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The Power of the Glory I

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Thank You Holy Spirit for all the preparation that brought us to this word, for You are the consummate Story Teller and Teacher of the holy epic proportions that are without blemish of all that is contained and firmly held within our God.  And the growth You give us through the unfolding of each self-contained page as You reveal to each of us the treasures placed in our outstretched arms, as well as the clues that we are given to sleuth out… we who seek with eager diligence and trembling fingers with our motives growing purer each and every day as our hearts are cleansed from our imperative continuous repentance… and You give us our lines to share, that we each may participate in the building of the body of Christ, and so we are to drink and eat deeply of that which You expose for us, as You continue to draw us closer to You, to Your Jesus and to our Father. 

For the masterful Holy Spirit does weave together the warp and the weft threads of the master plan of the Lord God Almighty with adroit dexterity and does over weave again with layer upon layer of the ceaseless details of the never-ending story of our God who is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End of the never-ending everlasting eternity, an eternity of which He also did place in our hearts…

There is an Australian novel by the title, ‘Power Without Glory,’ which electrified Australia and incurred a tempest of praise and condemnation when it first appeared.  The author’s life was threatened and he was the subject of a celebrated action for criminal libel due to it being a thinly veiled story about real-life men and the corruption in their political careers because they were manipulated and bought by the power of money.  And there are other many such sagas written and some even made into movies.

Now, our Lord has both power and wealth beyond our wildest dreams and our most inventive imaginations, and He also knows how to manipulate circumstances in the event that His personal hopes and dreams can be fulfilled.  But is His way the same way, and is it for the same purposeful outcome?  No, for our Lord God Almighty is very different… so different from anyone else with any form of power that He is the only One who sent His One and Only Son into the world to save it.  But not by way of grand entrance that all would be drawn to Him because of His great wealth and jaw-gaping glamorous style, or by winning preferences with His enormous generosity in philanthropy that all would seek His support to make an alliance with Him.  And neither for His fabulously lavish parties, of which all would so desire to be seen at that they be espied scrambling over each other to beat a path to His doorway and fall, pawning there, in the event they may solicit an invitation.  Nor did He use coercion by way of intimidation, and if where there was no voluntary conceding, by the violent means of war and annihilation where necessary, and even when unnecessary, to compel all and sundry to fall under His domination by the restraining of their freedom that they would be forced to sign an agreement of absolute control over all the nations of the Earth.

No… for He did not recover ownership of creation by the payment of a set sum, neither to own it for Himself, nor to set it free from its captor – a captor who had stolen it by way of deceit without a second witness to indict him – by the way of extracting creation’s favouritism by overwhelming charm, or an exchange of wealth, or even submission of the will of the Greater to the lesser as was suggested to Him, “So if you worship me, it will all be Yours,”[1] or any other means that such great wealth and power does afford… but He did redeem creation by sending His Word and the word of the Word by whom and by which all creation was spoken into being, to put on and become of the flesh of mankind, that He may subdue that which had brought death to it to bring it back into its rightful heritage by way of the Resurrection and the Life… and thus to resurrect the glorious heritage of the glory of the perfect image of God.

And there was much preparation involved, much more than what is and has been seen, let alone understood, by the eye of the onlooker and reader of the Scriptures, and even by the diligent seeker… much that has not been written, which occurred prior to and during those 30 years of becoming of the fullness of the trust of God that He would step out into His ministry at the precise accorded time, the time preordained and purposed by decree, the time pre-empted unwittingly by Mary, the mother of the flesh given to Him, when she said to the servants at the wedding feast at Cana with assured boldness… the boldness of one who knows, of one who is a witness of an event or events that she did now know, not believe, but confidently knew so that she commanded without any misleading… “Do whatever He tells you.” …He thus revealed His glory…[2]

