Progression in God

I want to draw your attention back to things that have been coming through the years in Open Heavens Ministries. It’s like Peter said – sometimes it is good to go back over and remind ourselves of things that the Lord has spoken. I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though you know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance. II Peter 1:12-13.

One of the most important things we have learned is the truth of continual progress in the Lord. Regardless of where we are in our relationship with the Lord, we haven’t reached a place of finality. There is more to be had. We know so little of what we need to know. Our relationship with the Lord is so much less than what we really need at this point. We are probably a little too slow in moving forward in the things of God. Progress in the Lord, growing spiritually, is very important. It is the thing that has been uppermost on my heart for a long time.

We use Ephesians 4:12-13 to explain what Open Heavens Ministries is all about: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. We have many messages on our website that teach spiritual growth and progression. Spiritual growth in the Scriptures is often presented as upward movement or vertical movement. For example, since the anointing oil is made from olives, the Mount of Olives indicates a higher realm of anointing. So when Jesus and His disciples ascended the Mount of Olives, it was an expression of moving into a higher level of anointing. You find that type of expression throughout the Scriptures. Elevation, vertical movement, progression is shown in that way.

We also know that our spiritual growth is something that does not happen all at once. It is like in Exodus when the Lord spoke through Moses as they were going into the land. I will not drive them out from before you in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you are increased and inherit the land. Exodus 23:29-30. The beasts of the field represent the beasts of the adamic nature. If we were to move too fast spiritually, the beast of our field could overcome us. However, I do not think there is a whole lot of danger of us moving too fast in the things of the Lord. We probably should be moving faster. We are not yet too aggressive or too intense in our advancement into the Kingdom of God yet.

We have many scriptures throughout the Old and the New Testament that have to do with our progression in the things of the Lord. We are going to begin with a few verses from the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia...

Seven is a covenant number. It has to do with God’s people. God had a covenant with Israel and He has a covenant with us. That covenant was made when Jesus became our Savior, and then when He became the Lord over us there was even a greater covenant made. Seven is an important number. It is a covenant number that has to do with movement under the covenant of God into more of Him. It has to do with completion and fulfillment.

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and the is coming...

That is how it reads in the Greek. Jesus is the “is coming.” It is not talking about something in the future. Hebrews says we must believe that he is in order to please Him. We must believe He is in the present, not that He will be but that He is. Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is (Hebrews 11:6).

Revelation 1:4 ... and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne.

We see seven Spirits before the throne. The Holy Spirit has many functions, but the Spirit of God is one. So this is not dividing the Holy Spirit into different spirits. It is talking about many levels of Spirit; that is, many spiritual realms. In other words, around the throne of God, the place from which He rules and reigns, there are seven spiritual realms. That does not necessarily mean it is up in the sky somewhere. His throne represents His authority and royalty. We want to ascend to where He is. There are seven spiritual realms we have to move through to get there. When you start going through them you may go through a dozen because seven is not limited to what we think of as the number seven. A realm can be divided into many sublevels. It is a covenant number and has to do with fulfillment. You will go through all these realms in order to get there.

You can see already that when you come to the Scriptures you need some insight because everything is not just spelled out exactly so you can understand it with your natural mind. One person asked, “If that’s not what it means, why doesn’t God speak plainly and say what He means?” He does speak plainly and He says what He means, and it is plain and simple for the person who has a heart to hear. God speaks to the heart and the person who is trying to understand it with his mind is blocking the revelation that could be coming to him.

Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is quick...

That doesn’t mean it is fast. Have you ever pulled part of your fingernail in the quick? It smarts! The Word of God is quick; it cuts!

Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit ...

This is something that happens as you progress spiritually. The living Word will start dividing asunder between your soul and your spirit. In other words, a lot of things have to be cut off; many separations have to be made. We have talked about that with Abraham’s life, the separations he went through. Well, do you want to progress in the Lord? “Oh yes, I want to progress in the Lord, but I don’t care much for those separations and that two-edged sword stuff.” But you have to love that. The work of the cross has to be something you really love or you are not going to really progress in the things of the Lord. We cannot allow ourselves to protect our self-nature. If we do, we will miss God.

Hebrews 4:12 ... to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

This is talking about a living Word. The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword ... and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The Lord can discern your thoughts and the intents of your heart even when you can’t. It is easy for a person to deceive himself and think he is doing fine when all the intents and thoughts of his heart are not so good. He is not doing fine at all, but he covers up. That was Adam’s sin. What was the big problem with Adam and Eve? They were covering up with fig leaves. Fig leaves are symbolic. So we begin to see already that progression in God sounds real good, but does it still sound good after you find out how that two-edged sword is dividing asunder between your soul and spirit?

Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Revealed, made known! You may block what you are to yourself, but you cannot block it out to God.

Hebrews 4:14-15 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities...

This is something you can cling to. Whatever you are feeling, whatever you are going through, Jesus is touched by that. Whether you realize it or not, He identifies with you. We need to come into the revelation that we are identical with Him, and we become identical with one another. What one member goes through, the other members go through (I Corinthians 12:25-26).

Hebrews 4:15 ... but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Whatever your temptation has been, Jesus knows all about it.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly... Keep on climbing up! the throne of grace ... God knew what you were before He called you, better than you know yourself.
... that we may obtain mercy ...You cannot obtain mercy and grace by holding back, being afraid.
...and find grace to help in time of need. … “But I shouldn’t have this problem.”

The Lord will help you through it. Let’s go back to verse 14 because this is the one I am interested in primarily: Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens…. Sometimes it is necessary to check the Greek. The Greek reads “passed through the heavens.” Jesus passed through the heavens. There is a reason that heavens is plural here. It is not talking about heavens up in the sky, but it is talking about those realms of Spirit that we just read about in Revelation. There are different levels of Spirit and Jesus passed through them.

Hebrews 6:20 says: Where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Back in the old days when they wanted to get to the west coast, there were several frontiersmen who blazed a trail. They would find a trail and go through the Indian country and the mountains to get to the west coast. To blaze a trail means you go through uncharted areas and mark a tree or set up some kind of sign. You have blazed a trail so others could follow in the same way. That is the forerunner.

So this is saying in verse 20 that Jesus is the forerunner and He has blazed the trail for us. He has passed through the heavens, one level after another level. He has made the way for us. “But it’s getting kind of hard.” Well, He has blazed a trail for you so you can pass through the different realms of Spirit. Now let’s move on to Colossians.

Colossians 1:25-27 I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the Word of God;
26 Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints:
27 To whom God would make known what the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

What God wants to do, He wants to do in you. What Christ is, He wants to be in you. The hope of glory is Christ in you. There is the secret of the mystery of the Bible. It speaks of Christ in you, not Christ in the sky, not Christ who is to come, but Christ in you is the hope! Let’s go back to the beginning of this chapter.

Colossians 1:1-6 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are in Colossae. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have to all the saints,
5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof you heard before in the Word of the Truth of the gospel;
6 Which is come to you, as it is in all the world; and brings forth fruit, as it does also in you, since the day you heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.

For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven – There again, it is “heavens” in the Greek. Now, we were talking about Christ blazing a trail; He has passed through the heavens. He has gone through every level of Spirit blazing a trail all the way to the throne of God, the place of all authority in heaven and earth. There is hope laid up for you in the heavens. There is hope at each level of Spirit that you go through. What is that hope? Christ in you is the hope of glory! So as you are passing through each level you say, “Where is my hope? I have to appropriate my hope of Christ to come forth in me.” Then you move to the next level and there is a greater hope, a greater Christ. Now we know that Christ is great, but it is little by little. We cannot break through into the fullness of Christ all at once; we could not handle it. So we go from hope to hope.

This same truth is found in so many places in the Bible. If you can find it in one place and it is real to your heart, then you find it somewhere else and see that God is really speaking this. Pretty soon you find yourself getting excited about reaching the hope of glory.

It is like Paul said in Romans 1:17: The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. As it is written, The just shall live by faith. We see the same thing here. The Greek says “the righteousness of God is being revealed.” It wasn’t just revealed one time, but it is being revealed, opened up, turned loose, made available ... from faith to faith. More literally, faith into faith. Faith into faith is like from one level of Spirit to another level. The just shall live by faith. They shall live by the faith of this realm into the next realm and into the next.

Start your climb! Start ascending! The Lord has blazed a trail and made a way for you. There is no temptation that has come upon you but what He has made a way of escape, and He is that way of escape. Bless you!

Copyright © 2009 by Henry DuBose