What is the kingdom of God?

When we speak, not with our own tongues, but as the Spirit gives us utterance (Acts 2:4), we are establishing the kingdom of God. Why is this establishing the kingdom of God? What is the kingdom of God? Where is the kingdom of God? For the Lord says He is establishing His kingdom. When this kingdom of God is established in time, the Lord will return to us.

In Luke 17:20-21, “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” The KJV and various other translations says, “…the kingdom of God is within you.” The word in Greek for “in the midst” is “entos” meaning within or among. It is the same word used in Matt. 23:26, where the Lord tells the Pharisees to “first clean the inside of the cup”. “You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.” (Matt. 23:26) So the Lord was using a double meaning here. Realize when the kingdom of God is coming is now, as Jesus was standing in the midst of the Pharisees that were asking the question. Jesus was establishing the entrance to the kingdom by His death, resurrection and ascension. This allows man to enter into and become a part of His kingdom. But it also answers the question of where the kingdom of God is established. It is established within us. When we are cleansed on the inside of our cups, the outside will be cleaned. When the desires and intents of our heart are cleansed, the outward expression will be in His reality. It will be Christ expressed in us. That is the establishment of His kingdom. That is why when the Spirit gives us utterance, the kingdom of God is established.

That is why you cannot see the kingdom of God coming as something to be observed. The kingdom of God is the hidden reality of God dwelling within man, bring man into glory. When man gives up his own desires and intents of his heart, and allows God to be expressed in Him, Christ has aligned his heart to God. The good that is expressed in man becomes just Christ expressed in us. We become one spirit with the Lord. “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.” (1 Cor. 6:17) When we have the mind of Christ and express His nature – His love, His light, His holiness and His righteousness – the very reality of who God is will be expressed within us. That is the kingdom of God. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” (Rom. 14:17-19)

The expression of Christ from our spirit, from within, produce works that are acceptable to God and approved by men. That is how we make peace and build the kingdom of God. In building the kingdom of God, man is transformed into a dwelling place for Him. The invisible God has no physical form but the incarnated Jesus has. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (Col. 1:15) Realize God made Himself visible in Christ. Jesus made God – His love, His light, His holiness and His righteousness – visible. “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Col. 16:17) Realize all things, whether physical or not, were created through Him and for Him. “And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent.” (Col. 1:17-18) The establishment of the church, His body, is the establishment of His kingdom. In time, He is the beginning of all creation because it is a realm in which God resides in man, as His body, and His nature is expressed through man. “For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,” (Col. 1:19) and this fullness is in us all who are Christians and have received the fullness of His Spirit. “For from His fullness we have all received” (John 1:16) being “filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:4) We are filled with His divine nature so we express Him. “And through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.” (Col. 1:20) When all things are reconciled to Himself, then earth, this physical world, will be the same as in heaven, in the invisible world of God the Father. The two will be reconciled into one, so the expression of the divine nature will be visible, on this earth, as one. That is why Jesus teaches us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mat. 6:10)

“Our Father who is in heaven,” (Mat. 6:9), when we finally honour and worship Him in reality, surrendering our own wills to be one with Him, we will “Hallowed be thy name,” (Mat. 6:9) Then His kingdom will be established. “Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” His kingdom comes when His will is done so that we on earth express what is in the realm of the Spirit, the reality of what God the Father is, living within us. That is why the kingdom of God is within us.

The combination of God in man is the establishment of His kingdom as the New Jerusalem. That is why it has four sides with three doors on each side. Three is the number of God now combined with one more, man, to make four. When we are transformed into the living and precious stones that form its walls, we express God’s nature, jasper, and not our own in the flesh. We will eat of Him, depending on Him for our strength, feeding on the tree of life which bears fruit continuously every month, and drink of Him as the living water. The thirst God has put into man’s heart is finally satisfied.

 

“As a deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” (Psa. 42:1-2)

 

It all starts with a drink at the well. “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14) This water is none other than God Himself, returned to us for our possession. “But an hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truthfulness, for the Father also seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.” (John 4:23-24 – Recovery Version) When we worship in our spirits and live out this physical life on earth through the power of His Spirit within, the Lord has established His kingdom.

 

Where the kingdom of God is established is within our spirits. That is why the Lord was answering the woman’s question of where we should worship God. “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” (John 4:20) It is no longer in Jerusalem or any high mountain. His kingdom is no longer established in any physical place or a place with some high theology. It is no longer in the way we refer to “churches” today with all their high levels of thoughts. “O mighty mountain, O mountain of Bashan / O many-peaked mountain, O mountain of Bashan: / Why do you look with envy, O many-peaked mountains / At the mountain on which God desires to dwell? / Indeed Jehovah will dwell there forever.” (Psa. 68:15-16) The place where God wishes to dwell is within our spirits and in truthfulness (in reality). Within our spirits is where the Spirit today is establishing His kingdom. Worship Him in the place of your spirit. Worship Him is truthfulness. That is His body. That is His church today.

“The kingdom of God does not consist of talk but in power.” (1 Cor. 4:20)

 

 

 

 

 

How do we hear and speak forth Christ?

To be able to speak forth Christ to feed the saints, we must first learn how to hear Him. Christ speaks to us through the words written within the Bible. These words are alive and are spirit and life to us. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:14) To realize what the Spirit is saying to us, we must first be in the right place. We must dwell within His temple.

Samuel, a Nazarite, dwelt there. In the days when the word of the Lord was rare, Samuel dwelt within the temple where the ark of God was. “Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli. And word from the Lord was rare in those days, visions were infrequent. It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was, that the Lord called Samuel; and he said, ‘Here I am.’” (1 Sam. 3:1-4) To hear the Lord’s speaking today we need to lie within the temple of our spirits where the Spirit resides. We need to be constantly living, moving, and existing within our spirits where the Spirit resides. “For in Him we live and move and exist.” (Acts 17:28)

When we are here, within the Holy of Holies within our spirits, we will be face to face with God. He will speak to us plainly, without riddles. “And Jehovah would speak to Moses face to face, just as the man speaks to his companion…” (Exo. 33:11) from the expiation cover between the two cherubims. “My servant Moses…is faithful in all My house. With him I speak face to face, even openly, and not in riddles; and he beholds the form of Jehovah…” (Num. 12:7-8) To see the Spirit openly and without riddles, we need to dwell within our spirits where the Spirit is. We need to live and move and exist in Him so we are always facing Christ and beholding and reflecting Him. “But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of God, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.” (1 Cor. 3:18 – Recovery Version) When we behold the Lord in our spirits, He will transform us so we reflect His glory. We begin to speak not from ourselves, but only when the Spirit gives us utterance. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)

When we speak forth from our spirits as the Spirit gives us utterance, the natural man will not understand this wisdom. “Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in the ministry, the hidden wisdom which God predestinated before the ages to our glory.” (1 Cor. 2:6-7) “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God… Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised… For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:10-16) To speak, not from our natural man in our flesh, but from the Spirit dwelling within our spirits, we need to listen and hear the Spirit and follow His instructions. That is what Moses did wrong in front of the assembly of God’s people.

