He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me , he also shall alive because of Me. [John 6:54-57]
I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If one does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is dried up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so you will become My disciples. [John 15:5-8]
Taste and see that the Lord is good; [Psalms 34:8]
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. [John 6:63]
But He answered and said, It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:4]
Dear saints, I want to emphasize how important eating and drinking is. If we don’t eat and drink, we will grow weak and die. If someone eats once a day, surely he won’t have enough strength. Such a person will be weak and sickly.
Many want to abide in the Lord and bear fruit for the Lord. But few care for eating and drinking the Lord. We need to be the ones who eat and drink Christ many times each day. If we are always eating a drinking Christ, we will live because of Him; we will abide in Him and He will abide in us; and we will bear much fruit.
In order to eat something, that thing must die to enter into us. Then that food is metabolized. Our body is filled and saturated by the food we eat. We even become what we eat, because our body becomes saturated with it’s nutrients. If you just eat fish every day, you will smell like fish. Everyone will know you eat fish, because you will have a fishy aroma.
So it is with Christ. But, how do we eat Christ? Eating Christ is related to the Spirit and to the Word. The Word is the Food itself and the Spirit is the Life. No one goes to the store and says, “I don’t want the vegetable, I just want the life in it”. The Word is for us to take in the Life.
Yet, there is the danger that the Word could just be dead letters to us. If we just take it in with our mind, then there’s no spiritual Food. The only way to eat spiritual Food is with our spirits. We must turn our mind, will, and emotions to the Spirit, who is mingled with our spirits, for the proper eating.
This was shown clearly in Jesus words to the Pharisees:
You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that testify concerning Me. Yet you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. [John 5:39-40]
We shouldn’t forget that Christ is the Life within the Word. Actually, Christ is both the Word and the Life. The Word is Christ spoken forth for the transmission of Christ as Life.
Don’t think that this Food is just the Scriptures. We must also speak forth Christ to one another. We must feed each other with our experience of Christ. Ministering Christ to one another is the shepherding way.
He said to him, Feed My lambs…He said to him, Shepherd My sheep…Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep. [John 21:15-17]
And He Himself gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as shepherds and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ, [Ephesians 4:11-12]
Notice here that Paul says, “some as apostles”, “some as prophets”, and “some as evangelists”. But, shepherds and teachers are linked together. There is a link between shepherding, feeding, and teaching. If we are to take the shepherding way, we must be ones who are able to feed the lambs and the sheep, by teaching the Word, both as Milk and as Meat, according to their need.
Our Lord is the Good Shepherd, who nourishes and cherishes us. Our shepherding, must be the expression of our Lord.
The matter of eating Christ is absolutely central to the Scriptures and vital to our organic Life in Christ. The Scriptures begin with eating and ends with eating and drinking. Christ is the Tree of Life for God’s growth and the River of Life for God’s flow.
It would be good if every time you ate and drank, you would remember Christ as your real Food and Drink
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, [Ephesians 3:16]
I hope you all will take this to heart, eating and drinking Christ, and nourishing and cherishing one another. Then you all will be strengthened into your inner Man.
God gave His Son to man to be
The tree of life so rich and free,
That every man may taste and see
That God is good for food.
Yes, God is good for food!
Yes, God is good for food!
We’ve tasted and we testify
That God is good for food!
We eat this feast and take God in,
And as we eat we live by Him,
For all the elements within
This feast are God Himself.
Yes, Jesus is our feast!
Yes, Jesus is our feast!
We eat this feast and live by Him,
For Jesus is our feast!
Christ Jesus is the food we eat;
He is our bread, He is our meat;
He is our life-supply complete;
We daily eat of Him.
We daily eat of Him,
We daily eat of Him.
He is our life-supply complete;
We daily eat of Him.
This feast is so enjoyable;
To men it’s so available,
For God said whosoever will
May come and freely eat.
Yes, come and freely eat;
Yes, come and freely eat.
For God said whosoever will
May come and freely eat.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
The condition of your heart is so important for the Lord’s purpose.
The proper heart for the growth of Life
And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.
God’s Eternal Purpose is to head up all things in Christ and He is accomplishing His Purpose through His Economy, which is to dispense Himself into all the saints to be our Life and Life-Supply.
God’s Economy is what we see in Matthew 13. The Lord is dispensing Himself as the Seed into our hearts. He is uniting Himself with us in eternal Oneness.
In Matthew 13, the Lord gives a picture of the growth in Life concerning four heart conditions. These heart conditions are symbolized by the soils.
We see a few pictures in this parable: the Sower, the Seed(the Word), and the Life.
The Lord is the Sower.
The Lord is the Seed.
The Lord is the Word.
The Lord is the Life.
The Lord is everything for us. When we believe into the Lord, He comes into us as a small Seed. But, this Seed isn’t lacking anything. Within the Seed is the entire Tree. This Seed becomes One with the soil of our hearts. The Lord Spirit is mingled with our spirit in Oneness.
With the proper soil, water, and light this Seed will grow up to be the overcoming inner Man in us. You must understand that what grows forth from the Seed planted into our hearts is not just God, but also Man. The Plant that grows is God with us. It is God and us as One New Man. This Seed is planted in our spirit and will grow to fill and saturate our mind, will, and emotions.
I do think that we all have the experience of each of the different types of soils in Jesus’ parable. I encourage you to go read that parable now.
The Hard Soil
A hard heart is of no use to God. It gives Him no room to enter or grow.
The Rocky Soil
The rocky heart is somewhat hard and somewhat soft. It gives the Lord room to enter and grow, but the growth is too shallow.
The Thorny Soil
The thorny heart is a soft heart, but the thorns take away the nutrients for its growth.
The good soil
The good heart is gives the Lord plenty of room to growth. It receives His Living Water and His Shining Light. Root dig deeply down to strengthen the inner man. The Plant grows upward growing from glory to glory, until the ultimate expression is revealed: the glorious flower. Right now you may not look so beautiful outwardly, but if you have the proper heart for the Lord, someday you will be a glorious shining flower, displaying the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ. We will express the fullness of God!
The proper heart for the flow of Life.
The Tree of Life grows in the River of Life. The Tree of Life is for growth of God’s Life and the River of Life is for the flow of God’s Life.
In Genesis 26, we have a picture of Isaac with his tent in Beersheba, where Abraham had planted a tamarisk tree. The Lord appears to Isaac and Isaac builds an altar and digs a well. We need to set our tents(our dwelling) in the Lord’s constant appearing by the tamarisk tree(a picture of the Tree of Life), building an altar and digging a well. The altar symbolizes the application of the cross and the well symbolizes our enjoyment of the flowing resurrection Life.
