God’s Intention in Man

God’s intention in man: This seems simple, but how many Christians today can tell people what God’s intention with man? Christian teaching today falls so short of this.  This is a great revelation, a recovered truth that God in Christ given to man as food intends to work Himself into man until He gains a corporate expression.  Drop your previous knowledge and receive something fresh.  God has an intention with man.

We can get stuck on many questions in Genesis that are irrelevant–we can miss the focus.  This is the divine record showing the deep thought in the entire Bible–man’s eating the tree of life. This goes against the natural concept, which is to do good, living by a moral code of ethics, live by right and wrong.  This is of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and has the devil as its source.  John 6 speaks of eating His flesh and drinking His blood.  This goes against the natural concept of doing good and avoiding evil.  John 6:63 clarifies that it is the Spirit who gives life.  The flesh wont profit anything.  His words embody the Spirit as life, so to eat the Word is to take Him in as the Spirit.  Some will not receive this word.  Many Jews who heard Jesus speak in this way were stumbled and no longer followed the Lord.  Then in verse 67 the Lord asked the 12 if they would also like to go away.  Peter’s response expressed dependence.  He said, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have words of eternal life.”  When we eat the Lord as the tree of life, we depend on Him.  We cannot separate the tree of life and our eating of the tree of life from the word of God.

What we eat makes all the difference in God’s eternal economy.  The Lord placed man in the garden and God in His greatness gave him a choice.  In Job God presented Satan with Job, showing even after Satan stripped Job, Job could still choose God.  When man chooses God, God’s glory and greatness are revealed.  His greatness is manifested in that he didn’t force man to choose Him.  The matter of dependence goes against the tide of the age, which is that man’s glory and worth is independence, but God’s way is dependence.  The things of life are the things of dependence.  We can never graduate from breathing, eating and drinking.  Knowledge leads to independence.  When a college professor gives you knowledge, eventually you don’t need him anymore, and become independent, seeking more knowledge from other sources, but if your college professor were to minister life to you, you would depend on him.  To minister life we need to be people of life.  We cannot live without God.  Our murmuring is a result of hunger.  Without breakfast, we are irritable, because we are hungry.  If we eat, we are satisfied, and our irritability is quenched.

Abraham went out, not knowing where he was going.  He crossed a river, venturing into uncharted territory, yet he depended on God as his living road-map.  It was an utter dependence on God Himself.  In the same way we are learning to depend on God as life.  When we behave independently, there is a bitter taste.  To take the way of knowledge is to take the way of right and wrong.  When we argue for our rightness, we are eating the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Inwardly we sense a dissatisfaction.  In our self-justification we are living independently of God.  We must deal with things according to life.

Today the two trees are now subjective to man.  Romans 8:2 shows these two trees in a subjective way.  In Genesis you have Man, God, and Satan objectively, but in Romans 8:2 this same triangle is subjective within man.  There is the law of the Spirit of life embodying the tree of life, and the law of sin and of death embodying the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Each believer is a miniature garden of Eden, with these two trees/laws within them.  When we choose the tree of life, depending on God as life, Satan is defeated and his stratagems are thwarted.  This is a matter of God’s economy.  We are what we eat.  Expression is a matter of diet.  If we eat Christ in the Word, our expression will be Christ.  If we eat the things of the world, we will take things in and express what we ingest, expressing Satan the ruler of the world.

We are all in a process of being reconstituted with Christ in the word.  Israel came out of Egypt, but Egypt didn’t come out of Israel.  They still longed for the foods of Egypt, and they needed a new diet to reconstitute them with manna.  We are learning to live by manna day by day.  When we eat the tree of life we are being constituted with divine life and with the humanity of Jesus Himself.  This is the metabolic process where by the old element is discharged and a new element is added to our being.  When we feel that we cannot live without looking at something, it means we are depending on that thing as our food and is replacing Christ.  We are learning to eat the unique diet–Christ as our food.  This spiritual diet is a reality in our being.  If there’s no consciousness of digestion is working properly.  Just keep eating.  Don’t try to measure your growth outwardly.  This wont be quick. You will grow at the speed of life.  This is a diet we need all our life long.  Be encouraged. We will grow and are growing.

So then what was God’s intention in creating man?  God’s intention in His creating man was just for man to eat Him!  More on this topic can be found in chapter 3 of Basic Lessons on Life by Witness Lee.

A Vessel of God

What is a vessel?  A vessel is a container designed to hold something, or a large boat or ship designed to carry something overseas, or a tube or canal in which body fluid is circulated and conveyed to the whole body.  Man was created as a vessel designed to contain, carry, and convey God!  God’s thought is not that we would be a servant or instrument, but a vessel to contain and express Him.

To be used by God, you have to first be filled with God.  To be filled with God is the highest and top use of you by God.  Our usefulness is very much related to our being a vessel.  We are vessels of honor and mercy–chosen vessels. 2 Tim 2:20-21 shows how being sanctified and useful to God flows from being a vessel.   In Matthew chapter 25, the five wise virgins took oil in their vessels (Matt 25:4) meaning that they added Christ to their souls during their lifetimes.  This is to have Christ as a treasure inside of us (2 Cor 4:7).  Firstly we are vessels to the Lord.

In Genesis 2:7, when it says God breathed into man the breath of life, the word into implies that man is a vessel.  This breath is the same Hebrew word as the word for spirit in Proverbs 20:27.  The breath of life became man’s spirit.  The spirit of man is the receptacle of the Spirit, just as an electronic device has a receptacle that receives the wireless data signal from its surroundings.  Our spirit receives the Spirit!

Some Christians believe that the breath of life in Genesis 2:7 is the very life of God, but there are two principles that show that this cannot be the case.  First is the principle of free will, God would never force Himself into man.  He placed man in front of the tree of life so that man would freely choose Him.  Second is the principle of God’s economy.  God’s economy is not God dispensed into man, but God dispensing into man (note the present progressive tense).  John 14:10 says “I am in My Father and the Father is in Me.”  This “is” here in Greek is in a present progressive tense, implying a continuous action.  This is not a stagnant thing, the Son and the Father are “in-ing” each other all the time!  To say this life is in us in a stagnant way (ie. breathed into us once for all at creation) is against God’s economy.  God is flowing!  This is ongoing–He is continually dispensing!  Our spirit is the only thing in the universe that matches the Spirit’s dispensing.

Fellowship with Jesus

Hymns #784

Eph 6:18 and Phil 4:6 have the sequence of prayer, and then petition. Prayer implies fellowship and worship. It is contacting the Lord just to be with Him. Prayer needs to precede our requests and petitions. After you spend time with the Lord, you get mingled with Him until your requests are His requests because you are one with the Lord. Our starting point in serving the Lord is our love for Him and time with Him. We need to spend time in His presence as a prerequisite of our serving the Lord and working for Him. When it comes to our needs, how do we ask the Lord to take care of our personal needs? How do we pray for practical things? If we’re enjoying the Lord and touching Him, it might be that we don’t have the need to pray for them. Prayer is always first, then comes petition. Prayer includes opening worshipping, contacting, and absorbing God. Then comes petitioning. As we fellowship with Him, he will touch us about which things we should pray for and which we don’t need to pray for. Sometimes we feel obligated to pray for things, but in fellowship wih the Lord, we need to have the peace even not to pray for things that the Lord is not praying for.

It’s easy to appear before Him, but it’s hard to be silent before Him. It’s very difficult to stop your being and be in fellowship with the Lord. Actually, we’re not completely stopped, our spirit is engaged which needs our mind and emotion in order to be expressed. If we exercise to call on the Lord until we touch Him, our whole being will calm down. The first thing in the morning is the best time because our whole being is calm already. The hardest thing in our prayer life is to have an unrestrained mind. To learn how to calm our being takes a while. We need to practice this. Because our mind is so active, it will always try to insert itself into our fellowship time with the Lord.

It’s hard to hear Him and then talk to Him afterwards. Our prayer in fellowship with the Lord will turn into prayer of petition based on our asking. We shouldn’t ask for things, but ask about our condition. Ask and then just be quiet. When you ask someone a direct question, there is pressure on him to answer the question.  For example, if someone asks me “What’s your name?” it is hard for me to remain silent and not answer.  We can put pressure on the Lord to answer us by the questions we ask Him. Don’t ask for things. Just ask questions. Every one of us has something going on that affects us. Start with what’s bothering you today. Just open and calm yourself down. Say, “Lord, what about this thing? Why is this bothering me?”  Then wait for Him to answer.  These questions do not come from our mind but flow out of our innermost parts.

It’s easy to confuse answers from the Lord in our spirit with answers that arise from our mind. When we receive answers from the Lord, His speaking is full of light and we repent. When we ask a question, our mind immediately tries to answer, so often what we think is the Lord is our mind answering. If it’s the Lord, we experience blazing light coming into our being immediately because our mingled spirit knows us better than anyone else. We have to be still and quiet before Him so that our spirit can answer but not our mind. We also have to wait sometimes for an answer from the Lord. It always comes with light and we need to repent. The reason we keep being bothered by repetitive issues is because we’re in our mind. We keep engaging our mind and the cycle continues. We need to appear again and when the answers come they are full of light.

Every time we contact the Lord’s people our speaking has to be new and fresh. The freshness comes from the contacting the Lord. Even in reading the Bible we are with the Lord. We can read and fellowship and read and read and fellowship and just be under His dispensing.

Our prayer time with the Lord is individual and personal. The whole goal is to contact the Lord. It takes energy to speak to the Lord, but it takes more energy not to speak with the Lord.

Sometimes it feels like our time with the Lord is a “miss.”  We can get discouraged if we present ourselves before the Lord with seemingly no results.  However, take courage.  There are people on the earth who will give the Lord thirty minutes as an offering.  Be one of those few.  Just offer up your time as a sacrifice. That’s a great success whether we feel Him flowing or not. When we absorb God, we can’t necessarily measure or feel it. We may only feel it once a week. The other times it’s very ordinary, without much feeling. The truth is, when we call “Lord Jesus”, we are in our spirit. We should not examine or judge our time with the Lord because our measurement is wrong; only the Lord knows how much we have gained Him each day.

When we are by ourselves, it’s hard to touch the Lord personally. It’s good to have the meetings and the FTTA classes. It’s a real blessing to have this corporate setting with such a supply. When we prayread in a group it’s much different than when we’re with ourselves. Use the time just to call on the Lord. Just calling on the Lord is not a waste of our time. He is a person and we need to be filled with this person by calling with no agenda. When we don’t call on the Lord in the morning, we are dead throughout the day, but when we do our whole day is directed.

“Oh Lord Jesus” is the best prayer. “Oh” makes us open, makes us need Him, and is a great place to start. It really opens us. “Lord” tells Him he is our Owner, Head, King, Boss, and Husband. He is everything. He is in charge. “Jesus” is the incarnate Triune God, the God-Man. I need Jesus! There is no better way to pray than calling Oh Lord Jesus. He’s the only one that pleases God. In order to please God, we need this wonderful Jesus. The more we call the less of our own feeling we have and the more of His person we have. In this calling, the Lord opens a way for fellowship throughout the day. Our corporate prayer time will be the overflow from our morning time. It all starts in the morning. Our morning fellowship with God sets the standard for our times throughout the day.

How to Enjoy God by being alone with Him

The following ten points are from my notes during a YP trainee fellowship time with Tom Goetz Skyped in from the FTTL.  I believe most of it comes from the book “How to Enjoy God and Practice the Enjoyment of God.”

Real prayer is almost nothing more than inhaling and exhaling: breaking out our needs and taking Him in. Real prayer is nothing but waiting on God, breathing in God, absorbing God. This is to learn how to spend time with the Lord.

1. Learn how to appear before God. “When will I come and appear before God?” -Psalm 42:2- shows David longing for the Lord’s presence. Just to be there- appear before God. Just show up. God honors that. Sometimes we think our behavior is so important but we really just need to appear before God. That’s what I’m hungry and thirsty for. This is what God honors… for His children to come be with Him honors Him to the uttermost. We don’t know how to behave before Him, but just appear before God, absorbing, loving, enjoying in His presence. This is really the greatest thing.