In the wilderness, when the people were thirsty, Moses was told to speak to the rock, which was a type of Christ, who will bring forth water to quench the people’s thirst. “Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and the beasts drink.” (Num. 20:8) This rock was Christ. “And all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:4) We must learn to speak to this spiritual rock who is dwelling in our spirits. Christ must be realized in us in such a living way that we are speaking to Him, face to face, in our spirits. Each word we utter, must be the Spirit’s utterance.

An example of this is when Stephen was martyred. Realize he was speaking to the rock, to Christ, in front of the congregation of men stoning him…and in front of Saul. “But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens open up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God… When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’ Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’” (Acts 7:55-60) When Stephen talked to God in his spirit, Saul became a witness of the testimony of Christ. Realize Stephen was speaking to the rock, the rock that was Christ (1 Cor. 10:4) so that men could see and witness the reality of Christ. So when Christ appeared to Saul, and said, “Why are you persecuting Me?” Saul realized whom he was persecuting. Saul received a spiritual drink. He realized, as Saul, although he might not have met Christ, he was persecuting the body of Christ. He was persecuting a man who was born of the Spirit with the mind of Christ. He must have questioned why Stephan, a man that was being stoned to death, was worried about the very men that were stoning him to death. He was asking God to forgive them, to not count this very sin they were committing on him. Realize this is the divine nature expressed through the human nature, the flesh of Stephen, because he had been transformed to the image of Christ. Christ was who Saul was persecuting, not Stephen. When Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, Saul must have realized when he was persecuting Stephen, he was persecuting a man who had given up himself and was transformed with the mind of Christ. Saul received a spiritual drink, so Saul was transformed into a new creation himself, now called Paul.

When we have the mind of Christ, we will see Christ in every passage of the Bible because that is how the Bible is written. If we approach it from the flesh, we will only see rules and facts. In we let the Spirit living within us understand the Bible, we will see Christ spoken of everywhere. That is why “for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.” (2 Cor. 3:14) This verse even gives the reason, “But their minds were hardened…” (2 Cor. 3:14) in their flesh, in their natural thinking and understanding. Realize “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) When we look into the Word, we will see God everywhere, in every passage of the Bible, Christ will be there. [That is why I have rarely quoted the many authors in the past expressing their revelations of the Spirit. If we say Andrew Murray said this, we have diminished the significance of what he is saying because we have attributed the idea to Andrew and not to the Spirit living within Andrew. If it is the Spirit speaking through Andrew, why should we say Andrew said it? The natural man may call this plagiarism if we don’t attribute sayings to a human author. But if their words are from the Spirit speaking through them, why should we say they said it. It would be like attributing the words in Colossians to Paul rather than to God. What we say must not be new, but a revelation by the Spirit living within us of what is already written there in the Bible. If we think we are saying something new, that is not simply revealed to us by the Spirit, realize that is of the flesh. All saints should not only have these revelations from the Spirit speaking in them, but should have the same revelations if it is from the Spirit speaking through them. There should be no differences amongst the saints when it comes to the Word of God. (There may be differences in opinion in the things pertaining to the flesh – whether we should go here or there.) The differences in doctrine amongst the various denominations originate from man upholding various ideas based on his flesh and not according to the Spirit. Realize the common element among all the saints is the Spirit. Throughout the centuries, Christ has recovered various revelations of His Word through various men that dwelt in the Holy of Holies. At a time when the speaking of God was rare, and the light was about to go out, God spoke through Luther His thought of justification by faith. Realize Luther did not invent this – it was merely revealed to him. When he posted his comments, he posted it as questions. The Spirit speaking to Him never meant to form another group. What should have happened is all the saints should have “spiritually appraised” (1 Cor. 2:14) his speaking – they should have asked the Spirit in their spirit if what he said was according to the Spirit. If it is, they should have dropped all the things of human tradition, things of the flesh, to move on with all the things of the Spirit, that is, to move on with Christ, so they could follow the cloud wherever it moved. That is why as we mature, we follow Christ (John 21:18). We learn what it means to “Follow Me!” (John 21:19) When we speak from the Spirit within our spirits, and it is only the Spirit speaking, we are judged by no man. “But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself in appraised by no one.” (1 Cor. 2:15) Why is he appraised by no one? Because it is the Spirit Himself giving him utterance. We should speak only as the Spirit gives us utterance. Otherwise, we will be speaking from ourselves, from our flesh.] That is why “…Christ is all, and in all.” (Col. 3:11) When we speak to the rock, realize Christ must be expressed. Paul was such a person. When he read the Old Testament, he could see Christ everywhere. This was only after Jesus removed the veil from his eyes and restored his sight. For believers today, realize we all have this veil removed by Christ so we could see the Spirit, however dimly. But as we approach the Holy of Holies, as we go from the Holy Place into the Holy of Holies and begin to dwell there, we will see Him brightly. We will see Him as the Word. We will see Him as the Word made flesh, dwelling among us in His glory. We will see the Word as the sword of the Spirit, living and operating in us to separate thoughts that come from the natural man from thoughts that come from the Spirit (Heb. 4:12). We will see the morning star shining on every aspect of our lives on this earth – “…until the day dawn and the morning star arises in your hearts (2 Pet. 1:19). “But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18) That is why we believe. That is why we are all seeking more and more of Him.