None of us have the proper heart by nature. So for God’s flow, we need to learn to be altar-builders and well-diggers.
Hidden deep beneath layers and layers of hardened dust, there is fresh Water. Every morning we must wake up and dig through our natural man to enjoy the flowing Life deep within our spirit. I just wake up in my flesh every morning. I don’t want to turn to the Lord. I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to work.
I do think that many of you have the same experience. So we must build an altar, leaving our old man there. And we must dig a well to keep our hearts soft and tender for the Lord’s flow. With such a soft heart, the Lord will be a fountain springing up within us to eternal Life. We will have the freshness of His flowing Life. He will even overflow out of us and water those around us.
But whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.
Keep turning your hearts to the Lord by Faith, dear ones. With a pure heart, a heart that’s single for the Lord, you are free to behold the Lord within you. The more time you spend beholding the Lord within you, the more you will shine. You will be transformed into the Lord’s image, expressing His glory more and more. How gloriously blessed are the pure in heart!
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12 NASB
There are many aspects to and pictures of the Prize, the consummation of which is the New Jerusalem. But I want to focus on the Good Land.
Beginning with Abraham, God called out a People to take possession of the Good Land. The Good Land is a type of Christ as Everything for us. The Good Land is the All-Inclusive Christ.
Today, this Good Land is in our spirit.
Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it. But as for you, turn, and journey into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.’ Deuteronomy 1:38-40 ESV
The first generation in the wilderness is a picture of the old man, who couldn’t overcome the flesh and experience all that Christ is for us. But second generation is a picture of the New Man. It’s the New Man, having no knowledge of good or evil, who can take possession of the Good Land.
Adam, the first Man, ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But in Christ, the second Man, Adam has been terminated. All that is of Adam has died in the wilderness.
So the Israelites pass through the Jordan, a figure of our baptism, death, and resurrection in Christ. It’s the Ark, a type of Christ, that leads the Way. Then the Israelites are commanded to circumcise themselves.
We are the real Hebrews, which means river-crossers. We are the ones circumcised in our hearts.
“When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, Deuteronomy 12:29 ESV
Not only were the Israelites to cut off their flesh in circumcision, but they were to cut off the people in the Good Land. All of the Canaanites are a type of the flesh and the kings are a type of the evil powers that govern our flesh.
Even though, objectively, we have been crucified with Christ, we must apply His finished work by the Spirit, who is the very effectiveness of His death and resurrection. This is the picture that we have of the circumcision and the cutting off of the people’s from the Good Land.
If we are to take full possession of the Good Land, we must have practical daily experience of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by the Spirit.
In Joshua, we have some pictures to give us practical help in overcoming and taking Christ as Everything for us.
Jericho, with its high walls, is a great big picture of the flesh. The Israelites didn’t need to struggle against Jericho. They walked around it by Faith. They walked with the Ark, as a type of Christ. They blew the Ram’s Horn, a type of announcing the Gospel of Christ as the fighting power. See Overcoming Jericho.
Being right before the Lord.
After Jericho, the Israelites attacked Ai. They spied out Ai and saw that the enemies were few there, and didn’t even send all the people to fight. But, they didn’t contact God and they kept something from Jericho against God’s command. So, Israel was defeated because it wasn’t right with God.
We don’t need more introspection, but we do need to go before the Lord and allow Him to illuminate our being. We are His House and He desires to keep His House clean. Don’t take a flashlight(introspection) to look for dirt, but turn to the light switch(the Spirit) to shine. He will show you everywhere that you are not right before the Lord. Wait on Him. Don’t rush ahead. Stay in the shining of the Lord. This Life within us is the Light of men. We are men, so His Life is our Light to shine in us. Stay in the cleansing flow of His River of Life. We walk in this world it’s too easy to get dirty. Our feet are always in contact with the world. This is the reason that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. He is the Spirit washing our dirty feet in an inward way today.
Not being deceived by the flesh.
Next is the picture of the Gibeonites. Unlike Ai, the Gibeonites did not come to fight against Israel, but came to deceive it. The Gibeonites pretended to be poor travelers from far away and convinced Israel to make a covenant with them.
In regards to your flesh, you may say that this aspect or that feature is not so bad. You consider it to be useful for the Lord. Perhaps you are naturally a great speaker. Once you used your speaking for yourself, now you will use it for the Lord. Whether your natural speaking is for yourself or for the Lord it doesn’t matter. What matters is the source. The source of your speaking is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Only if your strong speaking is crucified, can it be useful to the Lord in resurrection. Then God will be the Source of your speaking. Then whether you speak clearly or with stuttering, God’s Life will flow through your speaking because He is your Source.
If you embrace your natural strengths, you are just like Israel. You forget your Husband and go ahead to make a covenant with your flesh. We must always wait on our Husband. The River of Life flows from the Throne, the Lord’s Headship. Only when we are living practically under our Husband’s Headship, will we enjoy the Flow of His Life.
Not taking your own choice.
The Lord desired to give the Good Land to the tribes of Israel. But, two and a half tribes didn’t want to cross the Jordan. They wanted the land before the Jordan, because it was good for their livestock. God gave them their choice and because of their choice, they would be the first tribes attacked by invaders and they wouldn’t have the protection of the Jordan.
You must not take your own choice, dear children. You must wait on the Lord. You must drop your opinions. You must be One with God’s People. As long as there is no sin or idol, be One with God’s People. If the saints are loud, be loud with them. If the saints are quiet, be quiet with them. Drop the ordinances in your heart that cause enmity between you and the Body. Water baptism by immersion or sprinkling? In a pool or in a lake? Drop your opinion in such matters. Who cares if you are right? The Oneness of the Body is far more important. We must march as One together with the Lord.
Not giving up and settling for less than God’s desire.
If you go on reading the Scriptures, you will find that the Israelites never fully cut off their enemies. They became content with the little that they had gained and gave up the fighting. Thus, they suffered. They succumbed to idolatry, to sin, and to invasions by the enemy.
