Chapter 14 | Table of Contents | Appendix

Jesus' last prayer for us before He was crucified was recorded by John. "That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me." (John 17:21 KJ2000) Unless the world has seen the reality of us living in our Father and His Son, it has not seen the living reality of the gospel. Satan tried everything he could to derail the witness of the Son in the Father and the Father in His Son and he continues to raise havoc in the church to derail our witness in them as well. Jesus and the Father were one in perfect unity. Jesus said to his disciple, "Have you been so long with me, Philip, and you have not seen the Father?" The real witness of who Jesus is--the One sent by the Father to demonstrate our divine callings--depends on us being one in Them. If we are not living demonstrations of that heavenly union, "Thou in Me and I in Thee," we have nothing to say to a lost and dying world.

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on [into] me through their word; That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in [into] one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23 KJ2000)

If the true gospel of the kingdom is preached, then the full reality of what it means to be "saved" must accompany such preaching. Believers in Christ must have a faith that transports them into Jesus and our Father. Believing in Jesus as the Messiah is not enough. True belief is a life changing force that transports us into the fullness of the Son of God and His relationship with our Father. It is a new identity.

Jesus told a parable of the final wedding feast of Himself and His bride saying, "Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them who are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto [into] the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise." (Matthew 22:4-5 KJ2000) They were not just called to come to His wedding feast, but into the marriage! They, like so many confessing Christians today, had other things that interested them more than their own wedding. They were invited unto the feast, but did not go into the wedding. The writer of Hebrews spoke of this daily feast that is ours in Christ saying, "We have an altar, of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle." (Hebrews 13:10 KJ2000) The worst enemies of the best are things that are good. Church (tabernacle) attendance can be a stop that falls short of the true spiritual altar of our Father.

Yes, there will be a future marriage supper of the Lamb, but we also now eat from the King's table in the presence of our enemies. Those who have been willing to go outside the camp unto Jesus, bearing His reproach, feed on spiritual food that is rarely found in the tabernacles of men. We know that here we have no continuing city, but we seek a heavenly one whose Builder and Maker is God.

So much of what is preached and taught today is topical or superficial at best. Faith that get us up to the very edge of spiritual reality and stops, allowing us to maintain our own self-existence and inoculates us against any further growth into the Father and the Son. Satan does not speak only lies. He actually speaks 99 percent truth. Like a poison that cannot be smelled or tasted, it is that one percent which lies hidden in a good and true broth that kills us.

Where there is the life of Christ who abides in the Father, there is always unity. Where that life is lacking, you will only find discord and confusion, the true meaning of Babylon. We often talk about church unity and think that if we all believe the same doctrines and go to the same church, we have unity. Of this A.W. Tozer wrote, "One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organizations do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always."

Some would trumpet the slogan, "What would Jesus do," as the answer to our conduct in everyday life, but are we to imitate what we read of Him in a 1900 year old book or is there something more? F. J. Huegel wrote in chapter one of Bone of His Bone:

We are not what Christ would have us to be; the Sermon on the Mount does not find expression in our attitudes; sin as a principle is still rampant in our lives; we are not free from envy, pride, self-love, and lust of pleasure; the mountain of secret selfishness still crushes us and in spite of all our efforts remains immovable; there is little joy, so little freedom of spirit, none of that rapture which so characterized the primitive Christians; we agonize, and bleed, and struggle --but failure dogs our footsteps. What is the matter? We are proceeding upon a false basis. We are attempting to do what the Saviour Himself never expected us to do. The Christian life is not an Imitation.
The great dilemma of which we have been speaking resolves itself into most simple terms when we grasp this distinction between Imitation and Participation.
For, what is impossible to me as an imitator of Christ, comes perfectly natural as a participant of Christ. It is Only when Christ nullifies the force of my inherent "self life," and communicates to me a Divine life, that Christian living in its true sense, is at all possible for me. I must be born again. "The flesh profiteth nothing." (John 6:63) Without Jesus I can do nothing. I must live in Him and, renouncing my own life, find in Him a "new life."
Now to this "new life," the Christian requirements, so incomprehensible and unattainable while we move in the realm of the "flesh-life," are all simple. They are nothing more nor less than statements regarding its modus operandi. The Sermon on the Mount, so far from cramping in any way this new life, is simply a statement of the way it operates.
The trouble is, we have not listened to Jesus. He tells us that we must abide in Him as a branch in the Vine. Matthew 5, 6, 7, without John 15, would be like so many freight cars without an engine, or like a whale without water, or a bird without air.
In that upper-room interview, the Master, knowing that it was His last opportunity to impress fundamentals upon His disciples, places the supreme emphasis upon this mystical union, this spiritual oneness with Himself of all believers -- this sublime fact of Participation. "Abide in Me and I in you." (John 15:4) Our failures only confirm the Saviour's Word, for He said: "Without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).

