The Rule of the Heavens (continued)
The Meaning of "Heavens" (continued)
The first chapter of Colossians reveals the wondrous universality of the Lord Jesus sweeping back to the times of eternity, bringing Him on to the time of creation - "by Him were all things created" and "of Him and through Him and unto Him are all things" - sweeping the ages in His Person and leading you on to the timelessness of eternity. The Person of our Lord Jesus revealed in that one chapter is absolutely universal - all ages, all realms; and Ephesians sees Him as "above" all heavens. The universality of the Lord Jesus Christ is the thought and purpose and intent of God the Father. He, then, is the inclusive representation of all that is of God, and whenever you come into what is of God spiritually you immediately come into what is absolutely universal.
Of course, here is the explanation of the Cross of our Lord Jesus and the crucifixion of the old man and all that is related thereto. To explanation is just this, that that Cross represents the bringing to an end, or winding up of what is less than God intended. For things were pulled down to a lower level than God intended. There came in divisions, alienation, circumscribing of man and of things, limiting God and His purpose for man in the world, and the Cross represents the undoing of all that. The resurrection speaks of emancipation into the limitless - into the universal. In the Person of our Lord Jesus it meant He was no longer being bound to those few miles of Syrian soil, time was no longer a factor nor was geography a factor, distance did not come in. The resurrection represents universality because it brings you into spiritual realities - delivered from the flesh and brought into the spirit, delivered from what is of man and brought into what is of God. We may not be caught up in the body like Philip, but there is a universality about our new-creation life and about our ministry. We have lost every form of limitation. Though we may be at this place tonight we are not bound thereby - we can touch every corner of the earth by prayer. We are now set free and brought into the kingdom of heaven's emancipation on resurrection ground. Under the anointing of the Spirit we are brought into the universality of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the explanation of the Cross.
Here the whole question of sonship comes into view. Sonship is always related to the resurrection. In the case of the Lord Jesus, He was especially designated the Son of God on the ground of resurrection. This does not mean He was not the Son of God before. Sonship comes in on that ground. This is typified in the Jordan - the Father's voice attested Him the Son on typical resurrection ground. "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee" - bound up with the work of the Cross (Hebrews 1:4).
(continued with # 15)