I do think that many of you are defeated and accept that defeat as “this is just the way it is”. You are just waiting for Jesus to return to make everything better. But that isn’t God’s Economy. There is a reason Jesus calls for Overcomers. There is a reason Jesus warns of unfaithful servants, of virgins without Oil. God’s Economy to fulfill His Eternal Purpose is to dispense Himself into us to be our Life and Life-supply, so that He saturates us and constitutes our entire being, starting with our spirit and working His way out to our mind, will, emotions, and someday to our resurrected Body. This is why we eat His flesh and drink His blood. You are what you eat. So keep eating God in Christ. It’s the eating that gives us Strength for working and for fighting.
You must not accept defeat. We fight by turning to the Lord and continually receiving Christ and all that He is for us by Faith. Are your tired? Christ is your Energy. Are you hungry? Christ is your great Feast. The same Power that resurrected and ascended a Man to be seated in the heavenlies at the right hand of God, is now in us. This same Power is flowing towards us who believe!
All of the difficulties, the trials, the drynesses, are for our growth. If we will persevere in pursuing the Lord and enjoying Him day-by-day we will grow. It’s through the dry times that the roots of the trees dig deeper searching for Water. Dig deeper into our Lord. He is perfecting us. Keep turning to Him, loving Him, enjoying Him, all the time, and you won’t be disappointed. You will have the growth in Life and when the Lord appears in glory, so will you. What has been wrought in you in secret, will be manifested outwardly in great glory.
In God’s eyes, there have only been two Men in all of history: Adam and Christ. When Adam ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, we all ate. When Adam was poisoned by the Serpent, we were all poisoned. When Adam died, we all died. This is because we were in Adam.
If you don’t understand, let me give you an example. You were in your grandfather before you were born. If your grandfather died, then you would have died and would never have been born.
So, from our natural birth we have been dead, little vipers, spreading the Serpent’s poison. We were like zombies walking around consumed with the hunger of our flesh. Zombies eat brains and the cause of our condition is eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Zombies are governed by the lust of their flesh and just spread death wherever they go. When Adam ate from that Tree of Death, he became governed by his flesh.
God created man uniquely as body, soul, and spirit. This was so that man could be the invisible God’s physical expression. Man was created in such a way that He could be One with God. But man wasn’t created with the divine Life and the divine Nature. If Adam had eaten of the Tree of Life, God would have entered into Him to be His Life. God, who is Spirit would have entered into Adam’s spirit.
The human spirit was meant to be the dominant part of our being. But we were seduced by the Serpent and became spiritually dead. The flesh became the dominant part of our being to the point that God just called us flesh. Whether your natural self is good or bad, it doesn’t matter so much. Your natural source is a dead man, Adam.
So God came and was born as the Seed of the Woman. Jesus was not born of a man, but of a woman. Jesus lived as a perfect Man. Whenever the enemy came and called Him “Son of God”, Jesus replied “Son of Man”. He indeed is the Son of God, but He came to be the perfect Son of Man. He had the fine humanity expressing divinity. He lived a perfect human life, was crucified, died, resurrected, ascended, and seated at the hand of God. He remains a God Man in His ascension and will forever be a God Man. And you also, if you have believed into Christ, were in Him as He lived a perfect human life, died, resurrected, ascended, and seated at the right hand of God.
In Christ, who you were according to your natural birth is dead in God’s eyes. Christ is your Second Birth. Christ is your Life. Christ is your Nature. Christ is your New Man.
Jesus Christ, the Last Adam, became a Life-giving Spirit to enter into us. So that the Spirit, who is mingled with our spirit, is not just the Spirit of God, but also the Spirit of the Man Jesus. The application and the effectiveness of Jesus’ perfect humanity, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and His sitting down at the right of God…it’s all in this Spirit…and this Spirit is in us!
But don’t think that the flesh is completely gone yet. God is still bringing us forward into the experience of the Reality of Jesus’ finished work. It still remains with us because it is profitable for us. It drives us to pursue God and rely on Him. It is the manure, the compost, that drives our growth. Without the compost, plants can grow, but not so swiftly. The dead and decaying compost enriches their growth in Life.
But don’t walk by the flesh, walk by the Spirit. Adam is no longer your source, Christ is your Source. You have a new Father. You have been born of God! You are a son of God, sharing in the Sonship.
Disown your old self, the person you are by natural birth. That person, good or bad, was crucified in Christ. You have a New Man, which is Christ Himself. He was been born into you as the Seed. Within a seed, there is the entire tree. In the same way Christ enters into us in a small way, but this is the entire Christ, lacking nothing.
Whether you succeed or fail, you must disown that old man. Declare that that person is not you. He is dead and buried. You are in Christ. It is good to declare, dear saints. Declare words of Faith out loud or in secret. Turn off the radio on your way to work and turn your heart to the Lord Spirit within you, and declare who you are in Christ. Declare all that He is for you and all that He has done for you. Declare your Love for Him. Declare that you have no Love of your own, but God in Christ is your Love and you are returning His Love back to Him.
This is some practical help to bring you into the experience of Christ as your death and Christ as your Resurrection Life. Don’t be dismayed if you take by Faith that your old man is dead and then you find yourself even more in the flesh. This is the enemy’s scheme. The enemy would cut off your Faith quickly. The enemy wants to cut off your Hope in Christ. But you must press on! You are not able, but Christ is. He is your Power. The same Power that raised Him from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of God is in you. This Power is towards us who believe. It is more powerful than any nuclear bomb.
Keep turning to your spirit, enjoying and experiencing Christ, and your inner man will be strengthened.
I hope that you will learn more from this post, than just about Jericho. I hope that you will see how to read the Old Testament, not just as a dead historical book, but as a Map to see and experience Christ.
Jericho is a picture of the flesh, with its high walls, separating us from the Lord.
There are two aspects in the story of Jericho. There is the march outside and Rehab within.
We can’t emphasize enough that the battle is the Lord’s. But we do have a part in it. Let’s take a look at the Lord’s People in the battle.
Israel marched quietly around the city with the Ark. The Ark was God being carried by Man and this was a type of Christ. This march around the City, was for exalting Christ.
The march was an orderly and corporate one, meaning that we must walk together, but not in a chaotic or loose way. We are walking together as the Body with our eyes set on the Lord.
We may be the armed men, marching with our Lord, but the Lord doesn’t want anything of our natural strength. The march was a quiet one, because we must quiet ourselves. This is the quieting of our souls: our mind, will, and emotions. These must be quieted, so we can follow the Joshua within us: the Spirit.
The priests would blow the rams’ horns, as the armed men marched silently. Did you know that Jesus is the Ram of God? He came as the Lamb of God to be a sacrifice. He laid down His horns, because the horns represent the fighting power. But, in His resurrection and ascension, He has His horns again. The horns were blown, representing the proclamation of the Gospel. This Gospel is the fighting power of our Lord.
