1. Union AND Freedom
“What do you want?” Do you really want to prove to God that you can make it, or would you prefer to be found in Christ, not having your own rightness at all.
1. Union AND Freedom
– Why do so many, when confronted with union, maintain that we have a responsibility of our own and when we don't take it but leave it to the Lord, it makes us passive and robotic? – R. V.
This is a vital question asked of me by a reader of these letters. I shared with him just a bit, but I wanted to more fully develop my response to this question because it is so important. Questions like this help me to shape a response towards what people actually are thinking in rejecting the totality of Salvation.
Let me rephrase the argument raised against the brother as he attempted to share our union with Christ.
– Union with Christ will make a person passive and robotic. –
There is an initial huge break of logic in this argument. The person speaking cannot know such a thing because that person has never walked in union with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
HOWEVER, we do not allow ourselves to be cynical of others. Rather, each one is dear to the Lord Jesus and all their objections come out of the confusion hurled at them their entire lives.
Let's start with the first huge barrier standing as a massive wall keeping most of our brethren out from the precious knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ living now as us.
“We have a responsibility of our own.”
Yes we do. We do.
And what did we do with our responsibility? We all blew it, every single one of us.
We failed totally in our responsibility before we asked Jesus into our hearts, and we failed totally in that responsibility after we asked Jesus into our hearts. We fail right now today.
This is the purpose and testimony of the law. Fail in one thing and you have failed in all.
We have already failed. It's already over.
That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.Romans 3
The number one problem in the heart and mind of every individual person on this planet is that they just don't get this fundamental fact of reality.
They have failed. It's over with. You get no more chances.
People do not know how lost they are. People imagine that, if just given one more chance they can somehow take back their own responsibility and climb out of their lostness, that they can, by their own responsibility “make it back to God.”
Fourteen hundred years of breaking the law and all the devastation and judgment that came upon those who broke the law does not seem to be enough to persuade people that they have no hope. Two thousand years of Christian intellectual theology on this planet and all the ridicule of Christ it has been is not enough to persuade people that typical Christianity is a dead-end street.
You have no hope. You have responsibility for yourself before God, most certainly. But you have failed in your responsibility, you are failing right now in your responsibility, and you will fail forever in your responsibility. If God gave you ten million years and all the fortitude and self-will of all the strongest humans in history to attempt to keep your responsibility before God – here is what you are faced with. First, you will still fail after 10 million years. But far worse than that, if you were actually to succeed, God would absolutely hate what you have become. And God hates every single attempt you make to get it right.
An addict can never become free until they are willing to stand before other addicts and say, “I am an addict.”
A Christian will never become free until they are willing to stand before all other Christians and say, “I have failed. I am a total failure in the things of God. I fail to please Him. I fail to walk with Him. I fail to obey Him. I cannot make it to God. I am without hope.”
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness (self-responsibility) to everyone who believes. Romans 10
What is the fundamental issue inside the heart of the one who is objecting?
The fundamental issue is “I am right. I want to be, I must be, I AM right. If God will just give me more time, more opportunity, more help, I will prove that I am right. I will make it to God.”
That is the issue, but that is not the thoughts of the mind.
The thoughts of the mind go like this: “I am NOT lost. I have a ticket, right here, and after I die, I will go to heaven. So see, I am not lost.”
This is why “go to heaven” is the greatest enemy of Christ for the hearts of believers.
The shattering of heaven is part of the door into Christ. And the truth is, this same shattering of heaven must happen for many who ascribe to union with Christ just as much. Until heaven is shattered, union with Christ will remain limited and partial in the minds even of those who have proclaimed it for many years.
Heaven will always stand as a substitute for Christ. Heaven is more powerful than the law in its ability to replace Christ in the lives of believers.
But before continuing with the objections, let's look at a person who is honest and who admits, freely and openly, that their mouth is stopped and they are guilty before God.
Only after there is honesty, the honesty Adam rejected by hiding behind, “I can do this thing; look at my fig leaves, Baby,” only by honesty can someone see the Doorway into Christ.
I AM crucified with Christ. Yet here I am, still alive, only it's not me, it's Christ. And the life I continue living in this body of flesh, flesh of His flesh, I live entirely by the faith of the Son of God who loves me and who fills my heart full with all that He is. Galatians 2:20 & Ephesians 5:30-31
Only the lost know Salvation; only the forgiven wash His feet with tears.
Look at the words: “I have a responsibility of my own.” – I, not Christ.
Look at the words: “I have failed; I am dead.” – Christ, now, not I.
It's stark and absolute. ALL of one and NONE of the other – OR – ALL of one and NONE of the other.
Passover is stark and absolute. There is never any kind of mixture, part of Christ and part of me. Partly old and partly new, partly Christ and partly Satan, partly good and partly evil. Do you see how evil the necessary extensions of “I have a responsibility of my own” really are.
If I KNOW, as a Christian, that I cannot make it to the knowledge of God, that I CANNOT, then the proposition that I can trade ALL of my INADEQUATE self, for all of Jesus' most precious Self, full and complete, right now, then I will make that trade with all of my heart and with all the energy of my being.
But if I think that I can “make it with God,” then I will retain my own self, believing, believing, believing, that I can improve it myself, with just a little help from my far-away God.
“Go to heaven” is the primary reason why union with Christ has no meaning in the minds of most of our brethren. Now, precious saints who are seeking the Lord and who find my writings and witness to them, when they communicate with me at first, very often they use the word “heaven” when they actually mean “the Father” or “Christ Jesus.” This is not really a problem at first. My hope is that, as they continue to read, they will stop saying “heaven” and say what they mean, the Person of God. The Person of God, the Person of Jesus, and heaven are not the same thing, not even close.
Heaven will always replace the Father and Jesus in the arguments of Christian theology concerning what is Salvation.
Let me define Salvation: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Sink fully into Him as into a garment or as into the covers of one's bed absolutely and completely, spirit, soul, and body, with no thought or shadow of “falling short.”
These words from Isaiah often linger in the back of my mind as I write of these things.
Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him. Isaiah 59:15-16
There is no justice, there are no humans as God intended, there is no hope.
Salvation comes by the ARM of the Lord Jesus Christ, full and complete, and by no other way. Salvation is Jesus. Jesus is Salvation.
Here is another rendition of the definition of Salvation.
Know that I am in the Father and you in me and I in you. John 14:20
The second question after what is Salvation is – Why Salvation? The answer to – Why Salvation? – is the definition of eternal life.
Know God and know Jesus-Sent. – Jesus, Salvation, takes us in Himself into the Father.
Eternal life has NO other meaning or definition. Whatever is found in these words IS eternal life; whatever is not found in these words has nothing to do with eternal life.
Heaven is temporary, and it is passing away. This is the clear and unmistakable testimony of Scripture, yet no one regards these words. Now, let me expand on the meaning of the phrase “Know God.”
Know that God the Father, in Person, fills you with all the fullness of all that God is. God, the Father, lives in a full symbiotic relationship with you in which you share the same body with Father, you share the same spirit with Father, and you share the same Heart with Father, provided that He has won your heart as His own Heart.
You know that God has won your heart when you look at your own heart and say – by FAITH, “My own heart is the Father's heart, the Mercy Seat of God, the throne of heaven.” Faith means acknowledging that God speaks the truth regardless of the sight of one's eyes or the judgment of one's self.
God has won your heart when you accept God as your only life. There is no greater surrender than that.
And that brings us to another issue with “I have a responsibility of my own.” How does your own responsibility fit with the clear requirement of the gospel that you surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ? Is it not self-evident that one who bears responsibility for self has not surrendered? And if that one has not surrendered, how then do they claim that Jesus is Lord?
Let's come back, now, to these words: Know that I am in the Father and you in me and I in you.
I prefer using these words of Jesus to define and describe our union with Christ rather than the non-Biblical phrase, “Christ as me.” I use “Christ as me” because it is true and the logical conclusion of Galatians 2:20, but John 14:20 is simply the best rendition of our present life and the only way we can come to Father, Father Himself inside of us being eternal life.
“In that day” was said by Jesus to stand as a barrier to keep out those who are playing games with God. Those who love God's word know that there is only one Day of Salvation, Today. The barrier keeping out pretenders stands as a wide open door for those who WILL NOT be found anywhere but inside of Christ Jesus.
And really, the real question is: “What do you want?” Do you really want to prove to God that you can make it, or would you prefer to be found in Christ, not having your own rightness at all.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss (including my own responsibility to make it to God)for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things (I have failed), and count them as rubbish (dog crap), that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law (doing what God says), but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him. . . Philippians 3:8-10
What do you want? – Do you really want to gamble on your own ability to please God? Do you want to try again the roll of the dice that Adam and all of his descendants have cast, imagining that no, “I will win. I will win the lottery. I will please God. Everyone else has failed, I can see that, but not me, by God, not me.”
