Beloved Family… I noticed something in chapter 16 of Mark’s Gospel that really captured my attention. Here’s the part that really got to me:
“After He had risen early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Miriam of Magdala, from whom He had driven out seven demons. She went and brought word to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe!
After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them as they were walking on their way to the country. They went and reported it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. Later He appeared to them, the eleven, as they were reclining at the table. HE REBUKED THEM FOR THEIR UNBELIEF AND HARDHEARTEDNESS, BECAUSE THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THOSE WHO HAD SEEN HIM AFTER HE HAD BEEN RAISED.” (Mark 16:9-14 TLV, Emphasis added.)
This is extremely important, significant and highly relevant information, dear ones! One part of me wants to sympathize with those poor disciples because of the enormous depths of trust and belief that the reports of Yeshua’s Resurrection from the dead would naturally require of them. Who, in all of prior human history, had ever heard of such a thing? How could it be possible for a human being, especially after having been killed by a Roman execution squad that had made double-sure that He was truly dead… come back to life? How could His disciples, even though they had seen Him do marvelous miracles, bring themselves to believe that their Master had been raised from the dead… simply on the say-so of some people who appeared to be out of their minds, and were suddenly proclaiming that this was in fact the case?
Yes, at first glance, it’s easy to see why the disciples were so skeptical when they first heard this news. However… when we look at it from God’s perspective… we have to admit that He had taken great pains to warn these very same disciples that raising His Son from the dead was the very thing He had been planning to do all along! He had advised them of this and told them point blank, on various occasions, that this was exactly what was going to happen!
“From that time on, Yeshua began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and ruling kohanim and Torah scholars, and be killed, and be raised on the third day.” (Matthew 16:21 TLV, Emphasis added.)
“As they were coming down from the mountain, Yeshua commanded them, saying, “Do not tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” (Matthew 17:9 TLV, Emphasis added.)
“Now while they were gathering in the Galilee, Yeshua said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and on the third day He will be raised.” And the disciples became greatly distressed.” (Matthew 17:22-23 TLV, Emphasis added.)
“Look, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the ruling kohanim and Torah scholars. They will condemn Him to death and hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify. Yet on the third day, He will be raised up.” (Matthew 20:18-19. TLV, Emphasis added.)
“Then Yeshua said to them, “This night you will all fall away because of Me; for it is written, ‘I will strike the Shepherd,and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to the Galilee.” (Matthew 26:31-32 TLV, Emphasis added.)
Dear ones… did they, or did they not, receive ample warning from the Lord that He was going to rise from the dead? Well, yes, they did receive enough warning. But the problem was they could not even begin to get themselves to believe that their Master could, and would, actually be killed in the first place! After they had seen all the stupendously supernatural signs and wonders that God had produced through Him, they had become convinced that, yes, He truly was the God-sent Messiah of Israel, and there was no way that even the emperor of Rome, and all of his mighty legions, would be able to stop Him from breaking Rome’s stranglehold on the oppressed, suffering people of Israel. Nor was there any way they would be able to stop the Israelite uprising that was sure to follow as He finally began to oppose Rome and establish His earthly Kingdom on Earth… right out of the ashes of all that Rome had once aspired to own and all that she aspired to become throughout that part of the world!
So, at first, it was impossible for them to accept the fact that He could actually be killed. And then, when such an unspeakable tragedy actually happened, they were completely devastated, and thus, convinced that they had been wrong about Him and had been terribly deceived and misled! So, during that terrible emotionally excruciating period immediately following His crucifixion and death, those poor men were stunned senseless, and overwhelmed at the enormity of what had just happened to dash their hopes and visions of grandeur. Now they were so devastated and deflated by their overwhelming sense of loss, they simply were not able to begin to get their minds around the reality that He might have actually come back from the dead!
The thought of His death had been completely out of the question in their minds, and now, so was the outrageous notion that He had suddenly been resurrected. That was too much for their poor minds to absorb and accept. It was too enormous, too much of a cosmic, cataclysmic event and radically new set of realities for them to even begin to be able to absorb!
