9. The God of Union
What is God? We know what we first believe. – What “God” do we know? What people believe about God rules absolutely their knowledge of God and their experience with God.
9. The God of Union
What is God?
We know what we first believe. – What “God” do we know?
What people believe about God rules absolutely their knowledge of God and their experience with God.
God is God, and what people believe about Him has no effect on His being or action or purposes.
BUT – eternal life is to know God and Jesus Sent; eternal life has no other definition given in the Bible.
Thus what people believe about God most definitely has a great effect on their possession and expression of life.
My own experience of the knowledge of God is just exploding inside of me. In the past, I became hyper and highly uncomfortable whenever God revealed Himself to me in a new way. The reason is that I defined Him and myself grossly wrongfully (I also now see that as an autistic reflex). Now, I find the immediacy of God in me to be calming, producing a settled certainty. Yet this knowledge of God is drawing in so many critical statements of the Bible, putting them into place, causing them to make perfect and normal sense.
I know God by what He says.
Yet I also know Him as real experience inside of me.
Now, I want you to consider something extremely important. I have here the drawing of the old lady and young lady that you may have seen before. There are also other examples of the same phenomenon. But this version illustrates my point. When you look at the old lady, the young lady vanishes from view, and when you look at the young lady, the old lady vanishes from view. When the figure is more elaborate, the strength of the phenomenon increases.
How we know God becomes how we read the Bible.
Your definition of God rules you and your future. All of your “theology” simply follows your definition of God and all of your Bible reading follows that same definition.
You see, if you make the firm decision that the drawing is ayoung lady, then the old lady will vanish from your view, and if you make the firm decision that the drawing is an old lady, then the young lady will vanish from your view. The more firmly rooted you are in your decision, the harder it becomes to see the other figure. (We will come back to this reality of how we read the Bible later in the letter.)
I have said that we do not define God; yet we do define Him. Each one of us has a definition and a complex set of ideas and images that we assign to this entity we call “God.” And we relate with this Person entirely by our definitions of what He is.
I have an assignment from God (I say that entirely by faith) and that is to do my bit to prepare the highway for the entrance of God into being known by His creation. Thus, I attempt to articulate, as clearly as I can, my knowledge and experience with this God who is always arising in me in ever greater light and experience.
I do repeat myself; I know that. Yet I am continually reaching for a clearer sight and thus a clearer expression of the knowledge of God. I write that I might know Him. If that holds true for me perpetually, then I will write forever. There will never be an end to our increase in the knowledge of God and His revelation through us to His creation, however that increase comes.
There is no rapture, neither among us who walk this earth nor among those who live in heaven only. The knowledge of God comes by walking. The path of the righteous shines brighter and brighter – we are being transformed from glory to glory – I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads – walk just as Jesus walked – that you should follow His steps.
This reality is true now and forever in heaven as much as in earth. Yes, the knowledge of God can increase by leaps, as pictured by a hart leaping up a mountainside, but it is still one step or one leap at a time.
Never ever will God take a person instantaneously from gross ignorance of God to the full revealed knowledge of God, including AFTER physical death. – Death is NOT an instant transfer into the knowledge of God. God cannot do such a thing BECAUSE it would be sin for God and sin for the person.
A rapture of any kind is SIN. – Why? Because it is not of faith.
God enters visibility only through faith, only through immediate and ongoing human consent.
I have said that God cannot be defined, but only described. Here, however, I might blur the boundary between those two terms in order to get right at this largest and most important of questions.
What is God?
The Bible gives us three direct statements. God is Spirit – God is Love – God is Light. May I suggest that we can know these three things by Union – Communion – Expression. God as He is, God as He relates, and God as He makes Himself known. Of these three, the center, God is Love, is the most important, for here God is Person, God is Desire, God is Heart.
Now, part of preparing a highway for my God is to recount, as specifically as I can, the journey of the knowledge of God, step by step, in my own experience.
I wrote “Seeing the Invisible One” with great intensity the first week of April, 2014. I wrote it in response to a communication from someone else to a present reader asserting the impracticality of an “invisible” God. In other words, the insinuation was that real and practical people require visible evidence before they will “believe,” contrary to the nut-job practice of speaking “Christ” as in speaking “what ain't real.” Writing that letter turned my mind into a particular direction.
