John Gavazzoni
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The Gavazzonis'

The Christ Fountainhead
By John Gavazzoni

Part One

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A feature that stands out clearly among those given as teachers to the body of Christ, is that of balance. An evangelist may set aside certain facets of the whole counsel of God so that his hearer will not be distracted from his essential message of God's saving grace in Christ. A prophet may boldly intrude upon and into religious conventionalism thunderously confronting his hearers with something sorely neglected within the group, daringly upsetting what has become the status quo. A shepherd may set aside, momentarily, any and all doctrinal considerations in caring for a deeply wounded sheep, to minister one thing, and only one---the complete loving attentiveness, the lack of which may have been the source of the sheep's woundedness.

It is not unusual for the gift of the shepherd and the gift of the teacher to merge into one. Occasionally, the prophet may go on to explain the place within which his intensely focused confrontation fits within the ministry of the whole counsel of God, and in so doing will minister as a teacher. The apostle is sent to deliver the Word as a pioneering emissary of the kingdom of God, and do so as to not only declare the Word's primal essence but also in such a way that the whole counsel of God can be found seminally so that those in the places where he has ministered, even for a brief time, can look back and realize how foundational was the Word which he delivered. And, he is careful to minister so as to prepare the scene of ministry for the other gifts to the body to follow.

There is, it seems to me, a pressing need for the teacher to step upon the scene of ministry as described above and to address what I have chosen to call the Christ fountainhead, in order to introduce sorely needed balance. There is a drift occurring today that tends to suggest a kind of disconnect between far down-stream considerations of Christ, and that stream's fountainhead, its source. The danger of such a kind of disconnect goes clear back to the situation of the Garden of Eden. It has to do with focusing upon something OF God, in such a way as to lose God in the focus. For instance, the subject of good and evil is OF God. That's what got Eve's attention. Certainly the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was deserving of her attention, she thought, since clearly it has to do with God.

She knew that something troubling existed within creation. Something adversarial co-existed along with creation's essential goodness. Contrary to popular orthodoxy, the adversary – which is death – though not yet having entered into the world (that is, into the ordered arrangement) was present there in the Garden. To borrow from Jonathan Mitchell, death had not yet become the dominating system. Death had not yet become systemic to creaturely existence, but the seed of death was in all earthenness, ready to be released by the ignorance of Adam's sin. Sin entered the world FROM within our earthenness. That intrusion began by Eve's lust to know something that God knew, WITHOUT knowing God. To know good and evil without knowing God, is death. There is a discerning of both good and evil, which the Book of Hebrews says belongs to spiritual maturity, but such a knowledge is life only within communion with God Himself.

There's a fundamental seduction that leads us to desire a simple, clear, categorized: 'everything in its own' pigeonhole; proof text-established delineation between good and evil. The necessity for communion with God... well, that gets messy. If you have to start with communion with God, He leaves a lot of questions up in the air, leaving you with having to trust Him on the path to glory. He refuses to accept your demand to be provided with a this-is-good, this-is-evil map of the path. He insists that you follow Him, and that gets so messy, so confusing to the mind that wants instruction without communion. It is a narrow Way, but the gate to the Way is not straight, it's STRAIT, as in restrictive and confining, e.g., as in a strait jacket. And the Way is not straight.

It's very curvy, bumpy, up and down, and narrow. There are others walking on the Way with you, behind and in front, and their communion with the Lord is integral to your own, but the narrowness of the road is such that Jesus is shoulder-to-shoulder with you on your together-journey. As the old song goes: "On the Jericho road, there's room for just two; no more and no less, just Jesus and you." I know some might raise the objection that if I conceive of Jesus as WITH us, I am therefore deficient in the revelation that He is IN us. Not so, not so, not so. It is exactly this sort of consideration that calls for the teacher to make his contribution. Jesus, as the Life-giving Spirit, is WITH US, IN US. There is always the dimension of His "withness" involved, in that while He is in union with you, He remains Himself, and you remain yourself, both in union, which union has Him contributing all, you contributing nothing, but enjoying the all of His contribution.

Have you heard folks refer to the Bible as God's manual for life's journey. A manual? Oh please. That's what we want, a manual? Thanks Lord for the manual; I'll take it from here. What about grace? Oh yeah, Lord, I will need a little grace, since the manual does mention grace, I do want to be scriptural. Where am I going with this when my subject is the fountainhead of Christ? Here's where I'm going. Jesus; Jesus of Nazareth is personally and individually the fountainhead of Christ. All that "Christ" is; all that "Christ" means; all that "Christ" is to us and for us flows out from within the glorified Man, Jesus. We speak of being enChristed. There is only one anointing. It's the anointing of Jesus, the Anointed One, shared with His body in union with Him. We speak of coming to know our true identity. He is the fountainhead of all true identity. As we have been granted revelation concerning The Greater Christ, the Christ who is Head of His corporate body of many members, and who constitutes the whole of the body, we must retain the understanding that His individual identity, as Jesus, as Lord, has not been somehow dissolved by Him becoming the incorporated version of Himself. Don't drift from this truth, brethren, or you will end up finding yourself a stranger to the One who is The Christ Fountainhead.

As in the deception to know good and evil without knowing God, we can be so caught up in seeking things way down stream from the fountainhead that we lose touch with our Source. All that is desirable is to be found in communion with Him. An appeal to the necessity of having our consciousness raised, can effectively lead to a disconnect from the mind of Christ which flows from the fountainhead of Jesus, our Lord. Have we forgotten that He is King of kings, and Lord of lords, as we get caught up in seeking to know "the authority of the believer," for instance? We are indeed a kingdom of priests unto our God, that is, a ruling priesthood, but only as He, Jesus, enthroned at the right hand of God, mediates His authority to us. And by the way, all you power-hungry brethren, He mediates His ruling priesthood as the Lamb in the midst of the throne. We all want to be God's lions, when what's being ministered to us from God's throne is the Spirit of the Lamb of God.

When this kind of subtle "disconnect" has occurred, I've seen all kinds of really stupid carryings-on by fellow believers. And I confess: been there, done that. In our relationship with the Father in, by, and with our Lord Jesus, He relates to us with an "I" factor, and a "we" factor. The "we" factor rests upon the "I" factor. It would be well for many of us to make a thorough study of all the "I" statements of Jesus, and I say "Jesus" particularly. He means to get your attention upon Him, and only then can you know with balance the "we" factor in the relationship. It's only as we turn our eyes upon Jesus, looking fully in His wonderful face, that we truly come to know that "all that is His" is ours, and "all that He is" is inclusive of us. We need the Spirit of wisdom and revelation IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM. We are to know Him by His presence in, among, and in the midst of the elect summoned gathering, conventionally called the church.

Him, Him, Him. If we seek anything apart from the experiential knowledge of Him, we're right back there with Eve, wanting something having to do with Him, without communion with Him. Jesus, didn't come to teach us about being anointed. He came as the Anointed one (Christ) to be the anointing in, to and for us. God didn't first anoint Jesus, and then in turn anoint the rest of us, with Jesus only being our example. He anointed Jesus of Nazareth "who went about doing good," and then led Him through death to resurrection and glorification so that He would become our anointing. The anointing is in the life of God. He that hath the Son hath (that) life. We have an anointing from the Father, because we have the Son. The Son has been given to us as the all-inclusive gift of God. In the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, glorified at the right hand of the Majesty on high, was poured out within and upon us as the Life-giving Spirit.

Remember the Father's admonition at the end of the transfiguration scene. "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him." Here's the question to ponder: Have you received life from God JUST LIKE Jesus did? Or did you receive Jesus, the Christ, AS your life. Be careful how you delineate between Jesus and Christ. He's is BOTH one individual Man, with individual identity, AND the New Corporate Man of universal identity who becomes that New Corporate Man by His indwelling. The one body, that Paul wrote of in Ephesians, is the one body of both the individual Christ and of the incorporated Christ. In some scriptural contexts, when our Lord is referred to simply as Christ, the emphasis is upon the Manhood of Jesus destined to become universalized as His indwelling is universally unveiled.

In other words, He, the One, becomes the many, so that the many become One. God loves multiplication: Jesus Christ, the Perfected Human, multiplied to become the New Mankind of perfect Oneness. When scripture refers to Him just as Jesus, the emphasis is upon His individual humanity as Savior. In the epistles, He is called by Christ Jesus, and Jesus Christ. The effect intended is one of emphasis, of making something very clear: The Christ is Jesus, and Jesus is the Christ. It is possible, also, that as "Christ Jesus" the emphasis is upon Him as the Christ descending from heaven as Jesus; and as "Jesus Christ" the emphasis is upon Him as Jesus ascending to heaven as the Christ.

He is the greater Isaac in and through whom, all the children of God have been born. He is the One Seed, out from whom we have all proceeded. As a chosen nation issued forth from the loins of Abraham only through Isaac, so the greater Isaac is the only One in, and through whom, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. How blessed? Blessed with sharing His very sonship. I don't want any lesser sonship. Only that which makes me a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. In closing, I'd like to remind my readers who have been favored with an understanding of the above, in some measure, that this revelation has been within the community of faith long before any of us arrived on the historical scene. Back in the decade of the 50's (the Lord called me to Himself in 1953), a brother in Christ, accepted within mainstream evangelicalism, wrote an excellent book titled, "The Greater Christ." It planted a seed in my spirit way back then. He began to see what the Lord, in this hour, is particularly bringing to light.

Part Two

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We might ask, "Will the true and real Christ please stand?" Is it You, the One in whom the bodily fullness of the Godhead dwells, and in whom we all are complete? Or is it You, who was still at work in the apostle Paul in such a way, that Paul had to testify that He had not yet attained, neither had been made perfect, but He was pressing on? (Paul, you know, did write those words well after God's completing work in and by Christ's death, burial and resurrection.) Well, of course, we know that "they" are One and the same Christ. A very common answer given by many Christian teachers in trying to resolve the above apparent contradiction often goes something like this: "Well, in spirit we've been made complete in Christ, but in the flesh we're still a work in progress." I myself, when the situation in speaking or writing did not allow for a more exhaustive explanation, have simply explained that the completeness which is ours IN JESUS CHRIST is a completeness that Christ is fulfilling by Him IN US. But either of these explanations and other similar ones I know leave the hearer, or should leave the hearer, with the issue less than satisfactorily resolved.

I'm not at all saying that even a thorough explanation that remains simply intellectually grasped will translate into a true spiritual experience of God's riches in glory that belong to the believer, but true revelation and understanding often do follow a clear, conceptual apprehension of truth. On the other hand, one can experience such a grasp beginning entirely in the intuition well before a conceptual structure forms in the mind. Whatever way it happens, it is desirable to be favored with the vitality of spiritual intuition, and with its appropriate mental structure. As Harry Robert Fox has said: "All life has both vitality and structure." So, waiting upon the precious Spirit of Truth, let's seek to be permitted a more accurate unfolding of the two-fold nature of spiritual completeness: As once and for all accomplished, yet also within an ongoing experiential process.

We must begin with the magnificent declaration of the Apostle Paul in his letter to the saints in Colosse, that "in Him (0ur Lord Jesus Christ) were all things created." Note please, that the KJV translators' choice of "by Him," instead of "in Him," has no reasonable exegetical support. Leading up to that statement by Paul in the first chapter, the Greek preposition "en," is translated consistently, without exception, as "in." In fact, as I recall, it reads so twelve times as Paul moves towards his declaration of the full scope of Christ's relationship to all creation. Why suddenly conventional translators should switch to "by" in that particular verse has, as I've said, no reasonable support, especially since in the very next verse, they choose to return to "in" for "en," in the declaration that "in Him all things consist." For all things to CONSIST (adhere, be held together) in Him, they must BE in Him. It might be best for the reader to lay down this article at this point, and read the entire first chapter of Colossians. If you have a Greek text handy, even if you can't read Greek, it will be easy to pick out the consistency of the appearance of "en" through the chapter from beginning to end.