Nevertheless, the enormity of the death of the Living Word of God made flesh… coupled with the glorious Reality of His unstoppable Resurrection from the tomb… were exactly what was required in God’s awesome Plan, if the Salvation, Redemption, and Full Restoration of Israel and the rest of Creation would ever be able to take place! This incomprehensible and unimaginable, Cosmos-shaking, explosive Event was what it would take to crush the head of the Serpent, and break the hold that our rebellion against God, and our fall into Sin, and the stranglehold that Death had upon the entirety of God’s Creation! The Enormity of Sin, and the Destruction it had caused, absolutely required the Supernatural Authority of our Messiah, and the Infinitely Dynamic Power of God’s will to go to such depths. And this is what it would take to reveal to all of Creation just how Perfect, and Absolute, and Flawless, and Authoritatively Powerful God and His Living Word, actually IS!
“You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth and called from its remotest parts, and said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will also help you, I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.” Isaiah 41:9-11 Emphasis added.)
Yeshua, The Perfect Sacrifice Lamb
The Living Word of our God is more than enough to break the holds that Satan, Sin and Death had managed to gain over all of God’s physical creation! But in God’s Perfect Justice, in order to accomplish such a monumental feat, God’s Living Word had to undo and reverse the monumental Pride and Rebellion that Satan, through the first man, Adam, wreaked against the Creation of His Heavenly Father. But He had to do it as a man, just like Adam, and not as Almighty God! And so, God’s Word became flesh! He abased Himself to the utter depths and went even lower in atoning abasement than Satan had tried to elevate himself when he attempted to usurp the place of Almighty God!
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross. For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the Name which is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in Heaven and on Earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2″5-11)
This total denial and sacrifice of His Perfect, Sin-less Self is what it took for God’s Perfect Justice to neutralize and undo Satan’s damage. That’s what it took to set all of Creation, and especially the condemned Sin-corrupted, murdered human race, FREE from the legal clutches of Satan, Sin and Death! The ravages of Death had already permeated all of Humanity’s DNA! We were all inescapably found to be enemies of God, and thus we were eternally condemned… and sentenced to languish in an eternal state of spiritual enmity and separation from God!
Therefore, our Covenant Representative and Champion HAD to be able to overcome, and cancel out the infinitely irreparable ravages of Sin, and all of its consequences, especially the eternal death sentence under which we were all inescapably condemned to suffer! In His total Innocence and Righteousness, He died in order to atone for and utterly destroy the legal hold that Death had over all the rest of us! His Self-sacrifice unto death, DESTROYED DEATH! The Perfect Life that He offered to His Father in atonement, was more than enough to redeem all of us condemned criminals from God’s Perfect Justice.
And so Yeshua, who acted as our Covenant Representative and Champion, paid the full price of our ransom. Then, not only did His Father raise Him from the dead, but He also raised Him up to the highest place of Heaven, to take His rightful place beside Him. And Yeshua, who is also our Eternal High Priest, presented His own atoning Blood to His Father, which perfectly satisfied God’s Perfect Justice and Righteous Standards. Thus, the time was now at hand for the Glory of the New Covenant and awesome, supernatural Resurrection Realities to begin to be established upon the Earth, fulfilling what God had promised by Blood Covenant Oath to Israel… through all of the Lord’s New Covenant apostles and disciples… who, because they are one with Yeshua in the New Covenant, will one day be able to join Him in the glory of His physical Resurrection, and in the enjoyment of His Eternal Reward and Inheritance to which there will be no end:
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘I do not do this for your sake, house of Israel, but for My holy Name, which you profaned among the nations wherever you went. I will sanctify My great Name, which has been profaned among the nations—which you have profaned among them. The nations will know that I AM ADONAI’”—it is a declaration of Adonai—“‘when I am sanctified IN YOU, before their eyes.’”