2. Learn how to stop our being and calm our whole self down. Be silent. Silent and calm. Do you know how to calm yourself down and silence our thoughts and anxieties? This is an exercise and this takes practice. Learn to stop your mind and calm your emotion and just say Lord, here I am, I’m wide open, here hungry and thirsty before you. We have to turn somewhere with no distractions. Sometimes in our prayer we feel like we have to occupy the whole time, but we need to learn how to stop all our vain effort and just be in the flow: perfectly blessed. Our greatest need is to be mingled with the Triune God so that His inward parts would become our inward parts.

3. Behold the Lord [2 Cor 3:18]. When we spend time with the Lord we are just looking, gazing, beholding the Lord. This is when transformation actually happens. Lord you are so beautiful, I’m just here beholding, absorbing, breathing. When David was in the house of Jehovah, he was just in the Lord’s presence. Behold the beauty of the Lord. How much we need this! That the transforming Spirit would bring us from one degree of glory to another. Learn how to take time to be with the Lord like this.

4. To inquire in His temple. Learn how to ask, how to inquire. Ask the Lord concerning everything. Just beholding Him, we don’t want to disturb the atmosphere but inquire “is now the time to ask concerning such and such matter?” When we ask the Lord questions in our spirit, our spirit will answer us immediately. No one knows you better than your mingled spirit. In the right time in the Lord’s presence we will learn how to inquire of the Lord and our spirit will answer us right away. The response will come up from within. Our spirit will answer us right away. This is the real dealing with the Lord. Inquire and the Lord will answer many things.

5. Wait on God. Sometimes the answer will not come right away. Sometimes the answers don’t come quickly. In God’s Economy, mostly it’s God who does the waiting. We can leave so many matters in His hand. He never forces us. He’s so kind and so gentle- He just waits. Waiting on God allows Him to determine the right time for things. He waits always until we’re ready. If God can wait in us, shouldn’t we wait on Him? We have to allow God to determine the timing.

6. Learn how to muse… regurgitating our enjoyment like a cow, bringing matters up over and over. Just muse. What touches God’s heart the most and gives Him the sweetest thought is our musing on Him in His presence. Psalm 104:34

7. Learn how to worship. As we touch Him, we should worship Him. Oh Lord I worship You! In the universe there is a battle for worship. God is seeking worshippers. God said no to David’s desire so David stopped and just worshipped Jehovah. Even after his child died, David went into the Lord’s presence and worshipped. Thank and praise and worship God for His ways and for Who He is. Lord you never made a mistake, you are God, you get to decide everything.

8. Praise Him! Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! Out of the mouths of babes and suckling He has established praise to shut the mouth of the enemy. Praise always follows worship.

9. Now is the time for us to have intercession. We are in the right condition and situation to bring things before God. Now we can pray interceding prayers. This prayer is the basis for our corporate prayer, just a continuation of the time we had with the Lord. The best form of intercession is to ask. Ask and listen in His presence. We should inquire concerning persons and situations. He reveals what’s in His heart for us. The incense altar is very close to the Ark, and the entire gear of God’s administration is turned at the incense altar. We are in the center of the administration of God’s move. God had interceding prayer with Abraham. God and Abraham were very close friends. Abraham didn’t stop his intercession until God stopped. We must wait until God stops, interceding until we can’t pray any further. God needed someone to pray for Ruth, so that Christ could be born of the proper source. God needed Abraham for bringing forth Isaac and bringing forth Christ. Many times we go away as soon as we have finished speaking. We need to learn to wait until God has finished speaking.

10. Linger in the Lord’s presence. We need to have the practice of having long periods of time with the Lord so that we can accumulate months in the Lord’s presence. We have Christ as the Life Giving Spirit! We need to learn how to have more times with Him. Use the Monday times. Learn how to open and learn how to empty. Learn how to be mingled with the Lord.