7. God on Trial
God Himself has placed the integrity of His own Word - His Son - on trial before the universe. It is God who has done this, and the trial of His Word is central to who He is.
7. God on Trial
Does God Lie?
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. . . John 1:14
And the serpent said to the woman, “Did God indeed say?” Genesis 3:1
That through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. . . Hebrews 2:14
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. . . Philippians 2:9-10
As God’s people discover that Christ is our life, that we have no other life, that all of our weakness and even our sins, He carries inside Himself and has always carried inside Himself, they go through a period of time in which that incredible truth seems to be the sum total of God in the earth.
But this attitude only reflects the historical Christian idea that God is about redemption, about rescuing us from living separately from Himself. Just as the effort to “subdue sin” or “die to self” really is nothing more than an exaltation of self and sin in disguise, so learning that Christ is living His life through us, by itself, can end up being all about man. Many discover the true grace of God in redemption, but then stop short of the whole point of everything.
Our redemption, our intimate union with the Lord Jesus Christ, our coming out of the wilderness leaning upon our Beloved, every part of our present relationship with Christ in us, all of it, is only a means to an end.
God did not institute redemption in order to “save” man. God instituted both man’s weakness and man’s redemption as His chosen means to arrive at His purpose for everything.
God’s purpose is the revelation of Himself to His creation through man.
The only way we can comprehend this great purpose of God is through the metaphors of story. God teaches us of this great determination that has seized our lives in its grip – through the metaphors and stories found in the Bible.
We must know the great story of God in order to transfer everything God is doing in and through our glorious identification with Christ into the larger purpose of God in the earth.
A significant part of God’s revelation of Himself through us is the vindication and triumph of His word upon this earth and within this age.
“Did God indeed say” stands at the core of the story God has written. Christ is the word that God speaks; God placed Satan in the garden specifically to challenge the word God speaks in the ears of the woman. Eve represents the church.
The point of God’s purpose in all creation can be found at the juncture of the word He speaks and the church who bears His seed – challenged by the serpent.
The Word, Christ, is the seed of God; it is, if you will bear with me, His sperm (the sending forth of God Himself), by which God conceives His life in the womb of the woman (the church).
But God has cast the bringing forth of His life, of His many-membered son, in the grip of story. And story means danger and contest and battle. Story means a journey, a task, and a triumph. Story means an enemy, who seeks to defeat the hero of the story at the point of His purpose.
God intends for the planting of His seed in the womb of His bride to be contested by evil and by unbelief. In fact, it is that great contest, bearing down upon – speaking against – His word planted in the hearts of His elect that is the necessary ingredient for the life of that Word to be birthed into the light of day.
At the core of the battle God has arrayed before us are the first four words of God, “Let there be light,” and the first four words of the serpent, “Did God indeed say?” This battle takes place first in our own hearts and minds. The accuser of God is cast out of our own minds, before he is cast out of the realms of spirit.
When I was twenty years old, I was sitting in a Spirit-filled church – typical Christians who loved the Lord and who would argue that they believed all that God speaks. The pastor, in light of some teaching that had been circulating concerning the command of Jesus to be perfect in exactly the same way the Father is perfect, said to the congregation, “If you believe that it is possible to walk without sin in this life, raise your hand.”
I didn’t know much about God and His ways then, but in my ignorance, the only thing that came to my mind were these words: “With God all things are possible.” I had no alternative; I raised my hand. All other Christians but one in that room kept their hands down. They did not believe that with God all things are possible, they did not believe the word God speaks.
In their minds, God does not speak the truth – that is, you cannot take God at His word. Much of what God speaks means something far above, far in the future. They believe that God lies, but then they make up stuff and call it “God.”
Here is one I heard again just recently. “Heaven is our home,” as if “heaven” is some “place” to which we are one day going. And where does God say that? Where? — He does not! In fact, God commands us not to say, “Let’s go to heaven to find Christ.” Yet we disobey Him and imagine it anyway.
God did not speak the words of the New Covenant for us to play games with, to figure out, to theologize, to perform, to explain away, to cut out, to do any of the innumerable things Christians do with the word God speaks.
God speaks His word in the Covenant He signed with us for one purpose only – that we would believe what He speaks and would dance with joy at the expectation of its fulfillment in our lives in all of its meaning. God always leads us in triumph, that is, God always leads us to celebrate the final victory as if it is true right now even if we do not see it with our eyes.
God’s Word is a seed that carries in itself the power to bring forth the life that is in it. What it needs from us is that we believe that Word with confident expectation. That believing is Christ in us.
Be ye therefore perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
I believe this word. I believe it in all of its meaning. I believe it for my life right now in this age and on this earth. Do I “perform” this word? Of course not. Performance makes us like the deceiver, not like our Father. Yet I believe for its fulfillment in my life with all confidence of expectation, knowing that it is Christ in me who fulfills all that the Father speaks.