For Jesus had just come from an age-long-awaited victory, a victory delivered and kept so well under-wrap that His enemy, Satan, did not have an inkling of an idea that he had been dealt a fatal sting until the final scene was played out by his own gleeful willing ignorance, exuberantly driven by greed and hate whilst he was without understanding and knowledge of the masterful plan unveiling itself like a expansive rolled-up theatre curtain having its cords untied by the deft hands of the Holy Spirit from a great height, so that it unravelled with such aggressive aplomb that it took everyone who witnessed it by shocking surprise…  And it finally dawned on Satan with such a rapidly increasing agitation and disturbing horror like mercury rising, that he was the other main actor, the opposing king with one pawn on a chessboard in the endgame, who had only just prior been recklessly revelling in what he genuinely thought was his greatest achievement that would finally bring all his desires to fruition.  Yet he was the undoing of all he had worked so fiercely and cruelly for… for he was the king whose pride was the pawn that played directly into promotion by a calculated trap and was trounced into a checkmate by the opposing player.

For the Father and the Son Jesus, the Word of God, together with the Holy Spirit, achieved Their assured success via thorough and painstakingly precise attention to detail in the meticulous planning, not only of the preparation, but also of the ordained moment in time, and from their diligent observant watching of the enemy’s ways, to acquire the full knowledge and understanding of his weaknesses and strengths from the very beginning, all executed within the boundaries of the Law in the prescribed way…  And They, with extreme fastidious covertness set a trap in the desert by a heavily disguised and cloaked prelude of Jesus’ depth of strength drawn from the violent desperation of the all of love flowing like the driving force of rapids rushing purposeful through narrow chasms with the outermost tip of the point of the razor’s edge of the concentrated degree of an all-consuming precise focus, a disguise in the form of the weakness of a man’s flesh without the food of men for forty days… food which lasts not and gives not life everlasting… to lure with certainty Their adversary, Satan, into a dual of righteousness… that which is virtuous and moral in accordance with justice and truth in the Holiness of God…  And this worn and suffered with the perfectly accurately attuned self-controlled motivation within Him that Jesus would, with all the shrewdness accorded the serpent itself, but with the harmlessness of a dove – the dove of Peace who Himself was present – who had led Jesus into the desert for this appointed time and of whom Jesus was baptized into and therefore was the unseen second Witness required because the Law of Moses stated:  One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offence he may have committed.  A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses[3]… that They would gain the necessary proof for the formal indictment, which was required by the court, of whom the Judge is God the Father.  So that the defeat be uncompromisingly complete and final with no recourse, according to the Righteous Laws of Justice written by God the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, Themselves, that They may rightfully and just-fully redeem Their creation from the overlord who had stolen it by way of skilful deceitfulness with treacherous cunning. 

And as Satan’s nature had nothing of rightfulness and truth about it, but only deceitfulness borne out of his native language of lies,[4] and though he was full of craftiness and guile, he was doomed to be overcome, and could only misuse the words of Scripture to pander to his own ego, so it was inevitable that pride was to lead him to his downfall and he was cast out of Heaven like lightning down to Earth… And he would no longer be able to go before the Father’s throne to desecrate the air of the Heavenlies.  The Father was now set free from having Satan’s face and form confront Him, and from having the filthy slanderous accusations being spat out at Him by this contorted hate-filled fallen creature of grace who was the former model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty[5] yet now filled with the embitterment of all that his dashed hopes and dreams reminded him of day and night as he roamed the Earth to behold mankind and continuously be impassioned with a raging all-consuming vengeance fuelled now by his inescapable prison where mankind does reside.  For mankind was made in the Image of God, but he, Satan, was formerly made only as a model of Perfection, and did now exchange the glory of his beauty and wisdom to become a model of corruption everlasting.

