24. Drinking of the Same Spirit
The same Spirit I am infused with, you are infused with. That same Spirit is larger than the universe, yet always close and personal with each one of us. If you pour many cups of water into a swimming pool, it is likely that the particles from those individual cups would get all infused together. It would be impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins, or which is the original swimming pool and which is the newly added cups of water. Yet here is the mystery – God never violates our person, but always treats each one of us with the utmost and careful respect. Yet we drink of the same Spirit, who is a conscious Person.
24. Drinking of the Same Spirit
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13
This is a great mystery.
I used to believe that the Spirit of God used the example of the human body as a metaphor of the relationship between Christ and His church. We are now pressed into the likelihood that it is no metaphor at all, but literal.
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. Ephesians 5:29-30
Every particle of my spirit is surrounded by and touching particles of the Holy Spirit. We know that spirit or Life is a substance in the heavens just as matter – atoms and molecules – is a substance in the physical realms. That means that the Holy Spirit is vitally involved with every aspect and function of my spirit as I go about my everyday life.
My spirit is not something I put on for a Sunday morning like a coat and tie. My spirit is as much a part of my human makeup in all that I think, say, and do as my physical body is and has been so since my conception.
When I was Baptized in the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues rushed out of my mouth, at that moment the final barrier that had existed between my spirit and the Holy Spirit ceased, and our two Sspirits merged.
Now, all creatures in heaven and earth live and move and have their being in the Holy Spirit, including Satan and all demons.
I am heading towards an attempt to understand how, not only each of us as individuals are vitally integrated with the Holy Spirit, but how we, as members of one another, are vitally integrated together with the same Holy Spirit. But I want to follow a path that will build towards that understanding.
An unregenerate person lives and moves and has his being in the Holy Spirit. However, unresolved sin stands as a barrier of knowledge between that person’s spirit and the Holy Spirit. Yes, the functions of life do pass from the Holy Spirit to that person, but no knowledge of God, nor any intimacy of communion.
When a person is born again, that is, his spirit is made alive, sin is washed away, no longer standing between that person and the knowledge of God.
However, God is kind. At the same time, He doesn’t trust anyone. God may love us; He just doesn’t trust us, not at first. And so God never opens up the full knowledge of Himself inside of anyone as they are born again. It is clear that no parent would give their 4-year-old child the keys to the car.
Yes, one who is born again has the Holy Spirit inside of them. They know peace and communion with God. They can even know Christ as their life. But eventually, every born-again person comes to a place of decision. They read things in their Bibles that they know they do not know. Those things are not theology things; they are experience things. A person can know all Christian doctrine without ever experiencing God in a tangible, even a visible, way. But God makes Himself visible in power through people all through the Bible.
Here is what happens. Every born again person comes up against the reality that God does things through men in power, things that a particular Christian may not personally know. Two questions impose themselves. Is there a greater knowledge of God than what I experience right now? If there is (and the Bible insists there is), then do I want to know God in that greater way?
Look at the argument of everyone who rejects the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second experience of grace. That argument is always the same: “I don’t need it. I have all of God, all the knowledge of God, whatever, that I need.” I heard not too long ago: “I don’t need the gifts, because I have the Giver.”
In other words, “I know all there is to know about God expressing Himself through me and to be quite frank with you I do not need to know anything more. God could not possibly have anything relevant for me to bring forth upon this earth in all this “gift and power” stuff we read about in the Bible. And I certainly don’t need any gifts because I don’t need to minister the Spirit to you. Such a relationship with you is not part of my Christian life.”
My parents were Mennonites, but they were a bit different from many Mennonites I knew. They walked in a relationship with Jesus in spite of being Mennonites. And they accepted as self-evident that some who were not Mennonites also knew Him. My parents had never heard of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit before 1972. But when they first heard that their knowledge of God could be increased greatly by a further experience with the Person of the Holy Spirit they simply raised their hands, opened their hearts, and received God as real in them.
It should be a no-brainer that my present knowledge of God is very, very limited, that God is a whole lot bigger than I have ever known. It is a self-evident truth that I have always carried as a foundation of my life, that my knowledge of God in experience must increase exponentially and forever, with a steady increase day by day, punctuated with unexpected catastrophic increases of my knowledge of Him happening at least now and then, randomly, but surprisingly often over a lifetime, catastrophic increases in knowing Him that will happen to me forever.
