The most "Third-Level" of all Jesus' teaching is in the discourse He had with the twelve disciples over the Passover meal immediately before His death at Jerusalem. John Ch13-17,especiallyCh 15-17.The concept of Christ in you as you is often confused with New Age secularism.
It is actually no coincidence that as the hidden depths of the teaching of Jesus Christ are being brought out into the open, even more so this year than ever before, that in the last 30 years or so there has been such an increase in New Age belief.
Before the paddywagon wheels Christians away for general insanity, I wanted to hammer a few things in this post.
Whilst, yes, We Christians are The Vine, we are equally accurately the branches of the Vine.In the sense that branches are The Vine, then yes, we are that. But the Vine in our own right, nope, we are not.I am not Jesus Christ. The second Person of the Godhead who laid all aside to become a normal man injected as a second Adam into Mary's womb, having no earthly father....this man, was Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I have never been to Nazareth. I have no relation (yet) with the land of Israel. My brother , who worked on a kibbutz, has more relation with Nazareth than me.
When I asked Jesus into my heart, His Spirit came in to live His Life as me. It's just I was never told about this...which has caused years of confusion. As it has in most Christian's lives.I am Jesus Christ in Chris form, born in Ghana, come out of Berkhamsted and born again in Amersham, but I am not Jesus Christ of Nazareth. As we receive Christ's Spirit into us when we are born again, the old spirit which drove us is kicked out, and we begin a new history of Him forming Himself in us, using similar techniques by which the Father matured and "grew" His Son whilst on Earth. We are the Branches. "Branch expressions" of the The Complete Vine" . But the Complete Vine we are not. His Church are the Branches.Some have gone before and are interceeding with Jesus for us in heaven. The rest of the branches are on earth. But we are all the Vine. The Vine is not the trunk. The Vine is both the trunk and the branches.
Watchman Nee wrote "The Normal Christian Life". In it he describes the traditional view that comes through the Brethren teachings, and indeed through most of the Church, that we have two natures, and the one we feed the most wins out. Most of the Church live with this schizophrenic view of themselves.
The Bible says quite clearly we have died. Our spirit that was completely fused with satan's spirit , what the Bible describes as :We were by nature children of wrath...that is .....joined to that nature of Rebellion that has already been eternally judged. When we say nature here, this is at the spirit level. This is the spirit force of self "out for its own ends " that drove us.Now Jesus dealt with this spirit once and for all at the Cross, then He gathered up the you and me bit of our spirits and "hid us with Himself (Christ) in God." That is, our root spiritual self is so entwined and interleaved with Him, it is impossible to separate out again. And the moment we ask Jesus into our lives, it is this new fusion that comes into us. There are NOT 3 things going on here. We were darkness. Now we are Light. It does not say there is a middle realm now where we are "self-running beings" choosing a bit of Light here and a bit of Darkness here.
And this lack of definition is enough to paralyse the Charismatic and non-charismatic Church.(The first and second levels...to grossly simplify and thereby annoy Southbourne Free Church.)
This "self-running lie" which we picked up like a virus in the first ever rebellion, and the Bible calls the "mystery" of sin, is the reason why Christians cannot make their Christian lives work outside of meetings. As soon as we get caught up again in the futile myth of the independant self we are just seconds away from producing bad fruit again...because although our spirit centre has eternally switched over, we have just effectively produced a landing strip again for the spirit of error to work his "works of the flesh".And it is the Romans 7 pressure cooker experience that proves it to us. Because 1st and 2nd levellers do not want to hear this stuff, God has Plan B to prove it to us. As soon as we have had enough, and are prepared to actually listen to His Word...then comes Romans 8 Living, and a whole new realm opens up. It is ofcourse not us doing this, as 1st and 2nd levellers assume, it is actually Christ being allowed for the first time to live His Life through us for any stretch of time.
Outside a meeting.He'd have done it ages ago, but we were too busy kicking and screaming.
So as the parable of the Cave said....our end game is not getting Warehouses of born again and baptised in the Spirit Christians all going out and reproducing the same...but still unable to live life, and still unaware of what the Bible is actually on about.If that was so, then Christine and I,her in Alfreton,me in Amersham, would have arrived by most 2nd level standards, the year we converted in 1972. Because both of us were leading people to Christ , and unknown to each other, both were praying over people to get them baptised in the Spirit. Terry Virgo would be thrilled.Mark Driscoll would have made us elders at age 14!!!
No. No. No. No. The end game is to get everyone to know what went wrong in Genesis 3 verse 5, and to actually LIVE Christ's remedy. As much as I love Josh Mills and the fact that the glory of God regularly manifests in gold on him. Recently this happened again in Plymouth. I just get the impression from things he has said, he still has precious little idea of how you actually live a normal life in Christ outside meetings. He behaves like an extreme sort of 2nd leveller, that just knows how to splash about in the 3rd level in meetings? Josh, is this fair??The Holy of Holies is real. Joshua knows it. But the glory is the actual manifest Presence who hovers above the Mercy seat. What about the wooden Ark of our lives, covered with gold inside and out, with the Living tablets of Christ living His Life out through us in Marks and Spencer's?
The Cart Maintenance schedule in the parable is the mistaken "self-running" delusion that as a self-operated Person you have to pray for 3 or 4 hours to get the glory. No, what you have to do is renounce the 2nd level belief system which is part of the Fall anyway, and do Romans 12 verse 1 in this new context. Let Him live His life through You. If that means talking to a Samaritan woman at a well, and you miss your 5 hour quiet time...well praise God...you probably needed to...because now God gives you "food to eat" that others know not of. See John 4:32 .I sometimes joke with Peter Stott that I need to go back to work, to recharge prophetically.
I chose piano tuning because it is a good activity for waiting on God. I have done this for 27 years, and Peter will tell you what happens in meetings. Folks, this stuff works!!!!