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18. Until My Enemies

The Mercy Seat, the throne of God, the Lamb Slain is the place inside of God inside of us inside of God where the authority of God takes all things offensive to Himself, His “enemies,” and causes the offense to cease, and the thing or person weighted down by that offense to be transformed into something brand new in the new creation.


    

18. Until My Enemies - Are Made My Footstool

© Daniel Yordy - 2012

In the path of the atonement, the next step is the ascension of Christ into the heavens. I will come back to the ascension on high. However, the final act of Jesus in the Atonement, sitting down at the right hand of the Father and we in Him, corresponds to the Mercy Seat.

At the same time, the final and most significant furnishing in the Tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness, in the Holy of Holies, is the Pillar of Fire.  God Himself in residence in His Holy Temple.

The Mercy Seat, the throne of God, the Lamb Slain is the place inside of God inside of us inside of God where the authority of God takes all things offensive to Himself, His “enemies,” and causes the offense to cease, and the thing or person weighted down by that offense to be transformed into something brand new in the new creation.

This is the authority of God, His throne.

Three years ago, I wrote a letter titled “Seven Aspects of Christ,” in which I listed “the authority of Christ” as the seventh point we must explore. I said at that time that I knew little of that authority and thus could not speak of it now. In that letter I also showed how each aspect of Christ contained an inner working that always comes first and then an outer working that always flows out of the inner working. Here is what I said about authority:

To sit with Jesus upon the throne of God is to be the authority of God in the universe. Every word we speak carries great authority. We have no idea. Yet this topic in its fullness is beyond my present place upon this path God has us on. I will share of it in part, but I cannot now share of it in its fullness.

I did not realize then that I did know what the inner part of the authority of Christ in our lives is and how we implement that inner authority into our full knowing and experience.

I have the RIGHT to become a son of God.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12

Authority is not force or “power over,” it is “right.”

We must exercise this right to become a son of God all the way through to our full knowing on the inside of us of our present place upon the throne of God inside of Jesus.

I now understand, for the first time in my life, what that extension, the outworking of the authority of Christ inside of us IS and how it works. I am a novice, but not for long.

Let's bring in the verses of the Covenant that lay out the terms of this authority, this right, now flowing out of us to set all creation free.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .” Matthew 28:18-19

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us . . . raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace . . . Ephesians 2:4-7

. . . the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20-21

But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,  from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:12-14

And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ — as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. Revelation 2:26-28

To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:21

There are other verses speaking of this authority, but I want to focus on two things in particular. First, this “working” by which Jesus “subdues all things to Himself.” And second, that we are inside this working, this authority, it is fulfilling its full work in us and then out through us to all creation.

 From that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

I also want to rip the “Great Commission” out of the paradigm of “escape hell, go to heaven,” a false paradigm that obscures and dishonors the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I want to place that Great Commission utterly into the place where it belongs, The Mercy Seat inside of God inside of us.

Now, we must make the authority of the Mercy Seat, it's power to take what is meant for evil and transform it into inestimable good, very personal, practical, and real.

Recently, I shared with you what has been the vision of my heart for many years, a community of Christ, a teaching community, and in particular, the bold and impossible idea that God would fulfill that vision in an isolated valley in the northern British Columbia wilderness.

My sharing of that vision struck a cord of witness that reverberated in the hearts of many. A few weeks later, Chris Welch, my English friend, suggested that we pool a fund of money to enable us to gather as near to Blair Valley as we could to pray for its birthing.

His suggestion hit me right between the eyeballs. It's one thing to “speak in faith,” but quite something else to be faced with the reality of what you are suggesting.

The question I then faced was: “Is this really what I want? Do I really believe this to be true?”

The answer of my heart to both was, “Yes.” But I had to work through many conflicting emotions to know that my answer was unchanged.

Because, you see, I gave you a view of Blair Valley in the summer time. I love Blair Valley in the summer time. AND I love it on any single day of winter, or even on many single days of winter.

Let me explain my problem. I grew up in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, in the countryside, right next to the Cascade Mountains. That's fine for those who stay there, but for those who leave that paradise and venture forth into other climes, they are condemned to a lifetime of pining and groaning for what ought to be but is not.