My parents were ignorant of the greater knowledge of God that He had for them, but there was no barrier raised in their hearts against Him. Therefore, when that knowledge came, they received it. But that is not true of the majority of those who are born again.
What takes place in the heart of a believer in Jesus Christ that acts against any increase of the knowledge of God in them in power? It is easy to understand that unresolved sin stands between the dead spirit of an unregenerate person, their old man, and any life-giving knowledge of the Holy Spirit in which they live. But what comes into the heart of a regenerate person, one whose spirit has come alive in Christ, but that continues as a block of ignorance between their spirit and the Holy Spirit so that they do not know Him as a Person inside of them in power?
If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! Luke 11:11-13
Look at any and every argument against the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second work of grace. Look at any and every argument against “heresy” in the church in the form of visible manifestations of the Spirit. There is, actually, only one argument. It is this.
Jesus lied. Anyone who desires to know more of God in power moving through their lives – if something does happen, if some “spiritual” manifestation takes place, tongues, falling over into bliss in the Spirit, laughter, miracles, prophecy, anything that is Spirit-made-visible, it is so clear that they have received a demon. You cannot desire to know more of God in power because if you do, you’ll get a demon, not the true Holy Spirit. How do I know that? Because I, personally, don’t want to know God in that way and therefore, since I know all of God that there is for us to know in this life, and since I don’t know that, it has to be a demon, it cannot be God.
Let’s go now into the spirit of someone who is regenerate, but who refuses to know the Spirit in power. We are not talking about genuine ignorance, here, as my parents walked under for years, but a willful barrier raised against God. “I do not need that!”
I suspect that this person’s spirit holds itself to itself. Yes, it gains its sustenance from the Holy Spirit, but it does not trust the Holy Spirit. This person is convinced that if he gives himself to another’s consciousness, then bad and evil things will happen to him. And so this person’s spirit remains shriveled up and pulled in. As a result, even though his spirit is born again, even though God yearns over him with incredible love and many tears, yet God never ever violates anyone’s person.
If any person decides, “I don’t want that,” God will never, ever force Himself upon them. He is a Gentleman, and to force Himself upon one who resists Him would result only in breaking their person in an ungodly way. The barrier that stands between their spirit and God’s spirit is an ungodly fear, a declaration that God cannot be trusted — that He lies.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second work of grace is a willful letting go of one’s spirit in full abandonment into the consciousness and Person of the Holy Spirit in a heart of absolute trust, looking absolutely to the Person of Jesus as the Baptizer, convinced that nothing but good is coming from His hand. It is an act of faith, faith that ALWAYS begins, as Jesus said, by asking.
In the first work of grace, Passover, our spirit is born again. That happens as an operation of the presence of the Holy Spirit, without question. As a result of being born again, we are in the house of God, but we remain in the outer court. We see everything by the light of this world and our own reasoning minds. We look at the sacrifice of Jesus as a past event, and we spend much time reading a Bible we really don’t understand and therefore must figure out.
But our spirit remains small, shriveled up unto ourselves. This is normal and right. What infant is ever appointed CEO of a company? Or sent on a mission into outer space? God allows us to grow as befits our person, and He never, ever forces Himself upon us.
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive . . . John 7:37-39
There is always a three-step process by which anything of the knowledge of God is released into our experience.
1. I thirst. God allows a growth of desire for Him inside of me so that any knowledge of Him coming into me comes by the integrity of my own heart.
2. I ask. God requires faith. Faith is a deliberate action of the will. Faith is my spirit connecting with God’s Spirit. Faith always asks.
3. I drink/receive. God opens my consciousness to know in experience and power what has always been mine, always true in me, though I knew it not.
In the second work of grace, Pentecost, our spirit, our heavenly body, lets go of our own tight control and is released into the Holy Spirit. Jesus immerses our spirit into the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, our consciousness is merged all through the Person and consciousness of the Holy Spirit and the Person and consciousness of the Holy Spirit is merged all through ours. That experience happens slightly differently for each individual person, but I believe that God requires of every individual a voiced surrender to Himself in some way before He allows the intrusion of ourselves into His Person. At the same time, God must hear a real “Yes” before He inserts Himself into our person; He never forces Himself on anyone.
