Come up Here

“I give You for a covenant of the people, for a Light of the Nations” Isaiah 42:6.

In seeing Christ is given as our covenant we are facing the person of Jesus as our agreement with the Father. He is God’s gift, given as our whole relationship with God. It is Him. Everything of eternal reality is bound up with Him.

Since the Father has “delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Rom. 8:32 ASV.

Everything that is true is in Him and “with Him.”
All that Christ has accomplished, God’s people have accomplished.
All that Christ is, His people are. The Truth is bound up with Him.

Do you know that that love which the Father has set on His perfect Son, Is now set on you?

When you have the grace of witnessing His Life in your soul, He sinks every condemnation of self awareness to bottomless depths and you find yourself risen and set at the very right hand of God in Jesus Christ. You find yourself “in the midst,” at the dead center of every eternal goal. It is in the person of Christ. All attempts at preparing your heart, all our religious processes and pilgrimages, within and without, all our labors and sojourning closer to God, fall far away.

In seeing Him you are brought to all journeys end. He is The One. He more than just a finished work He is a living person in Whom the Church is gathered. You are in Him and He is in you.
Do you know that all that Christ is,  is yours?

Do you see this One Who is God’s gift high and lifted up? Do you see the majesty of that awesome crown, inscribed with “holiness unto the YHWH?” How that His Body, the Church, lives and moves and is crowned with His very identity? Do you see this breastplate of His judgment? That on His breastplate your name is engraved in more than precious stones but by His very Spirit with marks of grace and truth?

“Come up here!” Revelation. 4:1.

Lets begin with accepting that it is only in knowing Him that we are knowing the Truth.
He is the Truth. Just as He has said,

 “I AM the Truth” Jn 14:6.

We are knowing Him to be “The Truth” as opposed to falsehood.  We are also knowing Him to be the Truth as opposed to the shadows and figures that testified of Him in the first covenant. Again and again throughout every generation the Father has declared One New Man to be our eternal covenant. He gathered mountains of animal sacrifices, nations, altars, houses, temples, rituals, places and objects to testify of Jesus Christ.
But that He should not be objectified, The Father has also has conformed people to the image of Christ as a testimony of His coming.  And in this, He testified of the covenant of grace. Which is in substance One Covenant. As God is One. And Christ is One, and the substance of it. As there is one hope of one eternal Life; The Life of the covenant. One faith which is the way into this One Who is the covenant.
Christ the Covenant is “the same yesterday today and forever” Heb. 13:8. And the substance has only changed from the form that was once natural to Him Who is Spiritual. This is found in our Bibles to be the Old Testament and the New. 

In the first, the Person of Christ is declared and testified of as the Messiah to come, From Adam till His incarnation. And in the Second, He is known as the Savior already come, His presence giving substance to the Church.
As long as Christ was yet to come it pleased God to train His Church by heaps of rituals, ceremonies, figures and shadows, to strengthen there faith in expectation of Him.
This first age was the time of infancy of the Church. When the household was not capable of the higher mysteries of the knowledge of God. But was taught by the external; by the eyes and the ears. And as one just out of the cradle, it pleased God to put the ancient Church “under tutors and governors until the time appointed.” Gal. 4:2. And so He appointed feasts and rites as elements and introductions to The Truth. Which was to be brought forward little by little until the true image of God being depicted came, Who is the Truth and the Light in opposition to those shadows. It is only in His appearing that we know true fulfillment.
God’s order has always been first the natural and then the spiritual. As in God’s order of creating the natural world, He determined to have darkness go before the light, and then to have the dawning go before the light of the full Day. So in edifying His Body the Church, It was God’s will to have Jesus shown to the fathers in the same way as the wise men saw Him, in swaddling clothes, which hid His glory. He respected them as children in a kind of pre-school set up in a corner of the world, in Israel, He set up the Law of Moses as a primer, a kind of A B C’s in which Christ was foreshadowed in obscure ways.
Just as in the eighth chapter of Genesis Noah’s ark came to rest on a mountain that was still concealed under dark waters. Noah opened a window in the ark, letting in a little light and letting out a dark bird.  But after the dove returned with that great treasure of the olive branch, which was a kind of natural evidence of the gospel of rest. Then, “Noah removed the covering off of the ark” Gen. 8:13,

Then he stepped out, showing himself.

At that time, in His appearing, a new creation also was made apparent.

And also with Joseph, Who at first made himself obscure to his brothers, but at “The second was Joseph made better known to his brethren” Acts 7:12-13.

So Christ is “seen as the second [covenant, & Man] by those looking for Him, apart from sin, for salvation, through faith.” Heb. 9:28 ELT.

And so in going forward into Christ, the wisdom of God, when we compare the first law with the person of the Gospel, Jesus Christ is manifested in a far greater brightness and glory than the glory of the first. His glory is a glory not to be explained, but a glory to be experienced in every soul by the revelation of Christ in you. His glory is the true purpose, fulfilling the real meaning of all that was of the first.

