31. We See Him as He Is
Jesus was real. There was never a moment when He ever felt the need to pretend. Even when He hung naked upon the cross in front of His mother, He felt no sense of shame; shame meant nothing to Him. The sons of God will never pretend nor pose nor strut nor hide behind a mask. They are real. In their mouth is no guile. And the answer to every problem in this world is found flowing out of their bellies.
31. We See Him as He Is
Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”
Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.” These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.
Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” John 12:35-50
I usually don’t include such long quotes; everyone has a Bible they can read. But John said, “We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” “AS HE IS” is what we seek to know, for that is what we are.
We read the words on the page. As they pass into us who live always in the Holy Spirit, they become Spirit words, filled with life and power and prophetic utterance. As we believe what we read, the words become Christ in us.
There are two phrases in this passage that shake the foundations of the world and the hearts of all men to the very core. They are these: Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them — the word that I have spoken will judge . . . in the last day.
We cannot separate Jesus from the Word that He speaks, for Christ is the Word continually being spoken by the Father. God is always speaking; it is His nature to talk. Therefore Christ is always issuing forth from the Father.
Christ is always speaking; He is always departing; He is always remaining hidden; and His Word always JUDGES all.
God never pushes what He says. We are ALWAYS free to do anything we want with every word that He speaks. Yet, in the end, everything and everyone will stand or fall by the extent to which every Word God speaks is Alive in them. I’m not talking about outward obedience to the words on the page. If we choose to obey what we think God means, we are choosing equally to disobey what God says. We cannot choose one without at the same time and degree choosing the other. That is the tree of knowledge, the nature of knowing about God.
Christ is our life; we have no other life. We do not “choose” to obey Him; He is all there is in us. We abide in Him; He abides in us. That is the tree of life where we live, if we are willing to let go of “self putting a self to death.”
Every single man, woman, and child on this planet, every single person who believes in some measure of Christian faith, believes exactly what they wish to believe about truth and life and reality.
Every word God speaks sits quietly on the page and forces itself upon no one. Every word God speaks, sitting quietly upon the page IS the revelation of Jesus Christ as it comes into us by the power of the Holy Spirit – if we want it to – or not. It’s entirely up to us. We can do whatever we want with our Creator – He who IS Word spoken into our hearts.
How often I have held my Bible tightly against my breast, longing for the life and the power in the words on the page to BE my life and my power. Not that by memorizing the words I would gain anything, though I know them well, but in the full understanding that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is revealed in me by ALL that He speaks.
You see, I am as free in God to expect God for the fulfillment of every word that He speaks in my life in this present age as you are free to ignore any word you wish to ignore.
Very few people on this planet are determined to know Him as He IS in all that He speaks. Very few. Yet, if we could count them, I bet we would count at least 7,000 scattered we know not where across the entire face of the earth.
Everyone else uses whatever they wish out of what God speaks for whatever purposes that suit their present fancy. That is not a statement of condemnation, just reality. God has purposed to reveal Christ in the few, first, for the sake of the many in this transition between two ages, and for the sake of all in the ages to come.
To know Him AS HE IS in all that He speaks is to know ourselves as we ARE. “AS HE IS, so are we in this world.” Christ is the always-speaking of God. Christ is every Word proceeding out of His mouth.
God is always talking, you cannot shut Him up. God is always hiding both Himself and what He speaks, making it seem inconsequential, just some words on the page. God is always judging everything by every word He speaks. God’s judgment is not condemnation, it is life.
For I know that His command is everlasting life – the life of the age to come.
No one will ever enter into LIFE except through every Word that God speaks. There is no other entrance.
To latch onto a few things God says, and to build a dwelling place in those things, as almost all do, is to remain in the door, the entrance, the passage, but still, outside of LIFE. Even “grace” and “Christ in you” can, by themselves as ideas, become little more than a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense for those who “draw in the wagons” around the truth in those words and “set up camp.”
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. 2 Corinthians 2:15-16
Did you realize that Paul calls Christ in you the stink of death to those who are perishing? What he means is that life is always going into life. Life never stops and says, “We have arrived.” Life is always moving forward into Life.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till 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. Ephesians 4:11-13
We have not entered into Life until we stand in the fullness of the resurrection, in the fullness of Christ, in the fullness of glory, right here on this earth. And then we will discover, LIFE has only just begun.
That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him. Ephesians 1:10
Today, in this 3rd month of the year of our Lord, 2011 (or whatever time you read this), we are in the dispensation of the fullness of times. Everything God has spoken has been 100% true and applicable in the lives of every generation of the church from the time of the first Apostles until today. But every word God speaks has remained in-part until now. I choose to believe that in our day, God fulfills all that He speaks in the fullness of times. That is a personal choice. You can choose to believe whatever you want; God leaves you completely free. He forces nothing that He speaks upon anyone.
Christ is the gathering together. If I have left anyone with the idea that we, as individuals, are the revelation of Christ unto ourselves, I apologize with all my heart. Christ is a many-membered man; He is not a group of isolated individuals. “Christ as me” is the passage way into LIFE, into Christ as the gathering together. It is not the end of the road; it is not the arrival.
First I must know Him in my weakness before I will ever know Him in His glory.
His glory is the Church, a many-membered body of people who are gathered together in ONE as the revelation of the Father to the entire universe, both heaven and earth.
We Are Just Like Him
I want to look, once again, at the two levels of our union with Christ that are before us right now. First, we walk as Jesus walked in the completion of His ministry as the second witness of Christ. Second, we are just like Him as we see Him as He IS, now, the resurrected Christ ascended above all the heavens, and revealed in all power and great glory. These are two different things, each in its time. Yet whatever is true of Christ in the one is the same in the other, and vice versa. We are not speaking of two different “Christs.”
I want to look both at “the Father does the works” and “we are just like Him.”
First, the primary characteristic of the sons of God moving as the full revelation of Christ in the earth is love and tender compassion. The reality of their genuine affection and compassion and regard and respect for all others will so move people, drawing them with unseen cords in the same way that people were drawn to Jesus.
Second, as with Jesus, the next primary thing people will notice about them is that they are “clothed with sackcloth,” that is, they bear the grief of the Lord Jesus Christ for all cruelty and degradation and hostility against all that is holy and true. The sons of God bear the task of bringing the matrix of this world to a close, knowing that most people will not understand why, most people will oppose their mission, many violently.
This is the juxtaposition the disciples saw in the Lord Jesus. They saw His immediate tender delight in every individual person that came in contact with Him, and they saw the grief etching His face as He continually confronted the systems of control that kept people under bondage. Jesus wept over death; He wept over unbelief, and He wept over the destruction coming upon Jerusalem.
John said it this way, “We beheld His glory full of grace and truth.” Both.
You see, we rejoice as we discover that there is no “self,” that all that is “life” in this world is simply NOT. But what we forget is how weird we are. Almost all people, including almost all Christians think very highly of being a self separate from God and identify very strongly with the systems and nations of this world, imagining them to be something real.
I stood behind two men in a post office line the other day. They were discussing their “flesh” and what a terrible burden it was, always needing to keep it under control. These were obviously devout Christian men, who, when meeting each other briefly in a line, their minds and hearts bent immediately to that which concerned them the most – the trial of “the flesh.”
Self subduing self. We forget how important that identity is to most of our brethren. That is their definition of “Christ,” and when we strip it away, they imagine we are taking Christ from them.
Yet, at the same time, the sense of “you and your heart are so very important to me” that comes to each individual person from the sons of God will overwhelm all the defenses of the religious self. This is the evangelism of Christ.
This love is not a giving of ourselves “to” people, but rather a giving of ourselves “for” them. Though Jesus loved people with tender love, nevertheless, He kept all, even His closest disciples, at arm’s length. He knew what was in man, and it was not yet Himself. Each one of us is made with a different expression, and the tenderness of love coming through each will look differently, according to the grace of God. Yet it is the same Spirit.
The sons of God will know one another. They will not need to know about each other in order to identify instantly the same depth of life and reality inside each other. This is not a knowing of words, but of heart and spirit. But I don’t think that “saying the same thing” means saying the “same thing.” In other words, God speaks through many, and each one is a unique voice, a distinct expression of Christ. There are some who resonate with the things that God shares through me, and there are others who don’t connect with what I share at all. That doesn’t mean a thing, if the same depth of knowing Christ is inside of each. God made no two people the same, and He reveals Himself through the individuality of all.
Yet there will be a drawing, a gathering together of the sons of God. Not that they will form a “group” separate from others. Rather it will be more an intermingling across the face of the earth, an identity of purpose and passion and call, a unity that is fluid and concrete, both at the same time. But the one thing that the sons of God will not do is hold themselves aloof “above” all those carnal Christians “out there.” There will be no trace of such a shadow among them.
But they WILL walk in full separation from this world. Union with Christ IS separation from the world, and union with the world IS separation from Christ. The spirit that would try to have both is called “the harlot.”
Now, all that I have said about the nature of the sons of God walking upon the earth is simply different expressions of Love. But love is that which gives; it is that which meets people’s needs.
And Love cannot meet people’s needs – all their needs – without power. The sons of God will know power as Jesus knew power.
All Jesus ever did was talk. With the one exception of walking on the water – that was the only “miraculous” thing He did that was not talking, Jesus did nothing but say some words, vibrating the air with His voice box. If anything happened, it was the Father doing the work.
Jesus said, “Your faith has healed you, rise up and walk.” What He did not do was zap the guy with a lightning bolt. The healing that came, came entirely through an interaction between that lame man and the Father. All Jesus did was serve as a catalyst, the bridge connecting God and the individual person. If power was demonstrated to the eyes of those watching, it was God doing it, not Jesus.
Yet Jesus always knew that God would always move in union with His words.
Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does. John 5:19-20
There is an idea that we “hear” what God says, that is, we, separate from God, wait until we “know” what His will is before we do anything as believers. And so, people say, “God spoke to me to go here or there and to do this or that.” Now, this is a far better way to live and move than just to do whatever in complete disregard of God, certainly, but it is not how Jesus walked. It is still separation from God.
In the words of Jesus in John 5, we must begin at the beginning and arrive at the end. The beginning is “the Father loves the Son.” In other words, the initiative is always coming from the Father. Second, the Father “shows Him all things that He Himself does.” Jesus did not “make” God do this. Jesus did not think, “Well, I’d better not do anything lest I “miss” God. I’d better wait until God tells me to do this or that.” No, these words describe a continual relationship of life. Jesus walked knowing that whatever it was He Himself “saw,” it was the Father seeing through Him. Jesus did not have to drum up or obtain the Father’s seeing, it was simply continual and automatic.
In other words, Jesus knew that whatever was coming through His own heart and mind at all times was nothing other than the Father.
Unless it was the serpent speaking. But the moment the evil one spoke into Jesus’ mind, Jesus counter-acted those words with the words of His Father.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me, and the voice of another they do not hear.”
Jesus did not sweat it out over the back and forth of “Is it the flesh, is it God, is it the flesh, is it God?” That way of thinking has nothing to do with Christ.
Then, whatever was in Jesus’ heart and mind to do, He did, knowing that it was all the Father. The words of the evil one did not resonate with His own heart.
Jesus could not “do” anything “of Himself.” He walked in full union and identification with the Father.
We walk the same way; this is the gospel.
He that says he abides in Christ ought Himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 2
That does not mean Jesus did not walk carefully, weighing His own heart and the distinction between what caused His own heart to sing, versus the surface human emotions of the moment. Jesus was very much a man. He did not worry about His humanity, but rather He walked at all times in tune with the Father who was His life and who filled His heart. And whenever the serpent spoke into His heart, He knew it (that is, He did not know those words). He instantly knew the difference.
Jesus was real. There was never a moment when He ever felt the need to pretend. Even when He hung naked upon the cross in front of His mother, He felt no sense of shame; shame meant nothing to Him.
The sons of God will never pretend nor pose nor strut nor hide behind a mask. They are real. In their mouth is no guile. And the answer to every problem in this world is found flowing out of their bellies.
The sons of God will meet people’s needs; that’s how God gets people’s attention, by being good to them.
But the sons of God also have the power to strike the nations, and they will do so as part of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ shed blood was the propitiation for the sins of the whole world; the whole world is reconciled to God through the death of Christ. The problem is the matrix of the world that holds them in thrall, keeping all people separate from the propitiation and reconciliation that is theirs.
Some will be drawn to the tender demonstration of love. Others will be convinced by the mighty anointing and conviction, the demonstration of the Spirit and power moving through the sons of God. But most people will not let go of the world unless its falsity is exposed before their eyes. Most Christians will not let go of the world. They love it too much.
When I read my New Testament, I see running all the way through it a mighty dividing line between the church and the world, between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of darkness. I do not ever read of the two “merging,” of the church “winning” the world. Rather, I see the winning come through separation from the world and through defeating – overcoming – the world and the beast.
We cannot save people without defeating the world. And the people we would save, and our brethren, love the world.
As an amateur student of history, I see that, looking at the United States of America from an historical distance, the primary reason for its fall is that the Christians who are so powerful politically refuse to confront the evil actions of its government. And in refusing to confront and bring to justice those evil actions, they make themselves complicit in the murder, the lies, and the theft. Christians not only fail to confront the evil actions of the government, they not only hide themselves from any knowledge of the dark deeds committed in their name, but they cheer those deeds, wave their flags, and pray for “the troops.”
The difference between the Christians in 1930’s Germany and Christians in America today is that the German Christians did not really know the evil their government was committing, but American Christians refuse to know the evil their government is committing. That is a big difference. The British are the same way. England has been the most aggressive and violent nation of the modern age, but the English people clothed themselves with “Christian politeness” while their soldiers gunned down and starved to death dark-skinned “savages” and the Irish by the millions.
Listen, the world, and the nations of the world, are a sham. They are empty and fake. Why should we dress them up with falseness and the garish clothes of sham and pretense?
For you see your calling, brethren . . . to put to shame the wise . . . to put to shame the . . . mighty . . . God has chosen, (you who) are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
Our calling is two-fold. On the one hand, we bring to nothing the things that “ARE,” and on the other, we call those things that “BE NOT” as though they are.
The world is upside down; it is inside out.
The kingdom of God is an invasion that turns everything into the opposite. The kingdom of God makes those things that are not into everyone’s reality. And it makes those things that are into nothing.
Life is not found in any continuation of the world. Life and reality flow out of the bellies of the sons of God; they are found nowhere else. This is the problem I have with the “God is in everything” idea. Yes, it is truth, but truth held always in tension with truth. That is, that the full reality of God is found only in that which comes out of the innermost beings of those who believe in Jesus into the ways and concourses of this world, making that which “is” into nothing and making that which “is not” into visible reality. God is not found in the world.
God has set a specific path for the culmination of all things, for the final showdown, for this great climax of the great story of God. He shows us His path in the Bible for those who can see and hear it. Every attempt to define what that will look like outwardly, or in a “political” way, comes out of minds that are separate from God. We know the gospel; we know the issues.
The chosen-ness of God comes only through the Lord Jesus Christ; it does not come through natural birth or natural descent.
Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. Galatians 4:30
Most Christians have no idea the extent to which Judaism has elevated the concept of the law to an all-pervasive philosophy of life. Most Christians have no idea the extent to which Judaism, the same faction of the Pharisees, rules the entirety of American and Western discourse and conversation. Judaism today is absolutely the exaltation of the natural man. It is the tree of knowledge developed and pressed to its furthest possibility. The faction of the Pharisees controls the entirety of the world’s media. All forms of public human expression in the western world are governed and regulated by the teachings of the Pharisees, the Talmud. The thinking of most American Christians 200 years ago is 100% foreign to the thinking of Judaized Christianity today.
The chasm between the sons of God and Judaism is the widest extent that two opposites can be in the human experience. This is the doing of God. The sons of God are the fullest expression of the tree of life. Judaism is the fullest expression of the tree of knowledge. Each of those two trees has become a body of people, each filled with completely opposing spirits.
God has not set the stage as He has set it except for any other purpose than to show His glory in the revelation of Christ.
God’s glory is revealed in the climax of His story.
The tree of life will swallow up the tree of knowledge. The exaltation of the flesh separate from God will be swallowed up in the humility of very human humans walking in full union with Christ.
I did not set the stage, God did. All I seek to do is to understand it as it is in the world and as it is shown in the Bible.
The serpent did not set the stage, nor the Rothschild’s, God did. He has appointed vessels of destruction for the day of His glory.
For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth” . . . What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? Romans 9:17-24
People forget that the Church of Jesus Christ is made up first of people who were once Jews, to which we who were once Gentiles have been added. Of course, the Church is Israel, not that thing in the Middle East. Judaism and natural Israel is that which is false, set by God to gain the attention of those who do not hold to the gospel and to the cross. Those who were once Jews leave everything behind when they enter into Christ, as did we. The cross strips it all away, has already stripped it all away, all the “chosen-ness” of their natural descent. They are now, with us, one new man in Christ.
That is the gospel. Only those who know the gospel are not fooled by the deception filling the stage God Himself has set. God Himself has set all the delusion of our day.
This is the path the sons of God walk. This is the entire purpose of the great story of God. He has done it this way; all we can do is follow Him.
The Lamb defeats the Beast. Love triumphs over Hate. Victory swallows up Death and Hades.
And the glory of God upon this earth is released through the mercy we show to those who deserve it the least.
Mercy is terrible. It is rooted in the death of Christ upon the cross, the hatred of God for all cruelty and injustice and everything that offends.
Mercy is the end of this world. It is the last gasp of that which is not, of the matrix, the world, the kingdom of darkness, as it loses its final hold on humanity.
Mercy triumphs over all through you and through me.
We are the revelation of Jesus Christ. We are the Apocalypse.
We are just like Him for we see Him as He is.
Let the cover be removed.