29. The Great Story
But God, in His infinite wisdom, has determined that to have the kind of sons that He must have requires two things. God's purpose requires an enemy that challenges the Word that He speaks and it requires a journey from darkness to light, a passage through limitation and sorrow and loss, finding ultimate faith in the power and love of an invisible God. Thus we call it "story."
29. The Great Story of God
The Great Story of God is a way of understanding the purpose and intentions of God, what He is after through this whole thing called creation and how He is obtaining His goal. As such, one short book cannot begin to reveal the whole of that story.
God’s purpose is stated clearly – many sons just like Jesus. He intends to reveal Himself to all creation, both the heavens and the earth, through His sons.
But God, in His infinite wisdom, has determined that to have the kind of sons that He must have requires two things. God’s purpose requires an enemy that challenges the Word that He speaks, and it requires a journey from darkness to light, a passage through limitation and sorrow and loss, finding ultimate faith in the power and love of an invisible God. Thus we call it “story.”
It is hard not to look at our present lives as petty and fairly pointless. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is real in the heavens is not seen by us now. My giving Him thanks with joy inside of some pointless difficulty in my path, my rejoicing in His life in me, though I see it not, has mighty repercussions in the heavenly realms.
But as God is bringing us into the full wonder of what it means that Jesus is in the Father and we are in Him and He is in us, He is also bringing the darkness to its fullness as well. According to Revelation 12, our glorious victory causes things to get worse upon the earth.
And so we must move in wisdom. Things as they are upon the earth right now can be frightening. But we are sons and we trust in God. To move forward in wisdom in this hour, we must know what God is doing and why. He has already revealed these things to us in His word. Everything God speaks is Christ and everything Christ is, is our life.
Revelation 11 contains some things that seem hard to fit into an understanding of the grace and love of God. Because of that, and because it has been interpreted badly by carnal Christians, God’s people tend to ignore and dismiss this present word of Christ. How can we do that when all that God speaks fills us full?
But everything we read in Revelation 11 IS the love and grace of God through us. Judgment is for the sake of those being judged. It is the kindness of God, and it is always for redemption.
But the revelation of Jesus Christ stands in the earth as a knife’s edge.
Therefore I say to you, “The kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. Matthew 21:43-45
Revelation 11 swings upon the question of the inheritance. The inheritance is central to who we are as sons. But there is another claim to that inheritance. Revelation 11 is the showdown over the inheritance. Jesus warns us that in that final conflict upon this earth, too many will swing the wrong way on this issue.
The greatest danger facing the church of Jesus Christ in this hour is not martyrdom. Martyrdom is not a danger, but glory. No, the greatest danger facing every Christian alive today is that they will look at the revelation of Jesus Christ, as He proves Himself in the earth a second time, and they will say, “That cannot be God.” That they will reject the Lord Jesus Christ as He comes again because they are expecting the same “Superman” the chief priests and Pharisees were expecting, and He will disappoint them now in the same way He disappointed the Pharisees back then.
God has revealed these things to us in His word because we must know the intention and determination of God.
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.John 1:16-18
One of the purposes why God sent Jesus to walk as a man among us was to reveal to us the nature and person of the Father in a way that it was impossible for the Law to do, that is, by the nature of grace and truth.
But an honest look at some of the things Jesus said and did are hard to place into that definition of Him. When Jesus healed the blind man or fed the five thousand, it’s easy to say that He was revealing to us the Person of the Father. But Jesus said and did things that were for the sole purpose of baiting the leaders of Israel, to push them into hatred of Him. The purpose of God required the hardening of the hearts of the Pharisees until they were so beside themselves with anger that they put Jesus to death.
Jesus went out of His way to force the leaders of the Jews to take a public position against Him. He provoked them into action, into hatred and murder – deliberately – because He loved them. And He forgave them with all the forgiveness of God from the cross.
This also is Christ our life; this also is the nature of the One who fills our hearts. He is in us in this world as the world IS, not as we fantasize the world to be.
The second witness of Christ provokes everything that is not out of the Spirit of God in this world into irate anger and overt action against Christ, similar to what Jesus did. Since the world today is controlled by the same party that opposed Jesus, the Pharisees, they will continue to be a prime target of the determination and purpose of God.
But among the number of those who rejoice to see the “failure” of the second witness of Christ will be too many of those with whom we worship God.
My son shared with me a distress he felt concerning the precious brethren with whom he worships. I wrote him a reply that I want to share in part with you. This understanding is essential in order for us to know and recognize Christ as He moves in all the reality of the word God speaks in this present time.
