THE VICTORIOUS WORD
BY: JOHN R. GAVAZZONI
NOVEMBER 22, 2002
Thousand Oaks, CA
I recall reading, many years ago, a philosopher’s assertion that the greatest miracle known to man is the miracle that combines intellectual conception and verbal communication. He quite wisely, pointed out the magnificence of the fact that one person can think, conceive, imagine and envision something mentally and communicate that invisible, immaterial, cognition to another’s mind by way of speech. The ancient Greeks obviously were quite exercised intellectually regarding this uniquely human capability given their preoccupation with the centrality of the concept of “logos” in their philosophy of life.
The Greeks loved the idea of a cosmic ideal, the idea of a perfect transcendent ALL to be sought until it could be manifested in human affairs. For them, the word “logos” summed up their conclusion that the perfect idea, the all-inclusive ideal, was meant to be communicated from the realm that transcended even the world of the gods into human affairs and could be received and taught by able, devoted thinkers. From within this cultural atmosphere that pervaded even Hebraic thought, the Spirit of God spoke through a humble fisherman with no philosophical credentials. He was though, the beloved friend of the son of a carpenter who spoke as no other man had ever spoken, more by what He was than merely by what He put into words. This One so utterly and forever changed the life of this fisherman, John, a Palestinian Jew, the son of Zebedee and Salome, that, as an old man, writing down for posterity what He desired that others might particularly know about this One, proclaimed with an incomparable note of authority, that indeed there was a divine Logos, but it was not something that could be cognitively conveyed by master thinkers to their pupils.
The Logos, he wrote, was the very Ideal of the God they knew as the unknown God. The Logos was his friend, yes his friend, but also his Master, his Lord, his Savior, Jesus of Nazareth. In Him, the Word, the very Ideal, purpose and will of God had become flesh and dwelt among men. When one received the Spirit of this Word, he came to know the true God Himself in intimate communion, a communion in which one became joined in spirit with His Being and purpose. John proclaimed that this One, the embodiment of all that God had to say, the personified Speaking of God, His Personal Revelation of true Deity and Humanness, was God’s very only begotten Son. The true God, Father of all, spoke in Him because He was the Son of His love, the reproduction of His own DNA, the fleshed-out expression of His nature.
I, as a disciple of this Lord of Life, have become convinced that all that God is and all that God does, He is and He does in His Son, His Word. God does nothing except by His Word. Not only has He created all things by His Word, all created things are in the Word and released into existence from within the Word, so that the totality of all things is found in the Word that goes forth out of God’s mouth and returns to Him full of the fruit of His will. His Word is His Seed also, by which He multiplies Himself because all of His Being is in His Seed and when He impregnates by that Seed, the result is His fullness reproduced.
The following thought that lays heavily on my heart is so strategic to understanding Jesus of Nazareth as He was when He appeared among men in a singular body and as He now appears in a glorified pluralistic body. When the Word appeared as Jesus of Nazareth, we must understand that He was not merely an individual among individuals. We must understand that, even to know Him as the individual Lord of all individuals among those individuals, is an inadequate concept. We all were in Him both naturally and spiritually, so that as we proceeded from Him, the Word, the Seed; though perceived by natural eyes within space time as the greatest Person among persons, He was more than that. He WAS ALL OF US. HE IS ALL OF US. HE IS THE REALITY AND TOTALITY OF HUMANNESS. Spiritual progression is a matter of first seeing Him individually, then seeing yourself in Him, then seeing the entirety of the present expression of the body of Christ in Him, and on to seeing all men in Him and then internalizing that Reality subjectively.
We stand today, listening to the various shades of the prophetic word, that as it issues forth from earthen vessels, struggles to affirm, in some cogent way, all things being in the Word, proceeding forth from the Word, yet continuing in the Word and consummated by the Word, while, still properly coming to grips with what is outside of the Word. Remember that the Word is the Son and the Son is the Christ, so we are dealing with what Paul ends up speaking of as “in Christ.”
We struggle to be rational and not practice theological denial, for there is a sense, and I repeat there is a sense in which there are things outside of Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, though He is the All-Inclusive Word of God. Are you ready to pound your head against a wall to try to relieve the intolerable intellectual tension represented by my own statements immediately above, which all of us who are hearing the silver trumpet have been grappling with. How can there be anyTHING outside of that which is ALL-INCLUSIVE?
Some of my dearest friends who grant me some respect as a minister of the Word, wonder just what I mean by speaking somewhat disparagingly of what I call a “proof-text mentality”; a method of thinking that approaches the unfathomable God by mentally scurrying from one Bible verse to another trying to create a web of connection between those verses in order to come to a rational understanding of God and then prove our notions to others by those scattered statements of Holy Writ. The Book wasn’t intended for that. One of its purposes is to bring us to a place of utter frustration as we try to reconcile what seems to be unavoidable contradiction. On one hand we do hear the Voice of God as He chooses, and when He chooses, from the words in the Good Book.
On the other hand when the brain tries to wrap itself around what the Book says and tries to find some total cohesiveness in its message, with, all its apparent contradictions, and on top of that, all the contradictions that scream at us from what we see, feel, observe, hear and generally are immersed in of the human condition, an intelligent person is inclined to grab some teachers and preachers among us (yes among US, including my own self) by the lapel and yell, “you haven’t explained anything, go somewhere, sit quietly and shut up and quit adding to the confusion.”
