Home is Father. Where Father reveals Himself through, that is Home. You and I are called to be Home to all creation. Heaven is not home. Father through us is Home to all, both heaven and earth.
There is One God, the Father. 1 Timothy
The Hebrew word for father is ab, the first in its alphabet. “Father” occurs around 175 times in the book of Genesis, though none referring to God. Moses first called God “Father” in Deuteronomy, just before his death at 120 years old.
Do you thus deal with the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father, whobought you? Has He not made you and established you? Deuteronomy 32:6
Abiel, “God is my Father” was a name used in Israel; however, it was not a common name.
God was not called Father again until David. After David was established as king, just before he brought up the Ark of the Covenant into his tent pitched in his back yard, David said this:
A Father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity. . . Psalm 68:5-6
Then, as David grew old, approaching death, he asked God about building a temple for the permanent dwelling place of the Ark. God replied to David through Nathan the prophet.
Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ 1 Chronicles 22:9-10
Ethan the Ezrahite, speaking for Solomon at the height of his glory, spoke of David. It is apparent, though, that Ethan was looking forward to Jesus.
He (David) shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’ Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. Psalm 89:26-27
Isaiah was the next who caught a glimpse of “Father.”
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. . . Isaiah 9:6-7
This seeing of Isaiah was in his early thirties, not long after God visited him after King Uzziah's death. But in his older years, as Isaiah watched King Manasseh fill Jerusalem with wickedness and with blood, shortly before his own execution by Manasseh, Isaiah saw so much further into Father.
Look down from heaven, and see from Your habitation, holy and glorious. Where are Your zeal and Your strength, the yearning of Your heart and Your mercies toward me? Are they restrained? Doubtless You are our Father, though Abraham was ignorant of us, and Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O Lord, are our Father; our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name. Isaiah 63:15-16
But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us, and have consumed us because of our iniquities. But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand. Isaiah 64:6-8
A generation later, Jeremiah warned a faithless Jerusalem.
Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain. You have had a harlot’s forehead; you refuse to be ashamed. Will you not from this time cry to Me, ‘My Father, You are the guide of my youth? Will He remain angry forever? Jeremiah 3:3-5
Thirty years later, as Jeremiah knew that his words were not heeded, he looked to a future day in saying:
They shall come with weeping, and with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they shall not stumble; for I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn. Jeremiah 31:9
Ten years later Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed. Father was not known again to Israel except by one sad parting note from Malachi two hundred years later.
Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers? Malachi 2:10
Jesus first said, “My Father,” at age twelve. Throughout the first year of His ministry, He was already stirring up the Pharisees by calling God His Father. But it wasn't until the latter part of His second year of ministry in the sermon on the mount, June, A.D. 27, that it is recorded, for the first time, the words, “your Father” and “Our Father.”
Suddenly, in a huge blast, God is called “Father” around 265 times in the New Testament. John used “Father” more than any other writer, placing “Father” into Jesus' mouth 53 times in His conversation and prayers in the upper room alone.
I have explored this layout because, I suspect, “Father” is the most important word in the Bible; I wanted to see for myself how it appears in the revelation of God. God fits into no one's box, especially not mine; though He fills our hearts full with all of Himself. In this letter, I hope to give an entirely different view of God than what I have given in prior recent letters, a view of God as Father.
I am in awe of His Glory, like the sheen of many colors flowing through untold multitudes of jewels and precious stones, light in all of its beauty and form. Dazzling. Iridescent. Luxurious.
It is impossible to say, “the God who fills me full with ALL of Himself,” without being utterly overwhelmed.
When we speak of God in general, we say, “God,” and we know that He is “good.”
But when we want to know Him as He really is, we say, “Father.”
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24
We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. 1 John 5:18-21
Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
Those who worship God in heaven or God above do not know Him.
Those who fall on their faces before the Throne to worship Him who sits there do not know Him.
God is not an idol; He is not an image we place before our eyes.
Those who, seated upon that Throne, worship the Father who fills them full and who flows out from them, being made visible by them, are the only ones who know Him, who worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
Travail is that God might be known.
God known is Glory; Father revealed is overflowing Abundance.
Abraham, father of many, was the richest man in the near Middle East. David, a man after God's own heart, was the richest king of his day; half of Solomon's wealth came from David.
Brokenness before God, utter trust in Him, and overwhelming outward abundance go hand in hand.
The clearest picture of Father in the New Testament is the parable of the exuberant father. You haven't heard of that parable? How sad that it has been so badly mis-named. The parable of the exuberant father, found in Luke 15:11-31, is too long to insert here. You can read it in your Bible. Let me underline the central points of the parable.
A certain FATHER had two sons. And the younger of them said to his FATHER, ‘FATHER, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So FATHER divided to them his livelihood. – And he arose and came to his FATHER. But when he was still a great way off, his FATHER saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. – The FATHER said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry. – And FATHER said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad.'
You see how reckless this father is in his exuberance. He spoils his sons rotten, pays no attention to their wastefulness or stinginess, but simply goes beside himself in the thrill of giving more and more and more in overflowing extravagance.
My parents gave and gave of themselves and all of their substance to us children. I've gotten myself into trouble time and again by just giving too much to my children, and not just at Christmas-time. I must give to them; it is the insistence of my heart. I cannot watch the TV judges when a parent is suing his or her child for a return of money. Such hardness of heart violates everything holy.
God is FAVOR. I cannot comprehend people who see Him or present Him in any way contrary to overflowing and abundant favor, love poured out, life layed down.
To expect Father is to expect Favor; to expect not-favor is to expect not-God.
We expect Father; we expect Favor; God is always arising within us.
To treat God as a withholder is to dishonor Him; the problem is source. Is our source the God filling us full with all of Himself and always arising within us? Or is our source some Thing up there from whom we hope to get some thing. Everyone who does not know the first does live in the second, including those who hope to get a “thing” they call grace.
There is no “grace”; there is only Father filling us full now with all of Himself in Person. There is no such thing as “grace” from God; rather it is the gift of God. Father Himself is the gift.
The whole purpose of Christ is not to reveal Christ but to reveal Father. Jesus did not come to reveal Himself, but the Father. That's God's order. The Spirit comes first, but only to reveal Christ. But Christ comes only to reveal Father. Funny, but the Father basically says, “Do whatever you want to My Son and I will bear it, but don't mess with My Spirit.”
Our hearts are Christ in us. The passion of our hearts, then, is to reveal Father. If we do not know that, we do not know ourselves. To know Father is to know yourself; to know yourself is to know Father, and He in Person. I am not speaking of the exaltation of self, but of Father.
Here is the whole purpose of the seemingly long-distance approach to God, we have found ourselves in, called the history of man and human lives on this earth. Christ belongs to us, but not Father. We possess Christ, but not Father. Father is not possessed by anyone, yet He would reveal Himself through us.
And that's just it. Father would reveal Himself through us. You and I can't do that. We can pretend Christness; we can pretend Holy Ghostness; but we cannot pretend Father.
This relationship between Father and us, Father through us, is known only by those who know it. Those who do not know it CANNOT know it. Only the full reality of John 14:20, that is, living entirely and only inside the consciousness of the Person of Christ Jesus, can take us to Father. No one can come near Father through them any other way.
Home is Father. Where Father reveals Himself through, that is Home. You and I are called to be Home to all creation. Heaven is not home. Father through us is Home to all, both heaven and earth.
John 14 is all about Home. John 14 is all about Father through us.
I just now read through John 14, wondering where to start, wondering what verses from that chapter to include here. All of them, over and over. May I suggest that we immerse ourselves in John 14, until every word of it has absorbed itself into the fabric of our consciousness. Yet my limited service is to give perspective to precious hearts seeking to know this Father who fills them with ALL that He is. That I will attempt to do here.
In My Father's house are many dwelling places.
There is a poetic device called litotes, or understatement, when the speaker says little, but means lots. These words of Jesus are an understatement. Many means far more than one can count. The Father's house is the Body of Christ and nothing else.
If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
You and I ARE home to Father and Son.
