ONE WITH GOD

(Trumpet Ministries,Inc. / Word of Righteousness

ONE WITH GOD Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

The supreme end of God’s working is to have a company of people who are one with Himself through Jesus Christ. There is nothing higher than this vision, no greater goal. God’s motive is love, just pure, Divine love. God is enlarging Himself.

The Lord Jesus Christ is one with God to such an extent it has confused theologians. We are to become part of this perfect Oneness, perhaps confusing theologians still further.

ONE WITH GOD

That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so the world may believe you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity [into a unit] to let the world know you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:21-23

God love us as He loves Christ. God is our Father as He is Christ’s Father. This does not mean we are as great as Christ, but it does mean we are brothers of Christ, He and we having the same Father.

If there is a more astounding or significant passage in the Bible than John 17:21-23 I have not found it. Here is the key to all that God is doing with respect to the royal priesthood, the Christian Church.

The supreme end of God’s working is to have a company of people who are one with Himself through Jesus Christ. There is nothing higher than this vision, no greater goal. God’s motive is love, just pure, Divine love. God is enlarging Himself.

The Lord Jesus Christ is one with God to such an extent it has confused theologians. We are to become part of this perfect Oneness, perhaps confusing theologians still further.

Through eating the flesh of Christ and drinking His blood we become one with Him, and one with God through Him—bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. This process continues until we are living by Him as He lives by the Father.

Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. (John 6:57—NIV)

The supreme mystery of the Gospel is that Christ is in us; that we are to live because of Him in the same manner that Christ lives because of the Father. This means Christ is to be our very life, our thoughts, our words, our actions, our imaginations, our health, our joy, our strength. All that we are and do is to be Christ. All that we are and do that is not Christ is loss for God; loss for Christ; lost for us; and ultimately loss for the world, because we are being made one with God through Christ that the world may believe that God indeed is the One who has sent Christ into the world.

We are being made one in the Oneness that is God. This is a romance, a mystery. All else of the Christian life and activities is scaffolding. The purpose of it all is the dwelling of God in us through Jesus Christ, who is the Firstborn from the dead; the Beginning of the new creation of God.

And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so in everything he might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:18—NIV)

Fifty-one years ago when I was in Bible school the Lord spoke to me about what He intends to do after Pentecost. He impressed on me the last three feasts of the Lord, the Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the feast of Tabernacles as being portrayals of the three aspects of the work of salvation subsequent to Pentecost. Pentecost is the fourth of seven feasts, there being three remaining to be fulfilled.

It seems to be that the twentieth century has been the century of Pentecost, so to speak. Now we are approaching another century and God is ready to move forward.

The Lord spoke to me at that time that the new movement of God would have to do with Christ in us. I understand we have Christ in us when we first are saved. But the Apostle Paul wrote to the saints in Galatia, people who had been saved and filled with the Spirit (according to statements in the Book of Galatians) just as we have, that he was travailing in birth again until Christ was formed in them. This tells us that being saved and filled with the Spirit, and having Christ formed in us, are not quite the same thing.

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (Galatians 4:19—NIV)

I wrote a booklet back then titled "The Temple of God." The thought was impressed on me powerfully that one of the primary themes of the entire Bible is the building of the eternal House of God, a tabernacle from which God can bless His creation. Jesus Christ is the chief Cornerstone of that everlasting temple.

This burden has not changed but has rather enlarged during the ensuing years.

So in writing this present essay I am warming my hands over old fires.

The key to understanding the mystery of the Gospel, which is Christ in us, is contained in the Gospel of John, Chapter Fourteen, verses 1-23. John 17:21-23, quoted above, is a kind of capstone on the discussion in Chapter Fourteen.

I realize I have written much on this subject but it still is alive to me. I guess every preacher has his one main song, and God and Christ through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us is mine. I hope it becomes yours also.

Let’s see what we are discussing:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (John 14:1,2—NIV)

I like to use the New International Version. It has some really good interpretations. The above is one of the poorer. It is not that Jesus is going there, as to a place, it is just that Jesus is returning to His Father. I think the translator assumed from the popular understanding that Jesus meant He was returning to Heaven. Hence the insertion of the word there. It does not appear in the King James or the New American Standard.

