The Western nations again need to witness a community of a unique kind, a community possessed by a King and His Kingdom – a demonstration that God is fashioning something here on earth for His eternal glory and the ages to come. Consider the impact – a Holy Sprit possessed generation, living out His life on the earth, for God’s ultimate glory.
Jesus Himself was consumed and possessed!
Proverbs 8: 22 – The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. (KJV)
John 2: 17 – Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”
Consider this, that the Son of God was consumed and possessed with the Spirit of God and with the zeal of the Lord! At the age of twelve He was sitting with the scribes discussing the things of Old Testament scripture. Then at the beginning of His ministry He is charged by the Holy Spirit and led into a season of fasting. He said that His food was to do the will of His Father. Yes, Christ was the Son of God and yet He came as a man. Not only that but Jesus was a young man who was tempted in every point as we, and is now a high priest who knows our weaknesses. In all this He perfectly carried out the will of the Father with passion. Why? Because He was possessed by the Spirit of God constantly and completely.
In this generation of secularism within the Church where young men and women no longer have ‘heroes in the faith’ to imitate, then I say look unto Jesus Christ! – a young man who carried out His Father’s will and is now exalted! He carried out all of this, for He was a man consumed, possessed and saturated by the Spirit of God and the will of His Father! Young people, imitate Him! Don’t be consumed with passion for the things of this world which rob us of true identity and purpose but be possessed with Him! Let zeal for His house, His will and His Life consume you.
The surface level of merely acknowledging Christ can become a deep consuming knowledge of Him.
There must be countless thousands of people who went through their younger years in a mere state of acknowledgment, yet regret the wasted years that God could have used in impacting their generation. I am convinced among today‘s present young generation that there are still those seemingly going through the motions of ‘Christian life as they know it’, without ever knowing the inner reality of God in their lives. I was one of those until God took a hold of me and led me and others through a time of deep disturbance from Him. During the Brownsville Revival, God took thousands of us young people and broke up the hard ground of our hearts and gave us hearts of flesh and a love for God beyond anything we had ever known. Even now, those of us touched by that revival should still evaluate our lives, and ask God if He still gloriously possesses us in a way that dominates our thinking and passion.
The very thing I am attempting to convey to you is best described in the following scriptures. In John 20 we read the powerful account of Mary’s encounter with the risen Christ. I had always wondered about this story and meaning until the Lord spoke to me regarding it one day. Below are some notes I wrote of my own and collated from what I had read from others at that time:
i. His command, “Touch Me not,” is used in the present continuous tense, that is, it is to be understood as meaning “Do not hold Me” or “Do not cling to Me” (Jesus is not telling her not to touch Him per se, for we read the disciples had to touch Him later for proof of His resurrection.)
ii. He diverts her from the desire for previous relationship and conversation with Him at that moment of time. (Maybe she thinks Christ is risen in the similar state to Lazarus and will remain with them.)
iii. ‘For I am not yet ascended,’ He says, “unto the Father.” The former sporadic interaction is to be replaced by the new and continuous relationship in the heart that takes place in a deeper sense than before, but this cannot be until He is with the Father.
iv. Christ is not there for restoring external things but for reconciling men to God. He says, “Touch me not.” Or – “Don’t hold on to your previous limited knowledge of me. A new day has dawned!” (My words.) “For, though I am not yet ascended, go to my brethren, and tell them, I am to ascend.’’ Jesus wants His disciples to look higher than his bodily presence, and look further than the present state of things and to now know HIM by His Spirit.
In other words, at Christ’s resurrection a deeper form of communion with Him could begin to be known. Now the possibility exists of a relationship beyond the mere external knowledge about Him, to a consuming union with Him. Awesome, glorious work of the Christ and Spirit! Young Christian you are called to know this!
Is this the kind of relationship you presently have with the Lord? Leader, is this the kind of discipleship you seek to instill in the young people you lead? I speak from personal experience that the young people you disciple will only become what you yourself are. This is Christian discipleship of the unique kind, where the Spirit of Christ within forms and fashions His vessels of honour. This is the Jesus way – the way in which He Himself was possessed and consumed, so He now calls us to such a union. For a true move of God of revolutionary proportions, this is the only kind of discipleship – where Christ‘s nature is possessing our hearts, and we determine to follow! I finish with the words of C.T. Studd:
What a life the Spirit lives out in us when He possesses us. It is so simple too: just to remember ‘I have been crucified with Christ,’ I am dead. ‘It is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me.’ My part is just to let Him live in me.
Ibid. P424 – 425. Not directly quoted but was blessed as God spoke to my heart about this story, that Henry had compiled thoughts of a similar kind.