Don’t be deceived, dear ones, the Gospel is not just for the unbelievers, but for the believers as well. We need to proclaim the Gospel to ourselves and to each other, everyday. We need to keep hearing the Reality of Christ. We must Hear Him as the Word and received Him day-by-day, as our Food, our Life-supply. Otherwise, we will be distracted and overcome by the world.
Israel walked around 7 times, because 7 consists of 3 and 4. 3 is the number of the Triune God and 4 is the number of the creature, because it is 3 + something added. Remember, God worked for 6 days and Man’s first day was a day of Rest. Around this city of Jericho, God and Man walked in Oneness.
Can you see the picture yet?
We must quiet our natural selves and walk together with God in Oneness, exalting Christ and proclaiming all that He is and all that He has done.
But, there is more.
We can’t forget about Rahab. Rahab was a harlot who lived in Jericho. She was altogether one with Jericho. Don’t you know that we are all Rahabs? We were the ones fully in our flesh. We were the harlots, or unfaithful ones, giving ourselves to the world.
We know that God has condemned sin in the flesh and the fallen flesh must be fully consumed, as shown in the burnt offering. But, thanks to God, in Christ, we are not consumed. We have the blood!
Rahab recognized the beautiful feet of the messengers, and believed in the Lord. Just as the Israelites put the blood on the doorpost in Egypt, Rahab tied the scarlet thread in the window. Because of Rahab’s faith, she is counted in the genealogy of Jesus. May we all be ones who have a part in bringing forth Christ!
Dear saints, as Rahab, within the flesh, there is nothing we need(or can) do…but rely on Christ’s finish work. As the members of the New Man, no longer governed by the flesh, we do have a part as the coworkers of the Lord
He is bringing us into the experience of all that He has already done. He is making the objective work of Christ, subjective in us. Praise the Lord, we are in Christ!
So also it is written, “The first man , Adam, became a living soul .” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. [1 Corinthians 15:45 NASB]
The last Adam is not a reference to God, but to a Man.
Jesus Christ, or Jesus the Anointed, became the Life-giving Spirit in His ascension. In His ascension, He remains as both God and Man.
This isn’t to say that Jesus isn’t seated in the heavenlies. But this Christ is so wonderful that He is at the right hand of God and He is in us.
“Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty, and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin. You shall make of these a holy anointing oil, a perfume mixture, the work of a perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony, and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the laver and its stand. You shall also consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them shall be holy. You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister as priests to Me. You shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. [Exodus 30:23-31 NASB]
The anointing oil isn’t just the Spirit of God that we see in Genesis 1, but it is God, who has gone through a process. In the oil, signifying the Spirit of God, there are spices added. The spices signify the death and resurrection of Jesus and the effectiveness of that death and resurrection. Jesus Christ offered Himself through the eternal Spirit. This Spirit is Christ in us.
This Spirit within us is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Man. If you have believed into Christ Jesus, your spirit is One with Him.
Oh Lord how sweet You are as the Spirit within us. How all-inclusive you are for us. You are fully God and fully Man for us.
Even more, Jesus said that He and the Father are One. He said that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. Do you realize that that means that we are in the Father and the Father is in us? Although God is Father, Spirit, and Son, these Members are distinct, but never separate.
We are in God and God is in us!
Dear holy ones of God, you already have this Anointing. Have you experienced Him? Have you taken Him as your Anointing by Faith? He is sufficient for you.
Enjoying and experiencing Christ doesn’t require a special feeling. It’s taking Him as everything that you need. Are you unloving? Take Christ as your Love. Are you impatient? Take Christ as your Patience.
Let’s enjoy this Anointing together; He is our Oneness and He is our Life.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard, Even Aaron’s beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing-life forever. [Psalms 133:1-3 NASB]
“But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” [2Cr 3:15-18 NASB]
Day-by-day, moment-by-moment, we must turn our hearts to the Lord. This is God’s Way to save us, to transform us, to unite us with Himself in perfect Oneness.
To turn to the Lord is to set your mind on your spirit, which is united with God’s Spirit. Your spirit is the Holy of Holies; it’s the mount of transfiguration.
When you turn your mind to your spirit, it’s like sitting down in a chair. Before, you were walking in the world, but now you have overcome the obstacles that satan has put in the way of this Chair. With your will, you have turned your mind to the spirit, and you may have some enjoyment in your emotions. This is your place of Rest. Don’t be so caught up in the things of this world, that you fail to enter into His Rest.
As we turn our hearts to the Lord, we are taking Him in; we are eating Him for His enjoyment and our enjoyment.
Turning to the Lord is the purpose of reading the scriptures, singing hymns, and listening to preaching. But even in your work you can turn to your spirit and enjoy Christ as the Life-giving Spirit, within you.
Encourage one another to turn away from the worldly things, to the Spirit.
You may have noticed there has been a name change on this blog. So, on the new focus of Enjoying Christ, today’s post is on enjoying Christ through the Scriptures.
There are many ways that people read the Bible, but I want to share the best way that I have found. Your experience may differ :).
The most important thing is that you turn to the Lord Spirit in your spirit, when you read. It will only puff up your old man if you are reading with just your mind. I find it helpful to reject my own thoughts, silencing my inner self, and let the Lord know that I’m not here to gain more knowledge. I’m here to know Him…to experience Him…to enjoy Him…to gain Him.
When you are a new believer, it’s good to read a lot. It’s milk to the new believer and a child needs a lot of milk. By reading a lot, you may miss the details of the Painting, but you are able to see the entire Picture. The Old Testament is a living Picture of Christ and the New Testament is the explanation beneath the Picture.
As you grow, you need meat. You need to eat more slowly and chew more thoroughly. You should “chew the cud”. You may read the same chapter over and over again for a week. You may spend a month on a particular phrase. Read a chapter. Read a verse. Read a phrase. Read a word.It doesn’t matter so much, how much you read, because knowledge isn’t your goal. The intention of the Scriptures is to turn your heart to the Lord. The Scriptures become a springboard to enjoying Christ for our Father’s enjoyment.
