Upon This Rock
We want to make it clear from the beginning that we are talking about all this union and subsequent union living, to be on the foundational basis of a faith in Jesus Christ as our Living Lord. We have a personal trust in His blood as forgiveness of our sins and a cleansed consciousness from sins. And in faith we have been found in His body on the Cross when He took Satan/Sin into Himself for the whole human race, then died for all to Satan/Sin, and went to the lowest parts of the universe, and then rose again bodily by the Power of the Father leading all the captives behind Him into the highest heavens. We have found that this and this alone to be that which has effected this union reality in us when we believe on Him.
If I haven't stated that plainly from the beginning (and I could see how some could get other things from my writings when not taken in that context), then I feel remiss and deficient in my expressing of things, because if anything I want to be honest and to take no one by stealth. Paul said that we let our gospel be known to all men and do nothing by craftiness, but boldly state what is true to us. And the truth to which I can with conviction attest, is that the foundation of this "rest" of God which we have found as sufficiency and peace within ourselves without measure -- is Jesus Christ the Lord.
For myself, the exclusivity of what I called "Christianity" concerning the man "Jesus," was the offense that I could not overcome more than 32 years ago when I was offended with Christians who put that forth. "Too narrow-minded," I thought. At the time I believed in a "Universal Consciousness" sort of -- actually I just believed in a hodge podge of stuff, some from here, and some from there, but pretty much anything else other than the one thing that seemed to offend and intrigue me at the same time -- Jesus.
I could handle that there was Christ in every man. That all religions lead to God. The fact that Christians seemed to claim something different from that and to in fact insist that their guy, Jesus, was THE ONE, and that no other was the One, was to me stupid and a personal offense.
For me it was an intellectual affront. Modern man surely could find no solace in an archaic belief system filled with myths and trumped up stories. I even read a book at the time that was popular, "The Passover Plot," that purported Jesus to have faked his death and to have taken some sort of potion that enabled him to revive later. The guy had all sorts of proofs and I said, "YEAH!," because I just couldnt' stand for this Jesus "idea" to be right. Anything else I could accept -- deliverance by space aliens, sitting under pyramid-shapes, wearing crystals, meditation, good thoughts -- but not a Jesus who rose from the dead!
That's just me.
As the apostle John said he did, and it's all I can do, too, I can say only what I have seen and heard. I met Jesus, not a universal spirit, but a particular Jesus, not in a body, but in certitude in my inner self, in what we call our heart and we think is a mythical place, but it is really the place within us where God comes to dwell when we find Him in His Son.
I didn't know a stitch of theology but one moment I thought the idea of Jesus as THE ONE was poppy-cock, and in the next moment I saw, "Thou hast the words of eternal life."
In Matthew 16:13 Jesus asks the 12, "Who do men say that I am?" They answered that some of the folks were saying he was a great prophet, or one of the old prophets reincarnated. A man close to God, in other words, like all the others who have come before. A good man, holy man, a spiritual man. Then Jesus says, "Well, who do YOU say that I am?"
Peter answered that he is something more than a just another holy man or a prophet or wise man or philosopher, but, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus replies that Peter hasn't come by this by his reason or his intellect or by anything that originates in humanity, but that it had been revealed to Him by the Father.
And when I myself had that moment, when I realized that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the Living God, in whom are found all the treasures of God, I knew there was no going back. Nothing has mattered but Him since that moment. I know lots more, infinitely more, theology now, which has explained to me in great detail what happened to me in that moment, when by grace and mercy from above I passed from darkness to light, when scales fell off my eyes almost in a moment, a "twinkling of an eye," and I knew what He meant when He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, No man cometh unto the Father but by Me." (John 14:6).
Christians had used that as proof text to me but it meant nothing to me when they did, because my ears were closed and I couldn't hear. But that moment God took the earplugs out of my ears, and I heard the word as plain and as clear as we heard the foghorn in Monterey Bay every day for 7 years. The word was no longer threatening, or exclusive or humanly narrow, but instead I heard open arms in the word, an invitation to Life, an offer of light at the end of the tunnel I'd been in, hope where there had been no hope, and joy and peace which I had always wanted but never found until I found them in Him, since He is the Source out which all things come.
So now all these years later and after having in subsequent years every doubt one could have, and having been asked or myself asked every question that could be asked, as to the truth of what I have seen and heard, I come out after all that, still holding on to the One who I met personally all those years ago, Jesus my Savior, Jesus my Lord, Jesus my Life, Jesus my Way, Jesus my Truth, and on top of all that, Jesus my Friend.
That's all I offer anyone. All these theories, all these "insights" about living, boil down to one thing. Jesus is the Way, Jesus is the Truth, Jesus is the Life.
That is not to exclude anyone, but to include everyone. This is not theory. We have a real table set with a real supper being served. Everybody is invited to the feast! Everybody! He even tells us to go out and find unworthy people, people who have nothing to offer, and offer them all the riches that kings of the earth have sought for and not found. (Isaiah 55:1) "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."
"Upon this rock (Christ and confession of Christ) I will build my church."