows that the church in Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas. Most scholars believe that the “revelation” mentioned here is some divine directive given to the Antioch church for Paul’s trip to Jerusalem. But according to the account in Acts 15:2 there was no such prophetic direction recorded. The word “revelation” may be a reference to Paul’s unique understanding of the mystery of the gospel. If this is the intended meaning of the word, it speaks of Paul’s determination to finally make his mystery clear to the leaders in Jerusalem.


There are at least two facts that point to this meaning. First of all, Paul says that he went to the leaders in private and submitted to them the gospel that he preached. This would have been necessary at some point because the leaders to whom he was submitting his gospel had never contributed to Paul’s revelation. Paul had never been instructed by any of the twelve apostles of Jesus (Gal 1:11-12). What could have been so mysterious as to occasion such a private hearing? This would have been a very unnecessary precaution if the discussion centered only on adherence to the Mosaic Law. The discussion of mere legalism was already a well-exposed point of contention. This aspect of his visit may easily have been the communication of “Paul’s mystery.” Paul could not have discussed “his gospel” without a comprehensive discussion of “the mystery.” The understanding of this teaching is still no less difficult. Even Peter commented that Paul’s letters on these things were hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16).


Now, Peter had walked with Jesus throughout the entirety of His ministry. He was full of the Holy Spirit and was himself writing by that inspiration when commenting on Paul’s mystery. So, the Holy Spirit wants us to know that the mystery of the kingdom is indeed a difficult thing to grasp. The simplicity that is in Christ refers to its accessibility. You do not have to be a theologian to receive Jesus. It is reasonably concluded that the understanding of this very difficult doctrine “The Mystery,” finally persuaded the Jewish leaders to free the gentile converts from strict observances of the Mosaic Law. The gentile church in Antioch, (from which Paul was sent), already understood this revelation and because of it they sent Paul to Jerusalem. So, about twenty years after Pentecost the apostolic church in Jerusalem finally received Paul’s revelation of the “Mystery” of the kingdom of God.


In the book of Acts Luke, the author, described the 12 apostles as unlearned and ignorant men. This did not mean that they were stupid and it also did not mean that they lacked any spiritual authority or gifting. They were unlearned in the details of the Mosaic Law and were otherwise common men. Paul, on the other hand, was naturally brilliant and was recognized as having been a well-educated man (Acts 5:34; 22:3; 26:24). God used two things to bring this revelation to his church. First of all, God gave Paul supernatural revelation. He could have also done this with the other disciples but the difficulty of this doctrine required depth of understanding. Paul had that depth. So, God used the teaching of Jewish rabbis that was in Paul’s understanding. With that understanding of the OT, Paul was able to comprehend and to explain his revelation, “The Mystery of the Gospel.” It is also interesting that Rev 10:7 mentions the Mystery as having been “announced to His servants the prophets” (NIV). Who better than Paul could have understood this mystery? Incredibly, the NT church in Jerusalem may have functioned without this understanding for as many as 20 years. The present day church is likewise functioning without that understanding.


The Christ in us Mystery


This mystery was beyond mere human discovery. Actually it was even beyond the abilities of Satan and the evil powers with him to have anticipated the mystery and to have foreseen its implications for the kingdoms of this world. In all of the wisdom given to the rabbis this mystery was hidden from them also. Paul said that all things would be summed up in Christ and that is where we find the solution to our mystery. It is in Christ. All of the mysteries presented are summed up and resolved in Christ.


Paul states that the mystery of His will (as in Rom 8:28-29 also) is the summing up of all things in Christ (Eph 1:9-10; Rom 8:28-29). But even this statement does not make it clear to us, as Paul does not specify what that means. He is only referring to it. The key phrase for us to begin our solution is “In Christ.” This phrase is used between 89 and 95 times in the NT depending upon which version is used. It is first used by Paul in Acts 24:24. Paul himself uses the phrase 91 times (NIV). Its only other usage is in the book of I Peter where it is found 3 times and once in the book of Hebrews. This is Paul’s revelation and we must depend mainly upon his writings for the solution. In Col 2:2 Paul asserts that the mystery is “Christ himself.” This however is still much too general of an answer for us. There are many possible starting points for the solution but we will begin with Col 1:26-27:


the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (NIV)


Knowledgeable readers are thinking, “We already knew that!” The mystery is “Christ is in you.” However, there is a problem with our understanding of this phrase. We assume we understand its meaning but like other tenets of Christian theology, the term “Christ in you” has become “sloganized.” It is now used so glibly that the average believer has adopted superficial assumptions about its meaning. To fully understand this phrase we must abandon our modern Christian notions and think about it from an OT Jewish perspective. Remember, the Jews were expecting a messiah. That messiah was called in the Greek language, “Christ.” In other words, Paul is teaching that Messiah, the anticipated sovereign, was in the body of believers. Who could have guessed that Messiah would hide or reveal himself in human bodies? Can we imagine an OT Jew publicly declaring that Jehovah with all of his wisdom and authority had personally taken up residence in human flesh? He would have been stoned. However, to the Jewish mind it is even more scandalous than that. The Jewish mind could not have comprehended the presence of Messiah in gentile flesh. Now, remember, these Jews dared not to so much as eat a meal with gentiles. Even Jewish believers, lead by an apostle of Jesus himself, had refused such expression.


Paul was so confident of his revelation about the new identity of the Messiah, that he publicly rebuked Peter and made a special trip to Jerusalem from Antioch to set the Jewish church straight on just why they must accept Gentiles (assuming this was the purpose of the trip). Paul must have argued, “If Jesus is already living in gentiles why should they be forced to obey the Law of Moses?” This ought to have been evident to all with the conversion of the Roman centurion. God filled the household of Cornelius with the Spirit of Jehovah right in front of Peter and the Jews who where with him (Acts 10). They would have hesitated in laying their hands upon them both for water baptism and especially to receive the Holy Spirit. But God showed Peter that he himself had chosen to dwell in gentiles. Now if God had already taken up residence in this gentile (Cornelius) it should have been easy for Peter to touch him. But Peter himself was surprised by it all. There is only one place on planet earth where the Jewish messiah may now be found. He is in believers both Jewish and gentile.


This is a comprehensive look at Paul’s understanding of the mystery and we have just begun. The concept involves many details and there is more to be said about “Christ in you.” “Christ in you” is a dynamic event. It is something real and powerful and is infinitely more than the acceptance of good theology. It is not something that we learn about after the fact. When Christ comes in the believer is keenly aware of it or it could not have happened. It is absurd to think that Christ could enter the believer in a secret or inconspicuous manner. It is the presence (Parousia) of Christ that we experience when Christ comes in. “Christ in you” is an experience equivalent to the OT entrance of God’s Glory into the wilderness tabernacle. It is an abiding presence that results in the transformation of believers and everything around them. If there is not something distinctively supernatural and powerful and holy about our lives then it is certain that Christ is not abiding in us. Some may protest that Christ dwells within everyone who is under the blood of Jesus even in the absence of empirical evidence.


Is Christ in all believers?


We are not suggesting that justification is not by the grace of God through faith in Jesus. Justification needs no empirical evidence to be considered valid. It is based on faith that cannot be seen and that faith is all of the substance one needs to have genuine justification before God (Heb 11:1). However, there is not one scripture stating that the indwelling of Christ occurs at the moment of justification (though it could happen that way). “Christ in you” is the desired result of justification. Justification does not depend upon the “Parousia” of Jesus in mortal flesh. The “Parousia” of Jesus depends upon justification. This of course is shocking news to many. There is an important distinction to be made here that is essential in our quest to understand Pentecostal doctrine and experience.


The scripturally astute already know that one Bible verse stands like a guardian angel protecting the fundamentalist position against this present challenge. Fundamentalists (including classical Pentecostals) stand resolute that the present assertion of the conditional indwelling of Christ within the believer is wrong because Rom 8:9 unmistakably refutes the position. James Dunn (a staunchly anti-Pentecostal scholar) believes this is “the Pentecostal’s most embarrassing text.”6 Dunn could not be more correct. However, it is embarrassing only because Pentecostal’s have allowed fundamentalists to define the text. Now consider Rom 8:9:


“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (NASU)”


The second sentence of this verse seems quite straightforward. “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.” Pentecostals to my knowledge have never challenged the meaning of these words. It just seems so obvious. Now admittedly, a superficial look at this verse seems to refute the whole notion that “In Christ” is not synonymous with justification. Are we really going to tell our non-Pentecostal friends that they have no part in God because they are not charismatics? There are many important points that need to be made when considering this verse. First of all let us consider the context. In Rom 7 Paul has aptly described the struggles of the average believer who is plagued by unwanted desires originating in the sinful flesh. Paul is nowhere in this context comparing believers with non-believers.


Gordon Fee sees Rom 7-8 as a discussion of the believer vs. the unbeliever. “The works of the flesh, therefore, do not describe the behavior of believers, but of unbelievers,” 7 Fee is wrong because the experience of ordinary believers does not fit his assertions. Fee believes Rom 7 is describing unbelievers under the law of God and not weak Christians.8 However, the context itself seems to refute this position. Believers have dual natures and can function in both law and Spirit apart from apostatizing. Romans 7:17-25 seems emphatic. It is the believer speaking for he says in vs. 17 “the willing is present in me” (NASU) and in vs. 18-19 he does not want to do the evil that he commits. In vs. 22 he says that “he joyfully concurs with the law of God and in 23-25 he confesses to being pressed between two laws and one of them is the law of God. For Paul the problem is the believer’s dual nature waging war within him. It is just inescapable; this is a believer who wants to do what is right but cannot because of the strength of his fallen flesh. Paul is here dealing with the everyday struggle of the average believer.


Starting with verse one of chapter 8, Paul begins a discussion of the solution. That solution is for the believer to maintain a life lived in the Spirit. Paul is making the case that believers have a choice. He can live the miserable life of condemnation created by an abundance of conflicting desires. Or be totally free from the condemnation by participating in the life of the Spirit, which frees the believer from unwanted desires. This distinction of course is just another way of saying that there is an experience beyond justification. That is the “In Christ / In Spirit” experience. So in the first place, Paul’s whole discussion here is about being in Christ. As in other texts, Paul is here using the phrases “In Christ” and “In Spirit” interchangeably (e.g. 2 Cor 3 and Gal).9


His point in these two chapters is to show that being “In Spirit / In Christ” is the solution for believers who are experiencing problems with the fleshly desires. It is the same discussion as that found in Galatians five where he compares the works of the flesh with the fruits of the Spirit. Chapter seven describes the non-charismatic believer and chapter eight describes the charismatic believer. It is easy for non-charismatic believers to mistakenly read themselves into chapter eight because for centuries the church has been a predominately post-Pentecostal church (though that is now rapidly changing). It would be much easier for fundamentalists to see the distinction that Paul is making if in real life there was a much greater contrast between themselves and charismatics. Doctrinal differences only do not create the kind of contrasts that are needed to see what Paul is saying.


When Paul addresses the church he does so based upon his elementary assumption that it is the charismatic experience that distinguishes the church from Judaism.10 We see this assumption guiding Paul in his dealings with the Ephesian believers. They were basically gentile converts to Judaism who believed in Jesus Messiah and had been baptized into Judaism by the baptism of a Jewish prophet. They were already justified by their faith in Jesus but they were not in Christ, i.e. filled with the Spirit. The solution to their problem was to be baptized in water into the name of Jesus after which they were filled with the Spirit and become a part of Christ. Now Paul was also a realist. He knew that not everyone was filled with the Spirit. The book of Acts records such situations for us in the early chapters and the church leaders quickly addressed these deficiencies. Paul also knew that believers might move in and out of Christ. They can walk in the Spirit or they can walk in the flesh. If they walk in the Spirit they are “in Christ.” If they do not walk “in Christ,” they are in the flesh. It is for us the normal ebb and flow of the Christian experience. By normal I do not mean to suggest that walking in the flesh is somehow excusable. It is not. But it is a common experience that requires our constant vigilance.


So can I really move in and out of Christ without losing my justification? Let’s also be clear that this is not a discussion of eternal security. Paul is here saying that if you do not have the Spirit you do not belong to him (Christ). We are in Christ when we are filled with or receive the Spirit. We are out of Christ when we walk in the flesh. It is no different than Jesus telling us to abide in his own self (John 15). Jesus said that if we did not abide in Him we would be unfruitful. Rom 8:9 says precisely the same thing. If you do not abide in the Spirit you are not a part of Christ. The Pentecostal experience is the “splice or graft” that binds believers into Christ. If you do not abide in the Spirit you are the branch that is broken off. Some days we are broken off and some days we are not. If we remain broken off we become withered, discarded and ultimately burned (John 15:6). Some days we are seated in heavenly places with Christ and some days we are not. Pentecost is what Jesus had in mind when he said “Abide in Me.” “Abide in Me” is what Paul had in mind when he said “In Christ.” We are not offended when admonished to abide in Jesus but because of the lost connotations of this terminology, many will be outraged by the assertion that believers can move out of and back into Christ. It is really quite easy to see where Paul got his terminology. When Paul says “you have no part in Him” he is not saying (and did not say) you have no part in God. Paul is simply saying that you are no longer functioning in the messianic life or entity.


In Gal 4:19 Paul calls the Galatians his children. He is without question addressing believers. Then we discover that his children are “without Christ.” And how can this be? How can Christ not be “formed in the believer?” It is important to understand Paul’s purpose in writing Galatians. The polemic of this book is not between the law and justification. The contrast is between the new covenant realized in the Spirit baptism and the old covenant of regulations. It is a book that compares two methods. The old method utilized the observances of various and numerous regulations. The new method depends upon the covenant promise of God that works by faith through the charismatic presence of Christ in the believer. The Galatians had grown cold in their relationship with God (they were out of Christ) and were being influenced by Jewish legalists to abandon their reliance upon the charismatic Spirit of God. In Gal 3:5 Paul describes the experience to which the Galatians must return. It is a completely charismatic experience as seen in the phrase “the Spirit and miracles.” Paul places this in diametric opposition to the Law. In essence Paul is telling the Galatians that they are out of Christ in abandoning their charismatic life. “Christ in you” is the Pentecostal experience and as such it requires diligent maintenance. Like the manna in the wilderness it must be renewed every day. So Paul is “in labor (praying)” that they would be filled with the Spirit by a renewing of their Pentecostal experience.


In returning to Rom 8:9, we must consider an important grammatical component. Paul says, “If anyone does not have the Spirit, he does not belong to Him.” Now in the Greek language a noun can either have a definite article or no article at all. There is a statistical rule that may be observed in the use of the article when combined with the word “Spirit.” When the word “Spirit” refers to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is never preceded by the definite article. When the word is used of the person of the Spirit it is coupled with the definite article. The word “Spirit” in this verse is without the article and strongly suggests that it is a reference to the Pentecostal experience.11 Furthermore, in translating the Greek literally we find that Paul is using the present continuous tense. By this we know Paul is commenting on their ongoing experience. He is not commenting on justification in which case he would have used the Greek aorist tense (commonly used to describe a past or single event as in justification.)12


Now let us go back to the very first Jew, Abraham. Was father Abraham justified? Absolutely! Romans 4:1-9 makes it clear that he was declared righteous because of his faith. Was Christ in Abraham or was Abraham in Christ? Absolutely not! The Bible says that the prophets only predicted the promises but never received them (Heb 11:13,39). So, just when did this mystery about being in Christ begin? Were Peter and the apostles “in Christ” the day they chose to follow Him? Of course not! Were they justified without “Christ in them?” Of course! Additionally, we discover from the post-resurrectional words of Jesus that Peter was not yet “converted” (Luke 22:32 KJV). Peter had already believed in Jesus but he was not yet “converted.” We know his conversion took place at Pentecost because, as predicted by Jesus, he was enabled to “strengthen his brethren” upon being filled with the Spirit. Was Peter justified but unconverted before Pentecost? What is a conversion experience if it is not justification? For Dunn “conversion is a matter of receiving the Holy Spirit.”13 For Peter that was a decidedly Pentecostal event.


Jesus answered these questions in his final discourse with the disciples. In explaining the coming of the Holy Spirit that would take place at Pentecost (John 15) Jesus used the phrase “Abide in Me.” This has the same connotation as Paul’s “In Christ” expression. It is this “abiding” “In Christ” experience that converts or transforms believers into messianic beings. So, no one was in Christ until the day of Pentecost. That is right! No one could have been in Jesus until he rose from the dead and sent the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to create Messiah “Christ” in the believer. So this is what happens in a genuine Pentecostal experience. Before Pentecost Peter and all other faithful Jews were justified by faith but Christ was not in them. After Pentecost, Christ was in all of those who were present at Pentecost. Beyond that nothing has changed. If you are justified but unpentecostalized, Christ is still not abiding in you. You have a right to this experience. But it is an experience and not just a doctrine. Now from centuries of twisting, the erroneous use of this terminology has become deeply ingrained in the minds of God’s people and great misunderstandings are sure to accompany its rectification. Faithful believers who do not walk in the fullness of God’s Spirit are truly his people but they are still struggling in their own strength. When a believer neglects his Pentecostal experience he may lose his participation in messianic life and his messianic identity but he does not (for this reason) lose his justification.


Pentecostals are very dualistic in their doctrinal views of the Holy Spirit. Fundamentalists are adamant in their insistence that Christ is “in you” from the moment of repentance. Most charismatics seem content with their experience and do not wish to rock the ecclesiastical boat for mere semantical distinctions. However, it is very apparent that no one received the Spirit until the day of Pentecost. Fundamentalists in turn claim that the day of Pentecost was a one-time event that was not to be repeated. They say that since the Holy Spirit is now here all believers are indwelt by default. Jesus addressed this subject in John 14:17, “the Spirit is with you and will be in you.” No one has ever come to God apart from the activity of the Spirit working “with” him or her. Throughout all of history the Holy Spirit has been “with” faithful men. But until the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit had never taken up residence “in” any man within the context and the meaning of these words.


Of course there are many OT examples of people being filled with the Spirit. Even John the Baptist was said to have been filled with the Spirit in his mother’s womb. However, in the case of John the Baptist Jesus said, “The least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest of the prophets. We will give this more attention later but for now Jesus was saying that the least of his followers that were present at Pentecost were greater than John the Baptist. Jesus was simply contrasting the difference between charismatic and non-charismatic believers. And as for all those OT fillings, they were only for the purpose of accomplishing specific tasks. Charismatics generally identify the Spirit baptism as “Power for evangelism.” Well it is that, but one must remember that OT saints also had power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. So our Pentecost has to be more than just power to accomplish things.


The abiding of the Holy Spirit in the church is for the purpose of individually transferring believers into Christ.14 In fact the blood of Jesus was shed for this specific purpose. Without the washing of the blood of Jesus the body cannot become a dwelling place of God. It is a temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 6:19). In addition to all of this it is clear that people did not always receive the Holy Spirit when believing in Jesus though that was clearly perceived as normative. Many charismatic authors have already discussed this text so only a few details will receive mention here. In the city of Ephesus Paul found believers in Jesus. Paul’s question to them was, “Did you receive the Spirit when you believed” (Acts 19:1-6)? Now, if Paul were to ask any of today’s fundamentalists that question, he would be quickly informed that the question itself is insulting to a believer. “Of course, they would say, you get the Holy Spirit when you first believe.” Now it is sad, but most of today’s Pentecostals would also have rebuked Paul for this question. Since there were no fundamentalists in the NT church, (the NT church was an exclusively Pentecostal entity) Paul did not have to worry about offending anyone. The answer to Paul’s question was also revealing. They gave Paul the correct answer and that answer was “No.” “We have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” they said. Now this is interesting. How could they be believers and not have the Holy Spirit? The answer is simple. Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit is not “in you” until you have been filled with the Holy Spirit. They were indeed believers without the Holy Spirit.


The reasons for not receiving the Holy Spirit are noteworthy. First of all they had never heard about the Pentecostal experience of “Christ in you” by the power of the Holy Spirit. And second, they had never been baptized into the name of Jesus (additional comments follow on the name of Jesus). They were truly post-Pentecostal believers who had never received the Holy Spirit. So this ends the argument that believers receive the Holy Spirit by default and that the day of Pentecost was meant to be a “once only event.” Paul resolved their deficiency by baptizing them in water into the name of Jesus and by laying his Spirit filled hands upon them. In response to these two things, Christ began to abide in them and they immediately began to participate in the messianic mystery. It is also instructive to notice that they had failed to receive the Spirit because they had never heard about it. This shows that there was a real deficiency in the evangelism that had resulted in their justification. The mystery of the kingdom of God is integral to our evangelism and is of necessity an “upfront” declaration. Our message is not complete unless we are preaching “Christ in you” through the Pentecostal experience. The mystery of Christ in you is the focus of our evangelism and even of water baptism. As in the case of Cornelius, Spirit saturation can and does occasionally occur even without our instruction, but it is none-the-less more advantageous to make the gospel clear. If we do not make it clear, our converts may, like the Ephesian believers, wander about in a spiritual wilderness just because they do not know. Like Paul, we should ask for divine help in explaining this hard to understand truth (Col 4:3-4; Eph 6:19-20).


Where Christ Begins


Remember the NT began on the day of Pentecost. It did not begin with the birth of Jesus or with his crucifixion, his resurrection or even his ascension.15 The NT is a covenant of the Spirit of God writing his laws on the fleshly hearts of his followers. Pentecost is the day when man first began to dwell in Christ, i.e. Jesus. That did not happen even for the disciples until the day of Pentecost and it does not happen today until the believer undergoes the same Pentecostal transformation. If you have believed in Jesus for justification but have not received the Holy Spirit, you are living the same experience as that lived by the apostles between the resurrection of Jesus and the day of Pentecost. It should be a time of anticipation and of preparation for this Christian making experience.


In Jerusalem the elders of the church took Peter to task for having gone to the house of Cornelius, a gentile, and for having eaten with him and his household. In explaining the significance of that event to the elders, Peter made a remarkable statement. He said, “The Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning” (Acts 11:15 KJV). How could Peter have said that? He called the experience of Pentecost “The beginning.” What did he mean by this statement? The beginning of Christ in you is Pentecost. That was true for the apostles and it continues to be true for believers today. It was the beginning of the “mystery of the kingdom” which Jesus illustrated with parables. And it was the beginning of Paul’s “mystery.” The charismatic outpouring of the Spirit was a “beginning” for Cornelius and it is the beginning of “Christ in us” for believers today.


When the elders in Jerusalem heard the explanation about Cornelius, and that he had received the Spirit just like those at the beginning, they also made an incredible statement, “Well then, the gentiles have also been granted the “repentance that leads to life” (NASU). As fundamentalists we are told that we receive life when we repent. The Jerusalem elders had not heard that. They clearly believed that repentance preceded the reception of life. The timing of Cornelius’ repentance is debatable. In fact there is much evidence to suppose he was already justified by having accepted the Jewish faith. However, he did not have messianic life because of his repentance. He only received that by having been baptized in the Holy Spirit. No one had to give Cornelius a course on basic Christian theology so that he would know when Christ was in him. Cornelius knew and so did everyone around him. Christ was in Cornelius the moment he was filled with the Spirit. That experience was designated “life” by the Jerusalem elders (Acts 11:18). It was not life in a sterile theological sense. It was messianic life in a practical and empirical sense. It was the beginning of the “Christ in you” experience for the household of Cornelius. It was their initiation into the mystery of Christ. From that moment on the “hidden leaven” of the Holy Spirit began manifesting the messianic life of Jesus in Cornelius.


What is a Christian?


Surprisingly little is said of the naming of Christianity. Luke makes only one statement and that seems to have been a passing note in a larger context. “The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch (NIV).” The term Christian was adopted along with the term “the Way,” which had already been used as a self-designation, by the church at large (cf. Acts 26:2; I Peter 4:16).16 While Luke says nothing directly about the formation and application of this new designation, the context is quite telling.


In Acts 11:19-30 we discover that persecuted believers moving out of Jerusalem birthed the church of Antioch. And with this persecution there was a corresponding outpouring of grace upon the believers. Luke makes special note of this grace in v. 23 “they witnessed the grace of God.” So what exactly did they witness? In this context he seems to be describing a messianic environment very similar to the Jerusalem church in the days immediately following Pentecost. Luke portrays the atmosphere as one of “great grace” (Acts 4:33, cf. 14:3). In two similar uses (Acts 14:26; 15:40 “recommended to the grace of God for the work”) it seems to be a reference to the charismata. In this context grace is “the hand of the Lord, large numbers, news spreading afar and the attraction of renowned charismatic ministries. It must have been at least as powerful as our own Azusa St. revival.


Now it is altogether astounding that the term “Christian” is seemingly a heathen designation. One is left wondering why the church could not have first coined the phrase given its appropriateness. The Jewish believers may have been oblique to such a designation because of their innate reverence for Messiah as being Jehovah. Some think the verbal witness of the believers to one whose name happened to be “Christ” prompted the title. To the heathen this would have been a name without any particular significance as to its meaning.17 If this were the case, it would simply have meant “a follower of one named Christ.”18 However, it seems unlikely that the title of “Jesus the Christ” would have so quickly degenerated into the proper name “Jesus Christ.” Consider also that this was a deeply charismatic movement and the believers must have been explaining the Pentecostal anointing (the christening of the Christ19) as an exciting and integral part of their experience. This had to have been an event of major significance and the charismatic details were not (as is often the case today) an afterthought. Very likely, these heathens did make the connection between the designation “Christos” and the signs and wonders that were occurring in their midst. It is only the modern fundamentalist based Pentecostals who are somewhat dismissive of the theological details of Pentecost germane to evangelism. This may be so because ideally the anointing must be demonstrated before it can be effectively explained. We should not impose our deficiency upon the Pentecostals of Antioch.


In Antioch the anointing seems to have been identical with becoming a Christian. The title “Christian” described someone who was walking in the messianic anointing. It described neither belief nor theology. It only describes an experience; specifically, a charismatic experience. They were actually called Christians just because they had been anointed with the oil of God.”20 In other words, a Christian is not someone who has prayed “the sinners prayer.” He is someone who shares in the anointing of the Christ (2 Cor 1:21,22). It is almost without question that in Antioch a Christian was someone who exhibited a Pentecostal lifestyle. If the “first use” principle has any legitimacy, this definition should be as valid today as it was in Antioch.


This may be hard to accept because much of today’s “so-called Pentecost” is not genuine. It is all too often the mere fabrication of well meaning saints and it produces a disgustingly superficial experience. The real presence of “Christ in you” is an astounding experience of personal transformation that defines our theology. If we can get the experience straight, it will greatly assist us in understanding our theology. We are too often free to water down our theology because our experiences are too weak to justify bold distinctions with non-charismatics. All too often we charismatics just compare ourselves to ourselves and this is not wise (2 Cor 10:12). We do not thereby notice our true charismatic deficiencies. Jesus modeled the charismatic life for us and we must compare our experience to his anointing. The mystery of the kingdom was first revealed and demonstrated in his life. If our ministry does not somewhat resemble his then we must ask ourselves some hard questions.


Now I am not really criticizing the experience as long as it is genuine. I am simply correcting the way it is labeled. The Holy Spirit does not get our experience mixed up. If our hearts are right we will enjoy the depths and the fullness of Christ no matter what. We may question what difference it makes so long as the experience is correct. Well it makes a lot of difference. If we cannot accurately articulate our experience, how can we effectively impart our vision of messianic life to the world? Most of all, how can we proficiently disciple them when our emphasis is misdirected? Remember the Ephesians. Our doctrine is a verbal means of streamlining the explanation of our experience for effective communication.


The “In Christ” Mystery


So far we have confined our discussion of the mystery to a very personal context. However it seems apparent that there are two distinct perspectives from which the baptism of the Spirit may be observed and described. In John 14:20 Jesus alludes to both of these complementary perspectives in the context of his instruction concerning Pentecost (“on that day” NIV). On the one hand Jesus described Pentecost as an experience wherein the disciples would dwell “In Him.” In what seems to be reciprocal terminology he reverses the image of Pentecost to one wherein the disciples would be indwelt by himself, “I In You.” In general we refer to this as “Saturation Terminology.” However, the phrase succinctly encapsulates the full spectrum of the Pentecostal experience.


To this point our discussion has been limited solely to the “I in you” (the Jesus in the believer) perspective. It has a focus upon the believer’s personal transformation and is highly specific to the individual. The action moves from Christ toward the believer. By contrast the “You In Me” (the believer in Jesus) perspective has a focus on the believer’s relationship to the church and the movement is from the believer toward Christ. Now it should be noted that Jesus deliberately and tactically described his indwelling (Pentecostal) experience by using this inverse (reciprocal) terminology. It is further suggested that Paul has patterned his own phraseology accordingly. Sometimes he refers to the mystery as “Christ In You” and sometimes as “You In Christ.” This is precisely parallel to Jesus’ own terminology. While Paul does not typically use the exact phrase “Christ in You” the image is to be found at least 8 times in his corpus. However he gives a clue as to his perspective on Pentecost in that he overwhelmingly uses the term “In Christ.” Paul can use the terms interchangeably as they both refer to the same saturation experience but, as we shall see his theology of Pentecost is heavily weighted toward the “In Christ” ideal. Since Jesus made it a point to distinguish between these two sides of the same reality (“I in you and you in Me”) we are thereby compelled to explore the theological “flip-side” of the “Christ in you / I in you” experience.


In the following discussion we shall demonstrate that the mystery of Christ is a supernatural saturation or placement of believers into the resurrected body of Jesus. Thus through the Pentecostal experience believers enter a supernatural state of oneness called the “body of Christ.” This is the physical body of Christ on earth. “In Christ” is the mystery of the body of Jesus.


Paul’s “Body” Source


As previously stated, Paul’s comprehension of this great mystery is directly attributable to his grasp of OT scholarship. In his book “The Church and the Body of Christ in the Pauline CorpusYorke has summarized the “source hypotheses,” both extra and intra-New Testament, related to Paul’s “Body of Christ” theology.21 From these sources there are a number of major themes under which this study proceeds. First Yorke notes: “It is generally argued that the O.T. concept of corporate personality makes best sense of the Pauline data.”22 In summary, this discussion mentions how the corporate personality motif is found in images of Adam, the patriarchs and the kings as well as Daniel’s “incorporative and messianic son of man concept.”23 Yorke also presents the second major source hypotheses which is Paul’s Damascus encounter with the risen Lord and Christ’s complaint against Paul that he was persecuting Messiah himself by perusing the church. Yorke quotes J.A.T Robinson: “Paul's whole faith and apostleship was founded on the revelation of the resurrection body of Christ, not as an individual, but as the Christian Community.” In turn, Robinson quotes E. E. Ellis: “the Church as the body of Christ exists ‘as the corporate ‘body’ of the resurrected Christ, made up of individual believers who have become part of the new resurrection reality.”24 In line with this rationale Yorke also quotes Kim: “The remarkable conversation, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?... who are You, Lord?…I am Jesus whom you persecute’ must have led Paul to recognize the unity of Christ with His people: To persecute the followers of Jesus is to persecute Him…. Such an identification of Christ with His people as this is unique in the N.T. to which 1 Cor. 8:12 is the closest parallel.”25


For our purposes the operative phrase in the above discussion is “corporate personality.” This is not a new theme to the reader as it was discussed previously in the section on eschatology. We specifically suggested that the ambiguous nature of the “anointed servant” in Isaiah was due to God’s eschatological plan of anointing the church into a messianic entity with Jesus as the head. These scholars have noted parallel ideas that are integral to Paul’s identification of the church as messiah, the body. Among the most prominent is Paul’s “Adam-Christology.” In this analogy from Romans 5 Christ is portrayed as being like Adam in that all mankind was present in his body. Hence, Christ is understood as being a composite entity of Jesus and the church. For us the Hebrew concept of corporate personality best explains the relationship between Christ and the church.26 John Zizioulas, as quoted by Karkkainen, states: “There are two kinds of Christologies. 1. Christ, the individual and 2. Christ as a ‘corporate Personality’ in his relationship with his body, the church.”27


In our previous discussion we considered the identification of Israel as being the “Son of Man,” i.e. Messiah (Dan. 7:13). We should recall that Jesus preferred the “Son of Man” designation in identifying himself as Messiah. T.W. Manson in “The Teaching of Jesus” has argued that the term “Son of man” in the synoptic gospels is itself a corporate conception, linked with that of the OT.”28 Jewish listeners were quite familiar with this OT phrase and they knew that it depicted the nation of Israel as being a messianic personage. Now Jesus was Messiah but had he emphasized his personal headship only the whole understanding of Pentecost would have been diminished. Again, the Pentecostal experience is for the purpose of saturating believers into the messianic entity. Like Isaiah, Jesus was somewhat vague as to his identity because the church (spiritual Israel) would share in that designation but there would have been no way his Jewish listeners or even the disciples could have comprehended the corporate identity of Messiah before having experienced it at Pentecost. And even then it had to wait for the brilliance of Paul.


Now Robinson (from above) has made a singularly profound observation that “Paul's whole faith and apostleship was founded on the revelation of the resurrection body of Christ, not as an individual, but as the Christian Community.” Of course the Damascus encounter was startling to Paul as he first realized that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead and was in fact “Messiah.” Had there been no incapacitating light, Paul might well have been knocked to the ground by the blunt force of this new messianic ideal. The risen Messiah had a body and that body was the Pentecostal believers. In other words the Pentecostals were (for all practical purposes) “The Christ.”


