Category Archives: The Holy Spirit

The Lord Is In His Holy Temple

How deeply we need in this hour the Presence of the Lord in His temple.  Nothing else, nothing less, will resolve the impossible things many of us are up against.  Our Lord knows this, and Himself longs to inhabit His temple far more deeply than we can comprehend.  So we must take courage, and continue looking to Him with longing anticipation.  It is He Himself who has nourished this longing in us for the very reason that He is preparing to reveal Himself in His temple once again.  He is going to come to His temple.

We have this promise.  “The LORD whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple…” (Mal. 3.1).

We are warned of the devastating implications of this.  “But who may abide the day of His coming?  And who shall stand when He appeareth?  For His is like a refiner’s fire and fullers’ soap…”

This has happened already—in measure.  The Lord suddenly came to His temple—in cleansing fire and purifying soap—when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.  Oh, the cleansing, the purifying, that this coming wrought!  God was in His holy temple again… just as He had been when Jesus was here in the flesh.

Jesus was the temple of God in the earth.  The Devil thought to destroy that Temple by having Him crucified.  Much to his dismay and chagrin, what he did greatly enlarged that temple.  And so we find Paul challenging the Corinthians, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Cor. 3.16).

This takes my breath away.  To be filled with the Holy Spirit means becoming a temple of God.

This ought to make us tremble.  It is a wondrous, yet fearsome, prospect.

Here is a phrase of Scripture that arrests me.  I find myself thinking on it again and again.  You will remember the story of Ananias and Sapphira.  As others were doing, they brought a gift to the church, the only difference being that they gave the impression they were giving the full price of the land they had sold when in fact they had kept back part of it for themselves.  Keeping some for themselves was not wrong, of course, but letting on that they had given all (like others) was pure deceit.

And Peter said, “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?”  That’s the phrase that fascinates me.  “…to lie to the Holy Spirit.”   Do you see the implications?  Ananias thought he was just lying to a man, to Peter, something experience had taught him he could get away with.  But this day it caught up with him.  For, the Holy Spirit dwelt in Peter.  And Ananias suddenly found himself lying to the Holy Spirit.

And so Peter told him, “Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5.4).

The thing is… people lie every day without consequence.  What’s the difference here, then?  This.  With the coming of the Holy Spirit to dwell in the disciples, the God of Heaven becomes also the God of the earth.  He is no longer just way up in Heaven.  He is present here.

This is what the writer of Hebrews had in mind when he said that “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4.13).  Of course, you say, God in Heaven sees everything.  But when the seven eyes of the Lord are in the earth because of the Holy Spirit in His temple, a word sharper than any two-edged sword goes forth piercing and penetrating and laying bare the thoughts and intents of the heart.

And so Ananias might just as well have been in the court of Heaven lying straight to the face of God Almighty when he told his lie.  As it was, because of the Holy Spirit in Peter, the God of heaven was here in the earth.  The Lord was in His holy temple.

I know many these days are crying out for a return of the Lord to His temple.  As am I.

But I tremble for this.  When it comes, people are going to discover themselves face to face with God in His holy temple.  They are going to find themselves in conversation with God when they converse with you and me.  And this will do what nothing else has been able to do.  For some it will mean very devastating consequences.  For others… I am not saying this is always going to mean such a devastating thing.  For others it will mean a broken and a contrite heart.

Oh, how those around us need a meeting with God.  A meeting with God Himself… in His holy temple.

Let us seek this relationship, let us give ourselves to this, let us long for this, let us wait for it.  Let it be so even now… inasmuch as you and I seek to abide in Him, and He in us.

Becoming A Well Of Living Water

I’ve been thinking about wells the last few days.  And no wonder, I suppose.  When a friend said the other day, “It’s been so dry,” his comment could easily have been a reference to the weather.  But I knew he was speaking of the spiritual drought many of us are enduring.  We know firsthand what the psalmist means by “a dry and thirsty land where no water is.”

So did the ancients our Bible tells us of.  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob… they were desert people.  They hadn’t yet entered the land of flowing streams and brooks of waters, and since water was a matter of life and death to them (as it is to all peoples) this meant searching for wells in the desert for themselves and their flocks.

