Sunday, February 20, 2011

Heaven’s Great and Passionate Cry by Greg Austin

Before the dawning of the First Day of creation, before the First Second of measurable time had been recorded, God desired and sought a Body that would represent Himself, His being, His character, His essence.

In eternity, before the appearance of light or lands or any created thing, God spoke into the void that was to become the container of life and declared, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.”

An Expression of Intention

With mysterious purpose, and in the perfection of the fellowship and relationship of heaven there was need for a body, a form, a physical and material expression of the eternal Creator-God, and the resulting Adam who became the First Man was to be the material template for the Second Man Who would endure the cross and save us from our sins.

Indeed, beyond the one who was destined to become “template” and the One ordained to become “Sacrifice,” was the melding of the two, the joining together of “The first man Adam” who “became a living being” and “The last Adam” who “became a life-giving spirit.”  

The union, the fusion of zaō  psychē  and zōopoieō  pneuma, bringing together  “living soul” and “life-giving spirit” would produce an entity that heaven had originally and eternally intended but that the world had never witnessed.

And these two, “living soul” and “life-giving spirit,” “first Adam” and “last” or “second Adam” would form a Third Man; the full and final expression to be displayed to all that was created of the fullness of the Godhead and of heaven’s ultimate purpose, which is to demonstrate to all of creation the justice and righteousness, the splendor and the glory of the God Who describes Himself, all of His deep and glorious characteristics the singular and most glaringly misunderstood and misused word in every language, “love.” 

An Embodiment of Essence

The thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians provides a definition of the thing called “love.” Yet in itself Paul’s description is incomplete, because in order for love to find expression, there must be a body out of which the intangible of love finds tangibility, and is made practical, receivable, comprehensible.

Jesus has been revealed to us not only as the living Word or the only begotten of the Father or as Savior; Jesus is also the Head of the Body. The Head determines direction and activity, attitude, purpose, destination, pace, rest, communication: it all flows from the Head. 

The Body responds to the desires and the impulses originating in the Head. The Body without the Head is uncoordinated, ungainly, without direction and purpose. The Body without the Head is out of order. One cannot express itself rightly without the other.

Without the Body, Christ is only a concept, a mere suggestion. Without the Body, the non-believing world remains unconvinced of the Christ contained by our superior arguments or our pseudo-spiritual behaviors.

Those who first knew Him beheld Him. Please do not miss this vital point. They saw Him. They saw Him with their eyes and their hands handled the Word of life.  Jesus was God in flesh and blood reality.

And when Jesus informed His friends, “It is expedient that I go away”   He did not have in mind only the coming of the Comforter or of some multi-level evangelism program. His intent was more than to inaugurate the advent of a Spirit-age of otherworldly manifestations and spooky activity.

More than merely enabling men to speak with other tongues or to give a thrill seeking church the cheap sensation of “Holy Ghost goose bumps,” He intended that through our transformed lives we might become to the world the very essence of the image of the risen, life-giving, life-changing Christ.

When the Helper comes He not only infuses the believer with the Spirit of God, but He comes as the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit that filled the body, the vessel, the being of Jesus.

It is with this truth in mind that Dr. Steve Crosby writes, “The whole purpose of Pentecost was to continue His life in the flesh, on earth, not in heaven.”

Heaven needs a Body in order to give full expression to the Person and Purpose of God:

A Body that feeds the hungry, and visits the imprisoned, that clothes the naked, loves the unlovable and touches the untouchable: A Body that brings heaven to earth, and makes understandable the mysteries of a kingdom not of this world. 

Paul wrote of a Body in Romans 9:23 in whom God “has made known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, as He says also in Hosea: I will call them My people who were not My people and they shall be called sons of the living God.”

This is the Body that preaches the Message of good news to the poor, that comes to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free.  

This Body, the visible manifestation of the Person, the Man of whom John declared was the “Son of God Who takes away the sin of the world”  is the Body, “the fullness of Him,”  of Jesus the Christ, the eternal Logos, the Word made flesh, Who is given speech through our lips, Who sees with our eyes, walks with our feet and touches with our hands.

This is the Body of which every true God-connected human is a part, and what we long for is the dawning of the morning of our full expression, the time of the manifestation of what has not been seen and of what has not been heard, but of what has been revealed to us by His Spirit.

And that Body is moving from earnest expectation to impassioned realization of the revealing of the sons of God, a unified, interconnected “many” becoming “one” even as Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17 “that they may be one.” Five times in this single prayer, Jesus utters the yearning that “they,” that “we” “may become one.”

This great high priestly prayer, this ultimate expression of the heart of God in the flesh before being offered up as an atonement for the sins of man reveals the central desire, the chief aim and the highest appeal of the heart of God.

And that appeal is not that we might be endued with power from on high: He does not pray that we might be adorned with all the gifts of the Spirit or that we should be looked upon with envy by the world.

