Skip navigation

1. Greater Love Hath No Man

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself; the same God fills us with all of His fullness. It is God who reconciles; it is God who saves. What did Jesus do? He laid down His life; He revealed God.

1. Greater Love Hath No Man

© Daniel Yordy - 2012

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. John 15:12-14

These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. John 16:25

This is the first of a series of letters called The Kingdom of God. I have not completed the series The Gathering Together, and thus hope to complete that series also, as the Lord leads. The truth is, my topic has slowly shifted, and in fact, over the last few letters, I have seen the foundation of the very thing I devoted my life to at the age of twenty-one - the birthing of the Kingdom of God upon this earth.

I have long been interested in the nature of this kingdom, what it is and how it operates. Yet God has kept it at arm's length from me, and rightly so. There is no way I could have known the nature of God's kingdom when I did not know His nature. Worse than that, I interpreted the kingdom of God by the hierarchy and order of the kingdoms of this world. And in so doing I would have (as most who teach on the kingdom do) twisted and perverted that kingdom, taking Bible verses and concepts and tacking them onto a "God" created in the likeness and image of man.

My article "God is Beneath Your Feet" is a revolutionary understanding of God, that is, an understanding that turns everything "upside down." (Please understand that I gave a very specific definition for the phrase "beneath your feet," that is, we are upside down. When we are right side up, that is, when we know God as He really is, all that God speaks about our enemies being "under our feet" becomes our reality.)

We cannot know the kingdom of God until we first know the King. Knowing the King begins with these words:

I am meek and lowly of heart.

Consider Jesus' words in John 16:25. He said that everything He had spoken until then, not only John 14-16, but everything else in all the gospels was spoken in a "figurative" language. That is, the words and symbols that He used mean something far beyond their surface meaning or, rather, far beyond normal human knowledge of these things. Then Jesus says, "I will tell you plainly about," - another figurative statement.

The phrase, "I will tell you plainly about," is figurative.

Now, I received an email that is sent occasionally by a group - I did not sign up for it. This email made the claim that they had discovered the "key" that unlocks the gospels. The problem, of course, is that this "key" was mental, to be used by the human mind to "figure out" the hidden secrets.

Neither I nor Jesus offer you a "key" to "figure out" the deep, hidden truth. We offer you, simply, God Himself, revealing Himself as you - His image, the branch through which the Life of the vine shows Himself. Right after these words in John 16, Jesus said: "This is eternal life, to know You, the only true God."

If Jesus' words, "I will tell you plainly about," were literal and not figurative, then He "talks," we listen, and then we learn some things "about" God, who remains, then, a mental construct. Ideas "about" God cannot ever be anything other than "God" created in the image and likeness of man. God is not ideas; God is Spirit. Spirit is pervasive and personal, ideas are definitive: two very different things. We can know Spirit; we can talk about ideas. We cannot talk about Spirit, and we cannot know ideas intimately and personally.

Those who would argue in great protestation for the definition of God found in the Nicene Creed are really, deeply, desperately concerned about human ideas only. God Himself they would despise if they saw Him. When God shows up in the earth, He looks nothing like the Nicene Creed.

"Know God" is the only thing not found inside the matrix of human ideas and nonsense.

We cannot know the "God" of historical Christianity because the definition given to that "God" is not just inaccurate, but, rather, in certain crucial ways, the opposite of God as He really is.

It is impossible to define God by human ideas and definitions. This is God's problem from the beginning. God cannot be defined, He can only be known. Thus the only thing that could possibly show us God is the Man, Christ Jesus, particularly in His passage from Gethsemane to the Ascension. And the only way we ourselves could know God is to be just like Jesus, that is, God showing Himself as us - His image, the branch and fruit that are the Life of God made visible.

The only thing that can "define" God is story; the only words we could use are action verbs.

Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.

This IS God.

Let me repeat the "definition" of God I gave in my letter, "The Weakness of God."

- God always reveals Himself through weakness, swallowing up into Himself all that we are including our sin and rebellion, becoming us in our present state. Thus, carrying us inside Himself, stumbling and falling along the way, He arises out of death into life, ascending on high, and we in Him. - 

Thus the Man, Christ Jesus, is God revealed.

If we have miss-defined God all our Christian lives, then we must also have miss-defined Christ and Spirit and power and holiness and salvation and man and everything else. There is only one thing I know that we cannot miss-define under the vanity of separation from God: a man laying down His life for His friends.

Anyone who can successfully divert our eyes from this only knowing of God onto the human arguments of God the Father - God the Son - God the Holy Spirit, co-equal in substance, etc., etc., etc., has successfully separated us from ever knowing God.

God did not present to us the conundrum, the mystery, of the "Trinity" etc., etc., as any mystery that reveals Him. He presented us with a Man laying down His life for His friends as the mystery that reveals Him. The moment you insert human argument into that picture, God Himself vanishes and all that's left is a "God" created in the image and likeness of man. God is completely other than human argument and definition.

When we know God, then we know Jesus Christ whom He has sent, that we are just like Him, and we know the Spirit who reveals Christ as us.

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11

Notice the words, "that we might live through Him." Notice the words, "in this is love - that He sent His Son to be the propitiation," that is, to become us in our weakness, then to ascend and we in Him. Notice the words, "we also."

The kingdom of God in all reality is found first in these two words: "we also." It is found nowhere else. Yes, the kingdom of God grows from these two words to include all the works of God's hands, but everything found in that larger picture is rooted entirely in "we also."

God is revealed, the mystery of Christ is known, the fullness of the Spirit is found only out from these two words: "we also."

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

John confirms this definition of God. God is Love - by this we know Love - Jesus laying down His life for us - AND we also. There is no other way to know God.

You see, as humans, we are able to hold mutually opposing views in our minds all at the same time. We can switch from arguing for one to arguing for its opposite without missing a beat or even knowing what we're doing. In this way, American Christians can worship Jesus as the One who laid down His life for them and then hiss and boo when a politician suggests that American foreign policy should be based on doing unto others what we would have them do unto us.

In a similar fashion, we can talk all about Christ living as us, about the grace and love of God, but then, in an instant, revert back to definitions of God and Christian theology without even realizing that we cannot have both. We can say, over and over, that we know love because He laid down His life for us - and we also, and then turn and say that we "know" that God is Three in One, Omnipresent Spirit, Eternal, Infinite, etc., etc.

I am actually very serious. The "God" of historic Christianity is a God we know all kinds of things about, a God we can define - and to define is to control. We receive revelation about this "God" concerning His life and grace and love, but always, we must revert back to the "God" of definition whenever argument comes our way.

Knowing about God is the opposite of knowing God. To the extent that we know about God, to that same extent we do not know God. To know God we must stop, that is, turn from, that is, repent of knowing definitions about Him.

And thus, God can speak through us by the words He says, first in the revelation of Christ spoken by Paul and John - Christ in you the hope of glory / As He is so are we in this world, and then out from that revelation to all things God Himself says.

A sister recently asked me a series of questions which I answered. She replied with more questions, all of which I was also happy to answer. But in her second email to me she said these words, "As I've said I know the Christian side and what God's word says, but I don't have a lot of answers to continue inspiring my son to be 'more like Jesus' (although we never will on this earth, but He expects us to strive for.....)"

I answered the sister's questions, but when I got to the words in parenthesis, I said, "Whoa there. Look at your words. Nowhere does God say anything like what you say here, on either side of the comma." I do not speak to criticize this sister; we are all coming out of darkness and miss-conception.

There are no words in human expression or the history of man upon this earth that are more anti-Christ, more contrary to knowing God, more offensive to the heart of God than these words: "to be more like Jesus, (although we never will on this earth, but He expects us to strive for it.)" These are not this sister's words, they are words she has heard inside "Christianity" all her life; she is simply repeating them. These words began in the garden, "Did God really say that? You shall be like Him for you shall see Him as He is? What a joke! Not here, not now, no way."

The words "never will on this earth," permeate Christianity and are anti-Christ. Not only are they a denial of the One who reveals God in the flesh, but they are a denial of the nature and being of God Himself.

The Father of the Lord Jesus Christ revealed to us only by the picture of Christ, the One who lays down His life for His friends, is the God of the Bible. The definitions of God in Christian theology are a human construct, attempting to create a "lofty" God who is thus unknowable by lowly man. - NOT ON THIS EARTH!

Now, the kingdom of God is found on the contention of this point. God defines the kingdom all the way through the New Testament as the opposite of the kingdoms of this world. God shows who and what He is by contrast. Consider these words of Jesus.

The thief comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy; I am come that you might have life and that more abundantly.

Jesus positions Himself as the opposite of the evil one. In a similar way, God's kingdom is shown all through the New Testament by first pointing us to its opposite. "The Gentiles - - -, but it shall not be so among you."

"We never will on this earth." I cannot tell you how horrifically anti-Christ, opposed to everything that is God, these words are. Yet it is here, by the purpose of God, that God births His kingdom in the earth.

Here are God's words: "And we also."

What, then, do we do with the word "ought?" It is there in the Greek words penned by John. We simply believe it. It is not a performance word; it is a creative word of the Father. In the same way that God said, "Let there be light," and there was light, that is, Christ shining forth, making the Father visible, in that same way, God speaks into our hearts, "And you also ought to love one another in the same way that Christ loved you." Thus there is love, always abounding in our hearts, that is, Christ shining forth through us, making the Father visible.

