Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
What you think is very important. What you think about God is very important. Many Christians today have a wrong image of the Lord, a wrong concept of Him. They have a mind-set of what He is like, and usually He is not like that at all. It happened at His first coming. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. John 1:11. That scripture is usually viewed historically; He came to the Jews, and the Jews didn’t receive Him. That’s true. But He is coming to His own now and many of His redeemed ones aren’t receiving Him. “Oh, when He comes I will receive Him.” He is coming right now, spiritually. We are in the days of the Parousia. The apostle Peter said there would be those who would scoff and say, “All things continue on the same. Nothing has changed. What do you mean the Kingdom has come?” (II Peter 3:3-4). For them it isn’t happening, but it is happening to those who are aware of His presence.
The apostle Paul said, “Those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God…All creation is waiting eagerly for the manifestation of the sons of God” (Romans 8:14,19). The word “manifestation” scares some Christians. “Oh, he’s preaching that manifestation stuff. Stay away from him. The Lord Jesus Christ hasn’t been manifested yet.” Well, He may not be manifested to you, but He may have manifested Himself to someone else. He is always revealing Himself to those who are willing to receive Him, those who have a heart to know Him. Do you remember what Judas (not Iscariot) asked the Lord? Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world? John 14:22.
God has been speaking to our hearts that He is doing a new thing and we need to be open to it. We are in a transition period. We will have to forsake the old. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? Isaiah 43:18-19. Turn loose the things of the past and take hold of the things that are new. God is introducing Himself in a new way to those who will receive Him. There are many examples of Him doing that in the Old Testament. And each time that He did He gave Himself a new name. For example, when Abraham received the revelation of the Lord as the Great Provider, the Lord gave Himself the name Jehovah-jireh (Genesis 22).
Our relationship with the Lord must change. We cannot continue to relate to Him as we have in the past. Have you noticed that some of the things you used to do to receive blessings or breakthroughs to the Lord just don’t work anymore? Why does that happen? When God is ready for you to reach into a higher level He will sometimes withdraw, and you will wonder where He is. He does that to get you to reach into something new.
It is now that the Lord is creating the Body of Christ. I realize that the Christian-world in general thinks that every Christian is a member of the Body of Christ, but it isn’t so! Some Christians are in their “last days” (the days of their spiritual maturity), and they are having their “last days” relationship with the Lord, while others are not. They haven’t matured to that place yet. So we must relate to the Lord in a new way. He is withdrawing from the old way. Why do you think so much of the religious world has no life? God isn’t in that realm anymore. Consequently, pastors are asking, “Why are we not seeing souls saved like we use to?” God isn’t moving in that way. So they have their social clubs and gimmicks to get people in, anything to draw people into their churches. God is requiring more today than just having your sins forgiven. Submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is required, too.
The Body of Christ is being created. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him. Genesis 1:27. Genesis 2:7 says that the “Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground.” So did God create man or make man? “To create” is to create something out of nothing; “to make” is to make something out of existing materials. The “man” in Genesis 2:7 is the natural man made from the dust of the earth. The “man” in Genesis 1:27 is the spiritual man of Ephesians 4:13, the Body of Christ. The verb “created” in Genesis 1:27 is prophetic perfect. It is a prophecy of what God is going to do. It is written in the past tense because God “calls those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). So creating man in His image is what God is doing now. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works…. Ephesians 2:10. Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness…. Ephesians 4:24. Put on the new man…after the image of Him that created Him…. Colossians 3:10. God is creating a people in His image. “In His image” means in His nature. Does that mean we will be brought into His deity? That is what the Word says. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature. II Peter 1:4.
I Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
There are many baptisms. You can be baptized in water (Matthew 3:11), in the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11)), and into His death (Romans 6:3). I Corinthians 12:13 says we are baptized into one Body. Our translation says, “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body,” but the Greek is, “In one Spirit.” This is not talking about water baptism; it is speaking of being baptized into the Body of Christ, being immersed into the Body of Christ. Being saved doesn’t do it. Receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues doesn’t do it. This is a unique experience of the Lord placing you in His Body. The Body of Christ is a functioning Body; it is the Lord Jesus Christ functioning in the earth. Jesus Christ has laid aside His individuality to become the Head of a many-membered Body. Christ is no longer an individual. Christ is now many members. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. I Corinthians 12:12. If you’re still thinking of Christ as Jesus the Nazarene, you are missing it. Christ is a many-membered Body. When you are baptized into the Body of Christ, you think differently. You begin thinking as a member of the Body of Christ. When you sense the Lord blessing you, it is not just you that He is blessing. He is blessing His Body and you are receiving that blessing, because you are a member of His Body. And when you are under demonic assault it is being directed against the whole Body. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. I Corinthians 12:26. The blessing comes upon all, and the battle comes upon all. Christ is a functioning Body, and the Lord Jesus is the Head. He directs and controls the Body. If there is no Head, the Body can’t function.
Ephesians 1:22-23 And (God) hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to
be the Head over all things to the Church,
23 Which is His Body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.
Christians use the same terminology as the Bible, but they do not always have the same meaning. For example, the word “church” may refer to a local assembly or the Body of Christ. The Scriptures clearly state that the Church and the Body of Christ are identical. But every religious group is not a part of the Body of Christ, even though it is called a church.
Ephesians 1:22 says that God “hath put all things under His feet.” The feet of the Body of Christ represent the foundation of the Church, which is the ministry of the apostles and prophets.
Ephesians 2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
The ministry of the apostles and prophets is the foundation of the Church (the Body of Christ), and the revelation of the Lordship of Jesus Christ comes through the foundational ministry. Jesus said, “No man cometh to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). Then He tells the disciples, “As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). He just lengthened the channel! Now people have to come through them to Jesus to the Father. He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me. John 13:20.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away (He is not going away up into the sky. He is going away in the sense that He will not be manifested physically.): for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.
John 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father.
“A little while and you will not see Me. Again, a little while and you will discern My presence.” He is not saying that you will see Him for a little while and then He is leaving, and then in a little while He will be back. He is not saying that. He didn’t say, “I’ll be back.” He said, “Ye shall see Me.” He shall be seen by revelation.
John 16:28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
“I came forth from the Father” is a bad translation from the Greek. It is not “from the Father.” That would mean that the Father up there sent Him down here and you would have two entities. The Greek doesn’t say that. The Greek says, “I came forth out of the Father.” Now that says something different. Now Jesus isn’t a different Lord that God sent, but He came out of the Father – same essence.
Jesus said, “I leave the world, and go to the Father.” Where is He going? He is going to the Father. The Father is God. So He is saying, “I’m going to God.” John 4:24 says that God is Spirit. So if He is going to God and God is Spirit, what is He saying? He is saying, “I’m going to Spirit.” He is not going to a distant place. He is going to Spirit. The Lord is still here, but He is not in a physical body that you can see. He is Spirit!
Even though He is Spirit and is here with us, there is a tremendous gulf between Him and man, because the spirit realm is like a different world. He told the Jews, “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:23). But they were both in the same place geographically. Again, in John 3:13, “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” Now that implies that He is in heaven and on earth at the same time. How can He do that? He can be in both realms at the same time, because heaven is the realm of spirit and He is walking in the spirit. God is not up there is the sky and Jesus down here on earth. I and My Father are one. John 10:30. The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. John 14:10. He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. John 14:9. Do you understand? He has gone to spirit. “A little while, and you shall see Me.” Why will it be a little while? It will take a while for your spiritual eyes to become accustomed to seeing in the spirit realm.
II Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yea now henceforth know we Him no more.
Though we knew Him as Jesus the Nazarene, after the flesh, we don’t know Him that way anymore. He is Spirit! We are not going to know Him after the flesh anymore. Neither are we to know one another after the flesh, but as members of the Body of Christ.
II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
How many times have you heard someone testify, saying, “I’ve received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I am a new creature, old things have passed away and all things have become new.” And they have most of the same problems they’ve always had. It is not saying, “If any man is a Christian,” but “If any man in Christ.” The words “be” and “he is” are not in the original. So it is, “Therefore if any man in Christ a new creation.” What is the new creation? the man? No, Christ is the new creation. Christ used to be one person, but now He is a many-membered Body. He is a new creation!
When men come into Christ or when Christ becomes a many-membered Body, the result is a new creation. When He ascended, He ascended into another realm, the realm of spirit. He became Spirit. And He is not a spirit wandering around. He is Spirit! And all these things are of God (Greek: ek = out of). All these things are out of God. I Corinthians 5:18. What are these things? These things are people coming into Christ.
John 8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
The anointing oil was made of olive oil. So the mount of Olives, spiritually, speaks of the place of anointing.
John 8:2 And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came unto Him; and He sat down, and taught them.
This chapter is talking about temple teaching; that is, the teachings of Christ that flow from His temple. Who is His temple? The Body of Christ is His Temple.
John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am [He], and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things.
When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am. “I am” is Jehovah; I am that I am. The Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Lord.
When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am. That is, “You will know Me when ye lift Me up.” It is obvious that He is speaking of something more than His crucifixion in Jerusalem. As long as we relate to Him in the flesh (as Jesus the Nazarene), we will not know Him. We will only really know Him when we begin to relate to Him as the Lord of glory, the Lord of Spirit.
“When ye lift Me up….” Don’t just look at that historically, but see it as Jesus the Nazarene crucified in your thinking. That Jesus the Nazarene concept has to be crucified. As long as we are hanging on to a fleshly Jesus we can’t know Him in the Spirit, we can’t know the Lord of glory. Most Christians only think of Jesus the man, and they are looking for Jesus the man to come back. They don’t know the Lord of glory.
When you move into the realm of Spirit, the realm of His Kingdom, the Scriptures take on an entirely different meaning. It takes things out of the past and brings them into the present. It takes things out of the future and brings them into the present. Suddenly, the Bible comes alive!
I Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness...
But we preach Christ crucified… Many of the Baptists would say, “We do that every Sunday morning. We preach about His crucifixion.” That isn’t what Paul is talking about. We preach Christ crucified… In other words, the individual, the fleshly Jesus, is out of the picture. He is crucified. We now know Him as the Lord of glory. He is Spirit! Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. II Corinthians 5:16. The old humanistic concept is crucified, and now we are learning to know the Lord spiritually.
In Matthew chapter sixteen, Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” And the disciples answered and said, “Well, some say You’re Jeremiah or Elijah, or one of the other prophets.” Then Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter speaks up, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!” And Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona! Flesh and blood didn’t reveal that to you, but My Father which is in heaven.” Now, Peter feels good. He had a revelation! And his chest probably swelled up a little. Then the Lord began telling them about His crucifixion in Jerusalem. What did Peter do? “No! Lord. Not so! Not you! They can’t take my fleshly Jesus!” And that is the way many Christians are today if you try to get them to relate to the Spirit of the Lord and to really know Him. “No, you can’t take my fleshly Jesus. I’ve got to have Him.”
I Corinthians 2:7-8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden
wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
It doesn’t say that they crucified the Lord Jesus Christ. It says that they crucified the Lord of glory. What does that mean? You will crucify one or the other. You will either crucify Jesus the Nazarene, the fleshly Jesus you have related to and learn to know the Lord of glory or you will hang on to your fleshly Jesus and by doing so you will crucify the Lord of glory.
We must know the Lord, really know Him! “Well, one day He’ll come back and we’ll see Him.” Do you know when every eye will see Him? Every eye will see Him when there is an awareness of Him in His many-membered Body, when every eye is opened to see the Lord of glory in His saints (II Thessalonians 1:10).
The Word plainly says that no man can see the Lord and live (Deuteronomy 33:2). Do you want to see the Lord? You will have to die out to self, and your fleshly Jesus has to die. Be crucified with Him (Galatians 2:20). He is no longer a fleshly Jesus. Christ is a many-membered Body, and the Lord is the Head of that Body. He is the Lord! the Director and Controller of the Body. When you begin to relate to Him in that way, you will find Him to be a present reality to you and your whole Christian life will change.
Where did the literal crucifixion of Jesus take place? It took place on a hill called Golgotha (John 19:17-18). Do you believe the Scriptures are prophetic? Golgotha means the place of the skull. Jesus has to be crucified at the place of your skull, in your thinking, in your mind, so you will not be like Peter, “I don’t want to turn loose my fleshly Jesus! You can’t take Him away!” But Jesus says, “It is expedient for you that I go away” (John 16:7). As long as you are relating to a fleshly Jesus, you won’t really know the Lord of Glory.
Copyright © 1999 by Henry DuBose