One with God for the Mutual Abode

1 Corinthians 12:12 For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.

John 14:1-3 Do not let your heart be troubled; believe into God, believe also into Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many abodes; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, so that where I am you also may be.

John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever, 17 Even the Spirit of reality, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him; but you know Him, because He abides with you and shall be in you.

John 14:20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

Let us exercise our spirit as we seek the Lord’s life and the Lord’s light contained in these verses. 

Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for our sins. We recall from the book of Isaiah that Christ left this world, being, “cut off, out of the land of the living” (Isa. 53:8). He had repeatedly told His disciples that He would go to Jerusalem and be killed and on the third day rise from the dead. In John 14:2, in the Lord’s last great speaking to His disciples before His death, He again tells the disciples that He is going, only this time, He says that He is going to prepare a place for them. He also tells them that in His going He is also coming.

He tells them that He would send them another Comforter, the Spirit of reality. Jesus tells them that they already knew this Spirit of reality and that this One “abides with you and shall be in you”. This other Comforter then, is the very Jesus Christ Himself, who was at that time WITH the disciples. He was going to go to the cross, resurrect and be transfigured into a new form, that of the Spirit of reality, who would from that point forward be IN them. This is a great truth which we can also see in John 7:39 where it says, “But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified. We can also see this wonderful transfiguration in 1 Corinthians 15:45 b, “the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.”

Many have interpreted John 14:3 to mean that the Lord would go to heaven to prepare a house for us there, that when we die, we might have a place to live. As we read the whole chapter of John 14 and even all the related scriptures, we begin to see clearly that the Lord was actually referring to His actions of going to the cross and coming in resurrection as the Spirit to live INSIDE OF US. In verse 20, right after He speaks of giving Himself to us as the Spirit of reality, He says, “ In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” THAT DAY undoubtedly is the day of the Lord’s resurrection. 

The result of Christ’s going to the cross to die for us, of such a marvelous going, was not only that He paid the price for our sins. He also came back right away as the Spirit to live in us! He told us that on THAT DAY He would be in us and we would be in Him. This is our oneness with God! He is in us and we are in Him! Where are we? We are now in Christ, and where is Christ? He is now in us! The place that was prepared for us was He Himself as our abode. 

Furthermore, this place is Christ Himself in the Father! Christ went to the Father and prepared a place for us there. That is the place where He has His being, in the Father and one with the Father. Mind-blowing, yes, but according to John 14, this is the place prepared for us! 

We can now read verse 23 and see how we also are the abode for God. “Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.” Who gets a dwelling place, then? Is it us, or is it God? The wonderful place prepared for us by Christ’s going and coming is in the Father and is in us too!. It is the mutual dwelling place of the redeeming God and the redeemed man! This place is in God and in us, it is the Spirit of God coming to be in us, in our regenerated human spirit. It is a spiritual place that is not in the future, but it is here, and now.  Praise the Lord for such a place! 

The verses in John 14 are wonderful! You can build upon your understanding of these verses by reading the following ministry excerpt.
https://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/BECOMING-ONE-WITH-GOD.HTML

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The Mystery of Godliness: He who was Manifested in the Flesh

1 Timothy 3:15-16 But if I delay, I write that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth. 16 And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was manifested in the flesh, / Justified in the Spirit, / Seen by angels, / Preached among the nations, / Believed on in the world, / Taken up in glory.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

The apostle Paul spoke of the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh. Surely he was referring to the incarnation of Christ Jesus and to all the steps of His living, death, and resurrection. The footnotes in the Recovery Version of the Bible help us to understand godliness. Concerning these verses, it says “godliness here refers not only to piety but also to the living of God in the church, that is, to God as life lived out in the church.”

In 1 Timothy 3:16 we see that there is a particular sequence and that this sequence says something more concerning godliness:

    1. He who was manifested in the flesh
    2. Justified in the Spirit
    3. Seen by angels
    4. Preached among the nations
    5. Believed on in the world
    6. Taken up in glory.

The sequence of steps number 5 and 6 are very interesting. “Believed on in the world” comes before being “Taken up in glory”. Wouldn’t we say that Christ was taken up in glory before He was believed on in the world? Actually, because “Taken up in glory” is at the end, after “Believed on in the world”, we can see that being “Taken up in glory” also refers to the believers, and more precisely, to the church. The church taken up in glory is what will happen at the end of the church age, at the Lord’s return. Ephesians 5:27 says, “That He might present the church to Himself glorious” Again, the footnote in the Recovery Version makes the point clear:

According to the sequence of historical events, Christ’s ascension preceded His being preached among the nations. However, it is listed here as the last step in Christ’s being the manifestation of God in the flesh. This must indicate that the church too is taken up in glory. Hence it implies that not only Christ Himself as the Head but also the church as the Body are the manifestation of God in the flesh.”

We can see that there is a dual significance. The mystery of godliness, the manifestation of God in the flesh, started with the individual God-man Jesus Christ, but upon His resurrection and His coming to live in His believers, this mystery, this manifestation, now continues with the church. The church is the manifestation of God in the flesh!  At the time Jesus walked on the earth, if you wanted to know God, you had to go to Jesus. Today, if a person wants to know God, he must go to the church.

The following ministry sample has great examples of how we are now the members of the church and the manifestation of God in the flesh.
https://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/THE-CHURCH-BEING-THE-GREAT-MYSTERY-OF-GODLINESS-GOD-MANIFESTED-IN-THE-FLESH-1.HTML

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The Recovery of the Church as the Family of God

Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

Ephesians 2:20 Being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone;

Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;

Ephesians 2:22 In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.

Stanza 3 of hymn 1238 (in video above) says:

How delightful ’tis to know;
How subjective, real, and sweet
Is this inward joy of grace
We experience when we meet;
Life abundant Jesus gives
As my full reality;
Praise You, Lord, it’s really true,
I’m in Your own family.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

As Christians, we have to advance to see and experience the church as the family of God. John 1:13 says something absolutely precious about Christians, “…begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”. We can see in the previous verse, John 1:12, that by believing in Christ, we receive Him as our life. This means that God is now our Father. He is not only our Father because He created us and because we are one of His many creatures, but He is now our Father in the most real way– because we have received His life!

We should also see that all the believers are our brothers and sisters. Having the same life of God makes all the Christians a new creation. We know this from 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, “So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” With our family in the flesh we share the same human life. With our family in Christ we share God’s life and are a new creation. What we have in common with all the genuine Christians is the most precious thing in the universe! We hope that all of the regenerated children of God have an epiphany, an illuminating discovery and realization concerning the church as the family of God. 

Beginning also with the Brethren, the saints began to see that the church is God’s household, God’s family. This is clearly revealed in Ephesians 2:19 which says, “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God.” The very God is our Father and we all are His children. Being His children, we are the folks of God’s family. The Greek word for household refers both to the house, the dwelling place, and to the household, the family. You can translate the same word with these two meanings. The end of Ephesians 2 reveals the household as the habitation of God. Verse 19 mentions the household, while verse 22 says that we are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit. The household is the dwelling place, the habitation.

Today, physically speaking, the household can never be the dwelling place of a father. However, spiritually speaking, all of God’s children at the same time are both God’s family and also God’s dwelling place. God’s habitation is built with His children. Therefore, His children are both His family and His dwelling place. The family is the dwelling place. We can declare to the whole universe that we are both God’s family and God’s house. We are His children, and at the same time we are His dwelling place. The Brethren, in their teachings, have made this very clear. From the assembly, the gathering of God’s called ones, they went on to the family of God, the household, and to the habitation of God. (The One New Man, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)

If you have time, you can learn more about the recovery through John Nelson Darby and the Brethren at: http://www.johndarby.org/recovery/index.html

 

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The Church as the Body of Christ

Eph-1-22-23-And-He-Subjected-all-things-under-His-feet

Ephesians 1:22-23 And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church, Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

All the items of truth in the Bible are the riches of Christ to be our inheritance. As a Christian, we gradually advance in our vision and experience. We might go through the following steps of revelation:

  • Seeing the Christ, the Son of the living God
  • Seeing His all-inclusive death and appreciating and enjoying His eternal redemption
  • Seeing His resurrection from the dead with His becoming the life-giving Spirit to come live in us
  • Realizing our union with Him, both moment by moment and eternally
  • Arriving at seeing His forming of the church as His Body

This advancement, this recovery, is the Lord’s recovery of so many truths, not only in our knowledge but also in our experience.

When the church is revealed as the Body of Christ, it means that the church has the life of Christ. Any part that has your life flowing through it is a part of your body. Conversely, if you suffered the severance of one of your body parts, say, your little finger, then the cells of that little finger would quickly die and your little finger would cease from being a part of your body.

If a group of people have not believed in the Lord, if they have not received His divine life into their human spirit, then they are not the church. By definition, they cannot be a part of the Body of Christ. How did you become a member of the Body of Christ? You received the Lord Jesus Christ to be your life. Any form of human organization cannot produce the Body of Christ. Only the dispensing of Christ’s life produces the Body of Christ. This is why it is crucial for believers to focus on the divine life of God and seek to experience and enjoy this life.