The recent movie Noah is a mockery of all that is Christ and holy. I thought that the moment I saw a picture of Russell Crowe starring as Noah. I have no intention of watching it, but I read the explanation at http://vigilantcitizen.com/moviesandtv/noah-biblical-tale-rewritten-push-agenda/. The movie features Tubal-Cain, the son of Lamech who boasted, “I will be avenged seven-fold.” I saw just the other day a young man wearing a t-shirt that said, “Avenged seven-fold.”
The one who says, “I am responsible for myself,” is speaking out of that same filthy defiance of raised fist in God's face: “By God, I can do it!”
It's called SELF as righteous. And God hates it.
You will not win your throw of the dice.
Or would you rather be found only in Him. What do you want?
One more thing before we come back to John 14:20. I like to position the entire context.
Christ lives in your hearts by faith. Ephesians 3:17.
Why, oh why, do people talk about going to heaven to see Jesus?
He already fills their hearts in Person and in all of His glory. – That's what Paul says.
The righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’”(that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach). . . Romans 10:6-8
The Word IS Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus Christ IS in our mouth and in our heart.
Christ Jesus in Person. All of Him, full and complete.
This is what the one who questions union with Christ just doesn't get. God is a Person. Jesus is a Person. Salvation is a Person. Eternal life is a Person. Holiness is a Person. Redemption is a Person. Righteousness (responsibility) is a Person.
And this PERSON lives inside of me, beginning with my heart and filling all that I am, spirit, soul, and body, as the Scriptures say. Salvation and eternal life are God in Person in me.
There is no salvation of my own.
The one who says, “I have a responsibility of my own” is really saying, “Screw Jesus, God lied. I can and I will get this thing right.” Self proving self. The beating of the chest, the arrogance of Adam, the envy of the serpent.
God places this stark picture of anti-Christ in full and continual opposition to His Word, the real Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ who lives in our hearts. People do not appreciate just how much God hates self righteousness. He hates it because it always casts down the Lord Jesus Christ and tramples Him under foot.
Know that I am in the Father and you in Me and I in you.
You know, I am a writing teacher, and I have a writing assignment for you. I want you to write the meaning of these words for yourself. Take each word, in context, and write out the full extent of what it means. Find no limit on your expression of meaning. Start with “know,” then go to “I,” then, “I am,” then “in,” then, “in the Father,” and so on. Give a full expression of what each word could mean. When you are finished with your assignment, read it out loud with meaning and from the heart.
Now, to help you, I will give you the Webster's 1926 definitions of the word, “in.” One might imagine it to be a little word; one would be quite wrong.
In as a preposition. Denotes situation or position with respect to a surrounding or enclosure. It may indicate either simple location or direction. 1. Indicating a point of space or thought of as spatially surrounded or bounded (in the Father). 2. Indicating relation to a whole which includes the part spoken of (I am a part in the Father). 3. Indicating relation or position with respect to scope, influence, character, states of minds, or kinds of activity (I am in all that the Father is and does). 4. Indicating inclusion within a limit of time (I am never outside of Father). 5. Indicating situation, nature, or state: (a) with respect to manner, form, arrangement, extent, measure, degree, etc., (I am in all the manner, form, measure, degree of Father) or (b) with respect to material or constituents (I am in the Substance of Father). 6. Indicating that to which an action, qualification, or attribute is limited (I am limited entirely to Father, I am not found outside of Him).
In as an adverb. 1. Indicating a direction of entering, 2. indicating a position with respect to surroundings, encompassment, enclosure, or the like: (a) enclosed or contained, (b) situated or used so as to be inside, (c) involved, (d) in office, in possession of the field, (e) law. With privilege or title: in possession; - used to denote a holding or possession (I am in legal possession of Father).
In as an adjective. Internal, incoming, inward. In as a noun. One who is in. In as a verb. To enclose, to take in.
Now, as you use the many meanings of the word “in,” you will notice the word “limit” or “bound” inside these definitions. That word “limit” means that what is IN is in no way, at no time, in no manner, ever OUT.
And remember that the “in” goes in three directions, all at the same time.
Be sure to put all this in your own words. Engage with the Person of Jesus taking you to the Person of the Father as you write. Never, never stop writing and speaking the meaning and scope and extent of 1 John 14:20.
