Etrnal Son(s) Part Three
John R Gavazzoni
Thousand Oaks, CA
As sons of God, we, with our Elder Brother, are partakers of the divine nature. God eternally knows Himself within Himself and in that communion there occurs impregnation, conception and multiple births as that Divine birthing finds extension in the Only-Begotten of the Father with His Bride. Let us never forget that the First-born is unique; for He, and He alone, singly sums up in Himself the fulness of the Godhead and did "in the fulness of the time" (Gal 4:4), sum up that fulness in an earthen body. He is the uniquely begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:14,17). He is the singular Seed of Father God.
We are begotten also of the same Father, but in and through the singular Seed of sonship, Christ; and our sonship in Him is confirmed by our Lord's enthralling words, "My Father and your Father..." (Jn. 20:17, and by the witness of the Spirit with our spirit that we are the children of God. Since He is the exact representation of Deity and the radiance of divine glory, as the singular expression of all that God is, He is the living repository of the seeds which eternally existed in the Seed to which He owes His eternal Being. Selah!
Yes, our Father/Mother God has birthed many sons who include in themselves His daughters, but none of those many sons, singly, are the complete reproduction, without qualification, of the One who dwells in unapproachable light, Who is Love, Light, Life and Reality and Who alone can say, I AM. All the sons of God owe their sonship to the One who was and is inclusive of all His many brethren.
In a word, all the many sons proceed out from the same Father, but only through THE First-born Son. The many children together are the fulness of the First-born who is the fulness of the Father (Col. 1:19). That is why the great new covenant promises, if understood rightly, can only be fully fulfilled in all their fulness corporately.
Don't be misled brethren, though the Lord is leading many of us into precious, intimate communion alone with Him, away from the distractions of men's opinions and values, if that vertical communion does not flesh itself out horizonatlly as the communion of the saints, there will be severe restrictions on the depth of that relationship. I hope you know that I'm not speaking of a communion with one another that amounts to little more than sitting in pews hearing someone tell us ABOUT our Father and Elder Brother, but a communion that fulfills the prayer of Jesus that we be one as He and the Father are one (Jn. 10:30).
The wilderness is not the only place where sonship is tested. It is brought to the test when our flesh clashes with the flesh of others, when personality conflicts would suppress and bury the essential unity that is ours in Christ, when we desire, not the peace that comes from love that bears all things, but the false peace that desires only a soulish agreement that will not disturb us into spiritual growth. Separating our selves from spiritual Babylon is one thing; isolating ourselves from those who "aren't our kind" and retreating into little mutual admiration societies is another.
Having shared about the nature of our sonship, I must try, as God enables me, to minister something of life and understanding concerning the synthesis of those two dimensions of our life, I.e., sonship and creaturehood. As I've written before, we are the fruit of His loins, AND the work of His hands. With Christ, we are born, not of blood nor of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God (Jn. 1:13), but we are also divinely crafted creatures of dust in a material world and poor theology always emphasizes one at the expense of the other.
We are not only sons of pure, eternal spirit-origin in Christ, but we are also "His workmanship created in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:10), and this was included in Father's eonion purpose when we were "chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4). Very few things have so driven me to long and intense meditation as has this dual reality. From the eternal base of our God's enjoyment of His family, sprang forth a desire to make us creatures of flesh in a dimension of utter otherness.
And we dare not treat this desire of God lightly, for He is a Father of perfect love and wisdom, who saw fit to create a material universe and insert us into it---in like materiality--- out from the glory which we enjoy with Him eternally. In fact, our earthenness IS the glory of God, but glory incognito for the moment. Since He saw to it that we would become subject to the unimaginable distortions of that universe filled with all that was alien to our being in Him, and for all that perversion to penetrate deeply our earthen substance, THEN HE MUST BE UP TO SOMETHING SO SUBLIME, SO ENRAPTURING, SO GLORIOUS AND SO BEYOND OUR ABILITY TO CONCEIVE that it will cause the suffering, agony and soul-tearing experiences of this life to be as nothing in the balance.
