Rolling Hills Covenant Church had listened to Dallas for over ten years. For this Sunday school class, they asked him to speak less about the spiritual life and more about God and the kingdom of God, about sin and our redemption from it.
Dallas: On the class outline, which has eight sessions on it, we have the scriptures that I’d like for you to study each week and it will help a great deal because I intend in this series to be a little more theological than I normally am because I feel like that there is such a need to understand what God is and how He relates to our world and to our ourselves here and now. [00:30]
This very touching presentation—I’m very moved to look at the faces of these people on the screen and see the power of ideas and think of how the communism is an attempt to solve a real problem. It’s an attempt to meet the needs of sinful man and it’s such a blind and fumbling effort but it is an attempt to deal with life without God and the ideas that govern mankind are absolutely antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And we have to fight that by firming up our faith in the reality of God—what God is, how He works and we are going to be going at some depth in that so what I’ve done is I’ve given a lot of scripture on the course outline. If anyone doesn’t have that, why be sure and get it before you leave today. I think we have a number of them and also then I’ll be handing out a sheet probably with each lesson. This is so that we can make sure that the points that we need to cover are at least covered in writing and you can work on those at home. And then each day, we will try to go over some of the main points and make stand out very emphatically the message that we want to get across. [2:04]
It’s good to see all of you. I get down every couple of years or so it seems, but really it seems like I’m always in touch with a number of you and get a chance to see some of you from time to time so it makes me feels like somehow we are always a part of the group and I am very thankful for that. Your fellowship has been a real blessing to us and Jane and I are very grateful for your lives and what we know to be going on in you as God continues His work in His people. [2:35]
“Gracious Lord, now, as we come to undertake this teaching, we pray that you would cover all of us with the blood of your cross and that you would see us through your Son and that you would fill each one of us with your Spirit that we might live and walk now in your Kingdom. Amen.”
Now if you will look at the heading of the course, you will see I’ve given it the title, “The Soul’s Eternal Anchor.” I could have titled it many things. I could have taken the words of Hebrews 11 where it speaks of Moses as “enduring (endured), as seeing Him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27) Or I could have taken other words from the book of Hebrews as in Hebrews 4 and I wish you would just turn there and we will start there today in our discussion. [4:05]
Hebrews, chapter 4 and these words also I could have taken to characterize what we want to do in verse 9—“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” (Hebrews 4:9) “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” There are many many characterizations from the New Testament which we could have used but what I want to convey to you in this series is the reality, the present reality of God and His Kingdom and to make clear—as clear as possible for each of our minds that we are living with God all around us; that His Kingdom is not far away. It is not something that is about to happen or maybe will happen sometimes. [5:04]
You hear many people talk about the Kingdom of God and it reminds you—I don’t know if you’ve ever seen those large swans when they try to take off from the water—they start out flapping and running and you think for a half a mile, they are not going to make it and sometimes, they don’t. Sometimes they just settle back into the water, you know. And the way the Kingdom of God is presented, it’s a project that just maybe isn’t quite going to make it but maybe some day, it will. You see? Maybe!
And what I want to tell you is that the Kingdom of God has been going for a long while. Its reality is not in doubt; and the message of Jesus Christ was that any person, at any place can turn and walk into the Kingdom of God. And the church has no message but that. The church of Jesus Christ has one message and that is—“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2, Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15) The mercy of that Kingdom is extended to us through the mercy and love of God in Jesus Christ and we have nothing to offer except the reality of the Kingdom. [6:24]
We may look at wonderful programs of the church. We may look at wonderful education programs. We may think of hospitals and all of the charitable works but that’s not the message of the church. The message of the church is not the church. The message of the church is not any of the hundreds and thousands of things that you can find unfortunately, people spending their time on as Christians. There is one central message and that is the availability of the rule of God here and now and the invitation of every person—whosoever will may come into that Kingdom and we have one thing to say to people at all times and everywhere and that is, “Turn in. The Kingdom is here. You can enter it now.”
Now, when you begin to understand that message, then these words, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9) begins to make a lot of sense. “For he that is entered into rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:10) Now, you see, the matter of resting is not a matter of inactivity. That’s one of the reasons why it’s a little troublesome to use this verse now because you think, “Well, rest. (He makes a snoring noise.) (Laughter) Go to sleep! Stop acting! No, it is a matter—resting is not a matter of inactivity. [7:59]
Some of you know that the most important thing you can do to rest yourself is simply to change your activities—to change them. And the change of activity that comes with those who enter into the Kingdom of God and the rest that comes with it is that they have ceased from their own labors. They no longer work in their strength. They no longer work in their own energy. Why? Because they have come into contact with the Kingdom of God and they know it by experience. They know how to live in it; how to rest in it; how to count on it; they know that no matter what happens, that Kingdom and their place in it is triumphant over everything. And so they rest!!!
