Of all the people who ever walked the earth, the person who said the most extraordinary words that have ever been uttered on this earth was Jesus Christ. Who else had ever said to a man who had been dead for four days, “Come forth!” Who else had ever said to a cripple, “All your sins are forgiven. Get up and walk!” Who else has ever said of Himself; “Destroy this temple and I will raise it up in three days.” We also know that the things He said, especially to people of notorious character, appeared to many foolish and dangerous and yet not only did His words delight these people, but also transformed those who believed them. He seemed to have had an entirely different view of people, what we now know to have been a heavenly view, a view from eternity. Even the soldiers sent to arrest Him, were instead themselves arrested by His words! They summed up what everyone else was thinking “No-one has ever spoken the way this man does!” (John 7:46) Do you think it may have been God’s intention that His Church speak like that? Jesus attracted the pub crowd, but was despised by the religious crowd. How has the Church managed to reverse that? Could it be because we have not learned to speak from heaven’s perspective over people and are left looking at their natural behavior? On being asked about the things He said, John 12:49,50 records Jesus’ amazing answer. He said of His own words….“I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. ….Whatever I say, is just what the Father has told me to say!” In other words, Jesus spoke the most extraordinary words, because He was hearing the most extraordinary words.
We gather together as Church because we have a deep desire to hear from God. Despite being the generation of the Church that has more access to earthly resources that any previous generation, we can all see, year after year, that no amount of finance, experience, knowledge or manpower can do what revelation from heaven can do. What Jesus said to Peter about building the Church, is as true today as the day He said it (Matt.16:17). Flesh and blood cannot give us the revelation, the extraordinary words, the words that manifest the Kingdom of heaven. They can only come from our Father in heaven.
Here is something else extraordinary that Jesus said recorded in John 14:12; “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do;” All that leads us to this conclusion. If the source of the extraordinary works that Jesus did, was the extraordinary words He said and if the source of the extraordinary words He said, was the extraordinary words He heard from heaven, then there can only be two possible reasons why we, the Church, are largely not yet doing the extraordinary works of Jesus. Either our Father in heaven is not speaking extraordinary words to us, or, for some reason, we are not hearing the extraordinary words He is speaking to us. I think we can agree that it cannot be the first reason, because Jesus gave a promise to His disciples about God continuing to speak to His Church. Those words are recorded in John 16:12,13. “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
Isn’t that interesting. According to Jesus, even the Holy Spirit does not speak on His own, but only what He hears in the Godhead. Neither Father, nor Son, nor Holy Spirit, say or do anything on their own. They live and speak as an US. To God, life is not singular, it is found in communion and it manifests through conversation. This is the life God offers to us; the “us” life.
I believe that the Holy Spirit holds out to the Church of each generation, an extraordinary invitation; an invitation to do nothing less than participate in the conversation of the Godhead, by taking our place in the communion of the Godhead. This invitation can be found among other places in Colossians 3:1-3 and reads as follows; “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” For so long in our lives as Christians, we have thought of our life in terms of ‘what do I need to do for God?’ But to God, life is not an I. Life is not singular, it is found in communion and it manifests through conversation. Remember, God is not asking us to do anything for Him. He is asking us to do everything with Him! We can see this view of life right from the very first chapter of the Bible, because we can hear it in the way God speaks, when He says things such as “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.” (Gen.1:26) And later when God looks at Adam standing alone and says; “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Gen.2:18)
Here surely must be one way we can measure the maturity of any believer; Does their life appear to have matured out of the “I” mind-set of the first Adam and into the US mind-set of the last Adam?
Or in plainer English, “Is that Christian acting for the good of the body, or for the good of Himself?
So, we have ruled out the possibility that our Father in heaven is no longer speaking extraordinary words to His Church, for every good Father speaks to His children and indeed Romans 8:16 assures us that, “The Holy Spirit does testifiy/witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.”
So that leaves us with a question. If God is speaking, then why are we, the Church, largely today, not hearing and so not speaking into this generation, the extraordinary words that are coming from heaven; words so extraordinary that they manifest/reveal the power of the Kingdom of the Son, to be greater than the Kingdom of darkness?
Here is a big clue in 1Cor.2:14 “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them.” Many times, I should have prophesied, spoken by the Spirit of God, extraordinary words over what appeared very ordinary people or ordinary situations, but I did not, because I could not accept, could not get past, how foolish those words sounded to me. As a natural man, I have matured to the point where I am able to speak an earthly language fluently; a language called English. But as a spiritual man, I have not yet matured to the point where I able to speak a heavenly language fluently; a language called Foolish. Unfortunately for me, 1Cor.1:21 doesn’t say that God was well-pleased through the Englishness of the message preached, to save those who believe. It says that “God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” So what’s hindering me as a believer from speaking fluent foolish? (from speaking words so extraordinary, that to the natural, logical, rational, earthly mind, they sound foolish) The answer is that words come from thoughts. If I am largely not speaking the words of God, it is because I am largely not thinking the thoughts of God. The Holy Spirit doesn’t just want to give us the words of God to pass on, as if we are no more than courier service. God’s vision of the Church is not a post office. We are not simple a heavenly version of Parcel Express, to deliver God’s mail. In being given the Holy Spirit, we have been given the mind of Christ, that we may think the thoughts of God, for it is from the thoughts of God that the words of God come. This is how the apostle Paul expressed this truth to the Corinthians in 1Cor.2:12,13 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. So I want to put it to you today that the reason we the Church are by and large not hearing and so speaking into this generation, the extraordinary words that are coming from heaven, is because ….something is hindering us from thinking the thoughts that Heaven thinks. Here is a clue. There is an Old way of thinking and a New way of thinking