Now in the world of theologians like Paul, conceptualization is everything. They live and breathe to learn and all of their learning functions synergistically to identify even more truth. In a mind like Paul’s, the destruction of a conceptual barrier produces a cascading effect on understanding. When Paul heard Jesus complain about the treatment of His body (Acts 9:4-5), it was for him the bursting of a theological dam. Suddenly, all of his rabbinical knowledge was cascading through that broken dam. Paul must have instantly understood the meaning of the Adamic body, Isaiah’s anointed servant and the OT connotations of “one flesh in marriage.” Of course some things came to Paul over time as the Holy Spirit directed his thoughts but in this context the sudden coalescence of his rabbinical knowledge would have been staggering. The church is Christ “the body”!


While Paul draws upon various metaphors to explain his mystery, the “body of Christ” itself is no metaphor. It is the reality to which the metaphors point. Here we will consider the metaphors of marriage and the temple analogies. We will also explore Paul’s thinking on the new creation though technically it is descriptive and not metaphoric. Detailed attention will be given to the body of Adam metaphor in a later section.


The Metaphor of Marriage


While exhorting the church on how to be filled with the Spirit, Paul describes the ideal relationship between a husband and his wife (Eph 5:25-32). Christ is portrayed as caring for the church just as a godly man should care for his wife. Now, it is important to reiterate an important note about marriage. Biblical marriage is a distinctly physical union. We would like to think that it is always the result of two people who wonderfully discover their affinity for each other and consummate that platonic relationship with the physical act of love. Worldwide however many marriages are simply arranged. They are married not because they have mystical feelings toward each other but because they enter into a sexual relationship and thus become one flesh. Sex is the dividing line between mere friendship and marriage. Now we are not demeaning the importance of emotional affinity within marriage (a husband must love his wife). We are only establishing its biblical basis.


Paul argues from Gen 2:23-24 and the words of Adam that God designed marriage so that two separate bodies would become one flesh. Again, this unity in human marriage is not just emotional or platonic. It is a real physical union. During the sexual consummation couples even experience the sensation of being one flesh with each other. The marriage of Christ to his church is no less real and as we shall see it is utterly physical. Now God could have made man in other ways. For example he could have created man more like the angels, which do not reproduce at all. He could also have made us like certain plants or even specific species of animal life that reproduce asexually. Mankind could have been created so that once his body reached maturity little pods would appear containing newly formed human beings. In this case there would have been no gender distinctions and life would have been much less complicated. All of these options are within the realm of possibility. However, God chose to create our species so that the male and female would become one flesh. In other words God designed the most coveted relationship of humankind in such a way as to make it a living example of the ultimate relationship. That relationship is the union of Jesus and the church. It is the marriage of God to man, the creator to the creature (Isa 54:5).


Now, Paul calls this relationship “A great mystery” that is revealed in human marriage. Maybe the most important concept to discuss in understanding this aspect of Paul’s mystery is the nature of our unity with Christ. It is a physical union. This is not easy to see for most modern believers because the term “body of Christ” has also become sloganized. We glibly refer to ourselves as the “body of Christ” but think of it as an allegory. However, the mystery of Christ and his body the church is no allegory. If this relationship were mere allegory then it would not really be a mystery. Paul’s mystery is a hidden reality not mere allegory. We have become one flesh with Jesus Christ. That is correct. Your mortal flesh is the actual flesh of Jesus. It is the flesh of Messiah. Remember, the body of Jesus was broken. That brokenness created an entrance for believers into his body. Jesus is the head of Messiah and Spirit filled believers are the flesh of Messiah. Jesus and charismatic believers have their own respective functions in this messianic entity but they are “one flesh” and should not be deemed as separate entities.


Now it is very important to be convinced that the “body of Christ” ideal is not mere allegory. Karkkainen in his book Ecclesiology quotes Wolfhart Pannenberg: “the body of Christ is no metaphor.”29 God does not dwell in allegories but he does dwell in human flesh. For this very reason God has provided a temporal resurrection of the mortal body (Rom 8:11), that he might dwell in his church. Just as in the OT narratives the presence of God in the tabernacle was not mere theological idealism. It was and is a reality that invades and alters the physical environments in which it resides. As with the OT tabernacle, the believer’s body without the Spirit is truly “Ichabod.” This notion is easily demonstrated by the fact that our bodies are actual temples unto God.


The Temple Metaphors


From 1 Cor 6:13-20 we wish to discuss the temple metaphor as it relates to the believer’s body. Here Paul is focused upon the individual acts of fornication perpetrated by believers. The text itself does not address the corporate body idea.30 This immediate discussion could have been included above under “Christ In You” but our point in using it here is to demonstrate the physicality of Christ’s Presence. Here our focus is not upon the problem but upon the theology used in addressing it. Specifically we want to understand the meaning of, “The body is for the Lord and the Lord is for the Body.”31 The comment is a strong statement about the human body and its relationship to the Lord. Paul is explaining that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus the bodies of believers must not become temples of fornication. As previously noted, the Spirit’s indwelling is God’s purpose for the body. Interestingly, this phrase seems to be Paul’s way of countering a Corinthian slogan,32 “Food for the belly and the belly for food.” Even though both food and the flesh that consumes it will eventually be destroyed Paul uses the phrase to describe the charismatic synergism that exists between Christ and the Spirit filled believer. A believer needs the Lord’s presence in his body for his completion and the Lord needs to dwell in the believer’s body for his expression. Both needs are fulfilled in the “physical / spiritual” experience of Pentecost.


This idea is buttressed with a reminder that immoral sexual relations bring with it an unholy unity, “The two shall become one flesh." By contrast, “the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” The implication seems clear. The Lord purchased the believer’s body for the purpose of becoming one with him. This is a charismatic statement that recounts the whole purpose of Pentecost. Paul’s final comment underscores this point, “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (Christ) who is in you?”


From 1 Cor 3:16-17 we wish to discuss the temple metaphor as it relates to the body of believers. Again Paul is using the temple metaphor to demonstrate the physicality of Christ’s indwelling but in this context the temple has become the church, which Paul sees as a composite of all believers. Now we should not think of this corporation as being simply sociological in nature. First of all the prerequisite for membership in this entity is for each individual believer to maintain a Spirit filled body. Otherwise the whole concept of the churches’ gathering together has no significance. Remember Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered together there am in their midst.” This is a basic principle of the corporate body. The church is a physical entity and its members have proximity. We also see this in Paul’s description of the spiritual gifts and there edifying effect upon the body. The members are together physically hearing and seeing and touching one another. The corporate temple of Christ forms wherever believers physically gather together. Once this ingathering occurs the “In Christ” event begins.


This physical nature of the church is also inherently understood in the Ananias and Sapphira incident. Left unchecked their sin would have had a corrupting effect upon the entire body. The narrative calls to mind the sin of Achan and its spiritual effects upon the whole nation. The point is this; our personal bodies are not our own possessions in the messianic entity. What we allow in our own flesh is either corrupting or edifying the corporate body. The sickness and death of those who partake unworthily of communion may also reflect this reality.


Dwelling in the Heart


To this point great emphasis has been placed on the physicality of Pentecostal experience. Paul is clear in his belief that the charismatic experience directly affects the bodily condition (Rom 8:11). He believed that the body was a temple and as such it should be presented to God (Rom 12:1-2) In turn this physical abiding would result in a charismatic flow of ministry within the body of Christ.


At this juncture it seems important to qualify the words of Paul on the manner in which the Holy Spirit actually indwells the believer. In 2 Cor 1:22 the Spirit is said to have been given “in our heart.” Similarly Rom. 5:5 has the human heart as the place of the Holy Spirit’s activity. So which is it? Does the Holy Spirit dwell in my heart or in my body?


In fundamentalism a real disservice has occurred by the tendency of biblical expositors to compartmentalize the human existence. The soul of man must not be separated from his flesh. Man is a true gestalt. He cannot be defined as human apart from both inner and outer characteristics. If the Holy Spirit dwells in me he inhabits all of me. Evidence of his indwelling must be sought in my personality as well as in physical manifestations. He cannot dwell in my flesh without simultaneously inhabiting my thoughts and affections. So when Paul speaks to the physical indwelling of the Spirit he is speaking to the total reality of the experience. When he speaks of the Spirit in our hearts he is speaking metaphorically. In 2 Cor 4:6-7 Paul speaks of the light as shining in our “hearts” and in the same breath explains that the experience is really something occurring in “earthen vessels,” i.e. the human body. He also lovingly speaks of the Corinthians as living together with him in his heart (2 Cor 7:3). Therefore the “in heart’ expressions must be understood metaphorically as the Corinthians could not have literally lived together with Paul in his heart. Man is a holistic being and the Pentecostal experience is designed to fill him completely.


The Messianic Metamorphosis


Gordon Fee has insightfully suggested that the three-day rebuilding of Jesus’ personal temple (i.e. the resurrection of his body) may be correlated to the temple vision of Ezekiel in that his resurrection represents the beginning of its reconstruction:


“The present experience of the church as the place where (eschatological) Spirit dwells would thus be the restored temple of Ezekiel’s vision (chaps. 40-48) where God promised ‘to live among them forever’ (43:9) and out of which flowed the river of fresh water that restored the Land (47:1-12).”33


If this postulation is correct, the particulars of Ezekiel’s temple are directly related not to our end time inheritance but rather to our charismatic experience in the body of Messiah. It would detail the mystery of Christ. Some images are apparent. The day of Pentecost is plainly depicted by the entrance of Jehovah’s glory (complete with the sound of cherubim). The river speaks to the growth of Messiah in this age and its source elucidates the phrase spoken by Jesus in John 7:38-39: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. (NIV).” In this text Jesus actually personified Ezekiel’s temple and correlated it with the Pentecostal believers. In other words, Jesus understood this temple to represent both him and Pentecostal believers. Even so, the meaning and application of most details remain hidden. Their disclosure will require infinitely more than mere scholarship but Fee’s observation paves the way for a whole new concept.


The body of Christ began with the miraculous conception and incarnation of Jesus in human flesh. This new creation is both human and divine and is called the “Second Adam.” The person of Jesus is divine and eternal but the body which he assumed was a totally new creation. Like the body of Adam the body of Jesus carried within it the beginning of a new humanity. Now the author of Hebrews, using a Septuagint translation envisaged the words of Psalms 40:6-8 (LXX) as being in the mouth of Christ,34 “a body you have prepared for me (Heb 10:5).” This preparation is described in Matt. 1:20: “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” At every juncture in the development of Christ’s body the Holy Spirit is instrumental.


As we reflect upon the body that God prepared for Jesus we are actually beholding our own future charismatic abode, which was not yet ready for our habitation. When Jesus said “I go to prepare a place for you (John 14:2-3),” he was speaking of his ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33) upon his own human body. He was the first man to have “received the promise of the Spirit (Acts 2:33).” For him it was a personal indwelling that miraculously opened his body for the cohabitation of believers. Thus the personal body of Jesus has undergone a substantial metamorphosis so that, “we know him no longer after the flesh (2 Cor. 5:16).”


Now this messianic metamorphosis has resulted in an ongoing Pentecostal process that forms and enlarges the ecclesial body of Jesus. It is the original body that was conceived in Mary but it is changing and ever-increasing. It is growing like Ezekiel’s eschatological river, but this is not a fundamentalist baptismal. It is a rapidly deepening charismatic torrent that expands only with the growth of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is now completely in charge of this ongoing metamorphosis. From God’s perspective this process is equivalent to the preparations of a bride awaiting her wedding day. Jesus is the groom and the bride is the Father’s gift to his son. So the body of Christ is a bride in the making. The Pentecostal preparation of this body will end only when the bride has become all the father wishes her to be. The Holy Spirit will continue his mission until the messianic body is gloriously arrayed and has forsaken all for her betrothed (Gen. 26).


The extent of this matrimonial metamorphosis is graphically demonstrated by a comparison of Jesus’ ascent into and the eventual descent out of heaven. This is a “before and after” contrast. In the ascension narrative (Acts 1:9-11) we are given a look at the body of Christ “before” it ascends into the heavenlies. A retrospective look at the ascension of Jesus helps us to notice some very peculiar points of interest. It seems somewhat strange that the angels linger while Jesus ascends. It is almost as if they were waiting until the disciples had fully observed the ascension. Only then do they speak and their own words set our stage for a contrast. The angels wanted us to notice how he ascended into heaven compared to his eventual descent. Jesus ascended into the Shekinah glory in a resurrected but physical body. His physical metamorphosis would begin with his reception of the Holy Spirit in the heavens and from that moment on he could never again be known “after the flesh.” His body would never look the same.


The mention of the clouds is suggestive of Jesus’ repeated claim (Matt. 24:30; 26:64) that He was the Son of Man of Prophecy35 and as such he would return as the corporate being (Dan 7:13 w/v.27). The clouds represent those who have become one with the Son of Man by having personally entered into the Shekinah glory (John 17:22). Remember also that the cloud in which Jesus returns will be full of saints (“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 Thess 4:17 KJV). Actually, the cloud of glory is the church.


In reference to Jesus (Acts 1:11) the KJV properly renders the intensive demonstrative pronoun as “this same,”36 but why do the angels make this emphasis? It is almost as if they were cognizant of Jesus’ impending metamorphosis and sought to reassure the disciples that even though Jesus was destined for dramatic physical changes, it would not alter his essence. They wanted the church to know that it would be the same Jesus returning in the clouds of the air even though his appearance will be radically altered. This same situation occurred at the incarnation: Jesus radically altered his appearance but remained the same in essence (Heb 13:8). In what is commonly called “the Psalm of the Ascent” The ancient gatekeepers are made to ask, “Who is this King of Glory” (Ps 24)? The King of Glory had left his heavenly throne of glory as God but was returning with the appearance of a man.


The incarnation was the beginning of this divine metamorphosis and the resurrection was the second phase. Jesus entered the throne room of heaven in this completed human form. The third and final stage of the metamorphosis occurs as the eternal Spirit of God indwells the resurrected but still physical body of Jesus. For Jesus this was the ultimate Parousia. It was the eternally abiding presence of God upon his human flesh and was the fulfillment of his prayer for glory in John 17:5 (see vs. below). This final metamorphosis opened the body of Jesus so that other purified believers could share his glorious Parousia. When Jesus pledges to “sanctify himself” (John 17:19) he was setting apart his human flesh for the indwelling of believers to follow and for this reason would no longer be known, regarding his flesh, as a solitary entity (2 Cor. 2:16). At Pentecost the church began to share in this final metamorphosis of Jesus’ body and correspondingly in its reception of the Spirit. The believers participation in this glory was the answer to Jesus’ prayer of John 17:24 (cf John 17:5,19, 22-23).


In his salutation to the seven churches (Rev. 1:7) John declared, “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him” (NIV). This statement figures well with the angelic assertion of Acts 1:11. However, in the myriad of portrayals given by John, Jesus is never depicted as descending from heaven in human flesh. In some respects Acts 1:11 and 2 Cor 5:16 seem contradictory. On the one hand Jesus is seen as “this same” human personage returning to earth, but on the other hand the church can no longer know him after his human flesh. The resolution of these two statements is found in the ongoing metamorphosis of Jesus’ body. John does indeed describe the physical return of Jesus. This is John’s ultimate revelation but it describes the body of Jesus “after” its final metamorphosis. This description is of course of the bride or body of Christ portrayed as a descending city in Rev 21:2-3.


Through the ongoing Pentecostal metamorphosis, the body of messiah has culminated into its final state. It has become (in the words of John) a holy city, a beautiful bride and the tabernacle of God. In this final depiction, the body of Messiah has achieved its eternal destiny and has consummated its existence with God Almighty. Jesus is now undividedly one with believers. Twice in Rev John may be referring to the church as being “Christ” (“The Lord and His Christ,” i.e. the church, Rev. 11:15; 12:10). The holy city is the eternal appearance of Jesus’ body. This is the bride after having consummated her betrothal. Jesus is now the corporate “Son of Man” as envisioned by Daniel having become one flesh with his church. And yes, he is coming down out of heaven from God in the clouds of glory. Then the whole earth will see Jesus after 2000 plus years of metamorphosis. This is the new creation.


The Holy Spirit is now powerfully engaged in the earthly task of building and shaping this ever-growing body of messiah. The phrase “a body thou hast prepared for me” is wonderfully applicable to the messianic creature and to believers who love it. From this perspective consider the following text and its implication to the present formation of the messianic body:


Ps 139:13-17 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! (NIV)


Indeed! “A body you have prepared for me!” The body of Messiah is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” It is incognito and growing in “secret.” The body of Messiah is being skillfully “woven together in the depths of the earth” by the charismatic work of the Holy Spirit in this age. Indeed! It is the body of Christ.


The Mystery and the New Creation


Thus far we have already encountered many important ideals in this study, however nothing exceeds the importance of Paul’s “new creation” theology.


2 Cor 5:16-17 Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (NASU)

Gal 6:15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. (NASU)


Here Paul presents us with an anthropological application of the Parousia and the renewal of the world, which is probably an allusion to Isa 43:18–19 (cf. Isa 65:17).37 The phrase “new creation” in these texts refers to the charismatic body of Christ. Our thesis is this: The phrase was never meant as a description of the individual believer or of his redemptive and personal transformation. This interpretation is a purely fundamentalist innovation.38 Again Pentecostals have allowed others to define this term. We have already briefly hit upon the “born again” phrase as being a designation of the Pentecostal experience and will cover it in depth later. Our present argument insists that the “born again” experience is the baptism of the Spirit and that the “new creation” is the charismatic context into which believers are thrust via the Pentecostal event. It is the earthly manifestation of Jesus’ ongoing heavenly metamorphosis.


Again we encounter the “If” clause having to do with the actuality of Christ’s indwelling. This “If” was in Rom 8:9 as well as in 2 Cor 13:5. The “If” is present because it is not a given that Christ is always in believers. In this text the magnificent nuances of Paul’s mystery begin their crystallization. For Paul the “In Christ” man is a “new creation.” This phrase can be translated either new creation or new creature. Vos prefers the former as he calls it an objective designation over “new creature” which he deems “assumed, subjective and soteriological.”39 However, for our present purposes the phrases will be used interchangeably as our definition of “creature” is not subjective or soteriological as in the fundamentalist perception. In Rev 3:14 Jesus is called “the beginning of the creation of God.” So Christ “the head” is the beginning of the new creation (the body) by virtue of his own Spirit anointing in the heavenlies. Consequently Jesus’ body (the church) is the new creation by virtue of their Pentecostal experience. Thus Vos prefers the idea that to be in Christ is to enter an eschatological state. The new creature is that eschatological state. It is the here and now version of the ultimate consummation of the church into one new man, the eternal Messiah. Finally, Vos comments:


“For Paul…a new creation is the decisive, all-important factor, it will hardly do justice to Paul's intent to confine it to the idea of endowment with a new and higher nature or personality; the conception is too weighty for that; the fundamental underlying idea must be that of incorporation into a new system of reality, a fact which renders it in principle eschatological.”40


The incorporation of which Vos speaks is the Spirit baptism of I Cor. 12:13 and is a “Messianic Matrix” called Christ, the “New Creature.” Vos calls it the “new system of reality.”


Here the creature to which Paul refers is completely original. It is no variation of some former creative act. In fact it is so original that Bible scholars themselves cannot generally describe or even recognize the “new creature.” Some are not even aware of its existence. Preachers and teachers often use this text to describe changes, which occur in believers at their justification. This is the “subjective and soteriological” interpretation of “new creature.” Of course behavioral changes must be included but it is not what Paul intended to communicate. The “new creation” is not acquired morality or even a redeemed worldview. Fundamentalist theologian James Dunn has called the new creation a metaphor.41 This is of course completely erroneous. The new creature is a supernatural futuristic entity whose inter-dimensional existence bridges the gap between the heavenly places where the Parousia has already occurred and the natural world of chaos. The new creation is not a metaphor. It is the ultimate reality. It is the Pentecostal church.


In John 15:1-7 Jesus himself uses the image of a vine and its branches to describe this reality. In this wonderful and multifaceted metaphor of the “new creation” Jesus calls himself “The Vine.” First, the vine is the resurrected body of Jesus. The branches are individual believers however their participation in this messianic vine is tenuous. For Jesus, the only means of participation in the vine is through a process called “The Abiding.” This is the “In Christ” experience and is of course the Pentecostal experience but in Jesus’ mind the abiding is an ongoing event dependent upon the obedience and persistence of the individual. In other words, a believer can be in and out of Christ relative to his ongoing charismatic experience.


Within the context (vs. 3-4) of this metaphor Jesus himself contrasts the difference between believing and “Abiding.” Jesus acknowledges the justified status of his disciples, “You are clean.” However, he immediately commands them “Abide in Me and I in You” (reciprocal saturation terminology). The contrast seems obvious. They were already justified by having accepted his divine personage but they could not become fruitful until they began the process of abiding. This metaphor is also pungent with the fragrance of messianic fellowship. Like Pentecost and the new creation, the Vine is a gathering place of branches. In their midst is abundant fruit (vs. 8) and divine love is everywhere present (vs. 12).


Paul also states that for those who are a part of the new creation, ”old things are passed away.” The Greek verb used for “passed away” is “parechomai.” This same verb is used of the catastrophic passing away of heaven and earth at the coming of the Lord (Luke 21:32-33; 2 Peter 3:10). In Paul’s mind Pentecost is a manifestation of that eschatological event. The Pentecostal event should be likewise catastrophic. It should powerfully and apocalyptically transfer the believer from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light (the church). There should be little doubt about what Paul is attempting to convey. The “new creation” is a product of Pentecost. But for Paul Pentecost does far more than reforming the believers’ moral and ethical standards. It actually alters their true identity by immersing them into the composite being called “Christ,” i.e. “the new creation.”


Whereas Paul uses the word “parechomai” to identify the new creation as an eschatological and thereby messianic entity Jesus uses the word “palingenesia” which literally means “rebirth” or “regeneration”(Matt. 19:28) to teach the same thing. Here it refers to the eschatological renewal of the world at the end of the present age. The phrase is easily associated with the “restoration,” texts of Acts 3:21 (cf. Rom 8:21–23; Rev 21:1–4; 2 Peter 3:13). But most importantly Jesus is drawing upon such familiar OT eschatological passages as Isa 65:17; 66:22.42 Palingenesia is also related linguistically and/or theologically to Tit 3:5; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15 and John 3:3. The major point to be noted here is that both Jesus and Paul are speaking of a new creation that begins with a Pentecostal (eschatological) outpouring.


We know by a comparison of the parallel texts of Mark and Luke that Jesus indeed has in mind the idea of the kingdom of God with his use of palingenesia. So when he refers to the disciples as having followed him in the regeneration (kingdom) he does not mean that they had already experienced either. He was just acknowledging that they had accepted the vision of it as displayed in his own life and ministry. It is also interesting that Josephus used the word palingenesia interchangeably with “apokatastasis,” the Greek word for resurrection. In the same vein, Origen based on Matt. 19:28, declared baptism to be the prelude to “palingenesia” (regeneration).43 These references strongly suggest that Jesus has the day of Pentecost in mind when he used the term. Palingenesia was a resurrection to be preceded by a baptism. With this in mind there is no undue stress placed upon the meaning of regeneration to confidently link Jesus’ statement to Pentecost. In effect Jesus referred to his disciples as those who were following his own charismatic experience. This eschatological restoration began with the anointing of Jesus and will climax with his eventual return. For the disciples the “palingenesia” found its true fulfillment at Pentecost.44


In Titus Paul seems to have made a point of deliberately using this specific word. Most interestingly for our present discussion he notes the washing effect of regeneration. Generally speaking fundamentalists assume this is referring to the blood washing realized in justification. However, it is almost certainly a commentary on the Pentecostal experience. But what does Paul have in mind by the “washing of regeneration which he also calls “the renewing of the Holy Spirit?”


Paul’s immediate explanation is found in the very next verse, “being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (NASU).” This is his explanation of what it meant to be washed by the Holy Spirit. First, this eschatological washing only occurs in those who have been previously justified. And second the washing establishes the believer in an eschatological (messianic) state of inheritance. So for Paul this washing is a charismatic experience that is distinct from justification. It is not a blood washing. It is a messianic washing of the Spirit that purges from the individual believer every discordant distinction that would inhibit his saturation into this new ecumenical creature. Every true Pentecostal can identify the experience. Each and every time a believer is saturated into Christ “the creature” he loses some cognizance of individuality. It is this messianic washing that purges the church of racism, sexism and of class distinctions. It washes away both superiority and inferiority and perfectly unites the body of Christ. There is no such thing as ecumenicalism apart from this supernatural washing.


Again, the new creature is a living, bi-dimensional entity composed of Spirit filled believers. It is a living entity that exists and functions simultaneously in two distinct realms or dimensions. In its time / space dimension the creature is a composite of human bodies and personalities. These beings are the physical appendages of the creature. In this natural state its members are often distanced from each other by physical space and cultural differences. But more significantly, they are separated by varying theological beliefs and by ecclesiastical structures. For the untrained observer these separations mask the real identity of the appendages as composite parts of one master creature. The one commonality that nullifies all otherwise superficial distinctions among the messianic appendages is an intense desire to abide in Jesus. Herein is their washing. They are not one because they love unity. They are one because they love Jesus and abide in him. This is true ecumenism.


The essence of the new creature however, resides within the supernatural or spiritual dimension. It is here that we find the head and the nervous system of the new entity. The head is Jesus himself and the nervous system is the Holy Spirit. Even though the physical appendages (i.e. Spirit filled believers) of the creature have their own wills, they become responsive to the supernatural head of the entity based upon the depth of their individual saturations into Jesus the head of the body.


Believers are not automatically joined to the new creature. Entrance is gained only through the Pentecostal anointing. Jesus called that entrance the “regeneration.” Paul is saying that if any man be in Christ he is a new creature. The word Christ simply means anointed. Because the idea of anointing is so pervasive in the idea of a new creature, it (the creature) can reasonably be identified as “Christ the anointed entity.” Paul intends to communicate that those who experience the anointing of the Holy Spirit are thereby saturated into this messianic entity, which he calls the new creature. It is here that the church becomes one body and begins to experience all of the “in Christ” blessings.


Paul understood that the anointing or baptism of the Holy Spirit is divinely powerful to accomplish two major transformations. First of all, as previously discussed, it transforms the individual believer into the likeness of Jesus. But more specifically to our present focus, the anointing positions (“raised and seated together with Christ in the heavenlies, Eph. 2:5-6) believers into the messianic entity that is now dubbed “the new creature.” The anointing itself is not new and it is most certainly not a creation. Strictly speaking the anointing is the person of the Holy Spirit. However, the saturation of human beings into this anointing or person effectively resulted in the creation of a brand new race of human beings. This race is called “the new creation” or in other places it is called the “the new man” (Eph 2:15; Eph 4:24; Col 3:10). It is not a race composed of mere believers though every member of the creature is a believer. The creature is an entity comprised of believers who have been individually anointed into Christ. The “In Christ” experience is then also a saturation of the believer into other like-saturated believers thus forming a new humanity a.k.a. “the new man.” Fee calls the creation of this “new man,” “the ultimate expression of his (the Spirit’s) redeeming work in Christ.”45 So the thing that really matters is the new creation and our own immersion into it. We are an eschatological existence awaiting consummation.46 This new creation of the Spirit is the down payment of our future glorious state. It portends our glorious fortunes in the New Jerusalem.


Jesus was the first man to assume the identity of Messiah / Christ but just like the predicted growth of the kingdom, so also Christ is growing. The new creation itself is the predicted Messiah. The unthinkable identity of the new creation explains the “Mystery of Christ.” It is a physical entity for sure but it is composed of many human bodies. Recall from our study of the OT the ambiguity that was sometimes encountered in identifying the messiah. That was a subtle clue. The OT prophets could not have clearly understood that which remains a mystery even now. It is easy to understand how the Holy Spirit would mingle the prophecies of the person of Messiah with the prophecies of the people of Messiah. They become one entity in the new creature. The OT Messiah was called the “Servant.” Sometimes the Servant was an individual and sometimes he was the nation of Israel. Sometimes the Servant was a suffering individual and sometimes he was a suffering nation. The “Anointing” of Messiah was sometimes depicted as being upon the individual servant and sometimes upon the collective servant. Theologians have labeled this collective aspect of Messiah as “the corporate personality” of Christ.


The Corporate Personality of Messiah


Jesus has now, through participation in humanity, forever locked himself into this new creature. He can never free himself of this new identity. As in marriage, it is a permanent union between his head and our flesh. How ironic! The Creator is the head of the creature. With him in this new creature we ourselves realize our highest purpose and assume our most glorious identity.


There are a number of texts that portray the church as being the physical feet of Messiah (Ps 91:11-13; Luke 10:19; Rom 16:20; Eph 1:22). Christ has all authority and it is his feet that must exercise that authority. Jesus told his disciples that they would tread upon lions and serpents. Our head is now in the heavens but “Messiah’s body is very much alive and present in the physical world. There is only one way in which Christ can now undue the works of Satan and that is through his body. It is also interesting that Satan in his temptation of Jesus quoted Ps 91:11-12 as though it applied to messiah. It did apply to Jesus and he did not refute that inference. Now Satan was careful not to quote the very next verse of that Psalm because it says that the same personage protected by angels would also tread upon the lion and the cobra. Then in Luke 10:19 Jesus applies the unquoted portion of that scripture to the apostles. The inference is obvious. Jesus was identifying his followers as the body of Messiah by applying to them the very scripture that had been applied to him as the head. Truly “The feet of them that bear good news are lovely.” They are the feet of Messiah himself (Isa 52:7).


In Mark 9:41 Jesus makes another important inference. He warns his disciples that they are going to actually bear the name of Messiah. As the body of messiah designate they even bear the name of the head (cf. Rev. 3:12; 22:4). Whatever is done to the body of Messiah is done to the head. This physical reality of Messiah is nowhere more graphically demonstrated than in Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and his realization that the church was the body of Messiah (Acts 9:4-5).


The head of the new creature had felt the pain inflicted upon the physical bodies of the believers. We are Messiah to this present world and our bodies no longer belong to us. They have become the members of Jesus the messianic head. This identity is our “new self.” Paul admonished the churches to put on this “New Self.” The “New Self” is not some inner resolution toward goodness. Neither is it only a new and better worldview under redemption. The “New Self” is the New Creature. It is a creature in which we no longer exist by ourselves. In this new creature our identity has become intricately intertwined with Jesus and his church. His Spirit has hopelessly enmeshed us within the matrix of this messianic, eschatological creature. No surgery or psychotherapy could ever extricate us from the creature. “Christ is all and in all.” The joys within this Messianic creature are inexpressible. “In Him (the creature) we live and move and have our being.”


It is in this new creature that all the mysteries are solved. Like everyone else with me in the creature, I take on the personality of Jesus (Gal 5:22) and here we exist harmoniously. In the creature there is no distinction between slaves or slave owners (Col 3:10-11). Likewise social status, education and ones IQ are also inconsequential. In Christ we lose the most basic identity of our Adamic nature, our gender. So “In Christ” there is neither male nor female and one’s ministry is neither permitted nor inhibited based on one’s gender. For this same reason Jesus said that there will be neither marrying nor giving in marriage in the resurrection. Once all things are consummated in the New Creature there will be no need for gender or nationality since we will have become one body with each other and one flesh with Jesus. My presence in this new creation even frees me from the Mosaic Law (Rom. 8:11) since no law has ever been written against this new man. So for the same reason there is no gender, race or social distinctions, the new entity has no laws written against it. Christ needs neither law nor gender.


In this creature I am completely invulnerable to evil and because my head is strategically located in the heavens, I see all things clearly and respond to what I see through the eyes of the messianic head. John stated that because of the messianic anointing we would know all things (1 John 2:20). Because I am bound to the head, I make decisions based not upon what I see but upon what the head sees and knows (Isa 11:3).


The creature in which I have become enmeshed affords many benefits to which I would have no access by any other means. These are the gifts for the building up of this messianic entity. I am not alone in the creature. I dwell with those whose lives have become totally entwined with mine. All of the abilities of my head are now active in me. Through the creature I now personally function in all of Christ’s giftedness. I do not have to work miracles personally because those abiding with me in this messianic matrix are so enabled. What is accomplished through one member brings joy and glory to all the members since we are one (I Cor 12:14-31). The creature in which I dwell is continuously growing and together we are learning to become more keenly responsive to our head. With all of our abilities we are being built up together (Eph 4:11-16; Col 2:19).


It is truly a complex mystery. On the one hand, the mystery is the physical union of marriage. On the other hand, it is the union of the body with the head. And most interestingly it is the union of individual believers into one creature. The following discussion should remove any lingering doubts as to Paul’s true understanding of Messiah:


1 Cor 12:12-14 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. (NASU)


This statement is astounding in its clarity and in its implications. Here it is Christ and not the church that is being described. “Paul says, “so also is Christ” because he wants to say, “so also is Christ,” and not, “so also is the church.”47 He is attempting to show how the body of Christ can be many members.48 For Paul Messiah is a compound entity, Jesus is the head and charismatic believers are the bodily parts. Amazingly, he has used the word “Christ” as a synonym for the church.


In context (1 Cor 12:13-14) Paul discloses how believers become a part of Christ. It is by the process of Spirit baptism. Based upon this text many church organizations have erroneously set water baptism as the requirement for membership. Some, including Pentecostal groups, have adopted very extreme policies on this misconception. Often rebaptism is forced upon believers wishing only to change fellowships. Well of course this seems a little arrogant. Those who hold to this requirement are saying, “We are the only legitimate church and our water baptism is the only legitimate baptism. Paul is unequivocal; “we are baptized into one body by one Spirit.” It is not about water baptism. There are three concepts that must be discussed, the Spirit, the baptism and the body.


