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Jesus said, “I am… the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”[1]  The Life that Jesus is is not the life of a person who has gone to the Father, but rather, it is the Life of a Person who has come from the Father.  So, understand straight away; Jesus is not the life led by a person who is going to the Father, but the Life led by a Person who has come from the Father.

As much as He is the Life through whom a person can come unto the Father, for in His Life, the Life of the Father is also revealed, which is why He said, “I and the Father are One.”[2]  So what we actually get to see of the Way, the Truth and the Life that is Jesus is so wonderfully multifaceted that I hope you can see this series on “Applications” is not the definitive end all and be all of application, but rather, the early first steps of application of all things that God has blessed men with—even Jesus.

There is no point of speaking about the Life of Jesus in any knowledgeable way unless you have already read, believed and practised His words enough to know that His testimony is true.  For, it is in the hearing of His words and the practising of His words that you are introduced into the Life that is Jesus Christ.  It is when you see the effect of the practice of His words that you have heard that you even begin to see a shadow of the Life that is Him.  Any religious approach to the Life of Jesus based on fanciful story telling, myths and legends, encased in dogma and human doctrines, will no more show you the Life that is Jesus than any of the figurines or paintings that are supposed to depict Him will show you what He really looked like when He was on Earth or really looks like now.

For the knowing of Jesus Christ and therefore the knowing of the Father is entirely testimonial and experiential.  It is ultimately the effect of being in His presence that will be revealed in your life.

As examples: 

·       Moses did not have to speak about being in God’s presence; people knew he had been in God’s presence because his face used to shine as it is written:  his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord,[3] so much so that he put a veil over his face because the Israelites were afraid to come near him.[4]  So, through Moses, we see the life of a man who had seen God and to whom God spoke face to face.  His life including the veiling of his face bore testimony to that truth.

·       Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, lost his voice after his encounter with the angel Gabriel, and as it is written:  They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.[5]

So a veiled face and a lost voice are the evidence of the lives of men who have seen God and angels.  The Life that Jesus is is the evidence and application of the Life of One who has not only seen God and angels, but has seen and knows the Father, and not only seen and knows the Father, but has come from the Father.

It is a life of authority, for Jesus spoke as One who knew what He was saying, not believed what He was saying.  It is a life of zealous dedication of focus, for Jesus knew not only what He was to do, but who He was doing it for.  So the hearing and the practising of the words of Jesus introduces a person into the Life of One who has seen and knows the Father, but most important of all, the One who has come from the Father.

The disciples rejoiced that demons submitted to them and Jesus told them, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.”  At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this was Your good pleasure.  All things have been committed to Me by My Father.  No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”[6] 

What God hid from the learned and wise was the Father, who is God, and only children can begin to come to know their Father.  That is why to as many who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God.[7]  You see, demons driven out in His Name is not to demonstrate our power and authority over demons, but rather, the revelation of the Father to His children.  The five signs of a baptised believer in Mark 16:17-18 are not as much signs of a believer, but rather, five early revelations of the Father to His children.  Those who believed in His Name have the right to become children of God.  The driving out of demons, speaking in new tongues, drinking poison and picking up serpents without harm, healing the sick with the laying on of hands in Jesus’ Name, the Name the Father gave Him, His Name, is the beginning of the revealing to His children the very nature of the Father through Jesus Christ.  That they have a Father whose Name frightens demons, heals the sick and protects them as well as gives them new abilities.  It is the first step of a child coming to know that he has a Father whose Name is feared by demons and whose Name, just His Name, can protect and is powerful.  If that is what can be done by His Name alone, imagine what His Person can do!

Those early signs that accompany a baptised believer as they take up their rights to be children of God are designed also to modify the very behaviour, thinking and character of the child.  Just as a child who suddenly finds out that His Father owns the candy story will look at candy differently from other children and will behave differently from children who are customers, so those early signs are designed to reveal the ownership of the Father to the children, so that their behaviour and attitude may change.