I grew up in West Coast Marine climate, similar to England, but only those who live in the country in England will know what I mean. It is green year round, greener in the winter months than in the summer. A boy doesn't mind a bit of brown in the summer months because he is too busy swimming in the mountain streams and stuffing his face with raspberries and blackberries, salmon berries and thimble berries, huckleberries and strawberries, cherries and apples, plums and – you get the point. (I left off my favorite, grapes, late October; I can put away a lot of grapes very fast.)

Things grow in Oregon, all the time, BIG.

I like growing things – green and colorful and sweet.

Things grow at Blair Valley fast and big – through the three months of summer. And there are wild strawberries and raspberries, tiny but sweet.

Then, for nine long dreary frozen months, nothing grows. Nothing.

Six months below freezing. Now, don't get me wrong, the winter in the North is beautiful. But for a boy who grew up in paradise, it just lasts tooooo long. The worst is January and February, when the temperatures are the lowest, the days are the shortest, the nights are the longest, the dim, tiny cabins are the dreariest, and everyone gets sick, especially the children, high fevers and depression. And summer is still too far away. In fact, the months yet ahead BEFORE summer are longer than summer itself.

Things grow year round in Houston, but they don't grow very fast or well. This still is not really garden country. (And in the South, “paradise” is filed with poisonous snakes and chiggers and other things too nasty to mention.)

So I long for all growing things, especially berries, for chickens pecking in the back yard, for big trees and flowing mountain streams. For a dog running with me through the (snake-less) woods.

And in the Canadian north, in the middle of icy winter, the longing becomes almost unbearable.

Enter the Mercy Seat and the authority of Christ to bring all things into submission under His feet.

You see, always before, when I thought that I was “bad,” and that my longing for what I did not have was “of the flesh,” I could not stand in that theology. I could never pretend enjoyment of things I could not bear. I could never “make myself” “obey.”

I cannot return to the Canadian north apart from the Mercy Seat.

Let's take what I cannot bear into the Mercy Seat. Let's turn the Cup into Joy.

I LOVE nine long dreary frozen months when nothing grows. I love six months below freezing. I love January and February, and the mud-snow-mud-snow-mud-snow yo-yo of April and May. I love the coldest and longest nights, the shortest days of little sun, the small and dreary cabins. I joy in the high fevers and low depression.  I love the time when summer is “too” far away.

Saying this right now, for the first time, changes something inside of me. No, I'm not faced with it at present, but as the Lord provides miracles, I cannot return to Blair Valley without victory and joy on the inside all the way through. And the truth is, with sufficient provision, I know exactly how to alleviate much of the difficulty.

This works both ways, of course. I knew a brother in Canada who loved the winter and hated the summer. His definition of paradise was Antarctica where the temperatures never rise above freezing. Ha! He fell in love with a girl from southern Florida and had to spend time in Miami to win her parents as well. They compromised, though – upstate New York, half summer and half winter!

Now, this is not a question of changing ourselves on the inside. NO! Christ is our life, we have no other life. The only thing that changes is the increase in our knowledge of Him and our knowledge of the extent to which our oneness with Him goes in setting creation free.

In fact, the belief that “I” must bring my unwilling flesh into submission to the “dictates” of God over my life, that God is “after” my “surrender” to His “command” is just part of that old ugly thing, Adam's rebellion, calling it the “cross of Christ.” Harsh, bitter,  frozen separation.

No. What is happening here in the Mercy Seat inside of love is the transformation of the universe.

Christians who chose to give thanks IN all things only, who tolerate the evil circumstances by giving thanks only for the things they do like, shoving into the background the things they hate, can never know the power of the Mercy Seat, the power by which Jesus brings all things into subjection under His feet, the power of love.

Nothing “evil” can stay evil inside the Mercy Seat. Inside the power of love, all that is objectionable ceases (the ever-present Blood) and that which once was “evil” is now transformed into beauty and goodness.

I am convinced that Blair Valley will not stay as it is. I am convinced that the day is coming very soon, as the curse is swallowed up by love and life, that Blair Valley will become a place known for growing things, green and sweet and colorful. I am convinced that the earth is about to be covered with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Now, let's bring that same power to the people in our lives.

Understand that people themselves never bother us; it's the things they do or don't do that offend.

Those who have the power to inflict pain on us are usually the closest to us in some way. Over time, we build up a fear. We may love the person deeply, but in certain situations, things are said or done that trigger our fear.

And thus we respond out of that fear.

