Before the foundation of the earth a word was spoken: “The Lamb is slain.” Jesus is that Word who took on human flesh and who reproduces that word in all those who receive Him. As always, when a word is spoken appearances rise up contesting the word and its prophesied outcome. The fall and its repercussions seemed to be more real than the Word, but when darkness apparently had won that which was promised was in all humility born in a stable.
He is the Sabbath, the rest for all God’s people. If the Sabbath was a regular weekday His Kingdom would be of this world. God’s Kingdom is, however, not of this world so the true Sabbath, the Substance is found in a realm that is invisible to the natural eye. Faith penetrates the shadow and beholds the real thing from which all things proceed. All the regulations and prohibitions concerning the Sabbath are merely pointers to He who is our life.
Everyone who has received this word knows its power and that it is Substance. It was a word that changed human destiny forever. Since redemption began with a word its continued expansion is by words that call into existence things that be not as if they were.
Lazarus is set before us as an image of what transpires when the Word finds a dwelling place in human flesh. The spirit leaves the body when the body is dead, so Lazarus had to die, and so did we. When the call came Lazarus was made alive again as a new creation by God’s Spirit. In this context the church is ordained to remove the grave clothes and let people go into the freedom of the Spirit, but, unfortunately large parts of the church has misunderstood its commission.
The stone that covered Lazarus’ grave was taken away, meaning the heart of stone was removed. The false spirit was driven out. Man is a temple we learn from the Bible. The Old Testament points to the temple of Baal which is man indwelt and run by the spirit of error, or satan. That same temple becomes an abode for God’s Spirit through Jesus’ death and resurrection. The temple remains the same, but its content has forever changed. The Son of God was truly glorified by all that transpired concerning Lazarus.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world” (John 11:25-27).
The mist mentioned in Genesis is man’s clever ideas and theories that cover the earth, that is, their minds, when sense-knowledge is given greater weight than the obedience of faith. Delusions thrive and bloom outside faith, but they will all fail since the substance isn’t there. Whenever faith attaches itself to substance it will be rewarded by the inner certainty the Spirit gives.
The Bible is a wellspring of absolutes to which we can attach our faith. These absolutes are always contested by the visible realm, experiences, emotions, reason and human theories. Hence faith always involves a leap because what we desire to take cannot be proved by the natural senses. In all this the word again plays a pivotal role. In all simplicity we speak our word of faith all from being the righteousness of Christ to I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me. The confirmation comes from the other side in its own time. It is like sitting down in a chair. The confirmation that the chair holds us comes from the chair and not ourselves.
But, what if the confirmation lingers and absolutely everything goes against our word? Shall we then say: “This doesn’t work!” and then wriggle ourselves out of faith by convenient and so-called comforting explanations offered us which is the wisdom of this world? Of course not! The obedience of faith requires that we continue to affirm what we have attached ourselves to, and let faith do its work in us. Let us not fall back to sense knowledge based on experiences, but remain unwavering in faith concerning what God says about us as outlined in the Bible.