Thursday 23 August 2012

KOG7 The Mystery of the Holy by Daniel Yordy

The Kingdom of God series has just been published by Amazon as a book entitled "The Kingdom Rising". Here is your chance to read it for free, and if you like it to buy copies for your your friends. Daniel's other book "the Jesus Secret" has just come out too.

The PDF and audio versions are available here
I have read nothing quite like it. AC Welch

© Daniel Yordy - 2012 - Our Path Home

 Part Seven   The Mystery Of the Holy

God has created 15 billion different human forms, 15 billion different potential expressions of Christ (the exact number is irrelevant). He is delighted with every single one of them. Because I lived in community for many years and because I teach school, I have come to comprehend, just a bit, the sheer delight the Father receives from all the varying expressions of Himself.
If everyone were like me, what a dull world it would be. I am so very glad you are not like me. In my early years in community people's differences were hard for me to grapple with; now I delight in them.
God carefully crafted each outward persona for His own purposes. In that crafting, He deliberately placed flaws and fault lines. Those flaws are holy and good - inside His intentions. You see, the beautiful jewels of Christ, coming through those same flaws and fault lines, are more magnificent than we can imagine. This is the mystery of the Holy. Now, when we willfully separate our flaws from Christ, they become dark and ugly. We "have to" fight them because they pull us down. But when we place those same flaws and fault lines into Christ and see Christ revealed fully as them, what a transformation takes place.
This is the transformation of Christ.  Christ, coming in, as, and through our weakness, is the mystery. That other thing, making some outer form "look-a-like" definition we hold of "Christ," that is not the transformation of Christ.
Consider the glory of the Lamb that was slain. His unhealed scars are now the greatest jewels in the universe. But God wants so much more. You see, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. God, coming through the weakness of Christ in the human, submitting to total weakness - in faith giving thanks, in raising Christ out of submission to that weakness, declaring Christ glorious above all, was simply pointing towards the real deal.
When Jesus said, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done," He was not referring to His individual ordeal, just ahead, only. Rather, Jesus looked through the hours of that day to His personal ordeal through the next two thousand years of human history as those who belong to Him.
God's will was to take Christ through all the facets of human difficulty and weakness - and all the facets of human abundance and strength - drawing Him through all of it, and thus forming out of the entire experience of man upon this earth a multi-faceted jewel - many sons just like Jesus.
Your faults, your difficulties, your mistakes, your weaknesses - your abilities, your gifts, your abundance, God is not willing to let go of until He has drawn the fullness of Christ into them, as them, and through them, and thus win for Himself a prize beyond value or description.  You!
It is God's will to draw Christ through your weakness, and thus have you as His glory forever. That is why God does not just "heal" people at the drop of a hat. He could and His heart is to heal. But just as He was willing for Christ to suffer the ordeal ahead, so He is not willing to relieve you and me of our difficulty until He has drawn through it all the glory of Christ that He intends.
Now, the communities in which I lived, though mightily anointed of God, also had a definite definition of what Christ looks like. The human form God in His sovereign wisdom gave to 90% of all Christians was most definitely OUTSIDE of that definition of Christ. I came to realize in my last years in that fellowship, that only a narrow range of personalities was acceptable to the group. Any individual whose personality was not acceptable as "Christ," soon vanished from the communities. Their argument was simply that those people's "flesh" took them away from "God." They had no idea how valuable that "flesh" is to Christ and to His revelation.
In other words, we taught and believed "Christ in you." But Christ as He appeared in and as the majority of people was unacceptable to us; it took a certain personality only to fit our requirements. We did not acknowledge any of the rest as Christ.
Remember, we are hanging upside down. Christ is beneath our feet. We have been looking in the wrong direction to "define" Him.
In this next section, I include my start on this letter, which I wrote several days ago under a great passion of spirit. That particular angst has lifted, but I still include it after this more recent introduction. (This is the final letter of my response to the brother’s email.)
I am nowhere near finished with this topic. It burns as a fire inside of me hotter and hotter. I will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves; I will build a shield around the defenseless to protect them from the torture of well-meaning Christians.
We Christians are blind and ignorant. But that reality is unacceptable to us, so we, all of us, pretend very hard that we actually see clearly and that we know what we are talking about when we give answer to the struggles and difficulties that "lesser" people somehow do not escape.
We come with our answers, with our solutions. We come with our fix-it kits. Why? Because we are so smart! But our ignorance is not benign. "Oh, excuse me, I meant well. I just wanted to help."
Don't ever forget that most of us are hanging upside down. What we imagine to be "help" is the opposite; it is further cruelty that increases the difficulty. Cruelty for which we will give an account.
I see an element of pantheism creeping around the edges of some of the things I read. "Since everything is God anyway, everything is cool." "I guess God just forgives everybody, so what's the big deal?"