First of all there is no doubt about what Paul means by the term “Spirit.” His comment is set in one of the most charismatic context of scripture.49 He is clearly talking about the Pentecostal experience. Because of the church’s fixation upon baptism as a purely aquatic event, it has been easy to make false assumptions about this text for it says, “we are all baptized into one body.”50 However, Paul qualifies his reference to baptism as being a spiritual baptism for he says, “We were all made to drink of one Spirit.” The biblical qualification for church membership is indeed baptism. However, biblical church membership has nothing whatsoever to do with the place were believers receive water baptism. Biblical membership in the church of Jesus Christ is an exclusively supernatural dynamic that supersedes the rules of church organizations. Paul is here saying that the Pentecostal baptism in the Spirit is an experience that sets the believer into the body of Christ. This is not something that any group of men can determine. When the Holy Spirit saturates me into Jesus, I am automatically immersed into his resurrected body. I immediately take my place in the “new creation.” Additionally, I am at the same time positioned in the body according to the gifts that I receive. Without this spiritual baptism one could never function in the new creature. If you are not filled with the Spirit you are not in the body of Christ.51


When Jesus said, “I will build my church,” he was thinking about how each individual believer would be placed in his earthly body by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. If we are no longer walking in the Spirit, then we are no longer members of the supernatural, messianic body of Christ. The body of Christ, the new creation, is an exclusively spiritual entity. Our membership is dependent upon an on-going supernatural and charismatic saturation into it through the power of the Holy Spirit.


In our endeavor to understand the mystery of Messiah we have identified the new creature or creation as being the charismatic body of messiah. It is our contention that only true Pentecostals are functional components of this new creation as the baptism of the Spirit is the only means of access. Furthermore, (in the words of E. E. Ellis from above) this new creation is the “corporate body of the resurrected Christ” composed of believers who share in the “new resurrection reality.”52 Now from our perspective this “new reality” is the Pentecostal experience.


Messianic Formation


The OT “anointing” of priests and kings was usually accomplished by an act of pouring oil on the head of an individual. It was a physical act that initiated in the physical realm what God had already established in his heavenly realm. In the case of Elisha, Elijah merely threw his mantle over Elisha’s shoulders and Elisha was thus empowered as a prophet. Elisha then severed himself from his former occupation because of his new position of separation to God. It should be noted nevertheless that his actual ministry did not begin until he received the mantle of Elijah when it fell back to earth at Elijah’s departure. In the same way Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit.” This was a form of prophetic anointing that was only fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. By breathing upon them, he thus threw his mantle around them but that anointing did not fall upon them until the day of Pentecost. Though there are variations in the manner in which it is performed, the anointing is always an act performed on the physical body. It is an act that superimposes the spiritual realm upon human flesh. In our NT age the presence of the Holy Spirit is the anointing. This anointing is a dedication of the human body to the holiness of God. With this dedication it is appropriate for the believer to then dedicate himself to the ministry in which his anointing has placed him. The charismatic experience separates men from the natural life. It places them “In Christ” and that is the “Most Holy of All” places to be. Once men are truly filled with the Spirit they become holy priests separated unto God.


Anointings were carried out on priests, Prophets and kings both Jewish and heathen. People so anointed received both authority and ability that enabled them to function in their appointed task. Divine appointment is always initiated by means of divine anointing. Without this anointing Jesus could never have become the Messiah.53 The divine mission of Jesus and all of his messianic abilities were present in his anointing (Luke 4:18-19). This anointing qualified Jesus as prophet, priest and as king. It is the same anointing that now embraces and qualifies his body for messianic ministry. We now consider an OT shadow that prefigures the anointing of Jesus as Messiah.


Throughout the Old and New Testaments one thing is clear about Messiah. He was the focus of the Davidic covenant. The experiences and prophecies of David find their fulfillment in Jesus. So we shall consider just a few of the salient aspects of David’s anointing. Actually David experienced three anointings. Each of these anointings have parallels in the anointings of Jesus.


First Anointing of David:


1 Sam 16:13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah. (NIV)

1 Sam 17:34-37 But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. (NIV)


First Anointing of Jesus:


Matt 3:16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. (NIV)

Acts 10:37-38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. (NIV, also Luke 4:18-21)


This was the first anointing of David. From this moment forward David’s life was dedicated to his messianic mission. However, he was still unknown to the house of Israel. This anointing was preformed by the hands of Samuel who was both a prophet and a Priest. Likewise Jesus was anointed while he was totally unknown to Israel at the river Jordan This anointing was associated with the ministry of a prophet who was also of priestly lineage. Even though David’s anointing as king was not yet made public, there was evidence of divine favor. His kingship was still hidden to the ruling power, which was quickly threatened by him. In a similar way the anointing of Jesus established him as Messiah. This was a secret anointing but in it Jesus went about destroying the works of the devil. Just as David had killed the lion and the bear and Goliath in the secrecy of his first anointing, so also Jesus went about destroying the works of the Devil. David and Jesus both became threats to the ruling powers in the unannounced secrecy of their first anointings. Neither made public pronouncements of their kingship.


Even though David had been fully anointed as king, he never once attempted the over throw of the ruling power that had the legitimacy of a former anointing. David ceded all such matters to the sovereignty of God. David knew however, that his own anointing had superseded the authority of the coexisting kingdom and he moved about establishing the foundations of his own future rule. During those days men from every quarter left their lands and their homes to follow David. They followed David in the days before God removed the legitimate ruler of the kingdom in which they lived. During his days upon this earth Jesus also moved about establishing the foundations of his own future rule. The legitimate ruler of those days seemed to have been Satan himself. It is not clear if Satan had received his legitimacy by default from Adam’s sin or whether his claim to authority was merely a ruse (“It has been handed over to me” Luke 4:6). Either way, Jesus did not dispute Satan’s claim and acknowledged his evil reign.


During the secrecy of this anointing Jesus was joined by the 12 disciples and by other believers. In the experience of both David and Jesus a second anointing was bestowed upon them after God judged the ruling powers. For David it came after God had removed king Saul. With Jesus it came after God removed Satan as ruler of this world.


Second Anointing of David:


2 Sam 2:2-4 David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. (NIV)


Second Anointing of Jesus:


Acts 2:33-34 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear…(36) "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." (NIV)

Acts 6:6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. (NIV see also Acts 8:17-19; 19:6)


In the case of David, it was only the men of Judah that first accepted the legitimacy of his rule and it was only they who performed this second anointing. In essence they were anointing their own Messiah. At this time David established his rule in the city Hebron. This of course was not the city from which his rule would ultimately proceed. David ruled Judah from Hebron for the next 7 years. During those 7 years there was a continuous war being waged for the acquisition of the other tribes of Israel. David would not receive his final anointing until he had won the whole house of Israel.


There are many parallels in this to the reign and anointing of Jesus. Jesus ascended to his throne and according to Peter, “God then made him both Lord and Messiah.” Now we know that he already had the anointing but at his resurrection and ascension there is another divine pronouncement of that anointing. Peter said that the proof of Jesus’ messianic appointment was to be seen in the Pentecostal “outpouring, which they could all see and hear.” So, the second anointing of Messiah was upon the body of Messiah. The proof that Jesus was the messianic head was in that his followers “The house of Judah” also received the same messianic anointing. From Pentecost onward this anointing will continue to be upon the body of Jesus. This is the “Second Anointing of Messiah” and it is living proof that Jesus “Has been made both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).” That is right! The Charismatic anointing upon the church is proof that Jesus has risen from the dead and it is proof that he is indeed Messiah. Furthermore, this anointing is administered through the hands of the Apostles, “The men of Judah.” Throughout the NT we see the administration of this anointing being passed on through succeeding generations of “Spirit filled” believers. We will continue under the present anointing until our 7 years in Hebron are completed. Then we will enter into the third and final anointing of Messiah.


Third Anointing of David:


2 Sam 5:1-4 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD said to you, 'You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.'" When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. (NIV)


1 Chron 12:38-40 All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks. They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the Israelites were also of one mind to make David king. The men spent three days there with David, eating and drinking, for their families had supplied provisions for them. Also, their neighbors from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There were plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel. (NIV)


Third Anointing of Jesus:


Rev 19:9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God." (NIV)

Isa 25:6-8 The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine. And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, Even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; (NASU)


The third anointing of David is enacted by representatives of the full house of Israel and is associated with a great coronation feast. The guests of honor are the warriors that gave up everything to fight with David in the establishment of his kingdom. This anointing transpires at a time when the battle for the whole house of Israel has ended. It anticipates the conclusion of God’s quest for souls at the end of our age and the climatic coronation of Messiah. Like David’s third anointing, the final anointing of Messiah occurs in the presence of the full house of Israel (the redeemed from all ages) and it will be associated with the great coronation feast of the Lamb of God. With this anointing also called a coronation or wedding feast, the Mystery of Christ comes to an end and the reality (from an earthly perspective) of Christ begins. This is a depiction of the great resurrection. At this coronation, the ultimate manifestation of Messiah occurs. The majesty of the moment is unthinkable. It is infinitely more than even the restoration of human bodies. The majesty of this resurrection moment is in the final formation of the Christ. It is a moment where the church becomes one in Trinitarian unity. Instantly millions upon millions of saints are transformed into the city of prophecy. It is the holy city, The New Jerusalem. It is the eternal marriage of God and redeemed men. The mystery of “Christ IN You” is no longer a mystery. That which was hidden will have become the unspeakable glory of the eons. The church will have forever become the body and bride of Messiah. It is not a marriage like Solomon to his 1000 wives. This is a marriage to one wife and that wife is the beloved city. The Lamb of God will not be united to multiple wives. There is only one body. Through this resurrection anointing the bride and the groom will become one flesh and the New Jerusalem will supernaturally form and instantly appear. The second anointing of Messiah began the “Mystery of Christ.” The third anointing will end that mystery but the eternal age of “The Anointed” will have just begun. The age to come is truly a Pentecostal age.


The Anointing of Adoption


There is another important idea inherent within the concept of “The Anointing” that is understood in the phrase “Son of God” as applied to Jesus. The angel Gabriel told Mary that the Holy Child to be conceived in her would be called the Son of God because of the manner in which He would be conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). This is known as the “Incarnation.” It is God becoming flesh. This was a new identity for the second person of the Trinity. Before he became a man he could not have been a son because he has forever existed in a co-equal state with the Father and the Spirit. It is only as he submitted to this new existence that he becomes the Son of God. In this role John calls him “The only begotten Son of God (John 3:16).” All of us who have believed in Jesus will likewise be called sons of God. However, the sonship of Jesus is completely unique in that his birth came as the result of physical interaction between God’s Spirit and human flesh. But the idea his Sonship involves yet another connotation with deeply profound implications for the church.


This following discussion centers on the phrase “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The first occasion was at the baptism of Jesus (Matt 3:16-17). As he was leaving the water having just been baptized by John, the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove and simultaneously the voice of God is heard from heaven declaring the Sonship of Jesus. Remember this is also the “first anointing” of Jesus. We ourselves cannot see the second occurrence of this declaration but Paul by the Spirit asserts that this statement was again made at the ascension of Jesus to the throne of God following his Resurrection from the dead (Rom 1:4). Here Paul states that Jesus was “Declared the Son of God with Power.” But what does this mean and why do we have to hear this again since Gabriel already declared the Sonship of Jesus? Now, the second occurrence of this declaration just happens to coincide with the second anointing of Jesus as has been previously discussed. The third event actually transpired before the second one but because of its prophetic nature it must be considered as an event still awaiting fulfillment. Peter calls the event a prophecy concerning the future coming of Jesus (2 Peter 1:16-19).


This occurrence of the sonship declaration happened at what we call the “transfiguration (Matt 17:5).” It was actually a prophetic event designed specifically for Peter, James and John. The context is very important to our understanding of the “transfiguration.” The narrative begins in Matthew 16:21 and ends with Matthew 17:9. Peter had just taken Jesus aside and insisted that he would never let him be killed. Jesus then rebuked the words that came out of Peter’s mouth and proceeded to warn all present that if they were not willing to give up their lives they would not inherit the kingdom of God. At this point Jesus received knowledge from the Spirit that some of his apostles would be granted the privilege of seeing that kingdom of which he spoke. A few days later Jesus took with him Peter, James and John and together they ascended an unnamed mountain. At this point Jesus modeled the eschatological glory of God that will come upon human flesh. This is a powerful description / definition of the kingdom of God that is not dependent upon mere words. In Matt 17:9 Jesus described the event as a “Vision.” Remember this event came so that Peter and the apostles could clearly see just what was at stake for those who would “lose their lives for his sake.” Whatever happened to Jesus in this vision must be viewed as also happening to those who lose their lives for Jesus. It also portrays that which will be lost by all who tenaciously seek to conserve their own comfort in this present life. So what ever happened to Jesus on the Mt. of Transfiguration should be understood as eventually happening to all who receive the kingdom of God at the return of Jesus. This third and final proclamation also coincides with the third and final anointing of Jesus.


In every anointing of Jesus this proclamation is made. What does it mean and what is its significance for us? The answers to these questions lie in our understanding of Ps 2:7-9. We do not know just who wrote the Psalm but we do know the occasion from which it was written. It is generally believed that this Psalm is a reference to the words spoken by the kings of Judah at their coronation. “The “decree” was a document given to the Davidic king during his coronation ceremony (2 Kings 11:12). It was his personal covenant document, renewing God’s commitment to the eternally promised kingdom of David. The “decree” set the rules and established the powers of the new king.”54 Now, within this document are the words (“You are my son”) that were three times spoken to Jesus. This messianic phrase originates from two scriptures. The first is God’s words to David through Nathan the prophet (2 Sam 7:14) “I will be his father and he shall be my son (NIV).” The second text is Ps 89:26, “He will call out to me, ‘You are my father….’” Based upon these two prophetic words the practice of renewing God’s covenant proceeded from king to king. The word “Today” was inserted to demonstrate that it was at the time of the “Anointing” that each king was pronounced God’s Son. The term, “I have begotten you” implies legal “adoption” by God. It also speaks of a “New birth” with promise of a “New Nature” as commencing at the moment of his “Anointing.”55


The words that are spoken at the transfiguration of Jesus by the Father, are prophetic. They speak of the ultimate coronation of Messiah at the end of the age. They will apply not only to Jesus the head of Messiah but to all those who have a right to become Davidic, Messianic sons of God, “But as many as received him to them he gave the right to become “Sons of God” (John 1:12). In justification, by the blood of Jesus, everyone gains the right to the end times inheritance of becoming one with Messiah. The final proclamation of these words will be upon all men who have brought themselves under the blood of Jesus. So for Paul all who are led of the Spirit are sons of God, it is the Spirit that testifies to sonship and the creation eagerly awaits their revealing of the sons of God by the great outpouring of the Spirit in the age to come which is also their moment of adoption as sons of God (Rom 8:14-23).


Romans 8:14-23 is overwhelming in its messianic implication. Paul speaks of two different occasions in which we ourselves receive the same proclamations of sonship. Our first proclamation comes with our Pentecostal infilling. At this charismatic event the Holy Spirit (Just like the baptism of Jesus) is declaring us to be the messianic son of David. The proof of this messianic identity is that (Just like Jesus and David) we begin to be led by the Holy Spirit and begin to do powerful works if we have truly been filled with the Spirit. Like David, we begin to slay the lions and the bears. We (just like the anointed kings of Judah) experience a new birth into a messianic character. We receive these words because Jesus received them when he ascended to the throne of God (Rom 1:4). Remember that our present messianic anointing is an extension of Jesus’ second anointing. When we are filled with the Spirit (Not just coaxed into speaking in tongues). The Holy Spirit bears witness that we are ourselves “messianic sons of God” through powerful manifestations in our lives.


Most theologians agree that the Day of Pentecost was the beginning of the church. But the beginning of the church was also the beginning of the messianic body on earth because of the messianic anointing. Just like Jesus at his baptism, every person present on the Day of Pentecost was, in the Spirit, and because of his/her anointing declared to be the messianic “Son of God;” successors to the Davidic throne.


The second proclamation of messianic sonship is also portrayed in these words of Paul. It is included in the resurrection of the dead which Paul calls “the redemption of the body.” We are told that all of creation is awaiting the revealing of the sons of God. The image is not simply that we have a father son relationship that will finally be seen. The full inference is that all of creation is awaiting the revelation of the “messianic sons of God,” i.e. “the messianic entity.” Of course we have a father son relationship. But it is the messianic “anointed” aspect of our eternal identity which all of creation now awaits. It is not simply waiting to see the blessedness of our personal relationship with God. When Paul says, “We will be revealed with Him,” He is talking about our messianic identity. Messiah the head will not be revealed without Messiah the body (Col 3:3-4).


It is in this respect that we are revealed at his coming. It is in this respect that we (just like the Davidic kings) are called “adopted.” Adoption is the divine act whereby we become messianic royalty. God will adopt us into the messianic body. Our resurrection is not just into personal bodies but it is into the eternal body of Messiah by “adoption.” And the revelation of Messiah is a revelation of the church, the “adopted messianic Sons of God.” (Paul seems to understand adoption as the divine mechanism for the incorporation of individuals into the eternal messianic entity. Whereas, “redemption” seems to connote more the restoration of the individual’s personal body.)


We are not something other than Messiah we are completely one flesh with him. He is our head and our husband and in his mercy and love toward us we fully share in his messianic revelation. His revelation is our revelation because we are “in him.” The “End time” proclamation “Thou art My Son” is upon both the head and the flesh of Messiah. The voice on the Mount of transfiguration will not rest upon Jesus alone. These words will be declared to all those who belong to Jesus at his return. Then we ourselves will forever take the throne of David.


It is “the anointing” that makes the Christ, and that anointing must be upon human flesh. Jesus is said to have been “Anointed with the Holy Spirit and Power.” Now the Holy Spirit is not some mystical force. The Holy Spirit is a personage. It is only as this “Person” comes upon us that we become set apart. This anointing is not upon places or physical objects. It is only upon human flesh. We humans were created for this. We are a living temple destined to replace the heavens as the place of God’s dwelling. So the anointing is not some smearing of oil. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our physical bodies and there is a distinctive difference between bodies that are anointed and those that are not. But the anointing which made Jesus the head of Christ is the same anointing that forms us together into Christ the body. “In 2 Cor 1:21 the Greek suggests a play on words between ‘Christ (Christos)’ and ‘anointing (chrio of chrisma)’ (‘It is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us’)—but significantly the verb ‘chrio is applied to those united with Christ in baptism, not to Jesus himself.”56


 Not only does the anointing place us in Messiah it is also that which abides in believers and that which teaches them (1 John 2:27). So when Jesus instructs his disciples to “Abide in Him” (John 14:16; 15:4, 6, 7) he is actually preparing them for the anointing that John identifies as the abiding experience (1 John 2:27). This was true for Jesus. He became Messiah because he experienced the abiding of the anointing. The anointing that makes the Christ is the indwelling of the person of the Holy Spirit. In his gospel John made the “Abiding” experience the under girding, all essential, component of the Pentecostal experience. Our charismatic experience is completely defined by the presence of God, i.e. the Holy Spirit, in our human bodies. Consider the anointing of Jesus. He was the second person of the Trinity even after he became a man. In Luke 4:1 we discover that Jesus was “Full of the Holy Spirit” because of what happened to him at his baptism. Now we must ask ourselves, “How can the second person of the Trinity be full of the third person of the Trinity” when we must rightly deem them as having been equal from eternity? The answer is not difficult. Jesus could only be filled with the Spirit in that he had taken unto himself the human body, which was originally designed as a dwelling place for God. The terms “Holy Spirit” and “Anointing” are completely synonymous terms. It is the presence of the third person of the Trinity that makes the Messiah. This is the mystery hidden from past ages. Through the charismatic experience we become messiah to the world around us.


For need of a human body, there is coming a great resurrection at the end of the age. For believers it is the inheritance and the hope of their calling, “I in you and you in me,” forever! For God it is the consummation and the final construct of a temple not made with hands that is greater than the heavens to contain him. How can the resurrection be at once the restoration of our individual bodies and the formation of one physical messianic entity? Scripture depicts both. Of certainty, man will become one with the Godhead through the body of messiah and God’s utilization of human flesh. So, like the Trinity itself, the believer’s resurrection will for now remain somewhat enigmatic.


Solution of Seven Mysteries


Just in case the “Messianic Mystery” remains unresolved from the information contained in the last section, we will summarize its solution here. Actually we did not specifically address some of the mysteries but they are never the less solved by the information already presented. The mystery of the kingdom of heaven addressed by Jesus is the same as the mysteries to which Paul refers. Later we will return to the teaching of Jesus on this topic but for now it is sufficient to know that Paul and Jesus have the same understanding of the mystery. Jesus uses the term “mystery of the kingdom of heaven (as does Paul in Rom 16:25) but Paul prefers the term “The mystery of Christ.” Again simply stated, the mystery of the kingdom or the mystery of Christ is that Messiah is composed of human bodies that are anointed with the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of Christ in the individual and conversely the individual in Christ is only a mystery because the natural human eye cannot see it. The only reason this aspect of the mystery comes to an end (Rev 10:7) is because all will clearly see it when Jesus returns. Thus the mystery comes to an end because there is nothing more to ponder.


The mystery of Israel’s separation from the vine is that it has been temporarily excluded from its own messianic predestination but will once again be grafted back into the messianic vine or body (Rom 11:24-25). In other words the gentiles are now enjoying the benefits of a “Pentecostal” grafting into the physical body of messiah at the expense of the broken Jewish branch, which would have been the natural choice for the messianic branch. The mystery of the “so called” rapture (I Cor 15 and I Thess 4) is that God will provide new flesh for the eternal body of Messiah based on the natural flesh of those now living and that the resurrection is not only of those in the grave but also of those whose flesh is still viable at the time of Christ’s return. All should now understand Paul’s expression “the mystery of Christ in you”. It simply means that Messiah indwells the believer by the power of the Holy Spirit and that the resulting glory gives hope in a blessed future for those experiencing it. The mystery of the church being composed of both Jews and Gentiles is also easily explained in that the process of entering the physical messianic entity by the Pentecostal experience screens out all personal distinctions such as nationality, gender and social standing. Finally we are able to understand the mystery of the “Lawless one” in that the “Antichrist” is himself the physical embodiment of Satan in human flesh. It is a counterfeit abiding, “Anti-Messiah in the flesh.”


Chapter Five


A Tale of Two Messiahs


Earth has witnessed the rule of two messiahs. Both Messiahs were called the “The Son of God” (Luke 1:35; 3:38) and within both messiahs lay the destines of all future men. Likewise both messiahs (Adam and Christ) where given absolute authority to govern the earth. Of course Adam was a type of Jesus Messiah who was to come (Rom 5:14). Throughout the Pauline corpus the attributes of each messiah are compared. In Rom 5:12-21 He contrasts the obedience of both messiahs. Sin and death were the result of the Adam’s failure. Grace and righteousness are the results of Jesus’ obedience. In contrasting theses messiahs Paul makes a somewhat startling observation. The resurrection from the dead is the work of a man, a human (1 Cor 15:21-22). Why must Paul credit the humanity of Jesus for the resurrection instead of his deity? As we shall see it is of absolute necessity that the second messiah; like the first, be fully man. Let us keep in mind at the outset of this discussion that without human flesh there would be no messiah at all as the messianic anointing can only occur in human flesh.


It has been said, “Any fool can count the apples on the tree but only God can count the trees in the apple.” There could be no better way of describing the importance of the phrase “In Adam.” All of us were present in the loins of Adam messiah and God was able to deal with all of mankind through just one man. When Adam messiah failed his test we were there in him. His failure doomed us all because we were an inseparable part of him. And let us not forget also that in Adam we once walked in a heavenly place called Eden. We were clothed with glory and ruled the earth. And in Adam we were driven in shame from the presence of God and the wonderful garden. In Adam messiah all men were predestined to death and subsequently born (unwittingly) into his exile from glory. Soon after the death of Adam and Eve their progeny became completely clueless as to who or what they were created to be and the stories of Eden became mere fairytales. Soon the absence of glory (death) became the norm. And with his inability to see beyond the veil, mankind sank into the futility of his existence. So in this manner death has come upon all men.


Before his anointing messiah Adam was presumably just flesh. He was biologically complete. There is seemingly no way Adam could have been formed in any other manner than to have been biologically alive. His heart was beating and all other organs were functioning flawlessly. With perfectly articulating legs and arms he could move about freely. We know absolutely that his nostrils were working properly. He probably had consciousness as well. With a perfectly functioning brain he could see and hear and even converse though he may not have done so. However, before God breathed into him, he had no messianic appointment. Adam was not the Son of God because of his biological creation. He was the Son of God because he (like David and Jesus) became a messianic entity by a Spirit (inbreathing of God) anointing upon him (Gen 2:7). Just like Jesus, Adam was tested only after his messianic appointment. So the first messiah was both filled with the Spirit by the inbreathing of God and subsequently tested.


The second Adam also became flesh before he was anointed Messiah. And in a similar way God once again dealt with all mankind through just one man. The second messiah died for the failures of the first. But God, using the occasion of this disparity, provided a means whereby all men might enter the second Adam and embrace a new predestination. The humanity of the Messiah is all-important. God only judged one man for sin. It is through our association by faith with that man that we are not judged on our own merits. Also there is only one man that has now returned to the heavenly places. If we, by the anointing which abides in us, are truly “In Him” we shall also enjoy the same present position of authority. We are indeed predestined to messianic sonship (Eph 1:5) but that predestination unfolds only as we are in the second Adam. Our goal is then to find our way into Him for all the works of God on our behalf have been executed through and in that one man. All men were in the first messiah according to the recognized laws of biology. However, it is through the broken body of the second Adam and the principals of the Spirit that all men may now find access into this second Messiah (Heb 10:20).


Now let us consider the creation of the first messianic bride. Since Adam was the first “Anointed One (i.e. Christ),” Eve is thereby the first “Bride of Christ.” Genesis 2:18-20 delineates the creation of Eve and the circumstances that occasioned her existence. Taken in its context, God’s statement “It is not good for man to be alone” stands as a rather startling contrast to all of the other statements commending the goodness of the creation. All analogies have a point where similarities must cease but it is tempting to see in this statement the words of Paul “The Lord is for the body.” Adam himself was perfect in his creation but he was not complete. So also in the second “new creature” it’s head is perfect but not complete. In fact the entirety of human history from Pentecost to the present is based upon this completion of the second messiah. Then comments detailing the naming of the animals also seem curiously placed. First of all consider God’s commission to the animals. They were, like Adam, commissioned to fill the earth after their own kind. As God paraded them before Adam it must have become apparent to Adam that all creatures similar to himself had mates to help them in their divine task (Gen 1:24). Finally the observation is made that among the creatures there were none that could be considered compatible to Adam in his task. The Hebrew word “neged” here interpreted “suitable” literally means “a front, i.e. part opposite; specifically a counterpart, or mate.”1 Among other things like communication and comparable intelligence, the word seems to have definite sexual connotations.


It is now within this context of Adam’s mandate to fruitfulness and his need for a procreative helper that we precede:


Gen 2:20-24 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (NIV)


Let us summarize the salient points of comparison. First of all Adam messiah is placed in a deep sleep from which only God will awaken him. Then a fissure is opened in his side through which all things needed are taken for the creation of Eve. Finally, after the completion of the bride, Adam messiah awakes and is presented with his perfect wife.


To begin, we would all like to think that our messianic head was at all times alert and supervising all possible contingencies facing his people. Most certainly this is true of Jesus our head, isn’t it? Actually it was not true for this premier archetype and in a sense the second Adam is now also sound asleep. Adam messiah was actually put to sleep by God during the creation of his bride. Jesus Messiah is similarly asleep. Consider the following passages of scripture:


Ps 7:6 Arise, O LORD, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies.

Awake, my God; decree justice. (NIV)

Ps 44:21-26 would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us;

redeem us because of your unfailing love. (NIV)

Ps 59:4-5 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Arise to help me; look on my plight! O LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors. (NIV)

Ps 68:1 May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. (NIV)

Ps 73:20 As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. (NIV)

Ps 78:65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, as a man wakes from the stupor of wine. (NIV)


In this sampling of texts there are two things common to all. First, the Lord (Messiah) is asleep. Secondly, when the Lord is aroused he immediately punishes his enemies. All of this fits very neatly with what we know of the present formation of the church “The body / bride” of Messiah. At Calvary, while on the cross, the body of the second messiah was opened. From that wound came forth everything needed in the formation of the church (John 19:34). Both blood and water came from that wound.


The writer of Hebrews makes a very important analogy concerning the broken body of Jesus. He compares it to the torn veil of the temple, “the veil, that is his flesh” (Heb 10:19-22). Not coincidentally that veil was torn at the precise moment of Jesus’ physical death on the cross. This suggests another analogy. The OT temple was itself a type of Christ. The veil represented his flesh. Looking at Jesus on the cross we see him in extreme agony and pain. We are not specifically told that Adam suffered pain but we can be reasonably certain that pain as well as loss of blood was indeed a part of the Adamic suffering for his bride. So the torn veil represents God’s designated entrance into the messianic entity. It is through the broken flesh of the second Adam.


But you now protest that there is no way in which our Lord is presently asleep! Actually, there is. All judgment has been handed over to Jesus the risen Lord (John 5:22). At any moment Jesus could utterly destroy those who are his enemies and those who walk in sin. These are his rightful prerogatives. But in his ascension to the Father Jesus has laid aside his right to smite the earth with judgment for one very important reason. The very ones now worthy of his wrath are those being transformed and incorporated into his bride. The world over our beloved savior is mocked and scorned and challenged. But in his infinite love for the world the King of Kings is sound asleep in his right to judge the wicked. He patiently awaits the very last sinner’s decision to accept him. This is often frustrating to the present earthly members of his body. We desperately long for the end of wickedness. We even pray that he would smite his enemies. But he does not answer. He will not awaken to judgment until his bride is complete. At the completion of the messianic bride Jesus will arise with power and smite the wicked. In our desire for his return and for our personal relief and vindication we must not lose site of the reason for his very long delay, the creation of his bride. Jesus will at that end time (not before) present to himself a glorious bride (Eph 5:27). The prophetic formation of the messianic bride will not occur until the return of Jesus. Those who have died are surely in the presence of Jesus but they like us are awaiting the great wedding feast, which will begin the completion of the bride and her eternal marriage to the Lamb.


On Gen 2:21 G. J. Wenham has noted that “Heavy sleep, (Heb ‘tardemah’) is often divinely induced sleep (cf. Isa 29:10; 1 Sam 26:12) and the occasion for divine revelation (Gen 15:12; Job 4:13). Possibly sleep is mentioned here because God’s ways are mysterious and not for human observation (Dillmann, Von Rad).”2 Wenham’s comment suggests to us that the “Adamic Sleep” comfortably parallels the whole idea of the messianic mystery. Without this messianic sleep the mystery could not continue. When Messiah awakes the mystery is ended, the wedding feast occurs and the consummated marriage moves into eternity.


Let us not here lose sight of our objectives in this present discussion. We are contrasting the first and second messiahs with special attention to their suffering. So, importantly, Adam messiah did indeed suffer for his bride through the loss of blood and through a wound in his side just like Jesus Messiah. This of course is significant but for our immediate purpose the important similarities have just begun. Let us further compare the bride of Adam messiah with the bride of Jesus Messiah. Both Eve and the church are portrayed as being one flesh with their respective messianic heads. Adam calls Eve, “Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23-24). Paul used the very same text from Genesis to declare that the church is also one flesh with Messiah Jesus (Eph 5:31-32). In addition to having shared the same flesh, Adam and Eve also shared a common commission to be fruitful and to multiply (Gen 1:28).


There was only one way in which Adam could have completed this commission. It had to be through his bride. It was necessary for Adam to suffer for the creation of Eve but keep in mind why he was suffering. He was fulfilling his great commission to be fruitful and to fill the earth with human kind. He could not have physically accomplished this task without a child bearing female mate. Adam began the suffering of child bearing in the creation of Eve but it most certainly fell upon Eve to complete what Adam had begun in that she was divinely appointed to bear the pain of childbirth that was required in fulfilling their messianic commission (Gen 3:16).


Adam only began the suffering but the ongoing reality of his bride was the constant presence of pain endured in the course of being fruitful and filling the earth with human kind. In the same way the second Adam only began his commission of fruitfulness (Acts 1:1). The burden of pain and suffering was bequeathed to his bride the church. The second Eve like the first shares the messianic commission (Luke 19:10 with Matt 28:19). It is the task of the second Eve to finish that mission. This is both good and bad news. The good news is that we share in the messianic mission. We are messiah the body. As his body we receive all of the power and glory necessary to accomplish the messianic mission. The bad news is (for the comfortable church) that the body of messiah must also bear the brunt of messianic suffering in order to complete the task begun by her husband. This truth helps us to resolve two additional quandaries. It solves the OT ambiguity of the suffering servant. Sometimes the servant is an individual and sometimes it is a collective entity, i.e. Israel. Sometimes it is difficult to determine just who is doing the suffering. The reason this ambiguity exists is because (as already noted) we are one with Messiah and OT distinctions were similarly and deliberately blurred. We share his glory in the gifts of the Spirit and we also share his suffering. The second perplexity solved by this truth is found in Col 1:24:


Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. (NIV)


This verse has tantalized theologians for centuries. The fact that it remains a mystery in their minds is proof that today’s church does not fully comprehend the implication of “Christ in you.” Here is the quandary. How can Paul add anything to the sufferings of Christ and how can it be said that there is anything lacking in what Christ did? Many solutions have been suggested but there is only one context in which this comment is rational and that is from the perspective that we are the very body of the second Adam and we are completing his mission. Of course we cannot add to the blood atonement but Paul is not even hinting at such a thing. Paul says that he has a part in the sufferings of Christ but so do we. This is the inevitable heritage of the charismatic body of Messiah. There are also many other scriptures that come to life within this context:


1 Peter 4:12-15 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. (NIV)


Peter is here speaking with Paul, “We share the sufferings of Christ.” Why? We are messiah the body. Jesus is still suffering but it is vicariously through us. He feels every pain encountered by his own physical body (Acts 9:4-5). When we enter into Christ we enter into his ongoing suffering. If you have a normal body there is no part of your body that you cannot feel. Likewise there is no hurt encountered by the messianic body that Jesus the head does not detect. Furthermore, according to Peter, if you are suffering because of your identity with Messiah, you are being filled with an abiding (“It rests on you”) presence of Jesus. This is a powerful statement about charismatic enabling. With the sufferings of Jesus comes the charismatic glory of Jesus. It can be a direct path to gifts of the Spirit.