Then, I wrote “The Form of God” in the middle of May. I did not know God when I began to write that letter in the way that I knew Him as I finished it. Yet my knowledge of God as I finished it was so overwhelming, so “too much” for me that I could hardly accept the “heresy” into which I had written myself. Nevertheless, my knowledge of what God IS was forever altered and has grown entirely inside that “definition” of God from then until now. The verse from John 4, “a fountain of water springing up,” also calmed my hyper-anxiety.
Next, I wrote “The Day of Atonement” the beginning of July, 2014. I had already written the letters on Sacrifice, through which my view of a God of travail, centered on the crafting of the Mercy Seat, became more clearly defined for me. Writing “The Day of Atonement” did not increase my knowing of God, but rather my knowing of myself. (As did writing “Entering the Land.”)
Here is what writing and speaking out loud “The Day of Atonement” did for me. I can speak with some clarity now because of the distance of time. Writing and speaking out loud “The Day of Atonement” moved me entirely from the knowledge and experience of the first turning around INTO the knowledge and experience of the second turning around, both of ours and that of Jesus.
You see, the certain and continual knowledge that everything that God and I experience together is for the Bride of Christ, for her sake, for her deliverance, for her salvation, is fixed in me. And in that knowledge, I am beginning to accept power as a normal part of God and I walking together.
However, I will expand on that more in an upcoming letter. Here I want to deal with – What is God?
Finally, writing and speaking out loud “Thinking Like Jesus” in late July sealed in me this new knowing of God. Everything I have written between then and now simply flowed out from this present knowing. Yet now I am experiencing simply an explosion inside of me of the experiential knowledge of God. As I said, it is only because of Father making Himself known to me step by step that I can not only handle my present knowledge of God without it completely wiping me out, but I can actually walk in peace and certainty in the full acceptance that the Father and I do all things together. I know that I am finally becoming a normal human being.
Now, to define/describe God, we must go back and forth between God as He is and God as He is defined by most Christians. Just as most Christians, and we ourselves in the past, hold a schizophrenic view of themselves, rooted in conflicting and irreconcilable definitions, so most Christians define God by the same schizophrenic constructs. That is, they hold several incompatible definitions of God, and by dishonesty rooted in fear, they are unwilling to acknowledge that their several opposing definitions of God ARE incompatible.
(Understand that this problem is entirely God's fault. He wrote the Bible to serve as a door, that which keeps out and that which welcomes in, both at the same time – and He has refused to remove the tares.)
Let's start with the first – God is Spirit. John 4:24
Now, Hebrews Chapter 1 says angels are made of the substance of spirit, and we know that we possess the same type of heavenly body. At no point do we imagine that the substance of God, Spirit, is the same thing as the substance of angels or humans. You see, when it says that God is Light, we do not imagine that God is the physical property of light coming from the sun to the earth. We understand that physical light and God Light are not the same thing, even though physical light represents God Light to us. We see God Spirit as something utterly different from created heavenly spirit, ours or angels', in exactly the same way.
We can describe, however, some of the qualities of God Spirit. God Spirit is the substance of God. Inside the nature of God Spirit are the qualities of eternality, God now, and infinity or omnipresence, God here. But God Spirit is invisible; that is, it is undetectable by any kind of created detection.
God Spirit substance is without form, no boundaries in space, no cessation by time. God Spirit is not heavenly, for heaven is created. The primary consideration for us concerning God Spirit is that God is ALL at every point of physical space and at every point of spirit space. And God is ALL in every moment of time.
Separating time from heaven is not Biblical. There was no thought in the New Testament writers of anything other than a continuous series of future ages of time. Time may be known differently by heavenly creatures, certainly, but we can find many Scriptures that show that heaven knows time in a similar way as earth.
ALL NOW is a quality of God Spirit substance only. Nothing created can be ALL NOW – ever.
The two primary qualities of God Spirit are all here and all now.
Listen to the speech of Christian speakers. They think of God as bound by space and time, God over there, God back then. You hear such meaningless phrases as “heaven invading earth.” Earth cannot exist without being permeated all through at every point by heaven. Earthly evil comes only out from heavenly evil, according to Paul. The same is true of Christ as us.
Thus, the every cry of the Christian is “God come to me.” And that cry must be spoken anew with every passing moment of time. They simply do not believe that God is omnipresent, eternal, and all.
Now, this form of God as an image in the minds of our brethren, this God that is not all here now, is the form of a glorious heavenly being. Thus they are defining God by the image of angels.
ALL of God is here and now in every particle of my being, spirit, soul, and body.
The knowledge that He IS does NOT come by great spiritual hullabaloo. It comes from the simple human decision that God is.
Without faith it is impossible to please God for he who comes to God must believe that He IS!
