The Coming of the Lord Part 3
John R Gavazzoni
Thousand Oaks, CA
Our God is a God who comes and a God who is present (Greek, Parousia,meaning coming; presence). He comes to us. HE is present with us. His purpose is to be with us in closest proximity, that is, in us, and in us, to come to others. He is a God with a passionate commitment to incarnation.
His incarnating impulse does not arise only because of the need to save, but was present as a driving purpose before salvation was an issue. His saving acts reveal the lengths to which He will go to carry out His purpose of incarnation. J. Preston Eby has said, and I quote, "God projected Himself out of Himself that He might be Himself in another dimension and He did this by His Word" End quote.
The whole dimension of time, space and matter is a dimension of the very substance of God projected out of Himself to create another all in which He can be all. In that dimension He incarnates Himself in human flesh, projecting not only His substance, but His very Person into this other dimension. Again to quote brother Eby, but not necessarily word perfect; "God, who was once all, created another all, in which He might be all in all."
Within the universe, which is created out of the substance of God, He incarnates in all the fulness of His personhood in Christ. For instance, A tree and in fact the entire cosmos, comes from His substance, but the man Jesus of Nazareth was the complete embodiment, not only of His substance, but of His Person. That is why the Lord Jesus could say that, "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (Jn. 14:9).
The idea of creation "ex nihilo," that is, "out of nothing," is a theological hypothesis that has no biblical support. It was imagined by early church fathers as a philosophical alternative to pantheism, but it created more problems than it was intended to solve. I hope that the reader can discern that we have avoided the errors of pantheism without stopping short of presenting the whole truth.
The guiding light in scripture concerning the nature and origin of all things is found in Rom. 11:36. The following is what I understand to be the best translation: "For out from the midst of Him and through the midst of Him and into the midst of Him are all things." (My very appreciative thanks to Jonathan Mitchell for that very studied translation).
He who expresses Himself in all creation brought forth the zenith of His self-revelation in the Person of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,who came to earth by being born, because the reason for His coming was to reveal the Father to us and the Father is just that, a Father, who, by nature, can only be revealed as such by birthing the perfect Image of Himself into our world in the Person of Jesus Christ, so that we might know His nature, the nature of a family kind of God. He did this not only from His Fatherhood but in union with the Motherhood inherent in the Fatherhood----and His coming and presence is always consistent with this principle.
He came initially through an earthly mother of single-personed embodiment, Mary, and came again through an earthly mother of multiple-personed embodiment, the church, in both instances by/in the Holy Spirit. In both cases God brings the earthly element into participation with His own Fatherhood and Motherhood. Beyond amazement is the fact that the coming of the Lord is not by interplanetary travel but through the birth canal; and again, we remind the reader that you cannot stay with us without thoroughly absorbing the material in lessons one and two.
I have spoken in past lessons about our multidimensional relationship to the Lord and only touched on the Bridegroom/Bride aspect of that relationship. It becomes obvious that Bridegroom and Bride are a birthed extension of Mother and Father as the nature of the God Family unfolds in the economy of God. I have often meditated on this and could not avoid the conclusion that there has been some confusion about the distinction in these living pictures of our God even in some of the best teaching.
I was reluctant to accept that conclusion since I had learned so much through those who, I nevertheless sensed, did not have a final word on the matter and my heart had a yearning for greater understanding. So now I will give the final word on the subject. (Just kidding folks, just kidding; I'm really very humble, just ask me). My mother is my mother, not my bride; and my bride is my bride, not my mother. I kept coming back to that simple fact. Christ is first birthed from Father/Mother God, and then reveals His divine nature by taking a bride who is intrinsic to His Person, just like His Father, for as the express image of the Divine Nature, He reveals His Parentage thusly. I really, really was joking, dear ones, about having any final word.But something precious is coming out of my spirit and I may find out that someone else has already said it and said it better (bummer).
Our first relationship has to do with bearing Christ within and birthing Him who includes in Himself our true self in identification with Him. Sonship comes forth from Fatherhood/Motherhood and as Sonship emerges we move toward the Bridegroom/Bride relationship. There is the spiritual equivalent of the natural nine months of childbearing where all else takes subordinate place to the growth of the Child in the womb.
Sooner or later, all other otherwise normal spiritual activity must yield to the priority of paying full attention to becoming "great with Child," to Christ being formed in us (see Gal. 4:19). Overt religious activity is displaced by quiet, secluded communion with the One who knows that the Son(s) cannot deliver creation without that maternal body in whose womb the Son(s) grow(s) and finally come(s) to this world through this birth process.
I hope that this little halting, stammering word will help encourage and give comfort to those who are in this place and sometimes wonder why they must be still while others are busy doing what seems to be such important kingdom work. When one is in this place, this time of spiritual gestation is paramount in the value system of heaven.There is no way to sidestep this experience, and it cannot be rushed.
Within the Church this is constantly occurring; the impregnation, conception and carrying to term of the Christ who is in union with our spirits. Fatherhood, Motherhood and Sonship are always a dynamic at work from heaven, but operating horizontally among us who are His. One can on one occasion be impregnating, yet on another occasion be conceiving. Also, in terms of leadership, apart from spiritual impregnation, it has been noted that when God spoke of the promise of birth He spoke to Mary, but when it was a matter of protecting mother and Child He spoke to Joseph.
We are all, in some way, and at some time, participants in one or another of these aspects. In our relationship to the Lord and to one another, we need those gender-complete life elements of conceiving surrender, availability and reception and at the same time impregnating assertive pursuit, penetration. And, when called upon to give some leadership in the fellowship of the saints, like Joseph, our focus needs to be intently on the primacy of a safe, healthy Christ-gestation and birth. But I hasten to add that natural gender has little to do with these dynamics.
May I say that if you are called upon to "submit," yield and surrender and live in relative quietness, this has nothing to do with position in the kingdom; it has everything to do with participating in that which is a rich element in the nature of God. Does not the cross of our Lord reveal the excellence and necessity of such elements within the nature of God? And are not the early, quiet years of the Lord Jesus a testimony to the cultivation of life within while the needy, outside world seemed to demand that He give it His attention.
We don't want to be foolish in drawing parallels between the natural and the spiritual. But, I must point out that, with all the glory of bearing a living person within your body, it is accompanied by morning sickness, feelings of being unattractive, extreme discomfort, being all out of shape and severe limitations. Of course, as a man I know all about these things (quit snickering ladies).
I can say as a father of three lovely daughters that their mother had a special beauty during pregnancy which any discerning eye could not help but notice. The Holy Spirit may help you to extrapolate as to the parallels between the natural and spiritual dimensions, and if so,I believe you will discover with me that it is by nature the same, but also with characteristic distinctions. I think we will save that for part four of our study.
Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.
E Mail John
To contact John send email to: John R. Gavazzoni For more writings by John : Click Here...For His Web Site
Or you can write by (snail mail) to:
John R Gavazzoni
758 N. Woodlawn Dr.,
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360.