2 Cor. 4:10-11 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (NASU)


How can believers effectively experience Messianic life? Paul says it is through physical suffering. It is for the purpose of charismatic life in the present mortal body of Messiah that God allows (even directs) us to encounter suffering in our quest for souls. It is beyond refutation. Suffering in the physical body of believers is just a part of the ongoing ministry of Messiah. Just like Eve, the responsibility of bringing forth life in the midst of pain has fallen upon the church. So with the pain comes increasing glory but it is a real pathway to charismatic blessings in the presence of God.


As in human propagation suffering is inherent to the messianic birthing process. The world over the church is experiencing persecution. To a great extent the people who are murdered for the cause of Christ are those who are least expendable. They are the ones who carry the church with power and vision. And when they die the church suffers from the loss. However, this is the normal process of childbirth in Messiah. We cannot always see what the martyrs birth with their pain and death but it is always more than they could have provided in their lives. In “the family way” of Messiah, suffering is just the normal mode of childbirth that always gives way to joy.


At this point the messianic identity is no longer a surprise. Messiah is the Spirit filled church. Actually, to be technically correct there is no other church. It is God’s election through the anointing that makes the church. Those who are not anointed may interact with those who are but it is only the anointed who are truly the messianic church. “Election” is only achieved within the church and within the anointing. There is no election outside of Messiah (Eph 1:4,9 & 1:13-14; II Tim 1:9) and there is no Messiah apart from the church. We are elected or chosen by God as the church only because our messianic head has been so elected and chosen and because we partake of the same anointing through which he became the elect.


The Messianic Tree


The “Messianic Tree” is yet another image of Messiah. This image spans the entirety of human history. In the Garden of Eden Messiah is the “Tree of Life.” This tree and the holy city are the very last images projected on the human mind as the book of Revelation concludes the thoughts of God for mankind. Both images are intensely messianic and both images describe the church. Paul refers to Israel’s involvement in this messianic tree as “A mystery (Rom 11:24-25).” This mystery is prefigured in several OT texts.


From Psalms 80:8-11 we discover that this messianic tree had been transplanted from Egypt. As a valuable vine or tree it was carried into Egypt and was then again uprooted and transplanted in the land of Palestine. To enhance the image it is said that the land was cleared before it. Thus it rooted and became a notable entity. This speaks of the removal of the inhabitants of Canaan to make room for Israe13 Now; Daniel also contributes to the image of the tree (4:10-17) even though his vision of the tree was applied to the king of Babylon. Remember, it was God who entrusted all of the nations including Israel to the king of Babylon. The important note to be made here is that the kingdom of God (the kingdom which he establishes Dan 2:44) is like a tree that is beautiful and within its branches all manner of life is sustained and refreshed (vs. 11-12). This is what God gave to Nebuchadnezzar but it is also descriptive of the growing messianic branch. It’s parallel to the mustard seed parable is also remarkable. In fact Jesus is apparently quoting this very scripture when he commented that “The birds of the air come and nest in its branches" (Matt 13:32 NASU). Birds are generally a depiction of that which is unclean and here they denote the nations of natural humanity becoming dependent on the messianic Tree. It is a great picture of the growth and dominion of Messiah (see also Isa 4:2; 11:2-10; 27:6).


The symmetry of these messianic allegories is remarkable. Throughout the OT the messianic tree is sometimes a person and at other times it is the nation of Israel. So the phenomenon of “Messianic Ambiguity” remains consistent. But the allegory of the messianic tree is especially detailed with many well-developed “messianic subplots such as Ezek 19:10-14:


Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches because of abundant water. Its branches were strong, fit for a ruler's scepter. It towered high above the thick foliage, conspicuous for its height and for its many branches. But it was uprooted in fury and thrown to the ground. The east wind made it shrivel, it was stripped of its fruit; its strong branches withered and fire consumed them. Now it is planted in the desert, in a dry and thirsty land. Fire spread from one of its main branches and consumed its fruit. No strong branch is left on it fit for a ruler's scepter. (NIV)


Through Ezekiel God is describing what the tree could have been and what it had become because of Judah’s rebellion. The tree had many fruitful branches having been planted by abundant waters (also Ps 1:3). This is a clear reference to the Holy Spirit and his fruitful effect upon the lives of those who abide by the waters. Then we are presented with the analogy of the branches as being scepters. Most analogies do not take their parallels to such a depth. In most examples this would seem to be a stretching of the metaphor but other scriptures also support this particular analogy:


Gen 49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. (NIV, See also Num 24:17)


Finally we see an image of the scepters that seems somewhat unusual, mundane even degrading. Numbers 21 pictures the Jewish leaders in the wilderness digging wells with their scepters and their staffs. Our first impression is to question propriety of such an action by nobility. Should this not be the work of common men? However, the image comes alive with excitement and appreciation for their humility once we realize they represent charismatic leaders of the messianic church providing wells of living water for the thirsty. Moses himself uses the staff to bring forth abundant water from a rock. These scepters and staffs are only found in the messianic tree. They are not the product of seminary degrees nor do they come attached to ordination certificates. They are the exclusive endowment of the messianic anointing. The scepter represents sovereign authority and when it is combined with the ministry of intercession it presents a formidable resource for the establishment of God’s kingdom in every situation. Access to the power of the Holy Spirit within the church is dependent upon the authority and humility of the rulers and nobles of the charismatic body of Messiah. It is incumbent upon those who have anointing to dig the wells for others who are dry and thirsting. Charismatic neophytes are not well served by instructions on speaking in tongues. The Messianic anointing does not come upon ones life because he speaks in tongues. We speak in tongues because the power of the Holy Spirit has come upon us. The neophyte does not need instruction. He needs authoritative intercession from those who extend the royal scepters. It is the “laying on of holy hands.” These hands are the messianic branches and they are attached to a body in which dwells all power and authority. There are of course other uses for scepters.


There is an interesting play on words occurring between the OT and NT concerning the imagery of the Root that is growing into the messianic tree. There has been no small amount of discussion concerning these comments by Matthew about the hometown of Jesus and their possible reference to Isaiah 11:1:


Matt 2:23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene." (NIV)

Isa 11:1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (NIV)


The problem discovered in this verse is Matthew’s association of the word Nazareth with a phonetically similar word from Isaiah. The Hebrew word for Nazareth is thought to have come from Num 6:1-11 in its connection with the vow of the Nazirite. Thus the word came to connote holiness. But there are no prophecies that declare (as does Matthew) “He shall be called a Nazarene.” So the problem is in understanding the manner in which having lived in Nazareth fulfilled the words of the prophets. In his commentary on Matthew 1-13 Donald A. Hagner suggests the probability of Matthew having used the phonetic similarity of the word “Nesrat” (Heb for Nazareth) and the word “Neser” (Heb for “branch” found only in Isa 11:1 but which came to denote Messiah).4 So according to Hagner, the word Nazareth does not mean, “Sprout.” It only sounds like the Hebrew word that does mean, “Sprout.” This is only a side note for us at this time, but what the Holy Spirit has done in this verse is to use a pleasing literary tool. He inspired Matthew to notice the phonetic similarity of the two words and thereby link the hometown of Jesus as the place where the messianic sprout first began to grow. It is also more than coincidence that this “Messianic Sprout” had been transported from Egypt (Matt 2:15) just as had the messianic vine described in Ps 80:8-11 above. In Psalms the vine was Israel, in this text it is Jesus.


In addition to the personal inferences of Jesus’ messianic identity, this verse in Matthew provides even more imagery. The following excerpt is taken from Unger’s Bible Dictionary:


“Nazareth lies in a basin; but the moment you climb to the edge of this basin . . . what a view you have. Esdraelon lies before you, with its twenty battlefields” (Smith, Hist. Geog., p. 432)…. “However, Nazareth did not have a good reputation. The disrepute in which Nazareth stood (John 1:46) has generally been attributed to the Galileans' lack of culture and rude dialect; but Nathanael, who asked, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" was himself a Galilean. It would seem probable that "good" must be taken in an ethical sense and that the people of Nazareth had a bad name among their neighbors for irreligion or some laxity of morals.”5


So, here is the picture that is now presented to us. We see a small town that is not a nice place to live and it represents many of the negative things that plague mankind. By contrast a holy sprout had taken root in the town whose name just coincidently sounded very much like the OT word most often used to describe Messiah as a “Sprout.” It was not a prestigious beginning for a messiah but it did have significance. In John 15:1 Jesus makes certain that his disciples were absolutely clear about his messianic identity. “I am the vine,” he said. Jesus is claiming to be the messianic “Shoot.”


John 15:1-8 is a powerful and convincing statement about the messianic identity of the church. Clearly Jesus claims to be the messianic shoot and we gladly give him that recognition. But Jesus wants us to have more from these words. Messiah only bears fruit from within the branches. Jesus is telling us that we are together the messianic tree of prophecy. We are the tree that is to fill the earth and become shelter and provision for all creatures. We are the tree of prophecy just like Jesus is the sprout of prophecy. But we are inseparable. He (Jesus the head, the sprout) cannot bear fruit without us. And conversely we (the tree, the branches, the body) cannot bear messianic fruit apart from intimate relationship with him. And yes this is a charismatic relationship. These words are strategically placed within the discourse of Jesus on the coming of Pentecost (“In that day,” John 14:20; 16:23,26). Can it be clearer? God’s expectations of us are beyond any human comprehension. But they are achievable within the Pentecostal experience. “Apart from Me you can do nothing,” Said Jesus!


There is only one-way for us to abide in Jesus (Christ / Messiah) and that is through the charismatic experience. If you abide in him, if you are continuously filled with his Spirit, you will be fruitful. However, if you neglect your Pentecostal relationship with Jesus you will drop out of Messiah. Your branch will dry up, fall off and be burned (as in Ezek 19:10-14). Then you will have no part in Christ (Rom 8:9). Some believe in eternal security. They think that once you are justified you will always be justified. Some Pentecostals seem to believe the same thing about their charismatic experience. They treat the infilling of the Spirit as an initiation ritual. Once they have spoken in tongues they may then become a part of the “Holy Clique.” It is like joining the Masonic lodge. You go through something just a little bit strange and embarrassing and then you are in for life. But this does not conform to the instructions of Jesus. In Messiah your fruitfulness and yes even your identity with the root is dependent upon your continual charismatic relationship to Jesus. Again, the “Mystery of Christ” is wonderfully illustrated and explained in the Messianic Tree.


The Messianic Rock


The images of Christ in the OT seem endless. So we will not attempt an exhaustive study. However, for our purposes the following image deserves exploration. This concept we shall call the Messianic Rock. From earliest times God has been compared to a rock but for the Jews wandering in the wilderness that rock became a daily source of life giving water. In Gen 49:24 God is called the “Stone of Israel” and in Num 20:11 we have the story of Moses striking this rock to provide water for Israel since they were dying of thirst. Immediately upon striking this rock rivers of waters gushed forth. It is thought that the resulting river continuously flowed for the duration of Israel’s stay in the wilderness.6 By some estimates the multitude could have numbered in the millions plus livestock. This was no small stream. Even though Israel moved about they stayed close to that stream (Ps 78:15-16, 20; Isa 48:21).


Now, the apostle Paul describes the rock as following them through the wilderness. Though some Jewish rabbis believed the rock moved with Israel, this is a reference to the ever-present streams of water that continuously ran from the rock and that unceasingly provided drink for the whole nation of Israel. Paul identifies that rock as Christ (1 Cor 10:4). However, it is in Daniel 2:31-35 that we find the most comprehensive vision of the messianic rock. As we look at the stone that was cut out without hands, we are reminded of Solomon’s quarries and preparations that are now under way for the construction of a temple not made with human hands. In any event we are sure that we are looking at an image of Messiah. This stone is growing, as are the other images of Messiah. Here we see that the Stone Messiah actually becomes a great mountain. This mountain is everywhere mentioned throughout the scripture and is called Mount Zion (Heb 12:18-20). In many scriptures the images of the messianic mountain and of the messianic city seem to merge as seen in a Micah 4:1-2:


In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (NIV)


The idea of the Rock growing into a mountain (Rev 21:10-11) is very much consistent with the messianic mystery. It is the church that is filling the whole earth. It is the body of Messiah but Messiah never the less. Now, there is no place in the scripture that speaks of the mountain yielding streams like the rock. However, the city that is set on Mt. Zion most certainly does. Whether they are two separate images or a merger of them is not particularly important. What is important for now is that the images are closely related and they both share a common property. Both the city and the rock are sending forth rivers of life giving waters. This image helps us then to understand the following words of Jesus about the messianic outpouring of the Holy Spirit:


John 7:37-39 Jesus stood saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, "From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (NASU)


This verse poses a problem similar to that which we noted in our discussion of Matthew’s play on words. Here Jesus quotes a scripture that is found nowhere in the OT, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water” (NASU) Jesus is not really quoting any particular verse. He is reiterating the clear meaning of various OT images. But the idea of water bursting forth from a rock and of water flowing from the temple within the holy city are the most likely sources for his comment.


There is an important concept waiting for us in all of these related facts. Messiah is presently in each believer through the charismatic Anointing. This makes us living stones. It is messiah in this age. Each living stone then becomes a messianic rock yielding streams of living water in the world where it is placed. Eventually the stones, at the end of the age, are gathered together to form the Mountain of God. The streams that flow from the livings stones are then joined and begin to flow into the entire world from the holy city, i.e. the messianic mountain.


The Messianic Abstinence


To the apostles communion predicted the Parousia of Jesus. Its continued observance offers to the church a temporal manifestation of the kingdom of God. In all three of the gospel accounts of the Lord’s Supper it is unmistakably portrayed as a kingdom event, “Until that day I drink it new with you in my father’s kingdom”(Matt 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:16,18).


The reference to “the kingdom of God” is a reference to the eschatological meal shared between Jesus and the church (Luke 14:15). This banquet will take place at the return of Jesus to the earth. At this time, as previously noted, there will be natural human beings left upon the earth. These are those who somehow survived the judgment of Christ and are allowed to inhabit the earth. However, they are excluded from the banquet because they have no robes of salvation (Matt 22:10-12).


This feast plays a triple role in the scriptural imaging of it. First of all it is a coronation feast for the Davidic king. Then it is also a feast that functions to honor those who have faithfully served Jesus. However, the feast is presented most forcefully as the wedding feast of the Lamb. It is in this context that we see its relationship to our present day communion.


The most important event at the wedding feast is the appearance of the bridegroom. In this respect it represents the Parousia of Jesus. In Matthew the ten virgins were waiting for the appearance of the bridegroom. When he arrived he immediately went into the wedding feast and the doors were shut. Our communion prefigures this event in a dynamic and charismatic way. If the wedding feast is in some manner a beginning of the kingdom of God, then communion also serves the same function but in a temporal way that necessitates its continued repetition.


We are well served to believe that Jesus is always seeking to be revealed in the breaking of the bread. In the eschatological feast the temporary Parousia (appearing) of Jesus occurs while the faithful are breaking bread. This is vividly demonstrated by the interaction of Jesus and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They had been walking with Jesus but they did not consciously recognize him until Jesus began to break the bread and to “serve (Luke 12:37)” them. This event should send to us a clear message about “the breaking of bread.” It is an opportunity for the revelation of Jesus to his church. Communion is a commemoration but it also has intrinsic value of much greater importance. We have scriptural basis to expect a charismatic manifestation of Jesus during the breaking of bread, “He was known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:30-31,35).


In the Corinthian church believers were both sick and dying that had not partaken of communion in a proper way (1 Cor. 11:30). They had not judged sin in their own physical bodies therefore they suffered the consequences. Now to understand these words of Paul we must understand that communion is an actual “NT theophany” of Jesus that continues to this day. It is a charismatic gift to the church and may answer to the words of Jesus, “Where two or there are gathered together in My name there am I in their midst.” Though for good reason Paul warned the Corinthians not to partake unworthily, God’s purpose for communion is actually quite positive. It is designed for healing and restoration in the charismatic presence of Jesus. Remember, Aaron’s rod came to life and bore ripe almonds because it had spent the night in the Ark of the Presence (Num 17:6-10). So communion should be a time of healing wherever Jesus is revealed in the breaking of the bread.


All three accounts of its institution (Matt 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:15-20) contain essential components of our discussion but each account adds its own unique information that helps to clarify important details. We will concentrate upon three issues, the significance of the bread, of the wine and of the prolonged abstinence of Jesus from them. It is important to note that Luke includes both the wine and the bread as things from which Jesus has abstained. Luke goes beyond this and reports that Jesus was actually abstaining from the entirety of the Passover feast. This’ additional note is further indication that the Passover points to the eschatological banquet. By making this claim Luke effectually emphasizes the connection between Passover and Jesus’ stated determination to abstain from it. Matthew and Mark’s focus on the wine as the objective of Jesus’ abstinence helps us to determine just what that abstinence denotes.


The wine image is our most important clue in understanding the abstinence of Jesus. This clue also immerges in other texts and we must compare these other scriptures to solve our new mystery. The most enduring picture of wine in the scripture comes from the narrative describing the first miracle of Jesus (John 2:1-11). Not coincidently, the occasion of Jesus’ first miracle is a wedding feast. The problem to which Messiah addressed himself was the lack of wine. This was certainly an embarrassing situation for the wedding hosts. Jesus responds to the situation by miraculously producing enough wine for all. But the wine that Jesus made was of a superior quality. It was “aged wine.” Jesus actually made wine that had a quality derived only from an aging process. This miracle speaks to the supernatural ability of Jesus to provide the cleansing blood for all who come to him throughout history and it reminds us of Isa 25:6-9 and the eschatological banquet.


The text brings us full circle to our original focus, the wedding feast and its relationship to communion. The banquet of Isa 25 provides important clues for our understanding of communion. We can ascertain the timing of this feast by the phrase (vs. 8) “He will swallow up death in victory.” Paul then associates this with the “rapture / resurrection” of the church (I Cor 15:54). Isaiah also notes that the peoples of the world, though not invited to this banquet, are nevertheless blessed by the removal of the veil from their eyes, which had formally hidden reality from their view. Aged and refined wine will top the menu at this banquet with the best cuts of meat. Finally, Isaiah comments (vs. 9), “this is our God; we have waited for him.”


All of these clues in and of themselves do not together lead us to any resolutions as to the true nature of communion. However, they do lead us to the text that completely solves the mystery of communion. There are three concepts that have brought us to our solution. They are, abstinence from wine, the aging of wine and the waiting for the Lord. All of these suggest an OT institution to which theologians have seemingly never assigned an appropriate NT fulfillment. We are now suggesting that the “vow of the Nazirite provides missing concepts by which we more fully understand communion.


The vow of the Nazirite (Num 6:1-8) points directly to the ministry of Jesus beginning from the moment He vowed not to drink wine or partake of the Passover feast. (Jesus actually did taste wine after the Passover meal as he hung on the cross. This may be seen as an extension of the entire Passover ordeal for Jesus. Immediately after tasting the sour wine Jesus died. His vow may have begun at this point instead of during the actual meal John 19:28-30.) Either way, Jesus’ real commitment was not to the abstinence of just wine per se but to the use of wine in the Passover context. According to Jesus his vow and the ministry depicted by it will conclude at the coming of the kingdom of God. It is for us another depiction of the “Mystery of the Kingdom” also concluding with the return of Jesus. In other words, the end of Jesus’ vow of abstinence from Passover or communion will coincide with the ending of the “mystery of God” (Rev 10:7). Likewise, the Vow of the Nazirite speaks to the present formation of the messianic body and of the “New Creature.” When Jesus said, “I will no longer drink of the wine until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God,” He was at that moment dedicating himself unto God. He took the “Vow of the Nazirite.”


When we partake of communion we are reminding ourselves that Jesus is now under this vow to God. He cannot presently share with us in the wine of communion or in the Passover feast (if your are Jewish) for the Vow of the Nazirite is fulfilled in only one person. That one person is the head of Messiah, Jesus. We are not directly participating in his vow, we are just observing his dedication to it. Now the details of the Nazirite Vow, while applicable to our discussion are nonetheless difficult to understand. For example, the Nazirite was not to cut his hair until the completion of the vow. When the vow was fulfilled he would cut his hair and offer it up as a sacrifice to God. There are several indicators in scripture about the significance of long hair but probably the most important one is discovered in the story of the famous OT Nazirite, Samson (Judges 13-16).


Samson had been selected by God as a Nazirite form his mothers womb. His parents had dedicated him. However, Samson was not an ideal model for those wishing to take the Vow. The Nazirite Vow was a “priest like” separation unto God that reflected holiness. In addition to the abstinence from wine, the Nazirite was not allowed to touch any dead person. It would seem probable that in all of his revelry Samson regularly violated the probation on wine. We know for sure that he ignored the separation from dead persons because he himself killed at one time a thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey. In all fairness to Samson the Bible does say that the Spirit of God came upon him to enable him for this task. In the entire story about Samson there is one feature that stands out more than all the others about the vow, “the uncut hair.” It was the key to his supernatural strength. As one reflects upon this story it would seem apparent that God wants the reader to comprehend something about the relationship between uncut hair and the Vow of the Nazirite. As you read through this narrative you should become aware of its lack of concern for all the “otherwise” important but unobserved components of the Nazirite Vow. This may be the Lord’s way of isolating one concept from the context for our focus and understanding. Uncut hair was the key to his supernatural abilities. “The long hair seems to have served as a concrete symbol of unimpaired strength (Lev. 25:11) such as God granted in special measure to Samson.”7 In following this analogy it would seem that as long as the hair of Jesus remains uncut, the charismatic power of the Holy Spirit will continue to function within his body. The uncut hair is an image relating to the ongoing history of salvation. It also depicts the temporary nature of the gifts of the Spirit in that the hair is destined to be burned when the vow is finished.


Those who attend the wedding banquet may even watch as Jesus cuts his hair and offers it up to the Father. Simultaneously the present charismatic gifts of the Spirit will cease, “when the perfect is come, the partial will be done away” (I Cor 13:10 NASU). Our present experience in Christ is only partial. Once fully in Christ we will have no need of anything partial. Now, just how the uncut hair permits the gifts to function remains unclear but it is not essential to our overall understanding of communion. Likewise Jesus has removed himself from touching dead persons. Again this vow is just for the head of Messiah and not for his body. Of course we the body regularly associate with human death but this to is not directly important to our discussion. Jesus’ abstinence from wine is however of critical importance. The imagery of wine seems obvious. Its all about the blood of Jesus. These are the related texts for this discussion:


John 10:17-18 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." (NIV)

Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (KJV)


There are three things in this portion of scripture that demonstrate how Jesus did indeed qualify as one who had taken the vow. First of all Jesus said that he was going to lay down his life on his own accord. One of the first principles of the Nazirite vow was its completely voluntary nature. Now, Jesus added something that is particularly notable. He said about his life, “I lay it down that I might take it up again.” We are all very well instructed on the circumstances under which Jesus laid down his life. We know for example that since “the life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11)” Jesus had to shed his blood in the process of voluntarily laying down his life. However, do we know what Jesus meant when he said, “I have the right to take it up again?” Well, we might ask ourselves if we really want him to do that. If our salvation is based upon the laying down of his life by the shedding of his blood, will we not then lose our salvation if he takes back his life and by implication his blood? The answer is no, of course not! However, the question is important because it suggest an important link between communion and the Nazirite Vow.


The shedding of the blood of Jesus is only a temporary proposition that will not be extended to all men. First the Vow of the Nazirite was undertaken for an indefinite amount of time. The person making the vow could determine the length of the vow. Generally this was for 30 days but sometimes it could last for double that or in extreme cases it went on for 100 days. But there were no rules to govern the number of days.8 In the case of Jesus the Nazarene, the determination of its length was apparently ceded by Jesus to the Father. Jesus said about his return and the conclusion to the vow, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32 NIV, cf. Matt 24:36). It is not clear if Jesus now knows the time of his own return that will mark the end of his vow, but it is not important. In either case it is the Father’s determination. Remember, it is the Father who is preparing the bride for his son and he must have the say in when the bride is complete and ready. Thus the vow of Jesus is for an unspecified period of time.


Now this period of time directly equates to the delayed Parousia. And just as the delay of the bridegroom has salvific significance so also does the period of time the Nazirite remains under his vow of abstinence. In this there is both good and bad news. The good news is that as long as the bridegroom delays, and the Nazarite abstains, men will have a means of becoming a part of the messianic entity. And of course the bad news comes as the Nazirite takes back his blood from the alter. With this action the doors to the messianic entity close and the eternal composition of Messiah is complete. The parameters of the New Jerusalem will be finalized and all those who neglected the call of the Spirit will stand weeping in outer darkness as they behold the divine glory of the celestial city.


With the eternal presence of natural men inhabiting the new heavens and earth (in numbers known only to God) the only humans that will ever partake of the blood of Jesus are the ones who by faith (looking either forward or backward) partook of his blood during his Nazirite Vow. Jesus calls these people (that’s us) the “many.”9 It is not all or everyone. In fact it is actually an infinitesimally small number compared to the eventual population of natural humanity.10 Man will forever benefit from the reality of all that occurred in history but the blood of Jesus and the body of Messiah will become forever inaccessible to all future generations of mankind.


The blood of Jesus is only shed for a relatively short period of time. Again Lev 17:11 teaches that the life of the flesh is in the blood and it has been placed on the alter for us. When Jesus said of his life, “I will take it up again,” He was saying in effect that he will once again take up his blood that is now on the alter. Immediately after his appearance to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus appeared to his apostles who were together behind closed doors. As Jesus appeared they were instantly struck with fear thinking they were seeing some kind of apparition. Jesus then made a provocative statement. He assured them that a ghost would not have “flesh and bones” such as he had. Now, in most cultures today there is a common expression to denote the natural human body that Jesus could have used but did not. That expression is “flesh and blood.” The words of this phrase are found in association in about 24 separate contexts of scripture. The exact phrase is uttered five times in the NT (Matt 16:17; 1 Cor 15:50; Gal 1:16; Eph 6:12; Heb 2:14), three times by Paul, once by the writer of Hebrews and once by Jesus himself. So even in Jesus’ day and in his culture the expression “flesh and blood” was common11 to the vernacular. By contrast the words “flesh and bones” are found in close association in about ten scriptural contexts. As an exact phrase “flesh and bones” is found only twice in all of scripture. So Jesus definitely had an option for which phrase he would use to describe his own flesh. On the one hand he could have chosen the seemingly more common phrase of “flesh and blood” or the less common, “flesh and bones.” It would seem therefore, since he chose the less used phrase, that his expression had special significance and should therefore be given careful scrutiny.


There are two immediate aspects of the phrase “flesh and bones” that are especially notable. The first aspect relates to the “first use principal” in that subsequent usages of the phrase may reflect meaning derived from its initial usage. In this case its original usage is found in the words of Adam when he first laid eyes on Eve. On this usage Wenham notes that for the Hebrews it became a “traditional kinship formula.”12 Subsequently, Ezekiel uses the terminology in describing the resurrection of the dry bones and of the flesh that came upon them. It was a description of the resurrection of the “whole house of Israel.” Apart from Jesus’ application of it in Luke 24:39, the only other instance of its NT usage is by Paul in Eph 5:30 to establish the nuptial like relation that exists between Christ and the church, “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones“ (KJV). Within this contest it might easily be surmised that Jesus deliberately used Adam’s nuptial terminology to describe his resurrected body. While the disciples were in no frame of mind to have immediately made the connections, Jesus knew that the Holy Spirit would soon enough remind them of his exact words and cause them to make the connection between his exact words, “flesh and bones,” and their own saturation into his resurrected body.


Second, Jesus may have wished to exclude the whole idea of blood in his body simply because his body no longer contained any blood. To have used the phrase “flesh and blood” would have been misleading. So we must ask, “Just where then was his blood?” His blood was and continues to be on the alter (or was awaiting its dedication in the ascension) in the heavens. When Jesus took the Vow of the Nazirite at his last Passover feast, he was dedicating his blood and flesh for us and for as many as would have faith in him. The wine of the Passover is the blood of Jesus. When he said I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, he was vowing to leave his blood on the alter for lost mankind for as long as the heavenly Father desired. Unlike the blood of animals or other men the blood of Jesus is as fresh and alive today as it was from the first moment in which was placed on the alter. And unlike the blood from thousands of sacrifices in the OT cultic worship, the blood of Jesus has never clotted.13 It retains the power to continually cleanse from sin for it contains the personal life of Jesus. It actually pleases the Father, when men avail themselves of his son’s blood. This is true even of Christians. His blood is not there just to cleanse those who are yet unredeemed. It is also there to continually wash those of us who may from time to time fall into sin. God has provided for us the blood of his son and it pleases him when we use it for our restoration.


However, when Jesus removes his blood from the alter there will be no more opportunity for natural man to join the messianic entity. From nature itself we understand that the presence of blood is a necessary component of conception. In the natural cycle of the woman there comes at some point a cessation of blood that formerly enabled the inception of new life. At this point no more children can or will be born. Once the messianic body is complete Jesus will take up his blood that holds his life and begin to reign. The blood of Jesus will then presumably be placed back into the body of Messiah (whether actually or metaphorically). This restoration of the blood of Jesus to his body transpires at the wedding feast of the lamb. There is good reason to believe that the blood of Jesus will be shared with the entire messianic body of Jesus at that time since we then become one flesh with him. We are also pictured as partaking of the eschatological wine with Jesus. Again, Jesus said that his blood was “true drink.” Therefore, with the conclusion of his Nazirite Vow all blood washing of sin will cease, redemption will come to a close and the body of Christ (the bride) will be completed.


Those who took the Vow of the Nazirite not only abstained from wine but also from any portion of the grape including the flesh and the seed. This suggests to us the broken body of Jesus depicted in the bread of communion. There are two points to consider as we look at the bread. First of all we want to look at the bread as the “broken” body of Jesus. Then we want to see just how that broken body affects messianic formation.


The Jewish feast of Passover included an after-meal desert called the “reveling” which became symbolic of the coming of Messiah. This bread was the “unleavened bread.”14 So from the very beginning of our discussion we are contemplating the Parousia of Jesus in connection with the bread. But we want to understand the connection between the broken bread, the return of Jesus and of course our relationship to it all. What we are seeing here in the broken bread is reflective of a powerful image already considered. The broken body of Jesus is the same image as that of the first Adam. His body was broken also and as long as it remained in that condition the bride was undergoing creation. The creator determined the duration of Adam’s physical breach. In the case of Jesus’ broken body, it is being determined by the Father in heaven. The blood of Adam is not mentioned but it is unthinkable that it was not a factor in the creation of Eve. We are not told of any “Nazirite like” vow on Adam’s part but the desire for a mate must have seemed like a good idea to him. And it is quite likely that he underwent the ordeal in a very voluntary manner just like Jesus. Thus by implication, Adam was also observing the vow of the Nazirite during which he did not avail himself of his own blood nor of his body. In this relationship the “sleep” of Adam is comparable to the Nazirite Vow.


In the case of communion, the broken bread represents the opening of the body of Jesus. As with the blood, Jesus has abstained from the use of his own personal body so that any man who so chooses may enter his body through the physical breach (Heb 10:19-20).


This breach will close at the consummation of the age and at the great wedding feast, all who have accepted his gracious invitation will be permitted the right to partake of the “choice marrow” (Isa 25:6-9). In other words, those who are partaking of the flesh of the feast are being forever “saturated” into the eternal body of Jesus. They are forever joining the messianic entity. But most importantly they are becoming “one flesh” with Jesus. This is the marriage of the church to the Lamb. It is the moment to which all of the present mysteries point. This is the focus of our destiny. No concept of eternal reward can compare to having joined Jesus in a marital relationship.15 The mystery of communion is suggestive of the divine wedding feast. Since the marriage of the Lamb is accomplished by a charismatic event (the great resurrection), the observance of communion is essentially a charismatic down payment of that event.


Now, it is at this wedding feast that the prayer of Jesus (John 17:21) is fulfilled. Jesus prayed that the church would be perfectly unified and that they would be one with him and the Father. This is the eschatological fulfillment of the broken bread. Through his body the church becomes one flesh not only with Jesus, but also with one another. When we partake of communion we are both remembering the vow of Jesus and participating in shed blood and broken body which he has left on the alter for us. It is a viable means of placing ourselves in the presence of Jesus. It is not that the bread is really the body of Jesus or that the blood is really the blood of Jesus. Physical objects, even the bread and wine of communion, cannot substitute for spiritual reality. However, communion is an act of faith, which was commanded by Jesus. When we obey Jesus in faith we place ourselves into the spiritual realities. Communion is an opportunity for the present body of Jesus to temporarily become one body with the expectation of an immediate (though temporary) Parousia of Jesus. It is a “wedding rehearsal” attended by the Groom.