Let me give you an example with Leviticus 14. Here is how I might read it with the Lord
“Then the LORD spoke(Lord you are the God who speaks) to Moses, saying, “This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing (I am just a dirty leper that needs to be cleansed). Now he shall be brought to the priest (You are my Priest, Jesus, and I am here before you), and the priest shall go out to the outside of the camp (Thank you for going outside the camp to heal me!). Thus the priest shall look, and if the infection of leprosy has been healed in the leper,” (I am in Christ and in your eyes I am clean and you have the true sight) [Lev 14:1-3 NASB]
After reading this with prayer, I may not have a need to read anymore, because I am in my spirit. Now, is the time to be quiet and just enjoy Him, inhaling Him and exhaling myself.
Oh Lord Jesus, how sweet You are.
I thought that some of you might find some encouragement in this today. We all suffer from a multitude of temptations and many have not found the Way to overcome.
It’s been my experience that the majority of saints don’t believe this encouragement from our brother, Peter, who saw, heard, and touched our Lord:
…the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation…
In this short part of his sentence, Peter shares with us the way to overcome: by faith in our Lord. Not just faith in the Lord, who is far away in a place called heaven, overseeing our lives. But, faith in the Lord who indwells us. Faith in the Lord who is united with us at the very core of our being; who became the Life-giving Spirit to unite Himself with our spirit in eternal oneness.
Christ in us is our Hope of Glory; our Hope of just expressing Christ and nothing of ourselves.
Don’t be discouraged if immediately after reading this, you sin. The enemy will do everything that he can to keep you from walking by faith. Even in the midst of falling into temptation, you can turn to the Lord by faith, and say “I can’t rescue myself from temptation, but I know that You are my Rescuer”. You may fail a thousand times, but don’t lose faith in Christ as the Way. Christ is the unique Overcomer, and He will overcome within us.
Even if you need faith, you can turn to Him and receive Christ as your Faith. In Christ, we can enjoy His unsearchable riches, which He is dispensing into us by His superabundant Spirit. We just keep receiving Him into our souls by faith.
On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky. – [Act 10:9-16 NASB]
And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. – [Act 10:28 NASB]
If you are looking forward to the Christ, the Reality series, don’t worry, I am still writing it. I have the second post partially written and I think that you will enjoy it. But, the above Scripture is what’s on my heart tonight. I came across these verses as the saints read them together. I have read them before, but I never saw what I am sharing with you today.
Everyone knows what has been called “the great commission”, but who ever even mentions the above commandment, given to Peter? The matter of eating and drinking Christ has always been a difficult thing(even for the believers) ever since Jesus said it, so long ago. But, here, our Lord gives us an even more difficult commandment. When preaching Christ, does anyone have the thought of going out to kill and eat people?
This vision, and our Lord’s words, reveal a wonderful key to understanding the Scriptures. All of the unclean creatures represented the Gentiles. The Jews were not to eat the Gentiles.
So, what does eating mean? It is the deepest union that two beings can have. What you eat becomes part of you. Something dies and enters into you and its life becomes your life. In cultures where very fragrant food is eaten, we find that people even smell like the food that they eat. If all you eat is fish every day, you will have a fishy fragrance.
God became a Man and died, so that He could enter into us as our Food and Drink. Thus, filling and saturating us, with Himself. He died to become our Life and Life-supply.
On the other hand, in His words to Peter, we find that He kills us and eats us. We cannot eat Him until He has eaten us. When the Spirit comes, He brings the death and the effectiveness of the death of Jesus Christ into us. We are crucified in Christ and we become food to satisfy Him. He eats us and we enter into Him and become part of Him; we become part of His Body. But, He doesn’t eat us directly. He eats us through His Body. The Ekklesia, the enlargement of Christ, goes into every place, killing and eating those, whom God has called.
Dear saints, we must eat and drink Christ, who was killed to become our Food and Drink. When we are filled with Christ, we can go, kill and eat those whom God has chosen for Himself. He is hungry and thirsty, and we are a satisfying Feast for Him, just as He is a satisfying Feast for us. This is the Way of union with God.
We need special equipment to scale the heights of Him and dive into the depths of Him. But guess what? You already have this special equipment. It’s called your spirit. And He lives inside of your spirit. – Milt Rodriguez, Christ in 3-D
For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. – [Hbr 13:14 NASB]
I’m not writing this blog post as a review of the the book Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. Instead, this blog post is in response to people’s obsession with heaven, which the aforementioned book exposed. So many religions are about trying to get to heaven or someplace similar(with a different name). Heaven may be the goal of religion, but is God’s goal to get us to heaven?
Getting to heaven is not our goal, nor is it God’s desire for us.
If you are living to get to or to help others get to heaven when they die, you’re living opposed to God’s desire. While people are trying to reach heaven, God desires to live on earth.
God’s desire to live on earth is one of the main narratives of Scripture. In the Garden, you see that there is gold, bdellium, and onyx stone.1 Paul tells us to build with gold, silver, and precious stones.2 Likewise, the New Jerusalem is made of gold, pearl, and precious stones.3 The Garden was to be the construction yard and we are now building God’s City. Look throughout the Scriptures and you will see God’s desire everywhere. Abraham was looking for a City who Architect and Builder is God.4 There is the ark, the tabernacle, and the temple, Ezekiel’s vision of the temple and the rebuilding of the temple. Jesus tabernacled among us, He said that He was the Temple, and He said that we are a City on a Mountain. Paul said that we are the Temple and that we are building God’s House. Also, there are Bethel(House of God) and Bethany(House of Figs), which were both pictures of God’s House.
Is there a place called heaven? Yes, there are heavenly places and we are already seated there in Christ!5
Additionally, those of the Bride, who overcome in this age by blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, will be caught up to God and to His throne, for casting down Satan. This corporate Man Child is the first fruits of the Lord’s harvest. He is the New Man, a living testimony against the Deceiver, wearing the full armor of God for casting Satan down.6 Yet, this Man Child will not stay in heaven, but will come with the Lord Jesus, when He comes to rule the earth.7
I want to add that not everyone agrees that we go to heaven or hell, when we die. In my opinion, we go to a place for the dead, or Hades, with a positive side and a negative side. The positive is referred to as paradise8 in Scripture and Paul considered it as a place separate from heaven. He was taken away to the third heaven and he was taken away to paradise.9 But, it is not so important that you agree with that or not.
It is much more important that you see God’s desire to live on earth and that you are already seated in the heavenly places in Christ. When you read of the New Jerusalem, which is the culmination and fulfillment of God’s desire, you see that it is coming out of heaven to the new earth.10 Right now, we are building this City with God, by the Spirit. We are building this City in the heavenly places, so that it may fill the new earth. This City is the mingling of God and Man, a mutual Home for each other and in each other.