“‘For I will take you from the nations, gather you out of all the countries and bring you back to your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean from all your uncleanness and from all your idols. Moreover I will give you a new heart. I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the stony heart from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Ruach (Holy Spirit) within you. Then I will CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN MY LAW, so you will keep My rulings and do them. Then you will live in the land that I gave to your fathers. You will be My people and I will be your God.
“So I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful. I will not bring a famine upon you. I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will no longer bear the disgrace of famine among the nations. When you remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, you will be disgusted with yourselves because of your iniquities and your abominations. Not for your sake will I do this”—it is a declaration of Adonai—“let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, house of Israel!” (Ezekiel 36:22-32 TLV, Emphasis added.)
So we see that the New Covenant was going to add a new dimension to Israel’s Covenant relationship with God that she did not know before, and could not have ever imagined possible in the past.
“Behold, days are coming”—it is a declaration of Adonai—when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they broke My covenant, though I was a husband to them.” (Jeremiah 31:30-31 TLV, Emphasis added.)
This New Covenant was going to introduce revolutionary new realities that would be so radically different that even the close family members of Yeshua, and His original apostles and disciples, would find very difficult to understand. During those early days when He was first instituting and launching this New Covenant, He was teaching and doing in their midst what had clearly been foretold by the prophets of Israel. Yet what Yeshua was introducing to Israel at that time, was, at first, almost universally misunderstood. And so, the knee-jerk response of most Israelites at that time, was to disbelieve and reject what He was trying to get across to them. The initial response of Nicodemas, a leader from Israel’s religious establishment in Jerusalem, was a perfect example:
“Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be surprised that I said to you, ‘You all must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“How can these things happen?” Nicodemus said.
“Yeshua answered him, “You’re a teacher of Israel and you do not understand these things? Amen, amen I tell you, We speak about what We know and testify about what We have seen. Yet you all do not receive Our testimony! If you do not believe the earthly things I told you, how will you believe when I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up into heaven except the One who came down from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life!” (John 3:5-15 TLV, Emphasis added.)
“But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s Name, and you do not receive Me. But if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the Glory that comes from God alone?
“Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have put your hope. For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me—because he wrote about Me. But since you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:42-47)
So, beloved, can you see that when Yeshua had arrived on the scene in the first century, if He had merely begun to repeat the things that Israel had been so familiar with in light of the Covenant of Sinai, everyone would have easily understood and accepted what He had come to say to them and to do in their midst. But obviously that was not what happened. What He was telling them now appeared to many of them to be demonic and heretical and insane! That is how far they had wandered away from the pristine level of justifying faith in God’s Word, that had enabled God to justify Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!
“Now when Yeshua had finished these words, the crowds were astounded at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one having authority and not as their Torah scholars.” (Matthew 7:28-29 TLV, Emphasis added.)
“Now all in the synagogue were filled with rage upon hearing these things. Rising up, they drove Him out of the town and brought Him as far as the edge of the mountain on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him off the cliff. But passing through the middle of them, He went on His way.” (Luke 4:28-30 TLV, Emphasis added.)
“Now Yeshua started to go with them; and when He wasn’t far from the house, the (Gentile Roman) centurion sent friends to say to Him, “Master, do not trouble Yourself, for I’m not worthy for You to come under my roof. That is why I didn’t consider myself worthy to come to You. But say the word and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
“Now when Yeshua heard this, He was amazed at him. Turning to the crowd following Him, He said, “I tell you, NOT EVEN IN ISRAEL HAVE I FOUND SUCH GREAT FAITH!” (Luke 7:6-9 TLV, Emphasis added.)
“Then He comes into a house, and again a crowd gathers so they couldn’t even eat. When His family heard about this, they went out to take hold of Him; for they were saying, “HE’S OUT OF HIS MIND!”
“The Torah scholars who came down from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Beelzebul,” and, “By the ruler of demons He drives out demons.” (Mark 3:20-22 TLV, Emphasis added.)
The New Covenant Brings Supernatural Realities
So from texts like these, we can see that, for the most part, Yeshua did not ‘fit in’ with the preconceptions, norms, traditions and expectations of His fellow Israelites. Much of what He was saying and teaching was incomprehensible. And the way He looked at, and reacted to, things that were going on around Him bore a marked difference from the ways in which the spiritual authorities and leaders of the day were used to seeing, thinking and reacting. And that tells us that the era of the New Covenant and its tremendous supernatural Realities was something for which Israel had not yet been primed and prepared to recognize or accept.
So it is obvious that the New Covenant was not to be a mere ‘rehash’ of all that had been given to Israel before through the Covenant of Sinai. It shocked and stunned most Israelites and drove them into a frenzy of opposition and antagonism against their Messiah… precisely because it was introducing ideas and realities that were utterly foreign and incomprehensible to all the traditional teachings that had been so common throughout Israel prior to His arrival. What He had now been sent by His Father to introduce to them, and to the world, was unspeakably mysterious and beyond the natural ability of their fallen Sin-corrupted minds to comprehend!
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we would look at Him, nor an appearance that we would take pleasure in Him.
“He was despised and abandoned by men, a man of great pain and familiar with sickness; and like one from whom people hide their faces, He was despised, and we had no regard for Him.” Isaiah 53:1-3)
“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I WILL DO SOMETHING NEW, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a Roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. The beasts of the field will glorify Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I have given waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My chosen people.’ (Isaiah 43:18-20)
“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast (of Succot, or Tabernacles), Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39, Emphasis added.)
And this is why, even to this day, I feel compelled to say, that while many of us in the Church are willing to give lip service to the doctrine of the Resurrection… the truth is, that just like the majority of the Jewish people, most modern day Christian ‘believers’ are also failing to truly believe, accept, absorb and live according to the fact that our beloved Lord is REAL… and RISEN FROM THE DEAD… and actually, electrifyingly PRESENT in our hearts and in our midst by the awesome Power of God’s Holy Spirit!
On the contrary, most of us think, act, react and interact as if our Lord is actually just another dead founder from among one of the world’s many religions! Or, if they believe He is real… He remains inaccessible because He is always far away from us… somewhere in outer space, in a galaxy far, far away! We think and speak about Him, and act with each other, as if He were not actually present. We do not actually expect Him to be able to speak and act on His own behalf. And so we look to paid professional substitutes… mortal men and women with fallen flesh… whose appointed function is to ‘run’ and control everything ‘religious’ and ‘spiritual’ that takes place in our midst. And so, we forget about Him for very long periods of time, and ignore Him during our services and ‘Bible studies’ and ‘meetings.’ He is not preeminent among us because we don’t believe He’s actually present and alive and operating in us and among us! So certain men and women are always expected to take the spotlights at center stage. They monopolize everything and decide everything and run the entire show… in His ‘absence.’.
And no one among the number of compliant ‘believers’ seems to notice how little attention we actually pay to our Lord’s Resurrection Presence that really and truly does abide in our midst. They do not seem to care that He is so remote and so ‘absent’ because, apparently, they do not really believe in the Resurrection, or in the electrifying indwelling Presence of Almighty God any more than the original apostles did in the beginning, before He appeared to them and rebuked them, and before they were baptized with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.
The Example Left By The Original Disciples
I challenge you to carefully ponder Acts 3-5, in light of what I’m saying at this point. Do you see any difference between the gatherings of those original apostles and disciples and the gatherings we’re so used to today? And ponder what the early Church (which was mostly made up of believing Jews) did when they would meet with each other, and the way they stood up to the intense opposition and suspicious malice heaped upon them by the traditional religious elite of their time. Notice also the spine-tingling fear that swept over all the believers in the region when the news about what had happened to Ananias and Saphira began to spread! I ask you beloved… as you ‘read between the lines’ of God’s written Word… do you think the Reality of the Lord’s Resurrection Presence in their midst was being taught and emphasized and interacted with, by the apostles under whose teaching those believers were sitting? Does that explain why the unbelievers around them held them in such high regard and were actually in awe of them?