You will look in vain in the Gospel of John for the expression "go to Heaven" or "going to Heaven." You will find several instances when the Lord spoke of going to the Father.

Audrey and I are preparing to go to England for a brief visit. But the Queen has not invited us to Buckingham Palace. There is a vast difference between going to England, as to a place, for a visit; and being invited to see the Queen.

If we would understand John 14:2, and consequently John 14:2-23, we must think about three expressions in this verse.

First, "In my Father’s house."

The Father’s house is not Heaven.

This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? (Isaiah 66:1—NIV)

This is one of the verses that stood out when God began to speak to me about His desire to have a house.

Heaven is not God’s house, it is God’s throne. This is strikingly clear in the above verse in that God has a throne but is seeking a house and a resting place. Can you see this?

This verse is repeated by the first martyr.

Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? (Acts 7:49—NIV)

Since the Holy Spirit spoke these words to the Sanhedrin just before the death of the first Christian martyr, we conclude that God is still seeking a house and a resting place.

What is this house, this resting place?

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22—NIV)

It is the holy city, the new Jerusalem.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. (Revelation 21:3—NIV)

It is the Body of Christ.

When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious—that you,  O LORD God, might dwell there. (Psalms 68:18—NIV)

Compare:

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."  (Ephesians 4:7,8—NIV)

God gave the ministries and gifts of the Spirit so every member of the Church might come to the unity of the faith, to the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the stature of the fullness of Christ. The purpose of creating the perfect Body of Christ is, according to Psalms 68:18 (above), that God might have a dwelling place.

So the first expression of John 14:2, "in my Father’s house," is not referring to Heaven at all but to Christ—Head and Body.

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2—NIV)

The second expression, "are many rooms," must not be rendered "are many mansions." The verse is not speaking of God building fine houses for us in Heaven. The endless repetition of "mansions in Heaven" by Christian leaders is inexcusable since they know very well the Greek term does not refer to mansions as we use the word today. Rather the idea is that of preparing a place for us in the Body of Christ, which is the eternal House of God, the new Jerusalem, the Christian Church.

The third expression "I am going to prepare a place for you" is referring primarily to His going the cross of Calvary, and then up to Heaven in the Presence of God to sprinkle His atoning blood on the Mercy Seat in Heaven.

When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here,  he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:11,12—NIV)

And again:

It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. (Hebrews 9:23,24—NIV)

You may notice that nothing is said in Hebrews about Christ building houses for us in Heaven. Christ is not preparing a place for us in Heaven by building houses for us to live in. How ridiculous! Rather Christ went to the cross to make an atonement for our sins. He brought His atoning blood before God in Heaven to obtain an eternal redemption for everyone who receives Him.

Sin began in Heaven around the very Throne of God. Thus the way to God has to be prepared through the atoning blood if any of us are to dwell in God and He in us.

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2—NIV)

So the verse above means there are to be many rooms, many living stones, in the eternal House of God. Jesus Christ, the chief Cornerstone, is not to be the only dwelling place of God. If that were the case He would have told us so.

Christ at that time was dwelling with His disciples; but His plan is not to dwell with His disciples but in His disciples.

There is a great deal of difference between Christ dwelling with us and Christ dwelling in us. The first makes some demands on us. The second makes total demands on us—to the complete loss of our independence as a person separate from Christ; not the loss of our uniqueness as a person but the loss of our independence. We forever are to be an integral part of Christ, and thus of God the Father through Christ.

In order for Christ to move from outside His disciples to inside His disciples He had to make an atonement for sin. Otherwise God could not have received us into Himself. Christ prepared a place for us in Himself by means of His atoning blood.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3—NIV)

Again, the New International Version, reflecting our tradition of Christ going to Heaven, translates the verse above as though Christ will go to Heaven and then will return that He may take us back to Heaven with Himself. This is not the case.

