CHRIST FOUNTAINHEAD, THE

BY: JOHN R. GAVAZZONI

SEPTEMBER 3, 2012

 

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PART ONE

SEPTEMBER 3, 2012

 

A feature that stands out clearly among those given as teachers to the body of Christ is that of balance. An evangelist may set aside certain facets of the whole counsel of God so that his hearer will not be distracted from his essential message of God's saving grace in Christ. A prophet may boldly intrude upon, and into religious conventionalism thunderously confronting his hearers with something sorely neglected within the group, daringly upsetting what has become the status quo. A shepherd may set aside, momentarily, any and all doctrinal considerations in caring for a deeply wounded sheep, to minister one thing, and only one---the complete loving attentiveness, the lack of which may have been the source of the sheep's woundedness.

 

It is not unusual for the gift of the shepherd and the gift of the teacher to merge into one. Occasionally, the prophet may go on to explain the place within which his intensely focused confrontation fits within the ministry of the whole counsel of God, and in so doing will minister as a teacher. The apostle is sent to deliver the Word as a pioneering emissary of the kingdom of God, and do so as to not only declare the Word's primal essence but also in such a way that the whole counsel of God can be found seminally so that those in the places where he has ministered, even for a brief time, can look back and realize how foundational was the Word he delivered. And, He is careful to minister so as to prepare the scene of ministry for the other gifts to the body to follow. 

 

There is, it seems to me, a pressing need for the teacher to step upon the scene of ministry as described above, to address what I have chosen to call the Christ fountainhead, in order to introduce sorely needed balance. There is a drift occurring today that tends to suggest a kind of disconnect between far down-stream considerations of Christ, and that stream's fountainhead, its source. The danger of such a kind of disconnect goes clear back to the situation of the Garden of Eden. It has to do with focusing upon something OF God, in such a way as to lose God in the focus. For instance, the subject of good and evil is OF God. That's what got Eve's attention. Certainly the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was deserving of her attention, she thought, since clearly it has to do with God. 

 

She knew that something troubling existed within creation. Something adversarial co-existed along with creation's essential goodness. Contrary to popular orthodoxy, the adversary of death---though not yet entered into the world, that is, into the ordered arrangement---was present. To borrow from Jonathan Mitchell, death had not yet become the dominating system. Death had not yet become systemic to creaturely existence, but the seed of death was in all earthenness, ready to be released by the ignorance of Adam's sin. Sin entered the world FROM within our earthenness. That intrusion began by Eve's lust to know something that God knew, WITHOUT knowing God. To know good and evil without knowing God, is death. There is a discerning of both good and evil, which the Book of Hebrews says belongs to spiritual maturity, but such a knowledge is life, only within communion with God Himself.

 

There's a fundamental seduction that leads us to desire a simple, clear, categorized, everything-in-its-own pigeonhole, proof text-established delineation between good and evil. The necessity for communion with God, well, that gets messy. If you have to start with communion with God, He leaves a lot of questions up in the air, leaving you with having to trust Him on the path to glory. He refuses to accept your demand to be provided with a this-is-good, this-is-evil map of the path. He insists that you follow Him, and that gets so messy, so confusing to the mind that wants instruction without communion. It is a narrow Way, but the gate to the way is not straight, it's STRAIT, as in restrictive and confining, e.g., as in a strait jacket. And the Way is not straight.

 

It's very curvy, bumpy, up and down, and narrow. There are others walking on the Way with you, behind and in front, and their communion with the Lord is integral to your own, but the narrowness of the road is such that Jesus is shoulder-to-shoulder with you on your together-journey. As the old song goes: "On the Jericho road, there's room for just two; no more and no less, just Jesus and you." I know some might raise the objection that if I conceive of Jesus as WITH us, I am therefore deficient in the revelation that He is IN us. Not so, not so, not so. It is exactly this sort of consideration that calls for the teacher to make his contribution. Jesus, as the Life-giving Spirit, is WITH US, IN US. There is always the dimension of His withness involved, in that while He is in union with you, He remains Himself, and you remain yourself, both in union, which union has Him contributing all, you contributing nothing, but enjoying the all of His contribution.

