Hello to Everyone I have had the joy of communicating with on here,
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Hello to Everyone I have had the joy of communicating with on here,
I am writing to tell you I have moved. Please join me over at The Endless Riches of Jesus Christ.
Please feel free to subscribe!
Look forward to hearing form you all more 🙂
Our world is inundated with the understanding that family is everything. Wait a minute, that’s not quite right. Let’s try that again … Our world is inundated with the understanding that family is EVERYTHING. Yes, that’s much better.
Ask the people around you what family means to them. The answers will probably range from, “The people I love most,” to, “They are always there for you,” to, “There is no one more important.” This perception of family is heavily preached by almost everyone in the world. Families eat together, live together, shop together, work together (in all 2nd and 3rd world countries at least), cook together, spend time together, play together. Family is almost never separate, but almost continually together. At least this is the utopian goal of the average family.
Christian religion teaches us that our priorities should rank God, family, church, world, self. Family is the second number priority next to God Himself. We should spend most of our time and energy on our marriages and raising our children. As Christians this should be our biggest focus next to God. Our biggest consumer of time. Our biggest work.
What if we have it all wrong? What if family isn’t supposed to be the second priority on our list? What if our lists are not supposed to be priorities but rather a combined life? See we live in a very individualistic world in America and Europe. First world countries fall into the trap of being very independent. Very, very individualistic with only one goal in mind; serve yourself and your needs and your responsibilities.
Third world countries have no concept of compartmentalized lives. They work, eat, play, cook, shop, and live together with their family and community almost constantly. Their immediate family, husband and wife and children, are constantly with and amongst the larger family, grandma and grandpa and aunts and uncles and cousins. Only in America and Europe do we see a family unit that is very isolated and individualistic. Only in America and Europe do we see even the family unit fractured down to just each person within the family living for themselves.
As a believer one must ask what did God intend the family to be? Hands down most people would say to be healthy, Christ focused, and a united unit. When we dig into scripture the family unit is so much more than all that.
Again and again throughout the patriarchs the Lord gives one command incessantly, “Go forth and multiply,” or its variant, “Increase in number.” The patriarchs consistently gave a specific blessing, one greatly desired by their adult children, of “You shall increase in number.”
Why does the Lord and His children keep repeating this blessing? Because we are each a portion, a drop of blood so to speak, of Christ. Each of us are a man sized image of Christ’s drop of blood. We were created to blow the image of Christ from the size of one man to millions or billions of men who form one very enlarged picture of Christ. Our purpose is to increase Jesus Christ and express His life on earth (see The Community Life of God and The Priesthood of All Believers by Milt Rodriguez for further on the subject). The calling of the family before Christ was a picture of the calling of the Body of Christ after Christ’s resurrection.
Jesus said all of scripture testifies of Him. Every story of every patriarch, prophet, king, and slave in the OT is a retelling of who Christ Jesus and His Body are today. Every story in the OT is a story of who Jesus Christ and the Body of Christ will be forever more. Our purpose in Christ was foretold by the command of the family to “Increase in number.” Our calling as the Body of Christ is to increase Christ in number.
Before Christ’s resurrection family was a shadow of Christ’s Body to come. Everything about a family depicted who the Body of Christ would be. We see this shadowing, foretelling, of who the Body of Christ is intended to be by commands like, “Increase in number,” or, “Multiply upon the earth,” or, “Be blessed and subdue the land.” These are all the calling of Christ in His Body.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” -Jesus, Mat. 10:34-38.
How could Christ the Prince of Peace bring division? To many these words of Jesus seem cruel and counter to His nature. The truth is traditional family was a shadow of Christ to come. The reality had finally come as Christ was birthing the Body, family, of Himself. Jesus could and does divide a mother from her daughter in order to bring the daughter into the family of Christ. Paul’s letters are full of calling the other saints brothers, sisters, mothers, daughters, sons, fathers. Christ’s Body is the reality today that the traditional family was only a shadow of before.
Today we no longer have the shadows. Everyone before Christ’s birth only had the shadow of Him who was to come. Now we have the reality in Christ Jesus! The concept of family as an isolated unit, exalted priority is to go back to living in the shadow of Christ to come. Why live in the shadow when you have the reality?
