“A Voice for the Gathering Saints”
God’s Created Man“Part two of ten”
God, in creating His man for the purpose of having dominion over His creation, we have this assurance from scripture in Colossians 1:27 which states, “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”. But, not ending here, His desire is stated also in the prayer which Christ spoke to the Father. John 17:20-22, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:” Thus, it is not just Christ in us, but that we may also be in Christ. Our place in Him is dependent upon sharing the priority of seeking out and doing the Father’s will. Being one in Him speaks to us of an order which moves us to not do our own will, but to do the Father’s only. Herein obedience to God is better for man than all his sacrifices.
In this we are given the understanding from God that He becomes the tabernacle in which mankind is to dwell. God’s tabernacle is a dwelling place, a habitation, which indicates that it is a dwelling place which contains the presence, the nature of Jehovah Himself. This speaks of dwelling in the light of God called Shekinah. Shekinah is a word which expresses the glory and presence of God being manifested. To those who dwell in the Father’s tabernacle and His Shekinah glory, the character of God is manifested and reveals the glory of His presence. Psalms 15:1-3 states, “Lord, who may abide in your tabernacle? Who may dwell in your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend”. In meeting these requirements we must consider this truth. These qualifications cannot be fulfilled from the energy of the carnal, fleshly nature of the fallen man; therefore man has the need to go through a change, a transformation. This is being accomplished by allowing God to write a new nature within us, upon our hearts. This new nature causes the old corruptible nature to fall away by the engrafting of God’s nature within the man. Walk uprightly speaks of a people who walk without blame before God. The works of righteousness speaks of a people, who once were as filthy rags but now only do the Father’s works. In speaking truth, we have gained the experience of being made free because of knowing and becoming the truth which God is.
I Cor. 3:16-17 shares this truth, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are”. How is it that one can defile the temple of God? This defiling comes by corrupting the temple through false teachings, by pride, by immorality and disobedience. Therefore we are invited to remain pure in Him that He might be glorified. I Cor. 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s”.
The kingdom of God is a spiritual reality and available to each person who receives and allows Jesus Christ to become his Savior and Lord. In the receiving of His kingly rulership, He becomes King in our lives and over our affairs and through our lives by our service and love for Him. Luke 17:21, “Nor will they say, See here! Or see there! For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you”. Man, with God within, is to never operate independently of God’s power and grace. Man is to come to the light and walk only in that light.
For this cause, to become God’s tabernacle of expression, we must awaken. When our salvation is consummated, we must put on the Lord Jesus Christ and submit to His lordship. We must accept His moral standards while living in constant fellowship with Him. We are to depend upon His strength while making no provision for the flesh. This means living a life-style that does nothing to foster fallen man’s sensual desires and appetites. Romans 13:11-14, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awaken out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts”. Now this word “provision” is the word “pronoia” which has the meaning of, “Fore planning, foresight, forethought, premeditated plan, making preparation for, providing for”. Therefore if we are willing to come awake, God has left us a promise that far exceeds the desire we have to know Him. Eph. 5:14, “Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep (spiritually dead), arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light”.
One of the principles of God which He governs us by is, that with every promise and requirement He speaks forth to His people, He empowers, within the word received, the ability to make it so. Thus, when God speaks to us individually or collectively, within that which He speaks, is the power to bring it forth. In Matt. 5:48 God commands, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect”. This command is not something we can become in our own strength, but His strength enables man to fulfill it through faith. This place of perfection is incorporated into our lives by the law of love that He imparts to those who love Him. This love is the road, the pathway of the overcomers. It is these saints that shall enter the high realms of being glorified. Who and what is it to overcome? Back to Genesis the word overcome has the same meaning for us as “to subdue”. This is that which God purposed for man at the time of his creation. What then does God require of man when He speaks to us of a place of being glorified? The word glorified means “to exalt to dignity in company with, the risen Christ”. Romans 8:16-18 reveals, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”. An “heir” is one who has come to possess. This word denotes a joint participant, co-heir, and fellow heir, one who receives a lot from another.
A question often asked is, “if this place of overcoming, perfection and becoming heirs is available to a people, why do we not see it manifested?” To this question we must declare, this way has always been but has been hidden because of the hardness of man’s hearts and the traditions of our forefathers. Many of these traditions have been brought about by the rejection of the truth for the sake of self-satisfaction. For this cause, a call from God continues to ring out. Isaiah 60:1-2, “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and shall be seen upon you”. This is a promise of restoration bringing hope to all who shall believe. Can the world sink any lower in sin, suffering and willful wickedness? I think not, for darkness is all around us and gross darkness has consumed the minds of men. But, Mark 9:23 make’s us this promise, “Jesus said to him, if you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes”. Believers are those who have put their trust in God. They have faith in and are fully convinced that they can rely on Him. Believers know that God has the ability to act and the power to accomplish. Christ gives us the assurance that however powerless man’s efforts are to make things happen, God can demonstrate His dynamic power which translates people from a world of carnality into God’s kingdom, a people who walk in the Holy Spirit in obedience to Christ alone.