The King James and New American Standard versions are clearer.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2—King James Version)

As we carefully study John 14:1-23 we see that the coming mentioned here is not the great historic return of Jesus Christ in the clouds of glory but is a personal coming to His disciples. This is taking place today.

The idea of John 14:3 is that Christ will go to the cross, then to Heaven to appear in the Presence of God for us, and then will return to us personally and receive us to Himself. Where Jesus is, is in the Person of the Father. Jesus comes to us personally that He might receive us in such a manner that we are able to dwell with Him in the Person of the Father.

In other words, Jesus came from God in order to bring us to God—that where He always is, there we may be also.

Just our passing into the spirit realm accomplishes nothing for Christ or God and not much for ourselves. There is benefit for us in entering the holy area of the spirit realm, but this benefit is not to be compared with the incomprehensible benefit of being received into the Persons of Jesus Christ and the Father!

It is one matter to visit Heaven. It is quite another matter to be received into the very Person of Christ and God!

We are looking forward to visiting England. It would be far more enjoyable if we had been invited to visit with the Queen.

But to enter the Person of the greatest of all Kings is so much greater than anything else as to be quite beyond our ability to imagine. Do you agree with me in this?

I am looking forward to going to Heaven, just as does every Christian. But this is not my goal. My goal is to be forever with Christ where He is—that is, in the Presence of the Consuming Fire of Israel. Is this true of you also?

You know the way to the place where I am going. (John 14:4—NIV)

I am at a loss to understand why the Lord says things like this. None of the disciples knew what Jesus was talking about. We still don’t today, apparently.

Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" (John 14:5—NIV)

The answer of the Lord Jesus shows us that the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John is not speaking of going to Heaven but of going to the Father; of going to a Person rather than to a place.

One might ask, "Just what is the difference." The practical difference is that you cannot do anything about going to Heaven until you die. But going to the Father is something that is available to you right this very minute.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6—NIV)

We often preach that Jesus is the way to Heaven. Jesus is infinitely more than the way to the spirit Paradise. Jesus is the way to the Father.

Jesus does much more than tell us the way to the Father. Jesus Himself is the Way to the Father. In order to get to the Father we have to come through Jesus.

Jesus does much more than tell us the truth about the Father. Jesus Himself is the Truth of God revealed in human form.

Jesus does much more than give us the Life of the Father. Jesus Himself is the Life of the Father. When we eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood we are receiving into ourselves the Life of God.

It is time now for the entire Christian Church to turn its attention toward the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; for it is for the purpose of reconciling us to the Father that Jesus Christ has come to us.

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: That God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (II Corinthians 5:18,19—NIV)

"God was reconciling the world to himself."

No one knows the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son reveals the Father. Christ has come to us that we might be with Him in the Father. He has reconciled us to God by making an atonement for our sins. Now He is reconciling us to the Father by helping us gain the victory over trust in the world spirit, the passions of our flesh, and our rebellious self-will.

Both of these actions of reconciliation, the forgiveness and the removal of sin, are typified by the two goats of the Jewish Day of Atonement, one slain for the remission of sin and the other removed from the camp, symbolically removing sin from God’s people.

I think the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement has begun today and will extend throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age (Millennium) that is soon to come with the appearing of the Lord.

The term atonement has many meanings. In my opinion the word that best sums up the various shades of meaning is "reconciliation."

If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him. (John 14:7—NIV)

These kinds of statements have led theologians to speculate that Jesus is the Father in another form; that Jesus and the Father actually are the same person.

This is not at all true. If such were the case, there is no way we could be one with Christ as He is one with the Father; because that would mean we had become the same person as Jesus Christ.

It rather is true that God and Christ are utterly integrated, and this is the way Christ is to be with us.

Notice carefully:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20—NIV)

The above verse spells it out for us. Paul was no longer living. Or was he?

We know Christ and Paul are not the same person. Neither is it true that the Christ and the Father are the same person.

Christ lives in Paul. Is it Christ or Paul who is living?

We know it is Paul, but Paul and Christ have become one just as Christ and the Father are One.

Becoming one with Christ means we lose for eternity our life as a person independent of Christ, just as Christ has no life as a person who is independent of God.