Abraham digged wells.  Later Isaac had to redig them, for the Philistines had plugged them with earth in an effort to force him out what they considered their own territory. Isaac dug other wells also, which became a source of contention when the inhabitants of the land he sojourned in sought to expropriate the wells for their own use.

In the days of Jacob flock-watering had become tightly controlled.  No one was allowed to water their flock till all the flocks were gathered together, at which time “the shepherds” took the stone off the well’s mouth.  Jacob, however– though he was not a member of this organization of shepherds and had no pastor’s official credentials– rolled away the stone and watered the flock that the shepherdess Rachel had led to the well (Gen. 29.1-10).

Moses did much the same thing.  When the daughters of the Reuel came to water their father’s flock at a certain well the shepherds tried to drive them away.  Moses rose up and helped Reuel’s daughters, and watered their flock.  This eventually led to Moses becoming a shepherd himself—first of sheep, and then of the flock of God.  It was when he was shepherding the flock of Jethro his father-in-law that he met God at the burning bush and was commissioned to shepherd His people out of Israel and through a wilderness, where, time and again, the need for water was a serious issue.

On one occasion when they were faced with no water the LORD spoke to Moses:

Gather the people together, and I will give them water (Num. 21.16).

How did He give them water?  He commanded the people to start singing to an unseen well in the sand as the elders began digging with their staves.

Then Israel sang this song, Spring up O well: sing ye unto it:
The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves.

In other words, right there in the sand below their feet there was a secret well.  The people didn’t know it was there, but God did.  Right in the bleakest most desolate of places there was a well.

Is not this a promise for you and me?  I see in my mind’s eye another flock of bleating sheep in a waste and howling wilderness… and a Shepherd leading them.  Leading them where? To a Well.  For, we too are a people of eternal purpose, just as those of old were.  I know it’s very dry these days, but God will not let the sheep of His pasture perish in this present wilderness for lack of water.  The Shepherd of Israel… we are the sheep of His hand.  It is His responsibility to lead us to water.  And He will do so.  We have His promise that He will do so—to “fountains of living waters” (Rev. 7.17).

It is for Him to do the leading.  And for us?  What is our part?  Our part is to cry out to Him for this precious Life Source, and follow His leading.  At times it may mean getting the earth out of a well the Philistines have contaminated.  It may mean moving to another locale.  I don’t necessarily mean geographically, although that might be the Shepherd’s leading at times.  I mean spiritually.  We the flock of His pasture must be nomadic, ready to move on, ready to follow our Shepherd, ready to move out into the desert as He searches out for us another Well.

And when instead of water we find nothing but sand even though we know we are there in the leading of the Lord, it may mean singing to the sand around us—and digging.  It is the Spirit of Christ Himself who is that Well of living water… but at times we might have to engage in some serious digging to find Him… all the while singing as we dig.

And blessed is the person who does so.  Blessed is the person who, through all the wildernesses of life, continues to seek out and find that Well of living water. For, an even greater promise awaits such a one.  God says:

I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water (Isa. 41.18).

And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water (Isa. 35.7).

Note this.  The dry land becomes a spring of water.  The thirsty one—the one who needs water—ultimately becomes a spring of water himself.

Just as Jesus promised that thirsty woman at the well of Samaria:

Whoseover drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be (that is, become) in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (Jn. 4.14).

That is to say, we come to Him thirsting for water, and we go away having become a fountain of living water that satisfies the souls all around us thirsty for Life.

The Price Of The Presence Of Christ

Posted on

I can sum up in one sentence a book I’ve been reading on early Christian history.  The early Christians lived in a world that hated God and loved blood.  The populace of Rome and other cities of the Empire came out to the arenas for their blood sports as passionately—and as routinely—as North Americans to a football or hockey game, cheering and jeering and betting on the outcomes.  Professional gladiators fought to the death; Christians and criminals died horrible deaths.  It was entertainment to a society that had become completely depraved.  They loved blood.  And ultimately God gave them blood to drink—their own at the hands of the barbarian hordes.

