The Coming of the Lord Part 2
John R Gavazzoni
In this lesson and those following, I will be attempting to clarify, provide greater detail and enlarge upon our subject. Following the release of part one of this series I received an e-mail from a reader who was questioning my statement that God is both mother and father. It's a good question and I want to include a part of my answer to him in this section because other readers may have had similar thoughts:
Dear Neil: (not his real name)
I was very pleased to get your e-mail and question(s). I hope, in the following few words, I can be of some help as you are considering what, if any truth, there is in the consideration of gender completeness in God. I do want to say up front, though it may be unnecessary, that, of course, we're not talking about anything resembling the pagan concepts of male and female deities who were the projections of heathen inordinate relationships.
I do not want my readers to conceive of two separate gods romping around heaven as the ultimate celestial couple. I'm talking about a oneness that is a unity, a unity that has a gender element at its very heart and which is the eternal source of the Son of God, our Savior. I believe the Lord has intended for us to discover by His revelation that Father didn't beget the Son without Mother. There is, in God, both impregnation and conception and Jesus is the result of that loving relationship within God and, as such, everything about Him is true to and consistent with that love. And, since we were "chosen in Him before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4), we are the result of that love in Him, and we are a continuation of that reality.
Now to your question of how Jesus addressed God: There was no need for the Lord to pray, "Our Mother who art in heaven" because, as I've noted, Motherhood is included in the Fatherhood of God. Adam, who was created in God's image was himself an extension of that principle for he had motherhood within him and Eve, who came forth from his side, became the mother of all. If you had addressed Adam before Eve was created, you would have been addressing both of them.
Jan Antonsson's observation to you was correct as to the fact that the Lord Jesus lived in a very patriarchal society and any addressing of God in the feminine gender would have been totally misunderstood and would have been offensive in a way that would not have been productive to Jesus' message at that point. Now, beyond that is the fact that Christ did not intend to reveal everything to His disciples before His death and resurrection.
He said that He had more to tell them, but they were not able to bear it at that time. (See Jn. 16:12.) There were deeper things to be revealed later by the Spirit of the glorified Christ, the Spirit of Truth, to the apostles, and through them, to the church. It would still be Jesus doing the teaching but now He was the inspiring, life-giving Spirit within them. One of those things, I believe, is this truth of God's motherhood which He is revealing in these last days. It is consistent with the progressive revelation of the Lord which is about to be culminated so that God will manifest His Male/Female completeness through the emergence of the Bride of Christ.
I don't know how aware you are of the tremendous outpouring of revelation that has occurred in recent years concerning the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:18-21) who make up the Body of Christ, but this has been undeniably so, and our assured expectation of that manifestation ought to include the coming forth of the Bride of Christ out of the sons of God, i.e., the Body of Christ typified, as I've said, by Eve being taken out of the side of Adam They will not be two separate entities, but rather, two dimensions of our multidimensional relationship with God coming into manifestation.
Since Christ is the Image of God and the greater Eve will be taken out of Him in His corporate Body, as the image of God, He/we will be expressing the Male and Female of dimensions of the Father. I hope in future installments of the study to look into how this all works itself out as we are all in relationship to Christ in each other.
I commend you for your willingness to give these things your consideration while at the same time looking for additional scriptural support for what I've proposed. We have His promise that "He that will do the will of God shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God...." (Jn. 7:17) God bless you richly. I'm thrilled to hear of your experience of the new birth and filling with the Spirit. Let us go on to "all the fulness of God" (Eph. 3:19, KJ) as Paul prayed.
Sincerely, in Him,
John R. Gavazzoni
[We now return to the main thread of our study]
Thus far, we have seen that the kingdom of God comes in earth, as it is in heaven, which is the way the Lord taught us to pray. Since that kingdom is a family-kingdom; that is, the kingdom of God, who is, in Himself; Father, Mother and Their eternal only-begotten Son, the kingdom must come in accordance with what it is.