In that moment, we pass through the curtain into the Holy Place and suddenly, we see everything out from the Person and knowledge of the Holy Spirit. We open our Bibles, and they are new books. Every word just reads differently. We try to show the exciting things we now see to our Christian friends who remain in the Outer Court, and they are offended. They look at the same words, and they cannot see what we now see. They react as if we are accusing them.
Stephen put it this way in Acts 7. “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit…”
We must understand that God never ever forces Himself upon us. In the end, there is only one sin that can remain as a barrier between a believer and all that God is inside of them. That sin is called in some instances “unbelief.” It always shows itself as a personal and willful rejection of the next thing the Holy Spirit has of Himself to show Himself through us in power and in glory.
But that sin also comes through the arguments of the mind and of the mouth. Those arguments boil down to two things. First, “I know already all there is for me to know about God that God intends for me to know and experience in this life.” Second, “I know who and what I am; what I see myself to be at present is exactly what I am in this life and nothing more.”
We never confuse these two gross foundations of unbelief and sin against God with the continual practice of contentment with joy in the perfect ordering of the seasons of our lives by a kind and loving Father. We do not “have to” know all that God is in us; we rest fully in our present intimate knowledge of Him. Yet the desire to know Him more fully in power and reality is a central part of Christ living as us. And God always places a deeper yearning inside of us to match and meet the next revelation of Himself that is on its way to us.
Then, in the third work of grace, Tabernacles, the grace that is yet to come, which Peter commands us to set our hope fully upon, the focus is no longer upon our spiritual body, our spirit, which has grown into a full knowing and walking in the Holy Spirit, but upon our physical body. I see, now, what happens in that third experience with God, and it blows me away.
Let’s back up a bit.
There is one God, the Father. We are made just like Him. Our soul, the person of our soul, corresponds directly in likeness to the Father. God, the Father, is invisible, however, and cannot touch or be touched by any part of His creation. So God moves out into both sides of His creation, both heaven and earth. God moves into the heavenly side of His creation through His Spirit. And He moves into the earthly side of His creation through His Son. The Spirit of God is God revealed in the heavens. The Son of God is God made flesh in the earth.
We are created in the same way. Our soul moves in and communicates with the heavens of God through our spirit. Our soul moves in and communicates with the physical realms through our body. Our spirit merges with the Holy Spirit when Jesus baptizes us into the Holy Spirit. For most of us, that is an experience we already know.
But we look at our bodies. They are weak and tired. They are dying. In complete contrast to this visible and too true reality, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, they are washed clean and holy and pure, and we give them to God as a holy sacrifice that is 100% acceptable to Him.
When we were immersed into the Holy Spirit, the Person and consciousness of God moved into our full awareness inside of us. We know Him now as a Spirit of power merged fully with our own spirits.
But Tabernacles is the transformation of our physical bodies. In Tabernacles we know Him as the Word made flesh. In Tabernacles, there is a complete merging of our physical, earthly body with the resurrected body of Jesus.
The transformation of the physical body in the resurrection is a merging, a union of God’s Person and consciousness with our person and consciousness far, far beyond anything we have ever known or experienced. It is beyond anything we read about in the life of Jesus before His bodily resurrection, by which He was declared to be the Son of God with power.
Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.Philippians 3:21
Let me reword Philippians 3:21 according to the actual Greek (I am not a Greek scholar).
(Jesus) metaschematizo our lowly body that it be synmorphizo His glorious body out from His dynamite energy bringing us into His full sway.
Metaschematizo is used only by Paul, and he uses it to refer to an aspect of our redemption only once, here. It means, simply, to change the outward form or appearance.
Synmorphizo is used only by Paul, he invented the word, and he uses it twice only. Paul’s use of this word is beyond profound. We could say “with morphing.” Before we look at Paul’s other use of this word we must first understand that Paul uses the Greek pre-fix “syn,” which means “with” over and over uniquely and differently from all other Greek writers.