Do you see, brothers and sisters? God wants to live in and among us on earth. God is Spirit, but He desires a physical Body, through which, He may express Himself. That is why we have a spirit, so that we may be united with God; so that He may enter into us and form us into an expression of Himself.
It doesn’t matter so much if you agree with all of my interpretations of Scripture. I want you to see God’s desire to live and express Himself on earth, in and through us. If we are all seeking to leave earth for heaven, how will our Father have His desire on earth?
1 Genesis 2:12
2 1 Corinthians 3:12
3 Revelation 21:18-21
4 Hebrews 11:10
5 Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:6
6 Ephesians 2:15; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 6:11; Revelation 12:5-9
7 Revelation 19:11-16
8 Luke 23:43
9 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
10 Revelation 21:2
We must see that the gift of salvation is only unto the fullness of Christ, the everlasting intent of the eternal Purpose in the Heart of God for which we are saved. We are saved in, for, by, and to the Purpose of God, Jesus Christ Himself. And that we, as His people, may see by the vision of His incomparable brilliance; Christ Is the inexhaustible Glory of God. – Kat Huff, Christ Is
Before you read my blog post, read Kat Huff‘s blog post, Christ Is, at Harvest of Pearls. Of all the words, that have been used to express the beauty and glory of Christ, I think that her blog post has the most depth and is the most beautiful.
Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and brought them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them. Elijah appeared to them along with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified. Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!” All at once they looked around and saw no one with them anymore, except Jesus alone. – [Mar 9:2-8 NASB]
Peter wanted to make three tabernacles, one for Jesus, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. In doing this, Peter was setting Moses and Elijah up as equals of Jesus. The Father would never accept this. The Father declares, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!”. Do not listen to Moses and Elijah, as if they are something, in themselves. Only listen to the Son. After the voice of the Father, Moses and Elijah were gone, thus emphasizing that the Father only desires the Son. Elijah and Moses are gone, now that the Son has come. Moses and Elijah signify the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament. Indeed, the Law and the Prophets sum up the Old Testament. So what does this mean for the Old Testament? Do we throw it away? By no means! Now that we have the Son, we must listen to Him. When we read the Old Testament, we are to listen to the Son, the Lord Jesus, the Christ who became the life-giving Spirit and now dwells in us. Now we see the real Moses and the real Elijah, Jesus Christ. When we read the Law and the Prophets, the Spirit just opens our eyes to see Jesus Christ.
Many of Jesus’ miracles were acts of healing of the blind, deaf, dumb, and lame. We all need to be healed of our blindness, deafness, dumbness, and lameness. We don’t need an outward healing, so much as an inward healing. We need to see Christ and our high position in Him. We need to hear Christ, and know His desire. We need to speak forth Christ, so that we may share the Christ in us. We need to walk Christ, so that others enjoy Christ in us.
We are the Ekklesia of God! We gather together to listen to the Son and determine His thought, by the Spirit. He has given us Himself as the eternal Life of the triune God, so that we may share in the love and fellowship of God. Christ is our Healing, so that we may listen to Him. In every situation, we may turn to Him in our Spirit, to determine His desire.
Christ is the Father’s provision for our every need, dear saints, so that we may be filled up with Him.
And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one. – [Zec 14:9 NASB]
All things are to be summed up in Christ. All things will be tested by fire and only that which is Christ will remain; everything else will be consumed, so that Christ is all and in all.
- Introducing Prince, a Shadow of Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
And yet the best is yet to come. For as the saints assemble, each telling about their experience with the risen Lord, Christ himself appears in their midst! And together, as one body, they encounter Christ. – Joshua Lawson
Does your heart burn within you for the Lord Jesus? If it does, then you will enjoy Joshua Lawson‘s blog post, at In Search of the City, called The Fellowship of the Burning Heart. We all need to enjoy this fellowship with each other and our Lord. It’s His desire to give us such a hungry, burning heart and to satisfy us with Himself.
For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. – [Jam 2:26 NASB]
This verse from James’ letter is commonly used to spur saints on to do more works. Unfortunately, this lays a burden on saints and takes what James was saying out of context.
James’ exhortation to works is actually in the context of the gathering of the saints; in the context of the ekklesia.
The saints were treating each other in an evil way. Instead of showing each other love and mercy, in Christ, they were showing each other partiality and judgement.
Everyone has works. The question really is: What kind of works are you doing?
James was writing to saints that claimed to have faith in Christ, but treated each other in an evil, worldly, manner. Such a faith, resulting in evil works, is dead.
A living faith in Christ, results in works of love; in the fruit of the Spirit.
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. – [Gal 5:19-25 NASB]
Do you see that it is not about doing more works, but a change in works, because of the exchange of our natural life for the eternal Life, through faith in Christ?
Walk by the Spirit, dear brothers and sisters, and you will express Christ.
Before, I get into the blog post today, I want to share the deep writings of a wonderful brother in Christ, T. Austin-Sparks. All of his writings are free at The Online Library of T. Austin-Sparks. He was a mature saint, who suffered much, and through whom, Christ has been magnified to many. I highly recommend T. Austin-Sparks’ writings, The School of Christ, The Stewardship of the Mystery Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and The Centrality and the Supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, I think you will see more of Christ in all of his writings.
Brothers and sisters, I have always loved the song Silent Night. Since it is such a simple song, it is one of the first songs, that I am learning to play on the guitar. I realized that I don’t really care for the words too much anymore, considering Jesus Christ is far greater than that song shows Him to be. Thus, I wrote a new hymn to the tune of Silent Night called: Jesus Christ, Life and Light. Enjoy Him!
Jesus Christ, Life and Light
You’re our Calm, You’re our Sight
Around the Head, the saints gather
Holy ones loving each other
Rest in our Father’s House
Jesus Christ, Life and Light
Demons quake at the sight
Glories stream from Heaven within
Living stones sing Jesus, our Kin
Christ the Lord is displayed
Jesus Christ, Life and Light
In You there is no night
We look to You with unveiled face
Receiving Your Life as our Grace
Marriage of Christ and His Bride.
- Entering Into God’s Rest by T. Austin-Sparks (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
“Just as Copernicus came to see that the sun is the central component to the solar system, today we are seeing the absolute central importance of the Son, the Son of God, who became the Son of man.” — Jim Putney
Have you seen the centrality of Jesus Christ, in all things? That is the topic of a wonderful blog post by Jim Putney at Treasures in Jars of Clay. Jim’s blog post is called Treasure of the Son and I think that you will truly see that the Son is our treasure, when you read it.
that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. – [Col 1:26-28 NASB]
“Us in Christ” and “Christ in us”, are two foundational phrases to the Life in Christ. Unfortunately, in modern Christianity these two aspects of our faith, have been relegated. They have been made far less important, than they actually are.