 

Have you heard folks refer to the Bible as God's manual for life's journey. A manual? Oh please. That's what we want, a manual? Thanks Lord for the manual; I'll take it from here. What about grace? Oh yeah, Lord, I will need a little grace, since the manual does mention grace, I do want to be scriptural. Where am I going with this when my subject is the fountainhead of Christ. Here's where I'm going. Jesus; Jesus of Nazareth is personally and individually the fountainhead of Christ. All that "Christ" is; all that "Christ" means; all that "Christ" is to us and for us flows out from within the glorified Man, Jesus. We speak of being enChristed. There is only one anointing. It's the anointing of Jesus, the Anointed One, shared with His body in union with Him. We speak of coming to know our true identity. He is the fountainhead of all true identity. As we have been granted revelation concerning The Greater Christ, the Christ who is Head of His corporate body of many members, and who constitutes the whole of the body, we must retain the understanding that His individual identity, as Jesus, as Lord, has not been somehow dissolved by Him becoming the incorporated version of Himself. Don't drift from this truth, brethren, or you will end up finding yourself a stranger to the the One who is The Christ Fountainhead. 

 

As in the deception to know good and evil without knowing God, we can be so caught up in seeking things way down stream from the fountainhead that we lose touch with our Source. All that is desirable is to be found in communion with Him. An appeal to the necessity of having our consciousness raised, can effectively lead to a disconnect from the mind of Christ which flows from the fountainhead of Jesus, our Lord. Have we forgotten that He is King of kings, and Lord of lords, as we get caught up in seeking to know "the authority of the believer," for instance? We are indeed a kingdom of priests unto our God, that is, a ruling priesthood, but only as He, Jesus, enthroned at the right hand of God, mediates His authority to us. And by the way, all you power-hungry brethren, He mediates His ruling priesthood as the Lamb in the midst of the throne. We all want to be God's lions, when what's being ministered to us from God's throne is the Spirit of the Lamb of God.

 

When that kind of subtle disconnect occurs, I've seen all kind of really stupid carryings-on by fellow believers. And I confess: been there, done that. In our relationship with the Father in, by, and with our Lord Jesus, He relates to us with an "I" factor, and a "we" factor. The "we" factor rests upon the "I" factor. It would be well for many of us to make a thorough study of all the "I" statements of Jesus, and I say "Jesus" particularly. He means to get your attention upon Him, and only then can you know with balance the "we" factor in the relationship. It's only as we turn our eyes upon Jesus, looking fully in His wonderful face, that we truly come to know that all that is His is ours, and all that He is is inclusive of us. We need the Spirit of wisdom and revelation IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM. We are to know Him by His presence in, among, and in the midst of the elect summoned gathering, conventionally called the church. 

 

Him, Him, Him. If we seek anything apart from the experiential knowledge of Him, we're right back there with Eve, wanting something having to do with Him, without communion with Him. Jesus, didn't come to teach us about being anointed. He came, as the Anointed one (Christ) to be the anointing in, to and for us. God didn't first anoint Jesus, and then in turn anoint the rest of us, with Jesus only being our example. He anointed Jesus of Nazareth who went about doing good, and then led Him through death to resurrection and glorification so that He would become our anointing. The anointing is in the life of God. He that hath the Son hath (that) life. We have an anointing from the Father, because we have the Son. The Son has been given to us as the all-inclusive gift of God. In the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, glorified at the right hand of the Majesty on high, was poured out within and upon us as the Life-giving Spirit.

 

Remember the Father's admonition at the end of the transfiguration scene. "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him." Here's the question to ponder: Have you received life from God JUST LIKE Jesus did? Or did you receive Jesus, the Christ, AS your life?   Be careful how you delineate between Jesus and Christ. He is BOTH one individual Man, with individual identity, AND the New Corporate Man of universal identity who becomes that New Corporate Man by His indwelling. The one body, that Paul wrote of in Ephesians, is the one body of both the individual Christ, and the incorporated Christ. In some scriptural contexts, when our Lord is referred to simply as Christ, the emphasis is upon the Manhood of Jesus destined to become universalized as His indwelling is universally unveiled.