Were it not for the knowledge that the perfect will of God wraps itself around all this craziness, as Jan Antonsson sometimes says, “I’d pull my hair out at the roots in handfuls and go screaming into the night.” You see dear brethren, when the brightness of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ begins to rise before us, we seek to put the Word into words AND WE FAIL MISERABLY. Oh yes, God sovereignly speaks through our pathetic attempts and disperses little sparks in our words but He speaks most clearly through us when we find that we must speak incomprehensible words. We must say, as pertaining to our present subject of everything being in the Word, that EVERYTHING OUTSIDE OF CHRIST IS NOTHING, ITS AN EMPTY NON-NESS, AN EXISTENTIAL NON-BEING. IT’S A LIE MANIFESTED. AND A MANIFESTED lie IS STILL A LIE THAT TAKES NOTHING AWAY FROM THE TRUTH. IT’S A PIECE OF GOD’S ALLNESS TURNED INSIDE OUT TO TURN THE WISDOM OF MEN INTO FOOLISHNESS AS THEY TRY TO EXPLAIN THE TRUTH.
Don’t talk to me about exercising some rational moderation when I come fresh from another encounter with those penultimate peaks of revelation found in the Book’s words, “In Him dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily and ye are complete in Him” (Col. 2:9), and “As He is, so are we in this world” (I John 4:17), and “[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross]” (Col. 2:15, Amplified)
Why say ye that we must still reckon with the devil and we must acknowledge a certain effectiveness on his part? There goes that rationale that insists on measuring reality by what is observable. If I must reckon with him at all, I reckon him according to the apostle’s words above. I reckon that all the aforementioned principalities and powers energized by him (the personification of non-being), have been disarmed and that they WERE ranged (set in rows, as in a military formation) against us. Get that, they WERE; they no longer are ranged against us.
Don’t speak to me of the unavoidable fact that obviously, according to this dying brother, or that dead sister, or the cancer ravaging this other saint’s body or for that matter, my aching flat feet, my enlarged prostate and my sciatica, that the devil must still be, by some definition, effective in this world. At the very moment of his classic “effectiveness” when he entered Judas to betray Christ, what did he effectively accomplish? Hey, listen, he effectively shot himself in the foot and became the instrument to demonstrate the eternality of the life of God in humanness. While doing his death-dealing worst, he (the devil) could not avoid being an instrument of God in highlighting the indestructible life of God in Christ and that life in us.
Off he went whimpering, tail between his legs, in glorious defeat, to plan and carry out his next glorious defeat, creating lies about the resurrection that were so pathetic that even demons were embarrassed. When I must deal with him as the “roaring lion” of Peter’s description, I do so knowing that his roar is a lie, as he is a lie, the father of lies, and I do NOT say that since he is still roaring within my hearing that his defeat is not complete UNTIL I deal with him. I simply, as a son of God, calmly observe his activity and know that he has nothing to do with who I am. Jesus said that he had no place in Him. I am in Christ where there is no place for him in me either. He only has to do with the old man and the old man is crucified with Christ.
We have a new German Shepherd puppy in our family, “Duke,” a regal little rascal, full of devilment. If we had loaded all the poop we’ve cleaned up the last ten days onto a tanker, we would have sunk it, I’m sure. At the time of this writing he’s eleven weeks old and wreaking havoc on anything he can get his teeth on. It’s awesome to see the first signs of the power of his teeth and jaws as he tore a gash in the heavy plastic of his feeding dish. He shows that wolf instinct when playing with his stuffed toys of grabbing them fiercely in his jaws and shaking them violently.
As I’m sitting here typing I’m thinking how amusing it is to think of the devil, with our dead old man in his jaws shaking the corpse from side to side, while I, the true new me in Christ am far above his attempts to appear fearsome, having been raised up together with Christ and made to sit in heavenly places. In Him, the throne that I share is above all the heavens and extends to all the heavenlies, totally controlling everything including the roaring lion.
There is nothing left to do. There is only the DOING OF WHAT IS DONE, what is COMPLETELY done. There is only the proceeding forth FROM victory to victory, not a laborious ascent toward a potential victory some day when all the saints get their act together. Interpret what’s to be done in the light of what’s done. Everything to be done has been done and we, the sons of God are doing what’s been done in Christ.
Be diligent saints of God, to enter into this rest, for I can so exhort because the Word in us is diligently bringing us into the rest that IS, not that someday will be. The mind of the flesh, that non-mind mind cannot calculate such a marvel. So again I join the ranks of those who speak of the unspeakable and hope that a little spark lights upon you. What about the “sufferings of this present time,” am I denying their existence? No I am affirming the glory that shall [continue to be] revealed to us as the lie rains blow after blow, frantically and futilely, upon the Rock of Ages.
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.” We hide in the Rock and when the Rock sends us forth at His command, we, partaking of Him, are “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” (I Cor. 15:58)
VICTORIOUS WORD, THE [John R. Gavazzoni] 11-22-02 1