In my answer to him, I said —
And the whole point of everything God does is not judgment, per se, but the triumph of His Son upon this earth, the proving of the Word God speaks.
And that Word is mercy beyond all human reason.
The final showdown of the ages, the point of battle in the realms of the earth, is shown to us in Revelation 11. That false Jewish (so-called) claim to the inheritance (the beast that comes out of the pit) will be confronted and exposed by the second witness, the testimony of Jesus Christ, in the streets of that wicked city that God calls Sodom, but that men call Jerusalem.
The church of Jesus Christ, the precious believers whom we love, will not understand the truth. And they will come against those who speak the truth as if they are the “evil ones.” Yet we continue to speak the truth at the right time and in the right way for their sakes, even if they kill us for it.
God does not give us the prophetic word of Scripture so that we can predict the future. He gives it to us so that we can understand the present. The truth of the vision John saw was critical truth for every generation of the church in their day. Yet, just as we are entering into all the fullness of Christ, something that has been available but little known down through the centuries, so also the mystery of iniquity comes to a fullness in this world in the present day.
There is so much in His word that God speaks to us concerning Christ in us and in the earth that is specifically needful for us in this present hour. Yet it seems that God’s people in every direction attempt to remove so much of the Word God speaks, so much of Christ, from their knowledge, even as they discover that Christ is their life.
To remove any word God speaks in the New Testament from the fulfillment of Christ in you personally is to deny that measurement of Christ that people wrongly assume does not apply to them. Just because a man wrote down the words He was hearing, Christ, the Word God speaks, onto a piece of paper, did not then remove those words from the eternal voice of God. Because those words are Christ, we do not then read them carnally, but we understand them to be life by the Spirit of God in us.
Most people prefer only a portion of Christ. But they cannot prevent those who desire to know and to reveal Him in ALL that He is.
Christ is a mighty warrior, victorious over His enemies. He defeats the world; He defeats sin; He defeats death. He brings all things into submission under His feet, and He gives all creation fully restored back to the Father. This is the life that fills us; He does all these things through us.
I previously referred to the story of Jane Eyre. Many people loved the metaphor of Jane Eyre, the power of a love story.
But how many will continue in excitement and anticipation as we discover that God intends to do it again in us. Just as, through Jesus, He nailed Himself to the wall to prove His heart for all to see, so He does it a second time through us.
God requires a second witness before He is satisfied that He has proven His heart beyond reproach.
Are you available for His determination?
Many want to dance in all the beauty of grace and glory, and dance we do, but not as many want to be the proof of God.
When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. Revelation 11:7
Beyond all comprehension, the exact same faction that put Jesus to death, the Pharisees, rules the entire earth today. The men who tell the presidents of the United States what to do are literally Pharisees. The prime minister of England, the president of France (when this was written), are literally Pharisees, that is, they are Jews who live by and embody the teaching of the Pharisees written down in the Talmud. The image of the Beast that most Christians learn by, television and movies, is owned and controlled by the same faction. The principles of the Pharisees are drilled into the minds and hearts of Americans every day.
The majority of the wealth and property of the earth is, literally, in the hands of men who call themselves “Jews” and are followers of the Talmud. This is a fact of reality – God moves inside that which is real.
Just as Jesus needed the Pharisees to be driven to murder in order to reveal the tender heart of God to all creation, so it is again today.
Many will say, “How on earth can such a thing be God?”
God doesn’t make any sense. The question is, do we trust Him? Do we believe that, in spite of human reason, all of this is God’s love?
Do we say with Mary, when faced with the preposterous idea that God is birthing Himself into the world through us?
I belong to You. Let it be to me according to all that You speak.
And when everything goes wrong, do we hold to His word to Mary, His word to us?
And a sword shall pierce through your own heart also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
When we say that Christ is our life, we have no other life, are we ready to be all of Christ?
Christ is the revelation of God, His own heart ripped open for all creation to see. You and I are the second witness of Christ.
And she brought forth a manchild and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.
The Bible is like the human body. It is complex, with many differing parts great and small. Sometimes it’s hard to tell how those differing parts are even part of the same thing. Yet in the end, just as the body is one, so the Bible is one seamless whole. However, just like the blind men of Hindustan, each trying to define the whole by the little part he stumbled upon, so most read the Bible.
The blind men of Hindustan never connected with the reality that the elephant is a living animal, with each part known only in reference to that living animal. In the same way, most who read the Bible do not know that they are reading the Lord Jesus Christ and He revealed in us, His body. They do not know that the whole point of everything is the Word become a Lamb and living in us.