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—when they were faced with the fiery furnace were at complete rest. They said, “Well, now, King, we don’t have to go sit down and scratch our head and have a committee meeting to find out how we are going to answer you.” Hmmmm? “Our God is able to deliver us and if not, we are not going to serve you anyway because we know that we will be delivered in another way.” [9:29]
And what happened? Well, they heated the furnace hot and they threw them in—it was so hot, it killed the people that threw them in but it didn’t singe a hair because in the furnace with them, there was the angel of God. Where did that angel come from? Did it get a ticket on a space ship and come from many, many miles away to get here? No! Where was the angel? Anyone know? He was there all the time. He was there all the time.
And when they threw Daniel in the Lion’s Den, what happened? Well, the poor old King had no rest for that. He had no rest. He sat up all night and said, “Don’t you play any musical instrument, don’t want any dancing, and any celebrating. We are not going to eat anything. We are going to mourn all night. And the next day, he sorta creeps up to the edge of the cave where the lions are and Daniel is in there and the old version says, he said “in a lamentable voice” (Daniel 6:20)—a pitiful voice, he said, “Oh, Daniel, oh, is thy God able to deliver thee?” Daniel say, “Ah, don’t worry, King, I’m okay.” See, that’s rest. That’s what rest is. That’s the rest of the people of God, you see? It is a cheerful, happy, confidence based in the vision of God’s reality. [11:17]
Now, that’s why when we enter the Bible and we look into the New Testament, candidly we often have the impression we are looking at people who are living in another world—living in another world—and that’s because they are. They are living in another world. Their citizenship is in Heaven but that doesn’t mean that they’ve got a ticket to go somewhere after they die. See, one of the problems is we think Heaven is real—yes and we are going there after we die. Heaven is real now. Heaven is not an after state. Heaven is a present reality. It is the present reality.
Let’s continue in Hebrews 4, verse 14—“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, which (that) is passed . . . “ into the what’s? Now, you think that means He died and went to Heaven later. What are the Heavens in this verse? They are a present reality—a present reality. Where did Jesus go? How did He leave? Someone tell me. How did Jesus leave His disciples? [12:47]
Comment: He ascended.
Dallas: He ascended. Where did He ascend to?
Comment: The right hand of the Father.
Dallas: Right hand of the Father—right hand of the Father—now, you see, we think well, we went to college and read in an astronomy book and we found that there is no up or down. Right? All of what we know is that there is just empty space out there—just billions and billions and billions of miles of empty space—nothing out there. [13:21]
What did Yuri Gagarin, the first space astronaut from Russia say when he got back?
Comment: He did not see God.
Dallas: That’s right! He didn’t see Him. But you know what, if you can’t see Him here, you won’t see Him by moving, right? See? If you can’t see Him here, you wont’ see Him there. [13:40]
Now, we are going to talk next time about why Heaven is not visible. It’s a very deep and important topic but one of the things we are sure of is that if you don’t see God here, you won’t see him anywhere else. There are three Heavens that are talked about in the Scripture and I’ve put some notes on this. We will come to them in just a moment for a comment or too but at this point, what we need to say is that there is a Heaven, which is all-inclusive and it contains the throne of God and it is available from everywhere.
Now, listen to these words—“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession,” (Hebrews 4:14)—the holding fast of our profession depends upon our seeing that we have a high priest in a Heaven that is accessible. And if you don’t see that, you will not be able to hold fast your profession. You will have a wavering faith. You will be double-minded and that double mindedness will afflict everything that you do and you will know very little of God in your life. So it is incumbent upon those of us who minster and teach to set forth clearly the reality of this Heaven and the reality of the throne of God and of Jesus and its accessible to us—its accessibility to us. [15:29]
That is, simply the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. That’s all it is and our duty as teachers is to say this and to speak it and to express it and to exemplify it until everyone else says, “Yes, I see. We do have a great high priest. He’s real. He’s available. It isn’t something I’m trying to whip up and cheerlead about.” See? It’s belief that’s down here; not belief that’s sorta creeping around up here and down here and maybe not. It’s the kind of belief that you have when you sit down in a chair and believe it’s going to hold you up. It isn’t something we struggle to have. It is something that comes to us as a gift of God and we live in the light of it forever because of that. [16:20]
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities: but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) So, this one who is in Heaven, on the throne that we are dealing with—and Jane got me to look up this or she was looking at this word, “tempted on all points, like as we” and it’s a very strong word. It really means, “He feels with us what we feel. He feels.”