As we speak to the rock, seeing Christ in all the Scriptures, Christ will flow out to quench the thirst of all those who hear. This is how man eats and drinks of the Spirit. When we see Christ in all the Scriptures, we are taking a spiritual drink and our faith is increased. We grow in Christ and are nourished in our spirits, growing in our spirit with the Spirit so we are saved from this world. Today, realize the fiery serpent has bitten all of us in our flesh (Num. 21:5-9). Our flesh has been poisoned to follow its own desires. That is why we need to see Christ. When He is uplifted in all the passages of Scriptures for us to see, our faith will grow and we will mature in Christ. We will be saved. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15)

Today, we must all learn how to lift up the brass serpent for others to see. We must uplift Christ and Christ alone from the Scriptures, not Bible thumping the law, but uplifting the reality of the story of grace and love, of uplifting a God who humbled Himself as a man, sinless without poison as a brass serpent, to die on the cross for us so we could live just by looking to Him. As we uplift Him in more and more passages of Scriptures, realize it is Christ Himself doing the lifting in us by revealing more and more of Himself to us. As this happens, there will be less and less of us, and more and more of Him. There will be less and less of our flesh, and more and more of the Spirit. We will live more and more by faith in the Son of God (Gal. 2:20) as we see more and more of His reality. We would have matured so we don’t live by the thoughts in our flesh, dressing ourselves and going where we want to go, but have surrendered to Him, allowing Him to dress us and take us where we don’t want to go. (John 21:18) We would have matured to follow Christ. (John 21:19) “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wish; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” (John 21:18)

This is how we speak to the rock, to Christ, today to supply the Spirit of life for others to drink. Realize the spiritual reality that is supplied is Christ Himself. It will not be accepted by the natural man who thinks in the realm of his flesh. We might express our own frustration by striking the rock and trying is our flesh to nourish His people. We might feel that no matter what God does for His people, even opening the Red Sea, the people did not believe. However, realize that is an expression of the flesh. By striking the rock, Moses did not follow Jehovah’s instructions. He did not honour Jehovah in front of the congregation. He had his own way of doing things in his flesh. He did not follow Jehovah that spoke to Him face to face in the Holy of Holies. “And Jehovah would speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his companion…” (Exo. 33:11) “With him I speak face to face, even openly, and not in riddles; And he beholds the form of Jehovah…” (Num. 12:8) That is why Moses was not permitted into the good land.

Today God looks to see if we follow the instructions He speaks to us in the temples of our spirits. As believers, He instructs us in a much closer way within our hearts in our conscience. For it is in our hearts that God judges and deals with us. Not only are our outward actions important, but our inward motives and intents within our hearts are even more important. That is why there are cities of refuge for the children of Israel (Num. 35). If a person strikes another man with an iron object, a stone, or a wooden object and the man dies, he is a murderer according to the law. “But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or threw something at him without lying in wait, or with any deadly object of stone, and without seeing it dropped on him so that he died, while he was not his enemy nor seeking his injury, then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the blood avenger according to these ordinances. The congregation shall deliver the manslayer from the hand of the blood avenger, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge to which he fled; and he shall live in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil. But if the manslayer at any time goes beyond the border of his city of refuge to which he may flee, and the blood avenger finds him outside the border of his city of refuge, and the blood avenger kills the manslayer, he will not be guilty of blood because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest the manslayer shall return to the land of his possession.” (Num. 35:22-28) Today, our high priest is Christ, “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.” (Heb. 3:1), who was anointed by the Holy Spirit (John 1:32; 1 John 2:20) and has died for us, once for all so that our sins are forgiven. We have come to one of His cities of refuge, the church in our locality today that should be full of the dispensing of His Spirit. The local church that we attend should be full of the dispensing of the Spirit, not only one that is doctrinally correct, but one that reveals Christ to us so our faith will grows. The church in our locality should supply us with the spiritual drink that is Christ so we will grow in our spirits and be transformed into His image, gradually from glory to glory. Christ must be expressed in the local church so our hunger and thirst will be satisfies. Our thirst for the eternal, “…He has also set eternity in their heart…” (Ecc. 3:11), “…As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul longs after You, O God.” (Psa. 42:1), will be satisfied so we don’t leave our cities of refuge. The speaking from the church in our locality must be to Christ as our rock to supply his people with a spiritual drink. When it does so, our spirits will realize we are dwelling in the house of God because we are satisfied. The attraction and desire for things of this world will no longer be appealing. We will no longer be following the desires of our flesh, but be following Christ in our spirits. When this happens, realize the laws will be written in our hearts and on our minds (Heb. 8:10) and we will no longer leave our city of refuge. “…I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts, And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (Heb. 8:10) To be His people, He must be our God. That is why external things we do in our flesh, sacrifices and offerings, God does not want. “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired” (Heb. 10:5), but the intents of the heart, is more important to Him. “I will put My laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them…And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Heb. 10:16-17) Realize why Christ had to come was to solve this inward problem of man. When His divine nature could not get into man without violating the righteous requirements of the law – “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (Gen. 3:22), the divine nature that allows man to live forever – He sent His Son to be born as a man so Jesus would have a divine nature and a human nature so He could live a perfect human life, then died, unrighteously so, for us to absolve our sins. At His death, He released the Spirit of reality (truth) (John 14) to enter back into man to make a home in their hearts. This brought His divine nature to dwell in man, putting His laws in our hearts and inscribing it into our minds as we become transformed into the same image as He so that we have the mind of Christ.

If we have this reality and still sin willfully, we have left our city of refuge and it is a frightful thing. “For if we go sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the terrible fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.” (Heb. 10:26-27) When we sin willfully after having our eyes illumined and having believed, we have trampled under foot the Son of God. “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb.10:29-31) Only in Christ and in Him alone will we find forgiveness. Only when He lives in us will our hearts and minds be transformed to express Him. Only when we present ourselves as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1) to Him will we have returned to our greatest possession (Num. 25:38)…which is Christ Himself.

 

Only Christ can change a man from within by supplying us with the Spirit so we become partakers of His divine nature. By talking with Him, face to face within the temple of our spirits, He is transforming us to His image, gradually from glory to glory.

 

Why should we only “speak…as the Spirit gives [us] utterance?” Or What is the expression of the Spirit?

When we are in the current of the Spirit, we do not speak from ourselves, but only as the Spirit gives us utterance. We no longer express who we are but who Christ is. “And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:3-4) When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, realize we speak, not from ourselves…but now the Spirit is speaking as it gives us His utterance.