The reality we can grasp today of Christ is that the Body of Christ is our family. They are our mother, brother, sister, father, son, daughter. Our family is just a unit living constantly within the larger unity of the Body. The Body, one with all the members functioning and participating at every gathering, is more important than the family. In fact the family unit is synonymous and inseparable from the Body. They are one. They are a family within a family.
The way you raise children is within Body life. What better way to raise your child then to train then up in living in Christ and the Body? Instead of raising more spectators of Christian life, train them by experience to know Christ. Instead of having an isolated, individualistic family who is dying for life, because they are living in the shadow of Christ, allow your family to live in the reality of Christ, His Body.
The priority list of God, marriage, family, church, world was a shadow of Christ to come. God is all about community. He desires that we would dwell together. Christ desires we would be one unit together, Himself. Christ desires we would do everything together as one person. That means there are no lines between God, marriage, family, and church like there were in the shadow. The lines have been erased. Now God calls us to do all of it together as one Body, one person who is Jesus Christ. We need to accept this reality and embrace it for our children’s generation and the health of our families and marriages.
We need to step out of the shadow of individualistic, traditional family life and step into the reality; the family (Body) of Christ. We need to merge the two together as much as possible and raise our children within the Body daily. Our biggest goal, effort, work, and time spent should be dwelling in Christ the Head and Body. This should be our top priority a seamless one priority for every aspect in life. We dwell together, not separately. We are only family, not many families. We are one Body, not many. Our priority is Christ, Head and Body.
All of scripture testifies of who Christ is. The story of Potiphar, his wife, and Joseph is an intriguing story full of wise advice about how to live in Christ and a warning to us what happens when the flesh is not given over to Christ.
Potiphar and his wife are such an intriguing story … Potiphar entrusted everything he had to Joseph. He did not concern himself with anything other than eating. Potiphar is a picture of us. We recognize that the Father is with Christ and we are not to concern (think upon, make effort, work at, worry) about anything, but rather only concern ourselves with eating of Christ. Its all that we should be concerned about spiritually.
Despite how phenomenal this picture is that is not the end of the story. Potiphar was one with someone not of the same mindset. His own wife. She attempted to lure Joseph into adultery many times, but never succeeded, then falsely accused him of making sport of her. Potiphar’s reaction was to cast Joseph out of his household. Potiphar did not prosper after that but actually came to ruin. His position was later diminished by someone else, Joseph.
What has this to do with Christ? Potiphar had not put to death the flesh, his wife. The flesh sought out to use Christ for its own purposes. When Christ refused it falsely accuses Christ of someone breaking trust. What happens when our flesh is still alive seeking to use the things of Christ towards our own ends (even good ends like heal all people, save all my loved ones, emotional healing, etc)? We sadly come to a point where we are disillusioned with Christ because He didn’t obey what we demanded of Him and we cast Christ out and replace Him with our own efforts.
A strong warning to us … we cannot bend Christ to our purposes, plans, and desires. We cannot use Christ to fulfill the wants of our flesh. Even the good things of our flesh. Rather we must submit all of ourselves to Christ allowing Him to kill the flesh and run our spiritual household as He pleases. Otherwise we lose Christ who we have so ardently pursued and received. Everything good, bad, spiritual is in Christ’s hands. All is in Christ’s good care. Concern yourself with no one and nothing else. Consume of Christ and do not use Him for your purposes no matter how “good and spiritual” they may be.
Christians today have put so many concerns upon their heart. They have heaped worry after concern after worry upon their hearts weighing their hearts down with great weights of unbearable yokes. Why do we concern ourselves with so much? Why do we concern ourselves with other people’s lives? Things? Doing things for the Lord?
Because we have been told that if we are Christians we must do as the Lord did. We try to be the agents of doing for the Holy Spirit. We have been taught that since the Spirit of Christ dwells within us then we can go out and do the works of Christ for Him. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Because we have been taught that good Christians are worried about the eternal welfare of unbelievers and Christians who have turned away from the Lord. We have been taught that good Christians take it upon themselves to worry about these people and to have compassion and help the widows, orphans, fatherless, and the oppressed. We believe that since the Holy Spirit is in us we can do for Christ as He did when He walked on the earth.