Discipleship is the application of discipline in fellowship so that the real reason for discipline is revealed—the confirmation of sonship.  Discipleship may have meant disciplined fellowship when you were being taught to read and practice, but in application, discipleship means the confirmation of sonship by discipline.  That is why it is written in Proverbs:  My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.[8]  And the author of Hebrews went on to write:  For what son is not disciplined by his father?  If you are not disciplined, then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.[9]

Thus, the discipleship of baptised believers is to take the children into the realm of sonship where Jesus, the Firstborn, is waiting to show His brothers and sisters who their Father really is and is like that they may come to know Him as He does.  You see, when Jesus said what He said in John 14:12, it didn’t just mean doing miracles as He did, or preach as He did, or work as He did, but it also meant that anyone who has faith in Him will come to know the Father as He knows the Father, and come to know Him, the Father, in a way that Jesus does not know Him.  Know Him, the Father, as you know Him so that just as Jesus can show you the Father He knows, you can show Jesus the Father you know.  Now, that is the life!  And when you become a son who knows your Father in a way that is different from your older Brother, then you truly have a life with your Father that is uniquely your own as well.  You have begun to become a true co-heir of Christ, for being a co-heir of Christ is not about inheriting estates and riches as the heirs of the world do.  No, for we have a Father who cannot and does not die.  As such, we can never be heirs as the heirs and heiresses of the world are through the death of their parents.  But what we truly become co-heirs of in Christ, with Jesus, are co-heirs of a life with the Father.  Sharing the Father with Jesus in such a way that the Life that Jesus has is also the life that we have.

So that just as Jesus now is the One who makes known to us the Father, one day we will also do what He has been doing and greater things even, and that is making known the Father to whom we choose as well.  That would be an empty boast by anyone who has not come from the Father.

Showing someone the Father cannot be done by preaching what you believe about the Father, you can do that with God.  For it is written:  without faith it is impossible to please God.[10]  So preaching about the God you believe can please God for you are doing it by faith.  In order to show someone or preach about the Father, you have to be like Jesus, that is, live the Life of the Person who has come from the Father, and that Life that is Jesus is a Life full of authority, power, knowledge, wisdom and understanding, displayed in perfect discipline and overwhelming zeal and abidance to the Father’s will.

Jesus did not preach repentance and faith because He believed or knew God, but because He knows the Father.  And since no one can come to God without repentance and faith, and without facing judgement, then how can anyone come to the Father without repentance and faith, even though they are following Him?  You see, Judas never recognised the Father, which was why he was prepared to betray Jesus.  Judas only ever saw Jesus, the Man of God, One who could be used, sacrificed and manipulated without too much trouble from God, especially if he was doing it with other men of God like the Pharisees.  If Judas had seen the Son who is Jesus, if he had recognised the Life that he was witnessing in this Man called Jesus, the Life of a Man who had come from the Father and not the life of a man who is serving God to go to Him, he would perhaps have thought twice before he betrayed the Son.  Then Jesus did use the Parable of the Tenants to describe the Jews as being like tenants who would kill even the son of the king to steal the field.  So perhaps, even if Judas did see the Son of God in Jesus, he might still have betrayed Him.  A person who betrays another with premeditation has no repentance or faith towards the person they are betraying.  The denial of Christ by Peter was not premeditated, neither was the desertion of the other ten at Gethsemane premeditated; but in fact, it was Jesus who foretold it to them.

Thus, the application of the Life is not about a life of repentance and faith that is for the God-believers and God-chasers.  The application of the Life is not about going to church and living a good moral life of Christian character.  That is for those who are Christians who only want to be citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.  No, the application of the Life is not even about having power to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God or even martyrdom so that you may be a lord or king in the Kingdom of God; it is not about reigning with Christ.

No, you have come to the place where the Life is about being a son or daughter who knows the Father as Jesus knows the Father, and you live a life where your very behaviour testifies that you have come from the Father’s side.  So, no religious veils or speechlessness in the presence of the people, but a simple honest unveiling in words and deeds before all and sundry so that it can be plainly heard and seen that you have come not from God, but from the Father.  That is what Jesus showed us in His life and with His life—every word and every action from the moment His life was recorded for us to the cross, the resurrection and ascension and beyond, so that all can plainly hear and see He came from the Father, not just from God.

