Two Works of the Atonement

In a recent e-mail to a sister in Fla., I tried to just touch upon the work that is to be done IN God’s people (and which is even being done now at an accelerated rate) to fulfill the coming of Christ in the Autumn Feast of Tabernacles. This work has been going on within a people since the fullness of Pentecost came nearly 2000 years ago, but the culmination of this work yet awaits us.

It is true that saints like Abraham and even Paul were approved (or seen as “righteous” by God) through their faith, and they were (and are) heirs to all of the promises of God in Christ, but they did not receive what was promised to them in their lifetime because (for them) it was not yet the appointed time for that to happen.

But the Spirit is now declaring that we (at the end of this age) are being prepared for an inheritance of “the promise” which Abraham and Paul saw only “by faith.” Not that we shall be made perfect apart them, but that we shall come into our inheritance together at God’s appointed time for that. (Hebrews 11:39-40)

In a recent article about the two works of the atonement, I tried to show that there is a work of “forgiveness” by the blood, and also a work of “deliverance” by the blood, and though the work of forgiveness is “finished,” the work of deliverance has not yet been made complete (experientially in a people – in the earth realm). But we have a promise that this work will be done on earth as it is already done in the eternal spirit realm, and when the work is finished (at Tabernacles), then there will be a manifestation of mature “sons of God” indeed (and in -“deed”).

I believe, beloved, that Hebrews chapter 9 speaks clearly of these “two” atoning works, and verse 28 specifically of the climactic finish of those works at Christ’s Tabernacles coming.

Now I know that there are many facets to “The coming of the Lord.” I know that some ancient Hebrews even referred to YHWH as “The Coming One,” as they recognized His “coming” as something that is perpetual. But the Scriptures are also pretty specific about the comings of Christ in the fulfillment of the prophetic feasts, which is; the fullness of Passover which has come, the fullness of Pentecost which has come and now is to some extent, and the fullness of Tabernacles – which is something that we yet await.

In a recent dialogue with a brother about imputed righteousness and actual righteousness, something came to light which might help to illuminate for us further this topic of the two works of Christ, and this is that there is an eternal moral law of God. Now I’m not talking about the Law of Moses, for that was an abridged version of the eternal moral law given to men so that men might know what sin is. But there is an eternal law; one that can only be kept by those who are in submission to the Holy Spirit. Under the New Covenant then, the Holy Spirit is the law to us. Paul called this law “The law of the Spirit of Life.” (Romans 8:4)

It is true that through the Passover work on Calvary we’ve been given a fresh new start, so to speak, which is, freedom from the Law of Moses. God then sent His Holy Spirit to us at Pentecost to teach us, and lead us, and empower us in obeying His eternal moral law. But it was never God’s intention to perfect us under the “in part” anointing of Pentecost. No. What was started at Pentecost is not to be finished until Tabernacles. This is when Christ shall take away sin forever from a people.

Beloved, the Lord did not just come to forgive our sin, but to actually take it away. The first work of the atonement which is forgiveness of sin thus makes way for the second work of the atonement which is total deliverance from sin. We are forgiven through the Passover work by faith for the purpose of giving us the opportunity to commune with God and work with Him so that HE can then put an end to all sin in us! Through the Passover work we’ve been freed from the strife of trying to keep the law, but through the Pentecost work we are actually empowered by the Spirit so that we might keep it! When the fullness of Tabernacles comes – we will keep it – perfectly.