Chapter Six


Kingdom Entrance


Two thousand years now separate us from Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom of God and still the church is unsettled as to its meaning. In his effort to communicate the kingdom ideal Jesus actually seems to pause as he searched for the right words, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God” (Luke 13:20 NASU)? It was not easy for the disciples to understand the kingdom of God even as taught by the Lord himself. He taught on the kingdom for forty days after his resurrection but still the misunderstandings persisted (Acts 1:6). The kingdom of God is easily and simply described as the rule of God. All of the religious leaders of the day would also have agreed upon this definition. However, the Jewish leaders were still confused by much of Jesus’ teaching. He was obviously familiar with the traditional understanding of Jewish theology but the heart of his teaching came from his own revelation. Ladd comments, “Jesus may have proclaimed a message about the kingdom of God which radically transcended his environment.”1 His message contained many elements of rabbinic theology but approached it from a very different perspective. Today’s believer is likewise confused by the seemingly indirect manner in which the gospels present the kingdom of God. Nowhere in them does anyone ask, “What is the kingdom of God?” Ladd has commented:


“The critical problem arises from the fact that Jesus nowhere defined what he meant by the phrase. We must therefore assume either that the content of the phrase was so commonly understood by the people as to need no definition or that the meaning of Jesus’ proclamation is to be interpreted in terms of his total mission and conduct.”2


Jesus’ discourse with Nicodemus (John 2:25-3:10) is fundamentalists’ most used and misused texts on the kingdom of God. However we must look carefully at this narrative as it contains a number of definitive statements about the kingdom of God. First of all consider the person of Nicodemus and his reason for coming to Jesus. Nicodemus may have been a renowned teacher as Jesus calls him “The teacher of Israel.” This was a sincere complement. He was one of a group of Pharisees who believed on the Lord. He is often assailed for having come to Jesus by night. The assumption is that he was afraid of criticism from his peers. However, it is more likely that Nicodemus came to Jesus “by night” because of a desire for “uninterrupted conversation.”3 Just in case fear was his motivation, we might recall Peter the apostle actually denied Jesus three times out of fear but we do not judged him by that. From Acts 15:5 we discover that Nicodemus was not the only Pharisee to have accepted Jesus and from John 7:50 we also find that he was not silent in the face of strong opposition. Most amazingly of all, Nicodemus boldly went to Pilot requesting the body of Jesus while the disciples were in hiding. Then there are the words of Nicodemus himself. “No one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him" (John 3:2 NASU).” Nicodemus may not have fully recognized Jesus for who he really was but then neither did the disciples at first. It must also be observed that Jesus treated Nicodemus differently than the other Pharisees. Jesus never gave the unbelieving Pharisees so much as the time of day. They only got stories and riddles from Jesus. Nicodemus was treated with utmost respect.


Our selected text (John 2:25-3:10) begins with an important qualifying statement. “Jesus knew what was in man.” Now John the author wanted us to understand something about the discourse between Jesus and Nicodemus. Jesus knew what was in the heart and mind of Nicodemus before he ever uttered a word. Jesus knew that Nicodemus respected and admired Him. He respectfully calls Jesus “Rabbi.” It is extremely important for us to understand all of this information on the character of Nicodemus because it helps us to determine the focus of the words of Jesus to him. Because He new what was in the mind of Nicodemus, Jesus never gave him the opportunity of articulating his own question. To Nicodemus this must have been a further and convincing proof of the messianic character of Jesus. Jesus went straight to the heart of his concerns. In America there used to be a TV game show that gave the contestants the answer to the questions and the challenge was to correctly guess the question. This is precisely what we have in the discourse of Jesus and Nicodemus. Jesus answered not the words of Nicodemus but the thoughts in his heart. We have clues to his heart. First of all, Nicodemus revealed that he had been watching all of the miracles and good works of Jesus as he had been traveling throughout the region in his teaching and healing campaign (Matt 4:23).


Nicodemus, being an honest and sincere Jew, had been truly impressed with the works of Jesus. Unlike many other Pharisees around him, he was not concerned about his position. He was only concerned about truth. Furthermore, being “the preeminent teacher in Israel” he had listened very closely to Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom of God. So, what exactly did Nicodemus want? Remember, Nicodemus never asked the question so we must look at Jesus’ answer to determine what Nicodemus really wanted. Amazingly, based upon the answer of Jesus, Nicodemus wanted to join him in the power and the good works of the kingdom of God. Nicodemus was not seeking further evidence to validate the identity of Jesus. We must assume that Nicodemus was already convinced in his mind about the messianic personage of Jesus. His unspoken question was, “How can I enter the kingdom of God?” The entire discourse is about how to enter the kingdom of God.


Nicodemus was not a lost soul who was on his way to the pit of hell. Nicodemus was an honorable man of integrity who feared and served God from the integrity of his heart. As fundamentalists we tend to lump all non-fundamentalists into one lost heap and theologically damn their poor souls to hell. We have done this with Nicodemus and all other Jews of the time. Faithful Jews were not lost before Jesus arrived and you can be sure that not all of the Jews in Jesus’ day had heard of him before they died. So what happened to all those dead Jews even the ones contemporary with the appearance of Jesus? Did all these faithful Jews really go to hell? Of course not! God judged them based upon their faith and obedience to God’s word just like the Jewish generations before them. If we condemn Nicodemus to hell we must also send every other honest Jew to hell with him. This just is not theological reality.


This theological reality now poses an even bigger challenge. If Nicodemus was not “lost” or going to hell, then what was Jesus trying to communicate to him by the words, “You must be born again?” Fundamentalists are unified on the interpretation and application of these words. The phrase is interpreted to mean that every person must have a personal experience with Jesus or they will not go to heaven (i.e. have salvation or justification). Now, it is true that no one will go to heaven or experience salvation or justification without a personal acceptance of Jesus. I do not openly object to the use of this phrase while people are being encouraged to accept Christ. I know what we fundamentalists generally mean by the phrase but that is not what Jesus is talking about. Nicodemus has already made a great confession in Jesus, “You are come from God.” Jesus is not talking about justification. Nicodemus already had that if from no other source than his sincere belief in and obedience to the commandments of God. We have now eliminated the possibility of justification being the focus of this phrase.


Whatever is the meaning of “Born Again” it has the kingdom of God as its focus. It is apparent from the context that Nicodemus was interested in the miracles of Jesus. He was seemingly impressed with his ministry and as already suggested, Nicodemus was interested in how he too might become a partaker of the exciting messianic life that Jesus lived. Therefore, Nicodemus was interested not in the security of his soul but in the messianic ministry of the Holy Spirit. This is the most natural and the most obvious interpretation of this discourse. The admonition “You must be born again” is more directly focused upon the believer than upon the unbeliever. Jesus gives this same exhortation in other places but uses different language. For example, Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the power of the Spirit. He could just as easily have said “Wait in Jerusalem until you are “born again.” When Paul admonishes his churches to be filled with the Spirit he is in effect encouraging them to be “born again.” Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus out of his own personal experience. He too was “born again” at the river Jordan and transformed into the messianic head. I have no illusion about the difficulty that confronts the church in changing this terminology but John 3:1-8 is all about Pentecost. Non-Pentecostals have conscripted this text for a very long time but it does not belong in that camp.


To us and to believers like Nicodemus these words of Jesus represent divine instructions on how to move in the power and sovereignty of God’s kingdom that is now in “Our midst.” Jesus was preparing Nicodemus for the day of Pentecost. The Pentecostal experience is the answer to the unspoken question of Nicodemus. How do I enter the kingdom of God? You must be born from above (or “born again”). The concept of being begotten from above is but an adaptation of the Jewish hope of a “new creation.”4


The regeneration (Matt 19:28; Titus 3:5-6) and the born again experiences are the same experience5 and are both predictive of Pentecost. Isaiah uses the concept to describe the dramatic changes that will occur at the return of Jesus (Isa 65:17). But Paul and Jesus are using the same idea to describe the dramatic changes that occur when a person is baptized in the Spirit. As already discussed, Paul also used the new creation / new birth concept in 2 Cor 5:17 as a reference to the new messianic creation.


Jesus was instructing Nicodemus that before he could function in the kingdom of God, he must first experience a “resurrection-like” outpouring of the Holy Spirit (i.e. be born again). When Nicodemus seemed amazed by the concept, Jesus immediately breaks his first statement into two parts to make it more understandable. “Unless one is born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” This is a restatement of “You must be born again.” There are technically two baptisms associated with the new birth that are also described in Titus 3:5-6. Paul here teaches that salvation is accomplished by the inner working of both baptisms. Without both aspects of the new birth our salvation is not complete. Paul calls the first baptism “the washing of regeneration.” The first baptism is not the regeneration itself. It is only the washing of regeneration. He might have simply called it “the washing” and we would have more quickly associated it with water baptism in Jesus name. The regeneration is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is the charismatic transformation effected by the power of God to transform our minds and to anoint our bodies into the messianic entity. In these verses (Titus 3:5-6) Paul actually gives two names to the second baptism. They are regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. As we shall see, there can be no regeneration without the washing of baptism.


There is an important charismatic formula to be observed here. The believer must be baptized in water and then filled with the Spirit in order to begin functioning in the kingdom of God like Messiah. We first see the formula in the teaching and ministry of John the Baptist. John was preparing Israel for the imminent appearing of God’s kingdom. John’s mission was to bring Israel to repentance. He was preparing them for the day of Pentecost. God wanted all of Israel to be filled with the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. John’s mission was to take care of the first part of the formula. That part included both confession of sins and water baptism but at no time is this baptism perceived as usurpation of the sacrifices that comprised OT justification. John knew that the second part of the formula (the baptism of the Spirit) was not a part of his ministry. The baptism of the Spirit was the function of Jesus.


Jesus himself observed this formula. He was preaching repentance and baptism. Actually Jesus did not personally do the baptizing. His disciples did it (John 4:1-2). Thus we are not confused about his own personal task, to baptize with the Spirit. Now, baptism did under-go a change. John was not baptizing into the name of Jesus but after Pentecost all water baptism was being done in Jesus’ name. At his resurrection Jesus had been exalted as Lord (Acts 2:36) and his name was exalted above every name (Phil 2:9). It is now the authority under which all forgiveness is granted. From the very beginning of the church this formula was being observed (Acts 2:38; 8:16-17; 19:5-6).


There is a lot of discussion about the meaning of “born of water.” Jesus places enormous emphasis upon it and fundamentalists have worked very hard to find a way around it. The problem comes because the words have been misappropriated. Since it is believed that this text refers to justification, the phrase in question must also refer to justification. Fundamentalists do not want to put too much emphasis on water baptism because they correctly believe that justification is by faith only. Therefore, water baptism must be designated as an evangelistic testimony. Fundamentalists (including Pentecostals) have “watered down” water baptism. We say, “It is the outward expression of an inward work.” This is why evangelicals give mere “lip service” to the practice. As a general rule we baptize only after an extended period of instruction and then only when it is convenient. In all honesty evangelical goals in water baptism could be better served by the converts participation in street evangelism, if it is only “an outward expression.” As soon as a person experiences justification he could be taken to the nearest street corner to begin telling all who pass by about the “inner work” which he has just experienced. However, there is a shocking truth to be understood about water baptism. It is not a mere outward expression and it is not about justification. Churches that do not believe in the charismatic infilling of the Spirit could save themselves a lot of money on beautiful baptismal tanks because water baptism is preparation for the baptism of the Spirit. A good example to study is the baptism of Paul:


Acts 9:17-18 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized.


Now Ananias was sent by God to Paul (formerly called Saul) to accomplish two distinct purposes. God wanted to heal the blind eyes of Paul through the hands of Ananias and he also wanted Paul receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We are specifically told that his eyes were healed but details of his being filled with the Spirit seem a bit ambiguous. Which baptism did Paul experience at this time? It only says that Paul got up and was baptized. Now, other than this event, there are no scriptural references to the baptism of Paul into the Holy Spirit. It is hardly necessary to prove that Paul himself was truly baptized in the Spirit. So this event must be a reference to Paul’s personal transformation by the Spirit of God. It is instructive that we are not given more details. The author of this text assumes that his reader understands the nature of water baptism. Water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism are inseparable. If you are baptized into water you should immediately be filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke does not deem it necessary to separate Paul’s experience into two baptisms. Paul himself said that there is only “one baptism”(Eph 4:5). Water and Spirit baptisms function together to bring the believer into the presence of God. The example of the Ephesian elders demonstrates that Paul expected people to be filled with the Holy Spirit upon having been baptized. Paul knew that they had been baptized so he could not understand why they had not also received the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:12-17 also serves as a good example. The believers in Samaria were being baptized in water but they were not immediately receiving the Holy Spirit. To the elders in Jerusalem this was considered aberrant and unacceptable. Peter and John were then dispatched to Samaria to finish what they thought should have been accomplished at water baptism.


Today our fundamentalist churches are full of believers with aberrant experiences. One might think that people should be filled with the Spirit at water baptism even if there is no expectation for it. Paul told the Galatians that they had received the Spirit by the “hearing of faith” (Gal 3:2). Actually, non-Pentecostal believers are occasionally filled with the Spirit during non-charismatic baptismal services. The setting of expectations for baptism should be an integral part of our gospel message. Charismatics themselves are terribly remised in this practice. We use literature and techniques developed by non-Pentecostals (e.g. “Four Spiritual Laws, Evangelism Explosion) that set absolutely no expectation for a messianic saturation. We do not see dramatic spiritual outpourings upon believers at water baptism because like other fundamentalists we ourselves have no such expectations. For our converts the “hearing of faith” no longer seems to apply to the baptism of the Holy Spirit as it did to the Galatians. By our negligence we have deprived them of it. We impart no such vision to our converts at the outset of their experience.


Remember, the gospel has not truly been preached until the indwelling of Jesus has been communicated. Jesus said “This gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world before the end could come.” The typical evangelistic message is only about half of the gospel message. Like evangelicals, Pentecostals do not generally preach “THIS” gospel of the kingdom of God as an integral part of evangelism. Jesus did not come only to wash away our sins. Jesus came to abide in mankind through the power of the Holy Spirit. This was the gospel message of Jesus and of the apostles and before Jesus returns it will be the only message upon the lips of God’s people. Water baptism, however, is a prerequisite to kingdom entrance. It is truly necessary, but not for justification. The anointing of the priestly sons of Aaron helps us to understand the significance of water baptism:


Ex 29:4-7 Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. Take the garments and dress Aaron with the tunic, the robe of the ephod, the ephod itself and the breastpiece. Fasten the ephod on him by its skillfully woven waistband. Put the turban on his head and attach the sacred diadem to the turban. Take the anointing oil and anoint him by pouring it on his head. (NIV)


This gospel message is anticipated in the architectural design of the wilderness tabernacle. A fence made of cloth surrounded the complex. The brass alter was the first article encountered as one entered the gate of the complex. All burnt offerings for sin were made on this alter. It represents the sacrifice of Jesus by his death on the cross. We visited this alter when we accepted Jesus and made him our substitute for sin. For us it is the place where justification occurs. The believer has no place on this alter other than his faith in the ultimate sacrifice (the Lamb of God) that was placed upon it. Mankind cannot add his own sacrifice to that which has already been made for sin. Now between this brass alter and the tabernacle there was a large brass laver. This was the place where the sons of Aaron prepared for their ministry in the presence of Jehovah. There were two requirements in this preparation. First of all, they were washed from head to toe with water. Then they were anointed with the oil of consecration. This water laver and the activities surrounding it are perfectly depictive of water and Spirit baptism.


Now, the laver and the alter are two completely separate items in the tabernacle complex. The only similarity between the water laver and the alter is their composition of brass. Both structures deal with sin (as prefigured in the brass) but in different ways. The brass alter deals with sin through the believers faith in the Lamb of God whose blood was released upon it. This act releases the believer from punishment for his sin as long as he maintains his faith in the blood of Jesus. The brass laver also deals with sin but in much the same way as Jesus washed the disciples feet “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet” (John 13:10 NASU). The washing of the laver was never intended to replace the blood ministry of the brass alter. Likewise, the baptism of John was never intended as a substitute for the Jewish atonement. It was a washing that qualified believers for messianic ministry. We are “bathed” in the blood of Jesus at the brass alter but our feet are washed at the laver. These are not the “sins unto death” (I John 5:16-17). Those are resolved at the alter. It is the answer to Romans seven and to Nicodemus and to Peter’s admonition to repentance (Acts 2:38). It addresses the longing of those who cry out for effective ministry, for those who are seeking priesthood in the Spirit. This brass laver deals with the impurities of heart and of mind that hinder the believers’ progression into the priesthood.


Jesus had no sin at all but he most certainly visited the brass laver when he arrived at the Jordan River and was baptized by John. When Jesus said baptism was “necessary to fulfill all righteousness,” he was submitting to the ordinances required of priests. Therefore, Jesus allowed John to wash him in water and immediately he was filled with the Spirit. John washed Jesus and the Holy Spirit applied the oil of consecration. Thus Jesus was anointed and set apart as a priest unto God. The baptism of Jesus is the paradigm for our own Pentecostal experience. We must be born of water and then we will be born of the Spirit. For the OT priests, as with Jesus, these two experiences transpired in the same location and at the same time. Like Paul, we must condition our minds to see water and Spirit baptism as one event (Eph 4:5).


Yes of course there were exceptions. Cornelius is the most famous. He was first filled with the Spirit and then (immediately) baptized in water. But this exception has a good explanation that has already been discussed. It is also common among Pentecostals to see children who have never been baptized suddenly being filled with the Spirit. This is quite understandable. They will be washed with water in due time but their human maturity will also play a role in the timing of their entrance into messianic ministry and thus the need for water baptism.


The washing of water also presupposes the washing of ones life. Not just of earthly defilements but of human prerogatives. Once the priests were consecrated their occupations were severely limited by their service to the tabernacle. Before his baptism, Jesus was no doubt gainfully employed probably as a carpenter. He was 30 years old (the age at which men became eligible for priestly service in the tabernacle, Num 4:3) and would have helped to support his home and his mother. He could have maintained that profession but he chose the priesthood to which he had been called. His water baptism was a covenant with God wherein Jesus washed himself of all his human prerogatives. For Jesus water baptism meant that he would never have a wife or natural children. It meant that he would have no place to call home and no career. For us water baptism has the same significance though the ramifications of that washing will very from person to person. It is not just a symbolic cleansing it is a covenant of holiness and of separation from the profane (common) life. It is an irrevocable abandonment to the will of God, a self-inflicted death. Without this commitment the Pentecostal life is little more than a hobby. God is not anointing hobbyists. He only consecrates with the Holy Spirit those who commit everything. Water baptism is that commitment as described in Rom 6:3-4:


Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (NASU)


Without this personal “death wish” there can be no resurrection to newness of life (i.e. born again experience). We cannot walk in the old patterns of life and at the same time walk in newness of life. Water baptism not only separates us from sin it also separates us from the possibility of ever living out a normal (as viewed by men) life. In water baptism we make a statement to God. We are saying, “I will completely die to my own prerogatives in exchange for the outpouring of your Spirit.” In water baptism we present ourselves to God as men and women who have chosen the priesthood as our profession and are now making ourselves available. (This is not exactly something to be undertaken by infants!) Today, man administers the water of baptism but it is Jesus who applies the oil that consecrates the believer.


Keep in mind the implicit purpose of Nicodemus’ visit. He was intrigued by the possibility of emulating the ministry of Jesus. After all, Jesus himself had been publicly inviting the nation of Israel to join him in the kingdom of God (Matt 6:33). Nicodemus would have been well aware of this standing invitation. Jesus here dramatically describes for us the kingdom lifestyle. It is the normal and anticipated mode of existence for the “Born Again.” Through water baptism, those who are born again are freed from the common restraints imposed upon mankind by the god of this world “mammon” (Matt 6:24). They have died to their self-prerogatives and to their old professions. They have become priests unto God and they no longer entangle themselves in the wind resisting “affairs” and “cares” of this life (2 Tim 2:3; Matt 13:22). They are available to a divine wind that blows only at its own whim. Their spiritual sails are at full mast and they easily catch breezes that are imperceptible to their “care ridden” brethren. In the end they may die in the scourge of poverty, but until then they surf the winds of the Spirit. The “Born Again” are freely moved about by the Holy Spirit. These are the sons of God being led about of the Spirit (Rom 8:14).


There are unlimited opportunities for messianic ministry but sadly much of today’s church is immobilized by it’s own prosperity. Most “successful” congregations in the western world are locked into expensive building programs, which are dependent upon the lucrative salaries of their members. The pastors of these ministries dare not encourage their members to free themselves from the cares of this life. The programs of the church just could not survive the resulting loss of funds should they be taken seriously. Here is the underlying assumption; the church can do more with the believer’s money than God can do with the believer’s time. Today’s charismatic church does correctly emphasize the enabling of Sprit baptism. However, it seems to have forgotten the believer’s need for freedom. In 1 Cor 10:1-2 Paul presents a classic illustration of the two baptisms and their respective purposes. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea (KJV).” The water into which they were baptized was the Red Sea. Yes the Sea was red and that reminds of the blood of Jesus but we must remember that by faith they have just kept the Passover, which anticipated the justification in the sacrifice of Jesus. So what did baptism in the Red Sea accomplish through symbolism if not justification. When the Red Sea closed behind Israel it cut them off, not from the life of sin, but from the life of slavery to the Pharaoh and from an existence of groveling for self-preservation. Had Israel never escaped the daily pursuit of mammon they could never have lived under and have been baptized into the messianic cloud. Spirit baptism enables the believer for ministry but the covenant of water baptism is that which releases him for service.


It is the “Born Again” experience that places us in the messianic body and links us with the head who is strategically situated in the heavens. When we move with the Spirit, we are going to all of the places that Jesus now wants to go and we are doing all of the things that Jesus wants to do. Remember, when Jesus walked among us in the flesh he was absolutely free to do the Father’s will. Is he now less interested in freedom of movement just because he has confined himself to our bodies? When we move in the Spirit we are continuing his earthly ministry the way he wants it done. When we move with the wind we are moving in the sovereignty of God. In the Spirit filled walk, my circumstances are no longer random. Each encounter in the “Born Again” experience is a “messianic moment.” It is the “Christ In You” experience. Jesus is living his life all over again and he is using our bodies to do it (2 Cor 4:11). It is a “messianic wind” that is blowing and only the Spirit filled messianic sons of God can surf it. The messianic wind (John 3:8) is the sovereignty of God but it only functions in those who maintain a “Born Again” (Pentecostal) experience.


In Matt 16:18-19; 18:18-19 Jesus speaks in detail to this sovereignty. Once his disciples gained possession of the “keys of the kingdom” (the born again experience) they were to move in a sovereignty that would resemble a blowing of the messianic wind mentioned in John 3:8, “whatever you bind or loose will already have been bound or loosed in heaven.” The keys of the kingdom are the powers of the age to come that are inherent within the messianic saturation (born again experience) that enable the process of binding and loosing. Paul called the keys “the weapons of our warfare” (2 Cor 10:3-5). Like the keys of the kingdom his weapons could tear down strongholds and speculations and take thoughts captive (bind them).


Jesus envisioned the church as successfully tearing down these strongholds and everything entrenched against its anointed focus. When Jesus said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” He must have been thinking of the prophesied success of the Pentecostal personage (a Spirit filled Servant who would succeed, Isa 42:1). Whenever the believer moves in the messianic anointing he is also moving in the sovereignty of God and cannot be stopped. If it is prophesied than it must come to pass and the success of the Pentecostal anointing has been prophesied. In Matt 18:20 Jesus indirectly acknowledges the corporate character of the anointing, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (NASU). Binding and loosing is indeed a function of the anointing but for Jesus it is a function of the corporate personality. Wherever Pentecostal believers congregate the eschatological Parousia of Jesus is manifested. With this manifestation binding and loosing becomes effective.


The charismatic Parousia of Jesus in the binding and loosing process explains the otherwise perplexing use of the pluperfect tense of the Greek verb that makes the action of binding and loosing chronologically impossible. "Whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven (Matt 18:18 NASU).” In other words Jesus is indicating that those who use the kingdom keys are actually accomplishing deliverances that have already been accomplished beforehand in the heavenlies or “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). This is an accurate use of the Greek tense. When we gather together in the charismatic presence of Jesus to do kingdom business we are so led of the Spirit that we are able to limit our prayers and activities to the things that have already been sanctioned in the heavenlies.


One story in particular demonstrates how Jesus used these keys. At the pool of Bethesda a multitude of sick people had gathered hoping to be healed (John 5:2-9). While walking through this crowd of sick and lame people Jesus suddenly noticed one lame man in particular and directly healed him. Now the obvious question for the charismatic is, why didn’t Jesus take the opportunity to heal the whole crowd? Jesus left that place having healed only one man. Why? The answer is found in Isa 11:1-3. The anointed servant would not function by what he could see or hear in the natural. Like Jesus, he would only do intuitively what he perceived was being done by the Father (John 5:19-20).


Jesus did not randomly heal people. Jesus moved in perfect unison with the Holy Spirit. Because of his baptism there was nothing in the life of Jesus that prevented him from perfectly hearing and obeying the voice of the Spirit of God, which he had received at his messianic anointing. From the story of Bethesda, we understand that even Jesus did not have a license to go about the world doing his own thing. By ignoring the multitude and zeroing in on only one man, Jesus was using the “Keys of the Kingdom” which he had received at his baptism in the Holy Spirit. It was not that Jesus had no compassion on the multitude, he did, but he had limited his activities to only what was revealed to him by the gifts of the Spirit. Limitations like this are very valuable. They cause us to be one hundred percent effective. Like it or not, the only things that will work for us in this messianic ministry are the things that have already been established by our messianic head. It has nothing at all to do with ones positive confession. It is dependent upon the believer’s sensitivity to the moving of the divine wind. The “key” to consistency in destroying the gates of hell is to only move when we hear movement in the “messianic wind” (1 Chr 14:15).


When we limit our actions only to what we see and hear in the Spirit, we begin to move in the divine sovereignty. The will of God is established in every situation where we have limited ourselves. Many “so called” charismatic ministries are little more than media hype. It is not that they are bad people or deceptive. They are just under enormous pressures to produce something spectacular. God has no such agenda. He just wants us to be so full of his messianic presence that we rejoice in doing only his will. The result of this strategy is that we only attempt things that were already sanctioned and scheduled to happen by God. Hence “whatever we bind on earth will already have been bound in heaven.” Actually, it’s quite simple. We must be lead of the Spirit. The most efficient method of exhausting our lives for God is to limit our activities to the blowing of the messianic wind. Everything that we need is in our anointing. John said that our messianic anointing would teach us about all things and that we would not need anyone to teach us (I John 2:27). This is not saying that charismatics no longer need to listen to the teachers in the body of Christ. It tells us that in the Pentecostal anointing we have the ability to see and to hear precisely what the Father is doing. Conversely we acquire the ability to close our eyes and ears to what we see and hear in the natural so as not to be distracted from the true direction of sovereignty. This is what Jesus meant when he told Nicodemus, “you cannot see or enter the kingdom of God” unless you have the messianic anointing (John 3:3).


The Messianic Prayer


The Lord’s Prayer is another definitive statement about the kingdom of God. The prayer is found in Matt 6:6-9 and in Luke 11:2-13. We will focus on Luke’s version because he has placed the prayer in an extremely enlightening context.


Throughout much of church history this prayer has been an essential component of church liturgy. However, it was not originally given to the church for that purpose. There is nothing wrong with it’s use as a formal public prayer but the real meaning and purpose as well as the impact of the prayer has been thereby greatly diminished when limited to a liturgical context. Luke shows us that it was the disciples themselves that requested information on prayer. They were not concerned about liturgical forms of Christian pageantry. The disciples had taken careful note of their master’s prayer habits. He prayed much and they could see a “cause and effect” relationship between his ability to pray and his ability to accomplish the work of the kingdom of God. They recognized that their Jewish forms of prayer were inferior to the way Jesus prayed. Finally the disciples sought advice from Jesus on the proper technique of prayer. As we shall see, the prayer is all about the kingdom of God. Both Matthew and Luke place it within the immediate context of important kingdom teaching by Jesus. Jesus himself seems to have given to the church the proper context in which this prayer is to be used:


But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matt 6:6 NASU)


Here Jesus makes no mention of any liturgical use of the prayer. Likewise, Luke gives no indication whatsoever that it was intended as a formal prayer. Jesus told his disciples to enter into their closets and close the doors before praying this prayer. This is not exactly the way it is generally used today. Jesus used the solitude of early mornings and the remoteness of the mountains as his personal prayer closet. It was in these places that Jesus used this outline for prayer (though he would not have sought forgiveness as he had no sin). Within the prayer itself we discover that it is a prayer to be prayed daily, “Give us this day our daily bread.” By strong implication we can safely assert that the Lord’s Prayer is to be prayed every day at the beginning of each day. If you seek God’s help in obtaining sustenance for each day, it would be logical that the early morning would be the most advantageous time of day to seek that help. Maybe Jesus had used this prayer on the mornings before he fed the five and four thousands? It is also in the early mornings that Israel gathered the manna, which God provided each day for them. This is a practical and not a liturgical prayer.


Jesus also gave a partial reason for the structure of his prayer (the full reason for its design will become apparent later). It is designed to prevent “meaningless repetition.” In much of Christendom (the liturgical church) this prayer has become more of a spiritual charm than a meaningful outline for accomplishing kingdom business. It is true that liturgical churches do not confine the use of this prayer to formal gatherings. However, by only emphasizing its formal use, believers remain unaware of its intended and most productive use in kingdom enterprise. In this prayer, Jesus gave to us his “trade secret” for success in the kingdom of God. Jesus often prayed alone and this was the form of prayer that he himself used in his pursuit of the kingdom of God. He knew that these prayer principles would also insure the success of his disciples.


There are many aspects of this prayer, which will not be covered in this discussion. Our primary concern is with the features that directly impact our understanding of the kingdom of God. We begin with Luke 11:2: “And He said to them, When you pray, say:”




There is no kingdom business that supersedes our relationship with God. Jesus must have given this first priority while alone in his “Mountain Closet. " We can envision Jesus with his hands raised while speaking words of endearment from the depths of his heart. While this prayer is most certainly an outline to ensure productive kingdom living, it must be understood from the outset that there is no productive kingdom activity other than that which proceeds from an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father.


“Hallowed Be Your Name”


This is one of the most valuable and productive concepts that the believer will ever encounter for effective kingdom dominion. It does indeed impact our experience in the kingdom of God but the details are hidden in the grammatical and theological details. The word “hollowed” is a verb that simply means “to be set apart.” There are two things that we should note concerning this verb. First of all, it is a verb with a passive voice. This means that the noun associated with the verb is not doing the action but receiving the action. We must therefore translate it, “Let your name be set apart.” Our appeal is that God would take action concerning his name. We are asking God to set his name apart. The world over, the name of God is used contemptuously or as something common and not holy or set apart. We know that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Since this is a daily prayer guide to be followed early in the morning, there could be nothing more profitable than to have assured the sanctity of God’s name in the circumstances of our daily life.


Now, there is another grammatical aspect to this verb that must be understood and the importance of this detail will only become apparent with a detailed explanation. All Greek verbs have what is called a “mood.” As expressed by J. Wenham:


“Mood is the form of the verb which indicates the mode or manner in which the action is to be regarded. There are four moods: The indicative makes a statement or asks a question: ‘He goes’, ‘were you listening? The imperative gives a command, entreaty or exhortation: ‘Go’, ‘make haste’, ‘let him come’. The subjunctive expresses a thought or wish rather than an actual fact. It is the mood of doubtful assertion, e.g. ‘God save the king’, ‘thy will be done’, ‘if I were you, I would not go’, ‘so that I may arrive’, ‘in order that I might succeed’”6


Wenham’s final mood is the infinitive mood but since it does not figure into our discussion we have not included its description. The mood used for the word “hallowed” is the imperative mood. This gives our verb the quality of being a command with an emphatic tone. It should therefore be translated in the following way: “I insist that your name be set apart.” Now, in the English language there is absolutely no efficient means of translating this verb. Other languages that are structured similarly to the Greek (like Russian) are not likewise restricted. Now the hidden (to English readers) meaning of this imperative mood and its repetition within the passage is the single most important fact to consider when analyzing Luke’s application of the prayer and correspondingly its relationship to the kingdom of God.


At this point we must undertake something that will seem to be a departure from our theme. Again, your patience is enjoined, its significance will also become clear as the study unfolds. We now understand the meaning of the phrase (“I insist that your name be set apart”) based upon grammatical principals. However, we do not know exactly to which name of God Jesus is referring. It is almost universally assumed that Jesus has in view the name, “Jehovah.” Clearly stated, the question before us is, “what is the name of the Father?” The following verses help us to formulate our question but in themselves there are no answers:


John 5:43 I have come in my Father's name (NIV)

John 10:25, The works that I do in my Fathers name (NASU)

John 12:13 "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" (NIV)

John 12:28 “Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (NIV)

John 17:6, I manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me (NASU)



Based upon the above texts, we may ask the following questions concerning the Father’s name. What name did Jesus use in his ministry? When did Jesus manifest the Fathers name to the disciples? When did the Father glorify His name? And upon what name are we to call? Again, what is the Fathers name? Our thesis is this; the name of the Father is the name of Jesus. It was the name in which Jesus himself was working miracles and casting out devils (Mark 9:38-39). It was in this respect that God honored “His” name all throughout the ministry of Jesus. When God spoke and said, “I will honor it again,” it was a reference to the post resurrection exaltation of the name of Jesus that set it above every other name that is named in heaven and earth (Eph 1:20-21; 2:9-10). This includes the name “Jehovah.” Consider also Paul’s interpretation of the OT name upon which we are to call” (Rom 10:13) it is the name of Jesus (Rom 10:9) though it originally referred to Jehovah. In Isa 62:2 the Lord told Israel that they would come to be known by a new name. They had been known as the People of Jehovah. The new name by which the people of God are now known is Jesus. In John 17:6 Jesus told the Father in prayer that he had manifested his (the Father’s) name to the disciples. The tense of the Greek verb indicates that Jesus “had just done it.” When read in context, it is discovered that Jesus is speaking to the Father in reference to the discourse that he has just completed about praying to the Father in his (Jesus’) own name, (John 16:23-26). From these scriptures it would be easy to infer that the Father’s name is Jesus. However let us move from the inference to actual statement of this fact:


John 17:11 Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me (NASU)

John 17:12 I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me (NASU)


Many believers are incredulous at the above translation. However, in recent years the best of modern scholarship has determined, based on sound evidence, that Jesus did in fact say, “Your name is the one You gave to Me.”7 Among others, two highly respected English translations (New International Version and the New American Standard Version) have embraced this more accurate rendering of the Greek. In view of these scriptures and many others supportive of them one can only conclude that the name of Jesus is the Father’s name. Why do we refer to the name of the Son as being that of the Father and in what respect is this so?


