20.1 Our Present Limitations
20.1 Our Present Limitations
© 2017 Christ Revealed Bible Institute
Our Present Limitations
We carry a New Testament vision of Christ as the fellowship of community, brethren walking together in love. We see an outline of real human life on this earth in the Age of Tabernacles, a society made stable, prosperous, and Godly by the presence of successful Church among the people. We place the glory of the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles in the life of the church, God filling His completed house, before our eyes in full expectation.
And then we look at ourselves right now and see none of it. I am writing about our walking together as the Body of Christ right now, yet I am completely disconnected from other believers in Jesus, except my wife, in all practical outward reality.
My Present Situation
My present situation makes zero sense to me. I am fully aware of the complete absurdity of writing about walking together in love with people who are scattered thousands of miles across the globe and with whom I have no actual relationship.
I write that I might know God, yes, but my primary purpose in sending out what I write is, that by casting my bread upon the waters, it might come back to me in the form of practical community in a rural setting coming out of this word that I teach, a place of provision and real Church experience for my family and me. It is ten years, now, since God released me to begin to write, and (outside of your precious responses) little has come back to me. I can’t make anything happen.
We are limited down to nothing as far as the outward fulfillment of Christ in His Church. Yet we know that we cannot know Jesus as He is until we are walking together in all practical reality and in love.
What can we, what can I, do about it? Trust in God is the entire answer; “just trust in God” is no answer at all. We are rightly waiting on God, yet God is also waiting on us. Except the Lord build the house is an absolute truth. Yet no house is built except Christ through us puts our hand to the work. We do nothing apart from God; God does nothing apart from us.
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it (Psalm 127:1). I was a builder from the age of fifteen when I built my own little house in the woods. In community I leaped instantly into any building project regardless. I went at it, and I got the job done. “Just do it” is a powerful motivational word, something that defined me through my twenties and thirties. Yet somewhere along the way the same thing happened to me that happened to Jacob; God removed something that was once my own strength and left me crippled. And all I seem to have left are my memories.
From Here to There
I am not writing this to be melodramatic, but to place before you and me the task at hand, a task we cannot do. How could humans as little as you and I build the very dwelling place of God among men? How could we birth the revelation of Father into the universe?
The question at hand is how do we get from here to there? Here is the point, we cannot be a part of the revelation of Jesus Christ apart from our commitment to one another to walk together in love. BUT – that commitment operating among us, a full and final decision, cannot be of any value to us except the actual bond, the literal connection is God Himself.
Preparing His House
In this lesson I hope to put in front of us how God prepares His house inside our present limitations. Then, in the next lesson, I want to expand on the one ingredient required for any house to be built, for any gathering together, for any successful community of Christ – commitment. Finally, in the third lesson, I want to do a re-write on my present “Vision,” no longer placing a location as I did at Blair Valley, but including my present development of Christ Revealed Bible Institute. And I want to place before you the practicalities of making something this precious actually happen, practicalities of which I possess none except the vision.
God Builds Different
I have built many houses. God builds His house differently from how I build houses – except for some similarity with our raising of the Graham River Tabernacle in four days. Typically, when a house is built, all work on every part of the house takes place on the actual site of the finished house.
But God does not. Here is how God builds His house. And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built (1 Kings 6:7). With God, the full preparation of all materials is not the building of the temple.
Precise Measurement Required
That no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard.
My experience in Christian community, as well as the Church life of the early church as described by Gene Edwards, was NOT the building of the temple, but the quarry where the stone was cut out of the mountain by the pounding and cutting of hammer and chisel. Such activity cannot build the temple of God, though it does prepare the stones for that temple.
You see, all of the shaping of every piece intended for the temple took place far away from the actual building site. You can see the extreme need for precise and complete plans and the exact measurement applied to every piece.
The Day of Assembly
The amazing thing was the Day of Assembly, when every piece fitted perfectly into its place.
Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children (Isaiah 66:7-8). (God is always mixing metaphors.)
We are asking God to cause us to know something that has never existed in the experience of the universe. That something is Father revealed in fullness through a many-membered Body walking inside this heaven/earth in which we live, yet BEFORE the resurrection.
To the Building Site
The Day of Assembly is prior to the resurrection. The Day of Assembly is the first day of Tabernacles fulfillment. You see, everyone looking at this extraordinary occurrence will imagine that this Temple went from nothing to an entire Temple, all at once. They will be completely wrong. Our walking together in the fulfillment of Tabernacles will be identical to our present walking together by faith.
But this transfer from quarry to building site I want to understand, at least a little bit. You see, I suspect this “Day” of Birthing might be three-and-a-half-years long, the days of Tabernacles fulfillment, our dwelling in booths.
God through Us Now
I shared in Symmorphy II: Essence that I know God through me now and God through me here, however limited the here and now might be. I want to share with you from two short emails I received from a brother in Australia, his response to listening to the audios from Essence while he drives his truck.
“I listened to all your Essence series and when I got up to the sections on being a part of the body and loving the brethren, it so saddened me that the more I come to understand God's truth, the more ostracized I am from the bulk of believers. But we go on carrying them in our hearts. Knowing my own weakness more and more but at the same time speaking Jesus as my only life is comforting though.”
The second note: “I listened to “Inner Victory" today in Essence. I struggled listening to you talking about being in community and loving brothers and sisters. I felt like turning it off at times. As I listened I realized I was very grieved and hurt by all my brethren rejecting us as a family and me in particular. It has been six years now since we departed from the congregation here in this little town. The Christian brothers and sisters in this 3000-people town have long since written me off as a heretic and a deceiver.
When you shared your dream about Jesus in the lower room... I spoke out loud that I am just like you Jesus, a man full of God, and you are just like me, a man full of God, ...and I added a man full of joy, full of peace… and full of grief and sorrow!
Oh my, how the Lord touched me deeply, weeping and laughing as I drove the truck. To realize how grieved Jesus is over being cast aside from the congregation. He shares my grief completely. I did not realize that until listening to you today, Daniel. Thank you – with all my heart, thank you!
~~~You see, this is the same Jesus inside of me; it is Jesus by Whom we walk together right now. Now, from that thought I want to open to you something extraordinary that God is placing before my eyes, something I hope to develop through these next four sessions. In order for God’s style of construction actually to work, the preparation of each stone must be perfect and complete.
Our Self Story
He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 10:38-39).
The word “life” is not zoe, but psuche. Jesus was not speaking of either spirit or body, but about our soul. Some then interpret this line as indicating that we have three life forces, a spirit life force, a physical life force, and a soul life force. I disagree entirely. There is no “soul life force.” The soul is a boundary, the junction point of spirit and flesh. And our psuche is not a life force that must be “put to death.” Our psuche is our self story, a story that must become new.
Soul for Soul
Christ as ME is where we must begin. CHRIST as me is where we must arrive. I have said it this way over and over. We will never know Christ in His power until we know Him utterly as our weakness.
And so I have taught you to know Jesus as all that you find yourself to be. But now I want to teach us to know our self as all that Jesus is. Both sides are critical to this required exchange of soul for soul. You in Me comes first, but I in you follows immediately after. He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. – Flesh of His flesh, one flesh with Him.
I IN You
You are the Body of Christ. What on earth is God saying?
The Spirit of Christ is already our spirit. The flesh of Christ is already our body. We know this is true because we eat and drink of Him. But what about soul, that human person formed by the junction of spirit and flesh? What about the soul of Christ found IN His Spirit/Body? What about the story Jesus tells Himself about Himself.
I IN you! And not just each one of us, but “you,” plural, that is, all of us together as one many-membered Body.
Jesus with Jesus
Here is the perfect work taking place inside of our present limitations, inside this isolated and lonely quarry where we presently live. Jesus’ story of self swallowing up our story of self, that it might be truly His story, yet also our story for real.
The work is perfect when the “I” that is me is Jesus’ “I,” yet it is still me. And yes, we are re-stating Galatians 2:20, but as with every word God speaks, this word is taking on practical realities we never before considered.
Jesus will always fit perfectly together with Jesus, and thus the assembly of God’s House is perfect.