Wednesday, January 6, 2010

His Presence; His Name

Matthew 18:
19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."

The Lord, in the passage that precedes the above scripture, was speaking about being reconciled to your brother, should he offend you, and how such reconciliation was to be accomplished. On the other side of this, He addressed what must be done if your brother would not be reconciled and admit to the offense. The context of all of this the "church" and how it functions “governmentally.”

In this, the conclusion of His teaching, Jesus is saying several things in these two sentences
1. Two must do the asking. This isn't a solo work.
2. They must be in agreement as to what they are asking for.
3. God must be in agreement as to what is being asked, which gives primary emphasis on the name of Jesus, and the will of the Father which that name contains.
4. For where two or three (or more, can be assumed from that) are gathered in the name of Jesus, He is literally there, that is the body of Christ is present. Two or more would then be defined as not only the church, but also as His Body which is the manifest presence of God. John 10:30; John 14:9-10

Col 1:
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Eph 1:
22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,
23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Eph 2:
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--
6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father, is the express image of the Father in creation. They are one and the same. The church is placed in Christ and seated with Him at the right hand. The church is His literal body. The church is made of the living stones, and is the living temple, i.e. the spiritual house of a living God. Ephesians 2:18-22

The work of the church takes place within that living temple.

1Peter 2:
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,
5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Peter is not talking about Sunday morning church service. Wherever the church dwells, Christ dwells, and whatever the church is doing Christ is doing, and so is the Father doing. Thus the presence of the Father is manifest. John 5:19-20; John 14:12

The often misunderstood and overlooked revelation to all of this is contained in this phrase; "in my name"
If we are gathered in His name, then He is there in our midst, meaning that God's presence is not only manifest without, it is manifest within.
The name of Jesus the Christ the Son of the living God is vital to every area of what we do as the church.

In prayer:

John 14:
12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

John 16:
23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
25 "I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.
26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;
27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God

1John 5:
14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

God loves us because we love His Son. He answers our prayers only if they are offered in the Name of His Son, i.e. according to the will of the Father. He does this because he loves His obedient Son. It is all about Jesus. The Son shows His love in through obedience to the will of the Father, and the father shows His love through the honoring of all that is asked for and accomplished in the name of Jesus
James speaks a harshly to the church which seeks its’ own ends:

James 4:
1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?
2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"?

The church that seeks it's own desires "in the name of Jesus" displays friendship with the world, i.e. the world's systems and methods, and enmity toward God.It also dishonors His name. The Father does not acknowledge such prayer

God yearns jealously over the Spirit which dwells in us for good reason:

John 14:
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you

Even the Holy Spirit is sent in the name of His Son.

John 15:
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Jesus chooses and appoints. Those whom He has chosen, will produce eternal fruit. This fruit is the evidence in our lives that we are His chosen and are abiding in Him. Thus whatever we ask in His name the Father does, as He loves His Son, who has chosen us, the abiding ones.

Just as the Levitical priests carried the Ark, the presence of God, as they traveled through the wilderness and that very presence was seen in fire and cloud, so we today carry the presence of God but in a much better way. We are a kingdom of priests under the great high priest of the new order. Hebrews 7:11
We are in Christ and Christ is in us. He and the Father are one. All who gather, ask, and bear fruit, in His name, carry the manifest presence of God wherever we go. The manifest presence of God, His will, love and favor is contained in the name of Jesus.

John 6:
29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
30 So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?

Recently I came across an internet forum that was recruiting folks to seek God's manifest presence for their churches.Dear saints we carry the manifest presence of God wherever we go. We must not be seekers of signs and wonders. The church is made up of believers. Signs and wonders come after us.
Seeking for what has already been given is a serious issue.
The church neglects the real work, as we are busy creating our own "busy-work".

Philippians 2:
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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