Whoever has God has Christ and whoever has Christ has God.

In the same manner, we are pressing toward the experience in which whoever has Christ has us and whoever has us has Christ.

I hope this doesn’t shock you for this is exactly what God and Christ desire for us.

We begin as a descendant of Adam. This is an animal existence, actually. It was never meant to be our permanent state.

By becoming one with Jesus Christ our life takes on eternal significance. Think of it!

Our animal life profits nothing. It is only as we partake of Jesus Christ that we have an enduring personality. Flesh and blood, the adamic personality, cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

Another figure of speech is the vine and the branches. Once we are grafted into the true Vine, Jesus Christ, we lose our identity as a separate branch. We now are an integral part of one Whole—the Vine that is Christ.

Have you ever looked at a grape vine? Did you consider one branch in particular or were you interested in the grapes?

So it is to be true of us. Apart of Christ we are of little significance indeed! But when we are willing to surrender our right to be a separate person, a separate branch so to speak, with our own independence of thought and action, we become part of the planting of the Lord that is destined to fill the earth with Divine fruit.

Let me ask you. Are you willing to surrender your right to be an independent person that you may be part of Christ? Do you want to be a partner of Christ or a part of Christ? Which is it to be.

We who have been saved and filled with God’s Spirit are at this place of decision today, for the Lord Jesus has come to His Church in the spiritual fulfillment of the last three feasts of Israel. The seventh and climactic feast is the feast of Tabernacles, portraying our dwelling in Christ who is dwelling in God, and God dwelling in Christ who is dwelling in us. This is the wheel in the wheel that Ezekiel mentions.

I can’t speak for you but I am not greatly impressed with myself. So I am delighted at the thought that I can become an integral part of Jesus Christ just as He is an integral part of God.

Now I have significance. Now I have eternal life. Now I can fulfill the Divine fiat: to be in God’s image; to be the "female" joined for eternity to the great Male; to be fruitful, bringing forth people in the image of Christ; and to have dominion over all the works of God’s hands.

When Christ has been formed in us, and the Father and the Son through the Spirit have made us Their eternal home, and we do nothing apart from Them, do you suppose the theologians of the future will have a problem concerning the Godhead? Interesting question, especially when the name of God, of the new Jerusalem, and Christ have been engraved on us.

Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?" (John 14:8,9—NIV)

Christ is not saying here that He is the Father. Rather it is true that the words Christ spoke, the things He did, were spoken and performed by the Father who is dwelling in Him.

The truth of the matter is that we do not really know what Jesus is like, because He gave Himself to the Father that the Father’s will might be done in the earth. The miracles were performed by the Father. The Sermon on the Mount was spoken by the Father.

Don’t you believe I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. (John 14:10—NIV)

Jesus did not claim to be the Father. Jesus told the truth: He always is in the Father and the Father always is in Him. It was the Father who came to earth in Christ in order to reconcile the world to Himself. This is what the Bible teaches.

Jesus Christ has come to us today to work with us until we can be with Him where He is—that is, in the Father.

Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. (John 14:11—NIV)

If Jesus had been the wisest philosopher and the most righteous individual who ever walked the face of the earth, He still could not have claimed to be the Christ, the Son of God. It is when we see the miracles that we know beyond all doubt that He came from God. No other individual in history has ever demonstrated such supernatural power.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12—NIV)

I think the above verse is a prophecy and it will be fulfilled in our day. This is the fullness of the power of the seven thunders, mentioned in the tenth chapter of the Book of Revelation.

The reason such awesome power, the power to do greater works than those performed by the Lord Jesus Christ, has been withheld is that the ministry is still operating independently of the Lord. Of course we pray and ask God’s help. But the Lord Jesus, our eternal example, did much more than ask God’s help. Rather He set Himself apart that God might have a chariot in which to ride, so to speak.

So it is true that we will not experience the power of the seven thunders until we are willing to die to our self-will, our religious desire to "do great things for God" (which really is a desire to do great things for our own aggrandizement), and enter the eternal Sabbath rest in which Jesus dwells.

When it can be said of us that it no longer is we who are living but Christ who is living in us, then we will, I believe, be candidates for the fullness of the power of the seven thunders.

The reason why we will do greater works than Christ did on the earth is that He is at the right hand of God. It will not be we who are doing the works but Christ who is dwelling in us, just as it was true that it was not Christ who was doing the works on the earth but God who was dwelling in Him.

I think some ministers of our day are seeking power in order attract people to the Gospel. I don’t believe we should be seeking power. I think we should be seeking Jesus Christ Himself—to be in union with Him. When we get a taste of what it is like to be in union with Jesus Christ we no longer will have a desire to "do great things for God." We will be content to do the will of Christ just as I believe Christ was content to do the will of God.

Christ did not do great things for God. God in Christ did great things for His own purposes. We should take a lesson from this.

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:13,14—NIV)

"Now we have a recipe, a formula we can use to get whatever we want." We have become so accustomed to trying to use Christ for our own religious ends we do not feel the love that is behind this statement.

The idea is to bring glory to the Father. Some of us may have a way to go before our motive is this pure. It is a time to die to our religious self-will that God and Christ may be able to live and move and have Their Being in us without having to struggle against our worldliness, lust, and self-will. However God wants to use us should always be fine with us, just as long as we bring glory to Christ and thus to the Father.

"If you love me, you will obey what I command. John 14:15—NIV)

The above verse needs to be engraved in steel and bolted to the front door of every Christian church in America.

We are preaching error. We have perverted Paul’s doctrine of grace, really an argument against the Judaizers, to mean Divine grace is an alternative to obeying the commandments of Jesus Christ and His Apostles.

We do not love Christ. We have found a way to go to Heaven apart from obeying His commandments. This is why America is about to fall from its place of world leadership and become a fourth-class power.

God will strengthen our enemies just as God strengthened the enemies of Israel when they forsook the Lord and trusted in themselves.

We will never become part of Christ until we are willing to obey His commandments—every one of them.

How are we to do this when they are so high above us? We find the strength and wisdom to keep the commandments of Christ by going continually to the Mercy Seat in prayer; by assembling with fiery saints on a regular basis; by meditating constantly in the Scriptures; by giving, serving, seeking the gifts of the Spirit, confessing our sins, resisting the devil, drawing near to God, showing mercy, and walking humbly with our God. When we set ourselves to do these things, and, to the best of our ability, instruct our children in these Christian commandments, we grow in the ability to keep the commandments of Christ.

We never are to attempt to use grace as a crutch, as an escape from our obligation to do what we have been commanded. This is the mammoth Christian error and it has destroyed the moral strength of the United States of America in the latter part of the twentieth century. We of America are entering the twenty-first century in military, economic, educational, social, and governmental confusion because we are not obeying the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14:16,17—NIV)

The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, dwells in each true Christian. The Holy Spirit performs the work of salvation in us. It is the Spirit who enables us to bear witness of the atoning death and triumphant resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us and enables us to overcome sin.

It is the Holy Spirit who gives and operates the gifts and ministries and builds the Body of Christ to the fullness of the stature of Christ.

Apart from the Holy Spirit we could not engage in or press forward in the many aspects of our salvation.

Any activities of the Christian churches that are not anointed by the Spirit of God are of no eternal significance in the Kingdom of God. It is the Spirit who is bringing the Bride to the Bridegroom.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:18—NIV)

This is the same coming mentioned in the third verse of this chapter. It is the coming of the Lord to us through the Spirit to remove the sin from us and to create the Life of God in us. This is not the coming of the Lord in the clouds of glory, His historic coming. Rather it is a coming to the disciple to prepare him to appear with the Lord at His historic coming. This personal coming is taking place now, I believe, in a greater way than has ever been true in the Christian Era.

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. (John 14:19—NIV)

The personal coming of the Lord to His disciple will not be seen by the world. The purpose of the personal coming is that we might learn to live by His Life. This is what it is all about—to each day live more by the Life of Jesus Christ than was true of us the previous day.

