John Gavazzoni
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The Gavazzonis'

Life, Death and Resurrection
Parts One, Two, Three,
Four, Five and Six
By John Gavazzoni

Life, death and resurrection have been gathered together, summed up, and brought to their predestined glory in the Person of our Lord, Jesus Christ. This One, God's One, who from eternity, has had the many within Him, brings forth the many, as many yet one, out from within Himself so that the many increase His embodiment of the fullness of the Godhead.

The above, I have the boldness to declare, expresses , without serious, fundamental flaw, the eonian purpose of God. Yet it cannot be fully appreciated without understanding just what life, death and resurrection ARE. I've become aware of late (and that especially in dialogue with my dear friend Jonathan Mitchell, who has written very edifyingly on the subject himself) that we have improperly assumed that the meaning and nature of life, death and resurrection are, without need of any deep reflection, self-evident.

Take life, for instance: We assume that we know what it means to have life, to be alive. What kind of answers might be forthcoming if we were to ask of people, "What do you mean, when you say that you have life, that you're alive? At the crudest level, the response might be something like, "Well, I have life, because I'm not dead yet." Or "That's a dumb question, can't you see that I'm breathing, conscious, and moving about, so obviously I have life; I'm alive."

Such answers would expose the fact that the person has never considered just what life IS. They are aware of signs of their existence, and they call those signs the signs of life, without knowing its relationship to the ultimate reality which is love. The nature of everyTHING, beneath its present eonian affliction, is love, and is an integral expression of love. So it is with life.

If we lay the uniqueness of Paul's expression of revelation, over John's---or vice versa--- the former, by comparison, tending toward the more explicit, with the latter, toward the more implicit, a picture of what life is begins to form for our understanding.

Consider Paul's benediction: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all," No mention of life there---interesting, isn't it? One might expect in that benediction and others that end several of his epistles, a clear highlighting of Christ as our life which is certainly an important feature of what the Lord has spoken to us through that apostle.

Yet, if we understand what goes on eternally within the Godhead, that particular benediction virtually shouts "Life to you out from within God." For you see, God's love for His Son, which is the source of our Lord's graciousness, comes to the Son from the Father by the communion of the Holy Spirit, and THAT is what life IS. Life is love communing, and grace is always the result, the issue, the outflowing.

As for John's contribution, the above is at the very heart of the anointing that he said we all have from the Father. The anointing of the Holy Spirit brings us into the dynamic of the relationship within the Godhead. Love is eternally active within God by the communion of the Holy Spirit, and becomes the grace of God to us in the Person of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

There's a strong association of life as flow in scripture from Genesis to Revelation springing up, flowing like a river:

"I've got a river of life flowing out of me.
Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see.
Opens prisons doors, sets the captives free.
I've got a river of life flowing out of me."

The flow of life; the flow which IS life, is God's gift to us of sharing in the Divine Nature, AND sharing in the Divine Nature being the Divine Nature within the Divine Nature. What flows out to us from the Father, and comes to us in the Son, as the Life-giving Spirit, flows out to us because it first flows within God. If our spiritual experience is not rooted in the inner experience of God, it has no validity. As proper as it may appear, it has no root in reality.

Life, Death and Resurrection, Part Two

Addressing God's purpose for man in various formal Christian catechisms, some version of the following is stated: "The purpose of man is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever." In our first article in this series, I made reference to the intersecting of Pauline and Johannine thought in scripture. In the matter of the meeting of their thoughts in respect to God's purpose for man---the place man has been given in the convergence of God's eternal and eonian purpose---the matter of knowing is quite evident.
[As an aside, I hope the reader will reflect upon the fact that true saving faith is only possible, and can only proceed in its growth, as it is founded upon God first granting true knowledge. Though faith may sometimes FEEL like a leap into the unknown, it had better not be, or it is not "the faith of Christ."]

John believes it to be of great importance for believers to understand that they are possessed of a knowing by the anointing they have within, which they have received of the Father. He, among the writers of the four gospels, highlights Jesus' explanation of what eonian life is, i.e., ".....that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." Paul, on his part, is passionate in his desire that his fellow saints might know the fullest dimensions of Christ and His love, by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.