You see, God forbade us the tree of knowledge, which is the tree of performance. To "perform" a word like this is to eat of that tree, "I can do what God says." In complete contrast, we believe that Christ is our life and that He fulfills the love of God through us.

Here is the point of everything. If Jesus filling our hearts with Himself is not real, then how can we imagine that the Bible and God and salvation could possibly be real? But Christ does fill our hearts and as He reveals Himself through us, we are His image. This love is real and by it we lay down our lives for our brethren. 

This "and we also" is part of the "just as" commandments of the New Testament: "Be just like God."

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2

Wow!

One of the great arguments of Christianity is that we cannot be just like Christ because that would be robbery. We would be "stealing" what belongs to Him alone. But they are unable to cut verses like this out of the Bible, so they say, "Well, God just means 'try.' But He also wants you to know that you can't really be what He says. The moment you think a word like this can be fulfilled in your life, then we know you have departed from God."

It is an amazing thing that a theology that would call God a liar in this way would be capable, at the same time, of giving us an accurate definition of God!

How did Christ give Himself for us? By taking us into Himself, that is, by becoming us. When did that happen? It is clear to me that the moment of time when Jesus took us into Himself as the atonement was the completion of His prayer in John 17. That prayer of faith must have been fulfilled in the moment of His speaking it. As Jesus walked down the steps from the upper room on His way to the garden, from that moment we were in Him.

More than that, Jesus took us into Himself by a deliberate act of His will specifically by speaking the words of John chapter 17. These are words of faith; thus they are God.

When Jesus crossed the brook Kidron, I crossed the brook Kidron. When He said, "Not My will but Thine be done," I said, "Not my will but Thine be done." That word was sealed forever in me in that moment. When He stood on trial, I stood on trial. When He was beaten and mocked, I was beaten and mocked. When He stumbled under my cross, I stumbled under His. When He was crucified, I was crucified. When He said, "Father, forgive them," I said, "Father forgive all who have offended me." When He died, I died. When He was buried, I was buried. When He descended into Hades, I descended into Hades. When He arose from the dead, I arose from the dead. When He ascended on high, I ascended on high.

None of this was symbolic or figurative. All of it was real and absolute. Look again at Jesus' words!These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. John 16:25

He spoke the words, "the time is coming when I will tell you plainly about the Father" just five minutes before His inclusionary work of atonement began. In other words, from John 17 on, for the first time on this earth, we saw the Father's face openly and plainly. AND we were inside of Him!!!

Now, if this is how Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, then how did He do it? Simply this. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. The fullness of who and what God is dwelt in Christ bodily. Thus the Man, Christ Jesus, was God revealed. More than that, it is the essence and nature of God through all the fabric of His being to take even His enemies into Himself, to become them, to carry them, stumbling and falling into death, and to arise with them in Him into life ascending on high. If God was in Christ, then this nature and being was operating in fullness inside of every step Jesus took.

Here is the point at which the kingdom of God begins: "And we also - just as Christ - as I have loved you."

I am a man in the same way that Jesus was a Man, that is, I am God revealed. When I believe that, when I know that, then I know that every part of my life is God showing Himself as He is. That means that every part of my life is God becoming others, carrying them inside Himself, stumbling into death, and then arising with these precious dear ones inside Himself and ascending on High.

If God is in me, then God is Himself in me.

How could it be otherwise?

Thus we know that being just like Jesus, walking as He walked, is the only thing that makes sense; it is the only thing real.

And thus I know God, and in knowing God, all I wish to do is place my face on the floor in worship, for I know that He is meek and lowly of heart. I know that He is gentle and tender and kind.

In my series on Our Union with Christ (found in The Unveiling), I stated that, although the life of Christ from His conception in Mary's womb to His seating at the right hand of the Father is the pattern of our lives, that is, Christ living as us, there is one part of His walk that is not ours, but rather, He carries us inside Himself through those steps. That part of His walk I referred to was the passage of the atonement, from Gethsemane to the Resurrection.

Now, it is most certainly true that He carries us inside Himself through that passage, and thus we know God by the only way God can be known. But then I am confronted here with the words, "and we also," and the words, "just as," and I am brought up short. Now I realize that something I had inherited from "Christianity" was working in my heart when I first made that distinction between us and Christ, a distinction God clearly does not make.

Christianity has instilled inside of us the idea that for us to be really like Jesus in all respects before God would be robbery; it would be "stealing" something that belongs to Jesus alone and is, thus, not ours to experience or to be. However, the very act of seeing Jesus as He is dispels from our hearts that false measurement. At the same time, a number of verses in the New Covenant come crowding into our minds confirming that it was, indeed, a false measurement.

"The Father has not left Me alone - I and the children whom You have given Me."

"That the glory I had with You might be in them, and I in them."

