5 Mar 2000

What we shall be

Submitted by theshovel
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Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2 KJV

Sometime in the long ago, a comparatively small piece of granite got pushed up out of the ground outside what would one day be called Atlanta, Georgia. Because it juts out so prominently it attracts attention. According to the promo, Stone Mountain attracts approximately 4 million tourists per year. Now, do you think all 4,000,000 of those people travel to Atlanta just to see a big rock? Hardly. For features have been built on and around it in order to attract a much greater crowd. Things like a big carving on the side of the rock, a sky lift, laser-light shows, etc. I haven't been there yet, though one day I may become one of those 4 million tourists.

The problem with attractions is that the exploitation of such anomalies does damage not only to the thing itself but also to the surrounding area. The land around it merely becomes the road one has to travel in order to get there. Man-made signs are erected for miles in every direction to let tourists know that there is something worth seeing in the area. Hotels and restaurants spring up to house and feed the influx of tourists who come to see the attraction. In order to get more dollars out of these walking moneybags more attractions are built around the theme of the exploited natural resource. The result is that no one really sees the surrounding area for what it is. And though you may imagine that we at least see the main attraction we have, instead, been caught up in the distorted hype.

The same distortion has caused us to set some people above others and call them celebrities while the rest of humanity is left in the shadows of the greatness of the machine that makes celebrities out of those who APPEAR more prominent.

The exact same thing has happened to Bible verses.

1 John 3:2 is one of those tourist attractions of the Bible. Along with a few other such verses we have become dazzled by the prospect of a heavenly glory that causes our lives to pale in comparison. And so we are left with the consolation that one day things will be all better ... and we trudge along with this hope.

What if John never intended to create a heaven-hype? For stone masons, Stone Mountain is merely an announcement that the whole area is rich in unseen granite. What if John's mention of what shall be has a similar design to it? What if he wrote about a reality that WILL be seen in the future in order to assure us about that same reality that CANNOT be seen right now?

Now, I have no intention of reducing the reality of what SHALL be! No, no, not at all. For the full-grown expression of a life reveals what is usually not recognized in its earlier stages of growth. In other words, nothing can develop FROM a life that is not contained IN that life.

Consider a tomato seed. It sprouts and grows and eventually produces tomatoes with seeds within each piece of fruit. The ripened tomato is no more tomato than the seed from which it grew. Now, would it be accurate to say that the seed is less than the fruit it bears? Does the fully-grown tomato cause you to think less of the seed or the young plant in any way? Is the tomato plant inferior until it eventually becomes something of worth? Or does the end result, instead, convince you that THE SEED CONTAINS THE TOMATO? And doesn't this truth give you a totally different perspective of the young stages of the tomato? The final product gives you a true estimation of the worth and nature of the seed and the young plant.

Then why do we get the opposite sense from John's words about the true worth and nature of those who will appear just like HIM? Hmm? Do we not know what it means to have been born of God? Do we not know that John turned our attention toward the APPEARANCE of our real life that's going to APPEAR EXACTLY LIKE HIS LIFE because AT THIS TIME IT JUST DOESN'T LOOK THAT WAY? It's NOW that we need to hear that the life within us is the same life that one day will be revealed as the exact reflection of His own.

Now, looking forward to a time when CIRCUMSTANCES are different from this world is one thing (and it gives much hope during times of hardship); but looking forward to a future life that is MADE OF something different from the life that is NOW within me has NOTHING to do with the truth of Christ. But this is ALL we see anymore from all the built up distortion of heaven-hype. Don't you recognize the difference? Don't you realize how you have been taught to look down upon your life here and now as if there was something inferior about it? How often do you think about heaven and gain the confidence that you are NOW as righteous as Christ? It doesn't happen, does it? But it is EXACTLY what John was writing about.

I will continue this in the next Shoveletter ...

New Testament: 

Comments

theshovel's picture

These comments were all transferred over from the original website


Posted: March 6, 2000 by nd

jim,,
this was a very interesting little dig here,,not saying your other digs haven;t been intetresting here,, :)

the tomato seed certainly made sense to me,,

reminds me of where the bible says something about looking through a glass dimly,,and,,somewhere the bible says that the Spirit is given as a"downpayment" kinda thing and once we reach the place where Jesus went to prepare for us we will finally have a «a true estimation of the worth and nature of the seed and the young plant.»

as far as being taught it is inferiour down here,,i can only reply with the words keith green said in one of his concerts before singing a song about Jesus prepearing a place for us,,he said somthing like,,,if Jesus has been up there prepapring a place for 2ooo yrs,,then this is like living ina garbage can compared to that,,, he wasn't putting the world down,,he thought it was beautiful place,,and aprt from the crime and grime,,,it is but i tell you,,,i think hes right,,,Jesus went to prepare a place for us and that place will have no crime or grime,, anyway,,,awesome little dig this week,,thanks,,


Posted: March 6, 2000 by James

Jim,

Loved your analogy of the seed and the Life of Christ. So true! The manifestation will come in fullness, but the reality now is the same Life that will be manifested. Thanks for encouraging the saints and myself!

