Friday, March 21, 2008
“For my part, in this promise I believe – in the sole true catholicity of the Church of Christ, as destined to embrace all mankind – in the power of His Redemption, as something which no will can resist, to which all things must yield one day in perfect submission, love and harmony. I plead for the acceptance of this central truth as the great Hope of the Gospel, that the victory of Jesus Christ must be final and complete, i.e., that nothing can impair the power of His Cross and Passion to save the entire human race. I believe that He shall see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. And I feel assured that less than a world saved, a universe restored, could not satisfy the heart of Jesus Christ, or the love of our Father. I ask all fair and reasonable minds to reject as immoral, and incredible, the picture of a heavenly Parent, Who, being absolutely free and absolute in power and goodness, creates any children of His own, whom He knows to be, in fact, certain to go to endless sin and ruin. Therefore in these pages I have pleaded for the larger hope. Therefore I believe in the vision, glorious beyond all power of human thought fully to realize, of a ‘Paradise regained,’ of a universe from which every stain of sin shall have been swept away, in which every heart shall be full of blessedness in which ‘God shall be All and in All.’ Amen.”
Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant
Hello bloggers! It's "Resurrection Weekend", spring is here, and on this GOOD FRIDAY, I speak GOOD things into your life...I say, in faith, that evidence of every GOOD and perfect gift from the Father of Lights will manifest into reality in your life today, because God is GOOD! On one level, it seems more fitting to be quiet, somber, and introspective on this day when we focus on the bloody sacrifice of the Lamb of God. But I can't weep for the cross today, because I know how this story ends...and ultimately it consummates in triumph! I love what this Friday represents, but every time I try to look at today's cross, I keep being distracted by visions of Sunday's empty tomb! But more about that in a few hours.
I really appreciate your input, and the exceptional feedback that I've received on the blog the last few days. This cyber-community consists of visionaries, Kingdom-seekers, creative writers, and excellent communicators...and the population is growing. You are a blessing to me, and I celebrate you all today.
It may have been more appropriate for me to publish John 17 yesterday, but my head was in a particularly different place in regards to Thursday's article (and thanks for hearing me, BTW), so I saved it for today's post. This chapter has been the subject of much debate, because we don't know specifically how John could have known in such detail what Jesus prayed, alone there in the garden. That's a debate I don't need to engage in, however, because this chapter is so awesome to me, regardless of its mysterious nature, that it is my favorite in John's gospel. I'm especially proud of the John In The Now version of it. Enjoy!
1. After Jesus had finished speaking to his disciples, He looked up toward the infinite sky and said, “Father, the time has come for You to bring glory to Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify You.
2. “You have granted Him full authority over all the people of the earth, and You have given them to Him so that He might give them all eternal life.
3. “And this fulfills the purpose of eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the manifestation of Your physical presence on the earth.
4. “I brought glory to You in this dimension by doing everything that You told Me to do.
5. “And now, Father, bring Me back into the eternal now, so that I may exist in the glory that We shared before the world began.
6. “I have told these men who have followed Me all about You. Their perception was limited, having been shaped by the current world’s system, but You gave them to Me and now they have been freed from the smallness of their previous mindset by obeying Your word.
7. “They know that everything that I have came from You.
8. “I just told them exactly what You told Me, and it convinced them that I came from You and that You sent Me here.
9. “Right now I am not praying for the whole world, but for those whom You have given to be My followers, because they know that they belong to You.
10. “All that I have is Yours, and all that You have is mine, and the glory of that connection has now included them in its manifestation.
11. “I will no longer remain in this dimension or in this physical incarnation, but they are still in the physical realm of space and time. I am returning to the eternal now to be reintegrated with and in You, but I pray, Holy Father, that You keep through Your name those whom You have given Me. I pray that, even though they continue to live and move in the physical world, they will be able to transcend its finite limitations and be one with each other, even as We are.
12. “While I was with them in the physical world, I kept them safe and intact in Your name. I carefully guarded them, and not one of them was lost to My circle of influence, except for that one who just seemed bent on destruction. But his rebellion only served to fulfill the Scriptures.
13. “I am on My way back into the eternal now, but I want to say these things while I am still in this physical incarnation. If I say these things as the Son of Man, it will make it possible for them to also say these kinds of things, so that they can know the joy of being manifested as Sons of God.
14. “I have told them Your message, but they are hated by those mental prisoners of the world-system, because they don’t belong to that system in any way, just as I don’t.
15. “Father, I don’t ask that you take My followers out of the world, because it would defeat the entire purpose of My coming here if You should allow them to become escapists. I only pray that they be kept safe from the phantom menace.
16. “They are misfits in this world – strangers to its present mindset – just like Me.
17. “So let them find shelter in the truth of Your word; it is the only place where they can live now that they have been with Me.
18. “As You sent Me into this dimension, I am sending them into it – into the fullness of it.
19. “I have given Myself completely for their sake – becoming absolutely absorbed into them – so that they may become absolutely absorbed into the truth.
20. “But I do not pray for these alone…these who know Me as I am, here and now. But I pray for those everywhere and in every dimension of time, including those in the future, who will ultimately believe in Me through their witness and their word.
21. “And I pray that they all may be one in the now...all around this world of yours, not just the ones here in this time and place. Make them all one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You. Integrate them as You and I are integrated – unified, in harmony, inseparable.
22. “I have actually given them the glory that You gave Me, so that it would be possible for them to be one, even as We are.
23. “I have become one with them in the same way that You are one with Me, so that they may become completely one. This unification – this melding and merging of separate entities into a perfect oneness – is the thing that will ultimately show the whole world that You sent Me. They will all see that You love My followers as much as You love Me.
24. “Father, I truly want everyone You have given Me to be with Me…wherever I am…so that they will see, first-hand, the glory that You have given Me because You loved Me in the now…before the world of space and time was created.
25. “Righteous Father, the people of the world at large don’t know the real You, but I know You, and now the ones who have followed Me know that You sent Me.
26. “And I have revealed You to them and will continue to reveal You through the coming manifestation of the Holy Spirit. I am committed to continuing this revelation so that your love for Me may be in them and that I, Myself, may be in them, as well.”
I welcome your insights.
And I would love for you to celebrate the Resurrection with me this Sunday. If you are a part of CITN, don't forget our beautiful SUNRISE SERVICE on the hill by the lake at 7AM...and then our anointed worship experience at 10. If you are a part of cyber-CITN, I trust that you will be logging on (if you just got here and don't know what I'm talking about, go to www.churchinthenow.org and check out how to stream the services live over the internet)...if you have connected with me through this blog and, as a result, come to church Sunday, please introduce yourself. I'll be meeting and greeting at the West entrance of the building in the narthex after the service.
And remember on this GOOD FRIDAY that IT'S ALL GOOD!!!