The lady that was talking about her husband who is discouraged and depressed should know that Jesus knows what that feeling is. He feels the confusion, the distress. He feels the pain. He knows what it is. So, when we come to Him, we are talking to someone who understands on the basis of His own experience and this being so, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) [17:25]
Where do we get our help? We get our help from Heaven where the throne is, where Jesus went to and from which He sheds forth the blessings of His spirit and His power and His love to us now. And it is our faith as followers of Jesus that this is real and that faith is confirmable in our experience when we put it t the test. And as it is the responsibility of the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to teach the reality of Heaven, it is the responsibility of the minister of Jesus Christ to call people to stake their lives on it so that they will then know the reality of the Kingdom of God.
Let’s move on to Chapter 6. The book of Hebrews is the most exalted presentation of the life of the believer drawn from the Kingdom of Heaven and yet many, many scholars place the book of Hebrews in the New Testament right back of the book of Revelation as the darkest book. And the reason for that is that they don’t understand its relationship to experience and faith. The New Testament writers understood that because they lived from that Kingdom. [18:55]
I wish I had time to go into many of the verses, which you will see if you study the sheet this week. You will see what this means. I will try to mention some of them as we go along.
They lived from that Kingdom, just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Just like Daniel, they lived from it and they wrote in the light of that knowledge. Now, the person who reads without that experiential knowledge is going to find it very difficult to understand, so the invitation is follow, step out, count on it, draw boldly near to the throne of grace. See, I think we have to be careful with the language, which we don’t understand by experience or we will make it empty and meaningless. [19:52]
Let me just ask you. What does it mean to you individually to “come boldly unto the throne of grace?” See, that must mean something in your mind. That must mean something in your heart. That must mean something that you can do. You should be able to do it and do it constantly and the suggestion here is not that we should normally be away from the throne of grace and just come in occasionally.
You know the answer to the prayer, “Lord, we come into thy presence this morning.” You know the answer to that? “Where have you been?” “Where have you been?” And yet, it’s just constant—even very faithful and devout people will say to me—I’ve had them say to me within the last week—“When I go to work, I have to just leave God at the door.” See? They have not—it isn’t because they are doing anything especially bad, it is because their faith, through experience, has not been developed to the point to where they can do everything they do to the Glory of God. [21:14]
And why is that? It is partly due to the fact that they don’t understand that God and His Kingdom are everywhere. They don’t understand. They haven’t been taught what the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is—they don’t know and so they have segmented their lives and most of their lives, they spin for their purposes out of the presence of God—out of the presence of God.
I remember many years ago when I was a young preacher and had much more fire than brains, I was preaching that one should pray about everything. And the Lord had lead me into that—at least in my mind—and He’s been leading me more and more into it as the years have gone by but in my mind, I knew from the reading of the New Testament, you ought to be able to prayer over everything. [22:15]
Now, this is out in country that most of you wouldn’t understand but it was a country where many of us spent a great deal of our time following an old horse across a cornfield with a double shovel in front of us. If you know what a double shovel is, that really marks you. [Laughter] And this pastor—I was in a church holding a series of meetings and the pastor said, “You mean I ought to pray over this old horse that I am plowing with?” You see? But that’s no different than saying, “You mean, I ought to pray over this old computer that I am pounding on?” Hmmm? Or this old chicken that I am cooking? And you see, this will be the measure of your faith in God is whether or not you have divided things up where you sort of part God and go on your own.
If you want that, the Lord will allow you to do that and the lesson for next time has much to do with how the Lord allows us to have it as we want it—to have it as we want it—but if you don’t want that, God has something else that is available to us. [23:29]
So, when we “come boldly to the throne of grace,” we are talking about staying there. He’s not suggesting that you should come and then when you are done with God, leave, see?—that consumer approach to God, which is so common in our culture. “Well, God, what can you do for me today?” See? “I have a list.” So, you come up to the throne of grace and you give God your list and leave. That’s not what is being talking about here. We are talking about living by the throne of grace—living by the throne of grace. [24:02]
Listen to these words—verse 18 of chapter 6—“ . . . two immutable things . . .”—God’s oath and God’s personality—“ . . . in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul. . .” (Hebrews 6:18-19) What’s an anchor for? It’s to hold you. It is to steady you. It is to steady you in our profession. It is to make us as Paul says, “ . . . steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) How many times is “always” leave out?
