The story of the progressive revelation of our Father and ourselves as sons is that Father and Jesus have always been one. They are one in their love for us and one in their desire to ensure that we have what they have: Fellowship with them and participation in their extravagantly joyful life.
I have mentioned before the foundational nature of this union for all we are as new creation people. Firstly that we are now in-dwelt by God in three persons, secondly that God’s life becomes our life and thirdly that as daughters and son we are the expression of our Father. This is the source of everything.
‘On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV. The day we received this revelation is the day we receive Jesus ideas about Himself and the meaning of His mission.
The Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth is not just one with Father in mission. The Son of Man is one with Father in being. When we say Jesus came in the flesh we are affirming that the divine son came among us as a human being. This is the first meaning of Christ come in the flesh. The second is just as exciting. It means that the Christ who came in the flesh has come also in our flesh (being) by the Spirit. He is incarnated in us. This is what happened at Pentecost. The main thing is the the real presence of God come on us. The effect is the life of heaven in us and this results in the Spirit without limit.
This is why the test of authentically sound doctrine and true revelation is, ‘Do they say that Christ has come in the flesh? If they do not they are not teaching the gospel of the Kingdom. But they are teaching religion - which defines us as separated from God and offers itself as a substitute for what is already a fact: Christ in you!
‘Anything that is a substitute for Christ in you is religion. Anything we are using as a means to be one with God that is not Christ is religion.’
Some are offended at being described as ‘religious.’ They have made a life from it and live in it. Some make careers from it and others promote it as life when it is death. It’s all the religious know since they are insulated from union with God by their roots in the law and performance. Religion grows from the law as naturally as weeds grow in compost. A rootedness in law blinds us to the fact that our world view is out of alignment with the mind of Christ. We become fountains of life when our Christ is Father’s Christ and Holy Spirit’s Christ and Jesus’ Christ.
The most common scheme of the Enemy is to be make Jesus less than He is and make His accomplishments much smaller than they are. If he can do this by leaving the husk of religion while eliminating the substance he is very pleased. Paul called this,
‘.. Philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ’ Col 2.8 NIV.
New covenant union is Christ our life. Here Father opens us to revelation and insight to a degree that cannot happen in old covenant mindsets with its human tradition and elemental assumptions.
Jesus said, ’This was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven’ Matt 16.17 NIV.
Revelation comes from union with Father. Accurate comprehension of who Jesus is and what God has done in Him is not found in union with the flesh or the law and its elemental assumptions. It is found in union with Father.
‘The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God’ 2 Cor 4.4 NIV.
Revelation is not the result of spasmodic encounters with God. It is the outgrowth of the union with God that is ours as sons. This is the effect of Father in you. Not only is discernment dim in an old covenant mindset. ‘Words’ and prophecy become muffled and unreliable due to our insulation from union with God. The gifts are not a thing in themselves. They are the fruit of the vine and the root and our planting into the trinity by God.
Should we impose old covenant, law-based ideas onto Jesus, we have shrouded the Christ of God and distorted His being. In this distortion He is not ‘I AM’ but a figment of who we are. He is our christ, not the Christ of God. When we seek Jesus and ask Him to reveal Himself as He is, He will do so and all veils of confusion and mis-understanding will be removed. Proceeding from glory to glory comes as we lay down our Christ and take up His.
‘So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image’ 2 Cor 3.18 NLT.
It is a serious thing to promote something else come in the flesh instead of Christ come in the flesh. Serious because it aligns us with the spirit of anti-christ and makes us complicit with every attempt of the Thief to rob Believers of the fullness of Christ - every attempt that has been deployed since Jesus’ ascension. These ploys appear as law-mongering, neo-Judaism, old covenant mindsets and institutionalism.
These devil’s schemes have been more successful than any outbreak of occultism, Satan worship or demonic manifestations. They have white-anted much of the Christian church and produced dead men talking.
The cunning ruse of the evil one is to present the flesh as coming in the flesh as truth, which occurs when Believers are contained and constricted in the law and the old covenant. Another subtlety is to substitute the real presence of Jesus with the pseudo-presence of churchianity, Christian conformity and the life of Adam lived with Jesus’ help. By this I means what Gregory Boyd so aptly described as living a Christianised version of the knowledge of good and evil. Kingdom life is more simple than that. To see Jesus is to see your real self. To have Christ as your life is to be your real self. To be the expression of Christ in us is to be the church Jesus builds. To have the Word alive in us is to be the new creation.
Jesus is making us aware that we are sons in spirit and in truth because He has made us one with Father. We are not just in ministry for our Father. As sons re-embedded in His being we, are the expression of our Father in the world.
‘Today a very insightful post appeared in Facebook.
R Loren Sandford writes on the passing of the old and becoming of a new prophetic generation: "...I am saying there is a different heart in the generation now emerging. These will speak more from humble intimacy with Jesus and from a pastoral heart than from a concern with gifting. Their words will flow more from the heart of the Father than from any felt need to prophesy, build a great ministry or stand on anyone’s stage. More than developing their gifts, they will seek oneness with Jesus and His nature, pursuing rest in relationship with Jesus more than being supernatural.
The need to wow the body of Christ [or oneself] and tickle the ears of men will give way to the need to bow before the King of Kings, broken by His love and faithful to His words, regardless of the fallout. As a result, they will release into the people of God a deeper level of life than we have known, as well as a sense of liberty in holiness both life-giving and free of condemnation.’
As indicated in the first part of this post we have been made one with Father and in Jesus have become the expression of Father as the sons of God. The main event of the new testament is not the gifts. The big deal in the outpouring of the Spirit is our unification with God and the realisation of we and Father being one as accomplished by Jesus. It is our union with God, Father in us and we in Father that is the source of infinite life and the basis of the gifts of the Spirit.
Unless we understand this, gifts will be misapplied. They will dry up and a conflict between spirit and flesh will be set in motion leading to confusion, spiritual disease and disappointment. The gifts are not a thing in themselves. They are part and parcel of our union with God and our living out of the Spirit of Sonship in spirit and in truth.
We are not just involved in mission. Remember that the flesh accomplishes nothing for the Kingdom. But when we embrace our union with God and live from union rather than ‘separation’ our efforts are ignited with spirit and life. One in Father and with Christ in us we are the manifest presence of God - the sons and daughters of God.