You see, God is not just ALL HERE NOW; God Spirit substance is also invisible. The utter and forever invisibility of God means that God can be known only by faith and by no other means.
Faith makes God known.
All of God Now fills everything in all creation. All animals, plants, and rocks, all humans, regenerate and unregenerate, all angels and demons, all substance of the heavenly realms, all stars and galaxies, all the far reaches of space, all things and all beings are entirely filled full with ALL God NOW. There is no other possibility.
Yet all these things are 100% ignorant of the God who fills them full.
When we studied the feasts, we heard God saying over and over, “In the place that I have chosen. – In the place that I have chosen.”
God has chosen one small portion of His creation through which to become known – the weakest of humans – His elect. Peter said that angels are waiting for the day when we will cause them to know God.
After last night (I write these letters bit by bit with sometimes even days between writing), I now see with perfect clarity exactly why there can be no rapture, why no human being can go from slightly knowing God to being the revelation of God in a moment. Let me explain.
We must see this picture of an invisible ALL NOW God as Spirit, but who is Love and thus longing to be known. What is the moment when this invisible ALL HERE NOW God passes from unknown to known inside a human being? Jesus called it, “Born again.”
But here's the thing. I had thought at first that there are three primary ways by which God pictures for us this process of God passing from unknown to God known to God revealed. But last night I saw an unending series of things by which God shows us this simple, but wondrous reality.
Yet God does have one primary metaphor that stands above all metaphors of how an invisible ALL HERE NOW God passes from being unknown to being known.
Word. – “Let there be light.”
Yet God's metaphor of Word quickly morphs to the metaphor of Light and then the metaphor of Life, that is, seed planted in our earth. And so we have the metaphor of being conceived of God – born again; the fetus developing in the womb – sanctification/communion; and the birthing into the full light of day – God revealed.
But the point of connection in this metaphor is still Word coming into union with Faith inside of Spirit.
Before looking at the simplest and clearest metaphor, however, I want to review God's side of becoming known. Even God cannot simply pass from unknown to known without also passing through a process. Understand that God becoming known is a BIG DEAL. This is no simple or easy thing.
You see, God cannot be known; He is invisible. Thus, in order for God is LOVE, beating inside of this ALL NOW HERE Spirit substance, to become known – to know the love of Christ which is beyond knowledge – God Himself must go through a transformation.
God must pass from the form of God, formlessness, into the form of a Servant. That form of Servant is still not yet known, but God as Servant is now able to be known.
The picture God gives us in the Bible of God passing from formless Spirit into the form of a Servant is the beating of hammers that formed the Mercy Seat – the travail of God. Thus the very point by which God passes inside of us from unknown to known is “redemption by His blood, the forgiveness of sins” – the Mercy Seat – propitiation.
Now, when we were born again, we did not yet know God, not really, but we had become aware of God inside of us. And there, in our ignorance, knowing God only slightly, we considered “God” in a certain way, in the way Adam and the serpent had agreed, God as an angelic type of form. However –
For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Hebrews 2:16 (KJV)
At no point does the heavenly angelic form represent God. Man alone is the image of God, the Seed of Abraham. We do NOT know God as a heavenly angelic form sitting “up there” somewhere looking “down” on us. Here is how we know God, the only way by which we must know God.
Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.John 4:14
All of God fills us always already even before He is known. What Jesus does for us is cause this unknown God who already fills us full to become known to us, but in a very particular way, as Springs of Water ever bubbling up from within our inner well.
We know God every moment, springing up from within our innermost being, but we know Him only as much as we are able to drink, a bit at a time.
Now let me bring in an illustration that most clearly conveys to us God becoming known – the light bulb.
The electricity is God Spirit. The wire carrying the electricity to the light bulb is God as Servant, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has also toned this electricity down to our level so that it won't blow us apart – Mediator. The light bulb is you and me. We have an outer human form, the bulb, and an inner form, our hearts, the filament.
Now, there is one slight problem with the metaphor of a light bulb, and that is the instantaneous production of light the moment the switch is turned on. However, that process of the electricity entering the filament and the filament heating up until the flash point when the energy passes from heat to light, all these steps can be measured in a laboratory. Seen from unending future ages of time, the process of God passing from our being dimly aware of Him inside of us (born again) to God revealed (the resurrection of our bodies) is as short of a period of time as the transformation of electricity becoming heat and then light inside the bulb. BUT – seen by us now, that transformation from the entrance of the electricity to the heating of the filament to the bursting forth into light is the engagement of our lifetime and the purpose for our years on this earth in this present age.