 

 In other words, He, the One, becomes the many, so that the many become One. God loves multiplication: Jesus Christ, the Perfected Human, multiplied to become the New Mankind of perfect Oneness. When scripture refers to Him, just as Jesus, the emphasis is upon His individual humanity as Savior. In the epistles, He is called by Christ Jesus, and Jesus Christ. The effect intended is one of emphasis, of making something very clear: The Christ is Jesus, and Jesus is the Christ. It is possible, also, that as Christ Jesus, the emphasis is upon Him as the Christ descending from heaven as Jesus, and as Jesus Christ, the emphasis is upon Him as Jesus ascending to heaven as the Christ.                                         

 

He is the greater Isaac in and through whom, all the children of God have been born. He is the One Seed, out from whom we have all preceded. As a chosen nation issued forth from the loins of Abraham only through Isaac, so the greater Isaac is the only One in, and through whom, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. How blessed? Blessed with sharing His very sonship. I don't want any lesser sonship. Only that which makes me a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. In closing, I'd like to remind my readers who have been favored with an understanding, in some measure, of the above, that this revelation has been within the community of faith long before any of us arrived on the historical scene. Back in the decade of the 50's (the Lord called me to Himself in 1953), a brother in Christ, accepted within mainstream evangelicalism, wrote an excellent book titled, "The Greater Christ." It planted a seed in my spirit way back then. He began to see what the Lord, in this hour, is particularly bringing to light.  

 

PART TWO

SEPTEMBER 4, 2012

 

Will the true and real Christ please stand, we might ask. Is it You, the One in whom the bodily fullness of the Godhead dwells, and in whom we all are complete? Or is it You, who was still at work in the apostle Paul in such a way, that Paul had to testify that He had not yet attained, neither had been made perfect, but He was pressing on? (Paul, you know, did write those words well after God's completing work in and by Christ's death, burial and resurrection). Well, of course, we know that "they" are One, and the same Christ. A very common answer given by many Christian teachers in trying to resolve the above apparent contradiction often goes something like this: "Well, in spirit, we've been made complete in Christ, but in the flesh, we're still a work in progress." Myself, when the situation in speaking or writing did not allow for a more exhaustive explanation, have simply explained that the completeness which is ours IN JESUS CHRIST, is a completeness that Christ is fulfilling by Him IN US. But either of these explanations, and other similar ones I know leave the hearer, or should leave the hearer, with the issue less than satisfactorily resolved.

 

I'm not at all saying that even a thorough explanation that remains simply intellectually grasped will translate into a true spiritual experience of God's riches in glory that belong to the believer, but true revelation and understanding often do follow a clear, conceptual apprehension of truth. On the other hand, one can experience such a grasp beginning entirely in the intuition, well before a conceptual structure forms in the mind. Whatever way it happens, it is desirable to be favored with the vitality of spiritual intuition, and with its appropriate mental structure. As Harry Robert Fox has said: "All life has both vitality and structure." So, waiting upon the precious Spirit of Truth, let's seek to be permitted a more accurate unfolding of the two-fold nature of spiritual completeness: As once and for all accomplished, yet also within an ongoing experiential process.

 

We must begin with the magnificent declaration of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the saints in Colosse, that "in Him (0ur Lord Jesus Christ) were all things created." Note please, that the KJV translators' choice of "by Him," instead of "in Him," has no reasonable exegetical support. Leading up to that statement by Paul in the first chapter, the Greek preposition "en," is translated consistently, without exception, as "in." In fact, as I recall, it reads so twelve times as Paul moves towards his declaration of the full scope of Christ's relationship to all creation. Why suddenly conventional translators should switch to "by" in that particular verse has, as I've said, no reasonable support, especially since in the very next verse, they choose to return to "in" for "en," in the declaration that "in Him all things consist." For all things to CONSIST (adhere, be held together) in Him, they must BE in Him. It might be best for the reader to lay down this article at this point, and read the entire first chapter of Colossians. If you have a Greek text handy, even if you can't read Greek, it will be easy to pick out the consistency of the appearance of "en" through the chapter from beginning to end.  