The whole point of everything, including the presence of the accuser, is the glory of the word God speaks, the Always-Speaking of God. The Word God is always speaking has a name, we call Him Jesus.
Now, in most people’s minds, “glorifying Jesus” has a different meaning that that held in God’s mind. Most people imagine a solitary image, high above all, before whom we peons bow. You can see that this image is Lucifer’s image of himself, Jesus would never tolerate such a travesty. But most Christians know also that Jesus is something other than that image, yet they cannot lose the image, so they mix the Jesus they know with the self-image of a deluded angel.
Therefore, when John writes about the Lamb in his gospel, most see the Jesus we know, living in our hearts. But when John writes about the Lamb in his vision, most see the other thing, the exalted solitary image, high above all. Thus everything related to that image in Revelation, especially the “two witnesses,” must be of similar “deified” exaltation, high above us mere fleshy mortals.
They read the Word just like the blind men of Hindustan, as a series of chopped up and unrelated things. They do not have the key that unlocks to them the body of God.
Here are a series of statements found through the Bible. Consider them carefully, including the order in which they appear, as they are a seamless whole.
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good. Genesis 1 – the beginning of everything through the Speaking of God.
“Did God indeed say?” Genesis 3 – the entrance of the accuser.
You have magnified Your word above all Your name. Psalm 138 – The singing of David
Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice? …She cries out by the gates… “To you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men. . . Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates… For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 8 – the wisdom of Solomon
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55 – the seeing of Isaiah
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger. Luke 2 – the Word entering His creation in weakness.
The seed is the word of God. Luke 8 – Jesus, explaining one nature of the Word.
When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth? Luke 18 – Jesus, asking the greatest question in God’s heart.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God – As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory – Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1 – John, showing us the Word from the beginning becoming the Lamb, a second nature of the Word.
Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. John 12 – Jesus, giving us the most staggering reality of the Word, that One becomes many, the Word itself births the faith that receives it.
I spoke openly to the world. – You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. John 18 – Jesus, before His accusers.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.Acts 1 – Jesus, becoming the Word in many.
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 Corinthians 12 – Paul, giving another picture of the Word becoming many.
And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne… stood a Lamb as though it had been slain… thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” Revelation 5 – John, seeing the same Lamb exalted.
And I will give to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. Revelation 11 – the Word that forms Christ in the many and that sets creation free.
And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Revelation 12 – the many having become one, birthed before the accuser.
These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. Revelation 14 – The many together as one.
These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.Revelation 17 – the whole point of everything, the singularity, the triumph of Almighty God.
There is just something in God that gets a real kick out of defeating the accuser by His Word alone, revealed through weakness in many.
Do you see how the Great Story of God just ties everything together? The book of Revelation could not possibly be known any other way. It is an essential element in a seamless whole; it is the capstone, the climax of the story.
Now, the Word of Christ which we speak is this same Word woven through every one of these verses. You can see, then, the incredible importance to the entire purpose of God that is our speaking of Christ.
And I (the Word God speaks from the beginning having become the Lamb) give (that’s everything, nothing in God or in the universe is withheld) to My two witnesses (that’s us, the Word having become many), and they shall prophesy (that’s us, birthing the new heavens and earth, setting creation free).
I made this statement in the chapter, ““God on Trial.” The whole point of everything is the Word God speaks, a woman in travail, and the face of the serpent. Here is another way of saying that same thing: The whole point of everything is the Word God speaks, declared as many in weakness, defeating all opposition.
This is what God has always had up His sleeve.
Now, look at what John saw in Revelation 5. Remember that this is a vision, which is the symbolic language of God. Thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb.”This is a symbol of the most valuable thing to God in all creation except the Word that He speaks. Look at the phrase: “a woman in travail in the face of the serpent.” Look at the phrase: “declared as many in weakness defeating all opposition.”
There is one word in the Bible that these things define – faith.
The exaltation of the Lamb is the audacity of faith against all opposition. When John saw the Lamb exalted above all, he was seeing you and me, in utter weakness, in utter inability and impossibility, speaking Christ our only life with all confidence and joy.
There is no greater honor of the Lamb who fills our hearts than that.
Those who “honor” the Lamb by putting Him high above on a pedestal, do not honor Him at all, because they do not believe all that He speaks. They do not make Christ, the Word God is always speaking, personal in them.
When you and I make the Word God speaks, Christ, our very and only life, by the declaration of our mouth (witness) against all opposition, we ARE the firstfruits; we are the thousands; we are the body of Christ.
We are the capstone of God’s temple.
We are the climax of His Story.