How Close do You Want to Get to the Father?
By Gary Amirault
Have you ever noticed that the more important a person is, the harder it is to get close to them? One really has to have some connections to "get to see the right people." The lower the position is in a society, the easier it is to touch the person in that position. It is easier to talk to your local mayor or county government representative than it is to talk to the President of the United States.
We have been so conditioned by our society to "know our place," I wonder if this conditioning hasn't in some ways conditioned us right out of a close relationship to our Father. Most of us, if we look past the false facade we put up, are really very insecure. Even those of us, like me, who have projected a strong self-confident front to others, are really very frail, and self-condemned inside. This is why we can get all flustered when we get to meet a so-called "important person" like a celebrity, sports hero, or high government official.
Usually only very important people can meet other important people. As a result, most of us, do not expect to hang around important people since we think we are not important. We are the sparrows of the world, billions of them and they all look alike. We feel the higher places are reserved for eagles, not sparrows.
Often our natural concepts of things get into the way of understanding the realm or kingdom from above. Personally, because I did not have a good relationship with my natural father, I had a difficult time understanding my Spiritual Father. I was so conditioned to expect certain things in the natural from "fathers," that I tried to create a similar image or "idol" if you will, of our Heavenly Father. What a mistake.
As in the "world," the more important our position in society, the closer we can get to other important people, in the church realm, we have done the same thing. We have created all sorts of ranks, anointings, positions, etc. All of these church structures are based upon the world structures and all of them will crumble. Most of you who are presently reading this article know this to be a fact.
But there is another structure we have built, which is far more difficult to see. It works just like these other structures. All these structures keep us from the One Who is all Important, All Powerful, All Knowing, the only Truth. All these systems are designed to keep less important people from the most important people. It is usually to the advantage of those close to the most important people to keep others out so that they can maintain their position of "screener." They become the guardians, the "angels," if you will, for these important people. No one gets to the top but by them. They now control who has access to the power and therefore really become powerful themselves.
In all these structures, we have given these people things to remind us of their importance, more money, large mansions with security guards, expensive cars, secretaries, titles, etc. We add to their importance by putting their words and pictures into magazines, television, and newspapers. We reserve a spot in history for them in history books and encyclopedias.
Let us look into a kingdom or system we perhaps have never looked into . . . a system we create in our own lives which keeps us from True Life.
We find the lowest of those in this kingdom sitting on the hillside of Galilee listening to One called Jesus. For three days they listened and then to their amazement He took a few loaves and fish and fed about 5,000 men plus any women and children that would have been there. It is hard to imagine what joy this brought them. We, in America, have a hard time relating to those who have to work 12 to 16 hours a day just for the next days bread and water. Could this man deliver them from this curse of never knowing whether there would be enough food to feed themselves and their family? If He can, then they would follow Him wherever He went. And follow Him they did to the other side of the lake where He told them, "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life abiding in you!" Oh, how gross! Jesus, how could you say something like that to people who have been taught by Moses to have nothing to do with eating blood of any kind!? And so the fishes and loaves crowd turned and walked away.
How far will you walk with Jesus? How high in His kingdom are you willing to climb?
Like many of us today, in the natural kingdoms of this world, whether they be secular or religious, one usually has to bring something with them to get to the top. Power, money, influence, ancestry, titles, and looks, among many other things, are the commodities that are exchanged in the higher "positions" on earth.
The people listening to the Sermon on the Mount wanted "Bible Study," Scripture memorizing, "letter of the law" along with fishes and loaves, but Jesus wanted to give them the True Food, Spirit and Life. There are those of us who are content with a literal understanding of the literal Bible using the carnal mind. They, as the Jews before them, are not interested in understanding the Word of Truth spiritually. They have no interest in giving up their carnal understanding. They want fishes and loaves. To leave the hillsides of Galilee to rise to a higher position with our Father we must give up something. As the world exchanges its assets to gain higher positions, we also in the spirit must do the same.
Moving a little closer to the center of the Kingdom, we come to 500 standing upon the Mount of Olives. "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." Why do you gaze? Most born again Christians are gazers. They get quickened, they are now in the kingdom, and are waiting to get raptured? It has been almost 2000 years since that angel asked, "Why do you gaze," and they are still gazing. Gazers will stay on the Mount of Olives looking down upon Jerusalem.
Jesus told those 500 to stay in Jerusalem and after a certain time, they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 120 of them came down from the Mount of Olives and were filled. The rest of them perhaps are still "gazing on the Mount of Olives" waiting for the "rapture." To them it was so nice talking to angels (messengers). Some people would rather talk to representatives than the real authority. Chasing demons and calling up our "guardian angels" is pretty exciting stuff. Some people are very happy here. You can even build a ministry here. Good view, it's spiritual, and certainly exciting.