“Many dwelling places” means two different things all the time. It means 100% one, and it means 100% the other, both at the same time. Home is the same. There is a “two-way street” in this chapter concerning home; I don't like that expression, but I can think of none closer. Every two-way street goes both ways, both at the same time, never one without the other.
Here is the FIRST side of the street. (Father is always First, though He is never alone.)
That where I am, there you may be also. – In that day you will know that I am in the Father.
You and I, every one of us, live inside of Father. Father alone is our Home. Inside of Father there are innumerable dwelling places, a perfect place for each one of us. My perfect place in Father is not yours, and yours is not mine. Yet we exult with all joy in the richness of Father through each one of us.
Let me underline this again. We cannot speak of Father without using all the synonyms of WEALTH and all the adjectives that apply to it. Every word you can produce that means wealth, every adjective you can think of that describes wealth, all are simply speaking of Father, all are speaking of Father through each one of us.
We see incomparable and overflowing value when looking at another believer in Jesus because we see Father.
Here is the other FIRST side of the street. (Father is always First, though He is never alone.)
If anyone loves Me. . . We (Father and I) will come to him and make Our home with him.
Every individual member of the body of Christ is the Home of Father. They may not know it yet; Father may not yet be free through them, no. But we call things as they are by substance, not as they appear at present.
Those not simply awestruck at Father's dwelling place, another believer, are not awestruck with Father.
Our home is Father; Father's home is us.
He that has seen Me has seen Father. Jesus speaking as the first One of our kind.
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that Father may be glorified in the Son.
Overwhelming abundance revealed, Father; that's what it's all about.
The next question is – how? Jesus gives a clear and complete answer.
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to Father except through Me. – Believe Me that I am in Father and Father in Me – At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ; sink into Him as into a garment, or shall we say, as into the covers of your bed.
The Person of the Lord Jesus Christ is not some THING from Jesus, it is Jesus Himself.
Grace is not some THING from God; it is Father Himself in Person. I say this over and over, because everywhere I look people talk about God as THING, getting some THING from this THING.
I just read someone speaking of “all fullness,” not as the Person of God now, but as some “thing” we get from God at some point in the future after we have accomplished some sort of vague and murky “dying.” Speak Father! Speak “Father fills me full NOW!” Disregard absolutely what you see and how you judge. Speak Father!
We are inside the consciousness, inside the Spirit, inside the Mind, inside the Emotions, inside the Will, inside the Body of Another Person – Father. And we are inside of Father BECAUSE we live only inside of Jesus. That is, we continually see ourselves inside of Jesus regardless of any outward appearance, and we refuse to see ourselves anywhere else. More than that, we continually commune with this Person inside of whom we live BY continually thinking of what it means to be only inside of Him.
We are inside of Father because we are inside of Jesus and Jesus is inside of Father. Father is inside of us because Father is inside of Jesus who lives in our hearts.
Jesus said, “If you don't believe that, then at least believe the miracles the Father does through me.”
There is no other home for us or for creation, both heaven and earth, than Father through us.
We could write a hundred articles on John 14 and hardly scratch the surface. Let's bring in the last verse here, a verse that points to the stunning reality of Father through us.
But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.
Jesus is speaking of the Mercy Seat of God revealed now through us. I will speak more of that in an incredibly awesome upcoming letter, “Salvation.” Arise, let us go from here is code for the Feast of Tabernacles.
In John 16, then, Jesus says this: If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Let's work our way backwards. We are Jesus' disciples because we bear MUCH fruit. The reason that is so is that the whole point of everything is the glory of Father, and Father is glorified by the continual overwhelming abundance of fruit. Next, we bear fruit first by living entirely inside of John 14:20 and second by asking all that we desire. We don't say here, “according to the will of God,” for we live only inside of the will of God. Those words were spoken in the context of people who were using God as the far-distant supplier of a gravy train.
Father is overwhelming outward abundance, but only He Himself. Abundance is not some golden-egg-laying-goose we get from God. Father is known through broken hearts healed by Himself and filled with Himself; once known, then, Father does what Father is.
And we know what Father is by reading the parable of the exuberant father and by seeing out through the eyes of a wildly exuberant Jesus.
In John 16, Jesus says two things to bring in here.