We live in an age of glorifying scientific knowledge. Science is based upon the discipline of restricting what is deemed to be true by observing consistency of action and reaction within the micro and macro of the physical universe. Science insists that it cannot allow itself assumptions that cannot be verified in a test tube, under a microscope, or through a telescope. It allows for hypothetical extrapolation based upon those observations to build theoretical systems re: the workings of the material world.

Once a theory has been proposed, scientists set about to confirm the theory through continuing observation to make certain that, when tested, it is always proves to be true. Of course, institutional science is rife with what amounts to religious bias and politically-correct agendas in the real world of applying the perceived findings of science to real life. Things really get fuzzy in the realm of quasi-sciences such as the so-called science of sociology, which is essentially a communist invention.

The kind of knowing that science exalts cannot reach the level of the absolute. It is always faced with having to tweak its findings and conclusions. The greatest minds in the field of science have to continuously---if they are honest and devoted fact-seekers---revise what was once considered to be sacrosanct within their general ranks.

But in the family of God, there is such a thing as absolute knowing. Paul and John are certainly in agreement on that issue. That absolute knowing IS life. Everyone who has received the regenerating resurrection life of Christ In the Spirit, has touched this knowing, whereupon the flesh lusts to come in on the coattails of the experience and build an edifice of misunderstanding to contain the knowing.

This knowing which is life, is first THE knowing that abides within the Godhead. It is, as the original Greek of the New Testament makes clear, a kind of knowing that belongs to the realm of communing intimacy. It goes far beyond mere intellectual concept, and is at its heart a sharing of Being, an enjoyment of the absoluteness of loving, and being loved.

Absolute love, absolutely known within God, is the life of, and life to the members of the God-family. When the communion of the saints is rightly aligned to the communion of the Holy Spirit, the heavenly condition has become earth's condition, and the knowledge of the glory of the Lord begins to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. "Glory" sums up the dynamic I have hoped to look into with my readers.

When some spiritual word or action "becomes life" to you, it is because you have been brought into, and caused to connect with the communion of the Holy Spirit which is the interacting of the love of God, and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ within the Divine Nature. As the new man is conceived within us leading to a full birthing from above---being born anew from above by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, it is often described as "I know that I know" by evangelical Christians.

In the earliest days of my walk with the Lord, I was invited to sit in on a visit by some religious cultists, as they were trying to draw a dear aunt of mine into the web of their deceit. I was just a teenager fresh from the experience of Jesus claiming me as His own, and not yet well versed in the scriptural support for my new life in Christ, but my aunt knew that something real had happened to me, and after agreeing with the cultists to allow them to make their pitch to her in her home, she felt that she needed me to be there with her, feeling a bit threatened at the prospect of her very nominal Catholic faith coming under assault.

Well, she and I listened to their pitch, and when they came to the part where they started to---as we say in the field of sales---go into their close, I started to share with them that I'd been "born again." I told them that I knew so. They heard me out, and then went back to their close, upon which I told them again that I absolutely knew that I'd been born again.

I remember it clearly, though that was well over 55 years ago, that they suddenly got all befuddled; didn't know what to say, and seemed to realize that they were facing something that they couldn't counter with any religious argument, until the leader of the three "witnesses" turned to the other two and said, "Maybe he's one of the 144,000." That, I learned later would have made me especially elite among the generally elite.

I bring up that story to underline the truth that there is an experience of knowing, even on the part of someone who is a babe in Christ, that can disarm the most skilled of the enemy's soldiers. Although I no longer equate that first regenerating touch of Christ in our lives as the full experience of being born from above, but rather as the conception-stage of a full birth, I love the words of that old gospel chorus that speaks of the knowing that is life. I hope you'll feel what I'm feeling from this first stanza and chorus:

"I know that I've been born again through matchless grace divine.
The Holy Spirit witness within.
I know that I am now God's child for perfect peace is mine.
And gone at last the heavy load of sin."
"Oh yes I know it; I really know it.
I know that I've been born again.
Oh yes I know it; I really know it.
I know that I've been born again."

We invest a lot of contemplation on doctrinal convictions that are not convictions at all. They're a lot of theory tacked on to that foundational, essential life-giving knowing deep in our spirits.