How greatly we have been deceived! We are no one but a dead man! We can do nothing for the Lord. A work we instigate and do when the Spirit is in us is still a work we do, not a work Christ is doing. For when we do something for Christ because the Spirit dwells in us and we are called, we doing everything contrary to the Spirit! No, we do nothing, but the Spirit in us does everything. We can do nothing for the Lord except lay ourselves at His feet a willing vessel to be filled by Him and used by Him whether He chooses to use us or not. We in the Spirit are nothing but a dead man. If we try to do something for Christ because the Holy Spirit is within us its the works of a dead man producing death and destruction. But if we lay ourselves in complete surrender, the good and the bad and the “works” we think are of the Spirit, then the Lord who is life can work through us producing all the fruit of life and the Spirit.
The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant … So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate… my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am.” – Gen. 39:2-10.
Joseph was a picture of Christ. What is recorded of Joseph in Potiphar’s house is remarkable! Potiphar was a wise man for he recognized who the Lord was and then entrusted everything of himself and what he owned to the Lord. He no longer had a concern except to eat.
We should be like Potiphar. We need to recognize that the Father is in Christ. Then we must entrust everything over to Christ and no longer be concerned about our possessions, family, friends, other believers, unbelievers, those who need healing and help and parents and freedom. Instead we should trust Christ with every person, situation, and all of ourselves. Then concern ourselves with one thing, consuming more of Christ! We have no other obligation and calling before Jesus Christ than consuming more of Him. Not of Christ’s things or doing for Him, but of being filled with the Lord.
We are judged by our obedience to His presence within us. We are not judged by whether or not we do the works Christ did. We are not judged by whether or not we know everything about the Lord or believe everything accurately, both are impossible. “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” -Paul 1 Cor. 13:12. We are only judged by the Lord’s presence filling us up in every increasing measures and obeying whatever that infilling of the Holy Spirit asks of us. Whether it makes sense or not. Whether it fits our beliefs of what the Father would ask of us or not ask of us.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Jesus, Mat. 11:28-29.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” -Jesus, John 15:1-6.
Everything of our Spiritual walk comes down to what Christ asked of us. To what Christ expected of us. Christ only expected four things of us. To come to Christ, to learn of Him, to continuously live in His presence, and to obey whatever He tells us when we are in His presence. There is nothing more expected of us. There is no other obligation expected of us. No obligation for us to heal, raise the dead, speak in tongues, prophesy, minister, care for the poor and oppressed, and save the lost. For when it is an obligation of our’s it is a work of the flesh. When the obligation is Christ’s, where He works through whomever He pleases whenever He pleases, it then produces life for only Christ can give life for He is the only life.
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” -Jesus, Mat. 13:3-8; 22 & 23.
The Lord warned us about being consumed by the worries and concerns of this life. In fact, He warned us a great deal what the worries and concerns of this life would do to us. What was the warning? “Making it unfruitful.” Jesus said if we do not bear fruit we would be cut off and burned. Jesus promised us that if we became consumed by the worries and concerns of this life it would choke out His life in us.
I can hear what you must be thinking, “But wait a minute here! Jesus said if we don’t produce fruit we will be cut off and burned. You are telling me that if I attempt to, in the Lord, of my own volition heal people, raise the dead, save the lost, and preach the truth that I am being consumed by the worries and concerns of this life and am actually unfruitful?!” Yes, that is precisely what I am telling you. “No branch can produce fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine.” The moment we try to do something for God we have hopped off the vine to do something. We are apart from Christ even if we are doing what we think are the “works of Christ.” The fruit of the Spirit is exactly that, the fruit of the Spirit. Not the fruit or works of us, but of the Spirit working in us.
