Angelic Conflict part 251: The Carrier of the kingdom of God – Luk 11:23; Joh 16:28-33; 1Joh 4:12-19; Mar 1-3.
length: 62:28 - taught on Feb, 5 2014
"He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters [skorpizo = scatter, to disperse abroad].
The other passage where the word for scatters is used is in:
JOH 16:31 Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?
JOH 16:32 "Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
The disciples scattered because of fear. Christ makes it clear that they lack faith in His victory.
JOH 16:28 "I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again, and going to the Father."
"going to the Father" is Christ's ascension in victory. He plundered the strong man and so we also have overcome the world.
JOH 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
Through Him, His word and Spirit, we overcome all world systems that once had us in bondage. satan can no longer hurt us, unless we hurt ourselves.
The disciples had faith in Christ, but not a strong and unwavering faith in His total victory, which they would have later on. What they did not yet understand is that they were not to be just spectators of the kingdom of God but participants.
God does something in us. We are not merely students reading a book, or spectators watching a deeply moving event. We are participants in the great conflict of God's love.
Gustaf Wingren [Sweedish Theologian] expresses the "already/not yet" dynamic well when he argues that with Christ's resurrection:
"The war of the Lord is finished and the great blow is struck. Never again can satan tempt Christ, as in the desert. Jesus is now Lord, Conqueror. But a war is not finished, a conflict does not cease with the striking of the decisive blow. The enemy remains with the scattered remnants of his army, and in pockets here and there a strong resistance may continue. That is the position of the Church."
This kind of picture is helpful for us to understand the "already" victorious but "not yet" fully manifested victory. In Feb 1945 the Western Allies took western Germany and stood at the Rhine River and the Soviets took Pomerania just northeast of Berlin. One could confidently say that in the months prior the decisive blow was struck for the defeat of the third Reich, yet it wouldn't be until April 30, 1945 that the Reichstag would be taken and sometime after that before all the scattered Nazi army was fully taken and peace settled.
1JO 4:12 No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
1JO 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
The Church is the only dispensation in which God indwells every believer. Salvation is union and agape love is communion/fellowship.
1JO 4:14 And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
1JO 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
1JO 4:16 And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
It is interesting to note the dwelling places of God in the Bible. In the Garden of Eden He fellowshipped with them in a personal and direct way, but the fall broke that fellowship. Then we see God walking with men based on animal sacrifice in the people of Enoch, Noah, and Abraham. Then we see God dwelling or tabernacling amongst the nation of Israel dwelling in Moses' tabernacle and then in Solomon's temple. Israel was dispersed but Judah returned. Though they rebuilt the temple they did not have the ark of the covenant and it is no where indicated by any writer or historian that they built a new one. We do not read in the Bible that the glory of the Lord filled the second temple. Then God dwells among men in the person of Christ. Christ carried the kingdom of God to the earth in His person. For the first time in history, God indwelt a man. After Christ ascended God did not go back to walking with men or indwelling buildings, but as in like fashion in Christ, God indwells ever CA believer, and unlike all other instances, He has promised us that He will never leave. He left the Garden, He left Abraham, He left the Tabernacle and the Temple, and even Christ left the earth, but now, God will never leave us - no matter what!
With this background, we can better understand what 1JO 4:12-16 is saying to us.
God is invisible, and no man can see Him in His essence.
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Jesus is "the image of the invisible God."
And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.
By taking on Himself a human body, Jesus was able to reveal God to us. But Jesus is no longer here on earth. How, then, does God reveal Himself to the world?
He reveals Himself through the lives of His children. Men cannot see God, but they can see us.
If we abide in Christ, we will love one another, and our love for one another will reveal God's love to the world of captives.
A huge part of revealing the love of God in ourselves is that God so loved the world that He gave His uniquely born Son. God saved the world because He loved the world; with virtue love - far more powerful and sacrificial than affectionate love.
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
God's love will be experienced in us and then will be expressed through us. Yet, that love demands that we have a deep and convinced faith in the total victory of our Lord. The disciples in the upper room and the same men who a few hours later scattered from fear, did not yet possess that faith.
Imagine the wonder and the privilege of having God abide in you as you walk through this life. You would be a wonderful witness of Him, not only to unbelievers, but also to believers, positive believers, and those positive believers who are closest to you.
Abide means to remain and not leave. It means to be at home and so to share like mindedness. This is why is it often interpreted as meaning communion, fellowship, and partnership. These words are not a reality if the two parties involved do not think the same.
"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.
The Old Testament Israelite would look with wonder at the tabernacle or temple, because the presence of God was in that building.
No man would dare to enter the holy of holies, where God was enthroned in glory, but we have God living in us and we reside in the Holy of Holies in heaven.
This shows God's great love for us which gives us confidence in our love for Him and that in turn gives us courage in this life, which courage separates or sanctifies a man from the world system and so he has gathered Christ's plunder and will be a useful witness to gather more captives from the devil and his world.
We abide in this love, and we experience the abiding of God in us.
1JO 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
God's love is not perfected (complete or matured) in angels, but in fallen sinners saved by grace.
When love is matured in us we have complete confidence in Christ's victory and so we know that when we stand before Christ we know that we were witnesses of that love and victory. These are the fruit that brings glory to the Father.
We know that "as He is" - victorious plunderer; "so also are we in this world" - conquering sheep.
So, what is there to fear? What can hurt us? Even if God were to allow certain evils in our lives for witness cross-examination or evidence testing, can they affect our victory and love that reside in our hearts? No. We are only hurt when we hurt ourselves through doubt or wrong priorities.
If people are afraid, it is because of something in the past that haunts them, or something in the present that upsets them, or something in the future that they feel threatens them. Or it may be a combination of all three.
A believer in Jesus Christ does not have to fear the past, present, or future, for he has experienced the love of God and the victory of Christ and this love and victory are being perfected in him day by day.
1JO 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
Fear is actually the beginning of torment. We torment ourselves as we contemplate what lies ahead.
1JO 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.
God so loved the world. The greatest virtue which makes us the greatest witnesses of Christ's victory and of satan's defeat flows from the finished work of the Son to us. We can all things through Him who keeps on pouring His power into us.