The Spirit giving us expression is the most crucial and central aspect of why we are Christians. It touches the very core of why we are Christians. “For in Him we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:28) It is in the Spirit, in Christ Himself, that we must live and move and exist. It is the basic reason of why we are called Christians. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6) When we speak and the Spirit is not giving us utterance, we are speaking from our flesh, we are living and moving and existing only in our flesh and not the Spirit. Only when we are filled with the Spirit, we live and move and exist in the Spirit. “For in Him we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:28)

For Christians who love God, realize deep within your spirit, His Spirit will show you that Christ has returned to us. ”So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (1 Pet. 1:19) The morning star has arisen within our hearts. Realize Christ has come back to us as the Spirit now living within our hearts. Let the one flow of His Spirit open your spiritual eyes to see the presence of His reality living now amount us growing into His spiritual house. We have not only “heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You.” (Job 42:5) “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) By dying for us, He has prepared this place for us in our spirits, so His life-giving Spirit can now come into us, his many dwelling places to form the Father’s house. That is why “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3) He has received us into Himself in the Spirit by placing His Spirit into our spirits to be one with us. That is why He is “…the way, the truth (reality) and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) We are being built up into a spiritual house for God through Christ. “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 2:5) No one can come to the Father by any other way except through Him. “For in Him we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:28)

This is why “no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Christ has brought us into His kingdom, a realm that is holy, set apart for God, existing in His Spirit. He separates us from our fleshly nature so we are sanctified and can enter His kingdom where His divine nature is in the Spirit. Realize to be in His Spirit, means we are separated to holiness, to His distinct nature so we could be His counterpart. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6) The defining element of being a Christian is to be born, not only of blood, but of water, to be born of His Spirit. The Spirit dwelling in our spirits, making a home in our hearts, defines us as Christians, distinctly separated unto God to be a people for His possession. Realize our righteousness can no longer come from the flesh, but must come from the Spirit for it is the Spirit that gives us utterance. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Hisself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” (Gal. 2:20-21) That is why God’s expectation of us is holiness, an attribute that is only of God Himself. That is why we are to “present [ourselves] as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” (Rom. 12:1)

Many Christians today have believed and have been baptized with water, “born of water” (John 3:5) but have poorly realized what it is to be “born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5) When we first believed, realize Christ has breathed Himself into us as the essential Spirit, making us alive in our spirits with His Spirit. “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit,’” (John 20:22) making them alive and born of God having received the divine life in their spirits. Christians receive Christ Himself as He makes a mutual abode within them. But the disciples at that time were told to wait as they were not baptized with the Holy Spirit yet. They had received Christ as the divine life essentially so they were born again, but this divine life has not been realized and so is not matured in the Christians’ life. They have not realized what was living within them. They were not matured. They needed to be filled with the Spirit. That is why they were told to wait. “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” (Acts 24-5) The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a most critical item in our lives. It is altogether not an external act, but an internal reality. It is not of the flesh, but of the Spirit. It confers Christians with the divine power to realize the kingdom of God and built His house. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Realize when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will be witnesses, providing a testimony of God even to the remotest part of the earth.

Unfortunately, there are many Christians that have only been baptized by water according to John’s teaching. They have not realized and depended on the Spirit. They do not know what the current of the Spirit is and where it is flowing. They are not one with the Spirit yet and live within their minds. That is why Apollos could be fervent in his own spirit, accurately teaching and instructing people in the ways of the Lord, yet his disciples were only acquainted with the baptism of John, with the baptism of water. “This man (Apollos) had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit (note the small ‘s’), he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John.” (Acts 18:25) He could even powerfully refute the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. In rhetoric, Apollos was a powerful man so he created many followers who had believed through grace (Acts 18:27), yet realize they were without power. They were born of the Spirit, but depended on their own strength to try to be divine. They depended on the instructions and disciplining of the flesh to be divine. They depended on the flesh to reach and enter the kingdom of God.

When we do things, no matter how righteous and proper they are, when we set rules and regulations and simply follow them, when we take things that are spiritual and make rules out of them, we no longer depend on the Spirit, but we depend on the flesh. We are no longer crucified in our flesh, so we live, and not the Christ dwelling within us lives. We are telling God “I don’t need your Spirit, I can be righteous and holy myself.” This behaviour is a consequence of us taking the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Realize when we took of this tree, we were given only the knowledge of good and evil , but not the ability to do it. “For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” (Rom. 7:18) We were given the knowledge of good and evil , but not the reality of what good is. We lack holiness, which is an attribute only of God. So God sent us His Son, to die for us, shedding His blood to deal with all the evil that we have and will commit, and releasing His life-giving Spirit to us to bring the reality of goodness, of holiness, into us. “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth (reality), whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you [in the person of Jesus] and will be in you [as the Holy Spirit}.” (John 14:16:17) These two aspects, solving the problem of our sins by dying for us, and solving the problem of our inability to do the good by living in us as the reality of holiness, is why Christ came.

When we say to God, “I don’t need your Spirit, I can be righteous and holy myself” then Christ has died for nothing. “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died needlessly.” (Gal. 2:21) Following the law gives us that false sense that we could be holy in ourselves. The law sets up rules for man to follow so they think they could be holy by simply following a set of rules, even rules given by God in the Old Testament. “For if the first covenant had been faultless, there would be no occasion to look for a second.” (Heb. 8:2) That is why following the law, as in the Old Testament, is in the flesh and never pleased God. “Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” (Gal. 2:16) Anything that we do, in our flesh without the Spirit, that we think justifies us, is an expression of ourselves and not of God. Even “going to church on Sundays” can become a rule to us in the flesh. When we attend, out of duty and without the reality of the Spirit within giving us the expression (utterance), realize we are no longer faithful to Christ and what He has done for us. Instead of relying on the Spirit, we rely on the Law. When we do something based on tradition or habit because it has always been done that way, when we live and move and exist in ourselves apart from the Spirit, realize we have found another husband other than Christ. We have been foolish. “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:4) “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:2-3) When we follow the law and use our flesh, we have lost the simplicity and purity of Christ…of following the Spirit. “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25) The reason why Christ died for us and resurrected to indwell us so we could receive His life-giving Spirit to transform us, making us holy, becomes void, if we think we could be holy by the works of our flesh to reach God and be holy. “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:4) By believing in Christ, He comes to make a home in our hearts (John 14:23), bringing God’s divine nature into us so we are one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17), to be his bride. That is why when we follow the law, relying on the flesh, we have ‘another husband’…we have committed spiritual fornication (Lev. 20:5-6; Hosea 4:12). We have been unfaithful to the Spirit as our one husband. We have one husband who is Christ, and we are presented to Him as a pure virgin. That is why Numbers 5, a passage on infidelity, follows immediately after chapters on our priestly service.