 

What a bold, awesome word from the apostle. He claims that the Person of Christ is the containment field of all existence. Yes, that's what he indeed claims. Notice the personal pronoun: "For in Him, were all things created...." Not in some impersonal field of containment, but IN HIM. A singular Personhood was "where" God created all things. That singular Personhood continues to contain, give meaning to, and guarantee the destiny of, all existence. We can see the support for this breathtaking truth in the Genesis account of creation. In the very first verse of Genesis, God informs us: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." In the Hebrew, the word conventionally translated as "beginning," is the word that means "firstfruits." Well, we know WHO is God's and our Firstfruits: Christ, God's Son. So when we come to the complementary first chapter of John's gospel, we are led to understand that when God created all things BY the Word (Christ), He created all things BY (by means of), the Word, IN the Word. A simple illustration: I can go from Chicago to New York BY train, IN the train. All things that God has done, and continues to do by His Son, He does so in His Son.

 

Pause now. Take a deep breath, because what follows ought to be exhilaratingly impacting. The One in whom all things were created, one day, came INTO all that is IN Him. Got that? He came, as a single human INTO the all that is WITHIN Him. Suddenly the all-inclusive One, was present within all that He is inclusive of, and NOTHING had changed with regard to His all-inclusiveness. Both as the Cosmic Christ, AND as Jesus of Nazareth: Christ incarnate. He was holding, and continues to hold, all things within Himself. You see, when the One in whom all things exist, and are held together, came into that all, He came as the essence of it all. It all remained in Him. Mind-blowing, huh? The physical eye could not see that, but it was true. It is in our day that science has provided an insight how such a thing could be so. It is by the discovery of DNA. For example: A single strand of hair from a person's head, when probed to its core essence, contains everything that that person is physically.

 

The person becomes all that he is within, and according to, that DNA. If we were capable of extracting that DNA, and then putting it through a process of alteration by which it would become a kind of supercharged essence of glorious creaturehood, releasing its fullest potential, and then reinsert it into the person with it having the power to bring the whole of the man into alignment with the newness within that inserted DNA, we would have a perfect example of how God has made us complete in Christ, and yet the already accomplished completeness has a process-dimension. The man's essence would have been already gloriously altered, but upon the DNA essence being reinserted into the man, a process would begin whereby it would spread its perfection to the whole of the man. When the New Testament speaks of the sufferings of Christ, the word includes more than what was painful to our Lord, but it rather refers to the whole of His human experience.

 

You see, Christ is our DNA. He, by virtue of having all things contained within Himself, when He came "into the world" He came as the essence of all things, and underwent a complete perfecting of His Humanity by the experience the Father put Him though. Bearing within Himself, the whole of the human condition, He was perfected by the things which He suffered---all that He experienced---until with each encounter of all that was adversarial to Him and His eternal nature, with each challenge that those encounters faced Him with, His Father drew forth from within Him, the glory to meet each challenge, until His Humanity was completely infused with that glory so that consummating in His death, burial, resurrection and glorification, Deity and Humanness returned to the eternal Oneness from which He came, and from which we came in Him. In the course of His human living, from birth to death, and in resurrection, on to glorification, the DNA of all humanity was being both corrected and fulfilled. It was consummated in the Christ event, but all the way up to that point, death was being swallowed up in Jesus' victory over that final enemy.

 

Your DNA (Christ in you), has been already glorified, and all the resistance against it from your flesh, from the world, and the devil, cannot stand. It will be transformed, because it already has been transformed in Him. You will BECOME completely new, because you've already been made completely and gloriously new at your DNA level, which is Christ in you, the expectation of glory. This is the rest that remaineth unto the people of God.

 

 

CHRIST FOUNTAIN, THE, Parts 1-2 [John R. Gavazzoni] 9-3-4-12          4

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