God, in creating His man, expresses specifically His purpose for the man was to bring forth vessels to have dominion over His creation. According to God’s purpose, we have this assurance from scripture in Col. 1:27 which states, “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”. But, not ending here, His desire is stated also in the prayer which Jesus prayed to the Father. John 17:20-22, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word; 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. And the glory which you gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:”
This speaks that it is not just Christ in us, but that we may also be in Christ. Our place in Him is dependent upon sharing the priority of seeking for and doing the Father’s will. Being one in Him speaks to us of an order, a nature, which moves us to not do our own will, but to do the will of the Father only. Herein obedience to God is better for man than all his carnal ethic sacrifices. Sacrifices only speak of man’s willingness to live unto the religious systems of man instead of the Christ nature and His released order.
In this we are given an understanding from God that He becomes the tabernacle in which mankind is to dwell. God’s tabernacle is a dwelling place, a habitation, which indicates that it is a dwelling place that contains the presence of Jehovah God Himself. This speaks of dwelling in the light of God called His Shekinah glory. A glory where the character of God is manifested as it reveals His presence. Psalms 15:1-3 tells us, “Lord, who may abide in your tabernacle? Who may dwell in your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend”. In meeting these requirements man must consider this truth. That these qualifications cannot be fulfilled from the energy nor talent of the carnal, fleshly nature of the fallen man. Therefore, man has the need for a savior and then to go through a change, a transformation.
This transformation is being accomplished by allowing God to write a new nature within us, upon our hearts. This new nature causes the old corruptible nature to pass away by the in-grafting of God’s nature within the man. “Walking uprightly” as stated above speaks of a people who walk without blame before God. The “works of righteousness” speak of a people who once were as filthy rags but now only do the Father’s works. In “speaking the truth”, man has gained the experience of being made free because of knowing and becoming the truth which God is in us, a pure genuine relationship. 1 Cor. 3:16-17 shares this truth, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are”.
How is it that one can defile the temple of God? A defiling takes place among the people through corrupting the temple by false teachings, by pride and stubbornness, by immorality and disobedience. Therefore, man is invited to come unto Christ and remain pure in God that He might be glorified. 1 Cor. 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s”.
Know that the kingdom of God is a spiritual reality and is available to each person who receives and allows Jesus Christ to become his Savior and Lord. In the receiving of His kingly ruler-ship, He becomes King in man’s life and over man’s affairs. In giving our lives to Him our service and love remains faithful. Luke 17:21, “Nor will they say, See here! Or see there! For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you”. Man, with God within, is to never operate independently of God’s power and grace. Man is to come to the God given light and walk only in that light as given by the Holy Spirit.
For this reason, to become God’s tabernacle of expression, we must awaken. When man’s salvation is consummated, man puts on the Lord Jesus Christ and submits to His lordship. Man can yield to God’s moral standards while living in constant fellowship with Him. Man is to depend upon God’s strength while making no provision for his own flesh. This means living a life-style that does nothing to foster fallen man’s sensual desires and appetites. Rom. 13:11-14, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awaken out of sleep; for now, our salvation is nearer that when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts”.
Now this word “provision” from the above scripture is the Greek word “PRONOIA” which has the meaning of “fore planning, foresight, forethought, premeditated plan, making preparation for, and providing for”. Therefore, if we are willing to come awake, God has left for us a promise that far exceeds only a desire to just know about Him. Eph. “Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep [spiritual dead], arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light”.
One of the principles of God, which He governs us by is, that with every promise and requirement spoken forth to His people, He empowers within the word received the ability and power to make it so. Therefore, when God speaks to us individuality or collectively, within that which He speaks is the power to bring it forth. In Matt. 5:48 God commands, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect”. This command is not something we can become by using our own strength, talent or ability. This fulfillment comes only as His strength enables the man to fulfill it through faith in God’s ability. This place of perfection is incorporated into our lives by the law of love that He imparts to those who love Him. This love for God is the road, the pathway of the over-comer. It is these saints that shall enter the high realms of being glorified. Who and what does it mean to overcome?
Back to the book of Genesis the phrase “to subdue” has the same meaning as “to overcome”. This is that which God purposed for man at the time of creation. What then does God require of man when He speaks to us of the place of being glorified? This word “glorified” has the meaning of “to exalt to dignity in company with, the risen Christ”. Rom. 8:16-18 reveals, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”. An “heir” is one who has come to possess. The word denotes a joint participant, co-heir, the fellow heir, one who receives a lot from another.
A question often asked is, “if this place of overcoming, perfection and becoming heirs is available to a people, why do we not see it manifested?” To this question we must declare, this way of life has always been available but remained a mystery because of the hardness of man’s hearts and the traditions of our forefathers. Many of these traditions have been brought about by the rejection of revealed truth for the sake of self-satisfaction. For this cause, a call from God continues to ring out as declared from Isa. 60:1-2 for a people to awaken, “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you and shall be seen upon you”.
This is a promise of restoration which brings hope to all who shall believe. Can the world, as we know it today, sink any lower into sin, suffering and willful wickedness? I think not, for the cup of iniquity is full and darkness is all around us as gross darkness consumes the minds of men. But according to Mark 9:23 we have this promise, “Jesus said to him, if you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes”. Believers are those who have put their trust in God. They have faith in and are fully convinced that they can rely on God. Believers know that God can act and has the power to accomplish. Christ gives us the assurance that however powerless man’s efforts are to make things happen, God can demonstrate His dynamic power. This power can translate people from a world of carnality into God’s kingdom, a people who walk in and by the Holy Spirit, being obedient to Christ alone. In this, God’s created man does appear.