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Command the people of Israel that they put out of the camp everyone who is leprous or has a discharge and everyone who is unclean through contact with the dead. You shall put out both male and female, putting them outside the camp, that they may not defile their camp, in the midst of which I dwell.’” (Num. 5:1-3) Any expression of the flesh makes us unclean (See previous blogs) in the presence of God. When we love, something or someone, in our flesh other than Christ, our one husband, we have join ourselves to a prostitute (Num. 5:11-31). “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.” (1 Cor. 6:16-17)

When we teach others to live righteously according to the efforts in their flesh, we are joining them to a prostitute (Rev. 17-18) and not our one husband Christ. The Spirit of Jesus living and operative in us as the Word (Heb. 4:12), willing and working in us for His good pleasure (Php. 2:13), is our one husband (and not the flesh). We must be faithful to Him. We have to trust in the Spirit to make us holy and not in our efforts in our flesh. “So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free woman.” (Gal. 4:31)

That is why when Paul passed through Ephesus, he realized this most critical deficiency in the disciples that Apollos was leading. “It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said to him, ‘No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’ Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 19:5) Realize Christians can receive a gospel with the baptism of repentance, yet be devoid of the reality of the Spirit. When we are baptized by the Spirit, notice that this is not a physical baptism, but a spiritual baptism as “they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus”. When we have the realization of a baptism into the name of the Lord Jesus, the Spirit has descended upon us as tongues of fire, and we begin to speak not with our own tongues but with other tongues, as the Spirit now gives us the utterance. (Act2 2:3-4) “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.” (Acts 19:6) Only when the Spirit of reality (truth) descends upon us as tongues of fire, do we speak as the Spirit gives us utterance…and live and move and exist in Him.

When we speak as the Spirit gives us utterance, realize Christ is wielding His sword through us. It is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,” (Eph. 6:17) that comes out of our mouths. It is no longer our flesh, our own ideas, our own thoughts, but that of Christ. We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). We have been joined to Him in one Spirit so we are His oracles. “Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 4:11) “For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’” (Acts 17:28) Realize every expression from us must be in Him. We live and move and exist only in Him.

When the Spirit takes over our being, we are living sacrifices, dead in our soul-lives but alive in our spirits by His Spirit, now truly holy and acceptable to God (Rom. 12:2) to be His counterpart, his bride. We have become joined to Him in one spirit with Him. We have made ourselves ready, dress in fine linen, white and clean. “…His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Rev. 19:7-8) “…These are the true words of God.” (Rev. 19:18) These Christians now “…hold the testimony of Jesus…” (Rev. 19:10)

When we ride with Him in victory over the flesh, over sin and over Satan, He is the reality of the testimony within us. He is the “…Faithful and True…called The Word of God…” (Rev. 19:11-13) We as His body, form the army. “And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations…” (Rev. 19:14-15) His army is dressed the same as the bride. His bride is His army because it has defeated the flesh, sin, and Satan, and been clothed with Christ. The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17), giving us His testimony so we speak as He gives us utterance (Acts 2:4), has finally defeated all flesh. So “’Come assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat of the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” (Rev. 19:17-18) When the flesh is defeated, meaning not only the sins we commit in our flesh, but our reliance on our knowledge of good and evil in the flesh, we will only rely on the Spirit and Christ will be all and in all. The war will be over. We will be relying only on the tree of life, the Spirit to give us expression. Christ, and only Christ our one husband, will have His expression through us. He will be the Head and we will be the body. So the Father, the Son and the Spirit will reign in God’s eternal kingdom, established and built by Christ, and made real in this physical world by His Spirit of reality dwelling in our spirits, forming His bride the New Jerusalem.

 

“And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2)

 

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5)

 

Be filled with the Spirit, and speak, not with your own tongue, but only as the Spirit gives you utterance. Then Christ will be the Head and we will be His body expressing only Him. “Making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite [to head up] all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Eph. 1:9-10)

What is the current of the Holy Spirit?

To experience God today, we need to realize the Holy Spirit is leading us forward today. The Holy Spirit is establishing the Kingdom of God on this earth. It is a flowing river coming out from the throne. The current of the Holy Spirit is the one leading us onward today. God was placed in front of the children of Israel in the Ark of the Covenant leading His people to cross the Jordan and to defeat Jericho. “At the end of three days the officers went through the camp and commanded the people, ‘As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it. Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.’” (Jos. 3:2-4). The Lord as the Holy Spirit leads us today. In defeating Jericho, the ark led the way in circling the city once for 6 days, then 7 times on the 7th day. No longer were the children of Israel complaining as they did when they came out of Egypt. In fact, not a word came out of their mouth. “But Joshua commanded the people, ‘You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.’” (Jos. 6:10) The children of Israel, transformed now by eating only manna, were to remain silent, with no expression of their flesh, no complains of why they were doing what they were doing, until they were to shout in unison, and the walls of the stronghold of Jericho fell down. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) The 120 in the upper room in Acts no longer spoke from themselves, but with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. This is the Holy Spirit today, leading the church onward so we are one in the current of the Holy Spirit.

When the body follows the Spirit, there is only one flow for it is only the one mind of Christ that is expressed in the body. “…But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16) “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Php. 2:5) That is how God accomplishes His purpose so all things become headed up in Christ. “Making known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself. Unto the economy of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him.” (Eph. 2:20-22)

When Christ heads up all things in us, realize it is the Holy Spirit that is transmitting all the elements of Christ into us. The term “Holy Spirit” is used only in reference to the Spirit after Jesus resurrected. Before the Spirit of God was simply referred to as the Spirit. It was because the Spirit was not yet. Before Jesus died for us, with reference to time, the Spirit did not contain the elements of Jesus’s humanity, nor His death, resurrection and ascension. That is why the Spirit was “not yet”. “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’ But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.” (John 7: 37-39 – Recovery Version) Before Jesus died for us, redemption had not been accomplished yet so the Spirit was not released for the disciples to receive. When Jesus’s Spirit was released to us after His death, resurrection, and ascension, He became the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) that could enter into man. He was one with the Holy Spirit now. That is why in Acts, the saints, forming his body, were led by the Holy Spirit. “And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.” (Acts 16:6-7) Realize the “Holy Spirit” and the “Spirit of Jesus” are now interchangeably used in leading the saints. It is now the Ark of the Covenant before his people, the Christians forming His body, the church, today.