Dallas: Dozens—so that covers the chicken; that covers the computer; that covers the mule. Now, you got them all. “ . . . always abounding in the work of the Lord” and if you don’t think the Lord will bless the chicken, maybe that’s why they turn out so bad. You ought to bless ‘em. Bless everything you do as you live in the light, as you live in the presence of the throne of grace. [25:11]
“ . . . we have this hope as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” (Hebrews 6:19) What is within the veil? “Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 6:20) We won’t get into Melchisedec this morning. It’s a big and important topic but the point is that that anchor enters into that which is within the veil. What is the ”that?” It’s the order of God. It is Jesus on the throne of grace. It is God Himself. It is all that God is doing. That’s what gives us an anchor. Why are people whipped and shattered about in life? It’s because they don’t have an anchor. They don’t see the reality of the Kingdom of God. Why do the nations rage? Why do we have communism? Why do we have capitalism for that matter and many of its manifestations? [26:16]
Why do the heathen imagine a vain thing? What is the vain thing? Psalm 2, we are quoting. What is the “vain thing?” The vain thing is that man can govern himself. The vain thing is that, here’s this project humanity, now you run it. That’s the vain thing. It’s a vain thing to suppose that human life can run on its own. It’s as vain as to suppose that a light bulb can shine by lying on the sidewalk. The light bulb was not made to shine while lying on the sidewalk and we are not made to run on our own. We are made to live as a part of an eternal project which God has going and we cannot make it work without that.
Now all the terrible things that religion has done and you know them as well as I do—all of the mistakes, all of the stupidity, all of the meanness you find in religion—does not change one bit the fact that man cannot make it work apart from God. Can’t do it! [27:29]
And of course you take someone like Lenin or Marx and Engels and they look at religion, they take all the bad things and about all you can say is, “Well, sure, you are right. Now, let’s try the real thing.” Because they don’t see the real thing, you wind up with this pathetic worship of Lenin. Thank you brother, for bringing those. It’s so touching to see that—the adulation of Lenin and Marx.
Do you know anything about the personal lives of these people? It’s so pathetic but you see, we have that in our own country. We blow up our people. I mean, we are in an election year now and you just listen to what is being said. You would think that some of these people were divine. [Laughter] See? Why is that? Well, it’s because human beings know in their heart that they cannot be governed by someone who is lacking in divine attributes. That’s why they adulate Lenin the way they do. That’s why we adulate some of our people the way we do and I’m not saying there aren’t good people. Don’t get me wrong but what I am pointing to is the fact that the impossibility of making it work without living in the constant presence of God is the one thing that stands out and unless we have a hope like an anchor which enters into that which is in the veil, now that’s a real relationship, folks. We are not just saying pretty words. That hope enters into that which is within the veil. [29:15]
Now, we need to say something about the veil. One of the problems with the metaphor is if we had a veil in the straight forward sense is it comes between us and somebody else. That means that I am over here and you are over there. If you are behind the curtain on the stage, you are up there and I am out here.
But the veil as used here refers to the hiddenness of the Kingdom of God. It is hidden from us but it is not distant from us. What did Paul say in Acts 17? “ . . . in him, we live, and move, and have our being . . .” (Acts 17:28) The hiddenness of Jesus, the hiddenness of the throne of grace is not a matter of distance. It is a matter of our attitudes and our abilities and sometimes, the veil is drawn. [30:19]
When Steven was dying, he looked up and the veil was drawn. He looked into the face of Jesus Christ. When Jesus was baptized—do you remember what happened when Jesus was baptized? The Heavens opened—the Heavens opened.
