John Gavazzoni
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The Gavazzonis'

The One Spirit's Homecoming
By John Gavazzoni

As per their unique place in the body of Christ, some of God's people have been driven by the Spirit to seek the hidden riches that are to be found exactly where seeming contradiction is most striking. With them, being faced with the same, becomes instrumental in the Spirit dragging them into divinely-compelled contemplation. They simply cannot gloss over such issues. Even if they should attempt to evade what seems to be a glaring contradiction, the Spirit of Truth will not allow it.

At times, and often cyclically so, they grow weary of the reasoning process involved, as the mind of the flesh intrudes with its egotistic attempt to lay claim to, as I like to call it, figuring out God, and they actually will reach the point of almost, if not completely resigning from their calling. But the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, and they are shortly confronted by the fact that God has refused to accept their resignation.

Very representative of the seeming contradictions that can trigger the dilemma I've described above, is the fact that one apostolic writer, Paul, emphasizes the truth of there being One Spirit, as integral to the oneness listing in his Epistle to the Ephesians, yet another writer, John, cautions us to test the spirits to discern which ones are of God, in his first epistle.

The really acute intellectual dilemma lies not in there being both One Spirit, and more than one spirit, for it ought not to be too difficult to grasp that God, who is Spirit, is the Father of spirits. The One Spirit of God; the One Spirit which is God, is a conceiving Mother, and begetting Father, who multiplies Their Oneness in/as many. The One becomes many, yet the many are One. We, of course see this clearly in the Body of Christ, which has many members, but the many members are one body.

The intellectual tension lies in the fact that scripture not only affirms One Spirit and many spirits, but that among the many spirits, there are those that are alienated and alienating, hostile and hostility-producing spirits. That is, they suffer alienation from God, and are always at work to draw men into their dehumanizing spiritual vortex.

Thus we are faced with the actuality of the One Spirit, which is God, suffering an existential tearing-apart, a disconnecting fragmentation. Now that's one of those "I- refuse-to go-there," "too-hot-to-handle" issues for most Christians. Or they simply settle for conventional, dumbing-down answers, which are not answers at all.

Paul adds further cause for either deeper probing on the part of some, or "I-don't-want-to-have-to-think-about-it" by others, when in 1 Corinthians 15, he writes: "And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all."

Obviously, according to this supremely important section of scripture, there is a subjecting of the Son to the Father that, in the eonian sphere, is awaiting completion. How can that be? Well, you see, since the Son lives within the eons in a condition of absolute solidarity with all creation - since all creation is constituted by the stuff of His Sonship in the many sons of God - the absolute final subjecting of the Son to the Father will be fulfilled concurrent with all creations subjection, for it is in creaturehood's suffering experience, that sonship learns obedience.

While the eternal, perfect communion between the Father and Son, with the sequential nature of the authority that flows from that communion, remains eternally incorruptible, there has also been a transference of Spirit-substance into eonian existence, in which dimension, the Spirit suffers with the creation that It/He intrinsically constitutes. All disconnecting fragmentation that affects man's relationship with God, and with one another, traces to the suffering of Boundless Being subject to, by some definition, enclosure.

God, being unbounded Spirit, does suffer from His commitment to immanence with His creation, due to its space-time limitations. The eternal Spirit of the I AM God, who is without beginning, and without end, endures beginnings and endings within that sphere, as an experience integral to creation's subjection to futility. Yet every new beginning hints of the eternal Day of the Lord, and every ending suggests that God is the God of consummation.

There has occurred, by God's perfect design, a certain disconnect between eternal Personhood and Its Spirit-substance - the Spirit-substance which He, the eternal ALL, has yielded up - in order to create another all, to which He must and will become ALL in all. As the Spirit yearningly seeks and presses to return home to the unbroken Oneness of the Divine Family, It/He does so from within the present distorted and distorting phase of our creaturehood.

The yearning, pressing, seeking toward home is enveloped by that distortion, and as It presses against the distortion, it suffers distortion. The best I can describe it as the Spirit has pictured it thus far for me, is that it takes the shape of the enveloping distortion of personhood, so that what emerges is the non-person persona of "the man of sin." Only God, from the eternal side, can bring that substance of Himself committed to time and space, back home.

The yearning, seeking, pressing from this side only yields frustrating futility. It cannot get there by a dynamic from this side. It must be BROUGHT home. It cannot, from this side, GET home. It is God rescuing His Godness from that to which He subjected it in solidarity with all creation. Creation yearns, the saints yearn, AND the Spirit yearns ALSO according to Paul in Romans. "Yearning" conveys the thought of the passage more accurately than "groaning."

I've become convinced that a very fundamental error of interpretation has dominated in respect to some of the many places where scripture presents contrasting personas. Much confusion has resulted from assuming that those portions of the Bible are speaking of the individual Peter in contrast to the individual Paul, or Susy, in contrast to Sally, when in fact, they are two personas stuck together within the same skin - one of true personhood, and the other of a distorted persona that is really anti-person, anti-Christ, anti-Son of Man.

It is "the man of sin," the man TRYING to get home, but always missing the mark. I believe, for instance, that the two in the same bed, and the two working in the same field, presented in Jesus' parable, one taken, and the other left, are examples of what I'm suggesting. One is taken in purging, corrective judgment, to be renewed and reMEMBERED to the One who was left, as that One who, by nature is bound for the glory from which He came.

The prophetically powerful theologian, Karl Barth, saw this clearly. At the very outer limits of our best attempts to get back home, we come to a vast, unbridgeable chasm. There, at its edge, we meet the NO of God. No further progress toward home is possible. What a blessed place to arrive at. No way around the chasm, no going down into it from this side, and out of it to the other side.

As awful as it is, it is finally the place of rest, the place where we can be shown that already on the other side, we have been brought home in Christ. The Father who sent His Son into this world, and Who was in Him as He went, has brought Him back to the glory of home, and we dare say, has come home Himself, and brought us all back with Him, the Reality to be manifested in due time.

Dear ones, please understand this: The spiritual journey that we preach and teach about, and try to explain to one another, is first God's journey, with us in tow. Deity fulfilling itself through the crucible of contrarian subjugation. Please don't get angry with me, by suggesting that the wisdom of the saying, "absence makes the heart grow fonder," gives us a peek into the Passion of Christ, into the deepest implications of the Christ event.

John GavazzoniJohn Gavazzoni
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