October 9, 2015
We have a lot of ground to cover today, so let's get this discussion started.
Once again, let's take a look at the amplified translation of Revelation 3:12:
He that overcomes [the temptation to rest on previous overcoming and past victories] will I make to be a support (and a symbol of the Glory) in the dwelling place of Yod Hey Vav Hey (Elohim), and from that place of dwelling there will be no reason [or cause] to ever leave; and I will engrave within and upon him the very nature, the character, the authority, the makeup, the very essence of Yod Hey Vav Hey (Elohim), and the very nature, the character, the authority, the makeup and the very essence of the city of Yod Hey Vav Hey (Elohim), which is the new Jerusalem, which descends [to the earth] out of Heaven from my Yod Hey Vav Hey (Elohim); and I will engrave within and upon him my new (and completed) nature, character, authority, makeup and very essence. (Revelation 3:12, RAC Translation and Amplification)
And, again, here is the corresponding and confirming verse from Revelation 21:2:
And I, John, saw the holy, consecrated and set apart city [of many people], the recently made and unprecedented Jerusalem, the city of double peace, descending out of Heaven [to the earth] from Yod Hey Vav Hey, made ready as the betrothed Bride, adorned, ornamented and embellished with honor for her husband-to-be. (Revelation 21:2, RAC Translation and Amplification)
When you put these two passages together, the picture is quite clear. Our onoma -- nature, character and makeup -- is being transformed into that of the Bride of Christ. We are being changed into His image, His makeup, His nature, His character and being imbued with His authority. Consider this.
From a purely legal perspective (and I use this term differentiating between "legal" and "experiential") once we accept the Lord Jesus Christ, once we are baptized in water, and once we are baptized in the Holy Spirit and begin the daily process of being infilled by Holy Spirit we are "sons (teknon) of God," heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. Being "legally" "sons of God" with all of the characteristics and inheritances that go with it, and coming to that place experientially are two different things. Between "legal" and "experiential" is a series of processes, changes to our nature, willingly subjecting ourselves to the "crucible" (II Timothy 2:15 -- see below), and overcoming every obstacle that stands in the way of intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Glory of God is not given to those who do not overcome. The throne of God is not given to those who do not overcome. We've quoted this before, but here we are again:
I AM Yod Hey Vav Hey: that is my shem (onoma) nature and character, my makeup, my authority and personality: the weight of my glory and honor, my splendor and light will NEVER be given to strangers — to anyone not of my family — neither will I allow My Praise, My renown and fame (with the songs thereof) to be given to idols or graven images (other objects of focus, prime attention or worship). (Isaiah 42:8, RAC Translation and Amplification)
Do you see it? The Glory does not come to anyone who is not of God's family! For that matter, neither is the throne given to anyone who is not of God's family. Consider the following -- and this is the eighth time we see the phrase in Revelation, "to him (or he) that overcometh."
Revelation 21:7: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Watch how this amplifies from the Greek:
He who subdues, conquers, overcomes and gains the victory [holding fast in faith -- even in the face of death -- over every obstacle, over all opposition, and over the accuser of the brethren] shall become My heir, and inherit the whole [of my Kingdom, and all that pertains]; and I will be his God, and he shall be my (huios-- no longer teknon) fully-grown, fully-matured son, released and sent forth with my full authority and backing. (Revelation 21:7, RAC Translation & Amplification)
To this we add the requirement as it is spelled out in II Timothy 2:15:
Be instantly responsive to the Lord, making yourself available to Him in the midst of the crucible, a tried and tested laborer who has no fear of being examined – one who, by virtue of God’s testing and the time spent in the crucible with Him, knows the proven Word of Truth. (II Timothy 2:15, RAC Translation & Amplification)
THAT, my friends, is where overcoming takes place. When we are in a crucible -- whether that crucible is the vessel that heats precious metals to the boiling place so that the dross and contaminants can be removed, or whether that crucible is the kind used by the apothecary when herbs and medicinal foods are being ground down to a fine powder to use as a medication for healing -- the process is the same. We are being tried, tested, put under extreme pressure, put in the fire, ground down, etc., etc., and it is our responses in that place that produce the necessary overcoming AND shorten the time required to be in that place.
It's important to clarify one thing when we talk about the crucible. It is NOT Holy Spirit putting us through this process. The crucible comes by virtue of the pressure that occurs when our old flesh nature rebels and resists the corrective processes necessary for us to conform to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. You understand, don't you, that when we respond to the call of the Bridegroom, Satan absolutely DOES NOT want the Bridegroom to receive that Bride He has paid the ultimate price to receive.
Satan will throw every obstacle conceivable in our path to stop us or slow us down. We live in a world that has bowed to demonic forces. Those demonic forces have so influenced our society and the church world in general that when we begin to respond to the true call and the yearning of our Bridegroom-to-be to be joined to Him as His counterpart, everything that surrounds us and influences our daily lives opposes that call! When we respond to the call of the Bridegroom, we run into every imaginable pressure to stop, turn aside or contaminate our responses.
The structured church world -- despite the fact that Holy Spirit has used it throughout the centuries in spite of its errors and contamination -- wants us to bow to the traditions of man. The structure (and you understand that I'm not condemning or speaking out against folks who are in churches) itself has become such an aberration to the plan of the Lord Jesus Christ for intimacy that it scarcely resembles the picture of Ekklesia ordained by the Lord in the first place.
