- Ray & Doris Prinzing -
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved." [Ephesians 1:3-6].
O my Father, Thou that dwellest in a high and glorious place,
When shall I appear before Thee, and again behold Thy face?
Day by day The Spirit leadeth, ever onward into Thee,
Till at last I'll find contentment in Thy pure reality!
He who is our God, our Father, is the Father of spirits, we came from His bosom, and we shall not know the utmost of contentment until we have returned again into the full reality of His presence. He hath subjected creation to the bondage of vanity for a purpose, and He also has fully planned for redemption, a glorious release which rightfully belongs to the children of God. In the outworking of this purpose He also hath chosen those who are to be the "firstfruits" of His grace, who in turn shall be used to help bless the latter-born. The choosing and marking out of these elect, election according to grace, is sovereignly His, with a view that we should be HOLY.....
Holy, meaning, to be separate, or set apart. Not only separated from something, such as from the world, the flesh, etc., but also to be set apart into something. Sanctification is not only FROM, but also an INTO― that we might be prepared to be partakers of a new dimension and glory. "But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly FOR HIMSELF." [Psalm 4:3].
Paul writes "to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints." [1 Corinthians 1:2]. Called saints, or literally, called the separated ones, with the title signifying their present position of being not only separated from the world, but also set apart unto God, to become His peculiar treasure and inheritance.
The quality of this holy, or separated state is further explained in that they are to be "and without blame before Him in love." Without blemish, without fault, pure as He is pure. This righteous state needs to be emphasized, not from the standpoint that they are so removed from the sins of the world, and the lusts and passions of the flesh, which gives too much attention to the negative side, but that we are to become partakers of HIS HOLINESS, HIS PURITY, and the more we are placed into this relationship, the more blessed will be our state of righteousness. I repeat, emphasize what HE is, for it is into HIM that we are to be placed, that He might become the sphere of our more abundant life.
BEFORE Him in love! The word "before" is the Greek word "katenopion." The prefix "kata" means DOWN, and "enopion" meaning IN THE FACE OF. Thus we would read, "set apart and blameless down in the face of Himself." It is essential that the Spirit quicken this to our hearts, for there is no place for pride in this walk of the believer. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and, He shall lift you up." [James 4:10].
"God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." [1 Peter 5:5-6].
"And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight ( down in the face of Himself)." [Colossians 1:21-22].
The position is clear, we are coming into HIMSELF, but we are coming DOWN, approaching that place in humility, that He might raise us up and manifest us with the full glory of Himself.
Then it is to be noted that we are to be "unreproveable" or literally, unchargeable. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" [Romans 8:33]. When God has finished His justification process in us, so that we are fully dead to all sin, carnal-mindedness, will of self, etc. and there will be nothing within that another can point at, or charge us with guilt. Clothed with His righteousness, the elect are unreproveable!
Of our Lord it is written, "He stooped very low, having become obedient to the extent of death, even such a death as that upon a cross." [Phil. 2:8, Wuest]. And then the holiness, the purity, and the glory of the new resurrection life which belonged to our Lord is beyond words to describe. But Paul had a revelation of his Lord, it captivated him completely, until he was ready to "count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord― that I may win Christ, and be found IN HIM." [Phil. 3:8-9].
"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of (ek, out from among) the dead." [Phil. 3:10-11].
Consider the word "attain," being the Greek word "katantao." Again the prefix "kata" or DOWN, combined with the word meaning to come, to arrive, hence it would literally read, "If by any means I might come down low enough to arrive into the out-resurrection." Praise God, when we are fully made conformable unto His death, coming down as He came down, and HE STOOPED VERY LOW, until it is completely-"not my will, but THINE, be done," and this obedience is brought to completion, then God declares them right, and the old accuser of the brethren can make no further charge.
A free translation of Jude 24, "But to Him who has the power to keep them from stumbling, and to place them down in the face of the glory of Himself blameless in rejoicing." Kept by the power of God, kept from falling, from stumbling, and brought to this place in Himself. But, not in sorrow, in tears, with long faces, but in gladness, in rejoicing, with exultation, and they sing a new sing, "Blessing and honour and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne." [Revelation 5:13].
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. We may have wept through the stripping process, we may have wept as we walked the way of the cross, but when we find ourselves in that position, down in the face of the glory of Himself, and HE declares us as His sons, in full right standing with Himself, it will be with great rejoicing and praise to Him.
Marvel of marvels, He has marked us out beforehand, "having predestinated us unto the adoption...." The Greek word for adoption literally means SON-PLACING. It bespeaks of that hour when the father takes his son to the town-square or market place, and there officially proclaims this boy to be his son, with all the full rights of sonship. This is after all the years of schooling, training, development, until the boy qualifies to bear the load of responsibility which belongs to a mature son. Regardless of the impatience of the boy for this hour, and to be in this position, there is no premature claiming of this place. The father knows when the hour has come, and the proclamation is all his. How precious the thought, therefore, that God has purposed to bring us to this hour, when He will place us as sons into Himself.
The adoption is brought to the full through, by the means of, or as the Wuest expanded gives, "through the intermediate agency of Jesus Christ."
Now I say, "That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father." [Galatians 4:1-2]. Furthermore, while we were children we were under the bondage of the elements of the world, and needed help for overcoming, therefore God sent forth His Son to redeem us, and after He overcame the world, leaving us an example, that we might follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21), now "God hath sent forth THE SPIRIT OF HIS SON into your hearts..," [Gal. 4:6] which is working in us to bring us to the hour of adoption, and that full maturity as we are conformed to His image, to the fulness of the measure of the stature of Christ.
All that we are, and all that we shall ever be, is because of the love, grace, and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is "one Lord, Jesus Christ, through and by Whom are all things and through and by Whom we (ourselves exist)." [1 Corinthians 8:6, Amplified]. HE is our way into the Father!
Now the sphere of placement is literally spoken of as "into Himself," for we are to become a part of that whole composite body of HIMSELF. Even as we read, "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." [1 Cor. 6:17].
Words are inadequate to express the depth of truth which is quickened to the spirit. Revelation comes to the inner man, the hidden man of the heart, and though we often try to convey it to the minds of men, it must be received by, and understood by the spirit within. Far too long we have been taken up with me, myself, and I. Yet there is this process of losing our life, to find it anew in Christ. As one songwriter so beautifully expressed it, "Let me lose myself, and find it, Lord, in Thee." And though our identity with the old Adamic nature goes down into death, yet there is a new life, the Christ-life which arises, and we become identified in HIM.
Being "conformed to the image of His Son", we discover that we become a part of that FIRSTBORN COMPANY OF HIMSELF. Many brethren all merged into one HIMSELF. A literal translation of Romans 8:29 brings this out much more than most of our modern translations. The "firstborn," and the word here denotes quality more than it does identity, is the full composite body of Himself, of which Jesus Christ is the HEAD. In all things HE shall have the preeminence, and He is The Firstborn from the dead, but He is IN many brethren who are joined to the Lord, into Himself.
As The Head, all must be conformed and joined to Him, for He is The Saviour of the body, both figuratively, i.e. the mystical body, and also literally , for He "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself." [Philippians 3:21].
A people with a purpose? Yes, the purpose is to be fully transformed into the very same image of our Lord, so that everything we are, say, and do will be a further manifestation of HIS LIFE, and bring glory to His name. It is written, "I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, ... and I will write upon him My new name." [Revelation 3:12]. And again, "I will declare Thy name unto My brethren." [Hebrews 2:12].
The hour will come when we shall know this name, our new name, when we have overcome, and are qualified to bear His name, but until then, we find the scripture simply refers to this composite, many-membered brethren first fruits as the body of HIMSELF. For the present the title is sufficient, for it emphasizes that it must be HIM, and not our old Adamic self which has rebelled against His will, and sought to go its own way.
"And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one." [John 17:22-23].
There have been many man-oriented ecumenical movements, trying to gather everyone into some form of oneness, but it will never work by man's program. Only as we become truly one with HIM, each one firmly joined to The Head, to become one in His Spirit, will we ever be one with one another, also.. Yet this prayer of our Lord shall be fulfilled, it was more than a prayer, it is prophetic of that which shall be. Furthermore, it is stated that the glory which He received from the Father, is the glory which He also is now prepared to give to us. What was this glory which He had with the Father?
"And now, O Father, glorify Thou me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." [John 17:5]. Ah, here was the glory which He shared before the world was. "WITH THINE OWN SELF," this was His glory, for it is written he was "essentially one with God and in the form of God, possessing the fulness of the attributes which make God God. [Philippians 2:6, Amplified]. "He is the sole expression of the glory of God― the Light-being, the out-raying of the divine― and He is the perfect imprint and very image of God's nature." [Hebrews 1:3]. And now He, who was once clothed upon with the glory of "Thine own self" of the Father, has purposed to share His glory with all of those who become one in HIMSELF.
The same thought is expressed in another way in Revelation 3:21. "He who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant him to set beside Me on My throne, as I Myself overcame (was victorious) and sat down beside My Father on His throne." Now , think not that there are two thrones spoken of here, for that which He spoke of as "My throne" is the same as that which belonged to the Father as "His throne." There is but one throne, and now those who become overcomers are to share the very same throne with Him. Merged into this glorious oneness, it befuddles the natural mind, but it rejoices the spirit within us. To HIM be the glory and praise.
That there shall be just such a company of "Himself" is very clear, and even Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, "Lo, comes the Lord in holy myriads of Himself." [Jude 14, Literal translation]. The King James Version speaks of His coming with "ten thousands of His saints." But the Greek gives it far better, for they are "HOLY MYRIADS OF HIMSELF." His saints, His set apart ones, His sanctified ones have literally become apart of Himself, one with their Lord. Nor is this some figment of a vain imagination, but this purpose has been known by God's chosen ones all through the ages, and even Enoch, who walked with God in such intimate communion, knew of this purpose and prophesied of the day when it would become reality.
"For as in Adam all die, even so in The Christ shall all be made alive." [1 Corinthians 15:22]. It needs to be pointed out here, that the identifying article "the" is used in the original text before this word "Christ," making it THE CHRIST, with specific reference to the identity of our Lord Jesus Christ. All are to be made alive IN HIM. Then the passage goes on "But every man in his own order (rank, band)," beginning with, "Christ the first fruits." [verse 23]. Here we do not have the identifying article "the," and so it refers to quality, and since Christ means ANOINTED, it speaks of the first fruits who are anointed with the same Spirit as our Lord Jesus Christ. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His." [Romans 8:9]. But he that is Joined to the Lord IS one spirit. The anointed firstfruits are the beginning order, rank, band which are to be made alive in The Christ. And, after them, each order according to the continued unfolding of God's purpose, until every man has been made alive, brought into the kingdom of the Son, and then the whole delivered up unto the Father, that God may be all in all.
"Now He which stablisheth us with you is Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." [2 Corinthians 1:21-22]. Anointed and sealed― "sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory." [Ephesians 1:13-14].
When the fulness of redemption is brought unto the firstfruits, and they receive of His more abundant life and glory, then they share with Him the ministry of reconciliation, to help gather in the next order, to save and bless the latter-born. They shall have the gospel (good news) of the ages, and proclaim it to every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue.
There is a realm IN CHRIST, where out of your innermost being "shall flow rivers of living water." [John 7:38]. And this He was speaking of the Spirit, for it is the SPIRIT OF LIFE, His life, which is to flow out of these prepared vessels, and become life to all who receive of them. This Himself-company shall reign until all enemies are, subdued under His feet, and the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. When all death is destroyed, first death, second death, all death, then it is self-evident that none remains. But HIS LIFE shall fill the universe, to His glory and praise.
It cannot be repeated too often. He is preparing a people with a purpose, not a purpose that holds only their own selfish gains, but that they might become so ONE IN HIM that they are able to minister His life to others, until the universe shall be made anew, and our God shall be all in all, or as one translation gives, "be everything to everybody." Amen!
"What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that Thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than than angels; Thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of Thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing 'that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. BUT WE SEE JESUS..." [Hebrews 2:6-9].
All that He is, all that we see in HIM, this is the destiny of those whom God apprehends and conforms to His image. The glory, honour, dominion, the administration of the fulness of times― we dare not allow the pride of self to turn our eyes from HIM who is our life. What God has purposed to be fulfilled through, and for man, shall be realized, but only as we keep the proper perspective, namely, to become one in Himself.
SON-PLACED INTO HIMSELF
Blessed be our God and Father,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who blesses us with every blessing,
Love-the binding cord.
According as He chose His people
Ere the world began,
Wrote their names within His bosom,
Wisdom's glor'ous plan.
Measured out His grace abundant
For each son to be,
Marked their course for coming ages,
Planned their destiny.
Then subjected them to bondage-
While He fit them to His purpose,
Till each one in Him is blameless,
Separated to His calling,
Self all crucified.
In Himself He then shall place them,
One, all one, in Christ their Saviour,
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