In Luke 1:26-31 we discover from the discourse of Gabriel and Mary that the name of Jesus originated with the Father. The Father had chosen the name even before Mary became pregnant with Jesus. It was not the name by which the Father was designated. It was the name that he had chosen for the messianic child. The Trinity has other names by which they are known. However this is the only name given as a foundation for salvation. In Hebrew the name Jesus means, “Jehovah, his salvation.” This is the name God has chosen for all of his redemptive work that through this name he might bring salvation and redemption and restoration to all the earth. So when we pray, “I insist that your name would be set apart,” We are insisting that the name of Jesus would be sanctified for our lives during the ensuing day. It is our assurance that our day with all of its uncertainties will be guarded by the highest possible appeal to authority. You can bring under this name all of your petitions for the day.


So Jesus received his name from the Father. In this name he went about healing the sick and delivering those oppressed of the devil. Jesus knew the source of his name. Without any doubt his mother had told Jesus about all of the things that surrounded his conception and birth including his name. In deference to the Father, Jesus called his own name, “the Father’s name.” The name of Jesus is also the name of the Holy Spirit. Just like the Father, the Spirit has also undertaken the task of exalting just one name. In John 14:26, the Holy Spirit has been sent in the name of Jesus. According to John 15:26-27 the Holy Spirit is bearing witness to the name of Jesus just like the disciples. Then in John 16:13-14, we find that the Holy Spirit does not speak on his own initiative but takes whatever is of Jesus and discloses it to us. By this we can be certain that the Holy Spirit is exalting no other name but Jesus.


There is an important parallel in the OT that underscores the Holy Spirit’s ministry in bearing witness to the name of Jesus. Moses is the type of Jesus. He led God’s people through the Red Sea, which prefigures the blood of Jesus and its power to separate men from their bondages and from the old life of sin. Then Moses is also a type of Jesus in that he is the giver of the Law just as was Jesus. Now, the successor of Moses was a man who is a type of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who took the people of God from their life of wondering and led them across the river Jordan into the land of fruitfulness. The river of Jordan is very significant in that the name Jordan means “The Descender.” It is no doubt so called because it has the greatest fall for its distance of any river on earth and it descends to the lowest point of any river on earth. As such it is also a type of the Holy Spirit. Now the OT portrayal of the land of Canaan does not (as some assume) represent heaven. It represents the fruitful life of Spirit filled believers who are seated with Christ in heavenly places. In these heavenly places we meet our real foes. They are the principalities and the powers and the rulers of this darkness (Eph 3:10; 6:12). The “In Christ” experience is the place where we are able to successfully engage our real enemies. The wilderness experience is the place where saints wander in unbelief. It is the place where our enemy is our own fleshly desires that resist the Holy Spirit. It’s a place of double mindedness and spiritual duplicity. Now, the name of the man who led Israel into the fruitfulness is Joshua. This is the Hebrew rendering of the Greek name, Jesus. One would think that since Moses is the type of Christ that he should be the one who bears the name of Jesus. But this is not the case. It is the type of the Holy Spirit who is bearing the name. So it is today. The Holy Spirit is powerfully bearing witness to the name of Jesus. So it is that the Trinity has chosen a name. They have agreed upon one name in which all men may find redemption.


There are important ramifications to this principle. The disciples (and the church by extension) were commanded by Jesus to make disciples and to baptize them into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, (Matt 28:19). However, There is not one example of the NT church having followed the words of Jesus in administering water baptism by use of the trinitarian formula. In every case where we are told just how it was administered, baptism was in the name of Jesus only (Acts 2:38; 8:12; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16). From other texts we discover that Paul was actually teaching baptism in Jesus’ name. In I Cor 1:11-13 he states that we are baptized into the name of the one crucified for us. In Col 2:11-12 Paul is making a connection between baptism and Jewish circumcision. At baptism we are immersed into Christ. Now the result of this act is like circumcision in that it results in our being separated from the flesh. In the Jewish tradition and according to Jewish law male children were to be circumcised on the eighth day from their birth. At this time also they were named. We can see the example of this in Luke 1:59-60. The parents of John the Baptist have taken John to be circumcised on his eighth day. They are clearly deciding at this occasion just what his name should be. In the same way we receive the name of Jesus on the occasion of our own baptism. What a powerful way to live! When we are baptized into Messiah (ideally at water baptism) we become a new creature. The name of that new creature is Jesus and we take unto ourselves his name as we are baptized into his body. We may wonder why the NT church seems to have completely ignored the instructions of Jesus to baptize “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Actually, they were the ones who understood and obeyed his words. They knew what Jesus meant. The name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is the name of Jesus.


This may be somewhat disconcerting to many since most modern saints have been baptized in the name of the Trinity. However, all that is needed to rectify this situation is to understand that a baptism into the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit is actually a baptism into the name of Jesus. One only needs to understand and claim it by faith.


“Your kingdom come”


In this phrase we again encounter the imperative mood. The Greek verb for “come” is also passive. Therefore it should be prayed, “I insist that your kingdom would be made to come.” As in all of the gospel references to the kingdom of God we have now learned to ask a fundamental question, “which aspect of the kingdom is in view?” We shall discover from the context that Jesus has in mind the present manifestation of the kingdom of God. He is talking about the kingdom that is “In You (Luke 17:20).” In Matt 6:33 Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God.” In that context (which also included the Lord’s Prayer) Jesus was teaching the disciples to structure their lives in a manner that would not inhibit the full functioning of God’s kingdom and power in them. This instruction is not easy for the average Christian to apply. According to Jesus in this text, it is the basic necessities of life that prevent believers from experiencing the full power of Pentecost. The modern version of Pentecost often teaches that a high standard of living is a part of the charismatic blessings of God. And with that affluence believers can secure for themselves any ministry scheme deemed appropriate. However, Jesus viewed things differently. In his scheme of ministry, monetary funding counted for nothing and a person was only qualified for ministry based upon his or her anointing. He taught that we should not worry about things like food and clothing and by implication, money for ministry. The parable of the sower (Matt 13:18-23 “the cares of this life”) speaks to the same principal.


This parable contains wonderful insights into the kingdom of God. First of all, what is the “word of the kingdom?” Again the word of the kingdom is not just the teaching of justification. It is the concept that Messiah can be in the believer and that the believer can be in Messiah. It is the teaching that all men, especially poor men without hope, now have access to personal glory and purpose of being. Jesus demonstrated this in his encounter with the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-26). Those who are doing well in this world’s system do not easily make the transition into the kingdom of God. The grace that comes to us at Pentecost is not an isolated experience without a context. It comes into the lives of people who have cleared out all of their personal prerogatives for life (i.e. the baptismal commitment). To a great extent the poor of this world have already had their personal prerogatives destroyed by the circumstances in which they find themselves. So this gospel is truly good news to the poor. It means their lives will have significance. The “word of the kingdom” is a word about the present availability of glory and power, and of holy purpose through the indwelling of Christ. This should be our message to unbelievers. We should be teaching Pentecost to the world. Of course you cannot teach Pentecost without teaching justification but justification is not “THE” word of the kingdom. If we do not teach about the charismatic abiding of Messiah in the believer, we have not communicated the “word of the kingdom.” It is in this “charismatic reality” that we are asked to “sell all that we have and give it to the poor.” In today’s charismatic church far too much importance is placed on the idea of temporal blessings being the believer’s covenant with God. The possessions in our lives serve as hindrances to real charismatic glory. For this reason Paul said, “Do not be entangled in the affairs of this life.”


The “word of the kingdom” was an exciting message about charismatic hope and of glory. When Jesus commissioned his disciples to go forth and declare it, he told them to demonstrate what they taught by working miracles and by healing the sick and by raising the dead. This is the normal charismatic witness. We charismatics are not sent out to merely teach our exciting charismatic doctrine. We are sent forth to demonstrate the messianic glory to which God has invited mankind. Sure, we love to dance and sing and we have good reason to do so but first of all we are sent to proclaim the gospel to the poor and to deliver the captives with a demonstration of Pentecostal power. This is the word of the kingdom as understood by Jesus and his disciples. It is astonishing to us that there are men who can hear this specific message with signs and wonders following and still not understand the “word of the kingdom.” But in the parable of the sower, this is exactly what happens to some men. However, other men see the demonstration of “Christ In You” (i.e. the charismatic power of God) and hurriedly embrace it. Yet some of these same believers soon lose their original excitement. Why? The cares of this life have the ability to destroy messianic hope once cherished in the human heart. It is for this reason that Jesus said we are to live one day at a time and anything beyond that is evil. We may be able to sing and dance while holding on to our possessions and our involvements with this world but we cannot likewise hold on to the messianic glory of God.


The gospel of the kingdom is an exclusively Pentecostal message but it comes at a price that most western Pentecostals of today have never paid or even envisioned. In Matt 6:33-34 Jesus set before his disciples two realities. The first reality is the human quest for physical survival. The second reality is the human quest for the glory of the kingdom of God. Jesus commanded us to seek the second reality first and the first reality would take care of itself. In Matt 13:44-46 Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a field with hidden treasure and to a pearl of great price. Both the pearl and the treasure represent the same thing. They represent the charismatic, messianic glory that comes with the abiding presence of Jesus in human flesh. Our Pentecostal experience is worth all of the possessions that we have or ever will have. But more than that, it is only obtained as we release ourselves from them. We cannot simultaneously seek the things of this world and the messianic glory of Jesus in us. We cannot serve two masters. We cannot serve riches and at the same time serve the messianic glory within (Matt 6:24). These two forces are going in opposite directions. For a while you may feel that you can hang on to both. You will rejoice in your charismatic experience but at some point the wind of the Spirit will begin to blow in a direction that will require you to leave your lucrative career. What will you do then? Which master will you then serve? You can hold on to justification by faith and still serve the other master but you cannot move with the messianic wind while holding on to your possessions and personal prerogatives for life. You will continue to enjoy the goodness within your church fellowship and the singing and dancing but you will not use the keys of the kingdom for binding those things that have already been bound by God. And you will not function as a messianic son of God holding forth the divine scepter of the sovereignty of God. You will not call into being things that have already been established in the eternal councils of God. You cannot be “Born of the Spirit” and hold on to your personal prerogatives for life. Nor can you look into the heavenly places in Christ and see the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3) and be thereby led of the Spirit. Our charismatic treasure is a pearl of great price. Jesus could have taught his disciples about the importance of speaking in tongues in order to receive it but he did not. When Jesus instructed his disciples on how to be filled with the Spirit (i.e. kingdom of God), his concern was with the commitment of the one who would seek it and not with some artificial manipulation of the human tongue. Jesus is saying to the prospective charismatic, “You must count the cost.” Today we are saying to the prospective charismatic, “You must repeat after me.” Which method do you think works best? The “repeat after me” works much better in the “professional church.” I get to speak in tongues, maintain my standard of living, make large contributions to the church and call myself Pentecostal.


Jesus is telling us to pray in this manner, “I insist that your kingdom would come.” We are not just praying for some eschatological event. We are praying for the ultimate ecclesiastical event. We are demanding that God’s Holy Spirit8 would come from above and saturate us into the person of Jesus Christ.9 When I insist upon the coming of God’s kingdom I am insisting that the daily messianic mission would unfold in my life. I am insisting that my life would flow in an unstoppable messianic wind for this day. I am insisting that all the situations and coincidences of my life would conform to the things already preprogrammed in the heavenlies. I am demanding that the veil, which hides reality from natural men would be lifted from my eyes (Isa 25:7). I want to do the work of the kingdom not based on what I hear or see in the natural but upon that which I see from within Messiah. I am demanding that I be lead into mortal combat with the principalities and powers in the heavenlies. I am demanding that the Parousia (Presence of Jesus) would be allowed to work in and through me during the course of my day. By so demanding, I am placing at risk my own plans for the day. But far more than that I am placing at risk my future and my family and my fortunes. When I insist on the coming of his kingdom in me, I am activating my baptismal covenant of personal death. This covenant is not some option that is rarely activated. When Jesus warned of the high cost of discipleship he meant every word of it. He was not saying, “You merely have to be willing.” It is the normal fare paid by those who travel via the messianic wind. It is through many tribulations that we enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). If you consistently move with this wind it will eventually cost you everything. It is a scary prayer when you think about it, especially since you are actually insisting upon it. Don’t pray the prayer and especially do not insist upon it, if you are not ready to pay the price.


Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt 6:10 NIV)


About this phrase and its absence in Luke, Beasley-Murray has commented:


“Since it is unlikely that anyone would have further abbreviated the very short prayer taught by Jesus, and since liturgical texts tend to be expanded through use, it is generally agreed that Luke’s version is original in its extent, whereas a comparison of the two texts suggests that Matthew’s is more original in its wording.”10


The nature of this phrase makes Matthew’s inclusion of it quite understandable. The entire expression is an explanation of “Thy kingdom come.” As in Luke, the key Greek word for “be done” is passive and is likewise in the same indicative mood. Therefore its addition does not really change the prayer in any appreciable way. For the ancient believers who already understood the nuances of the kingdom it would have seemed redundant. However, though it is not a part of Luke’s version, we, the modern church, need the added insight.


Let us remember that the coming of the kingdom is in its essence the appearing (Parousia) of Christ and with that the accomplishing of God’s will is inevitable. If this phrase was a post-resurrectional explanation inserted for clarity, (but was most likely a part of Jesus’ teaching) it speaks of Jesus’ ascension and of the changes that have occurred by his having received the “promise of the Spirit.” It is our contention that this Parousia has already occurred in the heavenlies by Jesus reception of the Spirit and because of Pentecost there has arisen a “new interrelation of heaven and earth.”11 Whenever we partake of Pentecost we are partaking of the Parousia that has already occurred in the heavenlies. Hence, when I pray for the kingdom to come I am in actuality praying for a Pentecostal manifestation of something that already exists in another dimension. I am certain that by entering the presence of Messiah even my worst circumstances will thereby conform themselves to God’s predestination12 (i.e. His will) for my life. Therefore, “I absolutely insist that Your will would be allowed to happen on earth just as it is in the heavenlies.”


“Give us each day our daily bread”


The connotations of this phrase are fairly obvious. There are two. It could refer to actual bread or it could refer to the “manna like” life of Jesus. The context allows the words to remain ambiguous. It is possible that Jesus had both ideas in mind. Beasley-Murray believes the second half of this prayer is about the more mundane principals that protect the kingdom life acquired in the first half of the prayer.13 In the Matthew context, Jesus did say, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” This was a reference to daily necessities. If this is the meaning, Jesus is telling us to simply insist on our necessities one day at a time. Without this simple trust in God’s ability to provide the necessities of life in a consistent and timely (bird-like) manner we are forever beholden to Mammon, the god of this world. This entreaty releases me from the “cares of this life.” However, the manna is also a very strong messianic image. It came early in the morning before the sun could burn it away. So also our relationship with Jesus is best sought in the morning before the circumstances of our day interfere with the completion of our spiritual edification. Jesus called himself the “Manna that has come down from God.” Additionally the eating of bread is a very strong charismatic image. It projects the idea of Christ’s abiding within as we partake of him. It is another way of asking to be filled with the Spirit. Once again the mood of the verb is of importance. The mood of the Greek word for “give” is imperative. The phrase is properly prayed, “I insist that I be given daily bread.”


“Forgive us our sins for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.”


Once more the verb “forgive” is in the imperative mood. The entire phrase may be prayed thus, “I insist that my sins be forgiven for I forgive others also who are indebted to me.” It is impossible to move in the messianic wind while embracing grudges against other people. It is all a part of the cost of entering the kingdom of God. We must be ready to let go of our right to revenge just as we are ready to let go of our temporal possessions. When we enter into personal incrimination we immediately lose the messianic glory that may otherwise have been attached to our lives. It just is not worth it no matter how despicable the offending party may be. There is nothing that any other human being can do to you or say about you that can harm you in Messiah. The only injury that you could receive is that which you may inflict upon yourself by entering into strife with another person. The messianic work of the kingdom is far too important to have it interrupted by personal conflicts.


“Lead us not into temptation.”


Though not perceptible in the English language, this verse is dramatically different than those before it in that the verb “lead us” is not in the imperative mood. It is the subjunctive mood. The subjunctive mood is called the “mood of doubtful assertion.” It expresses action with uncertainty. It could then be prayed, “I prefer that I not be lead into temptation.” Our standing in Messiah is only by the grace of God. We can never afford to assume that we are beyond failure and we cannot assume that God will not allow us to be tested. We may picture Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Now if our messianic head learned obedience through the things he suffered, it is reasonable to think that we will also be led by the messianic wind into various kinds of temptations so that we will likewise learn obedience. Jesus received strength to endure his temptation. In the same way we sometimes receive strength not by evading troubles but through enduring them. Therefore we cannot boldly insist upon deliverance from every adverse situation. Matthew adds to this “But deliver us from evil (or the evil one). We might envision these words being repeated over and over in the personal prayers of the saints who were facing torture or the loss of their lives or their families. Like Jesus they had to work through their decision to endure.


Application of Imperatival Praying


Now this prayer is a rather shocking statement for the religious mind. We are conditioned to think of prayer as an exercise in humility where the supplicant continuously humbles himself before the Almighty pleading and begging for divine favor. This prayer is by contrast an unthinkable display of spiritual audacity that demands an explanation. All of the supplications in this prayer except for one are dramatic departures from commonly accepted postures of prayer. This of course, would have been immediately noticed by the Greek speaking readers of earlier times. Modern readers (especially English language readers) are thereby deprived of the important link, which this grammatical arrangement makes with the context.


In Luke 11:5-13 the Lord’s Prayer is strategically placed along side the story of the needy friend and his midnight visit as a means of providing his readers with an explanation for the unexpected portrayal of prayer. However, this powerful literary combination provides much more than mere explanation. It presents another valuable definition of the kingdom of God and of our Pentecostal experience.


The hypothetical story involves the unexpected arrival of a man at midnight. The unanticipated nature of his arrival may parallel the way in which Spirit filled believers are always in strategic places at the most opportune moments. It exemplifies the blowing of the messianic wind. We the readers are the ones whose house is open to those who have needs. The friend with a need feels free to approach us in his midnight hour of need. It is the messianic body of Jesus to whom the world should turn for their miracles when disaster confronts their lives. However, when the man in need arrived, there was a sudden realization upon the part of the “would be” provider (that’s us) that he did not have the ability to supply the need. What an appropriate picture of the Pentecostal church. We have let the world know what they can expect from us but we are also fully aware that the power and the glory do not originate in us. We can only minister to the needs of others what we ourselves have received from abiding in “the Vine.” So what does the householder do? He immediately goes to his own personal friend who most assuredly has all that anyone could ever need. It is the Father. Now a major quandary might be found in understanding why the one who represents God seems so reluctant to get out of bed. However, the reason for this behavior is really not essential to the purpose of the story. We are not here concerned with why it is sometimes seemingly difficult to access God’s provision. Similarly, we do not always understand why the glory of God can inexplicably lift off of our tabernacles. In both scenarios (the lack of provision for others and the temple without the glory) it is absolutely critical that we find both provision and glory. Of course they are one and the same. If I find the glory of God for my situation I will have also obtained all the provision I could ever need.


Though it has not been directly stated, I have implied that the Lord’s Prayer is a messianic prayer. It is the way a messiah should pray. Presently, we are the only messiah to which this world may turn. In effect we are the messianic sons of God. God is not really reluctant to give to us what we need. As royal messianic sons, God wants us to conduct ourselves in a manner befitting messianic royalty. God does not want us groveling for provisions. He wants us to boldly come before his throne and boldly take the messianic gifts that we need for the world around us. Now according to the story, the provider did not get up because of his friendship but because of the householders persistence. This is Jesus’ explanation for the unexpected form (imperatival mood) of the Lord’s Prayer.


We receive messianic provision because we are insistent. Moses is a perfect example of this truth. God had determined not to allow his presence to go with Israel. Moses understood the impossibility of that eventuality. So with great insistence and intercession for those who were depending on him he secured the presence of God for Israel’s long journey.


Jesus also uses this story to help establish the specific focus of the imperatival prayer. In other words the parable tells us just what Jesus was really trying to establish by teaching such a forceful way of praying. All of the imperatival praying and all of the insistence is dedicated to just one thing. Amazingly, this prayer is about the maintenance of a Spirit filled life. Pentecost is not a one shot proposition. What happened to you three days ago is meaningless to those standing at your door in their midnight hour. It is just human nature but sometimes we saints fall into spiritual lethargy if we feel responsible for ourselves only. The parable of the householder establishes the impetus for maintaining a vibrant imperatival prayer life. It is for those around us. It is for those situations that come without any (in the natural) warning but situations for which God expects us to be prepared by staying full of the Spirit. It’s our responsibility! We dare not try to coast in our Pentecostal experience. It must be renewed everyday. Life and death issues await the charismatic and his only preparation for those situations will be his daily commitment to imperatival praying. If we try to serve them (the desperate on our doorsteps) the “manna” we gathered the day before, we will be serving them spoiled bread with worms (Ex 16:20-21).


We are gathering manna every day but it is not just for us. It is for the world around us. God wants us to rise early and gather sustenance for ourselves and for everyone who reaches out to us in the course of each day. Jesus wants our manna to be fresh each day; we will be serving it to our friends. But this manna is the Presence of the Holy Spirit in us and Jesus wants us to demand it for ourselves at the beginning of each day. Now here is an important distinction. Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5).” Jesus is not saying, “Without My help you can do nothing.” He is saying that without his presence in our lives we are not going to be fruitful. It is not his ability to answer prayer that insures our fruitfulness it is his presence in us. This is the manna. Once we have secured his manna-like presence at the beginning of our day, we are ready for any opportunity or challenge that may confront us. There are many charismatic cupboards filled with spoiled provisions. These are the books and the tapes that usurp our own personal relationship with God. People do not need a rendition of what we have learned from the books we’ve read. They need to be touched by same anointing that rested upon our own messianic head. It is not the correctness of our words that ministers to the needy at our doors. It is the dynamic of a supernatural presence abiding in us. When I demand that the name of Jesus be set apart, I am securing for my ministry the presence of Jesus (“God with us” Matt 1:23). When I insist upon the appearing of God’s kingdom, I am calling forth the Parousia of Jesus in my life. But it is not for me. A lost and suffering world is depending upon my ability to access the sovereignty of God in my own life. When I daily rise before the heat of my circumstances and demand the manna, I am “seeking” provision for all those dwelling in the messianic predestination of my daily course. When I demand forgiveness, I am “knocking” at every possible door of discovery, endeavoring to rid my life of every possible hindrance to the messianic grace. The Greek tense of the words “Asking, seeking and knocking” is the Greek continuous tense. We render these words as, “Asking and continuing to ask, seeking and continuing to seek and knocking and continuing to knock. By asking and continuing to ask we are not begging. We are being messianicaly persistent. Jesus said that the Father knows how to give good gifts. He gives them to us through our persistence, which results in the best gift of all, the gift of the Holy Spirit. “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” AMEN!


Water Baptism and the Lord’s Prayer


Killian McDonnell and George T. Nontague in Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit have made substantial contributions to our understanding of the doctrine and experience of the early church. Their contribution on the early use of the Lord’s Prayer in water baptism is especially insightful. From their research we discover that Tertullian (c. 160-c. 225) was forceful in his belief that the Lord’s Prayer was a petition for receiving the chrisms or, from our perspective, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. McDonnell translates the following treatise On Baptism, written by Tertullian, from the Latin language:


“Therefore, you blessed ones, for whom the grace of God is waiting, when you come up from the most sacred bath of the new birth, when you spread out your hand for the first time in your mother’s house with your brethren, ask your Father, ask your Lord, for the special gift of his underlying feature [of baptism]. Ask, he says, and you shall receive. In fact, you have sought, and you have found: you have knocked, and it has been opened to you.”14


These words of Tertullian are very confirmatory of things stressed throughout this study. We are especially excited about his application of our immediate text (“Ask and you shall receive”) to water baptism. The Tertullian church believed that water baptism was foundational to receiving the Pentecostal experience (“The grace of God is waiting”) and that the Lord’s Prayer was to be prayed in conjunction with this spiritual quest. This demonstrates that the NT church really did live in a more spiritually pristine environment. For them a Christian was someone who had experienced a messiah-like transformation and water baptism was the anticipated catalyst for it. These ancient believers really did receive the baptism of the Spirit with their baptism in water. It was normative and was the perspective through which they interpreted the apostles teaching. Tertullian and his contemporaries lived within the context of the original Pentecost, which extended its influence into the third century.15


Today’s believer can no longer see or feel the spiritual aurora that engulfed the early church. Their doctrine was defined by their experience. To them baptism and the Lord’s Prayer, communion and the Nicodemus narrative were all about Pentecost and they called it the kingdom of God. It defined everything. While the Pentecostal experience is steadily growing there is still no all-encompassing, pervasive spirituality by which we may confidently recapture the true meaning of the NT text. Unfortunately Martin Luther is still defining the limits of our spirituality and all too often Pentecost remains a mere theological abstraction.


Chapter Seven



The Marlboro Man, who may have been one of the 20th century’s most successful advertising endeavors, became an enduring icon of American culture. This western cowboy was always depicted as a rugged individualist. He was self-sufficient and completely at ease in his wilderness isolation. Of course he was always smoking a Marlboro cigarette as he set alone upon his horse. He was the quintessential individualist of modern western civilization. In a very real way he was also a proud offspring of the European Enlightenment. Though he personally preferred the seclusion of the American West, his narcissistic counterparts are also found happily existing in the bustling metropolises of western civilization. His greatest satisfaction was derived from his own sense of independence. He totally subscribed to the “Do your own thing” philosophy. Unfortunately, the Marlboro man also typifies much of western Christianity. In our culture the church is largely a manifestation of individualism. Much of our appeal to individuals is how they can improve their lot in life not to mention eternity. Christianity is all about solving the individual’s problems and preparing him for his “personal” home in heaven. In this respect billboards showing a rugged cowboy all alone in the wilderness holding an open Bible might best represent the western church and its current appeal to society. Gordon Fee has well illustrated the experiential dilemma created by fundamentalism’s unwitting embrace of the Enlightenment culture:


“A single person is sitting at home in front of the TV; A Christian broadcast is on, a sermon is preached, an invitation is given, and the person responds by “accepting Christ.” But the only “church” the person attends is by way of the TV, with no connection to a local body of believers. The question: Is this person saved? I would answer: Only God knows; but such salvation lies totally outside the New Testament frame of reference.”1


In this scenario the good of the individual is paramount. It is the primary appeal of fundamentalist Christianity; “Save yourself from hell, secure your place in heaven, fix your personal problems, find purpose for your life.” Of course it is what we western fundamentalists offer the world because individualism is the cultural lens through which we understand Christianity. The church is a collection of individuals all seeking what is best for themselves. Fee, in speaking of Paul’s NT focus, notes: “‘to be saved’ means especially to be joined to the people of God. In this sense, the third-century church father Cyprian had it right: there is no salvation outside the church, because God is saving a people for his name, not a miscellaneous, unconnected set of individuals.”2


“The Borg” was the name of a menacing celestial entity in a Hollywood production of “Star Trek, The Next Generation.” This massive oddity was moving through the universe destroying everything in its path and it was invincible. It was also curiously similar to the biblical description of the holy city in that it was cubical in design. It was also similar in that the structure was constituted of living beings having been incorporated into one entity by a system of implanted neural interface devices from which there was no separation. The entity grew and strengthened itself as it went by selectively incorporating brilliant individuals (like Captain John Luke Picard) into its infrastructure. Of course, the plot of the movie was how to stop the invincible entity from destroying the universe and also how to extract Captain Picard from the evil matrix without killing him.


For John Luke Picard, his incarceration in the evil matrix cost him his personal identity and the objectives of the Borg became the purpose of his existence. Being subsumed in the Borg, Picard became one among many. He lost all cognizance of self. He lost his proud social standing as well as his leadership position. His ascetic tastes and personal values became irrelevant. His function in the Borg was not something of his own choosing based upon any personal preference. Most troubling of all, John Luke Picard had no memory of who he had been. He had unwillingly become nothing more than an anonymous component within a totally impersonal entity. This is the Marlboro man’s hell. But the western church also would have rejected the Borg not just because of its evil demeanor but also because of its complete disregard of the individual.


The holy city, “The New Jerusalem,” is God’s answer to the Borg having both similarities and dissimilarities. It is similar in that it is an invincible force but dissimilar in that it restores and heals everything coming into its sphere of influence. It is similar in that it is constituted of living beings, i.e. believers. However, unlike the Borg, this holy matrix does not forcefully conscript its living components into its service. In fact the members of this entity have earnestly anticipated their consummation in it; they have all enthusiastically suffered and given up their lives to belong. However, the believer’s sacrifice for inclusion in the matrix goes far beyond mere persecution. Like Captain Picard, every eschatological believer will have surrendered his personal identity and preferences. The believer’s placement in the holy Borg will be totally at the discretion of the Holy Spirit. In fact the presence of the Holy Spirit and the believer’s immersion into him is the mechanism that perfectly unites all believers within the matrix. For John Luke Picard, his immersion into the Borg resulted in his total loss of freedom. The exact opposite is true of the eschatological believer.


One must remember our unfailing definition of freedom. Freedom is being what we were created to be. It is astonishing but true; the believer was not created to be an individual entity. He was created to ultimately merge his being synergistically with other men into one entity. God never envisioned the Marlboro Man in creating mankind and he especially did not envision Marlboro believers. Again, the reality must astound us; mankind can only experience true and ultimate freedom through his eschatological immersion into the messianic matrix. This is what we were created to be. So, whereas John Luke Picard lost his freedoms in the Borg, believers will discover theirs in the eschatological matrix, i.e. the body of Christ.


Now Let’s think about this eschatological matrix. In Rev 21:2 John describes the matrix as the holy city, the New Jerusalem, and as a bride adorned for her husband. He sees it coming down out of heaven and in 19:7 he calls its arrival “the marriage of the Lamb.” (NASU) What John is describing is the ultimate state of human blessedness for the angel speaking to him says (Rev 19:9), “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” This marriage to the Lamb is the ultimate state of human existence. It is a state in which the believers become one with Jesus Christ and with one another by the immersing effect of the Holy Spirit’s eschatological activity. This is that into which the end time angels gather the righteous and is the focus of Paul’s gathering (rapture). This entity is the Bride of Christ and because she has become one flesh with Messiah she is now also the eternal “Body of Christ.” The vision of the holy city may be just another mechanism for describing the otherwise inconceivable matrix of resurrected flesh and human personalities with the Trinity itself. It is the eschatologically unalterable form of Christ’s body. It is a matrix wherein the Trinity is dependent upon human flesh for a dwelling place and human flesh is dependent upon the divine anointing for its inclusion in the matrix.


The Christmas story is really the beginning of this amazing reality. This human matrix begins with the movement of the Holy Spirit upon the womb of Mary. As we peer into the manger at the newborn baby we are really beholding the future dwelling place of all believers. It is the holy city lying in the manger. However two very important events had to occur before the body of this baby could become the eternal abiding place of the saints. First of all the body had to be broken. Heb 10:20 makes it clear, the entrance to God’s presence is through the flesh of Jesus. When Jesus breaks the bread and says, “It is for you” he is contemplating a future day when all believers will join him in that broken body. So without the broken body there could never be a messianic matrix. However, this was only the first step toward the realization of the divine plan. The brokenness alone could never have accomplished the inclusion of all believers in one tabernacle of flesh. The Spirit had to once again move creatively upon the now broken body of Jesus.


In his resurrected but yet broken body Jesus ascends into the heavens and is seated on the throne of God. So we know from the institution of communion that Jesus’ body is still broken even though he has ascended into the presence of the Father. And what is even more astounding is the fact that Jesus’ body remains broken even though divine care had been undertaken to preserve it from corruption (Acts 2:31) and in spite of its proximity to the healing presence of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33).” Now our specific focus at this point must be upon the broken body of Jesus and the activity of the Holy Spirit concerning it. There are a number of things that come into play at this juncture. First the broken body that now sits upon the throne in the heavens is a human body and this body is also a “new creation” by virtue of the Spirit having moved upon the womb of Mary to create it. But still the body remains broken. We must also ask again; how can the second person of the Trinity be filled with the third person of the Trinity? Again, the answer is simple; the human body is a “Tent of Meeting.” It was created as a place where God could meet with man. It is and has always been a temple. So here Jesus receives back the glory (Spirit), which had ever been with him before he emptied (Kenosis Phil 2:6) himself to take on human flesh. Let us keep in mind that Jesus was assuming human flesh as a means of bringing God and man together in perfect fellowship. It is the ultimate venue for the meeting of God and men.