Us in Christ
If you have believed into Christ, you are in Him. By faith, we are included in His death and resurrection. It is likely that you already know that Jesus died for us and in our place, but do you know that we have died and resurrected in Christ?
Nowadays, it is rare thing for Christians to know this. It is not considered as something important.
I’m not saying something “revolutionary” or sharing some “higher knowledge”. Our sharing in Christ’s death and resurrection are absolutely basic to our Life in Him.
We have entered into a whole new world, in Christ. Our Father no longer sees us, but He sees Christ. Everything that is true of Christ is true of us, who have believed into Him. We share in His death, His resurrection, His perfection, His holiness, His righteousness, His wealth, His purity, His sonship, His eternal life, His everything! The list is eternal, as He is. Indeed, our Father has made Christ everything to us and for us.
Christ in Us
The other side of the same coin is “Christ in us”, our hope of glory. Not only are we in Christ, but He is in us. He is in us as the Spirit, energizing us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
When the Father sees us, He just sees Christ. This is something objective to us; but the Spirit in us, is bringing us experientially into that Reality. You see…the Father sees the Reality, that we are so intimately united with Christ, but we don’t see it yet. The Spirit is bringing us into that Reality of the new creation.
We don’t see the glory in its fullness yet, but the Spirit within us is the promise. We have the Seal of the King in our Spirit.
We are like plants, growing nice and green. The flower is our glory. The flower has been within us from when we were just seeds and seedlings, but it has not yet manifested. We look forward to that glory, that outward manifestation of Christ. Christ in us is the hope that we will fully manifest Him outwardly.
O, saints, “us in Christ” and “Christ in us” are the beginnings of the journey, through to the end of the journey, and on into all of eternity. We abide in Him and He abides in us. Everything flows from this! You can meditate on these things your entire lives, and never fully grasp them.
Take these things by faith. Whenever you feel unrighteous and fleshly, make an audible statement of faith by saying “I am in Christ” or “Christ is in me”. Encourage each other with this Reality.
We are in Christ and Christ is in us; we are altogether One!
- The Magnification of Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
In an effort to promote other workers in Christ, I plan to promote another blogger’s post at the beginning of each of my posts. We may all minister in different ways, but there is only one ministry: Christ!
We can see Christ and His Body everywhere. We can see Christ in movies, on the highway, in geology, and as David Bolton has blogged…in a puzzle. Have you seen this “Puzzle of puzzles”? Check out Lessons From a Lenticular Puzzle (1) – “The Puzzle of Puzzles” at christcenteredchristianity.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s cultivated field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. – Paul
Beloved saints, there is a massive Christian system that likes to keep us “safe” in pots, rather than God’s Cultivated Field. What do I mean by “pots”? There are many shapes and sizes of pots. Some of these pots are doctrines, some are philosophies, some are cultures, some are music styles, some are denominations, some are charismatic leaders, some are methods of gathering, and the list goes on and on.
There are countless pots in Christianity. Each of these pots is a foundation, other than Christ. Pots divide plants from each other. Pots limit the growth of plants.
God doesn’t want us in pots. All of the pots must be broken and tossed out. We must all be planted in God’s Cultivated Field, which is just Christ.
If only we would smash all of these pots and destroy all of these foundations to the uttermost. If only we would be planted in Christ alone! Then we would be free to grow deep roots into Him and what upward growth we would have, expressing Him. We would grow with the growth of God!
Do you have a disagreement about doctrine with another believer? Present your views and if he or she still does not agree with you, agree on Christ. It is quite possible that you are wrong. Unless, you are the only one who has always had perfect and complete beliefs. There are doctrines that we cannot accept, but I am not here to tell you what those are. That is a decision to be made by the Body.
We are united in Christ.
Are you in Christ? That is enough, you are my brothers and sisters. Let’s drop our preferences, so that we may enjoy Christ’s preferences. All of these pots come from our soul, which consists of our mind, will, and emotions. We cannot be governed by these things, but we must be governed by our Spirit. Our soul must be renewed by the Spirit.
Let’s always turn to Christ in our Spirit. Let’s enjoy Him together. Let’s love Him together. Let’s feast on Him, so that we are utterly filled up with Him and He pours out of us and onto each other. Let’s leave our selves at the cross and put on Christ, the Resurrection Life within us.
- The Magnification of Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- Growing in Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- The Excellence of Knowing Christ Jesus (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow;  and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.  “Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.  “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.  “Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.  “And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. – Mat 13:3-8 NASB
I named this blog post “Growing in Christ”, but I want you to understand that it could equally be called “Christ Growing in You”. The two names are synonymous.
Lately, I have been impressed with the importance of the inner Life. This inner Life is the inner experience of Christ. The parable of the sower stresses upon us the need of having a deep inner experience of Christ.
You will find a better and more practical explanation of what I will talk about by a great brother in Christ, Milt Rodriguez, at The Rebuilders. His blog post is called Root Before Fruit and I highly recommend it.
Let’s begin with the Seed. The Seed contains the Life. Everything is there in the Seed. Whether it is a flower, a bush, or a great tree, it is contained within that Seed. If you have the Seed, you have the everything!
The Seed planted within us is Christ. If you have Christ you have everything. But, how small He seems at first! He starts as a little Seed inside of us. But, if we would we allow Him to grow in us, to fill and saturate us, how He would be magnified within us and through us!
A glorious mystery is that the Plant that grows forth from the Seed and the soil is our expression of Christ. That Plant is Christ. That Plant is you. That Plant is the beautiful mingling of divinity and humanity. That Plant is the enlargement of the Plant, who died to spread its Seed.
 …holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. – Col 2:19 NASB
I am not talking about Christ in an objective way, but in a subjective way. I think you all know how great Christ is in a objective way, but we need to experience this Christ in a subjective way if we are going to continue on to maturity.
Back to our Lord’s parable, it is obvious that the different outcomes are due to the difference between the soils. There was no lack in the Seed. Three of the soils were lacking. The Seed must be planted in the innermost being of the soil. Then that Seed must be allowed to grow and spread in the inner being of the soil. From the inner growth of the Seed, its outward expression bursts forth.
