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Friday, January 25, 2013

The Church in ( Realized ) Transition; The Moon IS no More

No, this is not to be yet another article espousing the transition period of the first century AD! This article will not be about trying to prove that this transition period transpired from the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Son of God till His return in judgment on His old covenant people, or whether this transition period was from His first advent till His second. I am not going to try to prove that the term 'thousand' ( actually, it's myriads, I believe ) can be 40 'short' years! I've even heard that the transition period may have begun as early as the command to 'go forth and rebuild Jerusalem', or even before! In this article; I will not be going back to that first century transition period, except perhaps in theory, or for instance. What this article is about, primarily, is 'perception'!

For many years ( 150-200, give or take ), the Church has been infested with the notion, in varying degrees, that we are still waiting for the end of that transition period! Here's where we might run into that most familiar, but annoying phrase, 'already, not yet'. Even though Christ has not returned to dwell with His people ( except in Spirit ), some will tell you, we have fully entered into the New Covenant Era. How can we be in the New Covenant, if He has not yet returned to complete the renewal of that Covenant? We, as Christians, have already made the transition from the old to the new, 'from death to life', but, because Christ has not returned yet, we do not yet see the complete redemption of His covenant creation, according to this paradigm!

The transition in focus here is not unlike the effects of that first-century transition period: it is powered by the same Creator, although maybe not with quite the same impetus and end as that one did! This is more of a realization of the true transition, not as an 'already, not yet' proposition, but as a 'NOW' reality! More and more Christians, even those outside the visible, organized 'church', are beginning to make this transition from varying degrees of 'already, not yet' to realizing that we have all the promises in Christ 'NOW'

'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him'.
John 14:23 

The verse above has become one of my favorite verses to quote, recently, because although most Christians would agree that the verse plainly states that the Godhead dwells with us ( Jesus is in our 'hearts' ), I believe that most do not realize the fullness of what that means! If the Godhead dwells with us, having made Their home with us, as we are the new Temple, then that must mean that 'Heaven' DID 'come down', 'and Glory filled my soul, when', as the old hymn states, 'at the cross, the Savior made me whole'.

At this juncture, we could get into all the speculative argumentation about how, if Jesus ( in the flesh ) is still sequestered in some 'pie in the sky 'Heaven' ( up there ), then how is He dwelling with us now? Oh, right; He is a Spirit, He dwells everywhere at once! But ifd the Godhead, as per the statement above, dwells with us, who's in 'Heaven'? Oh, right; same answer! This could go on and on if it was allowed, but the simple truth is; when Jesus made this promise to those believing in, covenanting with Him, He meant it, and it wasn't contingent on believing that we already have all these things 'NOW'!

So, what does all this have to do with the moon? 


In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more.
Psalm 72:7


 Whether you read statements like this in the Bible and think immediately of that cold, hard orb ( 'that rules the night' ) hanging out there in space, or whether you realize, as many are beginning to, that the creation of this colossal rock was simply as a representation of God's old covenant people, and the way that they were to reflect His glory into their dark and dreary world; it is clear that, even after this 'moon' has been done away with, God's people still flourish!

Together with the revelation, above, from the Gospel according to John, we should be able to begin to piece together what the inspired psalmist meant when he penned those words. No longer do the righteous followers of Jesus, the children of God, merely reflect the justice and mercy of God into a dark and dreary world; the love of God in Jesus now shines out FROM us! Maybe this is what Daniel ( 12:3 ) and then Jesus ( Matthew 13:43 ) meant when they said, 'Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father'. There is a tendency, when using language in this way however, to be construed as saying that we are divinity, that we are God! Although I have toyed with the idea that we ARE divine, being indwelt by the Godhead and thus being incapable of the sin ( I John 3:9 ); I will NOT entertain the notion that we are the One who created all things! 

We are, on our own account, through the power of Him who indwells us, creators ourselves, though on a much smaller scale. It IS through us, the 'leaves of the tree', after all, that He is healing the nations ( some would take issue here, saying that this too, being fulfilled, is complete; no more 'healing' )! Jesus even told His disciples, in this same passage ( John 14:12 ) that 'he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater [ works ] than these he will do, because I go to My Father'. You might interpret that to suit your 'fancy' or pet doctrine. but really; how ELSE can you understand it?!

So, in conclusion, before we get too far off the subject; because of the one final sacrifice of the Son of God, and His subsequent resurrection and ascension; He has redeemed His people from the power of sin and death, and we have made ( speaking corporately here, of course ) the transition from the old to the new, from 'death to life': as Jesus Himself put it, from simply being 'moons', reflectors of His glory, to shining that Light ourselves ( through the Power that dwells in us ) wherever we go, and in whatever we do!

Now THAT, if nothing else, should give us great pause!

Are we shining that Light if we live our lives as though it's 'already, not yet'; even if we are occupying till He comes, and doing our part to be 'the light of the world' ( Matthew 5:14 ); are we really doing what Jesus said we would in places like John 14:12, without realizing the full Truth that we ARE the Light of the world?

However you answer these questions, I think the consensus would have to be a resounding 'YES'!

Even though many Christians, both inside and outside of the organized, institutional church have not realized the fullness of this truth, whether out of ignorance or fear; it is clear to this blogger that God is still using our feeble efforts to advance His Kingdom on earth! May we all realize that we no longer sit in our little corner ( or pew ), or even stand as a beacon ( 'a flag to follow'? ) for the beleaguered of this fallen world to flock to for refuge; we are Shining Lights ( corporately, again ) to let this world know that the One who created them cares about them and wants to have a closer, more intimate relationship with them!

Let's go out and shine that Light on all that we see!

Glorying in His fulness,
Charles Haddon Shank




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