Love, James


Posted: March 6, 2000 by Bruce

Jim,

There ain't nothing that I've read from you that hasn't completely taken me into another "realm". Of course I'm talking about the "heavenlies"...the realm of the Spirit! You must really be an "ambassador" of the heavenly realm, having been there and "of there", to minister the LIFE that flows from there!

...From one piece of formerly "unseen" granite that is now being "revealed" or "exposed" to another...

Upon this "unseen granite" I will build my church...


Posted: March 6, 2000 by Paul

«Do we not know that John turned our attention toward the APPEARANCE of our real life that's going to APPEAR EXACTLY LIKE HIS LIFE »

O, Lord Jesus come!!!

What a blessing to think of his coming as being revealed in us! We have become the center of the fullness of all things in him!


Posted: March 6, 2000 by Becki

Jim,

Good word.

Of course I have always thought more of the fruit than the seeds. We spit the seeds out or run them down the disposal.

In analogy format, that's a scary thought.

I'm looking forward to watching God take what I learned today and participate as He makes application in my own life!

I always enjoy your newsletters, and they have challenge my thinking so often, I find I get a little anxious now as I open them. haha!

Praising God for you,

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2 KJV Is it bird? Is it a plane? No it’s..[fill in the blank]!!! You know up until recently I might have looked at this statement of John’s as if he were saying something more like this: ” We are totally confused by what we are now and we REALLY wont have any idea until heaven. You know, when we get a glorified body. -I mean we have no clue what we will be like-it will just be so stupendous! Nothing like we are now! THEN we will be holy! We will be kind of like Him then. But for now, well we just have to wait.” Let me ask you. Does that encourage you? If it does, then I can tell you Christ brought more than this. Something of a totally different substance and place. The way I see this now? Something more like this: ” Appearances do not show outwardly what we ARE now. We are holy, riteous and dearly loved by God Himself. At that time there will be no more clouding it up. We will be revealed to ourselves and to all for exactly what we are in Him. For the temporal will be removed. This groaning within will cease and we shall be revealed as the Sons of the most high without anything lying about it again.

Hallelujah, visitor!! the glorification is revealed in your last paragraph. Once we are blessed with His grace and forever enjoined to Him, we become slaves to righteousness forevermore. We are no more slave to sin. Our slavery to sin is over. We now see truth and reality through the Spirit, but we are human. The old man is dead and resides powerless in our flesh. Our perspective gets clouded by the flesh. Nothing is as it appears. Appearances are a joke. Most everyone has a hidden motive in nearly every situation so be sober minded, “cool”, and wait it out. The heart of the matter will show itself. From storms to raising the dead, Jesus did not get anxious about any situation.

I enjoyed your comments here Visitor! Love, ADAM

The metaphor of the tomato seed was incredibly powerful for me Jim thanks!
theshovel's picture

You are welcome! :)

Jim

I LOVE this!

“The same distortion has caused us to set some people above others and call them celebrities while the rest of humanity is left in the shadows of the greatness of the machine that makes celebrities out of those who APPEAR more prominent.”

That sooo describes the mind and mentality that is so prominent in the world of religion, doesn't it?  It is the very mind and therefore the very mentality that is of this world, period.  It is the very mind that Christ has replaced in us with His very own.  His mind in us is the very mind through which His Spirit reveals all things of Him to us, in us, with us, through us, etc.  :)

“…nothing can develop FROM a life that is not contained IN that life.”

Indeed, true to its very Nature.  :)

and this:

“It's NOW that we need to hear that the Life within us is the same Life that one day will be revealed as the exact reflection of His own.”

smiley   Because it is so encouraging and uplifting and full of hope and confidence in and from Him!  Something that this world can never give nor supply!

heart

theshovel's picture

Thanks for sharing your own encouragement, my dear Sharon, for it encourages me to read it.  heart

Jim

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