But such substitution of His Life for our life necessitates a loss of our personal "freedom" to do as we please. We are becoming the servants of Christ.

Our country, America, was born in rebellion against European tyranny. Perhaps because of this there is a fierce desire in Americans to be "free."

However, we are not always clear as to what it means to be free. There is political freedom, but then there is spiritual freedom. These two freedoms are not the same.

It is better, as Paul said, if we not be the slaves of other people.

Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave. (I Corinthians 7:21,22—NIV)

However, if you are a slave when you came to Christ, do not be troubled by this. You are the Lord’s freedman. But if you are not a slave when you receive Christ, you become the slave of Christ.

Because of our history we Americans are utterly repulsed by the idea of being anyone’s slave. The truth is, however, the only free person is the one who is the slave of Jesus Christ.

Whoever sins is the slave of sin.

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. (John 8:34—NIV)

So the question is not whether you and I are going to be a slave, the question is whose slave we are going to be?

The only way we can escape being the slave of sin is to be the slave of Jesus Christ.

The citizens of the so-called "free" nations of our day are, in many instances, horribly bound with moral sin. They are not free at all. They are the slaves of Satan. Nowhere is this more true than in the United States of America.

I appreciate our political freedom (which may be eroding in the present hour). I am free at the present time to write what I think.

But even if I were in a prison cell I would still be free, because I am the slave of Jesus Christ.

Oppression will increase in the coming days. Spiritual oppression is present now and is increasing as our nation opens its doors to every imaginable perversion. Spiritual oppression always will be followed by political oppression because Satan-filled humans and governments will not be content while there are those in their midst who are leading godly lives.

Our present spiritual experience of being forgiven and filled with God’s Spirit is not powerful enough to enable us to stand in the moral and political nightmare that is facing us. We must have the spiritual fulfillments of the last three feasts of the Lord, the Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the feast of Tabernacles if we are to remain victorious in Jesus Christ in the midst of the spirit and works of Hell.

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. (John 14:19—NIV)

We must be willing to live by the Life of Christ. This means our first personality must continually diminish, being crucified with Christ. When such massive spiritual forces are confronting each other in deadly combat, a human being is as so much helpless dust. To not become part of Christ is to succumb to the deceits of Satan. There is no middle ground!

On that day you will realize I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

We do not understand the Godhead because we have approached the Godhead with human reasoning. The only way in which we can understand the Godhead, that Christ is in His Father, and that we are in Christ and He is in us, is by experience. That experience comes to us only as we keep His commandments. As we keep His commandments we learn to live by His Life—we cannot possibly keep His commandments except as we live by His Life!

"That day" is the Day of the Lord, the day when every idol in our life has been brought down and the Lord alone is exalted.

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (John 14:21—NIV)

We show our love for Jesus by keeping His commandments. Then the Father loves us. While the Father loves all of His creatures, for His Nature is love, it is clear from the above verse that He loves in a special, specific manner those who show their love for Christ by keeping His commandments.

We may say we love Jesus Christ. But if we do not obey His commandments we do not truly love Him. It is as simple as this!

"And show myself to him."

It seems to me, after having been a Christian for many years, that the Lord is closer to us than He has been in time past. I think it is especially important in the present hour that we look up to Jesus for every thought, word, and action of our life, no matter how small or how great.

Right now look up to Jesus and see if you do not receive wisdom and help for what you are faced with.

I think the increasing closeness of the Lord is due to the increasing evil of our environment. I expect that in the days to come the closeness will increase and the evil will increase. We are not going to be able to stand unless we are accustomed to looking to Jesus for everything!

"And show myself to him." I do not profess to have the fullness of this experience but I am believing for it. We are going to need to see the Lord more clearly, I believe.

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?" (John 14:22—NIV)

From the above verse we see that the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John is not speaking of the Lord’s historic return to the world in the clouds of glory. Rather we are dealing with a personal coming to His disciples.

Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23—NIV)

Here is the climax of the Christian redemption. Here is the experience we must have if we are to stand in victory throughout the reign of Antichrist.

"He will obey my teaching." We can see from this why Satan has worked so hard to convince the Christian churches that because we are saved by "grace" we are not obligated to obey the teachings of Jesus Christ. All depends on our obeying the commandments found in the New Testament. We simply shall not survive spiritually in the age of moral horrors unless we are diligently obeying the New Testament injunctions.

"My Father will love him."

The Lord Jesus came to reveal the Father to us. Christ Himself is the Way to the Father, meaning that if we would approach the Father—our Father—we must do so by abiding in Christ. It is not that Christ is the Father, it is that Christ is the Way to the Father. Christ has made it possible for us to come to the Father. When Christ ascended He did so to our Father and His Father; to our God and His God.

It never would have been possible for us to come to God unless the Lord Jesus Christ had come to earth, made an atonement for our sins, and then helped us get rid of worldliness, lust, and self-will. Our God will not dwell where there is worldliness, lust, and self-will. If we are to walk with God we must cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He makes us holy.

"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."  "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."  Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (II Corinthians 6:17-7:1—NIV)

Let us purify ourselves so we may walk with God. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

As we notice in the above passage, the holiness we must have if we would walk with God is not an imputed holiness but an actual holiness proceeding from the work of the Holy Spirit in our life.

"We will come to him and make our home with him."

"We will come to him." The Lord Jesus and the Father are two Persons, although one in that perfect Oneness that is the Godhead. The Lord Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The Lord Jesus is the Bridegroom of the Church. The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Body. But the Father is our Father and the Father of the Lord Jesus.

Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’" (John 20:17—NIV)

Can you sense in the above the exuberance the Lord felt as He was able to point His younger brothers to their common God and Father?

"And make our home with him."

Right here is one of the main purposes, if not the main purpose, of the work of God. It is to provide a dwelling place, a place of rest, a home, for God.

Because God will dwell only in Jesus Christ, God coming to make His home in us necessitates that Christ also make His home in us. God is in Christ who is in us. We are in Christ who is in God.

Christ is the chief Cornerstone of the house of God. We are living stones in this eternal temple.

In our Father’s house there are many rooms. If this were not to be the case, Christ would have told us. He has gone to the cross, then to Heaven, and now back to us in the Spirit that we may be with Him where He is—in the heart of God.

The house has not been completed as yet. During the next few years a firstfruits, as it were, of the house will be brought to maturity. Then another thousand years (whether literally or figuratively) must transpire before the house is completely ready to descend to the new earth as the new Jerusalem.

The Throne of God and of the Lamb will be located forever in the new Jerusalem, that, is in the Church, the Bride of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem.

Think what this will mean to the saved nations of the earth! They will be able to come up to Jerusalem, to the holy mountain. There they will be able to approach God through the saints. They will be loved, blessed, and be able to receive eternal life.

There will be no more war and fighting or distress of any kind, because God in His Temple will be dwelling among men.

In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. (Isaiah 2:2—NIV)

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4—NIV)

All of this blessing, glory, and beauty will become available to mankind only as you and I are willing to give up our own life and become a room in the eternal house of the Father.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20—NIV)

The church in Laodicea was the only church of the seven about which the Lord had nothing good to say. I personally believe we are approaching the age of Laodicea, the period during which the rights and welfare of people are seen to be the highest good, while God is important only as He promotes the well-being of people.

It is to this church of self-centered people that the Lord offers the grandest reward of all—that of being the eternal house of God.

Yet it is not only the house that is being offered, the very Throne of God is included.

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21—NIV)

When we invite the Lord into our personality we dine on His body and blood and He dines on our love and worship. The result is the Father and the Son come and set up Their throne in our heart.

As soon as we have granted the Father and the Son full, unhindered authority to sit on the throne of our heart, They invite us to sit there with Them.

Thus he who overcomes, through Christ, trust in the world for survival and security, the passions of the flesh, and self-will, sits with Christ on His throne just as Christ sits with His Father on His throne. The Throne of Almighty God is within us, for man was created to govern all the works of God’s hands.

You can be a part of this Kingdom if you care enough to seek it with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.