“‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah, not like the Covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My Covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the Lord.
“‘But this is the Covenant which I will make with the House of Israel after those days,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will put My Law (My Living Word) within them and on their heart I will write it (Him); and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me (in their own hearts, personally and directly), from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for (as soon as they become one with My Living Word, and what He did to cover their nakedness) I will (be free to become one with them and, because of Him, and what He has done for them, I will) forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
So far, our meditations on the foundational seeds of the Torah’s Revelations in Genesis enable us to see that the Covenant relationship God’s Living Word had with the Fathers of the Faith was direct, personal and electrifyingly interactive. And the Fathers learned and responded beautifully. But in Exodus, with their descendants, it’s a different story. The relationship they had with God’s Word was continuously rocky and sorrowful, to say the least. So, as it is with all human marriages… Israel’s Covenant bond with God is not easy or trouble-free. That’s why our marriage covenants, including our Covenant with God, must be continually renewed, confirmed and refreshed on a daily basis!
We learn from Israel’s example, that although the Torah is God’s revelation of His Living Word, and although it is holy, good and God-given, it cannot, in itself, change the Sin-corrupted human heart! Nor can it regenerate our badly disfigured Sin-corrupted nature or restore our original ability to be the image and likeness of God! Even if we gladly embrace God’s written commands and strive to do our utmost to meet His standards and obey Him, the Sin-corruption and spiritual bankruptcy that always lurk within our hearts become aroused and so the self-life within us becomes stronger rather than weaker! So Torah doesn’t remove what is in us! It exposes what is in us and makes us aware of our true state before God. And that realization drives us to God Himself, so that He, through the creative work of His indwelling Living Word and Holy Spirit, can ‘circumcise’ and cleanse and transform our hearts, as only the Creator of all things could do!
And therefore, God repeatedly affirms, throughout the Bible that He will never give up on Israel! He will always stand by her – not because her performance is so great, but – because the Eternal Faithfulness of His unchanging Perfect Nature is forever Steadfast and Reliable! His Infinitely Perfect Eternal Covenant Love has already done everything necessary to cover mankind’s nakedness and enable us to grow into a participation and enjoyment of the complete fulfillment of the Covenant promises He has made to Israel from the beginning. So doesn’t this tell you that, rather than putting all of His faith, trust and expectation on us, He relies instead upon His own Living Word and Holy Spirit? God’s Perfect Nature insures that His Perfect Plan and Standards will be perfectly fulfilled! That’s why His Living Word became flesh, to serve as our Perfect Atonement Covering and Blood Covenant Representative. He is the one that must do it all; and He already has!
Beloved, follow God’s leading. Learn to put all of your faith, hope, trust and expectation upon God’s Living Word… and Holy Spirit… and on nothing else! God’s Eternally Faithful Nature, rather than man’s grossly limited performance, is the airtight guarantee of our ultimate restoration and share in His Righteousness. He is our Satisfaction, Fulfillment and Success! Ponder Scripture and you will see that throughout Israel’s history, even when things actually did work properly, Israel’s obedient faith was always short-lived. God was always the same; but with Israel, something always went wrong. Like their father Jacob before them, every Israelite generation, for the most part, has wrestled, resisted and opposed God’s Living Word when God sent Him to them. So look again at our opening text above. In it, God warns Israel that her performance, in response to Moses and the prophets, was an utter failure! So He promised to make a New Covenant… so that He can save Israel from herself! And through Israel, God gives this same message to the whole world! In so many words, this is what He’s saying in that text:
‘The day is coming Israel… when I will have to ‘touch’ your ‘thigh’ and ‘dislocate’ it just as I did to Jacob! Then… you too will be totally helpless. Finally, you will realize that your fallen flesh is utterly bankrupt and incapable of doing anything by itself! Just as I did to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob before you, I must join your personal unbelief and rebellion to the terrible helplessness that My beloved Word, My Son Yeshua, had to experience when I allowed Him to be abased, humiliated and reduced to nothingness, and nailed to the Cross of Atonement, in your place.
‘He became one with your corruption, helplessness and disobedient bankruptcy, so that His Perfection could satisfy the standards of My Perfect Justice and Righteousness! He atoned for you perfectly. So now, if you become one with Him, I can restore you fully and make you one with the Eternal Glory of His Resurrection! My New Covenant will make it possible for you to be joined to your Messiah and what He has already experienced and done on your behalf. Your self-life, like Jacob’s, must die with Him! After that, you’ll have no other option but to trust in Me alone. Then, from the ashes of your former self-life, you will see that, just as He had to identify with you, to represent you, you too must identify with Him, to share in His reward and Glory, and all of His Fullness!’
In light of this spiritual Reality, this is how God described Israel’s future helpless state through Ezekiel:
“Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My (Sin-murdered) people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to Life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken (My Living Word) and (He has) done it,” declares the Lord.’” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
In Ezekiel 34, God had already notified Israel that the efforts of her human kings, priests and spiritual leaders to serve as go-betweens between Him and His chosen people would be of no avail. And He promised that He would send His Living Word made flesh, the Son of David, to be their Ultimate Messiah Shepherd, to be the Mediator who would rescue them all. Then He said that the day would come when Jacob’s children will finally reach the end of their independent self-enhancing striving. Their self-life will be crucified, exhausted and executed! They too will walk with a ‘limp.’ And when their habitual struggling finally reaches its end… God will act and do what only He could do for them. This is why the apostle Paul announced:
“For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so, all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, WHEN I (Myself will) TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS!” (Emphasis added.)