This is the kind of world the early Christians were up against and in which many of them became martyrs.  The story of their sacrifice is deeply moving.  But that was just the beginning.  Apparently the number of Christian martyrs all through history amounts to about 70 million.  Half of that total—something like 45 million—took place in the 20th century.  The world has not changed all that much, has it.  We’re in the early years of the 21 century now, and stories of Christian persecution are frequent news.

Notice what I just said: stories of Christian persecution are frequent news.  Here in North America we don’t experience this first hand.  We enjoy religious freedom; the world about us more or less leaves us alone.  That is, so far.  There’s a foreboding by certain Christians on a website I sometimes visit (SermonIndex) that persecution is at the door in the United States.  This likely means Canada too, I would think.  Considering the past—and what is happening in other nations even today—it’s inevitable that severe persecution will be the portion of western Christians too.

The question is, what will bring this persecution on?  In many countries to identify yourself as a Christian is to imperil your life.  Not here.  Being a Christian does not get you persecuted in Canada or the United States.  So how is it that persecution is likely to come upon us here?  What will change?

I hear someone saying it will happen because our society is more and more ready to openly express its growing hatred for God.  I agree.  But what will cause that latent hatred to be manifested openly?

Psalm 2 comes to mind.

Why do the heathen rage, and the peoples imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His anointed, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us.

Is not this increasingly the mindset of our western societies?  Enough of the confining cords and restraints of righteousness!  God is not going to tell us what to do.  We want loose!

But that means dealing with and silencing those who reprove them.  That means gathering together “against the Lord and against His Christ”—His Anointed One.  Yes, and, as the Christians in the book of Acts who quoted these words discovered, that means gathering together against the “anointed ones” as well—the Christians (Acts 4.26).

Jesus said:

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you (Jn. 15.18).

I’ve read these words often.  One day the light came on as I read them.  The whole context of this verse is… Jesus is speaking to His disciples about the coming of the Comforter, the Spirit of truth.  It was a “coming” that was in a very real sense the coming of Christ Himself to them.  For, He has just said to them, “I will not leave you comfortless (orphans); I will come to you” (Jn. 14.18).  And He is talking of the coming of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.  In other words, the full reality of the coming of the Holy Spirit to you and me is that Christ Himself has come, and is seen in our lives.  This is not going to be taken kindly by a world that hates God.  And so John says in one of his letters, “Marvel not if the world hate you” (1 Jn. 3.13).  Why are we not to marvel?  It’s because we live in a world that hates God… and suddenly, because of the Holy Spirit in you and me, they see God manifested in you and me.

This is the significance of Jesus’ words.  “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”  He goes on:

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (Jn. 15.18,19).

In other words, the world doesn’t hate its own.  If we are like the world, we are in no danger of persecution.  But those who are not of the world, those Christ has chosen out of the world and in whom His Spirit has come to dwell… the world that hates God will hate these anointed ones.

And what do we mean by the world?  When Jesus spoke these words to His disciples He was including many who boasted they loved Jehovah.  Yet their religion was just a cloak.  Very religious they might be, but they actually hated God.  See what He says?

If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
He that hateth Me hateth My Father also.
If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father (Jn. 15.22,24).

That’s the significance of the Son of God.  They couldn’t go around professing they loved Jehovah when their God appeared in the person of His Son… and they hated Him.  In like manner, the coming of the Holy Spirit reveals the hearts of all men—those out there in the world… and professing Christians as well.  They won’t be able to continue saying they love Jesus when they hate those who are one with Him because of the Spirit of Jesus in their lives.

Most everyone likes to think of themselves as a nice person; most people would protest indignantly being told they hate God.  But it’s their reaction to the Holy Spirit—their reaction to a vessel in whom God dwells by the Holy Spirit—that tells on them.

Some, upon this revelation of their own hearts, will be convicted and broken.  And deeply repentant.

Others will harden their hearts, and take out their hatred of God and His Christ on those in whom He is shining forth.