“At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all together in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.
“And increasingly believers in the Lord, large numbers of men and women, were being added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any of them. The people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together as well, bringing people who were sick or tormented with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed!” (Acts 5:12-16, Emphasis added.)
Can you see how much more real the Lord’s Resurrection Presence was to them, as He revealed His Presence by the way He was obviously operating in their midst? So… how is it then that this is not the way it is now? What have we lost hold of, in generation after generation of so-called ‘believers’ of our modern era?
Is it not obvious to you that that the ‘believers’ of our modern era have lost touch with that deliciously scary ‘the Lord is in our midst… what is He going to do next?’ element that was so obviously common among the believers during that pristine beginning of the New Covenant Era? Have we been taught to expect the risen Lord to preside each time that we gather to worship and pray and determine what we should do in response to crises and problems and challenges that we are forced to face and endure and deal with in our day? Have we been taught to think, act, react, interact and anticipate that He will make Himself manifest and active among us? Do we gather with a sense of mystery and awe as we realize that HE IS ACTUALLY PRESENT AND ALIVE AND ACTIVE IN OUR MIDST… RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW? Well, obviously not.
“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!
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the Word of Life, so that in the Day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I (and the other apostles) did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” (Philippians 2:12-16)
So, when it came to the idea of the long-awaited Messiah of Israel having to suffer and die in agony and disgrace, it was too much for most of Israel to comprehend and believe, much less accept. And it was even that way among His own apostles at first. But then the Reality of the Resurrection exploded upon them and suddenly drew them into the Era of the Last Days Fulfillment. And in this Era, all the things that had been revealed, commanded, and promised by God in His written Word began to be fulfilled. And because it appeared in the midst of the apostles and the believers they were teaching and training, they began to live out the awesome, mysterious New Covenant Realities that Israel had never seen or experienced before! And is this why later in his gospel account, Mark added these revelations to what he wrote concerning the Reality of Yeshua’s Resurrection:
“He told them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every creature. He who believes and is immersed shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in My Name they will drive out demons; they will speak new languages; they will handle snakes; and if they drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well (because I will be in them and among them… doing all of these things, and more, from within them and in their midst!)” (Mark 16:15-18, Amplification and Emphasis added.)
“Then the Lord Yeshua, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into Heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed everywhere, THE LORD WORKING WITH THEM AND CONFIRMING THE WORD by the signs that follow.” (Mark 16:19-20, Emphasis added)
So there you have it, dear ones… the stupendous Reality-shaking explosion of Revelation that God had been saving for this strategic and critically important point in human history. The Resurrected Messiah of Israel did not appear the first time in earthly splendor and overwhelming military might to set his people free from political tyranny and human degradation, the way most of His contemporaries were expecting Him to do. Instead, He came to set the entire human race free from itself! He came to free us of all futile human religious Self-effort!
Fallen human flesh will never be able to ‘keep the Law’ and fulfill Israel’s part of the Sinai Covenant agreement. God Himself had to come, in the Persons of His Living Word and Holy Spirit… to set His physical Creation free from the effects of our demon-inspired rebellion and Sin… and Corruption leading to Death… and Eternal Separation from God and His Eternal Rest, Peace, Joy and Wellbeing. God Himself had to set us free from the delusion that leads men to believe that they can improve and save themselves apart from His Grace, simply by exerting their own futile religious striving by their own soulish efforts!
Messiah Yeshua set Creation free from the ravages of radically independent, God-denying, Self-life that separates created beings from the Life-giving Union they are commissioned to protect and maintain at all times with their one and only Creator and Source. He destroyed our destroyers… by His total submission and obedience to His Heavenly Father… and by taking upon Himself all of the debt and shame and condemnation and punishment that were charged to our account… as a result of our Sin-adoring rebellion against God… He made full Atonement for it in our name, just as He had promised Abraham that He would do:
“Then Adonai said to Abram, “Get going out from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. My heart’s desire is to make you into a great nation, to bless you, to make your name great so that you may be a blessing. My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed!” (Genesis 12:1-3 TLV, Emphasis added.)
And so, once all that had been accomplished, He restored the Gift of Eternal Life to us… which is: Messiah in us, the Hope of Glory! He did that by giving up His Perfect, Totally Righteous Human Life in our place and for our sake! He imparted an infinitely Perfect and Endless Inheritance upon us, by giving Himself up entirely on the altar of sacrifice and losing everything… AS US!
Our Perfect Covenant Representative won everything for us… by giving up the Infinite Value of everything He was in Himself, to purchase our total liberation. And so, in His Father’s Estimation, He earned the Highest Place… the First Place in all things… by emptying Himself for us in every way imaginable! And now, He is abiding in each one of those who are truly His own… and operating at all times in their midst, so that He may bring those who are His into the place that He Himself occupies… the highest place… in Him and with Him!
“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 (in Him) 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!” (Colossians 3:1-4, Amplification and emphasis added.)
The King Is Returning!
So when our risen Lord returns to Earth the second time, that will be the time for Him to appear in all of His Eternal Heavenly Splendor, Majesty and Absolute Authority! Then His demonic enemies will be totally and finally dealt with, once and for all. And, when He returns in all of His Glory… we too, who are one with Him in the New Covenant, will be included. We will be co-heirs with Him and will abide with Him in the Full Enjoyment of His Eternal Inheritance and Reward! And that is why, even now, we can afford to rejoice in Him… ALWAYS… being anxious over nothing. We already know in advance that our day and time for Eternal Triumph is coming soon. But until that day arrives… we are still engaged in combat with our demonic enemies and their frantic resistance against what is inevitable continues to rage on all around us.
“Do nothing out of selfishness or conceit, but with humility consider others as more important than yourselves, looking out not only for your own interests but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves, which also was in Messiah Yeshua,
“Who, though existing in the form of God, did not consider being equal to God a thing to be grasped. But He emptied Himself—taking on the form of a slave, becoming the likeness of men and being found in appearance as a man. He humbled Himself— becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
“For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the Name that is above every name, that at the Name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in Heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and every tongue profess that Yeshua the Messiah is Lord— to the Glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:3-11, Emphasis added.)
Beloved, please do not miss this awesome New Covenant Resurrection Reality! Please do not forget about the Perfect Presence of our risen Lord that we can enjoy and draw from even now. He abides forever within us, and is actively engaged in our midst! Please stop ignoring Him for long periods of time! We have entered the Last Days Era, beloved friends! We are now experiencing that awesome time that was foretold in the Letter to the Hebrews:
“See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.”
“This expression, ‘Yet once more,’ denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, SO THAT THOSE THINGS WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN MAY REMAIN! Therefore, since we receive a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God AN ACCEPTABLE SERVICE WITH REVERENCE AND AWE; FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE!” (Hebrews 12:25-29 NASB, Emphasis added.)
Beloved… our world has changed forever! From now on, there will no longer be any possibility of ‘going back to the way it ‘normally was.’ We have already begun to be taken into ‘The Great Unknown’ that is leading us into Eternity! The Great Shaking has already begun to take place! So realize that all the temporary, man-made created things that humanistic people have devised and adopted and revered in the past… even our most revered religious traditions and practices… are in the process of being disintegrated and pulverized. They will all slip into oblivion sooner or later. And even now, we can see that this temporal world is ‘losing its grip’ and it is slipping and sliding ever nearer to the edge of the Chasm of Oblivion! And by the time we reach the End of this awesome Process, only what is Eternal will remain:
“Then I saw a New Heaven and a New Earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the Throne, saying, “Behold, the Tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away!” (Revelation 21:1-4, Emphasis added)
“Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble And dry grass collapses into the flame, so their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; For they have rejected the Law of the Lord of hosts and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel!” (Isaiah 5:24, Emphasis added.)