Thanks to Adam’s fall, no matter how learned, ‘good’, ‘worthy’, ‘spiritual’ or ‘chosen’ any of us think we are, we can’t escape the destruction, pain, agony and frustration inherent in the mortal state that the Serpent’s lies inflicted upon all of Adam’s children:
“Then to Adam He (God, through His Living Word) said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you (and everything you will aspire to or try to accomplish) shall return.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Beloved, God was describing humanity’s utterly frustrating ‘living death’ state! He didn’t impose that death sentence on us! He was merely describing its effects! Remember that in Genesis 1, right after creating us, He imparted His Perfect All-Sufficient Blessing upon our first parents! So the Curses of the Fall are the exact opposite of what God’s Perfect Wisdom and Love actually intend for us! Our chronic failure and frustration come from our choice to reject and separate ourselves from His Living Word! Torah makes this very clear. And it also reveals how God responded to our plight: He sent His Living Word after us… to cover the nakedness of our first parents (Genesis 3:21).
God’s Perfect Provision Given in His Perfect Love
We see that, by His Nature – God is Eternally Perfect, Self-sacrificing Covenant Love! His Lovingkindness and Faithfulness toward us never change! And no created thing – not even the Torah of Moses – can take God’s place in our hearts! Only He can impart His Perfect Life-giving Love and Eternal Life to us. God Himself, by His Personal Word and Holy Spirit, must give Himself to us, and we must unreservedly embrace and become one with Him! So, the highly limited theologies, denominational teachings and religions that men create and control, even if they help us see our desperate need for God and prompt us to turn our attention to Him… they can never take His place! We must have God… giving Himself to us… through His Living Word and Holy Spirit, or else we will remain dead for all of eternity!
The New Covenant Fulfillment that makes us one with God actually empowers us to contain and embody, within ourselves, His active, Life-giving Presence! God Himself is The Gift! He doesn’t send a bunch of created stuff to us in His place! He won’t remain remotely distant from us in outer space! He sends His Word… to enter us… to cover us… and to live and work within us, so that God can reveal Himself to others, through us! There’s an infinite difference between what happens when God gives Himself to us, and what happens when we remain disconnected from Him! As long as our hearts remain apart, He is not really our Lord and Redeemer; so all we can do is ‘dabble’ with created religious stuff that is, more or less, about Him! But that amounts to settling for the stale emptiness of ‘dead religion’ as opposed to having the actual electric-like, Spirit-imparted Power and Aliveness of God’s very Presence surging through your inner being!
Perhaps it will help to compare this to human marriage: Could you be content and satisfied being married to a lifeless mannequin? Or, would looking at photographs of others making love satisfy your deep needs to experience love for yourself? Can symbolic substitutes ever take the place of actually knowing and interacting and connecting intimately with a real live soul mate of your own? Will a steady diet of romance novels, and lust-arousing pornographic pictures, or mere talk about love, sex and married life in abstract, theoretical terms, ever bring you the actual reality? No, of course not! Even if you do those things endlessly, they’ll never impart the electrifying ecstasy that comes from enjoying actual personal union… the spine-tingling wonder a man and woman feel, when they love and desire each other passionately, and are actually experiencing the true consummating union of their hearts, souls and bodies! The reality of what actually takes place when two mates become ‘one flesh’ , can never be conveyed by cold, sterile, unreal symbolic substitutes! Beloved, if you can you see and admit this about the love between a man and woman, you’ll begin to understand what God wants to be to us, and convey to us, by the term, ‘Knowing God.’
We can’t actually know God as the original fathers of the Faith knew Him, if we only read about what they did with Him and hear others talk about it! For them, it was actual Living Reality! But it won’t be real for us if all we do is hear others talk about what happened to them in the distant past! We must experience the actual Fire that engulfed them! We can’t afford to remain at a far distance from the Fire’s actual Presence and Reality… in the cold outer darkness of intellectualism and theory and abstraction! It’s true that we all begin our journey totally ignorant and radically independent of God. But, once we begin to follow His Word… God will actually begin to ‘speak’ His beloved Word into us – directly and personally! The Word will pierce you like a guided missile and eliminate any distance that exists between you and Him! Mere talk can’t convey how intensely personally intimate, private and soul shattering this actually is! Beloved, once you really ‘drop everything else’ and begin to obey His command to follow Him, you won’t need created mediators or go-betweens to tell you about this reality that they may not yet know for themselves! As soon as you become wholehearted about embracing and obeying Him, He will be wholehearted in making Himself known to you! And you won’t need anyone else to describe or explain what He’s like. He will be so overwhelming that you won’t be able to see or think of anything else but Him!
He requires you to begin by learning to heed and follow His voice. He will thus draw you closer to Him! But then, He will teach you to allow Him into you so you can spend the rest of your days and nights knowing and abiding with Him, like never before. You will see how utterly WHOLEHEARTED God really is in His love for you! And, you’ll also realize that He is intent on transforming you into His image and likeness. Therefore, you too will have to learn to be ‘wholehearted’… as you are being trained to actually ABIDE IN HIM… BY FAITH! The idea is for you to abide in the never-ending experience of drawing everything you are and have and do… FROM HIM!
A bride and groom can’t be content with occasional social visits! They won’t be satisfied with merely texting or phoning each other from a long distance. They must live and interact with each other, as one unit! They must be free to give themselves to each other…all the time… day and night! And that is what God’s Word is here to be and do with you! God won’t merely speak His Word ‘to’ you; He will speak Him into you and through you! Through your obedient acceptance of and abiding interaction with His Word, God makes you one with Himself! And then He will continually reveal His beloved Son to you, and will also make many others aware of Him… as they see Him living in and through you, and blessing everything that pertains to you!