Those 120 who got baptized with the Holy Spirit, well they lost their good view, but oh the power of the "Holy Ghostaah." Speaking in tongues, words of prophesy, words of knowledge. Wow, what power! Sure the persecution was heavy, especially from those guys looking down on us from the Mount of Olives, but this anointing is great! This place is great and we can still see Jesus return because we are just on the other side of the valley. We can still see the Mount of Olives just a stone's throw away. We won't miss out on the Great Rapture and we can get a lot more done for the kingdom down here in Jerusalem, than up on the Mount.
The Bible is not written chronologically and for many good reasons and our story will not be chronological either. We are seeking how to get to the real authority in the Kingdom and what we must bring with us as commodities to exchange to get higher in the Kingdom. One will quickly notice in the natural kingdoms, that the higher you go, the fewer people you meet. There are more production workers than there are vice presidents. So it appears to be in the Kingdom.
We will leave New Testament chronology for a moment a pick up a group of 70 (or 72 in some translations) who went throughout Israel in two's preparing the way for Jesus. "Carry neither money bags, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road." This sounds like serious business. Messengers of the kingdom with the goods to prove it. Healing and being able to speak strong words of rebuke like, "The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you." This sounds like real kingdom stuff to me. Maybe we sons of god are now going to show them who we really are!
But of those 70 only 12 become the pillars in the book of Revelation. Structure, pillars, foundation stones, government. . . very important stuff here. What did it cost them? They said they gave up everything to get to this spot, but did they? Peter said he would never forsake Jesus, but denied Him three times in one night. John and James had their mother talk to Jesus about where they would sit when Jesus received His Kingdom. Did they give up their hope of gain? Thomas wouldn't give up His unbelief! Did they really give up all they had to follow Jesus? What was Jesus after, anyway, their material possessions? Peter's fishing boat?
Speaking of Peter's fishing boat, we come to the 7 apostles who saw Jesus after the resurrection in the fishing boat. Remember? 153 big fish and the net didn't break! I believe those fish represent the nations of the world and I believe every nation will be caught! Do you want to know Him in this power? You will have to toil all night and come to the understanding that apart from Him you can do nothing, catch nothing. In this small circle, men like Peter remember their full names, Simon Peter, son of Jonah. Peter, the son of Jonah? Yes, the son of Jonah, the unwilling, angry, prophet who didn't want the enemies of Israel saved, spoke a handful of word's and all of Nineveh repented! This little circle learned that we can't save a single soul (catch a single fish), but with God all things are possible, including the salvation of the whole world. But oh, the cost! Look at Jonah. How much of the church is like Jonah? Only a few days or "forever," in the belly of the earth or hell, as the King James Bible puts it, gets Jonah's attention enough to do our Father's will. He still left the story with a wrong attitude. It is amazing what our Father can do with sour prophets, isn't it?
Come up with me to a real spiritual experience. Up on Mount Hermon, 7000 feet higher than Mount Zion, or Mount of Olives, or Jerusalem. Would you like to experience the vision, as Jesus calls it, of the passing away of Moses and Elijah (Law and prophetic anointing) and the entrance into a new work of the Holy Spirit? "This is my beloved Son, Hear Him!" Only three people out of the thousands who heard Jesus entered into this place. They had to go outside of Israel to the snowcovered mountains of Hermon to experience this vision. Surely, the redeemer of Israel would not do this kind of thing outside the borders of Israel! But He did! He escaped our box. The nerve of Him. What a vision! And He did it in Lebanon-Syria! Are we willing to put away our boxes, our national boundaries, denominations, our "chosen-ness" to get closer to our Father? Will we allow our concept of God to fall and allow Him to do a new thing?
We find another small circle of three down at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Gethsemane, the "oil press." The finest of oils used for special purposes would be crushed under heavy weight, put in a gauze material and hung in the air allowing gravity to cause the olive oil to ooze out into a vase placed below. Jesus invited three disciples to participate in the prayer before the Great Oil Press experience which would bring forth the pure Anointing Oil. Peter, John, and James, the same ones who experienced the great heights of Mount Hermon, quickly fell asleep through the whole anguish. It seems the flesh is weak, indeed! Couldn't pray one hour! And neither could we! We can't even add our own prayers to Glory of our Father. Unless it is by His will, our prayers are worth nothing. Oh Father, if you keep stripping us of all these things we can do for you, you will empty us out completely! There will be nothing left of us! We will surely die!