There are many genuine Christians who live in countries where they are persecuted merely for being identified with the literal Name of Christ.  What about us here?  But remember, ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who is sent in Christ’s Name.  “…The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name” (Jn. 14.26).  It is this that we Christians need in the western world, where ordinary churchgoers are not persecuted but rather ignored.  There are many Christians in the West who are grieved to the quick over the state of their world—and their church.  They are seeking God about it.  They have a great cry on their heart.  I believe God is going to answer that cry with a baptism of His Presence that will mean Christ Himself is seen in them.

That makes me tremble.  Christ Himself?  Oh, how deeply we need this Testimony.  It’s something we seek to give ourselves to day by day… and sow to, and pray for, and long for, and cry for… and expect.

But this is the Presence of One that the world has demonstrated time and again it hates.  This is a visitation with a price tag on it.

The Minister Of The Church

Posted on

Continuing with what has been on my heart the last while—this verse in Hebrews again:

Now a summary of the things being spoken of is, we have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the greatness in the heavens; a minister of the holies, and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man (Heb. 8.1).

If we as God’s people were to become more conscious of this reality it would revolutionize the way we do church.  For, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the minister of the holy things in the true tabernacle (or temple) of God.  It’s ingrained in us to think of the pastor as the main minister of a church.  But this concept is a falling away from the biblical model.  The true model is one of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself being the primary minister in the church.  He is seated at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, but by the Holy Spirit He is present right here in our midst—the great High Priest ministering about the holy things of God.  Pastors (shepherds) indeed have a vital place in the church, but not as the centre of ministry.  They are just one among many ministries the Lord has ordained in a kingdom of priests each one of whom is to be involved in the church—vitally involved.

How then can I, an ordinary Christian, become vital?  As I said last time, by becoming conscious of Jesus Christ Himself, the Minister of the holy things in His tabernacle.  What I see Him doing I do; that becomes my authority and power to function in His church, because it is actually His own ministry.

And–this is a very great challenge–liberty must be given in the assembly for this High Priest to minister through whom He chooses.

How we need to be more conscious of Him, then–this great High Priest ministering about the holy things of God in the true tabernacle.  He is clothed in white linen down to the foot—white linen, symbolic of rest; His is a ministry that is not His own works and strivings; the things He does, His righteous works, are the rest of the Spirit.  And so as we become conscious of Him, the same grace that empowers Him begins to lay hold of us, and we too cease from our own works; we abide in His rest, doing only what we see Him doing.  No matter how trying the situation we are in, or how difficult, our own labours will not resolve it; we must surrender all, and trust that the One clad in the priestly robe of white linen is at the same time seated at the right hand of the Majesty in the Heavens with all power in heaven and earth.   He is able to accomplish, and shall accomplish, what nothing else can accomplish.  He shall accomplish all.

He has upon Him, over the white linen garment, the robe of blue and the ephod; He has upon His shoulders (the place of strength) and upon His breastplate (the place of love and affection) the names of His people; He bears their cause before the Throne of Grace; He has in that breastplate the Urim and Thummim of perfect light as to the Father’s will for them, and has power to carry out that will.

He wears upon His head a turban of the same white linen wrapt round and round—for His thoughts are not the toiling and spinning of a labouring mind, but the mind of the Spirit, which is life and peace.

Crowning it all is the golden plate with the words, Holiness unto the LORD. 

 And the anointing oil upon His head drips down to the skirts of His garments… even to the foot.

And—awaken us, Lord—all this is to be operative not just way up in Heaven, but right here in our midst in the true tabernacle because of the Holy Spirit.  In the Holy Spirit we ourselves become vitally conscious of all this, are joined to this High Priest in the expression of all this, are partakers of this character and light and power.  At least this is God’s intention for us in the New Covenant.

So we must not stop short of this till it is reality in our experience.  We must not settle for less.

Take this wondrous mystery—of Christ our High Priest being right here in our midst by the Holy Spirit in you and me—a step further.  This great High Priest reveals Himself to you in a certain way, and to me in another way.  It is your consciousness of what He is doing that governs your participation in His priestly ministry in His tabernacle; my consciousness of Him governs my participation. Thus we become a kingdom of priests each one with a unique expression of the High Priest Himself.  At times He may reveal Himself to us in the same way, and we find ourselves praying together, or ministering together… as He Himself prays and ministers.  Our consciousness of Christ—what we see Him doing, hear Him saying—governs our participation in His ministry.  And because it is He Himself who is ministering in all we say and do, we discover ourselves in perfect harmony with one another—a body perfectly coordinated by the Head.