When this kingdom comes in earth; when it penetrates the veil between eternity and time in order to become flesh within a world and universe of space and matter, it comes as it is in heaven, with divine Fatherhood, Motherhood and Childhood being shared by the Spirit with us so as to bring us into that communion which is within God, causing mankind to participate in this divine mystery.
Now if you are reading this lesson (part two of the study), without having read and studied part one, you will not have the scriptural background provided in part one to aid you in grasping what is being taught. (There's a link at the end of this article.) I really urge you to go back to the first lesson and study it carefully and prayerfully. Having said that, let's continue in the way of review; clarifying and adding detail as we expand our study.
God, who is pure essence of relational Being dwells where there is no time, matter or space.
He dwells only in the transcendence of His own glory. But He has created a dimension of space, time and matter into which He comes according to what He is, a family. He comes in His Family-constituted, Family-defined relational Being in earth as in heaven. He starts very small within the amphitheater of the cosmos, on the tiny stage of earth and to a despised place on that stage called Nazareth.
There He sends a messenger to a young, Israelite maiden, a virgin, graciously and sovereignly chosen to have her natural capacity of motherhood caught up by, and joined to, the Motherhood of God so that she might commune and take part in divine conception and birth. Oh the wonder of it! (As I write these words I am experiencing something that I cannot call emotion, but which is like the stirring of a child within the womb. Indeed a new experience for a man. It is so deep and gentle and moving and satisfying. It feels like a fluid place in the midst of my inward parts).
But I must go on: The messenger surprises her with the exclamation, "Hail, favored one (or one, full of grace), the Lord is with you" (Lk. 1:38). The text indicates here, a pause in the message as Mary "(ponders) what kind of salutation this might be." The angel gives her a moment for the greeting to sink in. But, deeper than that is the fact that his opening words, though part of the whole message, have a distinct and special purpose and effect. This is important for the reader to note for in it we gain an insight into the conception of Christ in the corporate mother, the Church. The key word of the initial greeting is "with."
The Lord is WITH her. And from this point on, what He does, i.e. bring forth His Son, He will do WITH her. He has connected her womb to His, raising her to the supernal dimension of His mothering nature. Though retaining her humanity, her womb is no longer merely a natural womb, for she has partaken of the divine proclivity to birth the eternal Word into flesh and is now prepared to conceive the Son of God, Emmanuel, God and man made one in the man, Christ Jesus.
She is prepared, to conceive, but has not yet conceived. Again, this is important to an understanding of how the process takes shape later as the corporate mother is prepared to spiritually conceive the Christ. The Holy Spirit (the messenger proceeds to tell her) will come upon her and the power of the Highest will overshadow her and she will conceive and give birth to the holy offspring. She will, but not quite yet.
First, she is granted participation in the fertility of Deity, then, having been prepared to receive the divine Seed, the actual conception takes place when she responds with the words, "be it done to me according to your word."(Lk. 1: 38) In her words we find a response, drawn forth by God Himself, which is faith's surrender to the wooing of the great Lover and through that surrender the Sperm of God penetrates the prepared ovum and He; in whom all things consist; He, through whom all things were made, and who upholds all things by the word of His power; He, who is appointed the heir of all things and is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His nature, penetrates the veil between time and eternity and God becomes a human embryo. Oh, my God, how great thou art!
In the first lesson we saw that this is the beginning of the Word becoming flesh, for soon, advancing from the one-person mother and the one-person Son, God chooses a corporate many-persons mother to conceive and give birth to the many-persons Son. They are His corporate increase. But we must never forget that it is the life of that only begotten Son, Jesus of Nazareth, crucified, risen, ascended and exalted, that is, and ever shall be, the life of His multiplied and reproduced Person.
Please be sure to know that it is still the one Seed, the first-born of many brethren, that makes the many brethren what they are; sons in the image of the Son, who is the image of the Father, full of grace and truth. I am greatly exercised to draw a line in the doctrinal sand and affirm over and over again that the Father has only one Seed, but with many seeds in the one.
There is only one sonship in God's economy, the sonship of the Christ, which we, by grace, share. We are sons in the Son and we are sons because the Son lives in us. It is the indwelling of the Son that makes the sons His sons. When the only begotten of the Father became the "first-born of many brethren," (Rom. 8:29) the many brethren do not go on from there with independent sonship; rather their very existence as sons is dependent on His relationship with the Father, for He is the Seed from which they all spring.
We must not hold back at all in embracing the reality that we are "heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17), but we must not dabble around the edges of the new-age tendency to view Christ as just a son like all the rest of us, whose only uniqueness is that He has came to understand His Sonship more fully than we. Of course, in His humanity, His understanding of His real Personhood unfolded as "He grew in wisdom...." (Lk. 2:52). But His affirmation concerning who He was is clear. He knew Himself to be uniquely unique as the Son who would "(bring) many sons to glory" (Heb. 2:10).
There are a number of dear brethren who are mixing gnostic overtones in their teaching, leading some, who lack a strong foundation in their life, to infer that the discovery of sonship is simply a matter of looking within. To be sure, we must know Christ inwardly, but our subjective experience of Him is based first upon the truth that we are in Him, and He comes to indwell us, having the reality of our true personhood in Him. To you dear ones I say; we are what we are IN HIM. Can I say to anyone that they are what they are in me? Can I say that I am the head of the body? Can I say in me all things consist. No, a thousand times no.
But the One in whom all things consist lives in me and will share His full glory with me as I am in relationship with others who make up His Body. Some, today, flirt with the spirit of antichrist as they seek the fullest meaning of sonship. Jesus of Nazareth is greater than we; intrinsically greater, but He comes to us, from within us, having us in Him, fully sharing His transcendence with us.
Now we reach another transition in the story of stories. In Jn. 14:17, the preposition "with" enters the scene again conveying the same thought as we have noted earlier in this lesson. Jesus tells His disciples in verse 16 that He will give them another Helper (Comforter, Intercessor, counselor, Advocate, Consoler), (See Strong's Concordance and the Amplified Bible.) and this Helper is, according to verse 17, the Spirit of Truth. He goes on to say that He, the Spirit of Truth abides WITH them and shall be in them.
They too, like Mary, but spiritually so, must have God with them sharing His ability to conceive the Son. The transition to Christ incorporated in many is at its first stage and those who are to spiritually conceive Christ are inwardly given that prevenient grace whereby they participate in their spirits in God's reproductive life as Mary did in her body. They too are to receive the divine Seed, but first the Seed must go into death, stripping off our old humanity that was assumed by Him, and bringing forth a New Humanity which is our natural man transformed by His resurrection.
The eternal Seed, which has become flesh in Mary's womb, was born, lived, suffered and died and was perfected in His humanity through suffering (Heb. 2:10). This God-Man Seed now comes forth in resurrection to be glorified and implanted in many to duplicate the New Quality of Humanity which He is, in them. As He is, so will they be in this world (1 Jn. 4:17). The Seed that is to impregnate them is the Seed of God and Man in perfect union, the New Creation Man, who is to become their life (Col.3:4).
Soon He will be birthed from them and the New Man, that they are in Him, will be birthed also, and though each of them will have a personal relationship with Him, that relationship is not merely individual but includes being members, in particular, of His Body. They are now joined to the Mother-Womb of God.
The next pivotal experience that advances this process is recorded in Jn. 20: 22 where we read that He breathed on them and said "Receive the Holy Spirit" and their prepared spirits having been made spiritually fertile by His declaration that the Spirit is with them, now conceive and Christ is about to be born, this time, from the Jerusalem above, the Church, our mother (Gal. 4:26), our mother, for what comes forth from her is the new creation that we are in Him (II Cor. 5:17).
He BREATHED on them which conveys the truth of Him giving them life. He breathed ON them which coveys the truth that their regenerated spirits are now, not only impregnated, but also being "strengthened with might in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in (their) hearts by faith...." (Eph. 3:16,17). The Spirit breathed forth, speaks of the giving of life (see Gen. 2:7) and the Spirit coming on, speaks of enabling power. (See Judges. 14:6.)
