IF I ABIDE IN YOU
Greetings! We come to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other name under heaven among men whereby we can be saved! It is wonderful to realize that the name is the nature, the presence of the Christ, the wonderful I AM!
Let's look at the prodigal son and his older brother who never left the father's house. The older son did not realize that his inheritance was a present possession, so he did not make use of his privileges. He thought of himself as a servant, not a son. The father had to remind him of who he was and what he possessed! He said,
When Christ becomes our life, the life of the Father begins to be the reality and the resulting emotions of our own association with God through Christ. Jesus said,
This causes us to realize that even the Bible cannot be used apart from Christ! Bible verses must be quoted and used as He directs! Everything in the realm of shadows and types, like phylacteries, baptisms and communions, are a passing stage of our coming into spiritual realities - of being with Christ in God.
Many are looking for a physical Jesus to come out of the clouds and set everything straight in this world. They are missing a very important biblical spiritual truth. Therefore they are still estranged from God - lost because they have no true realization of who God is and who they are. They do not understand the words of Jesus,
What happens then, to the concept that we have of ourselves? The wrong concept of the "I", the SELF, which we thought we were, disappears by the truth of His appearance in us. The transfer of our understanding of self or "I" to the realization that Christ is our "I", is a process. The human mind cannot grasp this, because it cannot know the things of the Spirit of God. In the story of the prodigal son, the father was the source of all things for the son. Without the father, the son was robbed by the world of everything he had. And so it is with us. The world will take away all our identity, all our inheritance, and everything that the Father has arranged for us.
Christ our Redeemer comes to abide in us, and be our "I." This may be difficult for us to understand at first. However,
This is an absolute. For years people have been marrying the Old Testament concept of God with the New Testament concept that is in Christ. That does not work! We can't play around with concepts and marry them
Thank God there is always a remnant! Just as the father of the prodigal was the source of all things for his son, so Christ is our source for everything! He is the source of our true understanding of life, and of God as our Father, and our source of supply! When we return to the Father we again have the things that the world has taken away from us.
But man, thinking that his rationale is true, doesn't want to give up his own reasoning. He feels that his concept of God is true. This applies to all - whether Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian or Pentecostal. Each person thinks his idea of God is the only true one. It is the same God, but the perception of Him differs - and we naturally think that ours is the correct one! Jesus came to destroy all those ideas. He has given us a realization of God that has no division in it; it does not leave room for man to retain any of his own ideas of God; in fact, they are dissipated when spiritual truth comes!
"If any man is in Christ he is a new creation; the old is past and the new has come."
You don't have to go to heaven to become a new being - it is Christ in you who does it NOW! This happens in the realm of the Spirit. We are created new in our spirit; the word of re-creation or creation, making all things new comes to us in our spirit. That Word is the Christ - the spiritual Word of God. Christ is the Creator because the Word of God creates, and Jesus Christ imparts the spiritual word of God to us. He creates in us a new spiritual understanding. That is what the New Testament is all about!
This Word is birthed is us. Peter said that we are born again by an incorruptible seed. Just think of it! This incorruptible seed is producing a completely new being, a new creation, a new man, a new concept of God, a new body in us! Every seed has its own body, and the incorruptible seed has produced the body of Christ in us. This is not a physical body. The body of Christ consists of the truth that He lives in - that God is His Father, that He is a spiritual body of truth, life, resurrection and immortality. That is where Christ lives, and that is what God is.
Christ has taken us out of our old humanity, our mortality, and our identity with creation; He has made us new creatures in the heavenlies. We know this because He has sent the Spirit of truth to teach us all things. Without the Spirit of truth we cannot understand the scriptures even as the Jews couldn't. They had the scriptures, but the scriptures alone, could not teach them who God is. Jesus told them,
The dead, the unregenerate, can believe the Bible only from a natural viewpoint. The Jews believed the Bible to be the word of God. But they were not aware of spiritual truth because they had never heard the word of God. Their truth was in the letter of the Bible - and that is death. That is why Jesus said that the disciples were not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised. He had promised to give them the Holy Spirit; He would be their power from on high! He did not tell them to wait for a book, a letter, or some form of message. He told them to wait for the Spirit of truth who would teach them all things!