God is Love constitutes the heating of the filament; a Bible term is our sanctification, or even better – and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3
God is Light, then, is God revealed, God seen and known by all creation – man, the image and likeness of God, the dwelling place of God revealed forever. It is the resurrection of our bodies that marks the passage from God Love to God Light.
Electricity cannot become light without passing through heat first. Heat is caused by the resistance of the filament to the electricity.
God Spirit cannot become God Light (God known – God revealed) without passing through God Love first. God Love is caused by the resistance of human flesh to God Spirit.
Fellowship – Communion.
Oh, this is so cool.
This is why there can be no rapture of any kind.
God revealed, beginning with the transformation of our physical bodies into the manifest body of Jesus, comes only out from the depths and extent of our fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ inside of us. That fellowship is formed by the resistance God created us to be, resistance in the godly sense, that is FAITH alone, faith working by love.
I just read another proclamation from a non-thinking pastor that leaving our tired earthly form of flesh releases us from that which binds us down under ignorance and into the glory and knowledge of God.
NO – IT DOES NOT!!!
That the life of Jesus might be revealed IN our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4
God manifest in the flesh.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory – He who has seen Me has seen the Father.
It is our very earthly frame, our flesh, that is designed by God to know the Love of God and in that knowing, in that fellowship, in that communion, we become God revealed.
The communion is the thing.
That pastor knows communion with God inside of him right now in heaven only, having lost his physical body, not one bit more than he fellowshipped with the Father inside himself while in his body of flesh. And he is waiting until human beings, God's elect, so enter into fellowship with Father and with Jesus Sent that their lights turn on right here on this earth, right now in this flesh – before he will also know God in that same way.
By His stripes we are healed.
– God gave us a visible picture of all of our sickness and pain marked in the body of God Revealed. Yet that is not just our difficulty that we see in the body of Jesus, God Revealed, but ourselves. Our difficulty would not be in His body unless that body is our body as we walk in Him.
This is part of the fellowship. He shares all of our suffering, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, as His own. The river of life, God Light, flows out to creation only from the full depths of this fellowship.
All thought of a rapture, including the definition most hold of what it means to “go to” heaven, is nothing more than an attempt to avoid this fellowship of Love, this God known inside of us. It is darkness.
Let me say that again. The reason behind the belief held by most of what “going to” heaven means is the desire to remain separated from God inside of us, to remain in darkness, to avoid the fellowship of His sufferings.
People want to “go to” heaven, not so they can know God, but so they can continue to avoid knowing God.
God Light flowing out from you is measured by the extent of God Love in fellowship with you inside of you.
I know, because this is how the knowledge of God is just exploding inside of me.
But – I know first because God says.
And you know what, I have been teaching this very thing from the first of these letters, only I have never seen it so clearly as I see and know God in me now. – But I ain't seen nothin' yet!
This is so simple and clear, so easy to understand. Yet it explains all things.
The God-designed resistance of our human flesh creates the heat – overcome – by which we know God Love inside of us. This knowledge of God Love is an ever developing, ongoing, continuous, ever springing up fellowship of Person inside of person inside of Person, me with Father and Father with me.
People who push evangelism at the expense of fellowship do not understand that they are not revealing Father to people, but rather ideas, the image of God as a heavenly angelic form. Yes, God uses their ignorant efforts to draw people into the knowledge of Himself, but they are NOT fulfilling the Great Commission.
The Great Commission is God Light, God revealed, God seen and known through us. And the extent of God flowing out can never be greater than the depth of the fellowship inside.
Light bulbs are measured by how much light they produce. There are light bulbs such as a night light that send forth only a little bit of light, compared to the huge lights in a football stadium or above a freeway that generate a high wattage of light. The light of the night light is equal to the heat generated inside the resistance. The light of the stadium bulb is equal to the heat generated inside the resistance.
The difference is the size of the resistance. The same amount of electricity is available to the night light as is available to the flood light. The difference is the size of the resistance.
The level of knowing God Love in continuous fellowship is the measure of God Light flowing out from us.
I tell you what, this clarity of sight I am enjoying this morning is just about the most wonderful thing I have ever written. – I want to talk about the resistance, the fellowship of His sufferings, but first, let's tie back in the young woman/old woman contrast regarding the Bible.
