And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. Rev 12:1-5
Now the Jew's feast of tabernacles was at hand .... then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. John 7:2,10
How I have thought of these scriptures, from John's Gospel and his Revelation this week, as a number of brothers and sisters have been sharing thoughts on our resurrection on Fellership forum. There is a wind in the air that is filled with the fragrance of green figs and tender grapes for it seems the harvest is near and the Manchild born from both above and from within the sons of God is crowning.
I have mentioned before that I learned two things right off the bat when I first met Jesus thirty five years ago.
* Christ Jesus is given preeminence in all things.
* We are always to look for His appearing.
Those two precepts, although ever enlarged in my life, have served me well and especially now days in the discerning of whom is walking within the high calling of sonship. Those that have surrendered themselves fully to the Kingdom of God and the Cross of Christ carry a rare anointing for my life. As these most precious of saints pour out their lives and share their vision of Jesus I am often made tender and tearful, for I know the cost they have paid. And how wonderful it is to walk arm in arm with them, on the path rarely taken much less found. These rare souls have, by God's elect grace, found their way through the justification and redemption of Passover. They have also spent time celebrating and manifesting the gifts and ministries of Pentecost. Still today these sons and daughters of the Most High, press on in the autumn of their spiritual lives. They are bravely walking into the promised greater works of the last and greatest experiential feast and that be the Feast of Tabernacles.
We know that wherever the Lord of Life is, the end is at hand. So it is with those that are experiencing the ends of this earth within their very lives. Because they have shared the weight of Christ's Cross in this fallen world they know the Father's Kingdom is that which draws them day and night. There upon the Father's bosom they find their daily sustenance of His enduring love and grace. These sons have stepped into the Jordan, which represents death to the self life and are now being raised up, where they sit together in the Heavenly places of Christ Jesus(Eph.2:6) These are the called of the age, who resolutely march to their second death, and the death of death, rather than shrink back and perish. They have been given the vision of Heaven on earth and thus they believe that which the world counts as folly. These rising sons believe and so they suffer the last workings of the Cross that they might win their souls and the even the souls of those that scoff. (Heb 10:35-39).
With that said and before I dare go on to share some of that which some of us have been discussing this week I am moved to share an invitation for any one that might be sitting on the fence between "keepin a bit" and "surrender of all."
"I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of (all) the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies, presenting all your members and faculties as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world this age, fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs. But be transformed (changed) by the (entire) renewal of your mind by its new ideals and its new attitude so that you may prove (for yourselves) what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect (in His sight for you)" Rom 12:1,2 Amplified
So where in time do we, as sons, stand right now?
I personally know and also through conversations, we who have gone on to experience the old order feasts of Passover and Pentecost are standing in a place of travail, which is oft horribly painful yet increasingly full of glorious expectation. We feel from deep within that the birth of the manchild and mature son, bearing the fullness of Christ, is imminent. We today, are as caught between Heaven and earth and we are grasping both while pulling them together. With great joy and with one hand we have taken hold of the Throne and with deep empathy and by the other hand we tearfully lift up this wounded world. With that pulling together we groan, "O my God, when will it be, that we can truly say: now we live because we do not die."
Joian sent me a writing by Elaine Cook which I just started to read last night. Let me say what a delight it is to fellowship so many "Heavenly spies". It seems we are all taking forays into Canaan and we bring back wonderful gleanings that we might share one with another in joy and encouragement. So it is with this shared message that delighted both our souls. Elaine tells of our position today, as one age sets and a new and more glorious one dawns.
Between two feasts
Passover and Pentecost are old-order feasts that are passing away. This is where we are. We are moving beyond Pentecost; yet, we have not arrived at Tabernacles. Thus, we are in transition between these two feasts -- going from doing to being.
This is our present day dilemma. We are still in that feast where we look through a glass darkly and know only in part.
On the other hand, Tabernacles is where we see "face to face," where we shall know even as also we are known. 1 Cor. 13:12b. It has been clearly expressed in Romans 8:18-25 NKJ:
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."
We cannot make Tabernacles happen. We cannot usher it in before it is time. Only the Father knows the time. It is completely in His hands. Yet, I find I am no longer content to simply do or know, but deeply yearn to be (become) what I know and more so.
We say with Paul, the apostle,
"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Php. 3:12-14
When we wonder how we could ever make this full yieldedness of our life to God as Jesus did, we find the answer in the Burnt Offering that portrayed His Life fully yielded to God. First, the offering a bullock, was slain and divided into portions. The head was placed upon altar a fit emblem of the mind. Then, the legs were to be washed and placed upon the altar. Legs speak of our walk, which must be cleansed "by the washing of water by the Word."
The inwards were also washed before being placed upon the altar. The inwards are our feelings, our emotions, will, desires and affections all the five aspects of the soul. These also had to be cleansed before they could be offered. Lastly, the fat (which was in a special way the Lord’s portion) was offered. The fat speaks of the strength, health and vigor of the whole person. The strength of our life is God’s and does not belong to us to squander in selfish, fleshly pursuits.
Here we see the whole Burnt-offering: the entire surrender of self to God in everything. Jesus gave up all, reserving nothing for self, or for His own ease, or for His credit, for His pleasure or His advancement. In Jesus, the head, the legs, the inwards, the fat all were surrendered, making Him without spot or blemish. Had there been but one thought, one affection, one step not fully yielded, He could not have been accepted as a whole Burnt Offering.
