28. The Capstone
The capstone, the goal of the gospel, the whole point of salvation, the thing we groan for with groanings too deep to be uttered, the goal we forsake everything to pursue, to seize hold of, is THREE facets all found in ONE experience. The first facet is you and I being conformed fully to all the fullness of Christ revealed for all to see.
28. The Capstone
…that there should be delay no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished… Revelation 10:6-7
Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” Zechariah 4:7
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13
The capstone was the completion of God’s temple. It was that final piece going into the very top of the structure that would hold all things together. It was the last thing necessary before the presence of Almighty God Himself would fill the temple in all of His glory and power.
The New Testament gives us, quite clearly, what is the capstone, the final completion of the work of salvation begun by Jesus upon the cross and brought to full glory inside of you and me. Yet the things the New Testament says about that goal are almost never taught in any church. If they are mentioned at all, they are instantly relegated off to “heaven.”
Why the extraordinary silence concerning the goal of salvation?
Any time anyone gets near the topic, they revert instantly to that anti-goal forced upon the gospel by paganism and by unbelief – that the goal of salvation is to “go to” heaven when we die. That heaven is our “eternal home.” There is no such statement in the New Testament. Paul said that we will ever be with the Lord – who is above heaven and in our hearts and who fills all things. The idea that Jesus is “up there in heaven” more than He fills the room in which I sit, or more than He overflows from my heart, cannot be true.
I want to include a number of verses, here, that speak clearly of the goal of salvation. I will reduce them to save space. You can read them in your own Bible.
You who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time… Receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:5 & 9
…He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ… That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection …if, by any means, I might attain to (seize hold of) the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained (seized hold of the resurrection), or am already perfected, but I press on… toward the goal… Christ Jesus… Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body… Philippians 1:6 - 3:10-14 &21
Having been built on the foundation… the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit… that you may be filled with all the fullness of God… till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 2:20-4:13
Notice in Ephesians 2 that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone and the apostles of the church are the foundation. The cornerstone is the chief stone of the foundation, while the capstone is the chief stone of the roof. There are three parts to the construction of a stone building, the foundation, the walls/pillars, and the roof.
But we all… are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory… that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh… For we who are in this tent (mortal physical body) groan, being burdened… that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God… 2 Corinthians 3:18- 5:5
Behold I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed… For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 1 Corinthians 15:51-54
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. And not only they, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of the body… to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:22-23&29
If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John 14:23
The capstone, the goal of the gospel, the whole point of salvation, the thing we groan for with groanings too deep to be uttered, the goal we forsake everything to pursue, to seize hold of, is THREE facets all found in ONE experience. The first facet is you and I being conformed fully to all the fullness of Christ revealed for all to see. The second facet is you and I being filled with all the fullness and glory of Almighty God without hindrance or limitation. And the third facet is the transformation of our physical bodies – our present physical dying bodies being swallowed up in life and immortality.
All three of these facets are the same thing.
Paul says that we groan for and long for and reach for and seize hold of this experience – the full salvation of our physical bodies. God intends to prove His will in our bodies upon this earth. This is where it counts.
Those who die and “go to” heaven, yes, they are with the Lord (but not one ounce more than we are right now) and blessed, but they are out of the picture as far as the goal of salvation is concerned, they have lost the most essential part of their being for salvation, the body, and are now waiting until we who walk upon this earth see this thing through to the finish. Those in heaven groan for the same thing, the transfiguration of the physical body swallowed up in life and immortality.
Now, you and I, sitting here in our chairs, weak, vacillating, and unsure, look at this goal set before us and think, “Wow, I sure can’t do that.” We know that this experience is not “automatic,” that is, God will not fulfill it apart from us, apart from our active participation – the faith of Jesus working in us. Yet it cannot and will not be accomplished by the hand of man.
So what is it that we do? How do we seize hold of the resurrection of the dead? How do we see all the fullness of salvation fulfilled in us upon this earth?
