Series: Kingdom of God; Pattern Son
Sun am 9 July 2017 – Kobus Swart
Isa. 9:8 – KJV; (Gen. 32:24-28); (Heb. 2:10); (Matt. 16:15); John 12:23-25; (John 14:6); (Luke 5:14); (John 5:19); Matt. 23:39; (Matt. 21:43); (1 John 4:17); (Gal. 4:4); (Mark 9:7); (Gal. 2:20); (Rom. 6:8); (2 Cor. 5:21); (Gal. 5:16-23)
God spoke into Jacob, but it falls on Israel (Isa. 9:8 – KJV). In Jacob’s God-encounter, when he wrestled with the angel, God changed his name from Jacob to Israel (Gen. 32:24-28). ‘Israel’ means ‘man ruled by God’. But the Word of God had to enter and penetrate Jacob to change his nature. I pray that every time a living Word comes from this pulpit or wherever a living Word is spoken, that it will lead to a God-encounter that will change people.
What God starts He will finish, even in your personal life, but He needs your co-operation. God’s original plan is still His ultimate intention.
God is busy disciplining you into sonship. There is no way that we can understand sonship without taking a closer look at the pattern Son, Jesus! He is the role model. When God deals with us, He is shaping us into the life of His pattern Son. Jesus came to bring many sons to glory (Heb. 2:10). In this unfolding process of sonship, you will frequently hear the phrase, “I Am.” Moses was a sent one but God was dealing with something in Moses called ‘self-will’. God had to train him and shape him for that commissioning.
Believe it or not, the great ‘I am’ is in us, the hope of glory. That needs revelation insight. You need an encounter with that truth to realise what it is. Christ in us, the hope of glory – what does that mean? People want to know who Jesus really is. Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Matt. 16:15-18). He said, “My flesh and blood did not reveal it to you. I do not look like a special man. My flesh and blood did not give it away. My Father in heaven revealed that to you.” And upon this rock, He will build His Church, the rock consisting of people who have that revelation of who Jesus is. The Greeks wanted to see Jesus, but He answered them, The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:23-24 – see also the Message Bible). Jesus had to die to multiply Himself many times over, not in an inferior quality, but to multiply Himself. The question is: do they see Him when they see us? There is a quest to see Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal (John 12:25). That is painful. I have to hate my life in this world in order to qualify to be part of that seed that has multiplied itself many times over. If you still love your life and live an egocentric selfish life, you will not be part of the revealing of the Christ in the world. The pattern Son is worth our time and study. If we want to know more about this corporate Christ, of which the pattern Son is the Head, then it makes sense to study His life. Whenever Jesus performed a miracle, He told people to tell no one (Luke 5:14). We are quick to post things on social media to get attention and admiration. Jesus also said, “I do nothing unless I see my Father do it” (John 5:19). That is the pattern Son! He was submitted to His Father. He represented His heavenly Father; He never tried to take glory to Himself.
The ultimate test and example of the pattern Son is found in Gethsemane. Jesus knew what was awaiting Him; He knew the time had come. My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will (Matt. 26:39). This is the most powerful prayer of laying down your self-life, your ego and self-will. This is the prayer of the pattern Son – who are we to try to find a short-cut?
For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! (Matt. 23:39). Who sent you? “I am”. As He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). God is love! In today’s world, love is scarce. ‘I Am’ is in us and is growing into a corporate expression in the earth.
Nowhere in the Old Testament does it talk about the Messiah coming twice. It only talks about one coming of the Messiah. That coming of the Messiah opened up an age, the end times. Jesus was born in the last days, in the consummation of the age, in the final history. In these last days, God sent forth His Son (Gal. 4:4). Jesus ushered in the last days but the last days are still unfolding; we are still in the last days. That is called the Messianic age. When Jesus came out of the waters of baptism God said, “This is My Son; listen to Him” (Mark 9:7). But the Son came to bring many sons to glory and through His death, He multiplied Himself many times over. So what we need to see in this world is the full stature of the corporate Son. The biggest mistake we can make when we say “I Am” is to confuse the “I Am” with egotism. If it is not Christ in us, do not utter those words. You still need to die. We have been crucified with Him but we still need to see the fruit of that (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:8).
If we say that Jesus is the pattern Son – study Him. Everything has to be shaped into the life of His Son. That brings us to what is known as the corporate Son. If we study His life we get a good picture of where we still fall short. Do you think Jesus in his earthly walk ever lost His temper? He knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). You will find all the fruit of the Spirit in the life of the pattern Son. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Gal. 5:16-17). There is always a battle on the inside. Provision has been made in Christ so that you and I can overcome the desires of the flesh, so we can come to the place where we can say, “I do not have two natures; I only have the divine nature in me”. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law (Gal. 5:18-23). It is time for us to look in the mirror of God’s Word and see if we measure up. We talk about the kingdom and about great things but we are not paying attention to these things: the fruit of the Spirit. If we look at the life of Jesus, He walked with the fruit of the Spirit. He is our pattern, our model. So “I Am” is in us – then bear the fruit! Christ’s life showed me how and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central (Gal. 2:20a Message). If you are to answer the question, “Who sent you?” by saying “I Am”, it better not be the ego speaking. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that (Gal. 2:20b-21 Message). Be careful with a shallow use of the term “I Am.” Stand with a man like Paul, “I have been crucified with Him. It is no longer me who lives, but He lives in me.”
Whenever we have to make a choice, no matter how difficult, say in your heart, “Not my will, but Thine be done.”