What a contrast His life makes with ours! Psalm 49:18 tells us, ". . . for men will praise thee when thou does well to thyself." With us, how many thoughts are for self, our ease, our pleasure
and our interests? "What’s in it for me?" How much of our walk, of our affections, is consumed on anything rather than the altar! (Cooke)
O Lord, grant us increasing grace for each day that we might be consumed, until all that be left is You.
In closing I want to share something that Eliyah spied out this week. Incidental our sister, Eliyah goes by the name "Heavenly Spy" when sharing on the forums. When she signs off with an E-mail to me she sometimes writes "Spy and Kai" which speaks to both, she and her husband Mordekai. I love it and I also have come to enjoy my occasional phone visits with Spy and Kai as one must possess a strong anointing to quickly transition seasons when communicating with this most enjoyable couple. Spy goes an excited hundred ninety words a minute while in the same time Kai might share three in his relaxed southern drawl (lol). I have often shared my vision of the multi-personalitied corporate Christ man and how I enjoy the contrasting personalities of these two dears saints, that love God with all their hearts.
Eliyah is an observer of the firmament above and keeps us abreast of the signs in the heavens. We know that mankind walks beneath the record of God's redemptive work written in the stars, while most are totally unaware of the Gospel proclaimed in the celestial, since before there was even man.
The constellation Virgo represents the woman of Revelation 12. It is in Revelation 12 that the Dragon is cast down and then chases after the woman. She takes flight to the wilderness where she is protected from the Dragon. The Dragon makes war with the remnant of her seed and from the Dragon comes the beast from the sea who is the arch-enemy of Israel
The constellation represents the faithful of the 12 tribes of Israel. This also includes the 144,000 who are all "virgins." Appropriate for Virgo. Revelation 12:2 is a figure of speech used to describe the time of "Jacob's Trouble."
Revelation 12:2 - "And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered."
Compare this verse with Jeremiah 30:6,7 - "Ask ye now,and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned to paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it."
also 1 Thessalonians 5:3 - "For when they shall say, Peace and safety: then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (Jacob is saved out of it, but whoever "they" are here, shall not escape).
The first verse of Revelation 12 is the heavenly sign depicting the beginning of "Jacob's trouble."
Revelation 12:1 - "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:"
This sign will occur on October 1 when the sun will be in the midst of Virgo and the moon will be under her feet. I will have a chart on that in the September/October 2008 issue of Biblical Astronomy. October 1 will be the Day of Trumpets on the corrected Hebrew Calendar.
The twelve stars above her head are the 12 Signs including Virgo. The 12 Signs start above the head of Virgo and end behind the tail of Leo (the lion). Each sign represents one of the Twelve Tribes. The twelve stars are the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
All of the celestial activity in Virgo (planetary massings and conjunctions) this year brings particular interest as to if this is actually the time that these prophetic events concerning "Jacob's trouble will actually take place at this time ........
Yours because of Calvary,
of Biblical Astronomy
...a voice crying in the heavens
Now, I am not much on external signs, but with a peripheral view of my single eye for Christ I do notice the current events of our tumultuous world. Also how often this summer I have heard friends speak of their being drawn to observe both the day and night skies. Two days ago my neighbor and fellow saint, Christie mentioned how she, many times this summer, has been quickened to look up above only to be caught in awe by the beauty of the clouds overhead. Christie spoke of how she has never seen the clouds so glorious and how she was reminded of "the great cloud of witnesses" cheering us on.
Jesus died on the very date of the Passover Feast. The Holy Spirit was given on the very date of the Feast Of Pentecost. We have not seen the New Testament manifestation of the Feast of Tabernacles and I can't help but believe it will correspond with it's rightful date. Thus I give some earnest attention to that which Bob Wadswoth shared. My life wont' change one iota today because of this, nor will it change on Sept 28th the day before Celebration of Tabernacles. There are no preparations I can make as I only rest peaceably in Him, who holds all universe in His hand. He has laid out the world and it's times perfectly and all is purposed for good toward those that are called according to His purpose. What a comforting promise!
I have have seen the ends of the world in my own heart and I can only hope the end is near for all those I hold dear to my heart. Every day is the Day of the Lord and wherever our Lord is the end is nigh at hand. One day soon and possibly in this fall season a generation will awaken to find that Heaven and earth which they have been prayerfully pulling together has "met." You might call "Heaven and earth met" a Resurrected body and you'll get no argument from me. For I am one that still holds fast, with a Yea and Amen to God's unreasonable and improbable promises born of our miraculous life in Christ Jesus!
Now the Jew's feast of tabernacles was at hand .... then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. John 7:2,10
As Jesus went to the feast in secret, so I believe it shall be with His younger brothers. As the world and even most in Christendom eat and drink and are filled with cares of this temporal world there is a remnant bride that is being made ready. The marriage supper is being set even today in anticipation. The cloud of witnesses are gathering as the morning stars are carried over the last threshold. I pray you are as excited and thrilled as we are!
Jack & Joian and Spy & Kai
PS. "Tabernacles will be fulfilled in us when Jesus comes again within His people in the fullness of His glory. There are many speculations about when that will be and what that will look like, but we really cannot know. Nevertheless, there are scriptures that give us some clues. Rom. 8:18-19; 1 John 3:2; and Gal. 4:19.
Those who are foreknown and predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29) know within themselves that they are born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit. Likewise, many of them are being made to "know" intuitively by the Holy Spirit that this glory is already at work within them." (R Jones)
Preson Eby writes of the coming of Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles here: