32. Many Sons Like Jesus
Picture many Jesus's, walking together in sweet communion. Each one his or her own person, distinct and beautiful, yet all reflecting and honoring one another. And all together showing the Father in a way that the One who came as a Seed could not just by Himself.
32. Many Sons Like Jesus
The culmination of everything, what this world and the Christian life is all about, is found in one thing — God – the Father – filling His fully prepared temple with all of His glory and then flowing out from that temple in rivers of life.
The temple Father God will fill is a Corporate Body, thus we must explore the gathering together. And the experience of God filling His fully prepared temple is the fulfillment of the final day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the high and holy day of that Feast, in the life of the church.
That experience has not yet happened for anyone, that is, not one person has yet entered into the full experience of the Third Feast, not even Jesus. You see, He said, “With great desire I have longed to eat this meal with you.” He was referring to the experience of the fully completed corporate Body filled with Father God, an experience that has not yet come.
We are in the fulfillment of the third feast if we have heard the call of the trumpets, that is, the vision of God revealing Himself through man, His image, upon this earth. Yet the “Feast of Tabernacles” is speaking of many things. It begins with the Feast of Trumpets, passes through the Day of Atonement, and then the actual Tabernacles is eight days long, beginning on a Sabbath day and ending on the final Sabbath, the great day of the Feast.
All these things, the reality of the gathering together, and the completion of the Feast of Tabernacles in the life of the church, must happen before we have arrived home, before we can say, “Home, at last!”
We are still in the womb of the church; we are still blind. We cannot see reality as it exists all around us; we have not yet been birthed into the full light of day.
We do not know who we are.
However, even though we are blind, we must “see” by faith. That is, we must know, carefully, what God says, and we must believe that it is true. When our eyes are opened and we see all things as they really are, we will not be surprised, overwhelmed, yes, but not surprised. For all things as they are will be identical to what we have “seen” as we have believed all that God says.
Let us have a look, then, at just what this thing is, just ahead, that all creation is about, that all creation is awaiting with bated breath in anticipation.
Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness. Malachi 3:1-3
A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.
Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “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 14:19-23
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
The culmination of everything, what this world and the Christian life is all about, is described in these three passages. They each speak of the same thing.
You see, it never was us who were seeking a way “home.” It was always God, the Father, who wanted to “go home.” We are His home. We ourselves will arrive home only in the Father arriving home.
We do not know what it is to be filled with the Father. We say, “I am filled with all the fullness of God,” but that is a speaking by faith, a calling those things that “be not,” things God says but we don’t “see,” as though they are.
Nothing in the Bible adequately describes the meaning of being filled with the Father in full, visible experience. The Bible, both Old Testament and New, describes in innumerable ways the path there. The “Promised Land,” pointing to the life of Christ revealed in us, is a land of warfare, of defeating our enemies.
Solomon is the closest thing to a picture of God filling His temple as there is, but Solomon, after posing as a “type” of that picture, immediately goes off the deep end into the wrong direction. Both the passage in Malachi 3 and that in Ephesians 2 do not speak of the outflow of the Father filling His temple, rather, they both speak of the preparation of that temple.
All of the Bible speaks of the preparation of the temple, the dwelling place of God, very little hints at what it actually means for the Father to arrive home, that is, the reality for us after that event.
The primary thing that Solomon shows us is that the Father comes into His temple only AFTER ALL battle has ceased, all construction has been completed, all cleansing and polishing is over. The Son in us fights the battles, as David did, the Holy Spirit in us cleanses and polishes, as Solomon did, in preparing the temple. We sacrifice everything of ourselves, covering the hillside with blood, as the priests did before the temple.
But all that is finished, every tool is put away, every enemy out of sight, every shadow of a stain removed, BEFORE the Father enters into His Home.
I want to have a look, as limited as we are able, at what it means to be a member of that temple from the moment the Father fills it – on.
To understand this reality, we must understand this truth about God. God is invisible. He cannot and will never be seen. EXCEPT – through His image, through His skin, through His temple – through us.
Therefore, the description of who we are in that moment, of what our life IS, must be a description of God Himself.
Before going further, I must make two distinctions clear.
Forever, God is the One who fills; we are the ones who reveal.
But second, we are talking about God as He IS – NOT the ridiculous caricature cooked up by Lucifer, imagining that God was just like himself. Man upon this earth, including Christian man, stumbling along in the shadow of separation, cannot describe God – they have no clue. So much of what people hold in their minds as a description of “God,” is not God at all, but rather an image of a self-exalted, deluded, and fallen angel.
God has shown Himself through Jesus. When we look at Jesus, the Man, we see the Father. The only difference between Home as it really is and Jesus is that Home is a corporate body, many, walking together as one. Jesus was the seed planted into the earth through which God could birth the many.
Picture many Jesus’s, walking together in sweet communion. Each one His or Her own person, distinct and beautiful, yet all reflecting and honoring one another. And all together showing the Father in a way that the One who came as a Seed could not just by Himself.
So, the only way we can know right now what that will be like is to go through a three-step process. We start with God Himself, we pass through Jesus, and we arrive at the Body of Christ, the corporate image of God, His temple, many sons in glory, manifesting His liberty across the earth.
Let me make two more distinctions before we follow that pattern. This picture of many Jesus’s walking upon this earth together as One – what the New Testament does present before us – is not a picture of the Bride. The Bride is the many who put their trust in Jesus, but it is the Groom who is the corporate man.
And this picture of many Jesus’s walking together as One is not the Jesus who walked this earth in sorrow, but the Jesus of the Resurrection, declared to be the Son of God with power.
However, lest we lose sight of the “Jesus we know” from the gospel accounts, the only significant difference of Jesus before the cross and the risen Christ after the resurrection is that He was no longer tempted by evil. Darkness could not cast any shadow upon Him; the prince of this world could not come looking. Otherwise, He is the same loving, kind, tender, Person we know from the gospels.
I agree, this is an overwhelming picture, beyond us right now. But we have to admit that this is the picture given to us in the fine print of the Covenant we signed with God. God signed that Covenant with His Son upon the cross because God Himself wanted a body, a many-membered body, through whom He could reveal Himself forever.
It is God who gets what He wants out of this deal. The fact that we are overwhelmed with His goodness and glory is just a side issue.
We have already said the “Yes” that gives God the license to do whatever He wants with us. We do not draw back from our “yes”; indeed, He will not let us. The grip He has on us is also in the fine print of the contract we signed, if we care to know what it was to which we agreed when we let some preacher dunk us under the water.
Let’s expand, here, on what we are saying. What if God had seven Sons instead of One. What if God had sent all seven into the earth at the same time. Each would have His own unique personality, His own take on things, ways of speaking and thinking, a differing emphasis. Each would sound and act uniquely from the other. Each would walk in the same weakness of human flesh, completely dependent on the Father. Each would reveal the same love of God, the same tender compassion. Each would be tempted in all points yet without sin. Each would reveal the Father uniquely in His own way.
But when They met, or even when They all came together, what a fellowship! What brotherhood, what friendship, what communion!
People would know something was up.
Jesus was One Seed planted in this earth. The church that grew up out of Him does not look like that Seed, even though the plant carries in it all the DNA of the original Seed. Yet the church will bear many seeds exactly like that original Seed, just as I have described.
That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. John 17:21-23
My description of several Jesus’s walking together upon this earth is EXACTLY what God has in mind – except not several, but many.
When the Father enters into His fully prepared Home, this is how we will be, walking upon this earth, without knowledge or shadow of sin or any trace of the curse.
HOWEVER — Jesus revealed the Father before the resurrection, while He still walked in the constraint of the limitations of this present age, tempted in all points, probed by the serpent.
This also we will do – the time is upon us.
In his first epistle, John says that God is love, and he says that love is perfected in us. “God is love” sounds really good, but vague and indefined. “Love perfected in us” sounds like a nice ideal, but unrealistic on the one hand, and unknown on the other. So what bridges the gap? – Jesus. We look at Jesus in His life and ministry and we see exactly what God-is-love is and does in human form. Then we translate that same thing to us walking upon this earth as the dwelling place of the Father.
That the world may know.
Here’s the deal. The world will not know anything they don’t notice. A small group of people, no matter how kind and truth-speaking they are will not impact the world – as regular “Joe’s.”
No one would have paid any attention to Jesus, and no one will pay any attention to us – apart from power. Love and power always go together.
I have the silly idea that God is speaking to His church through me. Though I certainly do not see all things clearly, yet I present my writings publicly because I actually believe that truth is found all through what I share. I also suppose that the kindness and tenderness of the Lord Jesus is expressed through what I write, as well as His sternness against manipulation and abuse.
But Paul spoke of “the signs of apostleship.” I know what that is. A true apostolic ministry walks in power, godly power, not “superman” power. When a true apostlic ministry passes through your midst, you know it. Your life is transformed. People who never saw visions, now see them all the time. People who never thought about ministry are now anointed with power to minister, power that remains. Demons are cast out. Bodies are healed. People are filled with the Holy Ghost and show alarming symptoms of selling everything to follow Jesus. Some even begin to share life together.
All of that is the normal outworking of true apostolic ministry.
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”John 20:21
As – so, I send you. That word “send” is “apostle.”
One of the defining characteristics of the Lord Jesus Christ and those whom He sends is single-minded certainty. That certainty is not rabid, but calm; nevertheless, what is seen of it is just the surface of deep underlying rivers.
One of the defining characteristics of autism is uncertainty and hesitation outside of carefully defined “safe” arenas. I am deeply accustomed to being ignored and passed by – outside of my classroom.
I have little care for a gospel that is word only. One of my deepest concerns for some who teach “Christ as us” is the minor role this kind of power plays in their knowledge of Christ, of who He is and what He does through us. Yet I myself do not see outwardly that power flowing through me (I am not speaking critically of anyone).
The world will not know what they do not notice. That’s the first rule of advertising – you will never “sell” anything to anyone without first capturing their attention.
We will never convince the world that the Father sent Jesus without this dynamic duo operating through us: Love–Power. In reality the two are never separated. You will never find one without also finding, in full measure, the other.
So why do I write all that I write and post it onto the Internet when few people seem to be interested? Again, since I was 19 I have had the silly idea that God’s plan for my life was to fill me with “grain” as Joseph, to teach me His ways, to open to me His word – so that someday, someday, if it could be possible, I would have inside of me a reservoir of truth and joy to share with others.
How many times through the years have I held pen to paper, longing to write, yet having no words come. So instead, I copied the Bible, over and over. Then, when I began to write, those who were “wise” advised me that God was not doing anything like that. Writing was not something God was involved with, they said.
And again, in placing everything I have written onto the Internet and into book form, I continue with the silly idea that God would have me build an “ark,” a storage place of truth and hope so that when He gets people’s attention, some, at least, of what He wants them to know will be available to many. Yet God is free to do with me and my offering whatever He wills, including nothing.
So why am I saying all this? Even though there are similarities between our day and Noah’s day, yet there are significant differences as well. When God had people’s attention in Noah’s day, it was already too late. They wanted the ark when they could no longer come aboard. And it was destruction that got their attention.
Yes, God uses judgment to get people’s attention, but that is not the central dynamic He has operating right now in the earth. Here is what is happening now:
. . . that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me . . .
Love–Power will get people’s attention.
It’s an interesting thing. When you know someone is sent by God, you pay close attention to every word they say. When you don’t know that they have been sent by God, you see them as just another voice among so many.
In Noah’s day, God sent a flood: not one person on the planet failed to notice.
In our day, though, God has something very different in mind. In our day, God is sending many sons, just like Jesus, who walk upon this earth in the open demonstration of Love–Power in ways the world has never known.
Yet we know clearly that this revelation of God in the earth has two parts, one part before the resurrection, the other part after.
The God-coming-home part comes second. In fact, God-coming-home IS the resurrection. Yet we will walk in the full ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, as “many Jesus’s” in fullness and in power BEFORE God comes home.
However, let’s look a little more, if we can, at what it means for the Father to be at home in us in fullness upon this earth. We are speaking of after the resurrection of our physical bodies.
What a time of joy it will be! Yet there will be so very much to do.
The earth is being wrecked in horrifying and insidious ways right now by the folly of man. The two biggest deals are nuclear radiation and genetic engineering. Officials in the Japanese government are finally starting to voice the unvoiceable – that the Japanese islands may soon be an uninhabitable wasteland because of Fukishima. Yet the United States has blanketed the Middle East with deadly radioactive particles in a similar way. Radioactive particles continue mutating and killing for thousands of years. And human nuclear folly has only just begun.
Genetic engineering of plants threatens all life on earth. Now we learn that for several years now most corn grown has in it an added gene that causes infertility (deliberately) in human males. We know little about the effects of human folly in this direction, except we do know that a gene inserted into corn spreads rapidly to all corn in the world. Now we are learning that this infertility gene is intentional, part of the wicked plans to reduce the earth’s population by billions.
And these are just two of innumerable untold problems being released from the Pandora’s box of human hubris and stupidity.
By the power of Christ moving through our spirits, we will heal this planet. That is not by speaking, “Abracadabra,” but rather by the ministry of life, one step at a time.
But it is not just present human folly that we will heal the earth of, but all the effects of the curse as well. I love the earth, but we have no idea of its beauty and glory. What joy!
Yes, we are at the start of a massive population drop on this planet. That does not mean that there will not be hundreds of millions of people inhabiting this earth in their present state in the dawning of the age to come. History does not end. Human lives and human stories continue right on – and they do not know the ways of the God in whom they live and move and have their being.
We will teach and shepherd and guide. We will show them the love of God. Understand, though, that the false image held in the minds of most Christians, that when “Jesus returns,” everything instantly changes, is not true. God never works like that. God is gentle and kind; He is meek and lowly of heart; He never forces anyone or does anything with anyone except through their willing and stated consent.
Yet, it is not that we will say, “Know the Lord,” for indeed, all shall know Him. Yet God will no more “change them instantly” than He did with you and me. It will be as much a walk for them as it is for us. And yes, they will still fall short of His glory, they will still fall flat on their face in the mud, just as we do now.
But one thing we will not do is cast out demons.
There will be no hint or shadow or trace or memory of demon spirits within all the scope of earth.
We have no idea the difference that will be. All we know of earth and human life is the unending assault and degradation that comes out of the unceasing hatred of vile and filthy angelic spirits roaming across the earth in vicious bands, hiding from God inside of human flesh.
They will not be here, and their memory will not exist.
But far more precious than the wonder of cleansing the earth of all effects of human folly and the curse. Far more precious than walking on a planet completely cleansed of all demonic powers. Far more precious than bringing people step by step into the glorious liberty we know.
Far more precious than all of that will be the sweet communion in which we walk together as the sons of our Father, as the Home of God.
What tender kindness, what depths of fellowship, what joy of shared tasks we will know together. “Just as We are one.” That is what Jesus said. Such a communion – the Greek word is koinonia – we shall know, far beyond anything known by heaven.
You see, God is very real. And when we talk about this communion, this koinonia, we are talking about something as real as eating corn on the cob together, of watching the sunset together, of walking a mountain path together, of laughing together over some silly jokester who has us all in stitches, and all of it with no memory of the curse.
We are talking of standing hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder – the Father’s Home.
Oh, heh, let’s do it. You think?
Home is just ahead.