All things that Father has are Mine. – Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
The next thing Jesus said was, “Now I will tell you plainly about the Father.” Then He stopped speaking to the disciples and walked the Path of the Atonement. In “Salvation” I hope to discover what the deepest expression of Father revealed now through us in all glory really is.
John 17 is Jesus' prayer to Father. Oh my. Oh my! How these words grow and grow and grow; every line is larger than the universe and never stops growing, not ever.
There is a rule in the grammars of most languages called pronoun-antecedent. A pronoun such as “you” serves only to take the place of its antecedent, a noun, because repeating the noun over and over becomes cumbersome; pronouns are shorter and simpler.
The first word Jesus speaks in John 17 is Father. In light of your knowledge of Father right now, read the entire prayer – EXCEPT, don't read “You” or “Your.” Every time You and Your appear, they are simply a handy way to replace “Father.” Let's not replace Father. Every time you see You and Your, simply say Father or Father's. Let me do that with just a few of the verses; you do it with all. I will also bring these words into present tense, that is, speaking to us now. Sorry, I cannot refrain from doing the entire prayer (that is most of it). Now, I'm going back through and eliminating another pronoun and replacing it with a blank. As you read, put your own full name in the blank. Remember as you read, this is Jesus speaking to Father about you.
Now, I did not put my name into the blank because I do not want it to get in the way of your name. But as I read it into the audio, I will use my name because I covet this knowledge for myself as I do for you.
Father, the hour is come. Glorify Father's Son, that Father's Son also glorifies Father; as Father gives Him authority over ____'s flesh, the Son gives eternal life to ____ whom Father gives Him. And this is eternal life, that ____ may know Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Father sends. I glorify Father on the earth. I finish the work Father gives me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Father, with the glory I have with Father before the world is.
I manifest Father's name to ____ whom Father gives Me out of the world. ____ is Father's, Father gives ____ to Me, and ____ keeps Father's word. Now ____ knows that all things which Father gives Me are from Father. For I give to ____ the words which Father gives Me; and ____ receives them (as a woman receives seed from her husband), and knows surely that I come forth from Father; and ____ believes that Father sends Me.
I pray for ____. I do not pray for the world but for ____ whom Father gives Me, for ____ is Father's. And all Mine are Father's, and Father's are Mine, and I am glorified in ____. Now I am no longer in the world, but ____ is in the world, and I come to Father. Holy Father, keep through Father's name ____ whom Father gives Me, that ____ may be one as Father and I are one.
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Father's name. ____, whom Father gives Me, I keep in Father's name. . . But now I come to Father, and these things I speak in the world by which My joy is fulfilled in ____. I give ____ Father's word; and the world has hated ____. . . I do not pray that Father take ____ out of the world, but that Father keep ____ from the evil one. . . Sanctify ____ by Father's truth. Father's word is truth. As Father sent Me into the world, I also send ____ into the world. And for ____'s sake I sanctify Myself, by which ____ also is sanctified by Father's truth.
I . . . pray . . . for ____ who believes in Me. . . that ____ (and all who are Mine) are one, as Father, Father, is in Me and I in Father; that ____ (and all Mine) also are one in Father and Me, that the world may believe that Father sent Me. And the glory which Father gives Me I give ____, that ____ may be one just as Father and I are one: I in ____ and Father in Me; that ____ (and all Mine) are perfect in one, and that the world know that Father sends Me, and loves ____ as Father loves Me.
Father, I desire that ____ also whom Father gives me be with Me where I am (in Father), that ____ beholds My glory which Father gives Me; for Father loves Me before the foundation of the ages. O righteous Father! The world has not known Father, but I know Father; and ____ knows that Father sends Me. And I declare to ____ Father's name, and declare Father's name, that the love with which Father loves Me is in ____, and I in ____.
Father, Father! Know Him; know Him! God is all about experience, all about knowing.
Listen, read this over and over with your own full name in the blanks. This is what Jesus really prayed, praying directly into each one of us by name – And I call them by name, and they follow Me. Let the reality of Jesus speaking Father into you, personally and real, sink so fully into you that you cannot know anything else.