"Let this same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus our Lord, who thought it not robbery to be equal with God."

"He is not ashamed to call us, 'Brethren.'"

The kingdom of God birthed into this earth begins here. It begins with knowing the face of God revealed by Christ Jesus. That is: - God always reveals Himself through weakness, swallowing up into Himself all that we are including our sin and rebellion, becoming us in our present state. Thus, carrying us inside Himself, stumbling and falling along the way, He arises out of death into life, ascending on high, and we in Him. - 

And thus God is always becoming Himself in us.

Let me place the three verses together again here, and I defy any person in Christendom to argue that God does not mean what He says. Better for those to be silent who do not know Him.

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2

The "we also," the "just as" in these verses clearly points directly to the nature and being of God in the atonement. This is no "outward act," it is no "figurative language," it is simply God being Himself.

Do you understand what is taking place here? God is giving to us the key, the door, the power, the knowing to break the curse from off this earth and to see the fulfillment of rivers of living water bringing all creation into glorious liberty.

The key always was God Himself, revealing Himself as us in this world. We just did not know who He is.

"And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

"And we also - God."

You see, when we did not know God, we saw these words as referring to some outward act, something that the noblest and the best among us Christians might, on occasion, do. And we saw that "doing" as that person's following the "example" given to us by Jesus.

Certainly, the Love that is God Himself acts through us in this earth by outward doings of kindness and compassion for others, even to instances of actually dying in another's stead. And I also am convinced that Revelation Chapter 11 means that the fullness of times in the dispensation of God will see a second defeat of death in the same outward demonstration shown by Jesus 2000 years ago. That is, defeating death by swallowing up death and then rising again on high.

But now we know that both of those outer demonstrations of Love inside the realms of time and space and matter come only out of God as He is, in reality, in fabric and being, in His core and periphery, by His face - God, revealed by us, His image - man.

Remember, God revealed is not, never was, and never will be "Superman." God revealed is a man laying down his life for his friends.

God is the Reconciler, God is the Savior, God is the Becomer. God is the One who takes into Himself all sorrow and loss, all pain and grief, all sin and rebellion, taking it all into death, and then arising into life and ascending on high, and we in Him. This is God in His nature and being. God is and cannot be anything else.

We say that God is "all-powerful," and He is, but how? Take a plot of ground filled with plants and bushes and grasses and plow it, plow it, plow it, until not one shred of vegetative matter is left upon its surface. Then leave for two years and come back. What will you see on your return? Life sprung forth abundantly, greater, even, than before. That is the power of God, the power of resurrection.

God does not know force or compulsion.

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself; the same God fills us with all of His fullness. It is God who reconciles; it is God who saves. What did Jesus do? He laid down His life; He revealed God.

You see, this incredible relationship we enjoy with the person of God inside of us and our persons inside of Him is the heart of the Father and His purpose in all creation. But God, though He fills us, though He lives as us, swallowing up all that we are inside Himself, yet God never ever violates our person, but highly respects and regards us at every step along the way. God counts us as His equal in person and in heart. And thus God will never ever act through us except within the confines of His mutual relationship with us. That mutual relationship the Bible calls faith. This faith is not the "faith" of human effort, "Oh, I forgot, I am bad"; it is the faith of Christ Himself. But that faith is our permission.

We let God be Himself through us; we allow God to show Himself outwardly as us in this world. We do that by the words of faith which we speak.

Look again at Jesus' words in John Chapter 17. Read it with this thought, that Jesus is speaking these words specifically as an act of faith, allowing God to be Himself through Christ during the next few days; that is, allowing God to gather us into Himself, and to carry us inside Himself inside of Jesus all the way into life.

This is the nature and being of God. He is no different now than He was then. He is the same in us as He was in Christ. You see, when we see Christ as He is, it's a no-brainer -- we are just like Him.

And so it is much more than our doing kind things for others, giving a tender touch, a cup of cold water to one who is thirsty. It is much more than our laying down our physical lives for our friends.

By the release our faith gives to the Father, through the words that we speak, God is free to be Himself in us. (Put your name on the line in place of mine.)

- God always reveals Himself through   Daniel Yordy , swallowing up into Himself the grief's and fears of others, including their sin and rebellion, becoming them in their present state. Thus, carrying them inside Himself, stumbling and falling along the way, He arises out of death into life, ascending on high, and they in Him. - 

It's not us, it's Him. He's just being Himself.

But by our words of faith, by kindness and tenderness and love, we draw all those whom God brings across our path into the dynamo, into the whirlwind, into the power and being of this God who fills us full.

By the nature of God inside of us, our whole life is laid down for our brethren, just as Jesus laid down His life for us.

This is the kingdom; this is its birthing in power upon the earth.

By this means the accuser is cast down; he has nothing more to say.

"And they loved not their lives unto the death."