Now, I will say it again because the distinction is so very important. Always before the requirement lay upon me that I “ought to” or “have to” forgive. And of course, all the Bible verses are trotted out – If you do not forgive your brother his trespasses, neither will your Father in heaven forgive yours. But the threat continues, and we feel very vulnerable. The requirements of an implacable God are overwhelming.

That whole way of thinking has vanished from my mind. Why? Because I know that in all times in all ways in all things, He carries me. I know that I am filled to overflowing with the love of God. I don't have to “feel” anything. I know because He says.  I believed that what He says is true for several years, speaking Christ. I “believe” no more. The day came when I knew. I continue speaking Christ, but out of knowing, not out of hoping.

The throne of God, the mercy seat of heaven fills me full, pressing out to my rib cage, and overflowing beyond in rivers. As it does you. – God!

And His authority is absolutely invested in me.

I have the right to become a son of God.

I have the right to subject everything to the power by which Jesus subdues all things to Himself – LOVE!

And so I take the offense that is most frightening to me, when I am feeling the most vulnerable in close relationships with others, and I draw that offense and all my frightful vulnerability into the Love of God, into the Mercy Seat that fills me full.

“God, I thank you for this difficulty and offense. I am so grateful. I love _____________ (name the offense), and I love _____________ (name the person) with all the Love that fills me full. They rest, both person and difficulty, in love inside of me.”

And the enemies of Jesus come into submission under His feet. I am His feet.

And the person who committed the offense is now set free from all shadow of that offense.

It's not that I, also, am set free. I was set free when Jesus said, “I and the children whom You have given Me.”

No, it's that I have released this person into the glorious liberty that fills me full and flows out from me.

Try it, the next time you are struggling under an offense against you by someone else. God is not “proving” you; He is proving His authority through you.

When we draw all things into love, we cause the offense to cease and the person to go free.

The person is never “under our control.” That is the purpose and power of bitterness and hatred. No, the person walks away free, released fully to be themselves in God. There is no “power over” in the kingdom.

Now, this is not some wet-noodled “just loving everybody” sort of stuff.

This is no “liberal” “everything's cool, brother, everything goes.”

The power of the Mercy Seat is the Blood Stains that cover it. Those spots of Blood are an awful transaction. God ripped open for all to see. Mercy is full judgment against sin. Mercy is a terrible, terrible thing.

Yet the moment that Mercy has accomplished its work, all offense is forgotten and no longer exists.

Just as no atom of Jesus' body can be found in the old creation, so no atom of offense can be found in the new creation. The person who offended lives brand new.

We have the authority to draw all things into the Mercy Seat and by the power of God filling us full, cause all offense to cease. It is the power by which Jesus subdues all things to Himself; it is the power of Love.

Yet, we must make here two STRONG distinctions.

First is a horrific thing I have seen practiced in the name of “the cross, brother.”

Jesus said, “It is necessary that offenses come, but woe to him through whom they come.”

Offenses coming against us continually are necessary as we move in our role as sons of God setting all creation free. How can we absolve all offense inside the Blood inside of us except offense come our way? How can we see sin cease in those whom we love except we draw their offense into the Mercy Seat that fills us full?

But here is a practice I have seen in Christian circles when we once believed that God “sent us” offensive things in order to “bring us to the cross,” or “prove us whether we will obey Him or not,” or anything in that carnal mindset of separation from God. And that is the weight placed upon others that says, “Well, brother, you may not like this, but it's the cross for you, so just die to yourself, brother.” That's bad enough. But there is something worse.

The worse thing is when those “in charge” devise difficulty for others because of some perceived “need” the others have to “die to their flesh.” This practice in whatever form it comes by whoever against whoever is evil. Something in my gut always wrenched when I witnessed or heard this expressed. And I am so glad that Jesus has washed my own sins away and thus I no longer look at any time in the past where I may have intended such a thing against any other, even a little bit.

Let me give just one example. A brother I knew had owned and run a commercial construction business before he moved to community. He was not “rich,” but he had a bit more money than most of us. Upon his arrival in the community, however, in spite of his experience, or, rather, because of his “worldly” experience, he was given the job of sorting out buckets of bent and rusty nails, returning them to some sort of usefulness.  The reason for the task was to “teach him humility.”

This is a silly example, and one which I'm sure the brother laughs at now. But it is an example of far worse practices we have done against one another in the name of a false “cross.”

That is not the authority of Jesus nor the Mercy Seat that causes all offense to cease.

The second distinction we must make is much bigger.