Be careful not to take up an obligations, works, or fruits except of living in the Lord’s presence and obeying whatever He commands of you moment by moment. We have no other obligation than constant life and moment by moment obedience to the Lord. The rest is worries and concerns of this life or even of our walk with Christ. Be like Potiphar who was wise in entrusting everything good, bad, and spiritual to the Lord and having no concern but consuming more of Christ.
Let our only concern be consuming more of Christ and obeying what He speaks to us each moment.
There are many things the average Christian believes themselves to be today. The list of what the “best” Christians are is an endless, daunting list that flaunts the pride of the individual. Without realizing it our image of the best Christian is equal to God without it actually being God. Of course we say things like Christ makes us that righteous or like Christ, but the truth is its not Christ in us who by Himself is already glorious that we are imaging. Its ourselves, in our flesh, being as glorious as Christ. Christ just helped us to become as glorious as Himself.
“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.” 2 Cor 5:11-12
Nothing could be further than the truth. Christ will never glorify us. Christ will never exalt us in and of ourselves. There is nothing in us that Christ will ever make glorious, better, greater, or perfect. What will Christ do? Christ will humble us. Christ will crucify us. Christ will strip away everything that is of us. Christ will strip everything away of mankind’s, the first Adam’s, nature. What will be left? Christ alone will be left. When this happens then He can be glorified, exalted, magnified, lifted high and the whole world will stand in awe of Him.
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Cor 5:14-17.
But it is utterly nothing of ourselves. When we say its “nothing of ourselves” we think its a work Christ does to better us and we are incapable of doing so apart from Him. This is not the meaning of the work of Christ being nothing of ourselves. This saying is literal. When we receive Christ we become nothing of ourselves. Everything of us dies and everything of Christ lives. We literally become nothing of ourselves any more. Nothing of the first Adam’s nature and we become everything of the second Adam’s, Christ’s, nature. We are a new creation, behold we are a new man!
In theory many Christians understand this concept to a degree. They believe they are a new creation and thus God redeems their old nature to make it match up to the nature of Christ’s. God will never redeem man’s old nature. The old nature, the first Adam’s nature, and everything that comes with it are put to death permanently. The new creation, the new man, is then birthed and everything that comes from it is spiritual life. A life that is nothing of this world, making us aliens amongst this world. A life that is entirely other than anything we know in the first man’s nature or in his “redeemed” nature. An entirely new, other nature which is Jesus Christ. We become totally dependent on Christ’s nature in us, rather than on Christ redeeming our original nature.
Have you ever hated? Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen? Have you ever lusted after someone else? Have you ever used God’s name in vain? Have you ever wanted what someone else has? You are a murderous, covetous, blasphemous liar, thief, and adulterer. This is all of the first man’s nature. This will always be the first man’s nature. Have you done these things after you became a believer? You bet you have done every single one! Then by your admission the Lord has never redeemed your old nature and made it better. The first man’s nature is still a liar, thief, adulterer, covetous, murderous, and blasphemous. His nature in you will never change or become better.
Jesus Christ is fully God. He is fully perfect and righteous. Jesus Christ never lied, stole, lusted, coveted, blasphemed, or hated. Jesus Christ’s nature in you is perfect and righteous. We are nothing but what is contrary to the nature of Christ in our own nature. It can never be redeemed to Christ’s nature. But we can live in Christ’s nature. Christ in us is the hope of glory! Christ in us is righteousness, faith, peace, love, victorious, strong. It is He in us who is these things, not us in Him who possess His things.
We can never possess that which is of Christ in our flesh. But we can possess Christ, in His entirety which includes all those things of Him, in us. We can never do or be for Christ. But if we lay down ourselves entirely, the Lord can live through us and do and be all those things of healing, life, prophecy, restoration, peace, faith,love, comforting, raising the dead, etc. Christ doesn’t want a people who will do all these for Him, but a people who will die and let Him do it through them in His timing and leading and way. We don’t lead Christ. We are no one but a dead man. But Christ in us is everything, fully alive, working out His purposes through us however He sees fit.