Everything is not God, and everything is not good, though everything is certainly in His hand and purpose. God and we work together to turn what is meant for evil into good, yes. But God is not unjust, contrary to these charges against Him. Every cruel and wicked thing practiced against another person will be brought to account. Mercy always triumphs over judgment; it does not triumph without judgment. If there is no judgment, there can be no mercy.
It is the sacrifice of Christ that allows us to find the judgment that becomes mercy. More than that, those whom we have tortured are the only ones who can rightly grant forgiveness. If God were to strip away from the tortured the right of justice, God would be unjust and thus, not God.
Here is the cry of those who are IN HEAVEN: "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Revelation 6:10. They are told to rest a little longer; justice will come.
Does a blind person want healing? Yes they do, SECOND.
Does an autistic person want healing? Yes they do, SECOND.
Does a crippled person want healing? Yes they do, SECOND.
Does a Down Syndrome person want healing? Yes they do, SECOND.
But in all the difficulty I have borne, I have never seen a "fixer" come to me with the thing I want FIRST.
All "fixers" are practicing evil. Please, for your own sake, stop offering "solutions" to people's problems. Chances are, your solutions are meaningless. But the worst possible outcome would be if your "solution" actually "solved the problem." Let me explain.
There is deep inside of those who are the elect of God, who are also the blind, the autistic, the crippled, the maimed, the stricken, a knowledge of the holy that is hidden. It is the mystery of Christ that is unexplainable. They know it is there. They know it is holy. They know it means more than all success in this world put together. But what they cannot do is explain it to you, nor even to themselves.
But there is one thing about these people, this "bottom" 1%, that we need to understand. They trust those who are whole. They look up to those who can function well in the Lord. I can tell you from long years of experience that, if they walk in Christian circles, more pain and confusion will enter their lives as a direct result of that TRUST, than from all their original affliction.
What is the ONE thing that the "bottom" 1% want FAR, FAR more than healing and deliverance? (These crippled and afflicted people are really the top 1%, but we won't call them that yet, not until the resurrection.)
They want to know that the deep, unknowable whisper in the center of their heart, in the midst of their tears, in the depths of their pain, is really TRUE.
Let me take you to a dark room in the back of a rough log cabin in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, to a 20-year-old boy on his knees beside his simple cot, in pain and agony of soul, in confusion, in shame, tears streaming down his face, in the loneliness of the night watches far from home, desiring to know the living God with all his heart. Allow me to draw back the veil, if you would, and show you a most holy thing.
There, inside this autistic, naïve, overly-sensitive boy, to whom most everything in life hurts, bringing confusion and endless misunderstanding, lives a daring, audacious, presumptuous HOPE. He cannot put it into words; he cannot explain it if you asked. But he knows it.
He bears inside his heart the incredible presumption that all this pain, all this confusion, all these tears possess a PURPOSE. That through them, Christ Jesus is reconciling the world to Himself. He bears in his heart the audacious belief that someday, somewhere, somehow, someone will break out of darkness and into light, someone will be spared the pain, someone will escape the confusion BECAUSE OF his tears and BECAUSE OF his hurt.
No, he does not see it, or how it could even be so. Yet he hopes, and HOPE is that which is not seen.
What he wants to know from you who are "wise" is that the Lord Jesus is IN his hurt and IN his affliction, that it is indeed holy and filled with great purpose. He wants you to confirm to him that Christ is indeed living as him in this world. He must know that the whisper inside, "You're difficulties are Me and I am in you, redeeming others to Myself," is truly founded in the gospel.
When he knows with all certainty the extent to which Christ Jesus reveals Himself in, as, and through his affliction, then, and only then, will healing be acceptable to him.
Now, if he accepts your "fixes," and he will try to do so in order to please you, then he must deny that Christ is in his affliction, and that denial IS anti-Christ. Be careful what you do. 
You see, if the brother who sent me that email really knew the Lord Jesus, he would have said, "Daniel, the Lord Jesus Christ, revealed through your Asperger's, is beautiful and glorious indeed."
Here is the mystery of the holy.
If God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and if Christ is living as me in this world, then God is in me reconciling the world to Himself.
I am the intercession of Christ.
As the intercession of Christ, something beyond all belief is taking place in me as I place myself in Christ in the seeing of the spirit of my mind, and as I see Christ in every part of the human me. More than that, as I take every part of my life in this world from conception, through childhood, through my teen-age years of rebellion and sin, through my years of Christian struggle in the move of God, through the recent glorious unfolding of the discovery that Christ is indeed my life, I have no other life, as I take every part and every memory, and place it into Jesus and see Christ living as me through all of it, as I do that, the curse that sits upon this planet and all mankind IS CRACKING. It is giving way; it cannot stand or remain.
You see, Jesus is not just Savior; He is also Salvation. The Salvation of God lives in my heart and IS there what He IS in all fullness, dynamic and filled with great energy and mighty workings.