I'm going to get a little confrontational with you, my brethren, out there in internet-land. You have very little idea of how much of what you consider to be knowing is not really knowing at all. And your connection with what you really do know---what is truly a Spirit formed conviction---is experientially tenuous at best. You lust after a kind of knowing that is --- no knowing. In your unconfessed spiritual insecurity, having itching ears to hear things that will make you feel like you know more than others, you heap to yourselves teachers whose sense of worth comes from your adulation of them. (I think I've just described a primary dynamic of institutional religion.)

John's first epistle is full of THE knowing, and THE life. How beautifully the beloved apostle sums up the knowing that is true knowing, the knowing that is life. He reduces to its essence just what is that knowing that we have by the anointing given to us by the Father, the knowing---and the believing that springs from the knowing---which brings the fellowship of the saints into perfect alignment with the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, with the simple words: 'We know and believe the love God has for us."

In the next installment in this series, I hope to get to the matter of death, for life that does not proceed to, though and out from death, will not be for us, by God's standard, "life, and that more abundantly."

Life, Death and Resurrection, Part Three

Leaving life, let's go on to death----now that's a strange sounding sentence, I must admit, yet life does proceed to death, but thankfully does not end there. As I contemplated writing this third installment in our series, a phrase came to mind, sort of "out of the blue." I'm hoping the phrase will not trigger an impulsive repugnance in the reader's mind, with the reactionary effect of slamming shut your mental door of consideration.

Are you ready? The phrase that peremptorily arrested my attention, just as the presencing of the Lord often does, was: "The Violence of God." Well, you've got to admit that I warned you. So, though fully aware of how the most sublime levels of truth are most vulnerable to abuse, my sense is to proceed boldly for the sake of the importance of introducing what E. Stanley Jones called, "the cross in the heart of God."

Death is the result of the violence of God. I will not attempt to soften that statement. Where there is violence, there is violation, the intention to injure its victim even to death if the passion of violence is extreme. The individual with an unreconciled heart, violates others, claiming justification, often unconsciously, on the basis that he has been violated, or perceives himself so, and unable to resist the spirit-energy of violence, is carried along in its stream becoming a participant in that which he first abhorred.

But with God, His violence is integral to the working of the passion of His love, a love that is quite specifically non-retaliatory, and primally self-inflicting, though, on the unshakeable ground of His divine prerogative, He has chosen to include His family in what He inflicts upon Himself, presenting to the heart the most essential and greatest challenge to faith.

Though certainly, the scriptures teach that sin's consequence is death, there is in the totality of scripture's explanation of the sequential outworking of God's administration, a larger picture opened to us, tracing that sequential operation back to the cause of sin which causes death. And that is the self-inflicting violence of God.

The living God from eternity was determined to violate Himself unto death, and His family with Him. Just a peek into the sequential workings of God reveals that the determination to suffer death is what made a way for sin unto death. It is the presence of predetermined death that provides the stuff for temptation. It is God's taking to Himself His divine prerogative, and acting upon it that man misunderstands, resents, and rebels against.

I have shared with very few brethren how the experience of the spirit of wisdom and revelation operates in me, and it is unique with all of us. Often, I receive a prophetic picture. It doesn't linger long in the mind, just long enough for me to get an inkling that I'm seeing a mystery in picture form. It just happened as I wondered how to proceed from the last paragraph.

It was a picture of compression in confinement increased to the point of explosion. The way the internal combustion engine works became a secondary picture in my mind. I'm no automotive engineer, but I do know that in the cylinders of a car's engine, a mixture of fuel and oxygen are compressed in such a way that when ignited by a spark, an explosion of energy results, that is exploited by the drive train in order to move the car.

When God sent His Son into the world, a world of space/time confinement to the near point of absolute intolerance for an infinite God and those begotten by His infinite Spirit, for God and we were in Christ as He sent His Son into the world; it was the culmination of God's subjecting of Himself, and we, His Spirit-begotten children, to agonizing confinement beginning from the very moment of creation, and consummated in the death of Christ, and the explosion of His resurrection.

Such confinement becomes death, as the eternal reacts to alien, and alienating subjugation. There is a suffering unto death that is involved when eternal transcendence adds eonian immanence to its experience. An element of separation enters, a confinement whereby infinity leads itself into the cell of finiteness, locks the door, and in the alien world of limitation yearns painfully for home.

The hymn writer seemed only to be aware of the human experience when he composed these stirring words:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound by sin and nature's night.
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I rose, the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose went forth and followed Thee.

Surely we can could make that our testimony of arising out of death by the life-giving light of the living God in Christ. But dear ones, as I've written and spoken re: all our genuine experience from God, and with God, they are first the experience OF God.

I may be jumping ahead a bit in our series, if the Lord has more for me to write about death, but "Hallelujah, Hallelujah; for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah" and He reigneth over death. He is risen. He exploded out of the confinement of death, and with that explosion came a profusion of superabundance of life and glory. It just came to me that, if the Big Bang is true, the explosiveness of our God was the dynamic of what has become the expansiveness of the universe.

No, Mr. Scientist, it's not going to implode upon itself, nor expand to destruction. What God does is as big as God is. We will believe into Him through the timelessness of eternity, further and further into the infinity of His love without end. Is it true that this momentary affliction cannot be compared with the coming increase of glory? What do you think?

Life, Death and Resurrection - Part Four

I'm convinced that life-communion. Where there is communion, there is life, and I don't know how to distinguish between them, except to suggest that life issues from communion, and life always seeks communion. Life speaks of communion's vitality, whereas communion is the relational core of life.

Life is always interactive, connective, and mutually beneficial within all the members of the organism within which it is present. In the physical world, life is defined as the ability of an organism to interact with its environment. Example: The latent life within a grain of wheat remains dormant until it is exposed to earth's soil nutrients, and the benefits of sun and rain. In that interaction/communion, life emerges.

Understanding this dynamic, we can determine what death is, and we need to be thinking below the shallow surface, and not confuse the effects, consequences, and symptoms of death, with death itself. Yet, the effects of death, do reveal to us that it is a phenomenon in creation which has power, a power in direct opposition to the power of life. Jesus destroyed him who had the power of death, a victorious destruction which will with certainty spread from Him, the Head of the body, to the entirety of His body

When communion is severed, death, as alienation issues forth, and in opposition to life with its mutually benefiting constitution, death steals, kills and destroys. Wherever death is operative, rather than the members of an organism benefiting mutually, as is the case with life, death tries to get without giving. Growth is intrinsic to life, but where death operates, there is no growth, only a stealing, killing and destroying process that has no profit, no increase.

It is actually not accurate to divide death into spiritual death and physical death. Scripture only speaks of one death, the death that began with Adam caused by the alienation from communion with God that affects spirit, soul and body. The warning to Adam and Eve was, "In the day that thou eatest thereof, dying, thou shalt die." In Adam, we die death; in Christ, we live life. "The death He died, He died unto sin once for all, but the life He lives, He lives unto God." We have all been dying one death since Adam, but in living His life, "death is swallowed up in victory."

Given enough time, death implodes in upon itself, for it is without eternal substance. The effects of death are corruption and decay, unlike life which draws forth from communion, a never ending increase. Life is about abundance and superabundance. Death is about inevitably terminal lack. Yet, Oh the wisdom of God, how unsearchable are His ways. He makes even death to serve life's fullest measure. After a harvest, all that is left in the field is decaying matter---the stuff of death--- which enriches the soil for a new crop of life's production.

Eonian life---that is life within the ages, life pertaining to the ages, life in travail crying out to be penetrated by the eternal Day of the Lord, and subjected to the adversarial presence of death which belongs to the space-time continuum---though thus afflicted carries within itself that out from which it came. God sent forth His Son from eternity into time, but the vicissitudes of time cannot destroy the incorruptible Seed of eternity.

Within the space/time/materiality sphere, life uses death to super-size itself by resurrection. Though not readily apparent, deep within creation, the life-force traceable to the eternal communion within the Godhead, is in the process of reaching critical mass, and death's pressure is integral to the process. Before life bursts forth, there is always a season when its power remains hidden deep within.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that science will bear out what I'm about to propose: That the process of life---observable to the naked eye as a slow unfolding---is actually composed of many sequential bursts of life. Certainly we see that quality of resurrection life when Jesus appeared as a bright shining light SUDDENLY to Paul on the Damascus road.

I believe that the final consummation of all things in Christ, which has been a process set in motion since His resurrection, will gather together all the many lesser revitalizing explosions of life and light into the symphonic crescendo of resurrection, and to borrow from a gospel song, with minor changes:

Some golden daybreak, Jesus will come.
Some golden daybreak, battles all won.
He'll shout the victory, break through the blue.
Some golden daybreak IN me, IN you.

Life, Death and Resurrection - Part Five

Believing (habitually, ongoingly) in Jesus Christ is at the heart of God-granted participation in the faith of Christ brought to perfection in His death and resurrection. It was by faith that Jesus endured bearing our sins upon Himself to the point of suffering our estrangement from the Father (not the Father's estrangement from Him).

Hanging on the cross, and descending into the Hades of the loss of the consciousness of His Father's presence, love and grace, even before the death process was completed, the beginning of the resurrection stirred within Him, as He, in faith, committed His Spirit to the Father.

It was in the arms of His Father, and in faith-abandonment to His Father's care, that it was settled that He would pass from death unto life. Literally, resurrection is a standing up again. It is the passing from death unto life. The destiny of death is resurrection unto glory. As life is "to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent," so death is the mis-knowing of God, the misunderstanding of God and Christ. Spiritual estrangement from knowing the Lord as He is, is the very constitution of death.

Likewise, resurrection is the return to the true knowledge of God. It is not merely the reviving of the physical body---though, to be sure, Jesus did rise physically from the dead, and God shall consummate His administration by the raising up completely the first man, who is of the earth, earthy, through the resurrection of the Second Man, who is of the heavens, heavenly.

Be careful brethren, not to have your focus on a future day when you will receive your glorified body, for the power that shall accomplish that is the very power of Him, who said "I AM the resurrection." Our focus ought to be upon the indwelling of Resurrection, for the whole of "the Christian Life" is the outworking of the indwelling life of Him who is the resurrection.

The working of the power of His resurrection which raises us up progressively, as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and finally consummately, begins with "That I may know Him." You can't go wrong with that focus. Instantly as you are brought into the communion of the Spirit within the Godhead, and you begin to know the Father as the Son does, which is the ground of "the faith of Christ," you too, with Him, are life-aligned. You are made to share in the administration whereby the Father has life in Himself, and gave the Son to have life in Himself.

Where there is a consistent, continuing, habitual believing into Christ, death is put behind and we walk into eonian life in Him. How subtly seemingly sound doctrine can distract us from the energy source for walking with God. That energy comes from the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwelling in us. We are called to look for His appearing from within. The called-out gathering lives by the indwelling of resurrection power within and among the saints.

Life, Death and Resurrection - Part Six

Theological Scholasticism and Pietism. In their purest forms, they are complimentary in their contribution to spiritual life. Putting the best face on each, we might define a more scholastic approach to learning Christ, as that which emphasizes the importance of having a sound mind, a mind renewed by the Spirit, marked by an intelligent and disciplined study of scripture, able to think and communicate clearly, and somewhat wary of being caught up in emotionalism. Spontaneity, we might say, is not their strong point.

On the other hand, the more pietistically inclined brother or sister is, so to speak, wired quite differently--- disposed to be responsive to the element of fervor in their spiritual journey, more attuned to being moved by an appeal to the emotions, and wary of mere theological mind-trips. They are intense, and they delight in spontaneity, in that which smacks of "and suddenly there was a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind....."

Both temperaments, in and of themselves, without the balancing that vital participation in the body of Christ provides, have their unique weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Now I've not been lacking, I don't think, in pointing out how a seminary can be a front for a cemetery, spiritually speaking. God is not at all impressed with our reducing Him to fit into our conceptual boxes.

But in this installment in our series, as we focus on RESURRECTION, I want to point out how easily pietistic fervor can be corrupted and misdirected, so that while hardly being aware, it can fixate passionately, yet at the same time vaguely on some spiritual imperative without determining just what that imperative really is, and/or where it fits into God's purpose in Christ. There is always the element of the encroachment of the ego into its spiritual quest, or what has been called spiritual grandiosity.

It has been rightly affirmed from apostolic times that if Christ did not rise from the dead, if there is no resurrection of the dead, then the claims of Christ, and the claims regarding Christ, are without foundation, and must be the claims of a charlatan or a ego-maniac.