“Now as they observed the (supernatural Spirit-imparted) CONFIDENCE of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as HAVING BEEN WITH JESUS! And SEEING the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
“A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness (of your own spirit, soul and body); make smooth in the desert (created by your former unbelief and radical independence) a highway for our God. Let every valley (of unbelief in your heart) be lifted up, and every mountain and hill (of arrogant independence) be made low; and let the rough (self-adoring) ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain (of radical independence) a broad valley; then the Glory of the Lord will be revealed (without any obstruction whatsoever), and all flesh will see it together (operating from within God’s True Israel); for the Mouth of the Lord has spoken!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
For you to have the intimacy and oneness that God has in mind for us, God’s Word must pierce you like a bolt of Heavenly Lightning straight out of Eternity! He must transfix your inner being and fill you with His Holy Spirit! His Spirit must impart the Word’s Light, Truth, and Perfect Love into you, and into all of your earthly realities, so you can finally realize that Almighty God intends to live among His people, and ‘wear their skin’ and speak through their voices, and impact others through their Spirit-empowered presence! Yeshua must become your indwelling LIFE, so that His Perfect Resurrection Humanity can animate your still-mortal flesh!
This is the New Covenant level at which God interacts with those who are truly His. It must be an intensely personal, intimate and continuous, day and night interaction! God must no longer be just a cold, static, dead ‘topic’ of soulish rationalism and dispassionate intellectual ‘study’ and ‘analysis’ to you. You must identify with Him so much, that He actually becomes your abundant Righteousness, your LIFE, your energizing, enabling FUEL, your God-adoring MOTIVE, your to-the-death COVENANT LOVE and your eternal HEAVENLY INHERITANCE AND DESTINY! Then He’ll actually reign as your Eternal Supreme Master, Owner, and Life, when you’ll finally realize… wholeheartedly… that, apart from Him, you can’t ever be, or have, or do – anything!
When God regenerates your spirit, He applies to you the full benefit of the Atonement Redemption that His Word made in Eternity on our behalf. And so an awesome radical transformation takes place in you spiritually, at that instant. What your spirit was by nature, one second before, becomes a new creation at that moment! But because Sin still abides within your fallen soul and mortal flesh, the Finished Work of God’s Word must then be ‘kneaded’ and worked into the intellect, will and affections of your fallen soul and the brain and nervous system of your mortal body. And that takes a lot of time, repetition and ongoing training. It’s like the progressive process of transforming what begins as a vast concrete parking lot, into a cultivated field that is now laden with ripe wheat! So your Master, the Word, will begin to live in you and reveal Himself through you. And He’ll bring you into His ‘School of Discipleship,’ the boot camp training relationship you see disciples in Scripture, experiencing with their Master. From that time forward, He will be teaching, realigning, correcting, disciplining, cleansing, equipping and preparing your soul to become one with His Father’s Will, and Plan and Purpose for you. But ultimately, He will be preparing you for Life with Almighty God, in Eternity!
So, your spirit transforms instantaneously, but your Master’s Self-revelation to the fallen Sin-diminished faculties of your soul and your mortal brain and nervous system must be applied progressively, from stage to stage and glory to glory. Your Sin-corrupted, disfigured mind, brain and nervous system must have the time and repetition they need that will enable them to catch up with what already happened in your spirit. And gradually, as that happens, the thinking and choices of your soul, and the actions of your body, begin to transform and express what is in your spirit.
“Now Saul, still (wrestling with God’s Living Word and) breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.’ The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.”
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
By the End of our Journey, God will have made us one with Himself, in every way and level, forever! But as we struggle en route, stumbling, misfiring and occasionally falling, the Perfect Righteousness and Obedience to the Father, that are in our Messiah Yeshua, our Perfect Covenant Representative, will continue to cover all the inadequacies of our personal nakedness. And the Holy Spirit He imparts to us will become our Power to persevere and overcome, as we make our way into the True, New Heaven and New Earth and New Covenant Jerusalem destination to which God’s Word is taking us. He’s taking us Home…. making the ‘ascent’ to His Father’s Heavenly Jerusalem and bringing us with Him! This revelation was the ultimate purpose for which Abraham and his entire family were set apart and entrusted with protecting and absorbing and demonstrating this special Gift of Himself that God was giving to the human race.
God summons all other peoples to join God’s True Israel in her Exodus, so that they can all serve Him with her, as part of His priestly nation. But first, before Jews and non-Jews can become one with each other, they must first each become one with God’s Living Word! Yeshua must be the Life within them all. And then they’ll be able to draw everything they need from Him, to fulfill their individual and corporate purposes and destinies together. But if they fail to become one with God’s Living Word, they will never become one with each other. That’s why, for all of us, everything is about Yeshua… it starts with Him… is maintained by Him, and will end in Him. That is why He must increase; and everything that gets in His way, must decrease!
And this is why mere theory and speculation and ‘dead religion’ always leave people empty, angry and disappointed and frustrated. No matter how much they pray, study and strive to perform in their own (nonexistent) strength… they can’t get hold of God that way! When we do that, we wrestle and struggle compulsively… trying to ‘capture’ and ‘pin down’ this mysterious Being. But eventually, we become exhausted and realize we don’t have what it takes to be radically independent. We’ll never prevail by trying to wrestle with God’s Reality. So we must finally give up and stop struggling. Then we can begin to learn to rest and abide in, and draw from Him… with everything that is in us.
This is what Torah shows us through Jacob’s struggles. For years, he contended with everyone – with Esau and Laban, and, even with God! He sought God’s Blessing, but craved personal supremacy at the same time! And that’s the story of every human, since Adam. But Jacob finally realized he couldn’t have it both ways. So when God’s Word became his Lord and Master, He also became his All-Sufficient Supply and Equipping. And then Jacob was able to face all of his future disappointments, sorrows and dangers because his heart was filled with God’s Peace. Knowing and being part of God’s Perfection emptied Jacob of all his former fear and insecurity! So, although the world around him didn’t change, Jacob was a new man, a man who was totally free! And this is what God intends for each Jewish and non-Jewish person He creates. So sooner or later, God’s Word must also ‘touch our thigh’ and terminate our pursuit of all radically independent autonomy. The Champion Wrestler of all wrestlers, the Living Word of the Living God, must, and will always, ultimately prevail!