I anticipate that this Great King Priest of ours is about to reveal Himself in the Holy Spirit such that you and I will become more and more conscious of Him, and of what He is doing—more aware, actually, that we are one with Him.

At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you (Jn. 14.20).

What day?  The day of the coming of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.  Oh, the wonder of this!  By the Holy Spirit in us we are one with Him.  For the Holy Spirit is one with Him.  “I will not leave you comfortless,” He said.  “I… will come to you.”  You say, I have the Holy Spirit but I don’t have what you are talking about.  Yes, and neither do I.  But the Day of the coming of the Comforter is not over yet.  Before this Day is over you and I are going to be fully awakened and conscious of this unity—that we are one with the Son of God, this Great High Priest of the true tabernacle.  This consciousness will become the inspiration and empowering of all we say and do.

And what we do will actually be His own doing

…Just as Christ Himself said, “I do only those things which I see My Father do.”  He was one with His Father; in all He did, He was just doing what His Father was doing.  He was conscious of His Father; He knew what His Father was doing.  In fact He said that it was the Father who dwelt in Him that was doing the works (Jn. 14.10).

Can you envision yourself saying the same thing—that the thing you just did… it was actually the Son of God who dwells in you who did that?  This is what the Holy Spirit in you and me is all about.  The Holy Spirit here in the earth does what He sees the Son doing in Heaven; He speaks what He hears the Son speaking, and nothing else.  He reveals the Son of God in you and me; He makes us one with the Son.

He shall not speak of (from) Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak, and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine, and shew it unto you (Jn. 16.13,14).

“He shall glorify Me…”  How we long to see Him glorified in the earth again!  And we shall see it.  In fact shall be part of it.  For the Holy Spirit is committed to this cause.

There is nothing more wondrous, more precious, more holy, more beautiful, more awesome, more meaningful, more filled with purpose, than this—that when Jesus Christ ascended to the Father, He received the Promise of the Father—the Holy Spirit—in a dimension and empowering that enabled Him to send that Spirit into our hearts, thus making us one with Himself.

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.

The Minister Of The Holies

Posted on

The following passage of Scripture has been much on my heart of late.

Now a summary of the things being spoken of is, we have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the greatness in the heavens; a minister of the holies, and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man (Heb. 8.1).

This is from my Interlinear Bible; the King James Version has, “a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle…”  But the original Greek has, simply, “a minister of the holies,” that is, of the holy things, or holy places.”  I think the context lends itself to holy things, that is, the holy duties of the priest relative to the things of the tabernacle—his ministry relative to the brazen altar and the laver, the table of showbread, the lampstand, and the golden altar of incense, and the ark of the covenant.

What is the true tabernacle?  It’s that Tabernacle you and I are part of—Christ Himself, the Dwelling Place of God.  The old tabernacle in the wilderness was but a type of the true tabernacle.  Aaron ministered in that one; Christ Himself is the High Priest in this Tabernacle.  He is the Minister, ministering about the holy things of the Tabernacle.  We catch a glimpse of this in The Revelation, where John saw One walking in the midst of the seven golden lampstands—our great High Priest trimming the lampstands.

The Lord Jesus Christ, then, is the Minister of the true Tabernacle.  How can this be so?  He is in Heaven, and we are here in the earth.  But—and this is the most wondrous of truths, and utterly astonishing to me, as I wrote last time—by the Holy Spirit here in the earth, Christ Himself is present here in the true tabernacle ministering about the holy things of God.  For Jesus told His disciples when He was about to leave them, “I will not leave you comfortless (orphans), I will come to you.”  And He was speaking of the coming of the Comforter, the Spirit of truth.