What a bold, awesome word from the apostle. He claims that the Person of Christ is the containment field of all existence. Yes, that's what he indeed claims. Notice the personal pronoun: "For in Him, were all things created...." Not in some impersonal field of containment, but IN HIM. A singular Personhood was "where" God created all things. That singular Personhood continues to contain, give meaning to, and guarantee the destiny of all existence. We can see the support for this breathtaking truth in the Genesis account of creation. In the very first verse of Genesis, God informs us: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." In the Hebrew, the word conventionally translated as "beginning," is the word that means "firstfruits." Well, we know WHO is God's and our Firstfruits: Christ, God's Son. So when we come to the complementary first chapter of John's gospel, we are led to understand that when God created all things BY the Word (Christ), He created all things BY (by means of), the Word, IN the Word. A simple illustration: I can go from Chicago to New York BY train, IN the train. All things that God has done, and continues to do by His Son, He does so in His Son.

Pause now. Take a deep breath, because what follows ought to be exhilaratingly impacting. The One in whom all things were created one day came INTO all that is IN Him. Got that? He came, as a single human INTO the all that is WITHIN Him. Suddenly the all-inclusive One was present within all that He is inclusive of, and NOTHING had changed with regard to His all-inclusiveness. Both as the Cosmic Christ, AND as Jesus of Nazareth: Christ incarnate. He was holding, and continues to hold, all things within Himself. You see, when "the One in whom all things exist and are held together" came into that all, He came as the essence of it all. It all remained in Him. Mind-blowing, huh? The physical eye could not see that, but it was true. It is in our day that science has provided an insight how such a thing could be so. It is by the discovery of DNA. For example: A single strand of hair from a person's head, when probed to its core essence, contains everything that that person is, physically.

The person becomes all that he is within, and according to, that DNA. If we were capable of extracting that DNA and then put it through a process of alteration by which it would become a kind of supercharged essence of glorious creaturehood (releasing its fullest potential), and then reinsert it into the person with it having the power to bring the whole of the man into alignment with the newness within that inserted DNA, we would have a perfect example of how God has made us complete in Christ – and yet the already accomplished completeness has a process-dimension. The man's essence would have been already gloriously altered, but upon the DNA essence being reinserted into the man, a process would begin whereby it would spread its perfection to the whole of the man. When the New Testament speaks of the sufferings of Christ, the word includes more than what was painful to our Lord, but it rather refers to the whole of His human experience.

You see, Christ is our DNA. He, by virtue of having all things contained within Himself, when He came "into the world" He came as the essence of all things, and underwent a complete perfecting of His Humanity by the experience the Father put Him though. Bearing within Himself the whole of the human condition, He was perfected by the things which He suffered---all that He experienced---until with each encounter of all that was adversarial to Him and His eternal nature, and with each challenge that those encounters faced Him with, His Father drew forth from within Him the glory to meet each challenge – until His Humanity was completely infused with that glory so that consummating in His death, burial, resurrection and glorification, Deity and Humanness returned to the eternal Oneness from which He came, and from which we came in Him. In the course of His human living, from birth to death, and in resurrection, on to glorification, the DNA of all humanity was being both corrected and fulfilled. It was consummated in the Christ event, but all the way up to that point death was being swallowed up in Jesus' victory over that final enemy.

Your DNA (Christ in you), has been already glorified, and all the resistance against it from your flesh, from the world and from the devil cannot stand. It will be transformed, because it already has been transformed in Him. You will BECOME completely new, because you've already been made completely and gloriously new at your DNA level, which is Christ in you, the expectation of glory. This is the rest that remaineth unto the people of God.

Part Three

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I have on many occasions of writing or speaking, either commented or emphasized that the common expression, "the finished work of Christ," leaves something to be desired in terms of what the expression is meant to convey, and that more preferably, we ought to speak of "Jesus Christ, the finished work of God." God has desired, purposed, willed and fulfilled a New Man, a New Humanity, and a New Quality of Humanity by what He has produced in the person of His Son, Jesus, the Christ.