Live there always and only, by faith, regardless of ANYTHING.
But the title of this letter is “Union AND Freedom.” I want to address the false claim that living in full and complete union with God makes us “passive and robotic.”
That's what is called a “straw man argument.” It's the most commonly used form of illogic.
Make up some nonsense you cannot possibly know about a person or an argument and then say, “See this description of mine IS that argument or person. And since what I have described is visibly false, then this argument or person MUST be false. Every attack I have ever read against the libertarian political philosophy or against Joel Osteen or against George Warnock and the fulfillment of Tabernacles in the Church on this earth is exactly this same kind of illogical “straw-man” argument. They make up something clearly false, they tack on the name, and then they proclaim how false this person or argument is. Then these illogical straw-men are repeated over and over across the Internet. “I read it somewhere so it must be true.”
So here is someone who has never walked in union with Christ who is convinced that such union must make a person “passive and robotic.” They think that way because they don't know that Jesus is a Person who fills our hearts with His glory and who calls each one of us by name.
Now, I have seen my union with the Lord Jesus Christ just these last few days in a clearer and stronger way than ever before. My wife says, “Daniel, you've said that before.” Yes I have.
I have found in the last few days that I no longer need to “see myself in Jesus and Jesus in me.” Now, when I happen to look, which is often, I find that the strength of my union with the Lord Jesus Christ is absolute and complete. It is at all times and in every direction, Jesus and I together.
I find myself beginning to exercise power in the spirit actively. Yet I find no sense of “me” doing it, but only Jesus and I together. This is the polar opposite of any sense I've known in myself or observed in others ever before. I am acting and I am acting out of “myself,” yet this “myself” out of which I act is utterly Jesus and I.
Union with Christ makes us free, fully free to be ourselves as we find ourselves to be, yet we never see ourselves as separate from the Lord Jesus Christ, for we have utterly put Him upon ourselves, spirit, soul, and body. Then, in this wondrous freedom to be free, we see that what we called “freedom” before when we imagined that we were “responsible for ourselves,” has a name in its essence and reality.
And we see all the “Christian activity” as just endless pretending, endless acts of existentialist and hopeless behavior, trying, trying, trying, trying, and always falling short.
Our brethren are caught under the psychosis of dishonesty.
But there is something else at work in this objection against our present marriage union with the Lord Jesus Christ, we in Him and He in us. That something else is the definition of the Bible.
I define the Bible quite differently than almost all Christians define it.
Now, the definition of “the Bible” that most will trot out is also dishonest. Most Christians do not see the Bible as God speaking to us. Therefore, when they say, “I believe that the Bible is the word of God without error,” they are not really telling the truth.
Most Christians define the Bible as a confusing mess of words and ideas that is filled with things that cannot be true as those things are found upon the page. Therefore most Christians require a theology, a systematic explanation of what God ought to be saying. This theology is already established (by Augustine even though most don't know that). There are slight variations of this fully established theology from group to group, but the group I am a part of has the correct variation primarily because “I” am a part of it.
Now, this constructed theology is so very important IN ORDER TO deal with all the “nonsense” God actually says in the Bible.
Most Christians then pit some things God says against other things found in the Bible. And anyone who might believe that those other things are God speaking to us is obviously a heretic.
Thus Pastor Joel might teach a sermon on “God always leads us in triumph.” Such a sermon is dealt with so easily: “I don't agree with Joel Osteen's theology.” Say what? Did God say “God always leads us in triumph” or did He not say it. If God said it, what does “theology” have to do with anything. Do we believe what God says?
Let me give you my definition of “the Bible.”
God unfolds Himself to be known by His creation first as Word, the All-Speaking of God. This Word comes, by the Holy Spirit, into the hearts and mouths of those to whom God reveals Himself. That Word in their hearts and mouths remains the Lord Jesus Christ in Person. These to whom God has given His Word, speak that word into the hearts and mouths of their hearers.
They also write it down sometimes.
There the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ in Person, sits quietly upon the page.
Then I, Daniel Yordy, read those words. They come into me by the same Holy Spirit through whom they were spoken and written. As I look into the eyes of my Father, I hear Him speaking the creative Word of Christ into me. I believe that word, not as something on the outside of me that I must “perform,” but as Christ Jesus in Person on the inside of me now living as me and now fulfilling through me all the All-Speaking of God.