 “For the Law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17.

The gospel of Christ is the gospel of grace not because the same grace was not present under the first covenant.

It was.

He is “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever” Hebrews 13:8. But because of the darkened understanding, He was only known to be a grace promised in the first. But in His newness we see that the Grace of God is come because Christ is come. In seeing Him the night is passed. But the things of that age are not just discarded as if invalid or usless, but the first has it’s purpose fulfilled in His coming.

“The light of the moon has been like the light of the sun, And the light of the sun is sevenfold, like the light of seven days, In the day of YHWH’s binding up the brokeness of His people, When He heals the wound of His smiting.” Isaiah 30:26 ELT.
In His appearing, we see that He has always been the “eternal covenant” with an unchangeable God and Father in Whom there is “no shadow of turning”, or changing of purpose. The writer of Hebrews says,

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Heb. 13:20-21

So today is the Day of the eternal, New, Covenant. Peter calls this “the day of the age” 2 Pe.3:18 YLT.  And in this growth out from the shadows into the perfection and light of faith, believers in the whole earth are finding themselves hidden in this “One New Man”, Who is perfection.   So the Law was merely “a shadow of the good things coming—not the very image and truth itself, every year, by the same sacrifices that they offer continually, are never able to make them perfect” Heb. 10:1.
Paul points us to the Person when he writes, that the commandments were only “a shadow of the coming things, and the Body is of Christ” Col. 2:17.
In this we see that Jesus was the original cause of shadows. And so His Spirit, is greater than all the natural effects. And because a shadow just represents the shape of the body, whatever His actions and motions, It is not the substance itself.  So Jesus was always the One that the Father had in view in creating and commanding the laws and ceremonies. And these “elements” are called shadows in that they were only dark representations bearing an obscure resemblance to His body.

Christ in you is worship in “Spirit and Truth”.

It is held in external religion that nothing is actually “true” until it has had some effect on the tangible. The natural man will always have this backward.  He only accepts something spiritual “so that” his natural things can have some remedy.  “But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.” 1 Cor. 15 :46. For example, the faith movement has set it’s hopes on the miraculous instead of Christ and so they have the wrong creation in view. This is out of order, and in a twisted way, is an expression of unbelief, because it is a fearful looking for God to to do what He has already accomplished in His coming. God has fully effected the natural for the testimony of Jesus Christ, “so that” Christ is the end and goal of all. Jesus is it.

Now.

His presence does effect this shadowy natural realm in ways that confound the first man, and yet the changing of things of the natural realm has never been God’s end. Yet still He heals, helps and holds. But the Goal is coming into Him, abiding in Him, our eternal inheritance.
Jesus has always been the new heaven and earth.
When Abraham, had come to a rest under a new sky and in a new land, then, YHWH began to testify of this Son Who is a realm completely above any tangible inheritance. The One being formed in you is a new heaven and earth, a heavenly country, all found in One Seed. And seeing Him is key.

“Look now at the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He said to him, So is your Seed” Gen. 15:5 …“The whole earth which you are seeing, to you I give it, and to your Seed—to the age. As the dust of the earth, so I have established your Seed” Gen. 13:15.

So Christ in you is “in Spirit and Truth” the fulfillment of all these natural things. Him living in you is Spiritual worship. He is the substance of all the relationships, things and persons who were conformed to be testimonies of Jesus. They are God’s sketches, and only in His appearing, does His color fill with all His fullness.

As we find the souls of our feet standing in His substance, and our toes digging into this heavenly country, we see that Jesus is more than just the fulfillment of the shadows, He is The person of the New Creation.

Everything to Nothing

I have a love-hate relationship with factory work- I like the steady money and hate just about everything else about it. Before I had a family, I did millwright work in factories all over the country. We built and installed a lot of different machines that processed glass bottles. One of the biggest machines we installed was called an IS machine. It was a huge 30 ton machine that blew like five hundred glass bottles per minute. Mostly beer and Snapple bottles, some in shapes as strange as Ms. Butterworth.
In the glass factories there were huge furnaces that heated sand, and other ingredients into what looks like red hot lava sliding down shoots into the machine.  They called this the “hot end”. Sometimes we built and installed steel duct work and blowers to cool the whole area.  The cold end was all new equipment, the best of clean work. The blowers we installed were always under the floor of the hot end where liquid blobs of glass would fall down under the plant. The roar from the blowers was deafening. There was no shouting over the tumult.  We wore hearing protection so that after a while it seemed as if there was no sound at all. They ran water across the floor in these basement dungeons where glowing hot glass would fall steaming and hissing into the dark puddles.

I am not sure no why there was always so few lights down there but I remember that the concrete walls were always stained black. It was one of those dark creepy places in the end of an action movie where they would finally kill the bad guy.