Paul introduced his statement, "Christ in you the hope of glory," with a very puzzling verse, one that I have pondered without real understanding for 35 years.
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church. Colossians 1:24
I now understand, and my gut response is to lay myself face down upon the floor before the presence of the HOLY.  It is only the blood of Jesus that allows me to stand before a God who would do something this incredible.
Paul's statement here in Colossians is the focus of the letter, For the Sake of His Body. But first, I must close off this line of truth, this precious pearl, provoked by this irritation under my shell, the brother's email, representing so much pain and confusion caused by Christian moralists all through the years of my life.
I root myself entirely in the New Testament. I am utterly uninterested in any other source of spiritual knowledge than the New Testament. Neither am I interested in a use of the New Testament that pits one thing God says against another (as pantheism does), or that which builds human reasoning upon the letter of the word devoid of the immediate miraculous presence of the Holy Spirit of God revealing Christ in human flesh.
Thus when I am hit with such a challenge that cries against the foundations of my own trust in Christ, I must find my footing only in what God says in the New Testament. I have always been like this; I simply cannot trust anything or anyone else.
That is the first thing I did when all the years of pain and confusion flung up against me by the email forced me to reach for the only thing I trust.
How he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter . . .  
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:4-10
First, most Christian argument attempts to treat Paul as a "demi-god" in a similar way as it attempts to "deify" Jesus. My point is that every attempt of God to show His revelation through weakness and through the flesh, we have turned back on itself and made it something "super-human" and thus far above us lowly worms here and now.
Let's start with Paul's strongest statement. The translators carefully sanitized Paul's words: "A messenger of Satan to buffet me." Here is a direct and unsanitized translation: "A Satanic angel to beat me." When Paul said, "was given to me," he meant God. In other words Paul claimed, "God gave me a Satanic angel to beat me." More than that, Paul said that when he pleaded with God to remove this Satanic angel from beating him, God refused to do so.
This claim of Paul certainly does not fit into any "definition of Christ" I have ever heard; thus I have heard and read so many arguments trying to explain how Paul meant something different, something of little consequence. Yet I am free to cast myself utterly onto what God actually says, and no man has the right to prevent me.
Why? Why did God do this to Paul? The answer is found in the first line I quoted.
How he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
I read recently a man who was discussing the concept of "the upper 1%." He pointed out that it doesn't really matter who it is that has the wealth and the power right now. The question facing every human being is: what would you do if suddenly it was you who had the wealth and the power? He rightly suggested that most of those crying against the upper 1% would do worse things with the wealth and power than they.
This life, our time on this earth, is all about PROVING.
Now, I once was taught that God was out to prove me, to see if I really loved Him or not, and the proof was in whether I heard Him speak every moment and did only what He said exactly as He said it. This teaching was the thing God used to bring me to utter hopelessness, that He might then show me the wonder and beauty of Christ.
God is not proving me. I am dead already, and Christ alone is my life. But God is proving Himself through me. God is proving Christ in this world, and Christ as me proves all the will of God.
So there is a test facing every single individual on this planet; it is the test of God Himself.
I have on my shelf a book that impacted me greatly titled Tortured for His Faith, by Haralan Popov. This brother was arrested as a Christian pastor in early Bulgarian communism. He was tortured beyond all comprehension for his faith in Christ. There, in the midst of that horror of darkness, he came into a knowing of the Lord Jesus that carried him through the next several years in the communist prisons as a light in the darkness. He moved in an apostolic light and ministry and many hundreds were grounded in the knowledge of Christ through him.
Years later he was released and joined with his brother (who had not been arrested). They made their way, of all places, to sunny southern California. There, through the 1980's, this devout and holy man of God discovered the rich side of God. He and his brother made up for lost time, milking the starry-eyed disciples of a God of wealth and abundance. He went to prison again, this time for fraud.
I have other examples, some more close-up, of those who, though they stand true in great testimony with God in times of physical persecution and loss, yet when released into abundance they cannot stand.
But consider. There are those who, given wealth, power and great authority, are tested in the midst of that and through them God proves Himself faithful and true. Then, when they are faced with all loss and physical pain, how do they fare? Some may turn, but others will not be bothered by momentary loss.
Loss and persecution are a test, a battle ground in which God proves Himself through us. But that is not the greatest test; the greatest proof of God is authority. What does Christ do when all authority is placed into His hand?
We see Him, stumbling and falling under the cross He cannot carry. Yet his words early that morning to the disciples remain fresh in His mind, "I could call upon 10,000 angels right now." Yet to do so would bring pain and suffering and loss into the lives of the guards who were beating Him and the crowds who were mocking Him, and that He would not do.
