Those who have allowed God to lay His burdens on their own heart for His people in this hour are found crying out, “I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Psalm 132:4-5)
To find such a dwelling place on earth is to find the body of Christ knowing in actual experience “the fellowship of the mystery,” which is He dwelling and freely working in them. Yet few have tasted of this, since fewer still have truly known the Word, being lead astray to embrace another. For each word has a shepherd, and so there are many christs: many teachers and leaders, many so-called fathers and shepherds with each their own word, taking the scriptures and subjecting them to their own private interpretation or that of their fathers who came before them: idolatrous and self-serving false shepherds, those murderers and slanderers of the true apostles and prophets, that brood of vipers lead astray by the spirit of antichrist.
Now “antichrist” most simply means that which replaces the true Christ. And He is the Living Word which these ones have sought to conform to their own image for the swaying and drawing of all men unto themselves, even supposing that they still serve Him; having separated His Lordship from His gospel, being set up wittingly or unwittingly by Satan as the gateways by which men suppose they must enter the kingdom of heaven. Yet Jesus HIMSELF is the Door, the Shepherd, the Teacher, and the Way; and those who claim authority in keeping men from following EXCLUSIVELY HIM are those whom He rebuked saying, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.” (Matthew 23:13)
For we are to have His word abiding in us, and we are to abide in His word. Anything which hinders this is of evil. Men have perverted the word and made it their own truth, when truly the Spirit is the Truth; and therefore those who draw away the sheep from the One True Shepherd are not walking in the Spirit of Truth, but are thieves and robbers. To know the Word of God is to be a stranger to the word of men; to follow the Good Shepherd is to separate from the shepherds of men, who even think themselves to be serving the truth.
“And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld HIS glory, glory as of the Unique One from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Word of Life which we are to hear, see, behold, and touch is that which comes forth from the Father: which firstly is the Son, in whom was the Spirit (John 16:28); and secondly the Spirit Himself, “the One witnessing, because the Spirit is the truth.” Jesus HIMSELF is the Word of God, full of grace and truth, and it is the Spirit of God, not the mind of man, which testifies truly of Him. His grace is meaningless if it is not the very expression of truth, and His truth has no full expression apart from the substance of His grace. Therefore, “the Word became flesh…” It is HE to whom we must bow and submit, not the wisdom of men who desire to be teachers yet know not the One of whom they speak.
“For the Word of God is living, and powerfully working, and sharper than every two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of both soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge of the thoughts and intentions of the heart; and there is no creature unrevealed before HIM; but all things are naked and laid open to HIS eyes, with whom is our account.”
In the Revelation we see that the One whose Name is the Word of God has a sword proceeding from His mouth. And notice that the writer of Hebrews, who would know the distinction between Jesus Himself and that which proceeds from His mouth, yet describes the Word as being Jesus HIMSELF! For those words proceeding from the mouth of the Word Himself are the expression of the “sword of the SPIRIT, which is the word of God.” For since Jesus Himself is the Word of God in all fullness, we cannot truly be renewed and conformed by what proceeds from His mouth without knowing Him by the Spirit who testifies of Him. Jesus Himself spoke of the scriptures as being a vain pursuit if the knowing of HIM is not being accomplished through their testimony. “You search the scriptures in vain, thinking that in them you have life; but you fail to come to ME that you might have life, of whom they testify.”
The scriptures testify of the Living Christ Himself, who even still speaks; and to the mature He speaks of God’s mystery “not in words taught in human wisdom, but in words taught of the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.”
Despite the testimony of the scriptures even to themselves as being the written expression of the sword of the Spirit, and being indeed profitable for the man of God to be furnished for every good work, many have yet sought vast knowledge as to their mysteries apart from that Spirit of Christ, and have only discovered a sword that is not of the Spirit, but rather is earthly, sensual, and demonic. They have sought the councils of man’s wisdom rather than the secret and hidden wisdom of God which is kept from the wise and prudent of this age and revealed instead to the little children, His saints. Let the one who seeks to enter into the kingdom of God through knowledge instead become as a little child in obedient faith; and let the one who thinks themselves to be wise in this age become a fool that he may become wise, trusting only the One Shepherd, who has revealed Himself by His Spirit rather than by the endless councils and vain disputes of men.
“The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by ONE SHEPHERD. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
Peter wrote of the prophetic word (and truly the testimony of JESUS is the Spirit of prophecy),
“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns
and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all,
that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man,
but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
(2 Peter 1:19-21)
The word is given witness through the Spirit of God, and can only be grasped by the unction of that same Spirit! For to the ones overcoming and keeping His works to the end, Jesus gives to them this morning star. The end to which we heed the testimony of the scriptures is that we ourselves would become a living epistle by that same Spirit working in us; by whom men of God spoke so that we might not only know His testimony, but even become it! For the Lord Himself IS the teaching.
“And my word and my preaching was not in enticing words of human wisdom, but in proof of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. But we speak wisdom among the perfect, but not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, those being brought to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, having been hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age has known. For if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; according as it has been written, ‘Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,’ nor has it risen up into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those that love Him.