Where is our perfection in the mind of our Father? It is found in our becoming perfected into the One, the Son of God. As we are each found to be one in Him, we will be found in that unity that the church so miserably lacks today. Unity does not come with a common doctrinal structure or a common membership in an organization. Men have tried this kind of unity for years and it always ends in schism. The division comes over doctrinal hair splitting, the shape of the church altar, the color of the church carpet, the songs sung or the instruments played in "worship." Only as we lose our likes and dislikes that are part of our self-identity by being totally enfolded into Christ and He into us will we ever know unity. Unity is only found in each of us having the mind of Christ within. Herein is perfection in the eye of our Father. John wrote:

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. In this is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has to do with punishment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:15-19 KJ2000)

Being made perfect in the One is where we find an unending source of love that will keep us in unity. Without Father's unconditional agape love flowing between us, unity is impossible. But if we are in Christ and He is in us, love is made perfect like the love that Jesus and our Father share with One another. We have not passed fully into Christ if we have not been made perfect in love. We cannot be made perfect in love without being totally enfolded into Jesus and the Father. God is love and love is that mystical force that binds the Father and the Son together. Just as they are bound together in love, so are we bound together in them. It is this same mystical power that draws us into their fellowship. We love our Father because He first loved us.

He Who Has the Son, Has the Father

To truly know Jesus is to know our Father in Heaven. To see Jesus is to see the Father. But how about those of us who are one in Christ? What is our place in this relationship? Jesus said, "He that believes on [into] me, believes not on [into] me, but on [into] him that sent me. And he that sees me sees him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on [into] me should not abide in darkness." (John 12:44-46 KJ2000) You cannot believe into the Son without also believing into the Father because they are one.

He who has the Son has the Father. To believe into Jesus is to believe into our Father. To see Jesus is to see our Father. Paul wrote, "So let no one boast of men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apol'los or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; and you are Christ's; and Christ is God's." (1 Corinthians 3:21-23 RSVA) All things are ours if we have believed into Christ who is in the Father. A.W. Tozer wisely wrote, "An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others." John wrote to the infant church:

Whosoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father: [but] he that confesses the Son has the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. (1 John 2:23-24 KJ2000) [emphasis added]

To confess Christ is not just paying Him lip service. Confessing the Son is to be in one accord with Jesus, speaking what He speaks, not out of our own will. Paul said of those who truly confess Christ, "You have the mind of Christ." Just as Jesus could say, "the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works," so it is true of all who are in Christ.

Whoever transgresses and doesn't remain in the teaching of Christ [doesn't confesses Christ], doesn't have God. He who remains in the teaching, the same has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9 WEB)

Let us walk in the Son and the Father in true faith and confession. When John saw Jesus knocking at the locked door of the Laodicean church in Revelation chapter 3, Jesus was asking any man to open the door and that He would come in and sup with him. It was the door of the smug Laodicean church that had closed Him out! As long as we say in our hearts that we have all we need by living lives separate from Him unto ourselves, He remains outside and we remain in our delusion of prosperity. But if we overcome that self-reliant smugness so common to the western church today and fully open our hearts to Him, He says, "To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne." (Revelation 3:21 KJ2000) This is the goal of the gospel of Christ, complete unity in our Father with Jesus. Jesus overcame all the temptations to live for and serve Himself. The last temptationwas to save His own life from the cross. The world has a saying, "No guts, no glory." Is the glory of sitting with Jesus on His throne enough for us to "love not our lives unto death" as He did? It is up to us to open our hearts to His upward call and embrace whatever Father has for us to walk in.

Father invites many sons into His glory for the very next thing that John saw and heard was...

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up here... (Revelation 4:1 KJ2000)

Today, with the sound of a trumpet the call goes forth to whomsoever will, "Come up here!" Jesus has a high calling. He calls us out of carnal, lukewarm lives to join Him in His Father's kingdom within. Remember, the kingdom of God is only found where Christ is King. Come up here!

We are called into His glory. Again the translators missed it. In Hebrews we read,

For it befitted him [our Father], for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto [into His] glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10KJ2000)

The people went out of Egypt unto God's glory at Mount Sinai, but they refused to enter into it because of fear. Only Moses went into the glory of God. They failed to enter into the glory of the Father because of unbelief, but chose instead to make an idol to worship in a most sensual and devilish way while Moses was gone. But because of the perfect life and death of the Son of God we have a better hope.

Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 KJ2000)

Father has His great grace waiting for us. Paul wrote, "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God... For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one Man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many... For if by one man's offense death reigned by one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1-2; 15-17 KJ21) And in Hebrews we read, "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16 RSVA)

Don't settle for coming close without fully entering into Him. God wants to share His glory with His sons and we should pray without hesitation, "Father, take me into your glory and do whatever it takes to get me there. Don't listen to my begging and whimpering when you chasten me. Don't let me fall short of all that you have for me in your Son, Jesus. Amen."

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto [into] a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1Peter 1:3 KJ2000)


Chapter 14 | Table of Contents | Appendix

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