There must be the conception and the enabling to carry the Child to full term. So begins the period of spiritual gestation as they wait to give birth to Christ in His enlarged Body. The day of Pentecost comes; Christ is to come again, in them, AND HE DOES! The Child comes forth from the corporate womb and Christ has come again to dwell among men in a Body, the Body of Christ, the Church.
He came in the Spirit to be conceived in them and He came to Jerusalem that day born of them and He continued to do what he began to do, previous to His death and resurrection, but this time in them, again preaching the kingdom of heaven, healing the sick, casting out demons, preaching the gospel to the poor, proclaiming deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, trodden and proclaiming the favorable day of the Lord (Is. 61:1-2; Lk. 4:18-19).
What happened following the day of Pentecost was the infant corporate Christ in action. Understand this; it was the Christ relative to the first-fruits, the earnest, down payment of the Spirit. He is yet to be seen relative to all the fulness of God, filling the Church (Eph. 3:19) and a Church which has "(grown) up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ," a Church which has grown up to be "a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13,15 NAS).
When the Spirit is poured out in 7-fold intensity and completeness, described in scripture as the seven Spirits of God (Rev. 4:5), then, without qualification, we shall do the greater works that He promised and the coming, presence, unveiling, appearing, manifestation of Christ will be consummated. Heed the prophetic warning: many who are students of the Bible will be taken by surprise at His coming, as you are beginning to understand that coming in these lessons thus far. They will be occupied with outward, earthly, political, economic signs, which have their place, but in themselves they will never bring one to a mature understanding and preparedness for His coming. They will be found in short supply of the Spirit and unable to richly participate in that appearing.
If I sense His leading correctly we will, in coming installments, look at how our multidimensional relationship unfolds in the light that He has, is, and will continue to come and that we, His Church, are individually and corporately in different places in that relationship, so that until His coming/presence is fully seen, we may experience various aspects at any one time in our life. I hope to look at this with you who stay with me to the end of our study as it pertains to our experience of Christ within us individually and our experience of Him in our relationship with others.
John R Gavazzoni
While conversing with my webmaster, proofreader, editor and very close friend, Jan Antonsson, regarding the final corrections and adjustments to be made on this second lesson, her husband Lenny, my old Buddy and resident mystic of our circle of friends, got on the phone and told me that he just had to ask me a question.
He wondered why I had chosen to use the word "in" when speaking of the kingdom's relationship to earth, as opposed to "on." (I forgot to mention to him at that point that in the original draft I referred to the kingdom coming TO the earth before changing to "IN"). He had checked it out and found that in the literal Greek, it is "on" and in most other translations other than the KJ, "on" is used.
Lenny went on to say that though He had verified that fact, the use of "in" in the article felt good in his spirit since we know that the kingdom does come in the earth that we are. I told him that I wanted to let his observations "simmer" in my spirit and see what the Lord might open up to me. (What feels good in Lenny's spirit is usually pretty unerring).
The following came during a time of meditation which consisted of the Lord reminding me of a simple truth He had clarified in my thinking some time ago:
In matters relating to the kingdom of God and that kingdom being expressed by us, "on" springs out of "in" so that the latter is the natural issue of the former.
Allow me to explain: On the day of Pentecost the disciples were "clothed with power from on high" (Lk. 24:49 NAS), Paul exhorts believers to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 13:14), and on the Mount of Transfiguration the inner quality of the Christ's life so shone forth from Him that it clothed Him with His Father's glory. That which is on high (that which transcends our earthiness) comes on us or is put on us from within us.
Spiritual reality comes to us from within us and is declared to be in us at the point where it (He) begins to make Himself subjectively real. From there, as we progress in the experience of what we have within, the Spirit moves outward to give expression to Christ in all the earth. This will find its fullest expression in the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19). It had always troubled me to read Paul's exhortation to "put on," which sounded so external until I understood this beautiful and simple principle.
Remember Jesus had already imparted the Spirit to the disciples when He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit" prior to Pentecost, so that the power from on high that filled them and clothed them and filled the room in which they sat came from within them, from their regenerated spirits which became the converging point of heaven and earth, time and eternity.
Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.
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