This Spirit of Jesus contains all the elements of Jesus’s humanity, with His forgiveness and forbearance, and is now the Holy Spirit within us, becoming a flowing river within the believers. “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water gushing up into eternal life.” (John 4:14) The Spirit of Jesus not only satisfies us so we would never thirst again, but it will satisfy those around us, supplying them with life through the expressed humanity and divinity of Christ emanating from us. The expression of Jesus in His humanity emanating from us will flow out of us to others supplying them with life. That is the Spirit of Jesus becoming our constitution. “He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38) This living water that flows out of us is for others to drink. That is why when Stephen was stoned, he behaved just like Christ when He was crucified. “But being full of the Holy Spirit, he looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, Behold. I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. But they cried out with a loud voice and covered their ears and rushed upon him with one accord. And they threw him outside of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man called Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he called upon the Lord and said, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! And kneeling down, he cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not hold this sin against them. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:55-60) As he was dying, with his last breath, Stephen was concerned about those stoning him to death. Realize he was one with the Spirit of Jesus. He uttered what Jesus said at His crucifixion, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) He was worried about the very men that were involved in His death. “And crying out with a loud voice, Jesus said, Father into Your hands I commit My spirit. And saying this, He expired.” (Luke 23:46) When our spirits are one with the Spirit of Jesus, we will forgive, forebear and genuinely love our enemies as ourselves. This is how the body supplies each other so we grow together as one. The expression of Jesus’s humanity through us knits us together into one, where Christ becomes the Head, and we become His body. “But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ, out from whom all the body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the body unto the building up of itself in love.” (Eph. 4:15-16) “Being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus being the cornerstone. In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord. In whom you are also being built together into a dwelling place of God in Spirit.” (Eph. 2:20-22)

 

This is what the Spirit of Jesus is doing today.

That is the current of the Holy Spirit flowing today leading us onward to establish the Kingdom of God.

That is why we must be “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph. 4:3-5) When we let the Holy Spirit lead us, forsaking all else and denying ourselves, then Christ, as the Holy Spirit, could be over all and through all and in all.

What is “For to me to live is Christ…”?

When Paul says these seven simple words, “For to me to live is Christ…” (Php. 1:21), what does he mean? What did he see in his Spirit? What was he seeing with his inner eyes? What was his vision of Christ.

We know that man cannot be holy. Holiness is a distinctiveness of God. It makes God distinct from man. Yet Paul says, “For to me to live is Christ…” (Php. 1:21) This living of his human life on this earth is somehow so intimately one with the Spirit that he could say “For to me to live is Christ…” Realize Paul has joined himself with the Lord and become one Spirit with Him. “But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Cor. 6:17) Through the expression of the Spirit of reality that lives inside of Paul, Christ has made him a son of God in life and nature. Paul becomes the expression of Christ Himself on this earth. He has become a member of Christ’s body, fully saturated by Christ Himself. That is why when he was sailing to Rome as a prisoner to stand before Caesar, and they encountered this violent wind called Euraquilo (Acts 27:14) and they were being violently storm-tossed, he stood among the men in the boat and said, “Yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only the ship. For this very night an angel of God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.” (Acts 27:22-25) Realize this is a man who has become one with Christ. His living on this earth was an expression of Christ.

“When they had been brought safely through, then we found out that the island was called Malta. The natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us all. But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, ‘Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.’ However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.” (Acts 28:1-6) Realize that Christ had worked Himself into Paul to such an extent that human problems that were contrary to God’s plans no longer affect him. He simply shook off the attacks of Satan as Christ was living in him.

How did Paul become this way? Realize he never met Jesus before His resurrection. In fact, he was persecuting the Christians when he met the resurrected Christ. He was the instigator that persecuted Stephen. He was there when Stephen was stoned.

“But being full of the Holy Spirit, he [Stephen] gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’ Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ Having said this, he fell sleep.” (Acts 7:55-60)

The people placed their robes at the feet of Saul as they stoned Stephen. However, Stephen eyes were on the Lord. His inner eyes were open by the Spirit dwelling in him so he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. As opposed to the picture of Christ sitting (Mat. 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69; Eph. 1:20; 2:8; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2), here Jesus is standing, active and concerned in carrying out God’s economy, in caring for Stephen. As they stoned Stephen, he said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” reflecting what Jesus said at his crucifixion, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.” (Luke 23:46) Then as a last line, realize, Stephen or Christ living in Stephen (for they are one Spirit), was worried about those stoning him, and said, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” with his last breathe. As he was dying, he was more worried about the people stoning him. Realize in Stephen, Christ has transformed him into the same image as himself (2 Cor. 3:18). Jesus had pleaded for His accusers also. “But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’” (Luke 23:34) This is Christ, propagated in His body, of which Stephen was a member. This is Christ expressed in His body the church. This is Christ magnified in Stephen’s body. “According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Php. 1:20-21 – Recovery Version) Stephen was a testimony of Christ living within him. Saul (Paul) witnessed this.

That is why when Saul was on the way to Damascus, when Jesus appeared to him saying, “’Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus who you are persecuting.’” (Acts 9:4-5), Saul saw what he was doing in persecuting Stephen was to Christ Himself. He saw Christ living within the expression of Stephen, whom he persecuted. He saw Christ within all the members of Christ’s body whom he had persecuted. Realize Saul was spiritually blinded and could not see the reality of the Spirit expressing Christ. Only when Christ appeared to his spirit, when the Spirit Himself witnesses with his spirit (Rom. 8:16), could Paul see. “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eyes see You.” (Job 42:5)

That is why, “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to you fathers, saying, ‘Go to the people and say, “You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them.’” (Acts 28:25-27) On bended knees, I urge us all to ask God to open our eyes so we could see Him so He could express through us as His body. That Christ would be magnified in your body. That for you to live is Christ…

 

When Paul shook off the viper that fastened of him, even the unbelievers saw that somehow God was one with him and “…began to say that he was a god.” (Acts 28:6) Realize this is the propagation of the sons of God. Christ was the firstborn of many brothers. As the last Adam, by releasing the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) into the believers, He propagated Himself into man. He placed the divine life into us, being born into us so God is propagated and the reality of Christ is growing in us, maturing in His many sons. That is why we are His body. He is the Head, expressing His will, His person, and His life through the body. We serve as channels of the very expression of who He is.

That is how God makes us holy. “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16)

 

God is love…And we are the expressed part of who He is…

 

“For to me, to live is Christ…” (Php. 1:21)

How can we be holy as He is holy?

Holiness is a distinctiveness of God. It is what makes Him distinct from anything else. That is the very definition of God. He is holy. So how are we to be holy?

Jesus said to us, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mat. 5:48) What did He mean by this? In fact, all the people of God was supposed to be holy, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Lev. 19:2) Holiness is a distinctiveness only of God. Yet we are reminded by Peter, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16) What does this mean? How are we to be holy?

Realize human beings can never be holy by themselves. No matter how hard we try, no matter how righteous we are, no matter how perfect we think we are, as human beings, we can never be holy, as it is a distinctiveness of God. The only way to be holy then is to let God express Himself through us. That is why God says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16) To be holy is a passive term. We do not make ourselves holy; we become holy for He is holy. The holiness of Christ having taken residence in us, dwelling within man, living within His believers, makes us holy.