This is just one of many, many similar things that God speaks through Christ, His Word, that most Christians will apologize for and explain why it can’t be, not here, not now.
Here are some others – only a few of many:
That you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Everyone of these words is God speaking into this age and into this earth. By pushing these into “heaven” or the age to come, Christians make God a liar.
When a Christian places this boundary, this limitation upon God, the same challenge Satan spoke in the garden, that God can do anything – in heaven. He just can’t do it in man upon this earth, and He certainly won’t do it in me. If we place that accusation upon God, we cannot prevent God from doing what He says in a people who put no limit upon Him. We limit only ourselves.
In fact, I see a barrier, a cap, a hard shell of blockage sitting upon all Christians who take this position before God – that it is not possible for them to walk without sin upon this earth in these bodies of weakness. When we accuse God of falseness in that way, we prevent a level of anointing from God, of understanding His ways, of moving in His power, from ever touching us. We read what He says and it makes no sense and because it makes no sense, we shove it off to heaven, which is exactly what the serpent did in the garden.
“God, you can do it in heaven, but you sure can’t do it in man upon the earth.”
And when I use the word “walk without sin,” I mean all the fullness of God revealed in all of our human weakness, on the inside of us, on the outside of us, and flowing out from us in a mighty river of power.
“Go to heaven.” “The rapture.” “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” All these things are just the many ways that Christians have enabled themselves to call God the liar that so many are convinced He is.
We are not escaping to some “place” called “heaven.” We live now in heaven; we are heaven invading earth.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
When God has a people who finally ask Him to fulfill this word in their lives in all of its meaning, and who believe that they have whatever they ask of the Father, then the age of human folly comes to an end and the earth is covered with God’s glory as the waters cover the sea.
To believe the Word God speaks against all the accusation of the evil one is the point of the purpose of God in the earth. This is how the accuser is cast down. This is how Christ triumphs over sin and death. This is how we overcome.
This is our great task as the hero of God’s story. He in us, believing, believing, believing all the Word that He speaks. Believing in all of its fulfillment in all of its meaning in every part of our lives right here on this earth.
It is not us the accuser accuses; he accuses the Word God speaks, Christ, who is our life. It cannot be us that is accused, for “we” are dead. No, all accusation of the evil one is an accusation against our life, Christ, who is the Word God speaks.
Consider these words, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
That means no demons, no sin, no suffering, no death. It means everything it can possibly mean. It means no political human government. It means no strife and division, no wars or lusts or robbery. It means no climbing to the top.
It means “in love serving one another” filling the whole earth.
Many Christians believe that this cannot be fulfilled in and through us in this age, but only in the next age, or only in heaven. God calls that “belief” unbelief; He says, “Why do they keep treating Me like dirt?” Those who “believe” that falseness cannot know God; they cannot know the One who does what He says.
That original accusation against God, “Did God indeed say?” is woven all through Christian thinking and Christian theology.
Yet this woman who is holding this false fruit and offering it to us is beloved of the Lord. She is most precious to Him. Christ in us gives Himself for her that He might redeem her from the lie of the serpent.
If you want to know where the great story of God is right now in its telling and in its fulfillment, here is where we are right now, in the year 2010 or 2012 or whatever year you read this.
Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. . . And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born . . . Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God. Revelation 12
The point of God’s purpose in all creation can be found at the juncture of the word He speaks and the church who bears His seed – challenged by the serpent.
God on Trial
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2
God Himself has placed the integrity of His own Word – His Son – on trial before the universe. It is God who has done this, and the trial of His Word is central to who He is.
Earth is the proving ground of the Word God speaks. Earth is ground zero. Earth is where all rebellion against God is found, both human and angelic. God cannot place His Word on trial anywhere else; there is no other rebellion.
God’s Word being fulfilled in heaven or in the age to come proves nothing. There is no trial of that Word in heaven.
God’s Word comes into the earth as a seed bearing within itself all the life and nature of the One who sent Him. That seed has all the power it needs inside itself to produce the life that is in it in the earth.
There are two kinds of seed that God uses to reveal the truth about what He is doing: plant seed and human seed. Although we draw much truth by comparing the Lord Jesus Christ to plant seed (a grain of wheat) – and God does this throughout the Bible, yet truth is also revealed to us by human seed.
God’s Word is His will. Jesus came into the earth to prove the will of God.
Twice. The first time was in Mary’s womb; the second time was in the womb of the church on the Day of Pentecost.
Isaiah 55 teaches us that the Word God speaks cannot return to Him until it fulfills the purpose for which God sent Him.
Jesus returned to the Father the first time having secured salvation by the strength of His arm. But Jesus has come again in us. He cannot return to the Father the second time until He has proven the will of God in us, until He has proven the will of God in our bodies, as Paul said.