Sent out from within His eternal bosom, Christ, God's Son, was sent into the world most essentially in order to become, through creaturely existence and experience, exactly all that He was and is out from eternity. This happened so that inexplicably He experienced by that process an increase of Himself and the Deity He shares with the Father: an increase drawn forth from the depths of His glory by the catalyst of enduring a complete contrariety to His person which called upon the Father within Him to meet that challenge of adversarialism by clothing His Son with greater glory out of the depths of the glory they share together.

Now if the reader finds that explanation a bit difficult to follow, maybe putting it this way will help: Essentially what I'm saying is that God put the squeeze on His Son---and so upon Himself also---so as to bring out the best of their Deity out of the depths of their Deity. That best has always been within God, which would have remained concealed in the depths of God had He not, Himself, created the contrarian challenge of enduring and overcoming this present, evil world. Drawing forth the full implications of St. Paul's insight, I love to proclaim that God is the God of the "much more," even, and especially so, ontologically. This has been accomplished. It's done, finished, complete. God has His New Man, His glorious New Man. The first man, of the earth, earthly, has been transformed by the Second Man, the Lord from heaven, heavenly.

But we must note that when Paul in 1 Cor. 15 shares that wonderful insight, he includes "they." All that God has accomplished in His One, individual New Man is inclusive of all men, for we are all in Him, and He in us. Remembering the DNA analogy from our previous installment, let's look into this process of the One New Man becoming the whole of a New Humanity: a universal body of many person-members – the enlargement, expansion, and full development of the One. Think afresh with me of the scene in which Mary Magdalene has come to the tomb of Jesus and sees the tomb empty, and then hears someone--who she assumes to be the gardener of the tomb area---ask, "Woman, why are you weeping? Who is it that you are seeking?"

But it wasn't the gardener, IT WAS JESUS. HE WAS RISEN. She didn't recognize Him until He spoke her name. The Lord does have a special way of speaking our name so that we know it can only be Him calling for our attention. He obviously saw that she was about to rush to Him and embrace Him in her joy of seeing Him risen, and He says, "Don't touch me, because I am not yet ascended to my Father...." The KJV says "Touch me not....," but that doesn't capture the sense of the Greek word translated as "touch." It really conveys, "Don't cling to me." Jesus is saying to Mary, "Don't hold on to me as you presently know me. I have to ascend to my Father, for Him to finish His work in me all the way to glorification." Why? Because when He would return to her and to her brethren to breathe Himself into them, and to come upon them as heaven's mighty empowering Wind, He must come to them as the completely fulfilled New Man, the Man of divine destiny, and share Himself with them in that fullness of being.

Connect that scene with me, with the other scene recorded in John's Gospel, when Jesus, finally coming to "that great feast" declares, "He that believes in me, out of His innermost being shall flow rivers of living water." John goes on to explain that Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit which was not yet given BECAUSE JESUS WAS NOT YET GLORIFIED. From the record of those two scenes we are given insight into the Christ Fountainhead. Jesus, ascended and glorified, dispenses Himself to those who believe in Him, AS ascended and glorified, and nothing less. We must have Him out from His accomplished destiny. God desired that we should have nothing less than the glorified Humanity of Jesus as our Reality, and this is what "Christ in you, the hope of glory" is all about. We must maintain in our understanding the fountainhead of Christ in us.

The fountainhead is Jesus glorified. That is the greatness of Him as our DNA. In Him, we have been foreknown, predestined, called and glorified, and He has the Reality of all of us in Himself, as He is in us. And while He is in us, He is also in the Father. It is wonderfully meaningful, that you'll find in most translations that the word "given," in "for the Holy Spirit was not yet given," that "given" is italicized." That means that the word is not in the literal Greek. It should read, "for the Holy Spirit was not yet" You see, the Holy Spirit, AS he was to be given to believers, was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified. The Holy Spirit had to become the Spirit of the glorified Jesus. Glory, glory, glory.