We were NEVER called to "church!" We were never called to religion. We were never called to formalism and ritual. We were never called to the Law. We were called to the Lord Jesus Christ.
(The Law, by the way, was given as a shadow of the things to come. It was ONLY a shadow -- NOT the reality. The reality is being in Christ, and Him being in us. When we are in Christ, the Law is automatically fulfilled. Jesus is our arbitrator, our go-between to say to Father, "he (she) is covered by the blood, and there is no penalty of death." I know that there are those who get stuck with the legalistic performance of the Sabbath, but they fail to understand that Jesus is our Sabbath rest. And I remind you of what Paul writes to the Colossians.
Colossians 2:16-17, 20-23: Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
Have I been clear? Good! We are NOT called to the keeping of the Law. We are called to intimacy in Christ Jesus. If that intimacy exists and is a reality in our daily walk with Him, every last aspect of the Law and its requirements have been and continue to be met.)
In case you need an illustration of the picture of the crucible, let me give you a retranslated and amplified picture taken from the Song of Solomon, Chapter 1, verse 6. As noted previously, the Song of Solomon is back to back Hebrew metaphors, most of which get lost in our normal word-for-word translations. I discovered many years ago that these metaphors contain such spectacular depth that I couldn't just leave it alone.
The preface to the following verse was the questioning of the young maidens as to what caused the Shulamite to be chosen instead of them (and they all had the normal period of preparation to be presented before the king).
Song of Solomon 1:6: Because you normally expect a woman who is taken in marriage to have been prepared indoors away from the sun with oils, spices and perfumes for weeks and months, you look on me with shock because my skin is deeply tanned, darkened by exposure to the sun. Ignore that. My preparation came another way. Instead of scrubbing my skin, washing it, and rubbing it with oils and spices, my spirit and inner being have been scrubbed through the washing of trying experiences. For years have I been in the furnace of affliction with my supposed friends and family. They hated me. They were angry and jealous of me. My family thought to rid themselves of my presence by forcing me to tend the vineyards. I was made vulnerable to wild animals, thieves and robbers. They exposed me to the elements of nature -- the storms, the wind and rain, and the hot sun. I became responsible for work my brothers were supposed to do. Because I became responsible for the keeping of several vineyards, I could not keep up with all of them; and consequently my own vineyard fell into neglect. My reputation as a person of integrity suffered with it. The constant exposure to danger and hard work, the attendant problems, and watching God's provision and deliverance through those years developed something in my spirit more important to the king than scrubbed skin, olive oil and spices.
You get the picture, don't you? The Shulamite's choosing by Solomon wasn't just based on her outer appearance, or the normal adornments that came with the preparation to meet him. She was chosen because her character and nature and makeup were formed in the midst of trial and tribulation and fire. What Solomon saw in her was everything that would make her to be his perfect counterpart. She was ready to become his queen.
You understand that the entire picture of the Song of Solomon is a prophetic picture of the preparation of us as the Bride of Christ for our Bridegroom, right? The Song of Solomon is easily the most intimate and graphic portrayal of the romancing that has been going on between the Lord and us as His intended. Holy Spirit is the Paraklete Who has been preparing, processing, instructing and correcting those areas of our lives that need to be formed, conformed, and metamorphosed back into the very nature, the character, the makeup, the personality and the very essence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And that brings us back to the prophecy and the promise given to the overcomer in Revelation 3:12.
The very first aspect of the change of our onoma is that we will have the character and nature of Father infused into our beings. Let's not forget that the beginning place for this to happen took place when we were baptized in water. The old DNA of our flesh existence was buried. We were resurrected and raised to new life in Christ Jesus, and the DNA of Father became our DNA -- legally! The command that Paul gives us in II Timothy 2:15 becomes our requirement for what we now have in a legal or forensic sense to become practical and experiential.
Remember! The promise of this onoma transformation is made to the overcomer! I won't revisit that overcoming process again other than to remind you that this picture of overcoming began with the letter to Ephesus and has taken us through six successive areas of overcoming -- each one critical to our transformation, each one critical to our being conformed to the image of the firstborn Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
With the change that takes place in and to us when we have Father's onoma, we are a long way down the road to seeing His Glory revealed in us. but this isn't the end of the ongoing change. The very next promise is that we will have the onoma -- the nature, the character, the personality, the very essence -- of the Bride of Christ.
Remember the unique character of Eve and how she was the fulfillment of Adam? Remember the way in which she had Adam's DNA, his very essence as part of her makeup? That's the promise that's being made to this same overcoming group as epitomized in the letter to Philadelphia.
We will come back to that part of the discussion next week, and take this the next step.
I remind those of you in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call takes place on Mondays at 7:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Our call-in number has changed to (712) 775-7035. The new Access Code is: 323859#. Our previous conference line experienced drop-outs and periodic audio quality issues, so this was a needed upgrade!
At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (605) 562-3140, and the access code is 308640#. We hope to make these gatherings available by Skype or Talk Fusion before long. If you miss the live call, you can dial (605) 562-3149, enter the same access code and listen in later.
Blessings on you!
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