But as the seed of God, Jesus cannot prove the will of God by Himself.
The deepest question in the heart of the Lord Jesus is found in Luke 18.
When the Son of man returns, will He find faith in the earth?
Christ returned on the Day of Pentecost. He lives in my flesh and in yours. His question remains. Here is why.
Jesus must fulfill the purpose for which God sent Him, and He must fulfill that purpose in the age into which He was sent, in the earth into which He was sent, and in the bodies of those in whom He dwells.
Christ must prove the will of God in all of its totality; He must birth and bring forth all the life and power inside Himself in all of its fullness inside of us here in this age and on this earth before He can return once again to the Father, having accomplished the purpose for which He was sent. But Jesus cannot do that by Himself.
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest. . . Hebrews 4: 1-3
The seed of the man has all the life and power inside itself to bring forth the life that is in it – but it cannot do that unless and until it finds the seed of the woman. The seed of the woman is faith.
God has placed the trial of Himself upon the seed of the woman. There is no barrier within Christ Himself to reproducing in us all that He is. The question, the crying accusation against God, the trial and proving of all that God speaks – His Word – the very heart of God Himself, the whole fabric of the universe, all of it stands on a knife’s edge, upon the groaning travail of a woman, surrounded by all the assault of hell, as she bears down upon her pain and her weakness to bring forth into this earth the life that is inside of her.
Do you see the central importance of Revelation Chapter 12 to the purpose and intention of Almighty God? May I suggest that you read it over and over. Do not try to analyse it with your mind or with your theology. Those words have within themselves the power to produce inside of you all the life that is in them.
Let the words that you read do what they will inside of you.
All that God speaks from the beginning, all that He is in us IS fulfilled in the context described by that chapter. Believe what you read in this way – faith, the faith that is able to receive the Word spoken into it, always makes the Word God speaks personal to herself. This is talking about me.
I belong to You. Let it be to me according to Your word.
God is determined to prove His will in your body and in mine. We are caught in the grip of His determination.
Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this, Martha? John 11:26
And the moment we explain that Jesus was not talking about ME not dying is the moment we lose the power to believe the Word God speaks.
God’s Word is His will.
Now here is a secret of the mystery of Christ that you and I must understand.
And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are-northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your seed (singular - Christ) forever.” Genesis 13:14-15
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them – the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses…” Joshua 1:1-3
The promised land given to Israel is a picture of all the life of Christ in us. We are given only what we see; we possess only what we walk upon. There is always more than what we know right now. We have it all; we just don’t know it.
The Word God speaks into the earth is without count or measurement. It goes forth to everyone. Every human being on this planet hears God speak. But only the tenth part see that God is speaking to them, and even fewer still walk in all the life of the Word God has spoken into them.
Now here is the mystery of Christ, God Himself has established three levels of hearing His Word and bringing forth the life of that Word. But every Word God speaks is fine-tuned and fitted into the person of the one who hears Him speak. Although it might be the same Word, you hear that Word in a different context and with different directions and results than I do. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places.”
Let me give you just a few of the many ways God lays before us those three levels of hearing His Word, and bringing forth the life of the Word we hear.
Passover — Pentecost — Tabernacles.
Outer Court — Holy Place — Holy of Holies
Justification — Sanctification — Glorification
Leaving Egypt — Traversing the Wilderness — Entering the Promised Land
30 Fold — 60 Fold — 100 Fold
The Way — The Truth — The Life
Every Word God speaks comes to us on each of these three levels. The same Word. The first two levels are in-part. The third level is in-fullness.
Some people say, “Who cares about ‘levels,’ I just want to know Jesus.” These precious brethren do not realize they are treating God with open disrespect. It is God who has written three levels of experience with Him all through His word.
Notice, first, that Abraham could not see the land that belonged to him until he had separated himself from Lot. Notice that Joshua did not hear the call to walk in all the Land of Promise until Moses was dead.
There is always a separation from and a dying to that which has been, before entering into that next level of life and reality and knowing God to prove His Word in us.
You can know Jesus as the One who did something for you. You can know Jesus as the One who does something in you. But you can also know Jesus as the One who proves all the will of God through you.
God has placed Himself on trial, specifically, in the Word that He speaks. God has placed the determination of the integrity of His Word in the womb of a woman who is weak and in pain. And God has arrayed against that Word all the forces of darkness.
God is determined to prove His will in our bodies. Will we hear such a Word? Will we carry in our hearts such a Word? Will we give ourselves to all the pain and warfare of birthing such a Word into the earth?
Who will step forward from redemption as necessary as redemption is? Who will go on from healing and restoration as wonderful and critical as they are?
Who will care for nothing about themselves except the vindication of God in the earth and the utter triumph of the Word that He speaks in human flesh?
This is the question that fills the heart of the Jesus who lives in us, the Hero of the great story of God.
Jesus proves God true through us.