In your personal time with the Lord, seek the experience of life. This is not just for beginning Christians but for all Christians. For, in partaking of the divine life, we are undeniably and in reality, the Body of Christ.

Enjoy reading the lyrics of this song based on a 2014 elders and responsible one’s training.

1
Jacob saw the vision of a dream in Bethel,
Moses saw the vision on a mountain, do tell,
David saw the vision of the holy temple,
Ezekiel saw the vision of the house.

 Then John…. saw the vision of the New Jerusalem,
Well, it’s God…. dispensed and God built into men,
We need a vision so we open to the Lord,
Seeking revelation in the Holy Word,
Turning to the spirit for the building of the church,
The church is the fullness of the One.
(Ephesians one: twenty three)

2
Zechariah’s vision was for God’s recovery,
Daniel had a vision of Christ in victory,
Paul and Peter’s vision of the building of the Body
Complete the revelation of the age.

You can learn how to sing this at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUIoneL4lkk

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Seeing The Church

Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

Here is God’s story– how He loved us so much and how He journeyed from eternity into time and joined Himself to you and me. He was incarnated– becoming a man named Jesus. He did the unthinkable– He lived a sinless human life and died on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice to solve all our problems. We can never thank Him enough! If that wasn’t all, He resurrected and came all the way into us to be our life forever! God presents this salvation to all humanity, offering it for free to all who believe and call on His name. This is truly wonderful!

The Bible presents this story to us and much, much more. We are beginning to see that God also has something in His heart for the church. For us to see the church takes God’s revelation. Look at this marvelous exchange between the Lord Jesus and Peter.

13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of Man is? 14 And they said, Some, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. 15 He said to them, But you, who do you say that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in the heavens. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 16, verses 13-18)

Just as it was with Peter, that the Father revealed the Son of God to him, and that Christ revealed the church to him, so we need Christ Himself to say to us, “I will build My church.” Even if we know the word, “church”, we still need God to shine on us. We want to really see the church that is revealed in the Bible. We want to see the church as Christ’s building and as Christ’s Body. 

Whenever we read the words in the Bible about the church, and especially when we pray over these words, these words become Christ’s speaking to us again today. Through the Bible, we can receive a personal speaking from the Lord about His church. We can go to Christ personally and we can even ask Him to reveal the church to us, to show us His church.

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Members one of another

1 Corinthians 12:12-25 For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ. 13 For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all given to drink one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body, it is not that because of this it is not of the body.

16 And if the ear should say, Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body, it is not that because of this it is not of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were the hearing, where would the smelling be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, even as He willed. 19 And if all were one member, where would the body be? 20 But now the members are many, but the body one. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 

22 But much rather the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we consider to be less honorable, these we clothe with more abundant honor; and our uncomely members come to have more abundant comeliness, 24 But our comely members have no need. But God has blended the body together, giving more abundant honor to the member that lacked,

25 That there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same care for one another. 

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

We can pray, “Thank you Lord for dying for me and saving me! Lord Jesus, I take you as my life!”. When we pray in such a way, we receive the divine life of God and become the members of Christ’s Body. The portion in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 shows us that all the members of the Body of Christ need each other. Individually, we the believers are members, and together, we are all the Body of Christ. Romans 12:5 also tells us, “So we who are many are one Body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”

We encourage you to go to the Lord in prayer, call on His name, and enjoy all that He is. Also, practice speaking to Him the words from the Bible about the Body of Christ and about the members of His Body. We believe that by praying with the words of the Bible, even more light can break forth from His word and shine on you!

As you have time and are able, we invite you to spend a little extra time to read this helpful excerpt from the ministry of Watchman Nee, one who saw the Body of Christ in God’s word.
https://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/THAT-THERE-WOULD-BE-NO-DIVISION-IN-THE-BODY–CORINTHIANS.HTML

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Members of His Body

Ephesians 1:22-23 And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church, which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.

Romans 12:5 So we who are many are one Body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

In His ascension, Christ is the Head of the Body of Christ, which is the church (not figuratively, as in the president or leader of the church, but literally). You see, there is a Body in this universe which is the Body of the incarnated, crucified, resurrected, and ascended Christ. Finally, let’s see how this wonderful Head relates to us! 

By believing into Him and receiving Him into us to be our life, we, (yes, that’s you and I!), become the many members, the parts, of this universal Body of Christ.

Prayer: How awesome it is, dear Lord Jesus, that You are now our life, and that we are the members of Your very Body! – Amen!

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