Sometimes when I consider this momentous truth I feel like one asleep in the dust being awakened by fits and starts.  I am barely conscious to this reality.  I awaken for a moment and the revelation is so wondrous I can scarcely take it in… and I sink back into sleep.  Why can’t I stay awake?  Then I am awakened again… and am struck with wonder again.  This truth is so overwhelming in its beauty, so rich with reality… you mean this is what God has for us?  It’s too much for me to take in.  By comparison my present experience is so puny; I feel I am too far behind.

But this has been quickened to my heart again the last few days… and I must trust Him who is awake to continue to awaken me.  And I know He will.  I am anticipating a greater consciousness of this Minister of the holy things in the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man.  I almost said awareness, but consciousness is the better word, because it’s by the Holy Spirit in us that we are made one with this Minister of the holy things.  It’s by the Holy Spirit that we are made conscious of Christ Himself—that we are One with Him. 

Jesus said:

For where two or three are gathered (that is, have been gathered) together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them (Mt. 18.20).

How is Jesus in the midst?  Not invisibly, somehow.  He is in the midst of those gathered in His Name because of the Holy Spirit in them.  The High Priest of the true tabernacle is in the midst of the tabernacle because of the Holy Spirit in those who are part of this Tabernacle.  Oh for eyes to see Him, then—that it is He Himself who is ministering in the midst of those who are gathered in His Name.

In fact Christ Himself is the only valid Minister in the tabernacle.  Only what He Himself is doing is sanctioned by God.  How attentive, then, you and I must be—how sanctified unto Christ—that our ministry and involvement in this Tabernacle be His very own involvement.  Think of that, beloved.  Even at this moment the High Priest of the true tabernacle is ministering therein.  What is He doing?  I say to you, only as the Holy Spirit in you and me communicates to us that knowledge, that awareness—that consciousness—are we able to minister in this Tabernacle in any valid way. All else is futile, even counterproductive.  What He is doing, this alone must be our own doing.

The writer of Hebrews calls us “holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling” (Heb. 3.1).  He is talking of the heavenly priesthood.  And notice the word partakers there.  In other words, there is only one calling—Christ’s calling—of which we are partakers.  He is the apostle and high priest of our confession; only as we partake of His calling are we functioning acceptably before God in His Tabernacle.

And so this must be more and more our cry and prayer—oh, to become more conscious of this Great High Priest who is ministering in the true Tabernacle while at the same time being seated at the right hand of the Throne of God.  How can He be there and here at the same time?

Again, because of the Holy Spirit.

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Oh for the scales to fall from our eyes!  The Holy Spirit in the earth and the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven… they are one.

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.

His Unspeakable Gift

When I was a boy I used to think on certain great people I admired… and secretly wished I could be.  It’s been a while, and I can’t remember now who was on my list.  Except for two.  I remember two.  Superman was one.  I used to wish I could be Superman.  To have that superhuman strength, and, wow, to be able to fly…  Wouldn’t that be something!  I knew of course that Superman wasn’t real, and I could not be Superman.  But I liked to imagine being Superman and astonishing all my friends.

The other one I remember was—and I can never forget this one—Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I knew He was real.  At least I had been taught He was real, and it never entered my mind to doubt it back then (that came later).  I would think on Him and… none of my thoughts about Superman contained the same sense of… of reverence, of awe… that thinking on the Son of God did.

And I would think… the Son of… God?  He is the Son… of God?  And I would be deeply disappointed.  For I knew I could not be Him.  And it didn’t seem fair to me.  Why did He get to be the Son of God and I had to live such an ordinary life?  Why did He get to be the Son of God, and not me?

It wasn’t till many years later that I discovered the most wonderful truth.  If I couldn’t be the Son of God Himself… I could be one with Him.

I was sitting at my kitchen table in Burmis one day; this was after I’d had to quit my job because of my affliction.  By this time I’d come to know the Son of God was real, had known this for many years.  And I was going through the Gospel of John verse by verse, and Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament on the book of John, and at the same time reading George Warnock’s book Crowned With Oil, in which he goes through a portion of the book of John verse by verse (John Chapters 14-17).  It seems this is my lot; I don’t get revelations the way some people do—with the Lord revealing things to them in dreams and visions and other awesome ways that I envy; it seems my lot is to have to plug away at reading the Bible earnestly seeking to open my heart to the Lord.