I said that we draw “all things” into the Mercy Seat inside of us.

That does not include no – things. Inside the category of no-things are sin itself, the world, and death.

Jesus did not pray for the world, and neither do we.

First, when we draw that which is offensive to us into love, the very act of doing that annihilates the sin. Of course, something offensive to us need not be “sin.” A person emanating excessive body odor in a close public place is offensive. But there is no commandment that says “Thou shalt take a bath once a day.”

But if the offense is by sin, then, yes, we draw the hurt and pain concerning that offense into the love of God inside of us including all individuals involved. The sin itself is annihilated by the Blood of Jesus before it ever comes near. You see, it is drawing the thing past our own hurt, bringing our own selves into the very love of God filling us full that causes the offense to cease.

The world, even though it is overwhelmingly powerful, is non-existent. It is an illusion only, imaginary.

And this is why we cannot set creation free until we shatter the nations.

It is very popular in America to pray for “the President.” I do not, nor did Jesus, ever pray for “the President.” Peter did not say that we should pray for authority figures in this world. He said that we should pray for those in power THAT WE MIGHT LIVE IN PEACE. In other words, pray that the curse of human government would leave people alone, that the innocent would not suffer at the hands of human power in this world.

You see, it is perfectly fine to pray for the man, Barack Obama. But the only prayer we would pray for him would be that he would come to know Christ. The problem is “the Presidency.” As long as the man remains president, he will NEVER know Christ. Thus, to “pray for Barack Obama” is to pray that he resign the presidency and turn his back on all the pride and prestige of this world.

When you “vote” for someone to be “President,” you are cursing that person, placing them into a delusion that will stand fully between them and Christ.

Human government in this world is the arrogance of pride.

All who exercise “authority” over others in this world do so inside an open hostility to the Person and Being of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only those who turn their backs on “power over,” accepting the loss of all things in this world, will ever know Christ. Drawing any person into Love inside of us is for the sole purpose of drawing them into Christ. If we pray for Barack Obama, we ARE praying that he would walk away from all his vain-glory and pride, turn his back on all that power and know Christ.

No one in the middle of “power over” will ever know Christ; they are anti-Christ.

God has nothing to do with the machinations, the plans and purposes, the conniving and manipulation, the boasting and vain-glory of human government in this world. He may turn it to fit His unseen purposes, and He may block it from all of it's lustful and violent intent, but none of the delusion ever enters into Christ.

I have observed the power that group association holds over people, as have you. The power of the group, whether it be country or country club, corporation or non-profit education, church group or poker club, all human associations in this world, the power of the group over the face of the individual person tied to the group is overwhelming.

To know Christ is a FULL self-identity. To know the group is a FULL self-identity.

Out from Christ, we love one another. Out from the group, face is everything. We MUST conform to the expectations of the group. Even those who reject society are reacting to the face of society only. Their identity is still utterly shaped by the world.

Observe people relating within a group, any group. Watch how much power the face of the group holds over their face, over what mask they wear for what occasion. You see, it is entirely the clothing of fig leaves.

That is why “Jewishness” is the greatest enemy of individuals who think they are “Jews” whether truly or not, and why the cross having put to death ALL “Jewishness” is such a precious gift of God.

Yet to be clothed with Christ alone is to know no identity other than His life filling us full. And only those who speak all that Christ their life is inside of them, who acknowledge the good things of Christ inside of them and deny the existence of anything else, only those know their identity as Christ as them.

EVERYONE else must put on a face for the group.

“Power over” is insidiously evil; it is the nature of Satan. Those who wield power over others do so only as the Beast; in that role, in that place, they cannot ever know Christ.

Let me make a clear distinction here. An employer on the job, a teacher in the classroom, a parent in the home, is not moving in “power over.” When your boss tells you how to do your job it is only because of a mutual and limited contract you have entered into with your workplace. The same goes for a teacher in a classroom. Parents in the home hold a unique role, yet those who move in Christ in that role never exercise any form of “power over.” I always set my children free of “me,” and they know it. The result is that they continue to be quite willing to be guided by any wisdom I may have, knowing that I will always support them and leave them free in their own choices.

But when dictate throws people in prison or extracts the labor of their hands to spend it willy-nilly, there is nothing of Christ in any of that.

To know Christ is to turn your back on all “power over” in this world and all group “face.”

Jesus hung naked on the cross before His own mother; He thought nothing of the shame because He knew the God who filled Him full. Jesus wore no face for this world; He exercised no “power over.”