Brother Bill Green, my pastor, and I were fellowshipping about this and I brought up the question, why? Brother Green said quite casually but with quiet confidence, "He wanted a body." He wanted a body. Did you hear that? God desired a body. We, in the name of spirituality, are always bemoaning the problems and limitations associated with having a body and all the while our God wants one.
Now I don't expect that this statement will answer all your questions that I may have stirred up, but I assure you that when you get your answers, right at the heart of your understanding will be the fact that God desired a body. He won't, of course, be satisfied with the human body as it presently is, but know this, that He has no inclination at all to dispense with it but to glorify Himself in a body. In fact, He already has. The Word became flesh (Jn. 1:14), our very kind of flesh, and dwelt among us and endured what he did in order that He might return to the glory of His Father with a body that was as glorious as God Himself.
He did just that and brought us along with Him and now we sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6), not as disembodied spirits who are happy to be rid of our bothersome earthenness, not as those who are unclothed but rather clothed with the Reality of the fulness of God as it emanates from within our innermost man, clothing us in that emanation and filling all the universe which has been waiting for us to wake up to who we truly are.
In the process of sons becoming earthen, "creaturely," Adamic men, man had to be made a living soul. [And don't look down on that which is Adamic/human, for our Lord was pleased to take unto Himself the titles, "Second Man" (I Cor. 15:47), and "Last Adam" (Vs. 45), not merely to get us out of a jam but because that was His purpose before sin and death were even an issue].
Already eternally existent sons had to be crafted/carved out of dust and then that crafted dust was made to be a living soul by the breath of the Almighty. Suddenly man had a different kind of consciousness. In the realm of sonship, God awareness precedes all else. Sons are focused on, intent on, and taken up with the wonder of their Dad, and whatever kind of self-awareness sons have, it is within that intense occupation of seeing Dad as He is and then from that we know as we are known.
Not so with living souls, not so with the "soilish" man. He stands in contrast to his own sonship because he is first and foremost aware of himself, and even as he looks at His maker, his self-consciousness is the context within which he attempts to know God.
Personally, I do not believe that Adam and Eve, before the fall, lived in a profound fellowship with God in the garden. I see no evidence of it in scripture. I find Paul saying that the first man was of the earth, earthy (I Cor. 15:47). He was "soilish."
He had all the capacity to become the Second Man--of the heavens, heavenly--- but in the created dimension, he was merely gloriously natural. In the natural, he was a wonder, but he was natural, no more. No more, that is, except in the depths of his still-unknown primal nature. He was not yet fallen, but also not yet spiritual. He did not yet know that the Second Man was His inner-man Reality. The coming/presence/appearing of the Second Man, the Last Adam, was that revelation. Adam stood out in all of creation as unique, the federal head of all creation, who at that point in time (I said, that point in TIME), was, as they say, clueless.
I've heard it taught by men who have my deepest respect, that Adam and Eve were clothed in the light of the glory of God and that's why they were ashamed after they sinned, because they lost that light covering. Now let's think carefully about that. Doesn't the account in Genesis tell us that they were naked before they sinned, and that they were not ashamed? Did you get that, naked; that means no covering, no clothing of any kind, and after they sinned they SAW that they were naked and were ashamed. (I tend to see their original created body as transluscent, but not yet clothed in the light of glory).
What happened? What changed? Let me explain to you the kind of pristine, natural consciousness, including a super-sharp intuition, that natural Adam had before sin corrupted him. I will be referring to him but I'm including, of course, Eve as part of him. He had a pristine intuition, a subconscious understanding that his physical form was made to wear the light of God. How cognitive that knowledge was we don't know, but you can be sure that he intuited that his bodily form was something wonderful and wonderful for something.
After he sinned, that knowledge was contaminated by darkness, by the lie and accusations of the traducer, and as a living soul, encumbered by self-consciousness, he could not know the divine perspective by which he was foreknown and predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ, he couldn't know that he was called and justified and glorified in Christ Jesus.
All he was convinced of, was that he was now disqualified for that which he was created for and he was ashamed. A great abyss separated his sonship from his creaturehood, an abyss that only our Savior could cross and make the two one, creating a new heaven and new earth.