And so, I was reading these books, along with the Gospel of John… verse by verse.  I wasn’t expecting anything extraordinary; I was just doing over again what I love to do—labouring in the word.

And I came to John Chapter 14.  And I came to verse 15.

If ye love Me, keep My commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

And then I read verse 18.

I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.

And suddenly… I saw!

This is a passage of Scripture I had read countless times; it had also been ministered to me many times.  But now suddenly… my eyes were opened… and I saw!

I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you.

The Paraclete, the Spirit of truth in you and me… it means that the Son of God Himself is here in you and me!

This is utterly astonishing.  The Spirit of truth here in the earth is one with the Son of God in Heaven.

I tell you, this revolutionized my whole thinking.  My Bible, even after many years of reading it, became a brand new book to me.  Light had dawned, and as it shone upon my Bible, I was able to read familiar passages in an entirely new light.

Like Psalm 22, for example.

I will declare Thy Name unto My brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee.

How does the Son of God praise the Father in the midst of the congregation—but by the Holy Spirit in you and me?  The Son of God Himself is in the midst of congregation—because of the Holy Spirit in you and me.

What a wonder.  It is true, brothers and sisters, it’s really true: because of the Holy Spirit in us, we are the very body of Christ (1 Cor. 12.13).  Our Head is in Heaven; we in the earth are one with Him—one body—because of the Holy Spirit.

We are the temple of God because the Holy Spirit dwelleth in us (1 Cor. 3.16).

He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit (1 Cor. 6.17).

Jesus had been telling His disciples He was about to leave them, He was going away, and it grieved them deeply to hear this.  But He told them this was actually a better plan than if He were to stay.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you (better for you, more profitable, to your advantage) that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send Him unto you… (Jn. 16.7).

We are inclined to think this cannot be right.  Surely it would be better for that Man who walked the earth two thousand years ago to be still here with us.  For if we had Jesus still with us He could continue to do the wonders He did back then; we would have His perfect input into every difficult situation we face; we would have His protection; He would resolve all our troubles… He would be able to speak the perfect word of God just as He did back then; He would be able to continue bearing witness to the truth just as faithfully and perfectly as He did back then.

The point is, with the Holy Spirit we still have this!  For in the Holy Spirit, Christ Himself is still with us!

I will not leave you orphans; I am coming to you.

The Holy Spirit is able to manifest as perfect a witness to the truth as the Son of God Himself did.

But there is One Thing more we have in the Paraclete that we would not have if Jesus Himself were still here in the flesh.  Because of this wondrous Advocate not just with us, but now in us, we too share the same relationship with the Father that Jesus the Son of God did… which the disciples back then did not have.  Truly, it was better for them—and for us—that He went away.

He told them He was leaving them… and coming back to them again (Jn. 14.28).  He told them He was going to the Father, and therefore they would not see Him.  That’s understandable enough.  Why would they see Him not?  Because He was going to the Father.

But then this enigma.  Because He was going to the Father, they would see Him.  Why would they see Him again?  Because He was going to the Father.

He was going to the Father, and would send to them the Promise of the Father—the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth.  And in this One, He Himself would be in them.  And so He said:

Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more, but ye see Me: because I live ye shall live also (Jn. 14.19).

And He said:

At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you (Jn. 14.20).

What day?  The day of the coming of the Comforter, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit… because of whose coming Jesus Christ Himself is with us—even in us!  Oh, the wonder of this!  Whatever is yet to come with regard to the revelation of Jesus Christ, oh, let us not miss out on the fullness of this revelation—that Jesus Christ in Heaven is with us, even in us… because of the Holy Spirit in us!

Jesus Christ the Son of God in Heaven… and the Holy Spirit here in the earth in us… they are one.

…I know what you’re thinking—that because of the Holy Spirit in me, I too am a son of God now.  Yes, and I am growing up into Him in all things, into His very image and likeness.  What a wonder.  My boyhood wish has been realized after all.  To think that a loving God had prepared such wonder for a wondering boy…  it is too much.  I too get to be a son of God.