Show me one place where Jesus forced another to His will.

Jesus is God revealed.

Yet the power that groups in this world hold over all is overwhelming. They will never know Christ until that power is shattered.

And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ — as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. Revelation 2:26-28

True “evangelism” MUST shatter the nations first, for no one will know Christ who labors under the false face of “the group.”

We cannot “make disciples of all nations” without the authority of the Mercy Seat, without shattering group identity first.

 We will never love death. Death is the very last enemy of God to cease it's vicious work. We love the life flowing out from us that eliminates death and swallows its victims up into LIFE.

What then do we love? What real things do we draw into Love inside of us?

We must start with ourselves, all of ourselves as we find ourselves to be.

I am not speaking of “selfishness”; I am speaking of the perfection of God. God created us and formed us each in particular as it pleased Him. To hate ourselves in any way or for any reason is to hate God; it is rebellion. To love God is to love how we find ourselves to be. We walk only in the light; all sin is washed away from us at all times. Whatever weaknesses or difficulties we find inside ourselves, we give God full thanks FOR and we draw into LOVE by loving ourselves as we find ourselves to be.

Then we draw into the power of that Love all whom we love and all who pass by our way.

Do not pray for the governments of this world. It's fine to pray for the people, but why would we spend time praying for someone far away from us, just because the world worships them, instead of loving those all around us who are real to our lives.

Let's be careful that our “prayers” are not in sync with the face of this world and its beast worship.

And we draw into our Love all the circumstances by which God orders our steps. Those circumstances include all offense and all difficult things.

Let's take cancer, for instance. If cancer, or some other disease, afflicts our body, where do we keep that awful circumstance? Do we keep it in the love of God or do we keep it far away from Him? If you “hate” the cancer and are always “battling against” it, then it can only continue to afflict you, for you have not placed it in the only place that causes all offense to cease.

Giving thanks FOR the cancer and placing it inside the Love of God that fills you full does not “affirm” the cancer, but it removes all power that evil might claim over you.

The idea that giving thanks for cancer, naming “cancer,” somehow places the cancer “above” the Lord Jesus is just plain stupid. The idea entertains dim minds; it serves no other purpose.

Quite the contrary, drawing the cancer into the Mercy Seat, into love and thankfulness, brings it into full submission to the Lord Jesus.

And don't ever forget, thankfulness is only the first step of two. There is also the resurrection, there is also the ascension, there is also the Pillar of Fire. The second step is ALWAYS the expectation of God arising; it is always Triumph!

Those who “plead the blood,” who “pray against the demons,” are demonstrating the fear and doubt in which they live. They do not know Christ nor His power, nor that He utterly carries them. They cannot draw the cancer or whatever the difficulty might be into the Mercy Seat because they have no idea who they are, who Christ is, or where they presently sit.

You see, it's a simple trick. When God arises and we in Him, His enemies flee. The expectation of God.

But when we hold our difficulty far away from God, He can never arise carrying all that we are inside of Him.

To hold our difficulty far away from Love inside of us is to hold it with white-knuckled grip as our own possession. Can we bear such a thing? I know I cannot.

Yet that is not who we are. We are sons of God; we sit upon His throne, the throne of heaven, and we set all creation free in the glorious liberty flowing out of our bellies.

That is our only identity; we know nothing else.

I can assure you, this is all brand new for me.

I carry deep pain over many things. I experience deep angst and unresolved desire. Relationships with people, especially those who hold some sort of authority over me, are never easy for me.

“Always overcoming” difficulty came to me in the past inside of “Daniel, you are bad.” That thought always crippled me, ripped the ground out from under me, blew the wind right out of my sails. And in the midst of assault I always collapsed. I have known overwhelming failure.

And so for a number of years I rejected out of hand any “overcoming” of anything. I could not bear such a requirement.

Now my thinking and my identity is truly altered to Christ alone. I know that He carries me utterly all the way through; I know that God fills me full.

Yet the difficulties continue on right on.

In this world you will have tribulation (everything that can go wrong will go wrong), but be of good cheer (get excited, laugh, give all thanks for all difficulty), for I have defeated the world.

And now, to draw all the difficulties that assail me into the Mercy Seat, into this authority of the Lamb Slain in which I sit, is not only very, very doable, it is my calling, my gift, my destiny.

It is what I – and you – do best.