We must understand the purpose for the broken body of Jesus. It was God’s means for the inclusion of men in the fellowship of God. There had to be a means of bringing all men together in one dwelling place and at the same time a place suitable for the habitation of God. This was accomplished in the body of Jesus but it had to remain broken so as to include all men. However, we know that the body of Jesus will at some point be healed or close to the entrance of men. At this point the great gathering of believers will occur. The body of Christ will be complete. So the eschatological gathering is for the completion of the body of Christ. The metaphor of the Bride and of the wedding speaks to this consummation. It helps us to understand that the resurrection of the church is all about our being gathered into the body of Jesus, which has remained open for thousands of years. Karkkainen comments: “Zizioulas makes the obvious yet brilliant observation that in the New Testament the church is called the body of Christ…Never is the church labeled the ‘body of the Spirit.’”3 This is true for a very logical reason; the body of Christ is a physical and not a mystical reality.


So the purpose of the Holy Spirit in coming upon the body of Jesus is to supernaturally prepare it for the ingathering of believers. Thus when Jesus received the Spirit it opened the door to the experience of the day of Pentecost and to millenniums of subsequent fillings and refilling. For Jesus the Parousia has already occurred. He has received the promise of the Spirit and his body has become the “new creation.” However, the Holy Spirit has now been sent into the world as the “Spirit of Gathering” to temporally bring men into the new creation (the body of Christ). In this manner the body of Jesus continues to grow into a holy temple unto the Lord and will continue to grow until the doors to the kingdom close (Rev 10:7) and the bride makes herself ready. Thus the words of Paul become perfectly understandable, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17).” He becomes a “new creation” by being immersed into the body of Jesus at his Pentecostal experience.


The new creation is the body of Christ. It began at the conception of Mary with the moving of the Spirit. By once again moving upon the still broken body of Jesus, the Spirit facilitated the believers’ down payment of “new creation” participation in the heavenly places. This was the beginning of the messianic matrix for not only must the body of Jesus be anointed with the Spirit so also must each believer who seeks to participate in the matrix. The ultimate anointing of Spirit will not occur for the believer until the Father in heaven closes the doors of the kingdom. But for Jesus this final anointing has already occurred. He needs no new anointing. He is now fully Messiah and his body has been fully anointed. For the saint, to be filled with the Spirit is to temporarily share in his broken body and, at least temporarily, to sit with him upon his throne in heavenly places where Jesus has become both Lord and Messiah (Acts 2:36).


On the day of Pentecost Peter admonished the crowed to save themselves from their misguided generation by being baptized for repentance and by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Luke comments that about 3000 souls obeyed Peter’s words and were added. He does not specifically say to what they were added but the context makes it clear that they were added to the fellowship of believers. In Acts 2 the Pentecostal experience was primarily for the purpose of establishing believers into a fellowship of the Spirit. It is true that powerful miracles were occurring at the hands of the apostles and this certainly caused a sense of awe but for the multitudes the greatest miracle was their supernatural saturation into a fellowship of love. This must have been even more transforming than the witness of miracles because they were actually fellowshipping with the Father and with the Son by the moving of the Spirit. They had actually begun to fellowship with the Trinity (John 17:20-23; 1 John 1:3). Again Karkkainen quotes Zizioulas, “The mystery of the church has its birth in the entire economy of the Trinity and in a pneumatologically constituted Christology.”4 Raymond A. Adams has commented, “The Church is described mainly as the continuation of the incarnation.”5 It seems reasonable to conclude that the incarnation is also being continuously reconstituted “pneumatologically” in the ongoing gathering of believers. For Pentecostal worshipers there is nothing in this life that can compare to the almost indescribable wonder of just being immersed together into the body of Messiah. When commentators focus mainly upon the gifts in distinguishing Pentecostals they are really missing the most important distinction. Pentecostals are not primarily the people of the gifts. They are fundamentally the people who are immersed together into the body of Messiah. The manifestations of the gifts can and do occur within the context of this designation but they are distinct.


Unfortunately, the greater emphasis among many of today’s charismatics is upon the miracles and signs. When one looks at the day of Pentecost it is clear that the real miracle was not the miracles but the fellowship that began between God and men. It must be noted that Peter never once enticed the crowds into any charismatic experience by telling them they would see miracles. He only encouraged them to “save themselves from their misguided generation.” The answer to that challenge was the supernatural fellowship that began among them because of their saturation into the body of Jesus. There was something miraculous transpiring among them that was completely and sociologically astounding. The sense of awe that was being experienced among them far surpassed the mere presence of the gifts. They were experiencing the same sense of awe that will accompany the saints as eschatological believers are suddenly (in the twinkling of an eye) transformed into the holy city as it descends from God out of heaven. They were truly experiencing salvation to its fullest. In that descending city the awe will not be with any charismatic powers that they have acquired. It will only be with what they have become in the body of Jesus. One should note concerning the believers of act 2:42, that they did not just “have” fellowship; they “devoted” themselves to it. This means that fellowship was a priority and one of the objectives for gathering together. They made fellowship a priority. They made it a priority because they were aware of what was transpiring amongst them. They were the newly constituted temple of God and he was dwelling in their midst.


Accordingly, Karkkainen notes that, “Zizioulas goes so far as to say that ‘Christ exists only pneumatologically.’”6 Of course this is now easily understandable to us however it has wide ranging theological implications. For example, we must now recognize that a real redefining of the term “church” and the term “Christian” has to be undertaken. We will explore more on the meaning of “church” later but we must now come to grips with a new meaning of the word “Christian.” First of all it would seem logical now to think that we are only Christian within the context of a fellowship of believers and second those believers are only Christian as they are experiencing together the transposing work of the Spirit to place them together into the heavenly but completely physical body of Jesus. For believers there is no body of Christ or any practical Christianity apart from the Pentecostal experience. For Karkkainen, “Pneumatology does not refer to the well being of the Church but to the very being of the Church. The Pentecostal event is an ecclesiologically constitutive event. The Charismatic life is constitutive and not derivative from the churches being.”7 So the real church in its present temporal experience appears and disappears pneumatologically. Raymond Adams comments insightfully, “It is obvious that the Church becomes conscious of herself only when she is conscious of what she does as a worshiping community. The Church, in turn, can only be a worshiping community when her members live in the koinonia of Spirit.”8 Adams’ comment follows logically. If the church does not become a living entity until it is experiencing koinonia Pneumatos, neither can it experience self-consciousness outside of spiritual worship. Now, we must consider the clear implication that under girds the preceding discussion; where there is a community of the Spirit there is of necessity a physical gathering of believers.


Here it is advantageous to review what we have learned about the gathering motif, as it will now become foundational to our understanding of the present gathering of believers. The gathering motif is found in virtually all of the eschatological images of Messiah. The New Jerusalem is the gathering of the people of God. Mount Zion is a gathering of the living stones that began with a stone having been cut out of the mountain and in the formation of Ezekiel’s great army by the breath of the Spirit. It is seen in the messianic tree with its branches that have been grafted or gathered together to form one messianic image and is found in the messianic cloud that is formed by the gathering of the righteous. It is also clearly represented in the wedding feast and the formation of the bride and is seen in the gathering of the leftover pieces of bread.


In Matt 18:20 Jesus spoke concerning the gathering of believers, "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst (NASU)." For Hagner “The saying is closely paralleled by the rabbinic saying that where two gather together to study Torah, the Shekinah glory is present with them …The differences, gathering in the name of Jesus (for study of Torah) and the presence of Jesus (for the Shekinah glory), point to the enormous christological implications of this final logion.”9 Our reflection upon this statement helps us to understand the enormous importance that Jesus placed upon the physical gathering of believers that most assuredly results in their participation in the Shekinah glory. In Luke 13:34 Jesus says to Jerusalem, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings (NASU).” In John 11:52 we discover that God had planned to “gather together in one the children of God (NASU). Finally, the Spirit and the bride herself pick up the refrain, “Come (Rev 22:17).” So this is the will of God and the voice of the Spirit and for John the revelator it was also the passion of the bride that whosoever will, might gather to partake of the water of life freely and be gathered into the holy city through which it flowed. So, also as present day believers, our passion must also be for the gathering of the people into our messianic participation. John the apostle also makes this point, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another (1 John 1:7).” In other words walking in the Spirit is accompanied with or evidenced by the koinonia of believers. Again, we are not primarily rescuing men from hell or pointing them to heaven. We are first of all inviting men into the koinonia Pneumatos (fellowship of Spirit). On earth this is the closest thing to paradise man will ever experience. However, our focus here is upon the physical gathering of believers and its significance to the charismatic experience.


So, what is the importance of the eschatological gathering? In this consummation the gathering is for the purpose of incorporating individual believers into the messianic entity. At this point Pneumatology, ecclesiology, Christology and soteriology seem to merge. The Spirit (Pneumatology) subsumes believers (ecclesiology) into Christ (Christology) and this is the true definition of eschatological salvation (soteriology). This theological confluence is in essence the formation of the eschatological Christ. Since this consummation is our inheritance we must therefore consider the earnest of this eschatological event as it is manifested in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is most interesting that the gathering of the saints is a precursor to both the eschatological and the temporal versions of this ecclesial formation. Just as the messianic entity (New Jerusalem) forms and manifests itself at the gathering of the saints (the so called rapture) in the eschaton so also the resurrected body of Jesus is manifested in glory wherever the church is gathered in charismatic worship.


The church cannot maintain its earthly identity (manifestation) of messiah apart from its ongoing participation (koinonia) in the Pentecostal experience. Remember, “Christology is constituted Pneumatologically.”10 This chapter is primarily concerned with the temporal formation event that is responsible for this manifestation or constitutive phenomenon among gathering believers. Our thesis is that this formative event is both portrayed and labeled by Paul as being “koinonia Pneumatos,” translated fellowship of the Spirit (2 Cor 13:14; Phil 2:1-3). So based upon our understanding of John Zizioulas we should feel safe in accepting that ecclesiology is created by the koinonia of Spirit. In other words, the church forms wherever the Holy Spirit immerses believers together into Christ. This is the temporal rapture of believers. It is a pre-eschatological anointing that forms and manifests the resurrected body of Christ among gathered believers.


During the saturation event, participating believers who have gathered are indeed transformed and supernaturally bound in Christ. This spiritual phenomenon does not transpire unnoticed by the believers. It is an identifiable event. One can actually sense the supernatural love and unity throughout the drama of immersion. This phenomenon may last only a few moments or possibly linger for a number of hours. Killian McDonnel has defined this koinonia Pneumatos as “a sharing in a common reality.”11 From our perspective this is an outstanding comment with powerful implications. First of all as natural men we conduct the bulk of our lives in something less than reality. Since the veil was drawn over the natural world the heavenlies is now the only place where reality can be understood. Of course we are immersed in reality; we just cannot comprehend its exact nature because of the veil that blinds us. Daily, sinister forces from beyond the veil confront us. When we gather together and share in Spirit we are raised together in the heavenly places with Christ, we are able to comprehend the real nature of our individual situations, as well as those that confront our life together as the body of Messiah. When we perceive reality from our placement in the risen body of Jesus, we then have direction and confidence to directly deal with the true nature of our situations.


These corporate excursions into the heavenly places are glorious indeed but are, unfortunately, temporary. It is not unlike the experience of Moses. While in the presence of God he partook of the glory of God, but away from His presence it began to diminish. So it is with the corporate baptism. While we are together in the presence of God, our unity and our love are perfect; but as we leave his presence and the effects of the Spirit wane so do our love and our unity. Even so, time together in the Spirit is well spent as it has lasting (but diminishing) effects upon believers. It has a “formatting” (computer analogy) effect upon believers in that it makes believers more receptive and cognizant of their need of one another. Since it is not a static experience (the salvation paradigm of Acts 2 is not permanent) it must be regularly renewed (Heb10:25).


By coining the phrase “koinonia Pneumatos” (fellowship of the Spirit) Paul has apparently placed a theological label on this charismatic experience of corporate baptism. He uses this precise phrase only twice (2 Cor 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all NASU” and Phil 2:1 “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, NASU).” However there is a discussion among scholars as to exactly what Paul meant by this phrase. The Greek word for Spirit is of course genitive but the quandary has arisen over the nature of the genitive case. In 2 Cor 13:14 the phrase is part of Paul’s Trinitarian benediction. In the phrases “grace of the Lord” and again “the love of God” the genitives are obviously objective. For this reason it is often held that the third genitive must also be objective in meaning, assuming Paul would have maintained the symmetry of parallelism into the phrase in question. However, as Ralph Martin points out, “such “lack of concinnity”… is not without parallel.”12 “The large question is whether the genitive ‘of the Spirit’ is subjective or objective, this is whether it is to be rendered ‘fellowship created by the Holy Spirit, which only the Holy Spirit can give’…or ‘fellowship in the Holy Spirit’, which comes about through his indwelling presence in the Church and the Christian’s personal communion with him”13 In dealing with both 2 Cor and Phil, Martin defers to Seesemann’s understanding of “intimate participation in” and notes its similarity to 1 Cor 1:9 where Paul speaks of “Participation in Christ.”14 (We have already noted that Paul can use “In Christ” and “In the Spirit” interchangeably.) Martin further notes that this “position is based on other uses of koinonia in which “participation in” is the understanding.”15 Finally, Martin agrees with E. Schweizer (TDNT vi, p. 434) that either way the “net result is the same,”16 the life of the church is dependent upon its participation in the Holy Spirit. Of course within the context of this study and our understanding of Paul’s “In Christ-In Spirit theology, it is difficult to see anything other than the subjective interpretation. Fellowship of the Spirit is a reference to an intimate participation in the Holy Spirit!


Those who are acquainted with the authentic charismatic gathering know that it is a powerful and transforming experience. The Pentecostal event can occur at any time when believers gather with expectation of Christ’s appearing but often such manifestations are suppressed by perceived obligations to scheduling or to other expectations. Typically the corporate event begins with singing or testimonies or quotation of scripture verses. Suddenly there is a change in the spiritual psychic of the group. In unison believers become aware of a corporate lifting. The believers are now gloriously seated in the heavenly places. The body of Christ is formed and begins to function. Usually the wonderful gifts of the Spirit began to burst forth. If this is truly the heavenly place, the visions and prophecies that come forth will not be plagued with triteness. The word of God from the heavenlies is quick and powerful. Even those who are unbelievers who happen into these heavenlies will perceive that God is in the midst of the assembly (I Cor 14:24-25). There is something profoundly convincing about the unseen presence of God. Whatever happened on the day of Pentecost is being repeated in this gathering. Whatever occurred in the wilderness tabernacle is again transpiring among those who are gathered for worship. This is life at its best. It is the refreshing. Once gloriously situated in this heavenly place, believers forget the clock, their status or lack thereof in life and for these few moments there is no cognizance of race or gender for all have become one flesh. Fee wrote: “God himself by the Spirit has chosen to be present in our world in the gathered church.”17 As with the believers of Acts 2:42 we must make our gathering together for koinonia of Spirit a priority. In so doing, we bring men face to face with Jesus.


Hollenweger claims that today only 35% of the believers in Pentecostal churches speak in tongues.18 This is an amazing statistic when one considers that in the typical theological environment of today’s Pentecostal assembly the remaining 65% probably do not deem themselves as having been filled with the Spirit. Why do they continue to fellowship in an environment that almost certainly causes within them feelings of spiritual inferiority? The answer seems simple. They are addicted to the fellowship of Spirit not withstanding their self-presumed inadequacy. They have experienced the corporate infilling and nothing else can ever fully satisfy the longings of their earthly existence. The real evidence of having been filled with the Spirit should be whether or not the individual is being raised together and bound to other believers and if he/she has been subsumed into fellowship of Spirit with the Father and with the Son.


 The Koinonia of Spirit is desirable above all things to the church. It must be the fundamental expectation for our gathering together. Jesus himself set that expectation “where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in their midst.” If this is not realized, then the assembly must ponder why the presence of Jesus is not manifest in their physical gathering. Maybe this thinking process was behind Peter’s harsh dealings Ananias and Sapphira Their selfishness threatened the presence of the Holy Spirit in their midst just as Achan’s sin had resulted in the departure of God’s presence in the battle for Ai. The power of God’s presence in the gathered assembly has always been the most appealing aspect of Pentecostalism. When this presence wanes it is not a time for the making of brass shields. So here there is a great responsibility upon believers to be honest about the evidence of the corporate baptism. Is my assembly regularly being filled with the Spirit or not? And by what measure can I make this assessment? This is probably a far more important inquiry than our belabored discussion of tongues and the saturation experience of the individual. So just as in the individual’s case there is temptation to create the appearance of saturation (i.e. “repeat after me”) so also in the corporate setting the same temptation is ever present. Instead of fabricating tongues we are, however, usually prepared for the eventual “Ichabod of the gathering” by hyping the music or by use of dazzling media presentations. We understand the power of having God’s presence in our assemblies and when it is not present we will do anything to make it seem otherwise. Wherever this imitation koinonia is found, church has not occurred.


Fee notes that the fundamental meaning for the word “church” is quite different from the way most modern believers use it. He points out that “Church (Ekklesia)” comes from the Septuagint (LXX) where it is regularly used to translate the Hebrew qahal, referring to the congregation of Israel, especially when it is gathered for religious purposes (Deut 31:30),”19 From this perspective Fee hints at what we have already postulated. The church is the church only as it is gathered and only as that physical gathering is accompanied by a simultaneous spiritual gathering that temporarily sets the believers into the resurrected body of Jesus in the heavenly places. This is the definition of “church.” Church is the “ekklesia.” It simply means, the gathering. Thus, the idea of there being a “mystical church” is completely erroneous. Of course the church is not a building. Fundamentalists know this. Neither, however, is the church merely a body of believers. The church is the gathering of believers with the Pentecostal presence of Jesus. We are only the church when we have gathered physically and been raised, i.e. translated, into the heavenly body of Jesus by the presence of the Holy Spirit.


So in conclusion, Paul saw the church not so much as a body of believers (there is some overlapping of the meaning of the word) but specifically as believers in assembly. Thus we understand the connection between the gathering of believers and Paul’s admonitions concerning being filled with the Spirit and their gathering, “be filled with the Spirit, Speak to one another (Ephesians 5:18-20 NIV): Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16 NIV)” In Fee’s thinking “Paul's ultimate imperative of being filled with Spirit is for the community.20 According to Fee the real focus of Galatians is upon community (koinonia of Spirit); “the concern from beginning to end is with Christian life in community, not with the interior life of the individual Christian…There is not a hint that Paul is here dealing with a ‘tension’ between flesh and Spirit...the issue from beginning…and throughout…has to do with Spirit life within the believing community.”21 Fee also insightfully notes that walking in the Spirit accomplishes what Torah could not, “to create a loving community in which God’s own character and purposes are fulfilled as expressed as the ‘fruit of the Spirit.’”22 For Paul there is no mystical church. It is the fellowship of Spirit expressed in a physical gathering. This Spirit filled gathering is another definition of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I am not filled with the Spirit until I am gathered and subsumed.




The task of defining the baptism of the Holy Spirit has been greatly hindered by the centuries old misuse of theological terms. How these NT terms became skewed, and how we have come to blithely accept them, is really quite understandable. Without having experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the fundamentalist incorrectly assumes that justification is the focus of NT doctrine and the pinnacle of Christian experience. When he reads the discourse between Jesus and Nicodemus, he can imagine only that it somehow applies to his truncated experience. So all non-Pentecostals read themselves and their limited experiences into every aspect of what is exclusively Pentecostal literature. It has been by this theological process of hermeneutical evolution that phrases and concepts like, “born again, new creation, Christian, body of Christ,” and others were handed to us without their original charismatic connotations. Indeed, Martin Luther was lacking the “hermeneutic of a Pentecostal experience” from which to understand the New Testament or he himself would have handed to us a theology of Pentecost. Instead, the fundamentalist must (because of his own “hermeneutics of inexperience”) confine the baptism of the Spirit to the first three centuries of Christianity. Walter Hollenweger’s statement (cited in the introduction on the hermeneutic the Pentecostal’s experience) was more than a gratuitous gesture designed to placate Pentecostals. It insightfully suggested an obvious impediment to having achieved a true doctrine of Pentecost.


However, lest we Pentecostals become conceited, we must also recognize that the same impairment continues to afflict us. It really does not require an extensive study of history or of theology to notice that (at least to a great extent) the charismatic environment of today’s Pentecostal movement is seriously inferior to that of the early church. We, for the most part still do not see believers being filled with the Spirit at water baptism or with the laying on of hands. The very fact that we sometimes stoop to the coaching of tongues, to falling down from peer pressure (instead of the Presence), to using the power of suggestion (instead of the power of the Spirit) in healing sessions, and many other actions are witnessing against the quality of the environment from which we perceive all things spiritual and theological. Much of our excitement as Pentecostals is more about what has been and what is to come than about the way things are. This is an excitement about the correctness of belief (orthodoxy) and not about the correctness of our experience (orthopraxy). As Pentecostals we must not become satisfied until our orthopraxy overtakes our orthodoxy. Only then may the true rejoicing begin. Of course it is possible to see these things simply through scholarly investigation but is greatly advantageous to do our research from the context of experience. We must force ourselves to understand doctrine through the eyes of these first century charismatics and acknowledge the limitations of our own experience if we are to fully understand the doctrine of Pentecost.


Maybe the most important concept to have been gained through this study is the focus that the Scriptures place upon the Parousia or Presence of the Spirit in our personal and corporate lives. In a practical sense the Parousia is a true panacea for all believers. It is that to which the atonement of Jesus brings us. The baptism of the Spirit is the divine mechanism by which the Parousia is manifested in the believer and to the world. Wherever this Presence exists, there also abides the perfect will of God. Without this Presence in our temples, both corporate and personal, there is neither calling of God nor any legitimatimancy of ministry. We are neither called nor sent forth except by the Parousia of Jesus abiding within. Without it, mankind is locked into his own devices and his own understanding. Our task in ministry is not essentially intellectual or social. Our ministry must focus upon bringing this Presence of the Spirit into every conceivable venue of human reality.


The Pentecostal church must be like Mary who ignored the details and focused solely upon the Presence of Jesus. The non-Pentecostal church is like Martha who recognized the importance of Jesus but focused upon the physical details surrounding his presence. Again, Jesus warned us, “The life is more than the body.” Inherent within the Shekinah are the full provisions of mass media, public relations, meeting venues, scheduling, funding, transportation, communications and anything else that may be deemed necessary for the proclaiming of the Gospel. However, these things are serendipitous to our goal. If we pay the price and discover the “Pearl of Great Price” (the Presence) in our lives, we will (without being distracted by the need) have all that is necessary in serving the world around us. Our organization and good intentions are meaningless without the Parousia of Jesus in our lives. Our “positive confessions” are likewise meaningless apart from the Parousia of Jesus. The abiding Parousia of Jesus completely resolves the inconsistencies between Pentecostal rhetoric and Pentecostal reality. If we are consistent in securing the Parousia of Jesus in our assemblies, we will also consistently realize what we proclaim. Dynamic faith does not produce the Parousia of Jesus. The Parousia of Jesus produces dynamic faith and all the other exciting manifestations that come with Pentecost.


Another major problem in the formulation of a Pentecostal theology has been our inability to correctly identify the true nature of the believer’s eschatological inheritance. We have assumed, because of our superficial reading of the NT, that it is all about going to heaven. However, this study has presented compelling evidence that the real inheritance of believers is in their eventual consummation into the resurrected body of Jesus. This concept in turn has been theologically opaque because of our inability to conceptualize the resurrection and ascension of Jesus’ human body. An understanding of both the resurrected body of Jesus and of the believers’ eschatological consummation into it is foundational to our understanding of Spirit baptism.


In this study we have shown that Jesus dedicated his body to God as a habitation for all believers. The church will not occupy this dwelling place until the Holy Spirit finally anoints all believers and eternally places them into this human habitation. In the mean time, God in his mercy has provided a temporary and partial habitation for all believers who are still dwelling in their physical bodies. This partial consummation is made possible by the infilling of believers with the Holy Spirit. This experience has a temporary transforming effect that immerses believers into the very nature of God himself. It immerses believers together into the fellowship of the Trinity and creates the church.


So this understanding now confronts us with several theological adjustments. First of all as previously mentioned we can no longer identify heaven as the focus of our inheritance. Our inheritance is not in the place where we forever dwell but in the blessedness of the relationship into which we are eternally immersed. Our inheritance is God himself. This amounts to a clarification of the whole notion of eternal salvation. The closest that fundamentalists have come to this definition of eternal life is in their belief that the holy city is heaven and that it comes to earth (mostly however, the populist “unofficial” fundamentalist view of heaven is irregular and nebulous). Eternal life has nothing whatsoever to do with where we spend eternity. It is all about how we spend eternity. As Paul has suggested the plan of God for the faithful is almost beyond human conceptualization. Eternal life is all about becoming one flesh with Jesus. In a very real sense the resurrection of his body is our own resurrection. We, with the souls of believers in heaven, are awaiting the moment when we fully partake of the resurrection that has already occurred. Thus, his resurrected body is and will become the believer’s eternal dwelling place. While we are compelled to recognize the reality of an individual resurrection of each believer’s body, the distinction between the corporate and the individual resurrections is not clear. The best we can do in understanding this mystery is to recognize that Jesus can be one with the Trinity while also maintaining his own personal identity. Maybe this ability to maintain both a personal and corporate identity in the resurrection will also apply to the saints. In spite of this mystery, we have seen that the greater emphasis of scripture is upon the corporate nature of the resurrection. This of course is a radical departure from traditional thinking.


We have also discovered that the earth is the context of the believers’ inheritance. However, in this context we encountered something that is unfamiliar to fundamentalists. We have found the natural earth to be populated with completely natural but unredeemed humanity. A concerted attempt was made to theologically legitimize the presence of these natural nations upon the earth after the appearing of Jesus with the church. So we must understand the relationship of these unredeemed nations to the eschatological church. Just as Abraham had both spiritual and natural seed, so eternity is populated with the seed of Adam (the natural) and the seed of Jesus (the spiritual). However the seed of Jesus culminates in the appearing of Messiah as the holy city while the seed of Adam continues to propagate in its eschatological but unredeemed perfection. Thus Christ will have become the saviour of all men, specially of those that believe (1 Tim 4:10 KJV). Amazingly, God has used the fall of man to accomplish more than would have been realized even in the obedience of Adam in an unfallen world. The world will have become all that Adam’s descendents could have ever experienced in a perfect world. But in the process of achieving this restoration the spiritual seed of Abraham will also have arisen to become the dwelling place of God himself.


Our study has also noted the importance of correctly identifying the allegorical nature of John’s Millennium. By insisting upon the literal interpretation of this period of time Pentecostals have forfeited a conceptual tool of enormous importance for understanding and especially for explaining Spirit baptism in the present age. The image of Spirit filled believers ruling for 1,000 (metaphorical) years is in itself a compelling motivation for the ongoing maintenance of a Pentecostal experience. Also in keeping with this image it is important to associate with the Millennium Ezekiel’s temple and its portrayal of the Pentecostal river flowing from the body of Christ. It graphically depicts the Pentecostal experience.


At no point are misunderstandings more likely than at my definition of a Christian. I have not said that non-Pentecostals are lost and without the eternal favor of God. It is very important to make this perfectly clear since there are some segments of Pentecostalism that have historically taken that position. All that I have said is that the word Christian arose from within and belongs within a charismatic setting. The word itself contains the sense of those who experience the anointing. Then of course some may be doubly suspicious in view of my abandonment of the fundamentalist definition of “Born Again.” I have not abandoned the idea that justification requires a personal acceptance of Jesus, his deity, his name or his blood. The term born again was and must remain focused upon believers like Nicodemus, Cornelius or the Ephesian disciples who are seeking for a greater depth of God in their lives.


There is also the possibility that the reader has been unnerved by my suggestion that believers do not receive the Spirit until their Pentecostal baptism. Really, the Pentecostal community has caused itself enormous and unnecessary theological problems by maintaining this position. As has been noted the Scriptures nowhere demand that we receive the Spirit just because we acknowledge and embrace Jesus in his work on the cross. All of those who embrace the work of Jesus on the cross have by faith secured their place in the eternal abode of Jesus’ resurrected body. However, not all believers are “Christians” since not all believers have experienced the earnest of their inheritance, which is the final outpouring of the Spirit that places the eschatological believer into the resurrected body of Jesus. There is no such thing as a non-Spirit filled Christian. Again this harkens back to the definition of “Christian.” A Christian is one who has been filled with the Spirit. Having said this, we must be perfectly honest about our experience. It is not a static experience. It comes and it goes. When charismatics drift off into the flesh or the cares of this life, they are the branches that are broken off the messianic vine. They become neither Pentecostal nor Christian. As long as their faith in the person of Jesus remains they will remain believers, albeit dried-up. Pentecostals must maintain a humble attitude toward non-Christian believers since it is only a few days journey to their experience.


Then of course there is the inevitable discussion of just who is and who is not filled with the Spirit. Unfortunately this issue has focused upon the gift of tongues. I have previously mentioned the presence of “third wavers” and of “entire sanctification” believers in the whole theological milieu of Pentecost. Having been around believers all my life and having closely observed many different manifestations of “Christendom,” I feel confident that there are many “Spirit filled” believers in non-Pentecostal belief systems. This is true not only of isolated believers but also true (as we should anticipate knowing the nature of Pentecost) of congregations scattered throughout non-Pentecostal organizations. Dynamic spiritual worship of a transforming quality can be experienced in non-Pentecostal venues where the speaking in other tongues is never heard. As already mentioned, the whole idea of the chrisms and of koinonia Pneumatos can be experientially differentiated. There is no doubt in my mind that such believers are Spirit filled and are hindered in the chrisms only because of their belief systems. Of course this is an aberration of Christianity. I believe that wherever one finds individuals or congregations that are truly abiding in Jesus one finds the true Pentecostal. Unfortunately, many Pentecostals are that in doctrine only.


Too much of the charismatic movement has settled into a comfortable respectability at the expense of a radical eschatological fire. A lot of modern Pentecostalism has degenerated into pure ritualism. Much of it has substituted “falling under the power” or the professional music service for the koinonia Pneumatos. How, we must ask, did the primitive church flourish without keyboards and base guitars? It will be a powerful day in Pentecost when we answer that question. Hopefully our new definition of Pentecost will offer some new footing upon which we can indeed provide that answer. There is nothing more powerful or compelling than believers stepping together into the heavenly realm. The accomplishing of this reality should not require the fortunes that are now being spent on musical ministries and the facilities that house them. We charismatics are guilty of having created these misplaced expectations. It is not our music that transforms and sets on high the believer. It is the Presence of the Holy Spirit and our determination to enter the heavenly places.


I suspect that Pentecostals will be generally acquiescent of if not thrilled at the whole notion of a corporate baptism of Spirit. This is not something that has been previously identified in the movement but it does most definitely elucidate the true Pentecostal experience. The “gathering” is indeed the most transforming and anticipated aspect of the charismatic experience. Of course this new concept requires us to redefine yet another biblical term. It requires a new understanding of the term “new creation.” Again, the “sociological” interpretation fits our experience. Every believer who has ever experienced the corporate baptism will immediately identify with Paul’s true intention in using this phrase because he has already felt the supernatural bond (“one flesh”) that occurs in the corporate saturation. We have defined the new creation using other descriptive terms. The new creation is the resurrected body of Jesus, which we have aptly termed the “Messianic Matrix.” We have now discovered that once subsumed within the spiritual parameters of this entity the believer begins his trinitarian like relationship with God as well as with each other. This is true ecumenism. The ecumenical envoys that travel two and fro in today’s world can never accomplish what they seek through their high level discussions. True ecumenism does not come because I love unity in the body. It only happens because believers become messianically saturated into the eschatological entity. The resulting transformation is much more than a personal renovation. It is a corporate transformation that results in true and pure ecumenism. Human kind’s attempt to create ecumenism always results in compromise or some political manifestation. Ecumenism in the matrix is born of spiritual transformation and is utterly without compromise. Of course, this supernatural saturation is what Paul called the “Mystery of Christ.” And this mystery will continue until the eschatological body of Messiah is finally formed. Then there will be nothing at all covert (mysterious) about the dwelling of God with men. The new creation (the holy city, the bride) will appear ending the messianic mystery. That which was hidden in the flesh of natural men will suddenly burst forth upon the world in the blinding light of eschatological glory.


This indwelling (the mystery) is the focus of the hidden treasure parables of Jesus. “Christ in you” must be discovered at all cost. In fact the cost is just that. It must cost us our all. Jesus made this perfectly clear in his parables. Once the treasure hunters found the treasure (they had heard and embraced the word of the kingdom of God) they went and sold all they had so as to possess the treasure of incalculable worth. The charismatic presence of Christ in and among us is this treasure. This was also Jesus’ meaning to the rich young ruler. He had to sell all in order to obtain the kingdom (also called by Jesus “eternal life.”) of God. So we must understand that Jesus was preparing the multitudes for the Pentecostal experience with these admonitions. He said essentially the same thing to Nicodemus. “You must be born of water.” Remember, water baptism is preparatory commitment of self-denial.