You know, it’s going to happen. The book of Revelation tells us there is going to be a time when the sky will be rolled together like a scroll. Do you remember what people are going to do when that happens? They are going to cry out for the mountains to fall upon them and hide them from the face of God. Hmmm. [31:02]
One of the wonderful topics to study and we don’t—I’m not going to do it in this series but I give you many things if you will just take your concordance and read them. Study what the Bible says about the face of God. Think about things like the benediction,
“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make His face (to) shine upon thee, The Lord be (and be) gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
What are we told in that great verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14, I believe it is, “if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face . . . ” Now normally, I find that we do alright with the praying part and the repenting part but the humbling part and the seeking of the face, strangely gets left out. [32:08]
How do you seek the face of God? Hmmm? How do you do that? Do you have a way of seeking the face of God? You see, seeking is a major part of what we are told to do in the Bible—is to seek—seek the Lord. Does the Lord promise to do much for those who do not seek for Him? To find that this person does not even know what it means to seek the Lord with all of His heart.
And we have a history of ridiculous things that people have done who sought the Lord with all of their hearts. And we say, “Aha, isn’t it ridiculous to do that?” Martin Luther would lie in his cell all night in the cold on the ground. He would lacerate himself. [33:02]
St. Benedict, when he had the thought of a woman, even if it was his mother, he’d run and throw himself in a bramble patch. That certainly would get his mind off of that. [Laughter] And we say, “Wha, Wah, Wah, Wah, you know, isn’t that ridiculous,” right? That’s ridiculous! It’s ridiculous! You do ridiculous things when your heart is set on fire for something and we look at the ridiculous thing and we miss where their heart was. Their heart was ravished with the desire to be God’s person. And it was that which was responded to, not throwing themselves in the bramble bush, not beating themselves to death or starving themselves. That wasn’t it. But, you see, being where we are, we have to seek with all of our hearts and we can easily imagine a way in which we can sink down in our comfort and console ourselves with the thought that we believe all of the right things and we will know absolutely nothing about the anchor and nothing about the throne and nothing about the power of God in our lives and we will not know God because we have not sought Him with all of our hearts. [34:11]
The Psalmist tells us that we are to “seek the Lord and His strength.” (Psalm 105:4) We are to seek the Lord continually. And when we look at this anchor that we have before us here in Hebrews 4, we have to keep that in mind. The anchor is one, which goes out to people who have, with all of their heart, sought to know the reality of a life beyond the veil. This hope we have as an anchor, both sure and steadfast, which entereth into that which is within the veil, Jesus, the high priest forever.
Now, turn with me to chapter 12 of Hebrews. I believe we are supposed to quit at fifteen till, is that aright? You tell me, Tom. I’ll quit. One of the things the Lord has been teaching me recently is that there is always enough time to be what needs to be done, so if we quit at fifteen till, that will be okay? All right. [35:16]
Now, let’s look at chapter 12 of Hebrews and we are continuing now this theme of living in touch with Him that is within the veil and we want to look at the picture of our position now in verse 22 of Hebrews 12—and this now will explain why one may have second thoughts about whether or not they really want to live this way. It’s referring to a context in which, Moses went up on a mountain where God had come down and as God rested upon the mountain, it became a terrible thing to behold.
And now the writer of the book of Hebrews is contrasting that with our position as we have come to live by the throne of grace. “ . . . ye are come unto Mount Sion . . .” Now notice, “ye are come;” that is a past and completed action as I’ve indicated in your notes. “Ye are come”—it doesn’t say “one of these days, when you die, you’re going to go.” It doesn’t say that because it doesn’t mean that. [36:41]
Now remember, we are talking about a life in another world. We are talking about people whom Paul describes by saying “your citizenship is in Heaven.” “Your citizenship is in Heaven.” He is talking to people as we are also told here in the book of Hebrews who find themselves to be strangers and pilgrims upon the earth—strangers and pilgrims upon the earth. Why? Well, because their citizenship is in Heaven. They are operating out of a different system of power and understanding and this is what came to them in the new birth. The birth from above is the point where you go and you plug in and after you plug in, you are into a different system. You are into a system, which Paul describes as the “system of the spiritual person.”
Jesus described that to Nicodemus. He said, “You don’t understand about the spirit? And you are a teacher in Israel, and you don’t understand this?” You know, he was giving Nicodemus a “wash down” and He really got it done. But Nicodemus hadn’t the foggiest idea. He mentioned the new birth and he said, “Aww, you mean I have to reenter my mother’s womb?” Well, you see, he hadn’t been plugged in so he didn’t know about this other thing but the New Testament over and over refers to the spiritual life and says that the spiritual person is not understood by the natural man. Why? Because the natural man doesn’t know about—that’s right, exactly right—the new birth, you see imparts to us the new life. [38:35]
New life always means new directions and new powers—new directions and new powers—there is no such thing as life without directions and powers. See? I give you a plant and I say it is living and it just sits there and does nothing, pretty soon you will figure out it’s not alive. It’s not alive. [39:00]
New life always brings new directions, new powers—these powers are tied in with the purposes of God and His personality and His Kingdom. “ . . . ye are come unto mount Sion, under the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.” (Hebrews 12:22) How many angels are there? Quite a lot—innumerable. I don’t know. What does that mean? Maybe more angels than numbers or maybe it’s just referring to the fact you can’t count them because you are not going to be around long enough to count them or something of that sort.