This holiness dwelling in us needs to be expressed so God lives out of us. The only way to do this is to die to ourselves so Christ could live out of us. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) When we no longer live to ourselves, when we no longer cherish our soul-lives (Rev. 12:11), Christ can live out of us so we express His holiness. That is why those who find their lives will lose it, those who lose their lives will find it (Mat. 10:39; 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; 17:33). This concept is repeated five times in the Bible for emphasis. When we lose our soul life, we will gain the divine life of Christ. Realize Christ will become our person and be expressed through our humanity. The love that is of God will be expressed in us to our brothers. That is how we love our neighbours as ourselves.

That is why Christ was incarnated to be a man, so He could experience what we experience in our humanity, and bring that back to God during His resurrection and ascension. Realize He brought humanity back to divinity. When Jesus resurrected, a new creation was formed. When He was born of Mary, He was the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16); when He resurrected, He became the firstborn Son of God (Col. 1:15; Rom. 8:29). As the firstborn Son of God, He had a humanity that has already been tested. So when He released the life-giving Spirit to us (1 Cor. 15:45), the Spirit has all the aspects of human living in Him. It had experienced all our temptations, all our needs and limitations of the flesh, all our desires to do things according to ourselves, and was victorious over all things, subjecting all things under His feet (Eph. 1:17). Realize this is the Christ that we have now received. It is victorious in all aspects of our humanity. In fact, the love we have for each other, the joy we share, the peace between men, the patience we show each other, the kindness we express, the goodness towards each other, the faithfulness we keep, the gentleness of our hearts, and the self-control we express, becomes a display of the fruit of the Spirit, of Christ Himself, lived out of us (Gal. 5:22-23). The two natures, Christ’s divinity and Christ’s humanity, has become one now expressed through His body, us. That is why whatever we bind on this earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on this earth will be loosed in heaven (Mat. 16:19; 18:18). That is why “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” (Mat. 6:10; Luke 11:2)

Where do we get the power to do this? Realize it is only in the power of the Holy Spirit. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:9) After the disciples received Christ and received the Holy Spirit as life to them, they were born again with an eternal life. “And when He had said this, He breathed of them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22) They were born of the Holy Spirit, but not filled with the fullness of the Spirit. They had the divine life, but had not recognized the divine power of this life that was in them. They still needed to be filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit. That is why, in His resurrection, Christ appeared to His disciples for forty days (Acts 1:3). This forty days was to remind us of the forty years the children of Israel spent in the wilderness. Having crossed the Red Sea, the children of Israel were all baptized and received the Holy Spirit as life to them. Yet all those that came out of Egypt had to die in the wilderness so the world (Egypt) could be left behind. They had to lose their life to gain it. Those that were born in the wilderness depended only on manna as their source of energy. They depended on the heavenly things, the manna, as their bread of life. “Jesus then said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My /father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.’” (John 6:32-33) “I am the bread of life…” (John 6:35) When humans derive their energy purely on Christ as their bread of life and live this way, they don’t need to cut off their flesh. That is why the children of Israel that was born in the wilderness were not circumcised until they reached the good land and the manna stopped. “For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised.” (Jos. 5:5) As we cross the Jordan to live with the inhabitants of this world again, we need to be circumcised. When we gain our strength from this world, we need to cut off our flesh. “Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation…” (Jos. 5:9) “On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna…” (Jos. 5:11-12) Realize the source of our power to live this divine life, must be of the Holy Spirit, the bread of life. That is why in crossing the Jordan, God’s people had a second baptism. To cross into the good land and function in this world to win over its inhabitants, as God’s people, His ambassadors in chains (Eph. 6:20) must be immersed in the Holy Spirit. We must be inwardly baptized in the Holy Spirit. “For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5) In this baptism of the Holy Spirit, we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. Today it is simply realizing the power of the Spirit that is living within us, to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Php. 1:21) We have died to our soul-life so we live Christ.

When we realize the power of the Spirit living within, we become witnesses of the Spirit that is living within us. We become witnesses of the Spirit today that is operating within us as Christians. When Jesus met Saul on the road to Damascus, He said to Saul, “But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;” (Acts 26:16) Realize the Spirit living in us not only gives us utterance so we speak the words of God as a minister who teaches, but we are appointed a witness of the Spirit living within us. A witness is one who provides testimony—testimony of the reality of the Spirit that is living within. The Spirit not only makes real to Paul the things which he had seen, it makes real to him things in the future that are about to come, when the Spirit will appear to Paul in “the things in which I will appear to you.” (Acts 26:16) Today as we live this life, the Spirit is appearing to us moment by moment in all things, bringing us into a heavenly way of living and behaving that is of the Spirit, of the Christ that is living within us. We live and walk by the Spirit. “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25) As Christians, we become witnesses of this reality. That is why, “And they overcame him (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their [soul]-life even when faced with death.” (Rev. 12:11) As witnesses of the Spirit, the word of our testimony is Christ’s reality lived out of us. That overcomes Satan. As Christ lives out of us, the reality of the fruit of the Spirit is expressed in us. “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,” (Gal. 5:22-23) all the reality of the fruit of the Spirit, Christ Himself, is expressed from us. We “belong to Christ Jesus [and] have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24) We did not love our soul-life even when faced with death (Rev. 12:11) and have presented ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1). “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) “If we live by the Spirit, let us walk by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:23)

This is how the body of Christ is built in one accord. We no longer separate ourselves according to what we hold as somehow “more righteous” in the church. There is no longer groups of Christians, but just one body of Christ. When we let the Spirit lead us, we are all one body. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling.” (Eph. 4:4) We no longer hold up ideas that separate, but we simply let the Spirit lead, just as the ark of the covenant led the children of Israel as they crossed the Jordon and as they defeated Jericho where the walls were shaken and came tumbling down. “And when they has prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them…” (Acts 4:31-34) Realize the apostles in Acts defeated Jericho, shaking it to its foundations. When they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were led by Christ living within them. They did not speak from their soul-life, but spoke only the word of God with boldness. They were witnesses of the Spirit, giving a testimony of what they saw of the resurrected Christ. They were now in one accord as a people, doing whatever the Spirit wanted and going wherever the Spirit led them. “They answered Joshua, saying, ‘All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.’” (Jos. 1:16) The congregation of believers formed the one body of Christ—they were of one heart and soul. They did not claim that anything belonged to themselves personally, but all things were common. Realize this implies that they had given up their soul-lives in this world. They had entered into the land flowing with milk and honey so “abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them…” (Acts 4:33-34) This is the reality of the one Spirit and one body of Christ.