We may look at the holy saturation and see many different ways of entering the blessed state. There is the laying on of the apostles’ hands and the waiting in the upper room. There are the prayers of those who received boldness as the room where they were interceding was shaken. And of course there is the teaching of Jesus that to receive the Spirit one must pray the imperatival prayer. We must also mention the importance of water baptism and the Eucharist (this has not received due attention here but is of vital importance to the corporate saturation). We also hear Paul explaining just how to experience the corporate saturation in Eph 5:18-19 “be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; and in Col 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (KJV)” We also hear Paul praying for the corporate baptism. In Eph 1:17-20 he gives the church a prayer for the baptism of the Spirit. “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 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, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places (KJV).” Paul was simply praying that they would be raised in Christ and be able to function in the reality of the Spirit world. This was also a part of Jesus’ admonition to Nicodemus, “unless you are filled with the Spirit you cannot see or enter.” It is in this light that we must address the question of how to be filled.


Being filled with the Spirit is like entering a large banquet hall. It has many entryways. Some of these entryways have been mentioned above. As classical Pentecostals we have long been subjected to the notion that we must speak in tongues to be filled. So we encourage the neophyte to let go and speak in tongues. This is clearly a “placing of the cart before the horse.” If we want to follow the pattern that Jesus presented we will follow a much different course than that which has gone before in much of the Pentecostal experience. First of all Jesus acknowledged that the whole vision of the pearl of great price must first be presented. It is the preaching of a Gospel with a focus upon the coming of the Spirit. It is no wonder that charismatics have resorted to such extremes to get people filled with the Spirit when we consider that fundamentalists have purged the Gospel of its Pentecostal focus. This deficiency in our evangelism also explains just why converts are not immediately filled with the Spirit like Cornelius. The message of the resurrection of Jesus must first be proclaimed. However, let it be here clearly stated, the message of the resurrection of Jesus is not complete (it is not “this word of the kingdom”) until an understanding of the Pentecostal saturation has also been communicated. The purpose of the blood sacrifice is to prepare men for the Pentecostal indwelling of God. Our evangelistic message must be a Pentecostal message that immediately leads men to the Pentecostal experience.


So, Jesus points the way. First the correct message must be preached and (because it is a Pentecostal message) demonstrated. Then the convert must understand the cost of belonging to the messianic entity. No one can enter the matrix without first having stripped himself of all his personal prerogatives and the cares of this life. The Acts 2:42 paradigm must have been (though an intuitive impulse) in response to Jesus teaching that to function in the kingdom one must take no thought for his life. It is a tough message for “well-to-do” believers for even Jesus noted the difficulty with which the rich enter the Pentecostal experience. While we have not here presented a comprehensive philosophy linking self-denial to the Pentecostal experience, there is never the less a definite connection to be seen in the NT. We can understand the meaning of Jesus’ words; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.” Do these words diminish our quest for ministry to the “affluent?” It is also understandable how the poor can more readily meet the qualifications for Spirit baptism; “Sell all you have and give it to the poor.” It is not a major leap to give everything when you are already accustomed to having nothing.” It is no wonder that Pentecost is exploding in the third world.


We must here qualify our call to self-imposed poverty. It was seemingly always made to those who heard the gospel message within a context of the demonstration of Spirit and Power. This was what drew Nicodemus to Jesus. He wanted to participate in the power of the kingdom. So we cannot arbitrarily call men to poverty unless we have first set before them (by a demonstration of Spirit and power) a vision of the glory, which they can expect, in the messianic matrix. We have not fully proclaimed the gospel until we have also demonstrated it with signs and wonders following. This is the pearl for which believers may exchange all that he has to partake of the Pentecostal life but there can be no call for poverty without a “hope of glory.” We cannot expect converts to sell all they have unless we have faithfully displayed the pearl of great price. This can only be done by spectacular and convincing displays of Spirit and Power. This must be infinitely more than the contrived media events of our day pretending to be Pentecostal. Since we really do not yet see this reality in the Pentecostal movement, it must be assumed that for the most part today’s Pentecost has not yet achieved the same aura of power as that which overtook the NT church. Much of the present day manifestation of Pentecost is preoccupied with calling believers to prosperity. This seems to be 180 degrees off of Jesus’ Pentecostal Gospel message.


This scenario takes us back to the parable of the sower. The seed that sprang up among the thorns is the believer who had really understood the whole picture. He is the person who decides that Pentecost is worth everything. He has carefully scrutinized the pearl of great price. He has witnessed the resurrection power of Jesus and his love dwelling among believers. He has seen the lame walk and the blind recovering their sigh and has decided that it is indeed worth all that he owns. However in the end his fear of poverty or desire for the amenities of life or his inability to persevere in pursuing the sometimes-elusive presence of God causes him to end his quest for the Pentecostal experience. Either way, his vision wanes and he returns to a non-Pentecostal form of godliness. It is after all, much less stressful. The legalistic way of religion removes responsibility for following after the charismatic experience.


As we study the New Testament, all that is said concerning suffering must move us. Peter sums up this great body of teaching, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you (I Pet 4:14).” He is talking about another entryway into the Pentecostal experience that we do not want to contemplate. We also see this in the early church. Suffering and persecution only heightened the Pentecostal experience. It is also reported that among early believers those who were being tortured and killed often began manifesting charismatic signs. So we must ask just what is our social acceptance doing to our Pentecostal experience? I for one am not going to pray for persecution but when it comes it will no doubt greatly enhance our life together in the matrix. We must understand that the Pentecostal experience is still unfolding and as beautiful as it is, it has yet to reach the fullness of its blossom and fragrance. For this we pray, “Thy kingdom come.” The full fragrance of Pentecost may not be finally realized until it has been crushed by persecution. So a prayer for the fullness of Pentecost may culminate in great tribulation upon the church.


So now the final moment in our study has arrived. Having exhausted many words, and having negotiated many quandaries, the moment of truth has arrived. We must now, in a manner consistent with all that has gone before, succinctly answer the question, “What is the baptism in the Holy Spirit?” The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a temporary and partial saturation into the resurrected body of Jesus. This living reality is the eternal abode of God Almighty; to it the Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.”




1 Martin Marty. “Pentecostalism in American Piety and Practice,” in Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, Vinson Synan, ed. (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1975) pp. 205-206.  Marty was referring to my The American Pentecostal Movement: A Bibliographical Essay (Wilmore, KY: B. L. Fisher Library, 1973) in which I surveyed the then existing secondary literature on the movement in preparation for my doctoral studies.

2 Harvey G. Cox, Fire From Heaven, (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishers, 1995), p. 201.

3 Morton W. Plummer, “The Latter Rain Reformation-Revival,” Word and Work , 32 (February 1910),

p. 36.

4 A. G. Ward, “A Postwar Revival,  The Pentecostal Evangel (May 10, 1941), p. 3.



1 Cox, Harvey, Fire From Heaven, Cambridge, MA Da Capo Press, 1995, p. 15.

2 Hollenweger, Walter, The Pentecostals, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1988, p. 3 quotes Hoerschelmann, Machtfaktor, 67-70 quote 67.

3 Burgess, Stanley M. The New Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Grand Papids MI, Zondervan p. 284

4 Dunn, James DG, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Philadelphia Westminister Press, 1970 p.103

5 Fee, Gordon. Gospel and Spirit. Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody MA, 1991. p 83

6 Dayton, Donald w. Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. 4th ed. 2000 p.23

7 Comment from conversation with Dr. D. William Faupel, Spring of 2006

8 Synan, Vinson, The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition, Grand Rapids, MI / Cambridge, U.K. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2nd ed. 1997, p. 88

9 Synan, Tradition, 15, “Finney was using the term Baptism in the Holy Spirit to define entire sanctification.

10 Dayton, Donald w. Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. 4th ed. 2000 p. 93 -94

11 Dayton, Roots, 93 see fn 24

12 Burgess, Stanley, Charismatic Movements, 284

13 Dayton, Roots, 17

14 Cox, Fire From Heaven, 201

15 McDonnal, Killian and, George Monaque, Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit Collegeville, MN Liturgical, 1991, p. 358 and 87

16 Hollenweger, The Pentecostals, 34

17 Karkkainen, Pneumatology, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2002, p.15

18 Hollenweger, The Pentecostals, 21f

19 Karkkainen, Pneumatology, 13-quoted Nikolay Berdayev, Spirit and Reality (London: G. Bless 1964), p. 22

20 Hollenweger, The Pentecostals, 2, Quoting Harvey Cox in The Secular City. "A religious movement that already encompasses nearly half a billion people and is multiplying geometrically should not be dismissed.”

21 Fee, Gordon, Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Mass. 1996 p.1

22 Menzies, William and Robert Menzies, Spirit and Power. Grand Rapids MI: Zondervan, 2000. p. 210

23 Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 39 Dunn suggest that the proper method of biblical interpretation is to evaluate the work of each author and book separately. Only then should that work be compared on its own terms with other authors and not to view the Bible as a homogenous whole.

24 Hollenweger, The Pentecostals, 321


Chapter 1

1 Strong's n.p. on CD-ROM

2 Aune, David E., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 52c: Revelation 17-22, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. n.p. on CD-ROM

3 (the third heaven, 2 Cor 12:4; 2 Enoch 5:1) Aune, Commentary, Volume 52c: Revelation 17-22

4 Ross, Hugh, Beyond the Cosmos, Colorado Springs,CO: Navpress, 1996, p. 22

5 Ross, Cosmos, 15-67

6 Bauckham, Richard J., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 50: Jude, 2 Peter, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. “Probably this view, that the manifestation of the earth is a consequence of the destruction of the heavens, is preferable.” n.p. on CD-ROM

7 Ladd, George E. A Theology of the New Testament: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, MI 1974 p. 37

8 Beasley-Murray, George R. Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Grand Rapids MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1986 p. 21

9 Klausner, Joseph. The Messianic Idea in Israel. New York NY: The Macmillan Co., 1955. p. 57

10 Klausner, Messianic, 195

11 Klausner, Messianic, 104-105, 195

12 Ladd, George E. The Presence of the Future: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, MI 1974 p. 55-56

13 Ladd, Future 50, 68

14 Smith, Ralph. Word Biblical Commentary: Micah-Malachi Vol. 32. Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, n.p. on CD-ROM

15 Sanders, John and Gabriel Fackre and Ronald H. Nash. (ed. John Sanders). What About Those Who Have Never Heard? InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. 1995 Pinnock, Clark. A Wideness in God’s Mercy, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI. 1992

16 Williams, Rodman. Renewal Theology.Vol. 3, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1988, p. 476-477 Williams cautiously suggests that there is a “possibility” of salvation beyond the overt acceptance of grace.

17 Aune, Commentary, Volume 52c: Revelation 17-22, n.p. on CD-ROM

18 See Bauckham, Richard. The Climax of Prophecy, T & T Clark, London, New York, 1993, reprinted 2005. p. 312-313

19 Williams, Renewal Theology, 459, Williams discusses “judgment based on observance of God’s general internal revelation.”

20 Watts, John D.W., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 24: Isaiah 1-33, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. n.p. on CD-ROM

21 Crichton, James, “Messiah” International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft) n.p. on CD-ROM

22 Crichton, Messiah, Encyclopaedia n.p. on CD-ROM

23 Stalker, James. “Son of Man, International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft) n.p. on CD-ROM

24 Ladd, A Theoloy, 158

25 Stalker, Son of Man, Encyclopaedia n.p. on CD-ROM

26 Ladd, A Theology, 160-161

27 Ladd, A Theology, 160-161

28 Craigie, Peter C., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 19: Psalms 1-50, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. n.p.  on CD-ROM

29 Craigie, Commentary, Volume 19: Psalms 1-50 n.p. on CD-ROM

30 Ladd, A Theology, 164

31 Watts, Commentary, Volume 24: Isaiah 1-33 n.p. on CD-ROM

32 Klausner, Messianic, 104-105

33 Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. On Isa 9:6. n.p. on CD-ROM

34 Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament n.p. on CD-ROM

35 Klausner, Messianic, 226

36 Klausner, Messianic, 162

37 Klausner, Messianic, 163

38 Klausner, Messianic, 241                                                                                                                

39 Nickelsburg, George W. E., (Freedman, David Noel, ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary, (New York: Doubleday) 1997, 1992. electronic, n.p. on CD-ROM

40 Nickelsburg, The Anchor Bible n.p. on CD-ROM

41 “The city of the living God” is the Jerusalem” that God creates (cf. Isa 65:17–25) Nolland, John, Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 47b: Hebrews 9-13, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. n.p. on CD-ROM

42 Aune, Commentary, Volume 52c: Revelation 17-22 n.p. on CD-ROM

43 Ex 36:1 So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the LORD has commanded." (NIV) What applies to the tabernacle ultimately applies eschatologically to the holy city. (Rev. 21:22 No need for a temple in the holy city)

44 Williams, Renewal Theology, 494

45 “Jerusalem and the temple were very closely connected. Both were the subjects of extensive eschatological speculation. In the ancient Near East, important temples and cities were widely thought to be modeled after celestial archetypes” (Eliade, Cosmos, 6–11). Aune, Commentary, Volume 52c: Revelation 17-22 n.p. on CD-ROM

46 Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft n.p. on CD-ROM

47 Aune, Commentary, Volume 52c: Revelation 17-22 n.p. on CD-ROM

48 Aune, Commentary, Volume 52c: Revelation17-22 n.p. on CD-ROM

49 Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers (Temple) n.p. on CD-ROM

50 Smith, Dennis E. (Freedman, David Noel, ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary, (New York: Doubleday) 1997, 1992. n.p. on CD-ROM

51 Hagner, Donald A., World Biblical Commentary Volume 33b: Matthew 14-28, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. p.729

52 Smith, Dennis, The Anchor Bible n.p. on CD-ROM

53 Smith, Dennis, The Anchor Bible n.p. on CD-ROM

54 Smith, Dennis, The Anchor Bible n.p. on CD-ROM  

55 Smith, Ralph, Commentary, Volume 32: Micah-Malachi n.p. on CD-ROM

56 Smith, Ralph, Commentary, Volume 32: Micah-Malachi, “(cf. O. Eissfeldt, “Renaming in the Old Testament,” Words and Meaning, ed(s). P. R. Ackroyd and B. Lindars [London: Cambridge University Press, 1968] 69–79).”

57 Allen, Leslie C., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 21: Psalms 101-150, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. n.p. on CD-ROM

58 Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament, Psalms 122:1-3, “(Note: In the synagogue and church it is become customary to interpret v. 3 of the parallelism of the heavenly and earthly Jerusalem.)” n.p. on CD-ROM The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press. “The verb (habar), translated "compact," refers primarily to close human associations. The going up of the tribes accentuates this togetherness and the attendant sense of fellowship.” n.p. on CD-ROM

59 International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia n.p. on CD-ROM

60 Vine's, (e.g., Ex 16:10; 25:22) Luke 2:9; Acts 22:11; Rom 9:4; 2 Cor 3:7; James 2:1, n.p. on CD-ROM

61 Craigie, Peter C.; Kelley, Page H.; Drinkard, Joel F. Jr., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 26: Jeremiah 1-25, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. n.p. on CD-ROM

62 “New Jerusalem is always pictured as from above, it illumines the earth from a distance, John views it from a high mountain.” The Apocalypse: Exposition of the Book of Revelation, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1998 by Biblesoft  n.p. on CD-ROM

63 Bauckham, Commentary, Volume 50: Jude, 2 Peter n.p. on CD-ROM

64 Ladd, Future, 107

65 Harold Mare, Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 1&2 Corinthians, Grand Rapids MI, Zondervan Publishing, 1995 p. 50

66 The judgment of Israel by the church is more evidence indicating the presence of both natural and spiritual men in the age to come.

67 Lightfoot observes “all confess that demons are intended; judge Devils." Adam Clarke's Commentary n.p. on CD-ROM

68 Williams, Renewal Theology, 289

69 Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom, 19

70 Ladd, A Theology, 61

71 Ladd, A Theology, 61

72 Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom, 17-19

73 Keil & Delitzsch, Old Testament n.p. on CD-ROM

74 Keil & Delitzsch, Old Testament n.p. on CD-ROM


Chapter 2

1 Vine's on CD-ROM

2 Strong's on CD-ROM

3 Fausset's Bible Dictionary, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1998 by Biblesoft n.p. on CD-ROM

4 Ladd, George E., Jesus and the kingdom, Word Book Publishers, Waco, TX, 1969, 1970, p. 111

5 Ladd, Jesus and the kingdom, 106, fn.11 reference to T. W. Manson, The Servant Messiah (1953), pp. 44 f.

6 Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom, p v-ix

7 Ladd, Jesus and The Kingdom, 107

8 Ladd, Jesus and The Kingdom, 108-109

9 Ladd, Jesus and The Kingdom, 109 fn. 18 J. Jeremias, The Parales of Jesus (1954), p. 42

10 Ladd, Jesus and The Kingdom, 109-110

11 Ladd, Jesus and The Kingdom, 109-110

12 Dunn, James D. G. Jesus and the Spirit, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1975, p. 48

13 Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit, 160-162

14 These Jews however, retained their Jewish culture and departed only gradually the legalistic mindset.

15 Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit, 160-162, “Selling of property is the natural thing to do if you think the end of the world is at hand.”

16 Ladd, A Theology, 71

17 Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 206, 210

18 Fee, Gordon, God’s Empowering Presence, Hendrickson Publisher: Peabody MA, 1994, p.431-432

19 Fee, Presence, 431

20 Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 54

21 Otherwise referred to as being “seated with Christ in the heavenlies.”

22 Williams, Renewal Theology, 443

23 Williams, Renewal Theology, 429


Chapter 3

1 McDonnell, Christian Initiation, 108 Tertullian taught baptismal participants (neophytes) to "Ask for their inheritances in the charismas." OB 20; SC 35:96 / (“Thanks to Cecil M. Robeck Jr. for calling attention”) p. 111 “Ask the fathers, ask the Lord, for the special gift of his inheritance, the distribution of the charismas." P. 114-115 “The prayers according to Tertillian is the asking to receive, probably they used the Lord's Prayer.” Note on p. 111-115: “there were observable signs that the prayers for inheritance were answered.”

2 Fee, People of God, 55

3 See John 17:22. Here Jesus claimed to have been given his glory. It was not something he had always had.

4 Klausner, Messianic, 98

5 Fee, Presence, 497

6 Fee, Presence, “The idea of “heart circumcision is fundamental to the perspective of Deuteronomy.” Fee notes that it first appears as a command and then as a Promise. Fee also demonstrates how Paul used the OT interaction between command and promise of a new nature. p. 492.

7 Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 43-51

8 Fee, Presence, 716, On Eph. 4:30, “Passages such as Gal 5:16-6:10 & Rom 8:4, 13-14 show that Paul understood the Spirit to be the empowering presence of God, enabling the ethical life which has God’s glory as its ultimate goal.”

9 McDonnell, Christian Initiation, 226, C.I. McDonnell, Quoting Gregory Nazianzus (Fifth theological discourse, 28; SC 250:332.) "If the Spirit is not to be adored, how can (the Spirit) divinize me in baptism?" “Gregory notes that the Spirit who divinizes can bring to perfection by restoring the Chrisms.”

10 Fee with Dunn and many fundamentalists do not agree that this is speaking of believers.

11 Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit, 321, “I Cor 13:4-7 and Gal 5:22 are character sketches of Christ.”

12 Fee, Presence, 377

13 Vine's “(Greek word “dorea” always used of a spiritual or supernatural gift.)” n. p. on CD-ROM

14 Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 210

15 Ruthven, Jon, “Ruthven Homepage,”, July 2, 2004.

16 Fee, Presence, 453

17 Adam Clarke's Commentary, Referencing Schoettgen on 2 Cor 5:2, “On the words, Ex 24:18, Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount, Sohar Exo., fol. 77, has these words, He went into the midst of the cloud, as if one put on a garment; so he was CLOTHED with the CLOUD.” n.p. on CD-ROM

18 Martin, Ralph P., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 40: 2 Corinthians, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. n..p. on CD-ROM

19 Martin, Commentary, Volume 40: 2 Corinthians n.p. on CD-ROM

20 Martin, Commentary, Volume 40: 2 Corinthians n.p. on CD-ROM

21 Vine's n.p. on CD-ROM

22 Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit, 206, “For Paul grace means power.” p. 202, “Charisma is a concept unique to Paul.”

23 Cranfield, C.E.B. The Epistle to the Romans, T.&T. Clark LTD, Edinburgh, 1975. p. 419

24 Durham, John I., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 3: Exodus, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. n.p. on CD-ROM

25 International Standard Bible Encyclopedia n.p. on CD-ROM

26 Beasley-Murray, George R. Word Biblical Commentary; Volume 36: John, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1997. p. 303

27 Prendergast, Terrence (Freedman, David Noel, ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary, (New York: Doubleday) 1997, 1992. n.p. on CD-ROM

28 Mare, Harold, & Harris, Murray, “Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 1&2 Corinthians” Zondervan, Grand Rapids MI, 1995, p. 50

29 Fee, Gordon, “The First Epistle to the Corinthians,” Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids MI, 1987. p. 234

30 Guelich, Robert A., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 34a: Mark 1-8:26, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. n.p. on CD-ROM

31 Nolland, John, Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 35b: Luke 9:21-18:34, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. “Use of finger is an allusion to the messianic typology of Moses” n.p. on CD-ROM

32 Hagner, Commentary, Volume 33a: Matthew 1-13 n.p. on CD-ROM

33 Aune, Commentary, Volume 52c: Revelation 17-22 n.p. on CD-ROM

34 Psalm 24 is called the psalm of the ascendancy and depicts Jesus entering through the cherubim into the throne of heaven.

35 The Holy of Holies represents God’s presence in the heavenlies. The Holy Place represented the intercessory ministry of charismatic believers between the heavenlies and the natural realm.

36 Maybe a manifestation of the Spirit not enumerated by Paul.

37 McDonnell, Christian Initiation, 21

38 Scriptures that portray the Spirit as “falling upon” must be seen as describing the event from a purely human perspective.

39 The idea of a return may be a misnomer. Jesus is very much present in this world as he sits in the heavenly realms that engulf the earth. His return is nothing more than a manifestation of that presence. It is only from the human perspective that he is returning.


Chapter 4

1 Ladd, Jesus and The Kingdom, 233-234

2 Bibliography: N. Turner, Christian Words (1980), pp.281-87, (From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.) n.p. on CD-ROM

3 Vos, Geerhardus. The Pauline Eschatology. Phillipsburg NJ: P & R Publishing, 1930. p.77, Idea of the hiding of messiah (mystery) and his consequent revelation was an OT notion.

4 Burton, Ernest De Witt, A Critical and Exegetical Comentary on The Epistle to the Galatians, T&T Clark LTD, Edinburg, p. 68-69 It is uncertain as to whether the fourteen years is an unbroken period of time between his meeting with Peter or the time between his conversion and the Jerusalem conference. Burton argues for the former.

5 Armstrong, William P. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (CHRONOLOGY, NEW TESTAMENT) n.p. on CD-ROM

6 Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 148

7 Fee, Presence, 537

8 Fee, Presence, 513-15, 537

9 Fee, Presence, 501 Paul uses the same language to describe both Christ and the Spirit.

10 Fee, Presence, 553

11 Pawson, David, The Normal Christian Birth, Hodder & Stoughton, 1989, p.320-324

12 Pawson, Christian Birth, 194

13 Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 148

14 Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 137-138

15 The case could be made that it began when Jesus as a man received the Spirit in the heavenlies.

16 Longenecker, Commentary, Acts, 198

17 Bruce, F. F., The Book of the Acts, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1981 reprint, p. 241 Bruce points out that a similar name to “Christos – Chrestos” was a common slave name meaning, “useful.”

18 Fee, Presence, 291 –292 “The title “Jesus the Christ” gradually became the mane “Jesus Christ.”

19 Fee, Presence, 289, On 2 Cor. 1:21,22, “We are 'Christed’ by God giving the Holy Spirit.” Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, “One becomes a Christian by sharing in the “christening “ of the Christ. p. 99

20 McDonnell, Christian Initiation, 268 C.I. McDonnell Quotes to Autolycus 1:12; Theophilus of Antioch: AD Autolycum, ed. R. Grant (Oxford: Clarendon 1970) 16, "At Antioch from the time of bishop Theophilus (d.180)

21 It must be noted that Yorke is not writing in support of these hypotheses but is rather giving exposure to the ideas of Grundy and Ribberbos that the genitive of “soma (body) Christu” (of Christ) may be understood as “possessive in nature” and that “kefala” (head) may not be “physiological in function.” Yorke, Gosnell L.O.R, “The Church as the Body of Christ in the Pauline Corpus,” University Press of America, Lanham, Maryland, 1991, p.10

22 Yorke, Body of Christ, 2

23 Yorke, Body of Christ, 2

24 Yorke, Body of Christ, 5 (footnote # 19, J.A.T. Robinson, The Body, p. 58.) p.13

25 Yorke, Body of Christ, 5 fn 22 (Quoting S. Kim, The Origin of Paul’s Gospel)

26 Yorke, Body of Christ, 66-67 (Quoting Wright, N.T. "The Messiah and the People of God: D.Phil. Thesis, Oxford University, 1980)

27 Karkkainen, Pneumatology, 107

28 Robinson, H. Wheeler “Corporate Personality in Ancient Israel (revised edition),” T. & T. Clark Edinburgh, p.39, See footnote #49 I Cor. 15:22, T.W. Manson in “The Teaching of Jesus (Cambridge University Press, 1931), p. 227

29 Karkkainen, Veli-Matti, Ecclesiology, InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL 2002. p.120

30 Fee, First Corinthians, 256 fn 34

31 Barrett, C.K. “A Commentary On The First Epistle To The Corinthians,” Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1968, p. 149-148. Barrett notes that Schweitzer (in Mysticism, p. 127) used this text to prove that being in Christ is a physical union, of the ‘same character’ as ‘bodily union between man and woman.’

McDonnell, Christian Initiation, 45, C.I. Montague In I Cor. “Paul used sexual imagery to show that ‘the Lord is for the Body’ . . “Christian life is a union with the Lord so real that Paul can use the very same verb (kollomenos) for union with the prostitute and union with the Lord. Both unions have a visible physicality about them (the Christian's body is a member of Christ), but the effect of this quasi-physical incorporation into Christ is that the Christian also becomes one spirit with him, i.e. enjoys the same life-giving Spirit that animates his risen body (Rom 1:4), for his risen body is the Spirit-giving body (1 Cor. 15:44-45).”

32 Fee, First Corinthians, 253-256

33 Fee, First Corinthians, 147

34 Nolland, Commentary, Volume 47b: Hebrews 9-13, n.p. on CD-ROM, On Ps 40: 6-8 LXX, “The statement ’See, I have come,’ furnishes the basis for attributing these verses of the psalm to Jesus at the moment when he entered the world. The temporal expression ‘when he comes into the world,’ is distinctly ‘incarnational’ language.”

35 Longenecker, Richard N. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Acts, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1995, p. 55

36 Longenecker, Commentary 55

37 Aune, Commentary, Volume 52c: Revelation 17-22,  on CD-ROM

38 Fee, Gospel and Spirit, 117 Even the eminent Pentecostal scholar Gordon Fee has erroneously listed the "born again" and “new creation” experiences as being foundational to baptism of the Holy Spirit.

39 Vos, Eschatology, 150

40 Vos, Eschatology, 49

41 Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 140 - 142

42 Hagner, Commentary, Volume 33b: Matthew 14-28

43 Vos, Eschatology, 50-51

44 McNeile, Allen Hygh, The Gospel According to Matthew, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1980 (reprint), p. 281

45 Fee, Presence, 661

46 Fee, Presence, 443

47 Yorke, Body of Christ, 44-45 (see footnote #68 Best) “To see the church here.... is to miss the crucial Christological point...”

48 McDonnell, Christian Initiation, 44-45 Montague is referencing Robinson, The Body, 58-67

49 McDonnell, Christian Initiation, 44

50 Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 131, on I Cor. 12:13, “There is no thought of water baptism here.”

Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom, 171, “not a reference to water baptism”

51 Yorke, Body of Christ, 50 (footnote 73, Brown, "The Churches" P. 50) Yorke quotes from Brown’s contention that the church is the real body of Christ. That "real body' which in the words of Brown, suffered, died, and rose.” (footnote #74 Best, E. "One Body in Christ" London: S.P.C.K. 1955: p. 82) “In ...I Cor. 12:12, we seem to find the church called 'Christ' yet that expression is later reduced (v. 27) to 'Body of Christ' ...Perhaps we may say that in these tentative approaches to calling the church 'Christ' Paul is feeling after terminology which will permit him to express the unity which he knows to exist between Christ and his church.”

52 Yorke, Body of Christ, 5

53 Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, on II Cor 1:22, p.133

54 Craigie, Commentary, Volume 19: Psalms 1-50 n.p. on CD-ROM

55 Craigie, Commentary, Volume 19: Psalms 1-50 n.p. on CD-ROM

56 De Jonge, Marinus, (Freedman, David Noel, ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary, (New York: Doubleday) 1997, 1992. On “Christ” n.p. on CD-ROM


Chapter 5

1 Strong's n.p. on CD-ROM

2 Wenham, Gordon J., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 1: Genesis 1-15, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. n.p. on CD-ROM

3 Tate, Marvin E., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 20: Psalms 51-100, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998. n.p. on CD-ROM

4 Hagner, Commentary, Volume 33a: Matthew 1-13 n.p. on CD-ROM

5 The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) (1988) n.p. on CD-ROM

6 On 1 Cor 10:4, “When it is said that the "rock followed" or accompanied them, it must mean that the water that flowed from the rock accompanied them.” Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft) n.p on CD-ROM

7 Payne, J. Barton, The Theology of The Older Testament, Grand Rapids MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1962 p. 431

8 Christie, William m., International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft n.p. on CD-ROM

9 However, on Matt 26:28 Jesus uses the word in an inclusive not exclusive manner as it is probably a reference to both Isa 53:12 “he bare the sin of many” and of Dan 9:27 “confirm the covenant with many.”

10 For a thorough discussion of natural man in eternity see: The Climax of Prophecy by Richard Bauchham, A Wilderness in God’s Mercy by Clark H. Pinnock and What About those who have Never Heard, by Gavriel Fackre, Ronald H. Nash, and John Sanders, (ed. John Sanders).

11 Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom, 263.

12 Wenham, Commentary, Volume 1: Genesis 1-15 n.p. on CD-ROM

13 Clotting blood was a logistical problem for the priests during major times of animal sacrifice in the OT.

14 Hagner, Commentary, Volume 33b: Matthew 14-28 n.p. on CD-ROM

15 Miall, Edwards D., International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft: “(It is interesting that the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) sometimes renders musterion by Latin sacramentum, namely, in Ephesians 1:9; 3:3,9; 5:32; 1 Timothy 3:16; Revelation 1:20. This rendering in Ephesians 5:32 led to the ecclesiastical doctrine that marriage is a "sacrament.”)” n.p. on CD-ROM


Chapter 6

1 Ladd, Jesus and The Kingdom, 144

2 Ladd, Jesus and The Kingdom, 114

3 Beasley-Murray, Commentary, Volume 36: John, 47 n.p. on CD-ROM

4 Beasley-Murray, Commentary, Volume 36: John, 47 n.p. on CD-ROM

5 Beasley-Murray, Commentary, Volume 36: John, 48 n.p. on CD-ROM

6 Wenham, J. W., The Elements of New Testament Greek, Cambridge University Press, 1988, Pages 11-12)

7 See “A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament” by Bruce M. Metzger, United Bible Societies, 1975 Pages 249-250

8 McDonnell notes a comment by Maximus (c. 580-662) On the Lords Prayer PG 90:885 (“When commenting on the phrase “your kingdom come,” “Maximus wrote,”that is the Holy Spirit.”) In referring to Dogler McDonnell states (“He also pointed out the variant reading of the petition "your kingdom come," as "may your Holy Spirit come over us and cleanse us," found in Gregory of Nyssa (c. 330-c. 395) On the Lord's Prayer, 3; P"G 44:1157”) McDonnell, Christian Initiation, 112

9 “Tertullian exhorts the neophytes, as they are coming up from the water, to raise their hands and pray with insistence that the special part of the inheritance, the bounty of charisms, will be given to them.”

McDonnell, Christian Initiation, 115

10 Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom, 147

11 Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom, 152

12 Predestination is a Pentecostal concept wherein God’s sovereignty and perfect will are inevitably realized in a true charismatic manifestation.

13 Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom, 154

14 McDonnell, Christian Initiation 108

15 McDonnell, Christian Initiation, 114


Chapter 7

1 Fee, People of God, 63

2 Fee, People of God, 64

3 Karkkainen, Ecclesiology, 99

4 Karkkainen, Ecclesiology, 99

5 Raymond, Adams A. The Holy Spirit And The Real Presence, Journal of Theological Studies 29 March 1968, p. 37

6 Karkkainen, Ecclesiology, 99

7 Karkkainen, Ecclesiology, 100

8 Adams, Real Presence, 40

9 Hagner, Donald A., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 33b: Matthew 14-28 n.p. on CD-ROM

10 Karkkainen, Ecclesiology, 99

11 McDonnell, Christian Initiation, 100

12 Martin, Commentary, Volume 40: 2 Corinthians, 504-505

13 Martin, Ralph P. Philippians, The New Century Bible Commentary, (First published 1976 by Marshall, Morgan & Scott, England. This American edition published 1980 through special arrangement with Marshall, Morgan & Scott by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co Grand Rapids, MI p. 86-87

14 Martin, Commentary, Volume 40: 2 Corinthians, 504-505 and Martin, Philippians, 86-87

15 Martin, Commentary, Volume 40: 2 Corinthians, 504-505

16 Martin, Philippians, p. 86-87

17 Fee, Presence, 689-670

18 Hollenweger, Pentecostalism, 223-224

19 Fee, Gospel And Spirit, 125-125

20 Fee, Presence, 722

21 Fee, Presence, 425

22 Fee, Presence, 426




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