But God revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of a man within him? So also no one has known the things of God except the Spirit of God. But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God: which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in words taught of the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.
But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But the spiritual one discerns all things, but he is discerned by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord?’ ‘Who will teach Him?’
But we have the mind of Christ.”
(1 Corinthians 2:4-16)
The “mystery” of which Paul above speaks, he describes elsewhere as being “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” THIS is what the rulers of the darkness of this world, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places did not know; “for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” They did not want that the Lord would suddenly come into His temple, and so attempted to prevent it as far as they understood it; but now He has come, and it is being fulfilled, for those who are in Christ and full of the Spirit ARE the Lord’s temple! And they all, “as living stones are being built a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” For HE is become the Head of the corner, having through death unto resurrection put to open shame the heavenly sons of God which sought their own glory and fell; so that in Him, we through His death unto walking in the newness of His life might overcome all the power of the enemy, by the indwelling life of the Son of God, who “came forth to undo the works of the devil.”
How fitting it is then, that these principalities and powers would seek to deceive the elect into supposing that they must put themselves under the teaching of the doctrines and traditions of men rather than the revelation of the Word of God though the Spirit! For it is the fellowship of the mystery (that is, Christ in you) in which the body of Christ builds itself up in love (Eph 3),“even to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” through which body our Lord seeks to make known to those principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God (even as Christ preached to the spirits of the fallen ones who are kept imprisoned in everlasting chains until judgement), as well as teaching wisdom to the holy angels which did not fall, who have longed to look into things pertaining to this very mystery. For we as the sons of God, being brought to glory, shall be their judges by God’s decree, since many sons had fallen. It is this position of authority which the rulers of darkness would keep us from inheriting, in that habitation which they themselves did not keep.
Therefore, beware of anything which in its functioning happens to replace HIS ministration, for by definition it proceeds from the spirit of antichrist, witting or unwitting. This is the agenda of “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit now at work in the sons of disobedience.” For all were meant to be sons, but fell; and even many who were being reconciled from among men have not continued to abide in the Lord’s hands.
So let us be wise according to God, soberly judging and acting according to the Spirit, not in the flesh by the fading wisdom of this world that is entirely under the rulership of darkness. For by His power being allowed to work effectively in us, we ought to be of such a walk in the Spirit of revelation and wisdom in the knowing of HIM, that the scriptures are no longer hindered by a need to conform them to preconceived doctrines; but rather become the confirmation and explanation of the revelation of HIM: wisdom for those obedient to the Shepherd’s voice, those in whom the Word of Life is already being manifest and the righteousness of God revealed.
“Then what you heard from the beginning, let it abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you will abide both in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise which He promised us: everlasting life. I wrote these things to you concerning the ones leading you astray. And the anointing (Holy Spirit) which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that any man teach you. But as His anointing (Holy Spirit) teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie; as HE taught you, abide in HIM.”
(1 John 2:24-27)
The Pharisees sought to challenge Jesus by saying that He witnessed of Himself, failing to discern that He indeed had the witness IN Himself, as do all who are born of Him and walking in the anointing of His Spirit who teaches and leads us in all things.
For He said, “I am the Light of the world. The one following Me will in no way walk in the darkness, but will HAVE the light of life.” And if we are meant to know (in actual experience) the fellowship of the mystery, then we each must walk in that light which He has given to us by that Spirit of Life. To walk in the Spirit is first to commune with God in His temple, “and know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?” For the true worshipers worship God not in temples made with hands; but in Spirit and in truth. This vessel must be surrendered to the purging and breaking of His loving discipline that it might be conformed to the image of the Son of God, “who is the express image of His essence.” So to walk in the Spirit and commune with God in His temple is to walk in that light of life, which those who follow Him and abide in Him truly have. And here are the benefits of this walk: that “we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of His Son Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” It is in this light where true spiritual fellowship occurs between those who are abiding in said light, and it is here where we have continual access to the application of His cleansing blood!
“For there are three bearing witness in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three who bear witness on the earth:
The Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three are TO the One.
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater;
because THIS is the witness of God which He has witnessed about His Son.
The one believing in the Son of God has the witness in himself.
The one not believing God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness which God has witnessed concerning His Son.
And this is the witness: that God gave us everlasting life, and this life is in His Son.”
(1 John 5:7-11)
The witness of the three on earth testify to the One who is in heaven; and if the three on earth are not seen, how can the Father in heaven be seen, of whom both things in heaven and on earth testify? It is those who have the witness in themselves who are a testimony of HIM; since to have the light of life is to be a living testimony of His indwelling reality. For everlasting life does not merely refer to living on for eternity after death; but rather more fully that we have His Life abiding in us – which Life is everlasting not only in terms of time, but more to the point that it is infinite in the abundance of its spiritual substance, being “the life which God has within Himself,” the very animating power of the Son and those found obedient by faith in Him.
Nicodemus the Pharisee remarked upon Jesus’ works as bearing witness to His being sent by God, to which our Lord immediately replied that without the regeneration of water and the Spirit one can neither see nor enter the kingdom of God. And being responded to faithlessly, He also said to Nicodemus, “That which we know, we speak; and that which we have seen, we testify. And you do not receive our testimony. If I tell you earthly things, and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” For the three on earth bear witness to the Three in heaven which are one; as it says of the three bearing witness on earth, “and these three are TO the One.”