We are Created to be One with our Creator
If you ponder what God says in chapter one of Genesis about what He created us to be, and ponder what happened to us in chapter 3 after Sin dragged us into Death, Darkness and endless Frustration, you’ll see why we feel such chronic, frustrating neediness and insatiable, empty yearning that nothing created can satisfy! We’re made to be one with the Uncreated One! So temporary created things never fill the void left by the absence of God’s Eternal Fullness and Glory! Apart from Him, we remain obsessive, compulsive and hyper-controlling – because we’re so far removed from our True Source and Eternal Destiny! We’re made to be God’s personal possession… His own image and likeness embodiment! So only He can satisfy us. Nothing created can ever fill His place in our hearts. We are made for Him alone! But unfortunately, very few people realize this!
The entire human race is still far removed from fulfilling its true Identity, Purpose, Destiny and Eternal Home! God will not forsake or give up on us even though the Sin within us keeps trying to pull us away from Him. He will continue to send His Word and Spirit to draw us to Him. The Sin within us will keep prompting us to struggle against God’s Word, but another part of us won’t stop yearning for God, because He is our Creator and True Inheritance! This is the frustrating ‘human condition’ from which God’s Word is here to deliver us. So, if it’s true that we are designed to be His image and likeness… if oneness with Him is truly our essence, purpose and destiny… then it’s no wonder that we can’t ignore or forget Him, that He’s always somewhere in the back of our minds, and no amount of created addictive substances and behaviors can disconnect and numb the chronic homesick desperation that separation from the Uncreated One leaves in our hearts. If you’re starving for food and gasping for oxygen, and dying of thirst, how can you know peace and fulfillment until you’re truly satisfied in all three areas? And that’s how it will it be with us until we know and become one with the Living Word of God! He is Everything to us!
“Then Jacob asked him and said, ‘Please tell me your Name.’ But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my Name?’ And he blessed him there.” (Emphasis added.)
Jacob couldn’t forget or conceal his hunger for God. And neither can the rest of us. We can’t stop thinking about Him… wanting to be close to our Heavenly Father drives us to keep trying to comprehend, define, explain, and, in general, ‘figure everything out.’ That was Jacob! God was like an ‘Itch’ he couldn’t reach to scratch, a ‘Mystery’ he couldn’t comprehend, a ‘Question’ he couldn’t answer, and a ‘Quest’ he always failed to achieve. In our everyday experience, we become familiar with many created things and know and understand enough to attempt to define them. But when it comes to God, we are at a complete loss.
In the Biblical Hebrew language and Semitic culture through which God reveals Himself, Jacob’s request, ‘Please tell me Your Name,’ had that profound human hunger embedded within it. He wasn’t asking for surface information concerning the Name of the Word of God. He was asking to be united with God Himself… to plumb the depths of His Nature and Essence and Activity! God’s chosen Biblical Hebrew culture and language use marital love as an analogy for that intense level of hunger and yearning. We’ve already considered what happens when a man and woman ‘know’ each other in the sense of marital consummation. And that is precisely what the Hebrew word ‘to know’ is often meant to express… the intimate knowing that comes when a man and woman unite with each other sexually! The deepest, most intimate level of knowledge known to us is that sexually expressed love-union. That’s the consummating fulfillment that takes place when the male and female humanity that God created in Genesis truly becomes one. That level of union is what God designed to serve as the perfect human image and likeness of His own Personal Fulfillment! But still, it’s only a dim shadow compared to what is possible for us with Almighty God Himself! Nevertheless, God uses the analogy of human marriage to express how He wants each one of us to become one with Him, through the personal, intimate, abiding knowledge of His Living Word. We are made to be God’s image and likeness. So we must become as one with His Living Word. The Word is God’s Ultimate, Perfect Image and Likeness! He is one with His Father… so God is telling us that we are made to be one with His Word. The Word is the Eternal Inheritance that we were all made to know and enjoy together, with and from God!
“In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God! He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the Darkness, and the Darkness did not comprehend (or dominate or master) it.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
So… what is the first thing our Creator and Sustainer reveals of Himself when He first penetrates us to such a depth? Well, He has to show us how far beneath our intended state we have fallen. Compared to people who are filled with God’s Word and Spirit and are Temples of God’s Presence, severed, decapitated people are hideous mutations, spiritually speaking. So God has to show us why He has to remove every speck of radically independent self-life rebellion that is in us. We must see and understand our utter need for His Perfect Righteous Life to take us over in us, completely! This is the understanding that leads us to our personal Cross… and to our Salvation, which enables us to share in His Resurrection Life and Perfect God-filled Humanity!
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet…” (Emphasis added.)
“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your Book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to (concerning) me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You!”
God is revealing the deep passionate love, mercy and value with which He regards us! He reveals our ultimate, eternal Destiny and Purpose, by showing us how radically and totally He must drain every speck of pride, arrogance and the shame and control addiction that Sin put into us! Removal of all separation is what it takes to transform us into God’s image and likeness! He also shows us why and how the crucifixion and death of self-life sets us free from every trace of anxiety or fear and the chronic emptiness and frustration that make us crave that false sense of control. Only complete union with Yeshua can save us from all of that! So, because we can’t be one with God and independent of Him at the same time, God uses Yeshua’s Cross to remove whatever stands between Him and us and our Creator. The Word united Himself to our radical independence and took it into His own crucifixion and death, to remove what was standing between us! After that, He can unite with us and share the Eternal Glory of His Eternal Resurrection Life with us!
Beloved, Hebrews 12 is showing us what those times of supreme, gut-wrenching correction and heart-breaking discipline we experience, are actually doing for us. The Cross is stripping away our self-life and the Eternal Death that comes with it. It is actually God’s Love reaching for us through His Word… and pulling us through the ‘birth canal of Death to Self. Death to Self enables us to become fully alive sons of God who abide IN GOD! His Perfect Presence is what accomplishes the Cleansing Transforming and Reconfiguring Power at work our inward parts. His Presence equips and fits us to reflect, embody, radiate and reveal His own true abiding, indwelling Nature and Essence! We can never be like God in ourselves! But God makes it possible for Him to be Himself within us… as soon as we repent of our independent ways!
He shows us the difference between His Perfection, and our current Sin-corruption that makes it impossible for us to even approach Him. And, since by nature we are so alienated and distant from Him, when He first confronts us, the difference is excruciatingly painful and utterly devastating to us. But God must put us through this period of gut-wrenching discovery. He must purify and cleanse us completely, so we can be equipped to know and abide with and reflect Him, as He really and truly is! And when we finally see that… we wake up from our trance and are able to agree and cooperate with the work that His Word and Spirit have to do to prepare us for this New Covenant Reality that makes that blessed Eternal Union with Him, possible! When we see what God is doing for us… then we can persevere and overcome to the End.
Our God Alone Defines Who We Really Are
So, just as He did with Jacob, God requires us to answer that question: “What is your name?” Beloved, that question exposes what we are to the core, and forces us to admit our true state so that we can finally see the difference between a fallen, living dead child of Adam, and a Life-filled regenerated temple of the Holy Spirit! It forces us to see and admit what we are, compared to what Almighty God is revealing about Himself! The comparison overwhelms and devastates our fallen flesh! When we get a glimpse of all that God is, in His Infinite Perfection and Eternal Glory, our Sinful corruption is instantly exposed… dragged out into the open… and executed on the spot! At the sight of Him, everything we are in our fallen state blows away! But, in exchange for what we were, God creates us anew… by uniting us to His own Perfect Presence. And then He gives us our new name: ‘True Israel’. If we follow our Messiah to His Cross and join Him in His Atoning Death, God can legally cut through the Serpent’s coils and set us free from our former self-life Death state, at last! And for the first time, we know what it is to be truly Human, in God’s sense of the word!
1 Corinthians 1:18-19
“For the Word of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the Power of God. For it is written (in Isaiah), ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”
God intends to rescue and cleanse and fill us with His Living Word and Holy Spirit. He will cover us with His awesome, Holy Name and reveal to us, and through us, what the letters of His Name really mean. In English His Name is rendered by the letters: YHWH. But in Hebrew, they are Yod, He, Vav, and He. And this awesome Name reveals the Fullness of God’s Infinite, Eternal Blood Covenant Love. The Life-imparting nature of His Name – is the Love Nature of God… revealed through His New Covenant Israel! This, I submit, is what God’s Living Word was sent to reveal and give to all of mankind – by becoming one with His repentant ‘Israel.’
“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the Book and to break its seals?” And no one in Heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the Book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the Book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the Book and its seven seals.’ And I saw between the Throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders, a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.” (Emphasis added.)
“… God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Living Word); that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have Eternal Life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the Judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their (Head-less) deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the Truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God (that is, done in him by God’s Living Word)!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
1 John 4:7-9
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for GOD IS LOVE! By this, the Love of God was manifested in us; that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world SO THAT WE MIGHT LIVE THROUGH HIM!” (Emphasis added.)
In this context, we can see that Genesis not only reveals something about God; it also telling us something about Israel’s future priestly purpose in relation to the rest of the fallen human race. It tells us that God allows that nagging desire to unite with Him to remain in all of His Sinful people… because He intends to restore us all to this level of personal union with Him! The Word created us for Himself! So God sent Him to rescue and redeem and bring us out of our delusions and back into His Reality! He revealed His Word, and His intent to become one with us, to the Jew first (Israel). Then through Israel’s example… He offers the same to the rest of Adam’s fallen children (Gentiles), so that all people might transform into His True Israel!
“He is the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all Creation. For by Him, all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Emphasis added.)
Although He is the utterly Incomparable, Transcendent ‘Other,’ God makes it clear that Jacob’s desire to know and bond with His Word was pleasing to Him. God never faulted Jacob for responding to this deep desire to know Him, because He puts that desire into all of us in the first place! But only when Jacob pursued Him wholeheartedly, did God impart His Full Blessing upon him and transform Him into His ‘Israel.’ As soon as Jacob became wholehearted in his pursuit, God wholeheartedly gave Himself to him!
“So Jacob named the place Peniel (the face of God), for he said, ‘I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved!’ ” (Emphasis added.)
“For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My Good Word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me WHEN YOU SEARCH FOR ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART! I WILL BE FOUND BY YOU,’ declares the Lord…’” (Emphasis added.)
There was nothing casual or theoretical about Jacob’s encounter with God! It was the electrifying merger of the Creator with his creature… a shocking, Life-giving, liberating, transforming union. Jacob was never the same after that. When you become wholehearted in your desire to be one with God, all of your double-minded striving evaporates! There’s nothing left of you for anything else! Thus God has no more competition in so far as your heart is concerned. So notice that after this took place in Jacob, he was free of the natural human anxiety and doubt over what would become of him. He knew his Perfect God had him perfectly covered! So he no longer even feared Death! Knowing God’s Perfect Love empowered him to dare to face Esau, who fully intended to kill him! Jacob extended an offer of love and peace but, if necessary, he was ready to endure Esau’s vengeful wrath… in total selflessness! He was buoyed and strengthened by an outrageous confidence in God’s Eternal Blood Covenant Love and Faithfulness. He knew that nothing could separate him from God’s faithful Love and Personal Fullness! So he had no more need for tricks or ploys by which to gain the upper hand. God’s Perfect Love for him gave Jacob Eternal Assurance that God would fulfill every promise He had made. Knowing God like this drives all fear out of your heart!
This is enormous, life-transforming and world-changing revelation! When God’s Living Word is finally able to pierce and penetrate your heart, He removes the horrible Sin Barrier, the Partition of Doubt against God that Sin drives into our hearts! As soon as we truly believe and submit to God’s Word, He blasts through the Barrier that prevents us from being the image and likeness of His Father’s Eternal Life and Light! Then, we regain the true identity, essence and destiny of the True Israel that God intended for all of us in the beginning! Genesis shows us how God’s Word was sent to seek Jacob out for this purpose… just as He had sought out Adam and Eve and Noah and Abraham and Isaac. He comes to blast through the Sin and Flesh Barriers that separate us from God. As the Word got close to Jacob’s radical independent perceptions and habitual ways, His Perfection exposed, crucified and executed Jacob’s self-life on the very same altar God had used to sacrifice His own Son in Eternity, who appeared in space and time as Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua.
The revelation of God’s Word, and His atoning sacrifice on our behalf, as God’s Passover Lamb and our Eternal High Priest, shows us why Jacob’s father, Isaac, did not have to die on that altar of stones atop Mount Moriah, in Genesis 22. And it is also why the people of Israel did not have to be destroyed even after falling into idolatry and gross immorality so many times throughout their history. God has them, and the rest of us, eternally covered by His Perfect Word! And this explains why our corrupt, perverted, predatory, brutally selfish and cruel race can be washed, cleansed, purified, reconciled and fully restored to God. God Himself, through His Perfect, Eternally Self-less Love, has made it possible! He gave His own Son, His Perfect Living Word that flows from Him, to be our Perfectly Obedient Sacrificial Lamb! God’s Lamb was sacrificed in our place, on the very place of execution where Isaac had once been spared centuries before!
“But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’ Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.” (Emphasis added.)
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; FOR IT IS GOD WHO IS AT WORK IN YOU, BOTH TO WILL AND TO WORK FOR HIS GOOD PLEASURE!” (Emphasis added.)
When God’s Word penetrated and impregnated Jacob’s innermost being with His Life, He ‘circumcised’ Jacob’s heart and ‘nailed down’ his original fallen Adamic nature. It was still embedded within his mortal flesh, but it remained crucified thereafter. And, in exchange, God gave Jacob a new regenerated spirit. That regenerated spirit was like a down payment, a guarantee of the full future Fulfillment that God’s New Covenant with Israel is still in the process of completing for all of us. God sent His Word to bring us into that same Eternal Inheritance! This is at the heart of the Exodus upon which God must lead His True Israel. And His True Israel is the Root of Salvation, into which the entire fallen human race must also be grafted!
“Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh.”
After Jacob’s former radical independence was broken, his former instinctive self-will was no longer his ‘god.’ It was crucified and pulled off the throne of Jacob’s heart. Then God’s Word took His rightful place on that throne. This is what we mean by the term ‘Jacob’s Limp.’ The limp signifies Jacob’s repentant brokenness and humility before God and men. He ‘limped’ for the rest of his life on earth. The limp signified that this son of Adam had been restored by God. This former ‘Jacob’ no longer strove or competed against anyone, as he had once done with Esau and Laban. Now he knew that God, in His Eternal Perfection, has already done everything that is needed. So, he was free of anxiety and strife, and ready and able to face his future losses and heartbreaking situations with joy and boldness. And now, he could rightfully be called ‘Israel.’
This helps us understand God’s forbearance and patience with Jacob’s descendants at Sinai… as well as their years in the wilderness and the subsequent generations that have been part of Israel’s Exodus Journey throughout human history. Even while they undergo the Word’s ‘Boot Camp Training,’ the Word is leading them all the way into the Glory of their God-given New Covenant’s Fullness! Despite their weaknesses and blunders, the Word stands by them, and covers them. And to each one who will repent, He gives a full, eternal share in the rewards of His own Perfect Faith and Perfect Obedience that He renders eternally to God, as our Messiah and High Priest. When we humbly receive this Perfect Gift of God’s Word, and stop trying to run our own affairs… we ‘limp’ in comparison to the way we were in the past, and in comparison to the ‘self-asserting’ way in which rest of the world rushes past the Word’s limping disciples.
Have you noticed how strong and compelling the desire for total control is, in each of us? We dread being ignorant. We don’t want to miss out on anything. We need to know ‘what is going on.’ We pursue understanding and clarity and demand definitions, clear directions and full explanations. We think more knowledge will give us certainty and control and will take us to exalted levels of understanding. We assume that such created things can give us the coordinates we need to gain a sense of orientation and direction. And, naturally, we try to apply these natural reaction patterns in our attempts to ‘know’ and ‘understand’ and ‘deal with’ God.
We feel compelled to go through learning curves of ‘spirituality’ because we assume that once we ‘pay our dues’ we’ll ‘arrive’ at a full knowledge and understanding of our Creator and will no longer need Him to lead or supply everything for us. In reality, we still expect to ‘outgrow’ God and resume our radically independent ways. So we take so many courses, and read books and consult with ‘experts.’ We attend innumerable religious events and schools and lectures. We assume that’s how we can know God and learn His ways for ourselves. We assume that’s how we learn to ‘manage’ our lives and make sure our outcomes turn out to be exactly what we think they ought to be. That is part of that human drive to be ‘number one,’ to prevail and be supreme, ‘like God.’ And that is what God had to crucify and execute within Jacob… and what He must break within Israel… and within all the rest of us. And that is why we’ll remain in ‘Boot Camp’… until we give up striving… and learn to limp… and rest in God… wholeheartedly, like nursing babes rely on their mothers!
As long as we are driven by this powerful control compulsion, we’ll assume that Sin didn’t really kill us and that our fallen faculties and devices are still fitting instruments for achieving true knowledge of God. But our fallen ideas, imaginations, feelings and opinions, are only the created products of our Sin-corrupted and mortally damaged brains, nervous systems and twisted soulish faculties! Beloved, that can’t ever convey an authentic knowledge of the Perfect All-Sufficient Fullness of God! Our natural faculties and warped perspectives are the epitome of weakness, bankruptcy and incompleteness. Our selfish ways are flesh-originated and soul-driven. But God’s way of connecting with us must be done by His initiative entirely! We are dead because of Sin; and God’s Word is our Resurrection and Eternal Life! He is The Way back to Eternal Life from and with God! God’s Way is Word-led and Spirit-imparted. And the difference between our ways and God’s Ways is the difference between Spirit and Flesh, Life and Death, and Heavenly Light and Demonic Darkness! This is the difference between the ‘Broad Path’ that leads to destruction… and the ‘Narrow Path’ that leads to Eternal Life.
So, for the sake of all of Adam’s children, God will continue to work with Jacob’s wrestling children… until they all ‘limp’ and enjoy the Full Restoration of Creation that God is in the process of restoring to them all. A true relationship with Almighty God is never a two-way, give and take arrangement. The real Polarity, when we know and interact with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is never initiated or controlled by men. It is always a one-way polarity… a Love Gift from God to us. He chooses the times, places and circumstances of when and how He will reveal Himself to someone’s heart. From our perspective, it is always a totally sudden, electrifying, devastating shock! He takes us totally by surprise; we initiate and control nothing! At such times we can’t even remember our own name! We are ‘blown away’ as if by an explosion. The Presence of the Eternal Infinite One overwhelms and replaces everything we thought we knew before. All of that is forced out of us. It flies out of our ears and we are rendered speechless, senseless, totally disoriented and suddenly face down in the dust… in silent adoration and worship before the Living God. When Eternity and Infinity nudge the edges of your time and space ‘bubble,’ you are suddenly in touch with Someone that you are not equipped to measure, define, control or explain, not even to yourself! And that bursts your ‘bubble.’
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The Wind (Breath or Spirit of God) blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Amplification added.)
“And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, ‘Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all!” And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.”
The ‘Light’ of God’s Truth and Reality made its way through Jacob’s tightly clenched eyes and pierced, penetrated and devastated his inner soulishness. And the poor man was truly and finally humbled… and broken… and rendered soft… and pliable… and childlike in the hands of God’s Word. That is how ‘Jacob’ became ‘God’s Israel.’
“They (the wicked, arrogant self-life people) say, ‘How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?’ Behold, these are the wicked; and always at ease, they have increased in wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence; for I have been stricken all day long and chastened every morning.
“If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’ behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children. When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight UNTIL I CAME INTO THE SANCTUARY OF GOD (total union and agreement with God’s Living Word); THEN I perceived their end!… When my heart was embittered (with worldly self-absorbed control compulsion) and I was pierced within (by God’s Word, invading and filling the insatiable neediness of my own soulishness), then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You! Nevertheless (now that You revealed Yourself to me) I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to Glory!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Why True Disciples Must Be Crucified With Christ
The Prize everyone seeks will be yours… as soon as God’s Word actually slays your arrogant, willful, self-adoring stubbornness. You can’t prevail until you willingly give up and lose your contest with the Living God, for Supremacy! Then your self-life will be permanently ‘crippled;’ and for the rest of your days, you too will ‘limp.’ And that will give you the right to wear the ‘Winner’s Medal,’ the Medal that was won in your name by your Messiah, God’s Living Word. It is the Reward – His Reward… the Reward He earned for all of His human brethren, through the Perfection of His Finished Work of Creation and Redemption. He will joyfully place it upon you… when you finally stop trying to bypass Him and strive to win medals for yourself. Beloved, something incredibly deep is embedded in this account from Genesis. It is like a thread that runs throughout the Bible, to which the names, times and events of many others are joined.
“He (God) said, ‘Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.”
First God required Abraham to give up his self-life attachment to his son Ishmael! And after that, He required him to go even further, and give up any control he thought he had over his relationship with Isaac! And the natural human compulsion to resist such painful commands was just as strong in Abraham as it is in us! But Abraham believed and trusted God. That’s why he was able to surrender his claims even to his beloved son, the son of God’s Promise. And what about Isaac? At that time, he was a full-grown man, between 30 and 40 years of age! Abraham trusted and rested in God so much, that he didn’t resist having to give him in sacrifice. And Isaac loved and trusted God so much that he did not resist having to BE the sacrifice! So what God would later break within Jacob at the River Jabok ten chapters later, was what He had broken earlier, in Jacob’s grandfather and father. And, after Jacob, the self-life of Joseph and Moses and the other prophets, including David, had to be broken. God has to do this to all of His True Israel… as a sign and a warning and a judgment… and a promise… to the rest of the human race:
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, let the bones, which You have broken, rejoice. Hide Your face from my sin and blot out all my iniquities.”