After working long hours in factories for a month at a time, it usually felt as if I was coming up out from the netherworld or being set free of some kind of sensory deprivation experiment.  I was always shocked by the depth of color in nature when I got out on the road to travel back home.  Most factory work isn’t so dark, but since those days work has taken on a sense of going to hell and back again to get provisions for the ones I love.

Lately, I have been doing something I love, wood carving, but it hasn’t really been paying the bills, so I am back to doing factory work again. Now I am working up on the rooftops doing roofing maintenance, fixing leaks. Mostly on flat commercial roofs. And it is turning into some traveling work again. It may be the hardest work I have done in my life. But I joke that I am moving up in the world.  So far, I like it up there in the wind and sun.

I worked in a particularly hellish factory recently where they process the inedible meat and chicken offal into dog food. They all warned me about the smell. They said it would be so strong that I was going to want to bag up all my clothes at the end of the day so I don’t stink up everything on my way home.
My work these days is kind of like being a roofing Sherpa, staging repair jobs up in high places. My job always begins with finding out where we are going to be setting up. So up we go, flight after flight of steps through mazes of pipes flowing with the most toxic chemicals.  When I get to the roof of the rendering plant I am thinking, no big deal. It just smells like dog food.
“Smells like money to me.” I said all gruff.

Then it hit me.

The overpowering stench of rotten, burnt flesh in a cloud of steam bellowing out of a huge stack.  The sky was filled with buzzards.

“You should see how many there are in the summer,” a foreman said.

I was just glad to be bringing up the rear in the single file line because I couldn’t stop choking and gagging and I was sure I was going to lose my breakfast after talking tough.

‘Breath through your mouth, not your nose’! I kept telling myself. If I breathed through my nose, my forgetfulness was punished with a choking, nausea and gagging.  I am surprised that I never threw up. When the wind blew the smell of death came off of this water treatment area where the factory drains empty into bloody lakes surrounded by vultures.

The strange thing is that this pure smell death doesn’t actually have a scent. There is an odorless and colorless chemical that rotting flesh puts off called oleic acid. Scientists say that this chemical causes our body to instinctively react in such a powerful way. All the other revolting smells coming from a corpse are just outliers.

My eyes watered. My throat burned. Finally my nose and head became so congested that I had no sense of smell at all. And so I settled into a kind of sick relief. We repaired all the holes in the roof. The cloud of steam overhead rained down a putrid mist on us all day.
These words kept coming up in my heart as I worked,

 “We are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of Life unto Life.”                           2 Cor. 2:15-16.

I couldn’t help but to pray for the poor souls who had to work in this environment day in and day out. And then I was so surprised to meet so many smiling faces working there that day. At first I assumed that their joy must be some kind of evidence of Christ living in those people. But the Father gave me the big

NO.

“Flesh and Blood has not revealed” Mt 16:17.

Not My Son.

Flesh and blood cannot give any evidence of My Son.

“Henceforth we have known no man according to the flesh, and even according to the flesh, yet now we know Him no more” 2Cor 5:16 YLT.

Knowing Him in His kingdom is not a knowing that can be detected in this world through natural means. Whenever the savor of Christ is experienced by the dead it is interpreted as the odor of death because He is the judgment of the world. In seeing the King we see that all flesh is grass. God is Spirit and He alone can make Jesus truly known.

When God began to reveal His Son in me, it was both great and terrible. I have no words to describe the utter devastation of His coming and I also cannot describe the richness of color that began to fill my soul at that time.

There He was. 

And He alone was Newness. It was as if the whole natural word went black and white and faded into the background. His appearing has to be experienced. It cannot be explained.

God is Spirit. He alone reveals the New Creation that Christ is. Only the Son is truly New.

There is nothing new under the Son.

Nothing natural can truly be made new. Christ alone is pure Newness.  In Him there is nothing of the old. Nothing of the first. A pure encounter with this One Who is the “Newness of Life” and everything apart from Him is seen to be what it is, oldness and death. By the cross He has lade waste to the whole natural creation.

In seeing Him and everything comes to nothing.

He cannot be seen or sensed with natural faculties. He is spiritually discerned.  There are so many who wrongly believe that a real encounter with Jesus can only be an experience of sweetness and goodness for the natural man. We are too quick to attribute man’s goodness to be motivations of the Divine nature. We assume that because Jesus did miracles that He comes just to help us and salvage our world. But Jesus said

“Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? NoI tell you, but rather division” Luke 12:51.

There is a reason that the world crucified Him. “My kingdom is not of this world” Jn. 18:36. In the presence of eternal Life, Jesus Himself is a judgement of death to all Adam. And so the flesh revolts against a Christ that has no intention of fixing us and our problems. Jesus performed miracles for one reason; to show that He alone is God’s miracle.  And sadly, so much of Christian religion has invented a Jesus who is a only sweetness and light toward us and our things. This self-help Jesus is a cross-less Christ, a false Christ.  But the pure Gospel of Christ crucified is actually offensive to every heart that has yet to been overthrown by reality Himself.

“The word of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, it is the power of God” 1 Cor. 1:18.