When we remove the pronoun and just use Father, then Father appears 64 times in Jesus' prayer alone. Then, to really get the urgency and passion of Father's heart, look back through Father in the Old Testament and lay the poverty of Father as they knew Him for 4033 years against the Abundance of Father Jesus prayed into us.
How the church has not known Father either; though He has been right there on the page inside of Jesus all along.
Father is glorified by the overwhelming abundance of fruit flowing out of you and me.
In the parable of the exuberant father, one son took all the abundance of the father and wasted it. The other son took all the abundance of the father and did not use it at all. The exuberant father paid no attention to either son, but continued towards them entirely out of his own abundance.
Neither son speaks of us.
The Father is the One who reveals Himself through us.
The parable of the exuberant father is all about how Father looks upon our brethren through us. The parable of the exuberant Father is all about Church. To those who misuse Father's abundance, we say, “Joy of joys, they're back for more.” To those who don't use Father's abundance, we say, “It's all yours, brother, enjoy.” And look at this crazy father. When the wasteful son returns, he says, “Let's throw a party.” When the poverty son complains, he says, “Hey, join the party.”
Do you know that the Feast of Tabernacles was a COMMAND from God that the children of Israel were to take one third of the tithe accumulated for the year and throw a wild party, eating and drinking (wine – as in drunk) merrily before God as holiness unto the Lord!!? Yes, this party came after the Day of Atonement became known as life to all, but it was a party.
In my letters “God” and “The Sorrow of God,” I presented, for us to know, a God who groans in travail, who reveals Himself through the travail of His creation. We know Jesus as a Man who bears our sorrows and carries our grief. Yet here we are talking about overwhelming abundance, of unending wealth, and joyous, out-of-control, hilarious laughter.
How can God be agonizing sorrow and exuberant hilarity, both at the same time? Well, first, God is weird, and He is always entirely too much. But Father through us is Church; Church is what Father is. And thus we are just like Him.
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 1 Corinthians 12
Think of how weird we are. Right now, many individual members of the body of Christ are suffering agonizing loss and heartache, their hearts filled with the intercession of the Spirit. We suffer, that is, we travail, with them. Right now, many individual members of the body of Christ are rejoicing as they dance through doors of favor and outpoured goodness, their hearts so full of the richness of Father. We rejoice, that is, we laugh hilariously, with them.
You see, when you see a bunch of wild Christians laughing hilariously in church for no good reason, then you know Father has shown up. Stick around, Father might rub off on you! Some prefer to be the poverty son; why, I do not know. (Some choose poverty because it makes them feel superior.)
Yet at the very same time and in the very same breath, the Spirit of God in us groans with groanings that cannot be uttered, in travail for the revelation of God through us to all.
To know Father is to have one's heart stretched wide in all directions. To weep with those who weep and to laugh with those who laugh.
(I pray) that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— Ephesians 3:17-18
You see, Father is Heart, and Heart is stretched wide in every direction. Father's Heart stretched wide in every conceivable direction revealed now through us has a name: Church. Every single member of that Church, every member of one another enjoys a significant place inside this stretched-wide heart we share, each one of us, with Father. When I see heart extended over others, when it's fun and when it's agonizing, when it's easy and when it costs the heart-bearer everything, then I know I am seeing Church.
Then I know I am seeing Father.
As I look, now, across all the many verses in the New Testament that contain Father, I see there is just too much to write about. But here we are at the end of a letter. I had thought to bring in Abram, father, becoming Abraham, father of many, a critical part of knowing Father. There may need to be another letter on Father, to at least put a slight scratch in the surface of all the avenues and realms of reality found in knowing Father.
Father in us is Church; thus there must be another letter on Church.
But there is a terrible thing we must face head-on before we can know Father as Church; we must understand scorn. We do not slay scorn; we cannot. The only thing that will ever remove scorn is the full presence of Father all and now. Scorn does not go so that Father can come. Blood comes by faith, then Father comes, and scorn is no more.
Yet we cannot play games with scorn; rather, we must put it full in the headlights.
As we know, precious of all preciousness, Father, then we no longer desire scorn and the false exaltation of a religious self that it brings.
And as we know Father, we know Church.
For the first time in our lives, we know one another.