We see this outward expression in two, maybe three of the cases. We definitely see some outward expression of the Seed in the shallow and good soil, maybe even in the thorny soil. But, I want to focus on the difference between the shallow soil and good soil. Without deep roots, the outward expression dies. It is by the inner growth of the roots that the outward expression grows. The shallow soil did not allow Christ to grow in its inner being. It tried to express Him outwardly before it had the deep inner experience of Him. With that kind of attitude, we will not experience Life, but death.
 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,  having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. – Col 2:6-7 NASB
Brothers and sisters, do you see what I am getting at? Do you want to express the glory of this Seed? From the inner growth, comes the outer growth, and eventually brings forth flowers and fruit, which are the Plant’s glory!
 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,  and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might  which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,  which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. – Eph 1:18-23 NASB
- We Bear Fruit by Abiding in Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
Many of you already know about God’s eternal purpose, to sum up all things in Christ. This is God’s desire and He will attain it.
But, do you know how God is attaining such a high desire?
He will attain His desire through His household administration. In Greek, the word for this is oikonomia. It is such a rich word, it is helpful to look at the various meanings of oikonomia.
- (literally) household law
A household administration was necessary for wealthy families. Wealthy families needed a steward so that the riches of the family could be dispensed as needed.
The riches of Christ are unsearchable. We are in the family of God, the unsearchably rich family.
To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, – [Eph 3:8 ESV]
God’s household administration is to dispense this unsearchably rich Christ into us, through the Spirit, as our Life and as our Everything. As Christ is filling and saturating us, He is overflowing out of us into each other. This economy is God’s Way of attaining His desire. We are being built up into the fullness of Christ, to be a dwelling place for God, expressing His image and exercising His authority.
We are stewards of this divine mystery. We are called to receive Christ and dispense Christ into others, by the administrating Spirit. This is discipleship. We have a well of Living Water within us that springs up, and streams of this Living Water flow out from us. Our streams form just one river, the River of Life, God’s flowing.
We should read Ephesians with this view. We should read the entire Bible with this view. We should live with this view. This is not just dead knowledge, but this is the living Christ, moving and growing on earth. He is the Vine Tree of Life that grows in and with the flow of the River of Life.
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. – [Rev 22:1-2 NASB]
What a mystery! We are the enlargement of the immeasurably abundant Christ!
- We Bear Fruit by Abiding in Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- Spying Out Christ, Our Good Land (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- The Stone That Became a Mountain (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: – [Mat 2:1-5 NASB]
Today, I want to settle the debate on which is more important: Scripture or Experience. So many brothers and sisters in Christ have wasted words arguing over this subject(myself included). It really is a pointless debate.
Scripture and experience are both necessary.
The magi had a special experience. They had the star that led them to Israel, but they did not have the scriptures. The magi had a revelation, but not the necessary knowledge. They saw the star, but they didn’t know where to go.
The scribes had the scriptures, but they did not have the experience. They had the knowledge about the Messiah, but no revelation of Him. They didn’t see the star and they had no desire to go see Him.
Do you see that both, the scriptures and experience, were necessary to come to the fullness of Christ?
For those of you who value the scriptures above experience, do you not realize that the scriptures we born from experience? Those of you who value experience above the scriptures, do you not realize that the scriptures will bring you into a greater experience?
When you come to the scriptures, you should touch something of the Author. He is a Person to be experienced and enjoyed. While you read the scriptures, pray them as well. Take God’s words and return them to Him. Make them your own. Look for Christ on every page and learn how to experience Him as God’s provision for your every need.
But, don’t think God will reveal so much to you, when He has revealed it to others already. Our Father is always working on the principle of the Body of Christ. He reveals something to one and something else to another. If we want further revelation of Christ, we must stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Then we will be able to go deeper into the Promised Land, that wonderful, all-inclusive Christ.
Let’s learn Christ from each other and those who have gone before us. O how we love you, Lord Jesus!
- What or Who is the Word of God? (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – [Jhn 1:1 NASB]
I have been wondering what the Word of God is and means. I have been seeking the Lord’s enlightenment so that I may have some understanding of His Word. I think that I have received some understanding.
By the way, you might also enjoy a blog post about the Word of God by a great brother in Christ, Jamal Jivanjee at illiminate: Know When to Capitalize the letter ‘W’ – A 2012 New Year Resolution.
Christ is the unique Word of God.
Everything that God speaks is Christ. Christ is all our Father has to say. In the New Testament, whenever the Father spoke, He spoke of Christ.
But, Christ is not a dead word, but a living and active Word.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. – [Hbr 4:12-14 NASB]
Christ, our High Priest, is the Word that is able to divide the soul and the spirit.
Do you see what it means for Christ to be the Word? Probably not. Even with these verses it is not so clear. But, you will see. You will see at least a glimpse.
Both John and Paul had a clear view of this wonderful Word.
“For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. “It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ “Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it. – [Deu 30:11-14 NASB]
But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, – [Rom 10:6-8 NASB]
Do you see what Paul did in these verses? Paul paraphrases Moses’ words in Deuteronomy and attributes those words to Christ. Christ is the Word that is near to us, in our mouths and in our hearts.
Christ is the Word of faith. Paul preached this Word of Faith, which is just Christ crucified.
but we preach Christ crucified… – [1Cr 1:23 NASB]
In the Greek language there are multiple words for the word, “word”. But, I don’t want to get into that. I want you to know that there are multiple types of “word”. For example, the written word and the spoken word.
The written Word and the spoken Word are just Christ. But, how could such a thing be possible?
We are the Body of Christ. We have Christ living within us as the life-giving Spirit. As we eat and drink Christ by the Spirit, we are being saturated with Christ. We just become one with Christ.
Someday the Lord will be the only One and His Name will be the only One, because we will be so united with Him that we will be “one flesh” with Him.
We see Paul as one who was just so united with Christ that even His opinion was God’s speaking of Christ.
Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. – [1Cr 7:25 NASB]
Stop reading the Scriptures for just knowledge, theology, doctrines, and other “its”. Start reading Scripture to know Christ and experience Him as the living Word of God.
” You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; – [Jhn 5:39 NASB]
Don’t just read the Scriptures to see Christ, for He is also the Word spoken by the brothers and sisters in Christ.
Man does not live by bread alone, but by eating and drinking Christ, the life-giving Word of God. Christ is so near you, dear Body of Christ. He is in your mouth and in your heart.
- Being Washed By Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- We Bear Fruit by Abiding in Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- The Altar of God is Very Low (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)