In the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life represents what is needed to transition from natural to spiritual, not to mention sinful to spiritual. The sinful aspect simply makes the need profoundly greater. It is only in the intimate knowledge of, and communion with, our Heavenly Father that the light of His glory will so shine forth from us that we will be clothed in that glory. There is no evidence in the Bible record that our physical parents ever ate of that tree.
I may, in another study, attempt to shine some light on why they so quickly fell to the temptation to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and yet had no inclination to eat of the Tree of Life when it was among those that they were expressly given permission to partake of and the only other tree mentioned by name. But that is a whole subject in itself.
For now, we need to see the meaning of the Tree of Life. John 17:3 takes us to the heart of it. "And this is life eternal (eonion) that they might know thee, the only true God and (or even) Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" (Jn. 17:3). Here we see the purpose and function of eternal life in our experience. We are given eternal life for the purpose of knowing the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the communion of that knowing to show forth His glory.
Had they eaten of that tree, God-knowledge inherent in the breath of life that had made them living souls, would have penetrated from their spirits into their souls bringing the knowledge of God, and their bodies would have expressed the state of their souls, that of union with God. Eternal life---or more accurately--aionian life is Christ Himself, the eternal One, coming into the age to make the Father known to us. So that verse shows us that the function of Christ is to bring us to glorify the Father.
In the wisdom of God, He created a dimension of utter otherness from our sonship, a dimension vulnerable to self-alienation from our Son-nature, so as to confront us with unbearable ambiguity and tension. Those who have learned to plumb the depths of the meaning of scripture have discarded many of the things we assumed for years to be elementary and fundamental doctrine. One such doctrine is the theological hypothesis that God created all things out of nothing.
I will not go into great detail to refute that but will simply repeat what we've noted before and that is that before anything was created there was only God. God was all. There was no nothing from which to create anything. God created all things from the substance of Himself, Spirit, the real underlying substance, content and energy of all things, the energy that science now tells us is the essence of all things.
Some will quickly dissent and cry, "that's pantheism." No, that's panENtheism (God in all things without all things being God). God made all things out of His substance but He did not transfer to all things His Being and His Personhood. You can actually transfer human organs from one person to another but that doesn't mean that you have transferred the human soul.
So the Lord God fashioned a universe from His substance and made his sons part of that material universe without their losing the essential heavenly place and character of being sons. While we are still in this in-part season of our understanding it is difficult to understand that it is necessary for this dichotomy to occur; but separation is a necessary part of the unfolding of union.
Union is just that, union---two becoming one; much more sublime than simple monism. Out of One comes another. so that the other can come back into union with the One. Marriage is at the heart of divine mystery and that anotherness must be further accentuated by the introduction of evil. When rupture of this nature occurs, there arises such a force of divine love and such a creaturely craving, that rupture is transformed into rapture.
It is the awful, momentary deprivation of the soul's deepest desire that culminates in the orgasmic union of spirit and soul. He who is Life itself, through the sheer force of love, embraces the fallen one and in spite of how repugnant her corruption and death is, in His embrace, she (the soul) is transformed and surrenders all to Him forever. Following this embrace, the flesh is drawn into the vortex of love and through it, all of creation, resulting in a new heaven and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness (right relationship).
A final word: When we speak of the restitution or restoration of all things, we need to be reminded that God's intention is not merely to restore us to the Edenic condition but to restore us to that place in order to proceed to the fulfillment of the eternal purpose which placed us there. Restoration includes the idea of reconstitution.
Man moves from pure spirit sonship to an earthen dimension of existence, and then is reconstituted in his earthenness so that he retains his humanity but in a reconstituted state. As our Lord, the Pattern Son now sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high as the glorified Son of Man, so we, in Him, undergo a reconstitution whereby our humanity is married to Deity and the two become One.
If we were simply restored to an Edenic condition, we would still be mortal and corruptible. Before the fall, Adam and Eve were not corrupt, but they were corruptIBLE, else they could not have been corrupted. In our reconstituted unity with our Father there will be, there is, no place, no possibility of the intrusion of sin and death again. Christ shall have MADE us to be what Eve had vainly TRIED to be--- as God. The mystery of iniquity has to do with man attempting to do by independent assertion of his will what God has already predetermined to grant him by grace in Christ.
Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.
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John R Gavazzoni
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