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“Only hold on to what you have until I come.”  If only Jesus had said this to Magdalene instead of what He did say, “Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.  Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’ “  Mary gave up holding onto the risen Christ to obey Him and to tell the eleven the good news… only to be considered as one speaking nonsense and disbelieved.  After that we hear no more of her in the Acts and epistles.  By Acts 1.14 even Luke has her recorded as one of the women and only the mother was mentioned.  In the epistle, Paul mentioned a Mary whom Paul acknowledged as Mary, who worked very hard for you.  Was that Magdalene or just another Mary?  We do not know and so we do not speculate… but this we do know… she was the first to see Christ risen, first to touch and hold onto the risen Christ, and the first to experience being ignored and disbelieved by the fellow disciples when she brought her good news.  She was also the first to be given her gospel after the resurrection, not just the Gospel of the Resurrection, but the Gospel of Equality, for Jesus said, I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.”

In one sense Jesus was referring to the disciples with this sentence… but equally so in another sense He just made her equal to Him, because to her He said, I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.”  Jesus’ first words on resurrection morning to a woman made her equal to Him in relationship with God.  The restoration and resurrection of the helper was completed with this one verse.  Though Eve was called a helper in the beginning, which seemed to infer her an inferior status… now to this daughter of Eve born again, Jesus made her equal to Himself in their relationship and therefore their access to God – “…My Father and your Father… My God and your God.”  With these words Jesus made clear what He meant when He said, “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about My Father.  In that day you will ask in My Name.  I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.  No, the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God.  I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” 

No wonder He could say, “I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf,” because with the resurrection, we who believe in Him and His Name would be made equal coheirs with Him in our relationship with God and the Father.  It would no longer be ‘our God but His Father,’ but rather, it is ‘our God and His God as well as His Father and our Father.’  So that prayer He taught disciples to pray, “Our Father in Heaven…” was meant to include Him, that is, our Father… His Father and our Father… the same ‘our Father’… if only we believe what we are told.

When the eleven thought Mary’s words as nonsense and unbelievable, they actually disbelieved Jesus’ Gospel of Equality – equality with Him, the Son, the Christ, the Messiah, the Heir who Himself is also the Lord God Almighty.  When they disbelieved Mary’s words, not only did they disbelieve the command to go to Galilee that morning, but they denied the opportunity availed to them that day to be made equal with Jesus in relationship to God and the Father.

The disbelief of the gospel of Magdalene by the eleven meant that instead of an immediate and easy ascension to the place of equality with Jesus in relationship to God and the Father, the eleven would spend unnecessary time working their own way up there until they themselves came to that revelation that Jesus has gone back to His God and their God, our God, as well as His Father and their Father, our Father.

Thus the opening sermon of the church from Jerusalem began with a reminder about God… ” ‘In the last days, God says…’  Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a Man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know,” but no revelation of the Father that God is who has been revealed by Jesus Christ.  There was no revelation that Jesus is the Brother of all who believe in God and that He came to reveal the Father to those who believe in Him.  Even when the Father was mentioned in Acts 2.32-33… “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.  Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear,” the equality that Jesus gave us through His words to Mary was hidden, shrouded and indeed buried.  It was not plainly revealed as Jesus said it so plainly to Mary, “…My Father and your Father… My God and your God.”  This initial insecurity in the men who led the preaching in the Jerusalem congregation is due to this one truth – they did not believe the gospel brought by Mary – and as such they themselves experienced none of its blessings.  Led by the eleven and the unintended one, the Jerusalem congregation splintered on… managing to grow in numbers because the Holy Spirit worked with them to confirm Jesus’ words… but what was missing in the early Acts of the apostles was the revelation that we, the disciples, have a relationship to God that is equal to that of Jesus as our Father and our God as He is the God and Father of Jesus.

So the general sense of relationship within the congregations remained distant and religious.  We were taught that God is the Father of Jesus, yes, and we believed it, and through Jesus those who have faith in Him become children of God… but the relationship was never one that was robust… rather, it is fragile.  Fragile like that of an adopted child’s relationship to the parents is less, always less than that of the natural born child.  Even the great Paul spoke of our adoption as sons… yet it was Paul who in his letters began to pen these words… God our Father whereas both Peter and John spoke of God the Father.  The difference in the wordings of the two from the eleven and the one who was the last and abnormally born of the male apostles is intimacy and equality as well as ownership.

Peter and John’s reference to God the Father acknowledges the Person and the position, but does not speak not only of relationship, but rather, does not speak of ownership.  He is our Father, not the Father, our Father… He is ours.  When Jesus said, “…My Father and your Father…” He proclaimed not only His relationship, but His ownership, and made us truly coheirs because He gave us ownership of the Father as well.

The equality that Jesus gave Mary to tell the eleven included in it the deed of ownership… for had they believed then God became our God and our Father… He became ‘God our Father,’ not ‘God the Father.’  Even if we said, “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (like in 1 Peter 1.3) we still have no ownership over Him in our relationship… we do not possess Him… but merely acknowledge Him.  Jesus did not give Mary a message of acknowledgement about His God and His Father, but a message, a deed of entitlement of equal ownership to His God and His Father who, if we believe, is also our God and our Father.