…But I tell you what is more meaningful… if that’s possible.  It’s the realization that the Holy Spirit in me that makes me a son of God… is one with the Son of God in Heaven. It’s this that leaves me with my mouth open.

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!

More On Heaven Quakes

This from Micah.

For behold, the LORD cometh forth out of His place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.
And the mountains shall be molten under Him, and the valleys shall be cleft as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place (Mic. 1.3,4).

And this from the Psalms.

Bow Thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
Cast forth lightning, and scatter them; shoot out Thine arrows, and destroy them (Ps. 144.6,7).

Do you ever get revelations?  I am sure you do—those moments when the “light bulb” comes on and you see some beautiful facet of the truth of God.  They can be life changing; they can be devastating.

Now, how does God touch a mountain?  With His hand, of course.

It is the most awesome of truths that we are the body of Christ—His feet, His arms, His hands…

Beloved, we the body of Christ appear to be very weak in the earth at this time (at least here in the western world); we are not considered to be much of a threat to the kingdoms of this world, the kingdoms of darkness around us.

This is going to change.  And it’s going to change by a revelation—or to put that better, a response to a revelation.  Obedience to that revelation.

Jesus told Nathanael, “Verily, verily I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see Heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man” (Jn. 1.51).  He was referring to Jacob’s experience at Bethel when he dreamed of the ladder between earth and Heaven, and the angels ascending and descending on it.  Jesus is saying, I Myself am Bethel; I am that ladder, the top of which is in Heaven, and the foot of it in the earth.  It’s the awesome revelation of Christ—His head in Heaven and His body here in the earth.

Notice what Paul said.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ (1 Cor. 12.12).

Paul didn’t say, “so also is the body of Christ.”  He said, “so also is Christ.”  They are not two separate things:  Christ in Heaven and the body of Christ in the earth.  Christ is a many-membered Man whose Head is in Heaven, and the body in the earth.

Beloved, we are scarcely awake to this reality, and when we are awake to this, it is going to shake Heaven and earth.  Christ the Head in Heaven and the body of Christ in the earth are one Man, one temple—Bethel, the house of God.  Jesus Christ our Advocate in Heaven and the Holy Spirit His Advocate here in the earth—they are One Advocate; they are one.  Jesus told His disciples when He was about to leave them, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you” (Jn. 14.18).  He was speaking of the coming of the Comforter, the Spirit of truth.  “I… will come to you.”

And so Jesus promises, “Yet once I shake not the earth only, but Heaven also” (Heb. 12.26).  How shall He accomplish so great shakings?  By speaking.  “Whose Voice then shook the earth…”  This refers back to God speaking at Sinai when the whole mountain shook, and all the earth around.  “But now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but Heaven also.”  The Voice of the Son of God in Heaven through the lips of His body in the earth is going to cause great shakings in our world.  I tremble to think of it, and am fearful at the prospect.  But at the same time I cry to Him to do it—shake, Lord, bring the shakings!  For they are necessary shakings, and it will mean the removal of all the kingdoms of man, all that can be shaken, all that is unstable in our fractured troubled world, ultimately leaving “a kingdom that cannot be shaken.”  What a wondrous hope.

And so let us earnestly seek to be responsive to revelations from Heaven, as that Egyptian church we mentioned last time was.  They heard from God; they were obedient; suddenly their whole nation was shaking.

God can and will touch mountains—the kingdoms of this world that have been there it seems forever—and they will go up in smoke.  How shall He touch them?

He shall come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. How shall He do this?

“And the mountains shall be molten under Him…”  Under whom?

Beloved, let us be walking in obedience.  Let us be listening with foot ready to walk in what our Head is hearing and seeing.  Let us seek earnestly to be responsive to our Head in Heaven.  He has given us the provision we need to do this—He has given us His own Holy Spirit, thus making us one with Him, thus making us alive unto Him.

You and I may consider ourselves weak and small and of not much account.  That’s actually the way it should be.  But let us, weak as we are, be in such union with our Head in Heaven that He can stretch out His hand and touch a mountain, and cause it to go up in smoke.

Just high sounding words, these?  Ask those Egyptian Christians if they are just high-sounding words.

%d bloggers like this: