Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Extension of the Vision, May 20, 2007

Colossians 3:1-4 was the central passage in the Sunday School lesson I was to teach this morning. I came to see that a portion of my May 1, 2007, vision explained it in a way that differs from the usual "church" understanding of the passage.

Colossians 3:1-3 tells me to set my heart on things above, where Christ is seated on the right hand of God. Why? Because I have died with Christ, and my real life is now "hidden" with Christ in God. This agrees with what I was seeing three weeks ago, and continue to see, that I am really in Heaven with God. I am really one of the throng praising Him in Heaven—right now. This doesn't happen in the "heavenly future," it's happening right now. In fact, there really is no heavenly "eternity future" for God or for me that is separate from the present. The last six words are important. There is a heavenly future, but for us that future is not entirely separate from the present. God's throne is above all time, again as I saw three weeks ago, and I am really with Him. My body is curiously trapped in time, for now, but my real place is with God above it all. Therefore, I am to set my heart and my thoughts on heavenly things, things that reflect my real location and my real relationship with God.

The result of setting my heart on the things where I really am, with Christ in God, is that Christ also lives through me here, in this world, in time. Colossians 3:4 says, "When Christ who is our life appears, then we also shall appear with Him in glory." Traditionally, this is read as a reference to a heavenly eternity future—when we get to heaven, only then will we have His glory. But verses one through three do not refer to heavenly eternity future; they tell us to set our hearts on heavenly things right now. Verse 4 is actually saying that, as Christ lives through us, as He appears in us, he does not leave His glory at home in Heaven. He brings His glory with Him.

The transposition is thus complete—we're each really with Him in Heaven, and, exactly to the extent we permit Him to live through our bodies (collectively, His Body on earth!), He is really here on earth with us, showing His full glory through us.

At tonight's service, I saw, again as a picture, how this relates to John 6:37-38. The real me has been transposed to heaven, though still connected to my body here on earth. My place is now near the Throne. Jesus, on the Throne, now really exists in me. The rivers of living water that satisfy the thirst of the world pour out of Him, living in me. It's exactly as He appears in us in His glory, that rivers of living water from Him pour out of us individually.