Those who see God as a being separate from themselves, as a heavenly angelic form, read the Old-Covenant-“God-speaks–we-do” relationship on every page of the Bible. They see only the old woman, even in the most extraordinary phrases of the New Testament. When they see the words “Abide in Me and I in you,” they focus on the branches being burned. When they see the words “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ” they turn their back on Jesus and busy themselves with worrying about the flesh. When they see “God is Love,” they see instead billions of fellow humans screaming in unending torment in a pagan Hell.
I heard a preacher once spend two hours of teaching on the last portion of Romans 8 – nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, explaining with great detail and great force of persuasion and under a mighty anointing that what God REALLY MEANS by that whole passage is that you can turn your back and walk away from that love, something you do all the time – AND that God worded that passage in that way to trick you into complacency to see if you would fall for such an easy answer as resting in joy and certainty inside of God Love.
Yes, because they have made the simple human decision to see only the old, they are incapable of seeing the new.
Everywhere I look almost everyone, including grace teachers, including union with Christ teachers, including almost everyone I have ever heard or read sees only the old woman, a God separate from themselves, to whom they must give heed to be sure to do what He says, or limiting Christ as us down to nothing more than us, or defining grace as a way to get to heaven.
Then, something truly awful happens among many of our brethren who discover the joy of reality that God is all in them, springing up within them as springs of living water. – They still choose to see the old woman in the Bible and thus throw out most of what God says by His Word. This choice is just awful, simply horrifying.
They will not turn their eyes to see the young woman in every word on the page.
I can testify of this. The young woman is the only thing there. The artist drew only the young woman. Those who choose to see the old instead do so only because they are convinced that the serpent spoke the truth in the garden, only because they prefer God Himself, God as Person, God as Heart, far away from themselves.
Every Word in the Bible is Christ arising inside of us as our very and only life.
But, as with all things, it is a decision people make, a simple human decision.
How do I know this God in me? I know Him first by speaking every Word that He speaks as Christ my life Personal in me, in perfect marriage Covenant union with me, my very and only life, Person inside of person.
As I speak Christ, I know this Being who fills me full. I will know Him no other way. Those who follow “spirit” apart from Word cannot find what they imagine they seek.
Now back to the resistance, the fellowship of His sufferings.
It is not “suffering”; it is fellowship with Jesus Sent inside of His suffering for the sake of His bride.
I know and experience nothing of or for myself. I am a done deal because I know Jesus Sent. That means, I, in all of my breathing and doing, am turned around in the Holy of Holies, not for my sake, but for your sake, and you with me for the sake of the entire Bride of Christ, all those who belong to Jesus whether they know it or not.
Jesus Sent means we are poured out. Jesus Sent means we are expended already for the sake, for the deliverance, for the salvation of all who belong to Him.
BUT – BUT – BUT!!!!
Jesus Sent is fellowship, fellowship with Jesus inside the Father, sharing His same Heart.
The depth of my fellowship with Jesus Sent inside of me inside the Father is the extent of grace flowing out from me to bless, to lift up, to encourage, to arise into life carrying all whom I love with me inside the Mercy Seat of God, my heart.
I walked through the grocery store yesterday, feeling such tenderness for each one as I passed them by, sensing and directing blessing flowing out from me towards them. I have never felt or thought like that in the past. It comes entirely out from knowing Jesus inside the Father inside of me. It comes entirely out from this equality of fellowship, of togetherness, of the utterly shared purpose I am enjoying with the God who fills me full with All of Himself.
I did have “Union and Power” as the next letter, but now I see that I want “Union and Fellowship” to come first. How I long to know the full extent and meaning of fellowship with the Father and with the Son inside of me inside this suffering that is Love, bearing all, carrying each one, no matter how great the pain, the difficulty, the resistance, all the way through death and into life.
Love suffers long.
I just marvel at the idiotic mental human gibberish that paints a “God” who cannot know suffering.
The essence of Love is suffering.
You see, Love is one big and unending problem. That's why many people choose not to love. To relate for selfish purposes, yes, to have romantic excitement, yes, but not to love.
Love means two BIG things always all both at the same time.
Love means that I respect you with the highest of honor and regard. Respect means that I never push you around in any way to force you to do what I think you ought to do. My love for you will always set you free of me.
Yet if you are free of me, you will hurt me because you will do things I don't like.
Thus the other thing that Love IS: Love carries inside itself all the costs of your freedom.
Love suffers long.
Those who see the old woman in the Bible, see a God of anger against sin who prates a little bit about “love.”
Those who see the young woman in the Bible see the enormous cost Love bears continuously to set all free from Himself.
The Mercy Seat – the fellowship of His sufferings.