John R Gavazzoni
Thousand Oaks, CA
The following is a follow-up to the last article titled, "Futility," posted on our web page. This message, as Paul Harvey would say, is "the rest of the story." I am a preacher of the good news, and though the previous article did point toward the glorious, positive issue proceeding from futility, it may have left some readers with a kind of bitter taste, so I now want to sweeten things considerably. Nevertheless, I hope you'll understand as we proceed together, that fulfillment cannot be presented robustly without including the element of futility.
I will say, though, that the readers I heard from, were greatly encouraged by the assurance of the gloriously divine dynamic in the believer's experience of futility. I don't think it's necessary (duh) to trace the etymology of the words, "fulfill," "fulfilled," "fulfilling," and "fulfillment," to conclude that to be fulfilled essentially means to be filled full.
He who is fulfilled has been filled full. He who has been filled full is fulfilled. A professor of theology teaching a class on the eonian purpose of God might well open the first session by writing on the chalkboard, "God, by nature, is the great Filler, and we, by nature, are the fillees. Write that in your notebook and refer to it regularly for the duration of the course."
Corrupted Christianity has made shunning hell and gaining heaven the central, overriding concern of its adherents. But scripture clearly reveals that the central, overriding passion of God is to "fill all things," a passion that fuels the predestination of all things generally, and to that end, especially and particularly, the predestination of the Head of all things which is glorified Humanity as it has been been and is perfectly modeled by our Lord Jesus Christ and His body, the ecclesia.
How gross, how pathetic, how ignorant and utterly without insight and sensitivity is the prevailing notion that what God is up to is gathering together a relatively few faithful to enjoy eternal bliss with Him in heaven and, for the rest; well, in a word, "to hell with you."
When I deal with fellow believer's who are still chained in the darkness of that lie, I generally am very patient and longsuffering in our dialogue, remembering that I, too, was once where they are. But know this, as to where I am coming from ultimately: THAT'S THE STUPIDEST AND MOST MONSTROUS IMAGINATION TO WHICH THE MIND OF MAN HAS EVER BEEN SUBJECTED.
The prophet boldly decared that God will have all His good pleasure, and it is His good pleasure to fill all things. On the way to the absolute fulfillment of filling everything, God begins with an elect family-community and fills them with the Holy Spirit. Now, what the scripture is referring to when it speaks of the experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit is an experience short of the final absolute. It is relative to our present constricted capacity. Our God-given must-be-activated by-grace-capacity for measureless fulness awaits God's activation.
We have been, even in our creaturehood, capacitated to be "filled with all the fullness of God," but we presently are out of touch with that measureless vesselship. (I love to invent new words) God shall release our capacity for measureless fullness by His grace so that, as Paul prayed, we shall "be filled with all the fullness of God." How will He do this? By the emptying that draws fullness to itself out of itself.
Ever wonder much about what the theologions call "the kenosis," the self-emptying of Christ as spoken of in Paul's epistle to the Philippians? Wow! What a subject. Few truths afford us such a breath-catching peek into the divine nature as does the self-emptying of the Son of God.
From whence cometh this quality so intrinsic to the life of the Son of God? Why, from the life of His Father of course, as all things pertaining to the Son originate. From whom did the Son learn self-emptying? Are you prepared to receive this? From the self-emptying source of all fullness, God, the Father.
Have you noticed what a primary metaphor for the life of God in Christ flowing water is. "A well of water springing up." "Rivers of living water." "The pure river of water of life. The life of God is not stagnant. It is continuously and eternally springing up and flowing. Is there a divine mechanism involved in the freshness and spontaneity of the life of God and His life in His Son(s)?
Yes indeed! God is always drawing forth from His depths all fulness by emptying Himself; yet He is never empty, for in the eternal moment of self-emptying He is instantaneously and freshly filled. Selah. Where is the depository of His self-emptying? It is not a "where," it is a Who; His Son. The Father eternally empties Himself into His Son and is always replenishing Himself out of the depths of His own fullness, the fullness of "I AM." Like Father, like Son.
The Son is continuously emptying Himself into His brethren, into the ecclesia, which is, as the recipient of the Son's fullness, "the fullness of Him that filleth all in all." Now when the eternal moment of emptying and replenishing is slowed down into aeonian time there appears to be often an agonizing time-lag between emptiness and fullnes....."My God, my God why hast thou forsaken Me."
We have not, until recently, considered that this might be at the heart of the mechanism of being made "partakers of the divine nature." We have not understood that the experiences of futility, frustration, vanity and vacuity were fullness happening. God is eternally poured out and His Son and His saints likewise.
All creation, witnessing the revealing of the sons of God, follows in this divine sequence so that every particle of matter is at the same time being emptied so as to be filled by others and, in turn, filling others. I think to the eye of a mystic, it would appear as a beautiful dance, as poets have described it.
Do not despise the self-emptying, dear saints. You've been invited to dance with God.Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.
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John R Gavazzoni
758 N. Woodlawn Dr.,
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360.