C.T. Studd – Cricketer and Pioneer, Norman Grubb (Lutterworth Press 1933) Quote taken from Chapter 6: P48
For more on this topic, see Andrew Yeoman’s book Jesus Ministry, available at Amazon.com by clicking here.
Posted in The Kingdom of God Tagged with: Andrew Yeoman, C.T. Studd, discipleship, divine possession, Jesus, Jesus Ministry, Mary, VOR Series: Divine Possession
Note from the Author: I have taken it upon myself to share with you a part of a booklet I put together entitled ‘Jesus Ministry’. It was written especially for young people, who have perhaps been going through the motions of church life without knowing ‘the reason for existence’ and the reality of the Kingdom of God. This is not a ‘plug’ for the book, rather it is an appeal to you, in as much as it has been God’s appeal to me in recent years. Whether young or old, God wants all of you; a Divine possession that will not only consume your life, but manifest His life through you in an unprecedented way!
Malachi 3 (NAB)
17 And they shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my own special possession, on the day I take action. And I will have compassion on them, as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.
1 Peter 2 (1890 Darby Bible)
9 But ye are a chosen race, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a possession, that ye might set forth the excellencies of him who has called you out of darkness to his wonderful light…
The term ‘possessed’ brings up all sorts of uncomfortable thoughts in our minds, especially when we read in the Scripture of those who were ‘possessed’ by evil spirits. In the Old Testament we read that the Spirit clothed Himself with Gideon. We do not hear enough today of the reason Christ died and shed His blood for us; that is the gift of His Spirit, poured out upon those who repent and believe. For this reason our God did this – that the Spirit may clothe Himself with a people! This is why Christ came into this world… to get for Himself a people for His own possession!
All New Testament teaching has its basis ultimately in the mission and message of Jesus – the focus being on Jesus – the Messiah and Son of God, who through His death and resurrection brought about salvation for God’s New Testament people. They would comprise of Jew and Gentile to form a last days community of disciples, living in the present time by the Spirit, as they awaited the final triumph of that salvation in the return of Christ. The first followers of Christ knew that the time of the Kingdom had been fulfilled and would be completed when Jesus returned. These men and women lived like all the issues of Jesus Christ dominated their very being. They were consumed with Him… possessed by Him and His realities. They knew that they existed as God’s people for that time – chosen, redeemed, possessed by God – as His end time people. There are a few things the early church lived out and are of vital importance to the present day disciple:
Though our bodies still await that awesome time when Christ will return to perfect His work concerning us and make us like Him, our spirits have already been, and continue to be transformed (transfigured) toward perfection in Jesus. (Romans 8: 11). God is working His life into us today!
God’s people are to live in the sense that the glory of the future is already at work within them, both for the transformation of the person and for the preparing of the whole people of God. Heavenly eternity has been set in their hearts by the Spirit.
Ephesians 1 (NAS)
13 In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised holy Spirit, 14 which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.
Listen to these words of revelation from Matthew Henry:
All who are designed for heaven hereafter are wrought or prepared for heaven while they are here; the stones of that spiritual building and temple above are squared and fashioned here below. And he that hath wrought us for this is God, because nothing less than a divine power can make a soul partaker of a divine nature; no hand less than the hand of God can work us for this thing. A great deal is to be done to prepare our souls for heaven, and that preparation of the heart is from the Lord.
So then, what does this have to do with me, I hear you ask. Well, this generation has no sense of ownership and being. It has been said by one man that the present generation of young people in Europe are living in a vacuum, and that they are waiting for something or someone to come along and fill that vacuum. Young people want a cause with which they can align themselves (and give themselves to.) All we have to do is watch the present situation on the news to see that young men are giving themselves to false ideals and putting their hope and identity in a god who always demands yet never communes, who hides and never reveals himself.
When we, the emerging generation in the Church catch a glimpse of, and take a look into what Christ has done and is working in us, then we will begin to understand that we are His, and His for a purpose. That purpose is to call others to obedience to the Gospel and to being a part of His people, His own possession. It is to see those who are possessed by anything other than Him, come to know of the freedom that comes by the possession of His Kingdom as it enters their hearts. That’s true identity, that’s true fellowship and that’s freedom!
There is an inner heart, there is an inner being, that can reach out, and you not only see the Lord Jesus but you feel the Lord Jesus… and you are one with Christ in an indissoluble union… you are part of Jesus Christ… you are one in Christ and with Him heirs of God.
Hugh Black – Scotland.
Posted in The Kingdom of God Tagged with: God, Jesus, Jesus Ministry, New Testament, Old Testament, Scripture, the church, VOR Series: Divine Possession