But we can get closer yet. Remember the two disciples who were witnesses to the Samaritans? The Samaritans were kind of like the Christians today who are not "born-again." They had the law, were in the Land, but didn't know that the "right" place to worship was in Jerusalem, not on Mount Gerizim. Finally, we were going to be able to tell those Samaritans to get it right or else! Or else what? When these Samaritans did not "decide to follow Jesus," after a true Gospel invitation according to modern evangelical style, John and James responded to this insult just as most modern evangelists do today:
"Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?"
Oh, you zealots for the kingdom, listen to the words of Jesus to this kind of talk:
"You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them."
My precious brother and sister in the Lord, are you humble enough for our wonderful Brother Jesus to speak these kind of strong words to you? You do not know what manner of spirit you are of? How deep is our self-righteousness and pride? Can we discover it ourselves? Oh, children of the Most High, cry out, cry out for the wonderful corrections from Him. We cannot even discern what manner of spirits we are of!
There are many double witnesses in the Scriptures. Another good one is that of Peter and John after the catch of the 153 large fish which, as I mentioned before, seems to speak of the salvation of the world. Turn to it and read John chapter 21. There is enough there for a thousand books. But we are writing just a short article so let's stay focused.
The disciple who Jesus loved was the first to notice it was Jesus on the shore. Peter, who had his outer garment off, now put them back on and then swam to shore while the other 6 were left with the huge job of bringing in this large catch of fish. After a good meal, Jesus laid out the life of Peter and John. Peter was to get the martyred life while John might be to stay until Jesus' return. "But what about him? Why should I get killed and this John not die?" And Jesus' response is the same response He will give to you and me.
"If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow me!"
Have we come to the place of being content with the life He has set before us? My brother and sister search your heart. Is there some of Peter in you that looked at another persons life or ministry and wish it was yours? Are you perfectly content with the life he has chosen for you, including the suffering, shame, loneliness, loss of reputation, loss of property? Do you find yourself sometimes saying, "Why me?" Why not someone else for this awful part of my life. If you are saying these kind of things right now, you still have something to offer to the Most High. Give it up. Pour yourself out that He might fill you up with Himself.
We come to another double witness. We are seated at the famous "Last Supper." The pictures we are shown in Sunday school do not do this scene justice. In the Middle East, they would sit on the floor leaning on one elbow. Each guest would be laid out with his head near the chest of the next guest. The two places near the host would be for the "greatest" guests. John and Judas were these two chosen disciples. It is interesting that the Bible does not tell who was sitting on the left or the right. I am referring to the sheep and goat parable. Most Christians would picture Judas on the left (a goat). I have a feeling that was not the case.
In any event, Jesus dips the bread into the sop and gives it to Judas and later calls him friend. The gesture of the first bread dipped into fat given to Judas was the highest honor to be given. John was known as the disciple who Jesus loved, but Judas was the only one who Jesus called "friend."
The image most of the church has of Judas is of one truly deserving "eternal torment." But I think he was our Father's example of perfect repentance. After all, how many of the other disciples followed Him to the end. Did they not all forsake Him. Did they not all betray Him in this sense? But Judas repented perfectly! He acknowledge Jesus' innocence and performed the work He was destined to do.
For Jesus to fulfill all the righteousness of the Mosaic law, He had to fulfill all the offerings pointed to in the law. I cannot get into this at this time because it is a separate teaching in its own, but the 30 pieces of silver had to somehow be sprinkled in the Holy Place. None of the disciples, even Jesus, could enter the Holy Place because none of them were Levites. But Judas was a Levite! It was Judas who declared Jesus innocent, a priest who examined Jesus for three and a half years and found no blemish!
Judas declared himself guilty and Jesus innocent. In his perfect repentance, he "poured out his guts," literally! Have we come to this level of repentance? Think carefully before you answer. Do you still look down upon Judas? Do you see Him in "hell?" Then you have still not poured yourself out yet! You have not come to perfect repentance. We must pour ourselves out that He may fill us of Himself!
On the other side of Jesus, we find John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. The friend on one side and the loved disciple on the other. Would you like to be in this circle? Which one would you like to be? What kind of reputation would you like in your service to Jesus?
Let us briefly look at the disciple whom Jesus loved. He had the honor of "leaning on His bosom." Oh, what a thrill! Can you imagine anything greater than to hear the very heartbeat of the Creator of the universe. What a joyous moment. What a thrill it must have been to hear the very heart, center, will, desire, passion of the Almighty. After all, does not one share the most intimate of things with the One you love? What a place of honor? How much closer to the Creator can you get? Certainly this was as close to the highest power of the universe you can get!