So those of us who have been claimed by Him as His own by the glory of His resurrection---all men are His, but He lays claim to us, each in our own rank, in our due time of grace---quite understandably are fervent in our declaration of His victory over the grave, and we have a fervent expectation of knowing in fullest measure, the power of His resurrection for ourselves.

The mistake of studying THE resurrection---that is, the resurrection of Christ, and our part in it as a separate doctrine, is the mistake of failing to realize that the whole of experiencing Christ, is a participation in His resurrection. from the very beginning of our regeneration, we were born from above by the power of His resurrection. God's New Man made His entrance into the eons out from a tomb, AND it was not of His doing, but totally that which was wrought by His Father.

We make the mistake of trying to become God's new men, while God is bringing forth ONE NEW MAN, and our expectation of fully experiencing His resurrection must not violate that principle. We must not think that God will somehow disconnect us from the body, glorify us, and then reinsert us into the body to perfect it. Oh dear brethren, none of us will make it all the way without all the others.

I must again remind us all of Paul's expectation re: being filled with all the fulness of God: "....that you, being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend WITH ALL THE SAINTS what is the breadth length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God."

Paul, in Romans Eight, speaks of the "...Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead...." Jesus was raised from the dead, He did not get up of His own accord: "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal body by His Spirit that indwells you."

What's my point? Your spiritual intensity and determination; your pietistic fervor can contribute nothing to receiving life from the dead. The utter dependency of the Son upon the Father was shown with demonstrated finality by Him, in death, being raised up by the glory of the Father, and so it will be with us, His brethren.

I can't tell you how many times the anointing in me has rung the bell of warning as I've sensed the spirit of grandiosity lay claim to the realization of resurrection, glorification, and immortality. Why I'm so fervent about getting my glorified body, and so intense in my expectation, surely that makes me among the elect of the elect, a specially trained member of God's advance Special Forces, destined to be a manifested son.

As Jonathan Mitchell has pointed out, "the manifestation of the sons of God" is not at all the best translation of the Greek. It is more accurately, the "uncovering of the sons of God." God has been, will continue to, and will finally consummate the uncovering of His sons.

It is a forced exegesis to draw from that statement of Paul, that there will arise out from among the family of God, sons who will be uncovered AS OPPOSED to sons still covered. I've been blessed by the uncovering of many a son of God who is still a babe in Christ, for full sonship is within all of us in the Person of Christ, our life, and the simplest testimony of God's saving grace can be an uncovering of the Son/son in any believer Are there those among us who are more consistently uncovered than others Indeed, yes, but we are talking here about a measure unto fulness, not fulness itself.

THE Son who was uncovered by His resurrection, ascension, enthronement, and glorification, has once again become covered within humanity, and especially among those who believe. Our sonship is the extension of His sonship. The One Seed that birthed Him, through Him has birthed many sons, AND the uncovering of the sons of God cannot be fully consummated in the experience of less than the whole body of Christ, which is the whole body of humanity.

Oh, to be sure, God begins with a called-out gathering among humanity to give a firstfruits display of the power of His resurrection, but when the flesh comes in on the coattails of our fervent longing to be uncovered, and we begin to fancy ourselves as those who will have it all without all of our brethren, then we have created the grotesque theological picture of a comparatively few glorified members of a, in the whole, still unglorified body.

Pietism easily becomes the prey of self-admiration. I once was very impressed with my own fervency. I remember how a mentality arose within the ranks of a grouping of believers with whom I was associated with many years ago. We identified ourselves as "seeking ones." We were very impressed with the zeal, intensity, and purity of our seeking of the Lord.

Well, God sovereignly cut off the life-line of His resurrection for me for several years, leaving me spiritually dead as dead can be, and then just as sovereignly gave me back Christ as my life. The experience made it very clear to me that there are none who seek after God. God seeks us out, and we begin to have experiences within us of the attraction of the Son to the Father, and we are given to share in that. When the flesh enters in and lays claim to that attraction, flaunting itself as different from other men, then we begin to worship our worshipping. Selah. Beware the pharisaical spirit: "I thank you Lord, that I am not as other men."

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