Of truth, this is how I have known the Bible for almost forty years.
Theology has no meaning. God speaking Christ into me by the words on the page coming into me by the present miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit is the ONLY thing the Bible is to me. If that's not happening with any particular set of words, then I leave them entirely alone, for those same words manipulated and abused by the carnal intellects of religious people kill and kill and kill.
Yet in the right season, God will speak every word He is continually speaking into me as Christ my very and only life.
Now, how do these opposing definitions work?
You see, you can show a believer in Jesus, who also imposes theology onto the Bible, a wondrous verse that speaks Christ into you. Yet they have a way of refusing to hear God speaking to them through that verse. “That can't be true BECAUSE God says this other thing over here.” Sometimes that “other thing” is something God actually says, although often it ain't. Let's assume that it is.
Theology is all about comprehending God with the human intellect. There is no thought in theology about receiving a word as Christ coming into us as a Seed in order to birth in us the knowledge of Father God filling us full.
People are convinced that if God says something over there that is not in agreement with their theology, then anyone who “believes” that other thing has to be a heretic. They don't come right out and say that this verse is not the word of God, this verse is false and untrue. They don't come right out and say, “God lied there because what He says here, to my intellect, is true and therefore that cannot be true.”
They don't say it that way because they are inherently dishonest.
They say, “You are a heretic for believing that.” Or they say, “the Bible doesn't say anything about sonship.” It is easy for them to lie like that because their theology doesn't say anything about sonship and the Bible is ONLY their theology and nothing else.
This is what is happening inside this argument that claims that if we place upon the Lord Jesus Christ the full responsibility for all that we are, then we will become “passive and robotic.” They are convinced that “freedom” and “Jesus is Lord” are two incompatible propositions. They imagine that if God is directing my will and all the steps of my feet, then I am not. They imagine that if I am directing my will and all the steps of my feet, then God is not.
Here's the problem. – They don't know God, and they don't know themselves. But the biggest problem is that they do not know God's purpose. They have no idea what God is after in this whole thing called creation.
And that is why the most important verse in the Bible, Romans 8:29, is the most important verse in the Bible.
Image means a visible dwelling place of an invisible Person, the outward appearance through which this invisible Person reveals Himself. But Person can live only in person. Freedom can live only in freedom. Life can live only in life. If we are not created in the likeness of God, we cannot be His image.
Father God wants to live in us in a symbiotic relationship with us of mutually sharing the same body, the same spirit, and the same heart, the same mind and will. Father God wants to live in, as, and through us, in just the same way in which He revealed Himself through Jesus, as Romans 8:29 says, the first One of our kind.
But God is love, and therefore God cannot force Himself on anyone.
Yet walking like a two-headed being is impossible. We do not relate with God as a push-me-pull-you. The metaphor of Siamese twins is limited in that there are two wills, two minds, two hearts in the directing of this shared body. More than that, the idea of God barking out commands and you and me hopping instantly to obey IS actual passivity and mindless robotics.
God cannot live inside of man and reveal Himself through man in that way.
Hear, Oh Israel. The Lord Thy God is ONE!
That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. John 17:21-23
You see, this line fits into NO Christian theology. Most Christians will call you a heretic and a blasphemer if you dare to believe that these words are true of us, fulfilled in us right now.
The Father is one; we are one inside of Jesus inside of the Father.
The Father and I are one; the Father and I are two; the Father and I are one.
Union, communion, expression.
Because I am me inside the center of God's reality, fully me, I walk in absolute freedom and in the full expression of how God created me. Yet that me is found utterly inside of precious communion with two most wonderful Persons. And in that me, I am fully active and willfull. Yet my actions and my will are always His.
That communion of the Father and I as two takes place only inside of union first, the Father and I as one, and as the communion flows out in expression, all that I do is the Father doing through me.
We are one, as the BIBLE says!!!
You know, I have many times shown a line in the New Testament, words on the page, to another believer in Christ, strong men and women in “the things of God.” They look at me with a challenge of hardness on their foreheads, “What do you think that is saying?” They have no intention of believing those words as they say. They want to hear if I would dare to defy Nicene theology. If I do, they dismiss me immediately as inconsequential.
Mary didn't. When God spoke the impossible to her, that God would form Himself into visible human appearance inside her belly, she did what I always do with every word God speaks. She spoke out loud:
Behold, I am Your maidservant. Let it be to me according to Your word.