God has given us a task that we can do. Everyone can do this thing. Even the deaf and the dumb can do it. I had an older cousin who was quite mentally retarded, but she was mightily filled with heart. And I know full well that she could have done this thing God has given us to do with all the intensity of her heart and every fiber of her being. Even the mentally ill, reaching up through the darkness can do this thing God gives us to do.
God gives us a picture of this thing He has given us to do, right at the critical point in the journey of Israel. They have been delivered from Egypt, being baptized into Christ through the Red Sea. They have received the law of God written by His Spirit, and they have passed through all the pruning of the wilderness. They have crossed the waters of the Jordan and are now, for the first time, eating the fruit of all the promise of Christ. But dead ahead are the walls of death, the walls of Jericho.
And to bring those walls down, God gives them the mightiest work of faith. Faith sees what is not visible.
They walked around those walls for six days. On the seventh day, they walked around those walls seven times. And they walked in complete silence.
God wanted them to see and to know the absence of His light from the natural sight. Faith turns from that which is seen. They saw those walls impregnable, high, dark, undefeated, thirteen times in silence.
Then God gave them the mightiest task of faith in all the universe of God.
And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “GRACE – GRACE’” unto it.
I cannot tell you how important it is for us, right now on this day in the history of man upon this earth, to SPEAK Christ, to SHOUT Christ, out loud with our voice boxes, and if we have no voice, to shout Christ our only life in our hearts and minds. To speak the victory of all that He is in all of our being.
I go across the Internet looking at Christian sites, and I see so many of them engaged in the task of proving themselves “right” and their bother “wrong.” I see so many others talking about “nice” things that always culminate in “when we all get to heaven.” What value is there in speaking anything but Christ in all of His glory and power inside of us?
Be silent until we have the certainty and the fullness of this thing before us fully in our natural sight. Sin! Death! The curse upon this earth and upon our bodies. Cruelty! Murder! Rape! Bombs falling from heaven burning families in their homes. Transhumanism! All defiance of God. All that speaks against Him.
So many argue against keeping the reality of those dark walls from before our sight. Those arguments range from “God bless America” to everything is “spiritual,” the physical has no meaning, to “We’ll know what it all means in the sweet by and by, so think good thoughts about this world.”
Christ is real inside the physical reality of this fallen world. Christ casts off the darkness; He casts off the pain and the cruelty; He triumphs over every voice that speaks against God and against the Word God speaks. He does it in us.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4
Yet that Word, that mighty power of God, cannot bring forth its life apart from faith. Faith acknowledges the problem, in all of its invincible ugliness. And then faith looks out from the eyes of an INVISIBLE God.
And faith shouts: “GRACE!”
Remember, there is no story without a worthy enemy. At the center of the story of God are these words, spoken against the Son, against Christ, against the word God speaks. “Did God indeed say?”
People imagine that the “real” problem in Genesis 3 was Adam wanting to “be like God.” Adam already was like God. We are commanded over and over in the gospel to be just like God. The serpent was speaking nonsense. Rather, the enemy of God are those words that speak against Christ. “Did God really say that?”
We cast down all evil, all darkness and cruelty, and all of the curse upon this earth by doing the opposite, by speaking Christ, by speaking all that God speaks, as He speaks it, in faith, in power, in confidence, and in joy.
When we speak Christ, we are not “making something real” or “making something happen.” Except this: when I speak Christ, I begin to believe Christ. And the more I believe Christ, the more I see Him with the power and reality of the Holy Ghost upon my seeing. The more I speak Christ, in all that He is in me, the more my confidence grows.
And the more my confidence grows, the more I know the power of the risen Christ inside of me.
This is the ministry of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. This is the second witness of Christ – His power, without limit, unveiled in me, through my simple faith, that I would speak, that I would shout, “Christ,” and thus see with my eyes as God proves Himself in my body upon this earth.
Here is where I stand. I am unmoved. I will speak what God says, as He speaks in the New Covenant those things pertaining to Christ revealed in me. I will speak Christ in confidence and all joy.
Christ reveals Himself in me and in my body.
I am the second witness of God that God does all that He says.