A SPIRITUALLY SIGHTED WITNESS
There are fish who live in caves beneath the earth. They are in all respects fish except for one thing. They cannot see. Having never been exposed to light they have never developed the ability to perceive. This is the situation of those who have lived all their lives in the subterranean darkness of ‘other gospels.’ They cannot see. Having an answer for everything they are contained in their darkness which to them is light.
While all have access to union with God not all live in it. Many because they don’t believe in God. Many others because their ‘gospel’ is 'another gospel' that is but a new version of the separated relationship of man in his knowledge of good and evil. I’m referring to those who live in the law and old covenant whose mindset denies them what is theirs: Union with God.
NOT A GENERALITY
We are not offered life in a ‘generality.’ God has drawn us into a personal and intimate relationship with Himself that is more than a relationship. It is the personal interweaving of our being with the being of God. We can retain ourselves in the law and old covenant if we choose. But we should not imagine that we participate in the intensity of the union that is available to us as our inheritance. This is not what Jesus meant by being part of His Body. Why? Because in the law and old covenant we are insulated from God by our Adamic separation. In the Spirit, which is in Christ, we as a Bride are one with the Bridegroom.
“There is nothing generic or impersonal about the ministry of Jesus. What we find in the Gospels and throughout the New Testament is what TF Torrance referred to as the “personalizing” ministry of Jesus by the Holy Spirit.”
If we are not living in the interwoveness of being that is ours and remain in the separation of the law, we need not imagine that we are enjoying the union with God that is ours – full access to spirit and life – even if we are generically members of the Body of Christ. We are talking generic membership as distinct from ‘belonging’ in spirit and in truth.
There is nothing generic, mechanical and law-mongering in a relationship to Christ, our Father and the Spirit. This is a relationship that is exquisitely personal – a relationship that is suffocated and annulled by us if we remain connected in any way to the law.
I saw a man take great offence once as the new covenant was being presented. ‘You are saying that I am not a true son,’ he sulked. He had nailed it. He was not a son in spirit and in truth. As a law-incumbent he was a son of the slave woman.
‘But what does Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son’ Gal 4.30 NIV.
God wishes us to know Him as He is and to live in the accurate perception of what He has done, so that we cannot be blind fish, but be who we really are in spirit and in truth - the sons and daughters of God. It is in our power to disqualify ourselves as Kingdom Sons – by fomenting our own gospel.
There’s a universe of difference between being sons in name and sons in spirit and in truth. Jesus died and lives for the multiplication of sons. Thus He will not allow us to make do with false christ's and by implication, false gospels or dodgy renditions of His Body. Jesus looks to a full and rich relationship. Not a law-contrived mechanical relationship fit for a robot.
Rejoicing in the ‘I AM’ of who He is, Jesus designs that we be the ‘I am’ of who we actually are - so that we can live as He means us to be living as son/daughter in the fullness of our sonship.
Thus Thomas Torrance writes, “God draws near to us in such a way as to draw us near to himself within the circle of his knowing of himself.”
TO KNOW HIM AS HE IS, IS TO KNOW YOU AS YOU ARE
It’s amazing given the comprehensive transformative power of the incarnation that it has taken so long for many of God’s people to join the incarnation. It seems to testify to the exquisite cunning of the Enemy and the naivety of people - in sheltering under the familiar umbrella of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet some are already entering into the simple inundation of the trinity in us. This union has always been ours since the cross.
KINDS OF APOSTLESHIP
The power of the incarnation as the actuality of union with God was presented by Jesus and unwrapped by Paul. It has been in place since apostolic days. Could it be that it is remerging under the new age of apostleship among the little knowns who are apostles of the incarnation rather than apostles of institutionalism?
Stephen Crosby writes of Paul, ‘God and man co-habiting was the revealed mystery and presupposition in all his writings. He expressed amazement when a church failed to understand it or seemed to depart from it. If justification by faith or any other doctrine is taught separate from this presuppositional revelation, they will all be deficiently understood, regardless of how precisely an individual practices rules of interpretation.’ (1).
Of course. The fullness of grace is a life that is not yours but indwelling you as yours. Not only indwelling your person but interwoven into your being. ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. Until we realize this our inheritance is an abstraction. We can preach on the topic of sonship but not be sons. When we realize it by possessing it we are alive in the spirit of sonship and are channels of living water.
Nothing in the new testament can be understood accurately and comprehensively outside what happened at the cross and instituted by the new covenant. Without our baptism by immersion into the reality of the incarnation, the gifts are inebriated, the anointing falls flat and we are workers, not sons. But Sons is what we are in spirit and in truth by grasping this inheritance and assuming our interwoveness with God. Now we are ministers of spirit and life.
Gospels will either ennoble us or curse us. ‘But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!’ Gal 1.8 NIV.
Our denominational perspective is not necessarily valid because it is ours. ‘Non-sectarian’ is not an entitlement to adhere to ‘another gospel.’
‘Gospels,’ particularly those that degrade us because they suffocate the incarnation with the law and old covenant have their source in anti-christ. “I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.
Don’t be a blind fish swimming in the catacombs of other gospels. Be astute. Be a sighted fish.
Living in the fullness of God in the manner described in the first paragraph is the province of any and all who are prepared to leave behind their sectarian notions, denominational non-gospels, idolatrous identities and old covenant moulds to step into the unlimited possibility of the trinity manifest as us all.
Don’t expect to become privy to revelation or the adventure of kingdom life if you are a blind fish living to prop-up a ‘another gospel’, a mode of thought or a denomination by any and every rationalisation that comes your way. What happens to us under such circumstances will be what happens to tares. Jesus will not nurture what He did not plant and we should not seek to resurrect what He has put to death in Adam.
(1) Crosby, Stephen. The New Testament Prophet: Understanding the Mind, Temperament, and Calling (Kindle Locations 1340-1343). . Kindle Edition.