Crucified WITH Christ; buried WITH Christ; raised WITH Christ; seated in the heavenlies together WITH Christ.
Paul’s use of the pre-fix “syn” IS our union with Christ. We understand that it does include our concept of “with,” that Christ as a Person walks together in personal and complete intimacy with me as a person. But we also know that it means much more than that. It means that I am IN Him and that He is IN me. It means everything that the word “union,” fused together in all ways as one, can mean.
I am, literally and substantially, inside of the crucifixion of Christ upon the cross and in His burial. I am, literally and substantially, inside of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am, literally and substantially, sitting upon the throne of God inside the Person of Christ right now. He is, literally and substantially, my very life, walking in all ways and at all times as me.
Now, before we look at Paul’s second use of the word synmorphizo, let’s look at his first, Romans 8:29, the most important verse in the Bible.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son . . .
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined synmorphizo to the image of His Son.
Yordy, what on earth are you saying? I’m saying that Paul’s words are true.
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 1 Cor. 12:12.
I am saying that Tabernacles is a complete fusing together of the resurrected body of the Lord Jesus Christ with our physical bodies. In that moment two things will take place. Yes, there is still a “with,” that is, our own physical bodies will take on the outward appearance of His resurrected body, that is the first word Paul uses. They are still our bodies, yet the consciousness of the Lord Jesus Christ will be so in tune with our consciousness (the dynamite energy by which He brings us into His sway) and ours with His that our body is His body.
The other thing that happens in that moment is that the body of Christ is revealed fully in glory upon this earth as the manifest sons of the Father. The Father fills His fully prepared temple with the full and open revelation of Himself.
God becomes visible and knowable to both heaven and earth. Christ is a many-membered body.
But right now our physical bodies continue separated from the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only part of our being yet residing under the curse. That’s why they get sick and die; it is by the appointment of God, that we might know the power of Christ made perfect in our weakness.
It is not so with our spirits. Our spirits are already fully merged with the Spirit of God. We certainly do not know what that means, but it is fully true.
We are finally ready, now, to come back to the truth I saw at the start of this letter. — Drinking of the Same Spirit
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13
This is a great mystery. I want to focus on “made to drink into one Spirit.”
I am connected to the Person of God directly by a fused union of my spirit with His Spirit. I like the image in the movie, Avatar, of the “hairs” of the Navi merging with the “hairs” of the tree of life in a flash of energy. People can scream “new age” all they want, but that is exactly how I am fused together with God, spirit to Spirit.
If we look at my spirit, every particle of it is surrounded by and relating to, in a direct energetic, “electrified” connection with tentacles of God’s Spirit. If we look at your spirit, we will see exactly the same thing. We use the picture from the movie only to allow ourselves to see that it is indeed real.
The same Spirit I am infused with, you are infused with. That same Spirit is larger than the universe, yet always close and personal with each one of us. If you pour many cups of water into a swimming pool, it is likely that the particles from those individual cups would get all infused together. It would be impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins, or which is the original swimming pool and which is the newly added cups of water.
Yet here is the mystery – God never violates our person, but always treats each one of us with the utmost and careful respect. Yet we drink of the same Spirit, who is a conscious Person.
Jesus said, “Whatever you do to one of the least of these My brethren, you do it to Me.” We used to think He was speaking figuratively; He was not.
We are literally and substantially members one of another. The full meaning of that will not be known until the transformation of our bodies into His glorious body, when we find our eternal place in the temple, the revelation, of God.
But our spirit is as real as our body, and right now, our spirits are as joined together in the same Spirit as they will ever be. We don’t know what that means, not yet, but it is true.
I could expound on the gifts of the Spirit. They are part of the normal function of the body of Christ spirit to Spirit to spirit. They are the flashes of electrical charge that communicate from one nerve synapse to the other. They are normal, everyday sort of things in the church, as normal as eating and breathing.
But such a discussion is beyond the scope of this letter. However, I must clarify one thing. When I speak of the “intermingling” of our spirits inside the Holy Spirit, this distinction MUST be kept. My spirit “intermingles” with your spirit only THROUGH the Person of the Holy Spirit, spirit to Spirit to spirit.
Koininia — the fellowship of the saints — communion — the revelation of Jesus Christ.