This failure to believe the title deeds given us through Mary by Jesus meant that the disciples themselves never took possession of God as their own Father like Jesus did, and therefore sonship was never mentioned in the letters of the eleven.  Paul alone mentioned sonship.  The eleven spoke of fellowship, worship and discipleship, but of sonship it was a subject foreign to them… foreign because they themselves did not take possession of the Father, and as such, since a man can only give what he has received, the eleven could not give the sonship they did not receive.  They could give the discipleship, the fellowship and the worship, for they received that from Jesus and they partook of it and possessed it, so that their places in the church were always measured in their apostolic authority or prophetic authority and so on.  Their power, their influence and their decisions were always on the basis of the one who had been appointed a position or office and never as one born to possess his inheritance.

The failure to believe the Gospel of Equality from Magdalene and to take up their rights of ownership and take possession of the kingdom that had been placed in them as heirs from the beginning and not merely officers of the kingdom meant that the danger that others who would come in to challenge their positions would be able to.  So when James the Younger stood up and passed his judgments, they remained silent and James took possession of what he thought he was entitled to and began to use the church as a vessel for the restoration of the kingdom of Israel of which he was truly its king by flesh.  So agendas and decrees were authorised that ensured the church was as much about restoration of rule by Mosaic Law as it was about salvation for those who would believe until by and by the excuse to rule dominated over the work of salvation.

Nicolaitans, Balaamites and Jezebelians arose as fellow servants who saw themselves as being equally entitled to have their say, their opinions and their sway on how the church was meant to run, like any politician elected to office is allowed to have his say on how a country is to be run.  No one possessed or owned the church as such even though they were all part of the church, and so the authority to run it was always subject to challenge… servants fighting against servants, office holders fighting against office holders to see who got the bigger office.

It was not until Paul was brought in that the reality of what the eleven denied all those years ago was taught to the Gentile churches – the reality of sonship – the truth of this declaration by Jesus, “…My Father and your Father… My God and your God,” and so to Paul was given the revelation of the absolute title of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Sonship.  The ultimate purpose of God to have raised up from the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, sons and daughters for themselves who are coheirs with Jesus because the God of Jesus is also their God and the Father of Jesus is also their Father, and therefore, the Kingdom of God is also their kingdom, the house of God is also their house and home, for it is the house of their Father. 

Owners… possession… gives us the right to hold onto what we have.  If it is borrowed, we have to return it.  If it is assigned or consigned, we are merely its stewards, but never its owners and we can never keep it.  But if we own it, we can hold onto it rightfully.

So when Jesus said to those in Thyatira who had nothing to do with Jezebel, “Only hold on to what you have until I come,” they were able to keep what they owned and possessed of what they had believed and been taught from Jesus.  But now for the Galilean women and men, holding onto what you have is to believe the gospel of Mary Magdalene.  For unless you are one who would have believed Mary that morning and found that her words made sense to you, you are not eligible to partake of the liturgy of the Galilean congregations, but that of the Jerusalem congregations.

For the Jerusalem congregations are built on the foundation of eleven men and one unintended man who did not believe the gospel of Magdalene and found her words to seem to be nonsense.  They may have been rebuked by Jesus later, they may have placed their hands in Jesus later, and later received the Holy Spirit in the upper room (50 days later)… but in truth, they did not possess the equality offered by Jesus from the beginning.  Indeed, it is as if though they started in the field before Mary did, they became as ones who came into the field after Mary did.  So the first became the last.  Indeed, it is as if the first to be called apostles amongst the men became the last to possess the sonship that the last of the men wrote so much about.

It is the ability to take ownership and possession of this equality that Jesus gave first to Magdalene and then to all who would believe her message that takes the innovations of the Galilean congregations to its true place – innovations no more, but true foundations revealed.  A foundation based on apostles and prophets, yes… but a foundation based on apostles who all believed in the good news of the resurrection and of the Kingdom of God from the first who was to hear it to those to whom it was revealed.  A foundation that is based on a woman and eleven men who believed and laid hold of the Kingdom of God as coheirs of Jesus from the beginning because He was going to His Father and their Father, His God and their God.  A foundation laid not only on apostles and prophets, but on princes and princesses, for from the beginning, it was the sisters and brothers of Jesus together with the woman who mothered Him who would start His church and prepare the Earth for His reign.

So to obey the Lord at this command… “Only hold on to what you have until I come,” is to hold onto the equality of our daughtership and sonship with Him in the administration of all that belongs to our God and His God, our Father and His Father… this church, this world, this creation… until He appears not as our Lord or Master, not even as our King, but as our Brother, for we come from the same Father and the same God. 

So, women of Galilee, take possession of the equality that your sister Magdalene was given, the equality of daughtership that makes the God of Jesus Christ your God, the Father of Jesus Christ your Father, and look to the affairs of your Family.  So His authority is your authority and the power that was His to sow is now your power to harvest.

So truly the helper is revealed… that solid first foundation upon which all the other layers of the foundation would be placed… that layer, the rock that has the look of blood made solid.  The covenant set in stone that “…wherever the Gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

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