The Bible is a testimony of God and of His Christ. It tells us to receive the Christ, who is the Spirit. He is to be our Lord! The anointing will do away with our own ideas, our old consciousness and our own sense of being. When we are born of God, we are not born of the flesh, not of the will of man, and not of blood! That is why Jesus said,
To the Jews Jesus said,
We are creatures born of God - sons of God, having a body that is produced by the Spirit's seed! We are born of an incorruptible seed. Paul said that each seed has its own body. Jesus Christ has a body and we are members of that body. It is not people - it is being members of the body of truth and life and resurrection - the things that Jesus Christ really is! But the human mind has great difficulty imaging a body that does not have form, arms, legs, etc. This changes when we have the mind of Christ. Christ has no problem with the spiritual realm - the realm without form. He has no problem dwelling in the presence of God, nor in understanding that He is the Son of the invisible Father God who fills all things!
Let's look at what was happening in the life of Jesus. He said,
Jesus demonstrated the love of the Father! He said,
Everything that we see in Christ is God, because He said, "If you have seen Me you have seen the Father."
God expresses His sovereignty in Christ. How did He do that? Did Jesus come with the law and say,
I want to encourage you to believe that the true manifestation of God came in Jesus Christ! He expressed and demonstrated God perfectly. The scriptures give ample proof of that. As we submit ourselves to God this becomes real to us. Speaking in tongues and doing miracles are not the criteria by which our submission to God is to be judged. The important thing is to allow the Spirit to teach us and to produce in us the consciousness and realization that is in the mind of Christ. The "I" who is in you is the Christ who is in you!
Jesus being ruled by God said,
Jesus told the Jews that the kingdom would be taken away from them and given to a nation producing the fruit of it. (Matt. 21:43) The Jews had not been producing spiritual fruit, so the kingdom would be given to a spiritual people who would bear spiritual fruit. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit! The kingdom of God is not law, rule, punishment, wrath, evil, and diseases; it is righteousness! It is not good and evil! In Christ we do not see penalty, fire, wrath, punishment or evil. These things are not of the kingdom rule of God; they do not represent the God who is expressed in Jesus Christ!
Our idea of God will determine our expectations of Him. Can we fully accept the revelation of God in Jesus Christ? Jesus said,
The kingdom of God IS righteousness! It doesn't GIVE us righteousness
Can we really call those who are identifying with the world system, enChristed Christians, whose "I" is Christ abiding in them? It is very difficult to say. The rule of God in us is not an external rule; it is not a set of laws, nor is it only a hope for the future. It is a consciousness of the truth that is in Jesus Christ. The presence of the Godhead was in the Man Jesus bodily - not in the flesh, but in one spiritual body in His Spirit. That was all He needed in order to fulfill and accomplish everything that God wanted to do, and everything that God wanted Him to do. This work would remain! It was completed; it was accomplished; it is there yesterday, today and forever. It remains exactly the same. In Christ the complete presence, rule and work of God were performed. It took place in His conscious presence and relationship with God.
This is what He came to give us! We have been very slow to receive His abiding presence. It has been very difficult for us to accept it, but it works! We are even beginning to see it operate here and there. As we grow in God and in the Spirit and belong to a Bible-believing church, we will gradually emerge from the world system and be able to discern the wrong thinking in the heavy Orthodox Church. This will cause fewer people to appreciate our testimony of being in Christ, having the mind of Christ, and the omnipresence of God.
Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus! When the mind of Christ operates in us, we begin to mind the things of God that Christ minded. Since God is omnipresent, there can be no other power that is omnipresent. Christ did not recognize any other power, any other god, any other source, any other life, or any other source of truth. He was keenly aware of the operation of the omnipresence of God in Him. He did not recognize any other power. Because He had taken on flesh, He was affected physically by the way people treated Him. He felt their unbelief, their rebukes, their mocking and jeering, and the pain of being crucified. But they were unable to injure the consciousness of God that was in Him! There was no other power or life that had any place in Jesus Christ. He said,
On the cross Jesus said,
At one time Jesus said,
"Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'"
It says that when Christ who is our life, shall appear, we shall appear together with Him. We appear with Him because we are one with Him! The outside forces that act upon all humanity also affected the man Jesus, but in no way did they have any effect on His true nature, His godliness and His Father-Son relationship! People have all kinds of alibis for their failures, because they do not realize that their human failures will always be present. They can never be dealt with because human nature does not change. So they supply alibis. They even blame the stars and look to astrology to ascertain the future. We need to realize that all the evils happening to humanity are the result of spiritual ignorance. Because of paganism, which has many gods, and people's ignorance of the one true God, there are wars, evil, starvation and disease. It is like that continuously. This is due to spiritual ignorance!
When we receive some spiritual knowledge, the Spirit takes us into the rule or kingdom of God where there is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. This almost seems too good to be true - humanly speaking! When we progress spiritually, it does away with more and more of that which we are in ourselves. It is the power and the presence of God that ushers out the power and presence of darkness! That is the only way it works. We can never get rid of darkness unless we have light. Christ is the light that lights every man who comes into the world!
Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry, loved His enemies, and forgave everyone! On the cross He said,
Humanity has been mesmerized by the big lie of Genesis, so it has remained ignorant of God and His true nature. In its ignorance, humanity has made Jesus Christ into a God who has birthdays, which must be celebrated; it has put Him into a geographical heaven; it claims that His death on the cross was substitutionary - that He died instead of us. This is not scriptural. The scriptures teach that we were crucified together with Him! Satan would have us believe that we are separated from Christ. This separation is anchored in the human mind - in the death realm. The carnal mind is death and can never please God; it cannot obey the law of Moses, nor the law of God!
What bearing does that statement have to our cheerfulness? Are we supposed to pray that God shall come down and change this world? No, that is not the answer. Instead, we are to recognize that we have been born into the kingdom of God, and translated into the kingdom of His Son; a kingdom which is not of this world! Looking at Jesus and the situation He was in at that time, we would think the world had overcome Him. But it didn't! It only overcame what God allowed it to do to His physical body. This was just to show people what the world was actually doing to God - since Jesus was the perfect image of the Father and demonstrated His nature exactly; what they did to Him, they did to God! Their rebellion to His
Jesus did not have any of these things, nor did He need them! He never received honor from man, He had no wealth, He didn't own anything in this world, He never worried where His next meal was coming from! We are to be conformed to the image of Christ! This world has encroached its ideas upon us, causing us to think that being healthy, wealthy, having honor, and a nice place to live is all we need. It promises to furnish them with all these things. This of course is not true! There's a very big disparity between those who have, and those that haven't. And those that have don't care about those who haven't.
In Jesus Christ was a recognition, realization and understanding of the presence of God. The presence of God is everywhere, but nowhere has it been realized like it was in Christ. The kingdom rule or the providence of God was expressed in Jesus Christ. The kingdom of God has come to us because He has given Himself to us; He has also given us the Spirit! We must realize that God is taking the place of what the world has offered us. Its offer of a wonderful life through the acquiring of land and houses, wealth, health and education, has never worked, nor will it work.
Jesus did not depend upon the world system for His supply. He was not ruled by this world. Jesus said,
To sum up this teaching. We have to come to grips with the fact that the world system is unable to provide the power to keep us in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit - which is the kingdom of God. The only way the rule of this world in us can be changed, is to allow the Christ of God, who is the Word of God and the kingdom of God, be the rule of God in us! As He abides in us and we in Him, we will bear much fruit!
Some of these things may be somewhat difficult to understand, but then if they were so easy, everybody would have them. The fact is, the difficulty is really in giving up our own ideas, our own realization, our own self and the things we thought were truth. It is then, that Christ who is the truth, comes and does away with those things that are not of Himself and not of God. "Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding. Amen.