Part Four

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It is "The gift that keeps giving." I suppose that I could be criticized for belaboring the point to the extreme, i.e., that God really has only one Gift to give us, and that is the Gift of His Son, for though we speak of our need of mercy, grace, peace, joy, patience, etc., all these "things" are simply facets of who He is: He is who and what the Father birthed Him to be, and continues to be such by the constant supply that flows to Him in His communion with the Father. Our Lord's promise to His disciples that He would supply them with His peace was a particular promise of a specific supply, but representative of all the sufficiency He would become to them as they would shortly be faced with the extremity of both Rome's and the Jewish leadership's murderous hostility: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Jn. 14:27, KJV)

To make it clearer that this gift of peace was not merely a one-time grant to them that would somehow operate within them apart from their communion with Him by the communion of the Holy Spirit, Jonathan Mitchell's translation comes to our aid: "I am continuously sending off (releasing away, hurling off) peace to (or: for, in) you people. My peace I am constantly giving to you (or: in you folks). I, Myself, am not giving [it] to you the way (or: according as) the System (the world of religion, politics and culture) continually gives [it]. Do not let your heart be constantly shaken, disturbed or agitated, neither let it be habitually timid (shrinking as with palpitations, responding cowardly). [compare Deut. 31:8, Josh. 1:9]" Please note, how clearly the Greek emphasizes what I'm calling in this article, the gift that keeps giving.

From our Fountainhead, the Lord Jesus, flows a constant supply of His peace, representative of all that is His. Years ago, while participating in a small house-church gathering, I introduced new lyrics to the gospel song by John Peterson, "Heaven Came Down, and Glory Filled my Soul." The first verse lyrics I shared to the tune of brother Peterson's song, went like this:

"Over and over, and over again, Jesus breathes life into me.
Over and over and over again, breathing Himself into me.
Sometimes I'm up, and sometimes I'm down,
Still He is ever the same.
Washed in the Blood, I turn to the Spirit,
And Jesus breathes life into me."

The Lord's peace is within His life, and He breathes life into us FROM within us, in union with us. It's a from-Him-to-us dynamic, experienced as a river of supply out from Him and into us, as He who has taken up His abode in us. He does this from the right hand of God, metaphorically indicating that all of God's administration proceeds forth from God to mankind through Him. We aren't Deists in this respect. We don't believe that God has left us with a package of supply-goodies, and then left those "things" to be impersonally experienced by us. We are Theists. We believe that God does everything for, to, and in His people relationally.

Our glorified Lord apportions out of Himself, qualities of Himself, as He measures out Himself to us progressively. Jn. 16:14 complements Jn.14:27, and again Jesus' words are most clear in Mr. Mitchell's translation: "That One will glorify Me (will give Me a good reputation, will give a manifestation of Me which calls forth praise) because it (He; it) will take from out of what is Mine (or: receive from the one from, and which is Me) and will report back to you folks (will announce to and inform you)." The "One" Jesus is speaking of here, is the Spirit of Truth, who is Himself in His "another" mode of being the life of His corporate body. The Amplified Version includes the word "transmit" to indicate that this ministry of the Spirit of Truth is more than a mere intellectual correspondence. In Mr. Mitchell's translation, we have the equivalent, "inform," in its root-meaning, that is, to "form in." This is the administration of Christ being formed in us, as Paul writes about.

So beware of becoming too heady in your revelations. Don't forget your Christ Fountainhead, the "One Mediator between God and men: the Man, Christ Jesus." Stay in touch with Him. Let's cover one more thing before closing out this final installment of our series. All God's riches in glory in Christ Jesus are ministered to us from above all the heavens, from the right hand of God, from the right hand of the Majesty on high. But just "where" is that? Is that from some "place" that can be measured in miles away from planet earth? What is the relationship of Christ having made us His abode, and He being at the right hand of God? That place is a relational place. He, the Lord Jesus, is in His Father, and we are in Him, and He is in us. (See Jn.14:20) This is not "up there" in the sense of a cosmic, or super cosmic place. It's the real place that the Father and Jesus call home, and "where" they are at home. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" Hmm, makes one wonder just where God's heaven is, doesn't it?

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