As we begin to understand this way of God re-birthing us we begin to be troubled by many sayings in music, books, fellow believers, sermons, radio talk show hosts, Christian television programming, etc that speak of a redeemed first man’s nature. We begin to see with spiritual eyes just how deceived we were and others still are. We have to be careful not to fall into the same trap of trying to redeem our old nature by avoiding speaking about our old nature being redeemed and glorified. It is nothing of ourselves, but everything of Christ now.
Some sayings to be cautious of:
“We need to understand our identity in Christ” – Our identity in Christ is nothing other than a dead man! Christ in us is the child of God, the hope of glory, perfect, righteous, a royal priest, and a holy nation. We don’t need to understand our identity. We need to understand Christ’s identity. The Father only reveals His Son.
“We are victorious!” – Only Christ is victorious and He is in us. We lost the battle at the beginning with Adam, but Christ in us has won the battle. We are not victorious, but Christ is.
“Be righteous as He is righteous.” – We can never, EVER be righteous. The first man’s nature has been sinful from the beginning and will be forever more. Only Christ is righteous, only He in us can be righteousness for us.
“Think upon whatever is good, right, pure, holy…” – We cannot in the first man’s nature think of anything right, pure, holy, or good. Every good thought of ourselves is actually evil. Its selfish, hurtful, malicious, angry, lustful, covetous, etc. Only Christ in us can think upon whatever is good, right, pure, and holy for He thinks of only His Father who is all of those things.
“We will stand glorified with Christ one day!” – We will never be glorified. We are nothing, worthless filthy rags, broken vessels of cheap clay, useless. Only Christ in us will be glorified one day. He will be exalted above every nation, power, and principality. We in our old nature will not be, but Christ in us will be. When we are one with Christ and that part of Him, combined with us, will be exalted high. But it is nothing of ourselves.
“We are holy.” – See righteousness … there is nothing holy in us, only Christ is holy.
“We are hard pressed but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed …” – Believers love to sing this song as though its us of the first Adam who was not crushed, despaired, abandoned, destroyed. But everything of us is crushed, despaired, abandoned, and destroyed. Everything of the first Adam is put to death, destroyed in essence. It is Christ in us who is not destroyed, crushed, or abandoned. Christ in us is the one who is hard pressed, persecuted, struck down. The attacks leveled against us are nothing of ourselves but everything of Christ in us! We see this by what Paul says in follow up:
“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” – 2 Cor 4:5-12.
Everything of ourselves has been given completely over to death. Mankind will never be redeemed, but rather put to death. Christ will never make us, in and of ourselves, into anything extraordinary. Christ will put us to death. Then Christ in us will live and He is already and forever more will be extraordinary. He will be exalted, glorified, persecuted, but never destroyed. Christ will have all the glory and is already victorious. Not us, but Christ.
Reconsider how you talk, think, sing, write, relate. Reconsider what you read and listen to. We are nothing, Christ is everything. He is all.
Out of great, reciprocal love the Father created all of creation as a lavish gift for the Son. This gift was not a gift without a purpose, though. The gift has a gift in and of itself. Instead of creating a beautiful necklace full of expensive gems, the Father created for the Son a child. A whole race of children. What the Father gave the Son when he gave Christ all of creation is like a man giving a woman a child she has long desired and yearned for instead of a precious ruby necklace.
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.” – Jesus, John 17:9-10.
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” – Col 1:15-20.
When the Father created us as a gift for the Son it was not as a simple gift. Our purpose was to increase Christ. To make the one man of Christ into a sea of people who formed the one image of Christ! Christ’s physical image blown up on the earth by millions of times. Christ magnified in the literal sense! We were a gift to Christ that would magnify Him as though literally placing a magnifying glass on Christ to enlarge Him.
Each of us are a piece of Christ blown up into the size of a man. When all of our pieces, every child of God, are put together we become a full picture of Christ. Not only a full picture of Christ, but we are one with Christ with his very blood and life within us. We experience and live out Christ within us together as a Body.
The Father created us with a very specific purpose. A purpose to increase the visible image of the Son to millions of times the size it was when Jesus walked on earth. A gift to increase Jesus Christ to a point where not one man could behold him for he was so great, but it would take a sea of people to behold his greatness. Jesus Christ glorified to the point where he would fill the entire earth with his image and yet still by only one man.
What better gift could the Father have given? The Father gave his Son the ultimate gift to become enlarged, glorified, magnified, increased, and perfectly make visible the greatness and endlessness of Christ’s nature.
We can see a beautiful picture of this love story and of the gift of Christ’s increased visible image in the temple of Moses, David, and Solomon. The Father gave the Israelites a picture of how the Father, Christ, and us fit into the love story of the Triune God.
The ark of the covenant is a picture of Christ. Cherubim to watch over Christ as was prophesied later that the Father would give angels to guard over his Son. Within the ark were pictures of Christ the rod of Aaron that healed as only Christ can, manna as Christ is the bread of life, and the ten commandments of the law that only Christ can and did fulfill. On the outside of the box fruit trees were inscribed on the side. Jesus Christ was the tree of life.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Cor. 6:19-20.
“For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”” – 2 Cor 6:16.
“As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 2:4-5.
On the walls of the temple the Father commanded fruit trees, a river, and cherubim to be inscribed into the gold. In fact the walls of the temple were an exact blown up replica of the ark of the covenant*! We are the walls of the temple of God. We are living stones building up the walls of the spiritual temple of God. We are literally each a blown up piece of the ark of the covenant, who is a picture of Jesus Christ.
Does the love story end here? Is the last proof of great love between the Father and Son a gift of increasing Christ by all of creation? The great love of the Triune God does not end here. Christ decided to give a great gift back to the Father because his love for his Father is just as immense.
Whose presence filled the temple of Moses, David, and Solomon? The Father’s presence filled the temple. Where did the Father’s presence reside? In the Holy of Holies. The Father’s presence filled the chamber where the ark of the covenant resided. Christ was enveloped in the presence of the Father.
Who did the Father dwell within? The walls of the temple. The ark of the covenant’s minute details were blown up into large stone pieces of the wall of the temple. Then the Father dwelt in the enlarged ark of the covenant and the ark of the covenant dwelt within Him.
Christ has taken the Father’s wonderful gift of enlarging him through us and turned us as one with Christ into an enlarged dwelling place for the Father. Christ could have given the Father just himself as a dwelling place. Just the ark of the covenant. The Father could have just dwelt within the ark. Instead Christ took his enlargement, his gift, and poured it back out to the Father as a gift of a dwelling place in His enlarged son.
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” – Gen 1:26.
“No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” – John 1:8.
” 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’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 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 works themselves.” – Jesus, John 14:9-11.
The eternal purpose of God is to pour out their immense love for one another again and again. The Father’s eternal purpose is to pour out his love for the Son by a gift of enlarging the visible image of the Son. The Son’s eternal purpose is to pour out his love for the Father by giving his enlarged image back to the Father as a glorious dwelling place. For the Father and Son and Holy Spirit have dwelt within each other for all of eternity and will continue to for all of time.
We are the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose. We are the fullness of Christ that the Father dwells within. We fulfill both the Father’s and Son’s great, eternal purposes of love by living in Christ with one another. We have no greater calling, no greater aim, no greater purpose than to die to the first Adam’s nature and live in Christ’s nature. For when we live in Christ together as brothers and sisters without any additions, for additions keep us from being an exact replica of the temple walls, we are fulfilling the eternal love purpose of God.
The eternal love, purpose, of God can be summed up with the following:
A Father greatly consumed with a Son. A Father whose heart ticks for His Son. A King who lays down his crown before the age of retirement to exalt his Son. A father who burns with such passion for his Son he no longer rules over his kingdom. A King who gives up life with his Son to increase his Son’s kingdom. A Father who gives all rule and authority he enjoyed to his Son. A Lord who owns all and gives it all away to his Son. A Father who could have had everything but gave it all up to the Son.A Son who loves his Father that he would sacrifice all freedom to serve his Father. Would give of his very life blood, dying the worst death to give life back to his Father. A son who takes all the lavish gifts of a Father and pours them back as a dwelling place for his self-dethroned Father. A Son who lays down the beautiful, glorious, powerful crown given him and returns it to the head of his Father. A Son, a man, the God, a Lord so loyal to his Father he gives all he is given away. Freely giving of all his blood, body, love, possessions to be consumed and filled by God. A Son who gives the defeat of his greatest enemy to his Father as a token of awe and respect. Who takes the throne and footstool set before him as a gift and turns it into an even greater gift, an increase of talents, to make it a dwelling, a throne, for his Father. All in love. Out of great, unending love. A love of Father and Son, Savior and Rescuer, Husband and Wife, Lord and Savior, Lion and Lamb, Alpha and Omega, King and Ruler, Lord and Servant, Giver and Follower, Master and Lord.
The Eternal purpose of God is centered, absorbed, and revolved around a circle of love between the Son and the Father. One cannot comprehend the eternal purpose of God until he can comprehend how vast, endless, and eternal the love of the Father is for the Son and the Son is for the Father.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” -Jesus, John 17:24.
There is only one person the Father loves, Jesus Christ, his Son. The Father is head over heels in love with Jesus Christ! Before the foundation of the world the Father loved his Son with every beat of His heart. There was no one else the Father was more consumed with, in love with, or pleased by than his Son. The Father was intensely in love with Jesus Christ. His love for his Son was so immense that the Father constantly poured out all his love on his Son. The Father was consumed with love for Jesus Christ. There was no other person He desired or loved more.
“… the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.” -Rev. 13:8b
“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” -John 10:17-18
“If you really love Me, you will keep My commands.” -Jesus, John 14:15.
Equally the Son was very much in love with the Father. Christ was consumed with the Father to the point where no one else mattered. Nothing else mattered to the Son other than pleasing his Father. Christ was intensely consumed with pleasing, loving, and dwelling with his Father. There was no one else who Christ desired to be around, live with, love back. Christ was consumed with God in every aspect of his being! Christ was so in love with the Father that He laid down His life for the Father before we were ever created. Christ crucified Himself out of love for the Father before we ever came into being, sinned, or needed rescuing. Why? Because Christ loved the Father enough to lay down his life as an ultimate gift of love to the Father.
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” -Jesus, John 4:34
“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” -Jesus, John 6:38
“Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” -John 8:28-29.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. ” -Jesus, John 15:9-10.
Christ’s love for the Father is seen by Christ obeying the commands of his Father. The Son’s great love for the Father is seen by his doing the will of his Father. Jesus told us that if we love him we will obey his commands. Why did Christ say this was proof of our love for him? Because the proof of Christ’s love for the Father was shown by his obedience to his Father’s commands. Christ’s obedience to the Father in doing the Father’s will and laying down his life was the offering back of love.
Before our creation Christ was consumed with love for the Father. Before our creation the Father was consumed with love for Christ. Before the foundation of the world Christ laid down his life for his Father out of his great love. See this love circle going on? The Father pours out His great love to the Son. Then the Son pours out his great love for the Father by laying down his life for the Father. The Father loved his Son before he gave up his life and even more after the Son died for him. What does the Father do then to show his great love back for the Son?
Did God offer all his love again? No, the Father did something greater to demonstrate His love. When a man falls in love with a woman he gives her all of his love. The woman then reciprocates, giving the man all of her love. Then what does the man do? The man buys the woman a beautiful, costly gift to demonstrate his great love.
The way a man loves a woman is a picture of the Father’s love for his Son. After Christ laid down his life for the Father as a token of love the Father decided to give Christ a gift to demonstrate his great love. But what could the Father give the Son? The Father had already given Christ all of himself, all of his love.
What other gift could the Father give that would matter to the Son? The Father decided to create a gift for his Son. What did God create as the gift for his Son? All of creation. That’s right, the Father created us as a gift of his great love for the Son.
The same love circle between the Father and Son is still continuing on today. They are still both consumed with love for one another. They are both consumed with dwelling in one another.
This consummation was to the point where Christ only did what He saw His Father doing and only spoke the words of His Father. Christ’s very being was letting the Father dwell in Him and living out the Father. Christ came with no other purpose, no other desire than to glorify the Father, have His Father dwell in Him, and live out the life of the Father.