Instead the great cry of God is that we the Body, the followers of Jesus might be “one.”

The Greek in John 17 translated “one” is heis (pronounced “hice”), and means “agreement, one thing, unity.” It is of interest to note that the transliteration of the Greek heis is “man,” which suggests growing up, becoming from a child, a man.
One man - one unified, integrated, cohesively fused Body with many members, moving together as a symphonic orchestra, each playing his part, each moving in response only to the great Orchestrator of the universe, even our Father, Whose Son is the Head from whom flow command and order, direction and purpose to move, to go, to speak and to fill.

With this truth in mind consider Paul’s anointed instructive to the Ephesian believers: “He has broken down the middle wall of separation, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two. Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

“ . . . So as to create in Himself one new man from the two.” So much of the practice of the Christian church hinges on a sense of unique individuality. 

Learning from corrupt humanistic governmental systems, the church bought into a lie that has bred a dangerous and deadly cohort to sin – the result of which says “I don’t need you. I can develop my own gifts, I can succeed without your help,” and that damning lie from the pit of hell not only crushes souls and alienates brother from brother and sister from sister, but it exemplifies the attitude of denominations and independent fellowships alike. Far too long believers, joined together in one heavenly family have lived as though they haven’t needed one another.

In Himself One New Man

We are watching today, thankfully the demise of denominationalism and the death of religious sectarianism that has separated and prevented the Body of Christ from being the Body of Christ.

And it is symptomatic of the problem of disunity and disconnection and it is the reason that heaven cried to heaven; Jesus lifted up His eyes to the Father and cried, “If there is one, singular request that I can make before I lay down my life for all of mankind, let it be “that they all may be one, as You, Father are in Me and I in You that they also may be one in Us that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

Man believes he has no need of anybody else. Believer doesn’t need his brother or sister and it’s a manifestation of the curse of hell, this false belief that we can function without one another. 

Because to the extent we are convinced we don’t need others, we frustrate the work of Grace, we delay the deliverance of creation, we labor against the purpose and intention of heaven.

We are called, intended to become, to manifest His glory and nature, His Person to a world that is disjointed, disordered, that is discordant; a world desperately seeking something that not only makes sense, but more, a Body that speaks with one voice, sees with a single eye, moves with one purpose and touches with one heart.

It’s this concept of “one” that most believers know little about. We know about the corporate “one,” we know “The Lord is One.” We know academically there is one church. 

But we are convinced both by training and by human nature that we can go it alone, that we are somehow single-handedly building the Kingdom of God that cannot be established, cannot be manifested until the Head is acknowledged as the Head and the Body represents His Body.

For too long the world has been confounded by the monstrosity that has called itself Christ’s “church.” What the world has seen has been an arm here, a leg there, an eye and an ear, all disjointed, disconnected, each one claiming “I am the Body of Christ” when in fact we were more Frankenstein than any kind of “one new man.”

It is a stunning revelation: Jesus is the Head and we are His Body and we need to say this, to enunciate this elemental reality because in practice many so-called followers of The Way have neglected, forgotten or never learned spiritual anatomy sufficiently to understand the correlation between head and body.

We are separated and by nature we are separators and in our separateness we can’t truly know God, and until we know God we cannot become a part of the thing we long to experience.

But we cannot become the true Body of Christ until and unless we are filled with that which filled the Body of Jesus.

We cannot in our separateness and so long as we hold onto our darling issues, our pet theologies, our parochial views, our exclusive clubs for those alone who think exactly like we do, we cannot in our elite and restricted fellowships begin to demonstrate to a hopeless world the hope that is within us by virtue of His indwelling Presence.

A Body, in order to move and function, to be a living entity must be filled. The natural, physical body, what the Greeks called sarx must be filled with blood and oxygen, the organs of life - lung and heart and brain; so, too, the spiritual body must be filled with life-giving substance.

So the question is not, “Do we need to become His Body?” or “Are we truly His Body?” These are obvious. The questions are these: “What is it that fills His body that makes us to become uniquely “the fullness of Him?” “How can we who follower the Lord Jesus Christ truly become one; how can we accurately, authentically reflect Him to the world around us?”

These questions and that enigma beckon to be answered.

(Author’s note: In Part Two of this discussion, we will address these critical questions and offer clear direction for us all to follow and to hasten the day of the revealing of the sons of God in the earth).


  1. BEAUTIFUL!!! Keep it coming! :-)

  2. Ane all say Amen! We are a colony of Heaven's citizens (called out people) who's main "mission" is to "bring heaven to earth!" We are too be a perfect reflection of heaven.

    Thank you for this most beautiful writing!

  3. It is amazing how disconnected the body of Christ can be. We disagree on the most insignificant doctrines. Let us pray for more unity and try to find programs and projects that our "church" can do with their "church" so God can see that some of us work for unity in the body
    Ralph Bates in Texas


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