What is the unity of the spirit?
Apr 18, 2013
I had a hard day’s night.
It feels like I was in language study all night. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels…” (1 Cor. 13:1).
I got up twice in the night, but each time when I went to bed, the dream continued where it had left off.
I was just telling people at our local meeting last week end that the Lord does not normally communicate to me in dreams. Most of my revelation comes as I am waking up in the morning or during the day itself. So last night was very unusual. But since He told me to write about this in today’s weblog, I will try to explain it as best I can.
I was in the spirit, and Jesus posed a question: What is the unity of the spirit?
Many have had visions and revelations about heaven. They have seen many things, walked long distances, seen many people. But is there distance in heaven as in earth? Their visitations have taken time, but is heaven governed by earthly time? How long in earth minutes does it take to walk through the Pearly Gates to the throne of God?
People have seen brilliant, living colors that cannot be described in human language. Does this not indicate that heavenly things cannot be expressed accurately in the tongues of men? In order to describe heaven, we must rely upon human language and concepts that our minds can comprehend. Those things that are outside the capacity of the soulish mind must be described in earthly terms, or not at all.
We describe things, and conjure up pictures in the minds of men. Earthly pictures. It is hard to imagine what we have never seen nor experienced. The soul cannot comprehend what our spirit sees and knows. Only the spirit’s mind can see it accurately, but spiritual knowledge is normally communicated in the language of the human soul.
The essence is always lost in translation. Invariably, what we hear is translated into earthly (carnal) objects or colors that are familiar to us.
Spiritual things are not carnal. They are not physical objects, yet the soul translates them into physical objects in order to make them understandable to the human soul. For example, I saw the temple in heaven. It was made of stones that were alive. Living stones. Hewn and polished. We are those stones, Peter says in 1 Peter 2:5.
There are pillars in that temple. Revelation 3:12 says, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore.” If we understand this carnally, it would indicate that we would forever be prisoners in a pillar and could not walk around heaven. That does not sound like much of a reward.
But when we understand that there is no distance in heaven, that all things are in unity with Christ, and that we can bi-locate, then we can see that anyone who is in unity with the pillar of heaven is not limited to that location. The overcomers can be the pillar and can also be everywhere else in heaven at the same time.
So also, an overcomer is a living stone in the temple, but is also part of the pillar.
When God told Moses to build the tabernacle, each physical part of the structure, along with its furniture and the priests themselves were earthly representations of heavenly truths. In fact, everything was a type of Christ in some different aspect of His character or action. The same is true with the temple of Solomon, whose pattern, or blueprint, had been revealed to David (1 Chronicles 28:12).
Both the tabernacle of Moses and the temple of Solomon were earthly representations of the temple in heaven. The two show a progression as well, as the Kingdom developed and unfolded. What started out as a tabernacle (tent) was later inadequate to express the truth of the unfolding heavenly pattern in the plan of God. So this in itself expressed the earthly notion of Time in the divine plan.
Yet the temple and each object in it is Christ. In Revelation 21:22 we read,
22 And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple.
Even so, John wrote in Revelation 16:1, “and I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying…” Well, is there a temple or not? Yes and no. There is a temple, but it is Christ. We picture it in earthly terms as if it were made of stone, but such a view is inaccurate unless we understand that physical objects represent spiritual things.
Because we are in Christ, each object—including the living stones and the pillars—are us as well. There is no distance. There is no separation. There is only unity. But each of us as individuals are peculiar expressions of the mind of Christ. On earth we are separate, because there is space (distance) between us. It takes time to come close together. But the heavenly reality is not so.
In fact, the “temple” in heaven is not only Christ, but it is also “the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb.” All of them are a single temple, because there is no disunity between them, no space, no separation. All are one. This was the essence of His question last night: What is the unity of the spirit?
We ourselves are not separate from Christ either although He will always be the Head and we His body. In other words, we are His expression, not the other way around. The “Lamb” mentioned above is from the Greek word arnion, the “little lamb.” In the New Testament, Jesus Himself is the Amnos, the Big Lamb, for we read in John 1:29,
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb [amnos] of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Likewise, we read in Acts 8:32,
32 Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: “He was led as a sheep to slaughter; and as a lamb [Greek, amnos] before its shearer is silent, so He does not open His mouth.”
1 Peter 1:19 gives us a third witness, saying,
19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb [amnos] unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
The term arnion refers to us as the little “lambs” that are part of the body of Christ. Jesus said so in John 21:15, saying,
15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend my lambs” [arnion].
The book of Revelation never uses the term amnos. It is always arnion. Why? Because it is “the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:1), or the path toward the unveiling of Christ in us. The Greek word translated “revelation” is apocalupsis, or “unveiling.” Paul says in Romans 8:19,
19 For the anxious longing of creation waits eagerly for the revealing [apocalupsin, “unveiling”] of the sons of God.
This experience is prophesied in the feast of Tabernacles, but unfortunately, most Christians know little about that festival. I explain it more fully in my book, The Laws of the Second Coming. But our point now is to show that the temple in heaven, described in Revelation 21:21 is not like an earthly temple. Neither is it only Jesus Christ. It is the unified “Godhead.” We are included as His body, for we are destined from the foundation of the world to be expressions of His character, mind, and will. Hence also, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:16,
16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
John also gives us a clue about how we are to view Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Are these three gods in one, or one God in three expressions? I once posed that question in the lunch room of a religious organization where I worked many years ago. The question itself was sufficient to warrant a reprimand from the custodians of that ministry.