For the true works of Jesus are only authentically possible through those born from above; therefore Jesus also described the ones regenerated and believing as coming to the Light, which bears witness as to whether their works are wrought in God. For those who walk in that light, having been born of Him by the Spirit of Life, have access by faith to His blood which cleanses them from all sin. And so the three on earth may bear witness of the One in heaven through those believing, because again, “the one believing in the Son of God HAS THE WITNESS IN HIMSELF.”
Walking in the light is not a phrase describing fellowship under the accountability of other men; it is rather a state of abiding in accountability toward the Father and the Son, with whom is the fellowship among those who so walk. True and ever-deepening fellowship in the body is is found in those who by HIS power are becoming mighty in the inward man by His Spirit, so that “through faith, Christ may dwell in your hearts, having been rooted and founded in love, that you may be given strength to grasp, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the surpassing knowledge and love of Christ, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Fellowship is a state of being in the body wherein each member, abiding in the secret place of the Most High, are thereby made ministers one to another of the surpassing knowledge and love of Christ! It is in such a state of being that harmonious functionality in the body occurs, because each individual part is following after the One Shepherd in the Father’s perfect will by the One Spirit; having died and been raised in Christ as through water, cleansed by His blood, so that we might approach God’s throne of grace with confidence and offer ourselves a living sacrifice – even our bodies – holy and acceptable to Him. For “truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ.” Gatherings which try to invoke mere human kinship or doctrinal agreement among a few will do nothing to purify the bride; but ever-deepening communion with God and obedience in the Spirit exclusively to HIM by each individual is where HIS fellowship can manifest as HE gathers them.
And we each, as members of that body, are called with a holy calling, given gifts and function in the Holy Spirit, having in this calling a great hope: to be a member of HIS inheritance in the saints (Eph 1:17-20). For He provides power and strength for those obedient by faith, so that this fellowship in Christ, the Head of the body, may be cultivated as we grow up into HIM. The eye cannot of its own accord say to the feet, “walk,” nor can the hand of its own accord say to the eyes, “see,” nor can the feet of their own accord say to the tongue, “speak;” but Christ the Head must be allowed to rule all, being IN all: so that every member is continually in the light – which light the body would then be full of – that each one’s works is seen as to whether or not it has been wrought in God. For it is the carnal who say “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Peter, I am of Christ,” taking the names even of Godly men – and even of the Lord Jesus – in order to separate themselves above one another, bringing fleshly division and therefore darkness into the body. Such is the corrupt fruit of abiding in a teaching of man over the one true Teacher, who Himself IS the teaching; or of holding to the scriptures apart from the life-giving Spirit of the One who alone can open the eyes and ears of all men to the wondrous revelation of His Grace and Truth. The Lord will not be in the fullest charge over all until all allow Him to be the only one in charge over each.
The prayer of Jesus to the Father “that they may be one, even as you and I are One” is only fulfilled in those who will so abide in and be one with HIM, unto the knowing of the fellowship of the mystery which then springs from He abiding in them, overflowing from one member to another. The temple which HE is building is constructed of LIVING stones: which themselves are each a temple being filled with the presence of God, the light in which they obediently walk, where true fellowship can occur and the glory of the Lord be revealed.
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!”
It is only fitting that brothers dwelling in unity should be pictured as the anointing of a priest (Aaron); since our first and primary ministry as a royal priesthood under the Anointed One is unto the Father. It is from a position of ministering first unto the Lord that His ministry flows through us to others, so that the whole body is able to be built up in love and sanctified completely. Our failure and refusal to walk in this is the result of our stubborn and unrepentant bowing to a sinister spiritual agenda; one that is carried out through our submission to the religious systems of this world and a desire to see our own little kingdoms prosper on earth, when truly Jesus’ kingdom is simply not of this world.
“But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of MY sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to Me to minister unto ME, and they shall stand before Me to offer unto Me the fat and the blood,” saith the Lord God: “They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to MY table, to minister unto ME, and they shall keep my charge.”
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come,” saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
The temple of the new covenant, which we are, is mercilessly being fought over; and it will either be the obedient dwelling place of the Living God by the inner working of the mystery of Christ through His Spirit unto His revealing, or it will be the disobedient temple of idolatry by the working of the mystery of iniquity through the spirit of antichrist unto his revealing. It will either be a vessel of living sacrifice where the presence of God resides unto everlasting life, or vessel of self-glorification where sacrifice ceases and abomination is set up unto desolation.
There is a mystery at work in every man; but of what spirit is it?
Therefore let every one make certain of what spirit they are, for of that spirit they will both reap and sow.
“For the mystery of lawlessness already is working, only he is holding back now, until it comes out of the midst. And then the Lawless One will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume by the spirit of His mouth, and will bring to nought by the brightness of His presence.”
(2 Thessalonians 2:7-8)
“…And he (the lawless one) will defile by flatteries those who do evil against the covenant. But the people who KNOW their God will be strong and will do.”