God has firstfruits walking this earth right now. And God will prove Christ through those firstfruits. And in proving Christ through those firstfruits, God will open the door for all mankind to turn right-side-up and to enter into Christ, each in his season.
Those firstfruits are the OTHER 1%. The 1% that no one knows about, that no one expects.
And the great question of their proving is NOT what they will do with pain and suffering. Good God, no. They have walked all their lives through affliction, they have known Him in the dark places, in the night watches He has come to them and comforted their hearts. When "superior" Christians have explained to them exactly what's wrong with them and how they need to get themselves healed, they have borne it, and they have forgiven. In all things they justified God.
No, the proof of Christ is found in authority. All authority in heaven and earth is given unto us.
What will happen when it is discovered that the only way out of this mess is through the doorway of those who are crippled and blind, maimed and afflicted? What will people find when suddenly, they are turned right-side-up and they see, now, above them, the Down Syndrome, the autistic, a little child to lead them?
They will see tender and gentle kindness, they will see open-faced compassion, they will see the goodness of God.
They will hear inexpressible words, known intimately and personally, glory un-considered revealed in simple and quiet hearts. They will see the very throne, the FACE of God, manifest in human flesh. They will see the secrets of the Holy.
Paul's entire argument in 2 Corinthians 12 is this. The power of Christ is proven in the weakness of human flesh.
People imagine they will "go to heaven" to know Christ. They are deluded. Paul makes it clear in Romans 10 that Christianity holds no such doctrine. "Don't say, 'Who shall go to heaven to find Christ'; He is in your mouth and in your heart."
The power and glory of Christ is revealed only in the weakness of human flesh.
Now, we could still attempt to sanitize this bold and dastardly claim Paul makes. We could insist that Paul didn't really mean low and embarrassing things, the things that make others look down on us, turning their nose up as they turn away from such despicable behavior. "How could someone like you claim to know Christ?"
But then verse 10 kicks in and we must remain silent.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul picked five Greek words there, covering the whole range of difficulties and afflictions, of embarrassments and humiliations. Nothing is left out. Here are the words; you can look them up yourself.
Asthenia - Hubris - Anagke - Diogmos – Stenochoria
Let me re-word 2 Corinthians 12:10.
I take pleasure in my lack of strength, in the infirmity of my body. I take pleasure in feebleness of health and the sickness of my soul. I take pleasure in wrongs committed against me by bullies. I take pleasure in the mental injury, the soul-fearfulness that comes from a lifetime of being hit by bullies and by failure. I take pleasure when I am imposed upon, when I lose everything, when I have no food or money to pay the bills. I take pleasure when I am mocked and persecuted because I believe that Jesus lives in my affliction. I take pleasure when mature Christian ministries tell me over and over that my affliction is a demon that rules me because I am "in rebellion against God." I take pleasure when they treat me as if Jesus is far away from me. I take pleasure when everything goes wrong, when I am kicked out in humiliation and sorrow. I take pleasure in dire calamity, in extreme affliction.
I take pleasure in all these things because when I am feeble, needy and sick, then I AM STRONG.
Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'
Now, please, I am not glorifying humiliation. Humiliation outside of Christ as me is just as much human pride and exaltation as any other form of human stupidity. People go through this kind of stuff all the time and do not know or see Christ in their difficulty.
I am not suggesting that any of us "need to be" feeble, needy, or sick. The point is Christ AS ME, as I am, real and simple-of-heart. All of these difficult things in themselves are just as worthless as the human qualities of success and health separate from Christ as me.
And God is all about BLESSINGS poured out unexpectedly, suddenly, and with overwhelming abundance.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
James said it this way: "Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits."
"Rich" does include monetary wealth, yes, but it also includes all the "better" portions of the human genome - physical strength and beauty, smarts, health and vigor, ability and suave in social settings, anointing, miracles, and so on.
Does God anoint you easily with mighty power from heaven? If so, then "glory in your humiliation." Look down, God is beneath your feet.
Should someone who is "rich" wish for affliction? Absolutely not. To do so would be to miss Christ entirely.
The whole point is Christ AS me.
It is God who has crafted the 15 billion + human personas. He has done so perfectly, in astute wisdom. Every individual one of those human personas, each quite different from the next, is carefully crafted by God for a particular and unique aspect of the revelation of Jesus Christ.
And that is the mystery of the holy. 
But the other side of the point is this. Do not despise your brother's outward persona. Do not look down on his "flesh." Do not imagine that Christ is like you. Christ is AS you, He is not like you.
And really, I do not want to be like you. I delight in you as yourself, as the Lord Jesus reveals Himself as you, real and sincere. Christ as you belongs to me as a member of His body. 
But as far as my being like you? No! It is the Lord Jesus I love, and He is so very close inside of ME. I never look away from myself to see Jesus. Jesus and I are one.
And so with you.

No comments: