Editor’s Note: Guest article from David Popovici of FIRE School of Ministry: Chicago.
“Christ in you the hope of glory.”
We are deeply entrenched in sin, within the chaos of this present evil age, to the extent that our minds and hearts are dominated by the pleasures of life and desires for other things. All the while, the devil sees no distinction between the sinful-wasteful son, who despises his inheritance (while on his knees in the midst of the pig trough) and the religious-biblical scholar whose head is vastly larger than his heart.
What has been the desire of God from ages past?
What is the triumph of this Gospel that has kept joyous smiles on the faces of men while facing their death?
I believe the answer to both of these questions the same, namely, Christ in you the hope of glory.
Both sin and religion keep us from knowing God. From garments made of fig leaves to towers built to the heavens, mankind’s attempts to reach and please God have fallen miserably short.
The reason we are in famine on this side of the cross and the New Covenant, is simply because we have not looked upon Him deeply enough. God’s plan for man far exceeds the bettering of our lives now. God is not interested in making you a better person, seeing that you are predisposed to self-centered humanistic living, but rather, He is pleased in filling you with Himself.
Whether the arrogant and pompous or the depressed and suicidal, the issue is this: man can’t get past himself. He is born with his back to God, and is merely breathing to death.
Jesus said to Peter, “flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven (Matt 16).”
It was only after Peter had eyes to see Jesus, that he could see himself as God had called him to be, “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom….”
In order to truly understand anything, we have to have a revelation of God. God has fully revealed Himself for all to see in the Man Christ-Jesus. He is the exact representation and express image of God and His nature.
“Jesus Christ is perfect theology (Bill Johnson, Bethel Church in Redding, CA.).”
All arguments and debates on God are met at the roadblock of the Gospels. Throughout time God had revealed Himself by His mighty acts, through His holy prophets and even the revelation of His names, yet never before has He fully revealed Himself as He has today in His Son Jesus. All other faiths deviate from Full Gospel preaching at the same point, “Who do you say that I Am?”
I am convinced that God dwelling in man was and is the greatest miracle of all time. The Word of God calls Jesus the last Adam. The man who came to reverse the curse placed on us because of the first Adam, by becoming a curse for us to bring us back to God.
He is not just the Savior from sins; he has forever become the perfect mediator and prototype man.
Jesus Christ is the prototype man!
The Incarnation was never meant to be a one-time event, but to be perpetuated in the lives of all who would repent and receive His Holy Spirit by faith.
We need a radical change of our definition and perception of God and ourselves! Jesus said, “unless a man is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven.” Paul, when praying for the Ephesian believers, prays that God would give to them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation and open the eyes of their heart, in order to know Him better and consequently, to know what they have been called to be (Ephesians 1.18); a revelation of God and in turn a revelation of what God has made us. “Jesus doesn’t call us for what we are. But because of what He makes from us (Reinhard Bonnke).”
God will not just hold us accountable for what we were, but for what we could have been in light of the Cross and Pentecost.
“…There exists a draft by the hand of God of what our lives could have been…find and live near to that divine original (D.M.Panton).”
It is these two events that divide the New Testament from the Old.
The Cross forever separates you from your own will and this world. Paul said, “I am crucified to the world and the world to me…”
Pentecost imparts Him into you like nothing else can. Madame Guyon said, “the more we posses Him the more we posses His traits.”
Jesus said when speaking on the parable of the Sower, “Do you not understand this parable, how will you understand any of the parables.”
The parable of the Sower, sowing the word of God, is the most radically fundamental parable of all parables. Its end goal is seen in the parable of the mustard seed, which is small until it uproots all other plants/trees that challenge its pre-eminence.
What does that mean?
The Word of God when applied by radical obedience and single-mindedness will put to death in our hearts all that challenges His Lordship. All this is in view of God’s predetermined plan to produce in us the image of His Son (Romans 8.29). Paul travailed in prayer for it.
“My children with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you (Galatians).”
Martha was distracted and bothered by so many things and all the while, the Creator was in the room. But Mary sat listening to the Resurrection and the Life. We stop the process of growth when we disconnect from the vine, and we disconnect from the vine when we no longer come to Him and allow His Words to abide within us and ultimately rule us.
We become what we behold. It is as we behold (as in a mirror) the glory of the Lord that we are transformed into that same image, and from glory to glory (1 Cor. 3.18)!
God did not sow His Son to reap servants. He sowed His Son to reap sons.
Christ is the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8.29). God is bringing many sons to glory (Hebrews 2.10).
And the tragedy in the church today is that His bride is either disqualifying herself by her wasteful and selfish living, or by the fact that she has educated herself into unbelief. Both are blind, wretched, poor and naked in the eyes of Him with whom we have to give an account.
We must return to the Cross and Pentecost, everything else is humanism!
When a man is confronted by the cross, he is exposed and naked, because in front of Him lies The Perfect One. It is because of sin He remains unrecognizable, but when that man repents and receives The Savior, he receives the right to become a son of God (John 1:12). In turn, it is when this man looks deep upon the Resurrected and Victorious Lord that he meets Him, in His occupation, as the one who “will baptize in the Holy Spirit and Fire”.
And then that same man now receives the ability to act like a son (by the Holy Spirit).
Adam came and produced a race of sinners; Jesus came and produces a race of sons (Romans 8.11).
The separation between the first Adam and the last Adam is the dripping cross and a flame of fire.
The Question I ask you is this…where do you currently stand?
The answer to your question is exactly what your heart is staring at.
The Spirit of God in a human body is what makes you a Christian; and in your pilgrimage on earth you are to become like the Son, and to whatever degree that you become like Jesus, to that degree you are glorified and remain forever.
The eyes of the heart see best in prayer, fasting and the meditation of His Word, and still these things cannot become a substitute for obedience.
Jesus calls all His disciples to be fishers of men. He never called unto Himself a monastic movement but men who find their purpose in Luke 4:18-22.
Today we have perfect programs but pathetic people. God never asked for our towers of Babel, they impress only man. He said, “I am the light of the world” and then told His disciple that they were to be also.
“God did not call us to merely reflect the light, but to be light.” (Bill Johnson, Bethel Church, Redding CA)
The world is not in need of better or more educated preachers who have relevant messages, but men who have become the message.
God called Ezekiel to be a prophet, which by definition means “a borrowed mouth.” In Ezekiel 3:1-4, God feeds Ezekiel the scroll that was to define his life and calling, and after he eats it, it fills his inner man and then, he is commissioned to “go, stand and speak!”
Jesus, in the same way, tells the crowds that unless they eat His flesh and drink His blood they cannot be His disciples. A more offensive picture might not be possible to a religious Jew, especially since the Law clearly states that the life lies in the blood. But it is clear, that offending people was the least concern of Jesus, since He knew what mans greatest need was; the Life of God. He said I came to give you Life and Life in abundance, not mere human existence as they knew it, but (Zoë: Greek) the God-Life.
The Angel in Revelation gives John a scroll to eat which in turn becomes his calling and message to the church. Jeremiah could not hold in the word, which burned in him like a fire. So we know that Jesus calls all of His disciples to follow Him and it is He that makes them fishers of men. He makes us, fishers of men.
The command remains to GO, and to give Jesus to the world. But a man can never “go” until he has first “come” unto Jesus in fullness.
The Great Commission remains the stewardship of the Church of God. Christ likeness is utmost devotion to the Father and the laying of your life down for men.
The last thing this world needs is more professional preachers. The world needs living epistles written by the Spirit of God and read and known by all men. This is the divine outcry of our generation.
Christian extremism that is marked by radical and holy obedience to God, supernatural love and demonstrations of power, signs and wonders is the only product that God will stamp as “SPIRIT FILLED.”
Anything else is a joke and only provokes the world to more mockery. Let everything else burn, I want to know JESUS and become like JESUS!
It is easy to ask the question…
“Where is the God of Elijah?”
It is harder to answer…
“Where are the Elijah’s of God?”
Where are they? I am not talking about echoes that merely parrot doctrinal truths, but men who have been absorbed into Him and now are His message in the earth.
What separates us from every other faith in the world?
It is the living, tangible presence of God. If we lose that, we lose everything!
Men with no fish are not fishermen; you can call them something else, but don’t call them fishermen. Whatever office you might be called to or gifted in, it is to set the captives free. Freely you have received; freely give.
“Beloved for the sake of a lost and dying world, pay any price get God’s power and set the prisoners free.” ~John G. Lake
Man must swallow the message. It is not until it goes through your insides, that it can take effect on you. Only then will you start to look and sound like that which you ate. Ministry is no longer a burden; but the outflow of the inflow of God into your life.
God’s will remains the same; His union with you is His goal. When He comes and increases in you, then you decrease and die. And it is only then that He can be lifted up in you so that He might draw all men unto Himself.
“One of these days we will get sick and tired of the spiritual bankruptcy that we live in and the joke that our lives often are and we will get serious with God.” ~John G. Lake
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