And just as the curtain of this theatre’s closing scene did come whip-lashing down, the word of the Lord was fulfilled: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush [strike] your head, and you will strike His heel,”[6] as Satan had struck at Jesus’ heel in the desert where serpents are to be found, His own head was now struck and crushed as the curtain, which had been unveiling God’s secret plan, now hit the ground with such finality that there could never be any reversal or turning back… no possible out-manoeuvring… no dissolution… no way of invalidation… no negation… no neutralization… no nullification… for His head was completely crushed when from the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour… for the sun stopped shining.[7] 

And in the perfection of which Satan was formerly the model of, Jesus shed His own blood, the one perfect sacrifice in the one perfect plan, and He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities[8] for He had done unto Himself according to His own word, the word His Father had given Him to speak just after He had the court’s seal of approval for the final plan of redemption to be legally executed, and those words pealed out in the fullness of truth for the whole world to be made witness of: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”[9]

And so, He gave us, His disciples, the Secret of the Kingdom of God that we would continue to build in the same manner and the same format as He, the Chief Cornerstone, had, and in the same way of furtive camouflage, He disguised it by planting it seemingly flippantly with the Parable of the Sower,[10] just after He scattered His word from His lips and called out to the crowd that… was so large that He got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake[11]“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”[12]  Now if Jesus is going to talk to the crowds, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, in parables so that those on the outside…  “‘may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”[13] yet He said when He was alone, to the Twelve and the others around Him, “The secret of the Kingdom of God has been given to you,”[14] then would you not be looking in the right place if you looked at the obvious and the near at hand? 

The obvious is the meaning of the parable, but as the meaning of the parable is told with three different conclusions: two on the one occasion with the yield of the Secret being recorded by Mark, where Jesus explained: “Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”[15]  Thus, the yield from the crop of the Secret was the most difficult to obtain.  But Luke recorded the other section of this teaching when Jesus gave the explanation of the Secrets of the Kingdom of God, which would yield the assurance of a rich crop only, “a hundred times more than was sown.”[16]  And the other time was recorded in Matthew’s version[17] of a similar occasion, for though it was the same storyline, Jesus was referring to the Secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the Kingdom of Faith, and which is able to yield a rich crop of a hundred times in the first instance, with the lesser case scenarios of poorer soil and conditions, yielding an increase of sixty or thirty-fold.

And still, the Father does yet hear the voice of the accuser whispering into the ears of all those whom He sent His Son to redeem with His priceless precious blood, and yet have gone back to their Egypt to live in immorality in the land of their forefathers under the very same Laws their forefathers could not live by, or at best, by mixing a bit of the old wine with the new wine in their idolatrous refusal to listen exclusively to His Son.

And so for this time… this purposeful appointed and long-awaited time, anticipated with the greatest of eagerness, and which has now arrived, the entrapment is by way of the Secret of the Kingdom of God, for Jesus said to the Twelve and the others around Him, “The secret of the Kingdom of God has been given to you.”  But if it was not that which was openly stated, where was the secret that had been given to them and when was it given to them?  To find it we have to go back to an earlier event, one that had already occurred where the Secret was given to them and they recognized it not.

For Paul had told the Corinthian church that there was given him a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment him.  Three times he pleaded with the Lord to take it away from him.  But the Lord said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”[18]  For we were born into grace but we have not moved from that grace into the freedom of the glory of God as we had  not yet fulfilled Jesus’ command when He said, “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”[19]  And even as our former brother, the great apostle Paul, of whom we have such respect, was not able to overcome his thorn, for it was not the work of the Lord to remove it from him, but it was for him to overcome it by the secret that had been given to the disciples, the secret that was openly displayed by Jesus of which they had first-hand experience.  His private fear caused him to fall from his great height as he tried to justify his apostleship to the brethren by means of the Old Law when he accepted their advice to join in the purification rites at the temple.[20]  For what was he doing trading the glory he walked in for the faded glory of the rebellious people of Israel?

And we too have to overcome our own thorns that would set not only us free, but catapult our God into the long desired freedom of once again walking with sons of God who are in the Fullness of the Perfection of His Image.  The secret had been lost to us, but as we did with our own desperation seek in vain to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,[21] it was only when we would cry out for the desperation that Jesus had, His desperation, that all that hindered and entangled was able to be discarded like the filthy rags that they are… Rags that have adorned God’s image for far too long and have thus covered the Light of the Glory of the Perfect Image of God. 

Paul’s thorn, as is ours, was his relationship with one of his brethren, a messenger of Satan, who troubled and agitated him.  For this deception, despite Paul having such deep understanding and knowledge, and armed with surpassingly great revelations,[22] ensnared him as it has done us, that we have not been able to die for one another as Christ has loved us,[23] for Christ loved us and died for us even when we were still His enemies.  And as the glory was the alpha of our revelationary walk with God, so it is now our omega walk with God in and on this set of the stage whereon we have been acting.

For if it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the Author of their salvation perfect through suffering[24] …would it not therefore, be through the suffering from our own personal thorns that drives us into such desperation that we would enter into this perfection that would then set His power free, for it was when Jesus first revealed His glory at the wedding at Cana that His disciples put their faith in Him, this nature changing glory that changed water to the finest of wines.[25]  And we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory,[26] the glory that was in the beginning for Jesus prayed, “Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.”[27] 

For our thorns are given us by none other than the Author and Perfector of our faith, like iron sharpening iron, as He has been able to use our very own pawn, that bastion of pride wherein we had always seen each other in the Light of Fear, the fear of being judged by one another as by the judgment we did accord ourselves of… perhaps of being unworthy, or unacceptable, or perhaps even being in the practice of something that we assumed the other does not approve of, for we were not judging in the Light of Love as we were unable to think more highly of one another than we did of ourselves… for how could we, when we were unable to even fulfill the OT Laws that commanded:  “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself,’ ” for Jesus said, “There is no commandment greater than these.”[28]?

And then you will witness the finality of the greatest of all miracles that we did perform… that of drinking deep from the well of satisfaction, the satisfaction of a work precisely executed according to the prescribed way as has been taught us, when we have completed to the fullness of the perfection acquired by the acknowledged imperative, continuous repentance and the humble, diligent, submissive obedience to our Master Teacher and Trainer of the tasks each of us have been given to fulfill, and as we now take up our pre-ordained position in the building that we have been dutifully and lovingly giving of all that we were capable of giving of ourselves to work on… that the one who is to build on top of or beside our layer of work may finish theirs and then to rest in their pre-ordained position that does make up of the house of the Lord… the New Jerusalem.

And as freely as I have received and have freely achieved of this teaching, I freely give unto you that no longer is it the hopeful will, but the carried out will of our Redeemer who is our Saviour, and has become our Brother and our Teacher and our Friend, and also our Head for His will is: that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You.  May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.  I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are One: I in them and You in Me.  May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me,”[29] for this can not be achieved by any one of us without the patient endurance and careful guidance of the Holy Spirit with loving discipline by our Father that we will come to this place of the Oneness of God.

And it is that the fourth person of the Trinity is not one person or even a group of singularly-minded individuals, but the fourth person is the body of Christ made up of many persons, who are all in the perfect unity of oneness as God is One heart, One mind, One Love, One soul, and of One spirit, yet Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and so we are under the perfect control of the Head, who is Christ Jesus Himself. 

AMEN SWEET SAVIOUR, AMEN PRECIOUS HOLY SPIRIT, AMEN RIGHTEOUS FATHER


 

[1] Luke 5:7

[2] John 2:5,11

[3] Deuteronomy 19:15

[4] John 8:44

[5] Ezekiel 28:12

[6] Genesis 3:15

[7] Mark 15:33-34, Matthew 27:45-56; Luke 23:44-45

[8] Isaiah 53:5

[9] Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31

[10] Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-17

[11] Mark 4:2

[12] Mark 4:9

[13] Mark 4:11-12 [Isaiah 6:9-10]

[14] Mark 4:10-11

[15] Mark 4:20

[16] Luke 8:8

[17] Matthew 13:3-23

[18] 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

[19] John 13:34

[20] Acts 15:26

[21] Hebrews 12:1

[22] 2 Corinthians 12:7

[23] John 15:13

[24] Hebrews 2:10

[25] John 2:11

[26] Romans 8:17

[27] John 17:24

[28] Mark 12:30-31 [ Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18]

[29] John 17:21-23

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