Myriads—actually, myriad is just an English term that transliterates the Greek term that is there—myriads of angels. “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in Heaven and to God . . .” (Hebrews 12:23)—let’s don’t leave him out, all right? [Laughter] Because someone might get the idea, well I mean this is the operation—that God, He is off somewhere. No, God, He is in the midst of it and to God, and look who else is there—“ . . . the spirits of just men made perfect.” There they are—just ladies too—just men and ladies made perfect. [40:27]
On the Mount of Transfiguration with whom did Jesus speak?
Comments: Moses and Elijah?
Dallas: All right. Who were those? Those were just people made perfect. There is a lot of them there. Hmmm? Many people are so confused about what happens to people when they are dead because they don’t read and believe their Bible. Jesus said to the thief on the cross; He wasn’t a very just man at the point—he was getting there fast. What did He say to him? [41:14]
Comment: Today, you will be with me in paradise.
Dallas: Today! Not tomorrow! Not this evening, today. You will be with me in paradise. See, we live in a materialistic age—it’s ironic to me, as someone who spends a lot of time studying ideas—how that in many respects, communism, which is a materialist system intentionally is less materialistic than capitalistic societies many times, because in our society under the impact of what we call science, we have come to have imposed upon us the idea that the only realties are lumps of things or at best, balloons or something of that sort, you know? No, no! [42:02]
I’m going to close now by talking a little bit about this—the great reality in the universe is the Triune God Himself. Listen to these words from John 17—John 17—and there are a lot more notes on this handout and I hope you will have time to study them. Listen to what Jesus is saying. He is praying to His Father and look at verse 5 of John 17—“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Would you just look at that verse a moment?
Glorify Thou Me, how? With thine own self. The glory in the Trinity is a mutual glorification—each is a glory to the other. “ . . . glorify Thou Me with Thine own self . . . ” Now you probably as a human being, if you will think a little bit, can identify with this because the highest moments of human glory are normally the glory which one has from another. The glory which you had as a child if your family was right. You ever see a little child who is basking in the glory of a family? Especially if there is a doting grandmother or grandfather or two hanging around? You see the little child just sort of shines—just shines! [43:53]
There have been studies made you know, how that If a mother doesn’t respond to a little baby very directly and joyfully, the light in that little baby begins to go out and it becomes a miserable, unhappy, apathetic, sick person. Sick baby—it may even die. Hmmm. [44:15]
Well, I don’t have to enlarge on—I don’t have time to enlarge on that this morning but look at what he said, “ . . . glorify (thou) me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” See, God was a glowing concern before with the world. He’s not a cosmic butler that didn’t have anything to do before there was a world to take care of. He had plenty to do and the Triune God in perfect love and understanding and depth of enjoyment of one another.
I’ve tried to put down a few words on the second page here, the third page—the sweet and rich society of the Triune personality, loving beings, intelligent lived in the unfathomable enjoyment of a perfect love and understanding, no questions, no doubt, no hindrance, no sense of failure or lack of confidence between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, see? [45:28]
We have to be taught what love is; herein is love. Can you finish that a verse?
Comment: It’s God’s love.
Dallas: Herein is love, it’s God’s love that teaches us what love is, isn’t it? See? It is the loving relationship. See, we have a glimpse now and then of what love can do but very little knowledge of it and we need to bring ourselves before God and say, “God, teach me what love is.” You see, all the terrible things that people do to one another they could never do that if they understood what God is. You could never do all those things. No one could do them unless God were hidden to them. [46:16]
You remember that the key to the degeneration of man in the first chapter of Romans is they refused to retain knowledge of God in their minds. (Romans 1:28) All you need to make everything go right in human life is to live in the light of the reality of God. Jesus came to show us a little bit of what that was like and to lead us into the fullness that we would know. [46:44]
Now listen to these words from John 17:21—“That they may all be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” All the world is waiting for is for the love of God to dwell in His people.
“Sweet Jesus, bless us with this knowledge. Amen.”