“In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a Throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the Temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole Earth is full of His Glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts…’”
“Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, ‘If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own (radically independent self-) life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me (into My totally Spirit-led Eternal Life) cannot be My disciple.’” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
“Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, ‘My Grace (My Word’s Perfect Finished Work) is sufficient for you, for (My Power when it can abide within you) is perfected in (your) weakness!’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the Power of Christ (Messiah, God’s Eternal Living Word) may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I (declare bankruptcy and admit that I, like Jacob) am weak, THEN I am strong (and then I too become part of God’s True Israel).” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Through Jacob’s ‘Limp,’ God shows us something vitally important about Himself, and about us. Remember that He is Perfect and His Standards of Righteousness and Justice are Perfect. He will never change! And He designed, intended and created us all to be His living image and likeness! But which of us Sin-ravaged beings has what it takes to climb to that Supreme Height? What is in us that could empower us to perform such a feat as utterly Perfect, Pure, Wholehearted Obedience? Well, of course, the answer is: ‘Nothing!’ Only God’s own Living Word obeys Him with such Perfection! And because Sin mortally wounded, disfigured and diminished us, in relation to what God originally made us to be, His Word has to be our Covering and our Representative, all the while we go through the process of being realigned and restored into His image and likeness.
So, throughout our journey in this fallen world, we can’t fulfill our true identity, purpose and destiny unless God Himself does it in us and for us, by His Living Word and Holy Spirit! That’s why the Torah and the other Scriptures do not highlight the glories and accomplishments of Israel, or any other human or group of humans. You don’t glorify the dead; you glorify the one and only Source of Life! So Scripture highlights the True Glory of God’s awesome Living Word who became flesh, and gave Himself for us, to cover our nakedness and redeem us from a debt to God’s Perfect Justice that we could have never paid for ourselves! Only He is the Perfect Image and Likeness of God! And, thanks to God’s incomprehensible Mercy, He is our Eternal Blood Covenant Representative and is waiting to become our indwelling Life!
So, what is always impossible to us… is still attainable… as long as we believe God when He reveals His Son to us, and we get it into our heads and hearts that… He has already DONE all the necessary work to make this possible! As soon as we embrace and become one with God’s Living Word, and allow Him to be our ‘Blood Covenant Covering’, God will attribute to us, and reveal through us, what He, as our Covenant Representative, has already done in our name!
“For as the rain and the snow come down from Heaven, and do not return there without watering the Earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My (Living) Word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
“And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, BUT AS YOU WILL!” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
“He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, YOUR WILL BE DONE!’”
Beloved, all human self-adoration must be poured out, with Yeshua, to the last drop. Yeshua is the Perfect Sacrifice that God gave to us to offer back to Him! Yeshua, God’s Word Himself, is the Victorious Restoration that Almighty God has in mind for the fallen human race. Oneness with God’s Word is the ‘Narrow Path’ that crucifies our self-life. It follows a direction that directly opposes and reverses the direction taken by those who follow the ‘Broad Path.’ The Narrow Path reverses the coordinates to Perdition that Adam and Eve followed in Genesis 3. So, like Jacob, when we come to our senses and repent of our self-life madness and turn to God’s Word, we’re outgrowing and shedding our old, ‘me first’ compulsion. But as we’ve seen, this isn’t a magic ‘quick fix’ formula; it is a long and difficult boot camp transformation that detoxifies and retrains us. It is a growing process that reverses the effects of the eons during which we’ve opposed God’s Word in our futile attempts to join the Serpent’s deluded quest for God-less supremacy.
So even after we choose to submit to God, the residue of habitual Sin remains embedded within us and keeps trying to reactivate and take over again. That is very discouraging at times. But remember: God has already blessed us, not on our merits, but by the Infinite Merit of our Messiah. So although we struggle to learn and mature and continue to stumble, we needn’t wallow in feelings of disgrace and desolation. The Exodus is not an instantaneous ‘quantum leap.’ It is a progressive trek through space and time. God knows what we’re up against. But… His Word has already covered us and redeemed us in full! So God urges us to keep getting back up whenever we stumble. We can dust ourselves off, and turn to our Master and ask Him to forgive and cleanse and give us what we need at this time to keep going and finish the Journey. And He fills us back up to overflowing with His Holy Spirit and Righteousness and Perfection so we can carry on with our Shepherd, on our journey Home, knowing we’ll receive everything we need from Him. Even though we are crippled and limp badly, the One who is Everything, is carrying us!
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on Earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our Life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in Glory!”
Our term, ‘Jacob’s Limp,’ is a way of expressing repentant humble brokenness. Broken disciples no longer walk in brash self-assertiveness. They already have been given Everything, so there is no need for further anxiety or striving. So they no longer lust after earthly glories, honors or preeminent positions. They don’t need fame, or seek to acquire material or financial gain from their relationship with God or His service. They avoid prominence and supremacy with others. But even though they no longer need such things and will gladly seek to occupy the last places… it is obvious that God has given them a Spirit-empowered anointing and opens doors for them and imbues them with authentic spiritual authority. Theirs is not a religious title or position or ‘job’ they have to pursue. It isn’t a title and honor they strive to acquire; it is the Life of their Father’s Living Word, visibly at work within them! Their gaze remains fixed on Him and His Eternal Perfection. Thus they look past all temporal passing things. They see right through this world’s deceptive surface glitter and avoid its utter pathetic emptiness as it seeks ways to justify and exalt itself. Yet, amid their own personal bankruptcy, they abide in and exude God’s Heavenly Peace, Joy, Fullness, Abundance and Contentment. Passing circumstances no longer afflict them, so they are well able to endure them in peace. Like Jacob, they’ve already laid their lives down at their Master’s feet… because they know that, in Him, they already have Everything! And that’s why they can’t remain silent or stop proclaiming Him to whoever they may be around who does not yet know Him! Their Joy and Love for their beloved Master compels them to keep proclaiming His Glory and trying to share His Redeeming Love… to their very last breath… regardless of the cost:
“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into Heaven and saw the Glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’ Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ Having said this, he fell asleep.”