“This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner”. (ACTS 4:11)
In the world, there is a saying…”That was then, this is now”. Jesus was once known after the flesh. But henceforth we can know Him no more after the flesh. That was then, this is now. Of Jesus, before He tasted of death for every human, the fullness of the Godhead dwelt (past tense)in Him bodily. The Word made flesh. He, and He alone was the House of the Father, the Vessel of the Spirit of God. So true was this, that He said to a disciple, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”. But, as He truly said, “except a grain of wheat fall to the earth and die, it abides alone”. Now, in resurrection, and by His resurrection, is the Father’s House, a house of many houses. The one Son having accomplished to lead many sons unto glory. The message and pattern…the very image of the invisible God, no longer abides alone, but is raised a spiritual house of many houses, such that it is now written of Him (and the children the Father has given Him), “In Him dwells (present tense) all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are complete in Him”. That was then, this is now. Now are you added to Him in His resurrection.
The miracles of the loaves and fishes also have a line of demarcation…a “before and after” aspect. There was a necessity of feeding a multitude. But there was a limited supply on hand. A little bread and fish is what was needed, but if divided up evenly among so many thousands of people, how far could it go to satisfy each individual? Five loaves divided among five thousand, amounts to 0.001 loaf per person. How far could a person travel on one-thousandth of a loaf of bread? The miracle of the loaves and fishes is not comprehended until the aspect of the baskets full of loaves and fishes are taken up from the multitude. Division was not the total answer, but “divide and multiply”. The fed become feeders. The taught become teachers. This is not the old way that asks, “What are these few loaves among so many people”. This is a new and living way, wherein Jesus says to the disciple encountering a hungry people, “Give them to eat”. A weekly arrival of devotees to a geographic location, being fed empty husks, are being sold a bill of goods. Christ is risen. Everything He spoke of, saying, “Except a grain of wheat fall to the earth and die…”, has been avoided. He no longer abides alone. The wheat is risen and bears much fruit. A mature fruiting body of many grains, each empowered as the original. That is to say, the same Spirit that raised the solitary grain, now dwells in the fruiting body. Now, the following saying is true…”When a grain of wheat has fallen to the earth and died, it no longer abides alone, nor can you know it any more after the grain, you must know it in the fruit”. The question commonly asked in every carnal situation, “What would Jesus do?”, is no longer as relevant as the question, “What am I going to do?”. I do not feed with empty husk. Jesus no longer resides there. That was then, this is now. It is Christ in you (present tense), the hope of glory.
In the above referenced saying, “If that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, dwell in you….”, the common denominator, the thing which defines and determines the estate of each grain of wheat in the fruiting body of resurrection, is the Spirit. For there is One Spirit, one body, one God and Father, …ONE. This House of Resurrection is like nothing heretofore imagined. The ONE house of MANY houses:
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also….
…And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
In a time where the world of believers, some of them, are fixated with the Lord’s “coming again”, there is a sad tendency to be either ignorant of, or unconcerned with the fact that, in resurrection, He has come, is come, and is coming, all in the Promise of the Father…the Spirit of Truth. This “coming” in each individual, by the Spirit, can not be ignored. The truth is, Jesus is as “good as His word”. He has never left, or forsaken us.
To comprehend the sayings concerning Elias (Elijah) returning , in the “Spirit and Power of Elijah”, one must comprehend that the Spirit of Elijah, was and is, the Spirit of the Lord. In Ephesians, particularly chapter four, Paul writes of the Lord’s coming. But in a manner “ye think not”. Paul expounds that (in them in Christ) there is one God and Father above all, through you all, and in you all. All means all. And Paul writes that to every one is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. The portion may be a measure, but the gift is not merely FROM Christ, but IS Christ. You would not be reading this now, if you had not been endowed at conception, with a measure of your natural mother and father. Nor would you be reading this now, if that measure were not empowered to produce a complete individual. Before Christ “fell to the earth and died”, in Him was the Apostle and High priest of our profession. In Him was that prophet who was to come into the world. In Him was the Great Evangelist…sent to the ends of the earth to proclaim and declare the kingdom of His Father. In Him was the Chief Shepherd and bishop of our souls. In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Teacher, the Spirit of Truth, whom the Father gave Him, not in measure, but entirely. The same Teacher who now lives in you (remember the loaves and fishes). Ephesians four is not a career path for the “clergy” (which do not exist in Christ), It is Christ in you, the hope of glory, according to what you do with the measure of your gift. It may be a measure, but it can produce fullness.
Elijah went up to Horeb, the mountain of God. There, wrapping his mantle (his calling) about himself (cutting off the external tumult, non of which was God “in”), he heard the small still voice from within. He was told to cast his mantle over Elisha, the son of Shaphat, who would be prophet in Elijah’s “room”. (These things may be found in 1 Kings 19). Elijah eventually would ask Elisha (when God would take Elijah up), “Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee”. Elisha said, “I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me”. Said Elijah, “Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so“…. :
“…And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces ( I am crucified with Christ….). He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him (…nevertheless I live) , and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over….”
Elisha saw Elijah in resurrection (in a figure), and became a partaker of it. Elijah was not dead, he did not divest himself of spirit or office, but rather, extended both to Elisha. Jesus is not dead, he is still the firstborn among many brethren. He still is preeminent in all things. The fullness of the Godhead still dwells in Him bodily, AND you are complete in Him. He is not subdivided among us…we are added to His fullness. Elisha went on, in the Spirit and Office of Elijah (which Spirit and Office was and is the Spirit of God) …he went on to finish all that Elijah began to do and teach, as Elijah received instruction on Horeb.
Now, let us look at the book of Acts, wherein Luke, writing to Theophilus , describes how that in His people, in the Spirit and power of His resurrection, would Christ finish all He began to do and teach, as Luke had described to Theophilus, in his Gospel. Theophilus has a wonderful meaning as a name. It means “Friend of God”. Jesus said “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you“. Jesus, per His word, would come in the Power of the Spirit, and, as He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father”. Jesus had told the disciples to tarry at Jerusalem, until they be endued with power from on high. (before this, to leave Jerusalem, powerless, would be of no purpose, but after this, to abide at Jerusalem, endued with power, would also serve no purpose). In the Resurrection, the shadow gives way to the substance.
When the day of the fulfillment of Pentecost came, the disciples were gathered together in one place and of one accord. This place was not, and could not possibly have been any upper chamber or roof top of any house. The place where the disciples gathered was in the confines of Herod’s retaining wall, which he had built around Solomon’s temple. The promise of God to David, concerning House and Temple of God, were about to be fulfilled. There came a sound of a mighty rushing wind, heard throughout the place where they were sitting. The appearance of flame was upon the heads of the disciples (as though a lamp stand had been lit). These individuals began to speak the wonderful works of God. Word spread throughout this place of gathering, capable of containing upwards of 200,000 people, of something taking place, and many came to see. They were amazed and astounded, because every man who listened on, whether Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,Cretes and Arabians; no mater their language and place of origin, all heard IN THEIR OWN TONGUE, these unlearned Galileans speaking the wonderful works of God. And they wondered what it meant. What it meant is this:
“THE LORD WHOM YE SEEK SHALL SUDDENLY COME TO HIS TEMPLE”
Now, the temple of God, is the resurrected, glorified Son of man, and all that the Father has given Him, children of His resurrection. It is not any house built with hands. In truth, it never was. When Jesus, still in flesh, still the son of David according to flesh, stood next to the hybrid environment of Solomon and Herod’s building, and said, “Destroy this temple and I will build it in three days”, I leave it to the reader to decide what He meant.
In Acts 3 and 4, you read of a man impotent for 40 years, raised and healed, and the same dual-high priest contingent, with the same rulers and elders of Israel, subject to the same Roman Empire, judging, once again, the same one who had healed him. For being asked by what power, or what name, this had been done, Peter told them, “This is the rock rejected by you builders”. Peter was pulling no punches. He told them, “This is the same Jesus, whom you murdered, continuing all that he began to do and teach, before you murdered Him” (I paraphrase). Those events are prophetic of the very times we live in. Annas and Caiaphas, the dual “high priests” were in direct opposition to the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. Annas means “humble”. Caiaphas means “beautiful stone”. The humble acting, outwardly garnished false foundation, opposing and resisting the stone which they reject…the stone who has no form or comeliness that when we see Him, we should desire Him, the stone of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that brought down all his image, The foundation that is already laid, and another can not be laid. Christ in you, the hope of glory. These men, and this system, fearing the loss of their place and system, decided then, as they decide now…these people must not be permitted to to speak or teach in this name (Jesus).
That was then, this is now. The events foreshadowed then, are upon the doorstep.
Nations have risen up against nations. Now kingdom against kingdom. Only one will prove to be true. Jesus is not an alternative religious style. He is not a choice in a mixed bag of social-religious-political homogeny. He is the Way, The Truth, and The Life.
The Lord is in His Temple now.