When John says that the temple is “The Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb,” does this not speak of unity, since all of the above are pictured as a single temple? Our earthly concept of a Trinity is a carnal attempt to put space or distance between the three manifestations of God, so that our carnal minds can partially understand spiritual realities. But there is no distance, neither is there disunity in heaven. The very idea of separating God into a Trinity is like trying to force heaven to conform to the laws of time and space.
I do not deny a Trinity, as long as we understand that there is one God. He has more than just three manifestations, but the “big three” are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three express different aspects of God in different manifestations. But if He is omniscient, being everywhere at the same
time, how can anyone say that the Father is to the left, while the Son is to the right? It is not accurate to portray the different manifestations of God in ways that limit Him by time and space.
We too might be considered a fourth manifestation of God insofar as the manifestation of the sons of God are concerned. Technically, we are arnion, or extensions of the Lamb (Amnos), for we are Christ’s body. In our present condition, however, we fall far short of that, but God, who sees the end from the beginning, speaks of us as if we are already the people that we are becoming.
In the broadest sense, all of creation is an expression of God, for every artist paints his own face. All things are made out of God particles, for Paul says in Romans 11:36, “For from [ek, “out of”] Him and through Him and to Him are all things.” In other words, all things were created out of Him—not out of nothing, as some have argued. This is how He “fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:23).
Heaven is not “big,” because such a term assumes that heaven is bound by laws of space and time, as on earth. It is just that when our soulish minds translate spiritual things into the tongues of men, it can find no other way to express heaven, other than by using concepts that are familiar to us on earth.
The two pillars in the temple were named Jachin and Boaz (1 Kings 7:21). Jachin means “He will establish.” Boaz means “In it is strength.” These pillars are named in order to teach us that they are physical representations of spiritual concepts. The pillars in the temple of heaven are not physical at all. They are spirit. They are ideas, not objects. One pillar is “He will establish.” The other pillar is “In it is strength.”
There is no physical lampstand in the temple in heaven. There is only the Light of Truth. There is no physical table of showbread in heaven. There is only the Bread of Life, His “face” or presence, of which are all continual partakers. Showbread is literally “face-bread,” or “bread of (God’s) presence.” It is expressed on earth in terms of eating His flesh and drinking His blood (John 6:53), but Jesus was not referring to a physical act of cannibalism. He was speaking in heavenly language.
When we eat from the table of face-bread, we become one with Him, because we are what we eat. We become the living word. His presence indwells us. We become Christ, that is, His body. Such unity means that God does not see us for who we are in our earthly state, but sees us as Christ (not the Head, but the body, of course).
We often recoil in horror, thinking that such revelation must surely be blasphemy. But in Romans 4 Paul gives us the legal grounds by which we can make such a claim boldly. He says we have been imputed righteous. The righteousness of God has been imputed to us by faith. God calls what is not as though it were (Romans 4:17), because IT IS SO in the timeless realm of the spirit, where the alpha and the omega are one.
All things were in unity at the beginning. All creation will be reconciled in the end. There is no difference between the two in heaven, because heaven is not bound by time or space. But in the earthly realm, where we are limited by both time and space, there is also disunity and disharmony. This makes it difficult for us to see the state of things in heaven, where the beginning and the end are one. From our earthly perspective, all things must be restored, and such is the main focus of the Elijah ministry (Matthew 17:11). But from heaven’s perspective, it is already restored. In fact, the unity was never disrupted, because there was never any danger of the alpha (beginning) being any different from the omega (end) by the time the divine plan was finished.
The unity of truth stands as an unchanging pillar. We cannot even say that this pillar will always stand, because those are time words to express what is in the heavens. Such expressions of past or future are inaccurate, for they do not apply to heavenly things.
This is even expressed in the Hebrew language itself, where Scripture often prophesies of future things as if they had already occurred in the past. We are told that “His works were finished from the foundation of the world” (Hebrews 4:3). This is the biblical way of expressing the fact that all of God’s works throughout history were accomplished before they occurred as historical events, because heaven is not bound by time. He sees our future as easily as He sees our past.
And so, whenever we receive divine revelation, we must consider the language barrier that exists between heavenly language and the tongues on earth. Revelation is likely to be misunderstood until we learn to translate it properly and understand the weakness of human language and of the soulish mind itself. There is always more to revelation than we understand, and hence, our soulish understanding is always inadequate or partial.
When John saw a street of gold (Revelation 21:21) in the heavenly City, he was expressing spiritual truth in earthly terms. Literal streets imply time, space, and even gravity. But the heavenly street, like everything else, is Christ, and gold is merely the earthly way of expressing the divine nature. To walk on a street of gold is to do all things by the character of the divine nature. That is our destiny, because it was written before the foundation of the world.
These examples and more were shown to me last night. I seldom remember dreams, because this is not normally how God communicates with me. But last night was different. It was an all-night dream, and I remembered it when I awoke in the night and still remembered it in the morning when I arose from sleep.
The bottom line was that we ought to learn the language of heaven, so that we are able to understand the Scriptures, along with any other divine revelation that we are given. God usually speaks to us using words of human languages, but to know His mind and His intent, we must know that words—and even pictures—are always inadequate to express the full truth of the mind of God.
Dr. Stephen Jones