 

May the Lord open our inner spiritual eyes to see this reality today so we would be overcomers in His church.

 

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling.” (Eph. 4:4)

Why is praising in one accord realizing Christ’s victory?

Praising God is not asking God in prayer for something; it is declaring that Christ has won the victory. Our praising of God is a declaration of His victory. Our fervent praise of Him in unceasing prayers (1 The. 5:7) not only keeps us in the temple, bringing us into oneness with Him (1 Cor. 6:17), so we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) and move and function as His body (Eph. 4:12); but it declares God’s victory over heaven and earth. To gain this victory over the earth today, realize we don’t fight, we simply need to claim the victory in Christ.

Realize that the church is like Joshua today, entering into the good land to win its inhabitants over to Christ. When Christ is sown into unbelievers (Mark 4:1-20) and grows out of them so they have put on Christ (Gal. 3:27), we begin to enjoy the expression of Christ in His body. We enjoy the richness of the expressed Christ in each other. The reality of the Triune God expressed through the Spirit of reality (John 14:17) living inside each one of us is the milk and honey we enjoy flowing from this good land. This is the enjoyment of the all inclusive Christ expressed in His body today.

When Christ flows from us in our humanity, realize our flesh of sin is no more, we now express Christ in His holiness through the body. That is why when we are fed with manna, we don’t need to be circumcised in our flesh, just as the children of Israel, when they only fed on manna, remained uncircumcised. “For all the people who came out were circumcised; but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised.” (Jos. 5:5) When the source of our strength in our life is based solely on manna, on Christ alone, we don’t need to be circumcised as our expression is only of Him and not of our flesh. So the expression of our flesh does not need to be cut, just like the hair on the high priests. “They shall not make any baldness on their heads; nor shave off the edges on their beards, nor make cuts in their flesh.” (Lev. 21:5) Realize when Christ is our all in all, and we only express Him, there is no expression of our flesh, so we do not cut it. When Christ is all that we express, we have “clothed ourselves in fine linen, bright and clean” (Rev 19:8). We have made ourselves ready as the bride for Christ (Rev. 19:7).

Unfortunately we are not there today. That is why we need to submit ourselves to Him. When we first believed, coming out of Egypt and being baptized in the Red Sea, we had lots of complaints about what will happen to us in the wilderness. But as we ate the manna daily, eating Christ as our daily bread (John 6:35), we were “being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:17) so we could be built into His church. On stepping into the Jordon, when the ark of the covenant was leading the way, the waters dried up as the priests’ feet touched the water. “And when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of the harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off.” (Jos. 3:15-16) On entering the waters of death in this world, when Christ works through His body, all we need to do is touch our feet to the waters and it will dry up. Then in the midst of the waters, we stand firm. “And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm of dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.” (Jos. 3:17) It is in the midst of the waters of death that Joshua builds the church. “Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing, and they are there to this day.” (Jos. 4:9) God begins His church in the midst of the Jordan, but then His body, represented by the twelve tribes of Israel who are God’s people, are to select twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan and bring it out to Gilgal. “Take for yourselves twelve man from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’” (Jos. 4:2-3) “Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho. Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal.” (Jos. 4:19-20) Realize the church as the body of Christ, which was built at first in the waters of death, has now come out of this world. Christ has sanctified it and placed it on the good land in victory. This good land Christ has already given to us. “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given to you, just as I spoke to Moses.” (Jos. 1:3) On this good land, we are to do nothing but follow Him. The ark of the covenant led the way to victory for Israel. The Spirit now leads us in victory over this world. That is how we possess this good land. That is how we win over the inhabitants of this earth to Christ .

On this good land, we are in one accord, following the Spirit. We don’t express ourselves, not to even let a word proceed out of our mouths (Jos. 6:19) until the Spirit within us gives us utterance, telling us to “Shout!,” because we are filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:4). “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to who belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Pet. 4:11) When we speak, we must be filled with the Spirit and it must be the Spirit giving us the utterance. “And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Eph. 6:19-20) When we talk to unbelievers, the Spirit speaking out of us will touches their spirit, so they will understand. Realize as a member of His body, we are only an ambassador of Christ in chains. We don’t speak from ourselves but from the Christ that is dwelling in us. That is how His body is maintained in one accord, speaking boldly as we ought to speak. There is no head but Christ. When we speak, it must represent Christ as we are ambassadors is chains. When we open our mouth, realize it must be Christ. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit so He speaks out of us. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) When the Spirit speaks out of us, we declare His victory.

When we use our mouths to declare His victory, we have shouted in unison. When the body speaks this way, the strongholds of the enemy will fall down. On the seventh day, the day of our Sabbath rest, the walls of Jericho fell. The strongholds of this world, no matter what it is, cannot withstand our shout of victory. No matter what circumstances in this world we find ourselves in, when we shout His praise in unison as His body, we have won the victory. That is why we simply need to claim the victory in Christ who has now sat down on the right hand of God and we are seated with Him. “These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Eph. 1:19-23) “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:4-7) Christ has already won the victory. We, as His body, simply need to claim it. Realize when all things are in subjection under His feet and we form His body, all thing are in subjection under His church. That is how we win over the inhabitants of this land to Christ.

Realize as Paul was praying, even in a prison cell by himself, he was one with the body. That is why he said, “And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” (Eph. 6:19) Paul never saw himself as being eloquent in speech or someone leading the way. “Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent.” (2 Cor. 10:1) In front of people, Paul is small. “For they say, ‘His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.’ Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are in deed when present.” (2 Cor. 10:10-11) Paul is very small in his flesh before the saints. That is why, “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ.” (Eph. 3:8) Only when we are small, can God freely speak through our bodies. So to the smallest members of the body, be encouraged to “Shout” when the Spirit gives you utterance, to build up the body of Christ.

Through the Spirit, He is working in us, expressing Himself out of us for the enjoyment of all the members of Christ. Our testimonies of what God is doing in our lives is how we conquer the enemy. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their [soul]-life even when faced with death.” (Rev. 12:11) What we say is not only our testimony, but our declaration of Christ’s victory in our lives and over the inhabitants of this land. When we claim His victory by our testimonies, we have unfurled our banners (S.S. 4:12), blowing our trumpets declaring our victory, and praising Him.

 

As the body of Christ, let us shout together in praise, for Christ has led us to victory.

 

In His victory, Christ has not only brought divinity into humanity, freeing us from sin, but the fineness of our linen that is bright and clean, is because He has brought humanity into divinity.