And John was led, like a scapegoat, to the isle of Patmos. He found Himself in the Spirit on the Lord's day. It was not on Sunday. It was the Day of the Lord. Now of all the disciples, one would think that John, the beloved, would know who Jesus Christ was. But the very first thing that happens to Him in his "Revelation of Jesus Christ," is that he falls down like a dead man. All these images He sees are the "Revelation of Jesus Christ" and He is absolutely stunned! He discovered the Jesus He knew after the flesh and the Jesus He saw in the Spirit seemed so different that he was in shock. He fell at His feet as dead!
And so mystery after mystery was revealed to Him which, obviously, gave him much to say. John wrote a Gospel, 3 epistles, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ not only caused John some real difficulty, but it caused the early Church great difficulty. As a matter of fact, this book was not considered Scripture for much of the church for the first two or three centuries, and to some churches today it is still not considered Scripture. The Greek of the Apocalypse was so poor that many scholars and theologians felt the Creator wouldn't put His good name to book with such bad grammar. Another thing we can offer the Creator; allow Him to do whatever He wants to do, even using poor Greek, even using jackasses to speak to prophetic present-truth type ministers. Will you allow Him this room? You see, even though John, the beloved, saw all this revelation and knew Jesus after the flesh, he really didn't understand what he saw. The disciple whom Jesus loved and who lived until Jesus' return, did not have it all. He still had something to give to Jesus. Another item to mention at this point regarding John and Judas is this: John heard the will of the Father, but Judas was the one who performed it! Which is greater, the hearer or the doer! The Lamb had to be slain.
You may be asking yourself right now why I said he saw Jesus' return. John lived to the end of the first century. He was the only one who lived to and through the destruction of Jerusalem. This was Jesus' return in judgment to Israel. Today's church does not understand the comings of the Lord. We have many false understandings that if we only could let them go and give them up to Jesus, He would fill those areas of darkness with His Glorious Light.
And so we must leave the 12 pillars of the temple, but that is not the end of the story. There was a man born who did not know Jesus after the flesh. He was a strange man. He said some things even the 12 pillars did not understand.
"Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer." 2 Corinthians 5:16
What a powerful, if not heretical statement! That would put the guys who make bumpers stickers like "My boss is a Jewish carpenter" right out of business. All of these merchants of fleshly commandments, fleshly traditions of men, etc. would have to join the merchant of the Diana idols in Athens, and file for unemployment. This, Paul, was a real character. Even his name change was bizarre. Saul, death or the grave in Hebrew changed to Paul, which means small.
Old Mr. Saul (death) had it all, a good name, good family, born in the chosen nation, great education under the best Bible teachers of his day. Mr. Death had all the right things to offer the leaders of his day. He could trade his goods with the highest of authorities. He was perfectly groomed for influence peddling.
But he tossed it all away for Grace, Grace, and More Grace!!! He emptied himself out, called all his credentials "dung."
I cannot even go into all the "stuff" Paul gave to the Most High that he might be conformed to the image of Christ. "The chiefest of sinners" obviously had much to trade, to give to our Father that he might gain more and more Unmerited Favor.
But he and only he, of all those who got to leave their mark in the New Testament, really understood what influence peddling in the Kingdom was all about. . . .swapping all those things he put under the label of death that he might gain more and more of that wonderful Unmerited Favor, grace, grace, grace, and more grace until Christ be formed in him.
John, the beloved, saw the mysteries, but didn't understand them. It was Paul, the Small, who began to reveal those mysteries. It was Paul who began to reveal that being conformed to Christ is not the end but the beginning! A New Creation crying Abba, Father!
To most of Christianity, Jesus is the end, Paul saw that Jesus came to reveal our Father, Yahweh. Remember, that Old Testament God to whom no one could get near , let alone love? Yahshua, Yah saves, delivers, heals, preserves. His whole purpose is to bring us to the True Father.
So tell me now, how close are you sitting near the Father? What have you exchanged for your position? Can you get closer? Do you really want to? He will love you wherever you want to sit. He is planning a big banquet.
John rested his head on the chest of Jesus and heard the very heartbeat of the Son who said He was one with the Father. But we can get closer.
In the garden of Eden, the man called Adam had his side opened and the mother of all mankind came forth. In a garden on the top of the Mount of Olives hung a man whose side was opened with a spear and the very heart of the Most High was opened! The way has been opened into the very heart of our Father through His Son. The veil of flesh has been rent! The very heart of your eternal Father is open to you. Why do you linger?