No wonder He told the disciples, “Gather the pieces that are leftover.  Let nothing be wasted.”[11]  For the bread and fish belonged not to God, but to His own Father.  That was family wealth, family possessions, and being the Son who He is, a well-pleasing, beloved and totally obedient Son, full of zeal for His Father, even the crumbs and leftovers of the broken pieces of fish and bread still had value.  A servant, a man of God, would have left the broken pieces where they were, for after all, the event is over.  Observe for yourself that this is human behaviour.  People show very little respect for someone else’s property, even sons now-a-days.  But it is a good, obedient, well-pleasing Son who is concerned for the property and welfare of His Father.  It is a good servant who obeys the command and a faithful one who goes the extra mile, but the Son goes beyond the extra mile and never stops.  That is why once made alive in the spirit by the Holy Spirit, Jesus went to prison to preach to spirits from the days of Noah,[12] instead of resting for a few days in Heaven.  He was not satisfied with just the keys of David and the Kingdom of Heaven, but went and got the keys of death and Hades.[13]

And His display at the temple when He saw the money changers and cattle, sheep and dove sellers; what did He say as He whipped them and overturned their tables and drove them out?  He said, “Get these out of here!  How dare you turn My Father’s house into a market!”[14]  Hear those words:  “My Father’s house!” – not God’s house, but “My Father’s house!”  That is the zeal of a Son for His Father’s honour, glory and justice, and not only that, but also for His property.  So that, even the spirits in prison that were held in Hades, He went and set free.   Demons to Him were not just unclean spirits.  To Him, they were ones, especially the fallen angels, who had belonged to His Father.  No one was going to steal anything from His Father, no one was going to slander His Father or murder anything that His Father had given life to—He was going to take it all back for the Father, even those who died at the time of Noah.  They may be the Father’s rejected ones, the Father’s rubbish if you like, but nevertheless, even if it was rubbish, it was His Father’s rubbish, and no thief, liar or murderer was going to get away with even a shred of anything that belongs to His Father, not even with the Father’s rubbish.  That is why no realm in Creation is safe from Christ’s entry, not even death and Hades, for in death and Hades lay spirits and souls that belong to His Father.

A servant will do his duty if he is a dutiful servant, and he might even stay up to serve the supper for the master if he is a good and faithful servant.  But the Life of Christ is the Life of the Son who so loves His Father that nothing, nothing is too hard for Him to obey for the Father.

That is the life that belongs to Christ, and that is the life that the Holy Spirit knows, which He is waiting to make known to those who want to be sons just like Jesus.  To those who take up their right as children of God and their responsibilities as sons of God, the Holy Spirit will discipline them as He would His own son.  The Life that is Christ can show you the Father who is in God who is Spirit.  That Life lived in constant hearing, practising and experiencing of His word can turn you into a son of God the Holy Spirit, and make you one with the Holy Spirit as Jesus is One with the Father.

When that happens, Creation will cease its groaning and rejoice at the revealing of the sons of God.  For it is written:  The whole Creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to this present time.  For the Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the One who subjected it, in hope that the Creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.[15]  If the freedom of the children is glorious, then what of the freedom that comes from the sons of God?  If Creation is liberated from its bondage to decay by the revelation of the children, then what will Creation become in the revelation of the sons of God who are just like Jesus who know their Father and speak and act as one and ones who came from the Father?


 

[1] John 14:6

[2] John 10:30

[3] Exodus 34:29

[4] Exodus 34:33,30

[5] Luke 1:22

[6] Luke 10:17,20-22

[7] John 1:12

[8] Proverbs 3:11-12

[9] Hebrews 12:7-8

[10] Hebrews 11:6

[11] John 6:12

[12] 1 Peter 3:18-20

[13] Isaiah 22:22; Revelation 3:7; Matthew 16:19; Revelation 1:18

[14] John 2:16

[15] Romans 8:22, 20-21

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