The Fatherhood of God
from I am Resurrection Life
by William Hinn
"Thomas saith unto Him, Lord, we know not wither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me."(John 14:6)
One of the unconditional priorities of God is to reveal Himself as Father, through His Son. The statement, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life," is a tremendous declaration which we have heard and read many times over; and for this we can never be thankful enough. However, in itself, it is actually an incomplete statement. Jesus recognized this as he continued to say, "no man cometh unto the Father but by me." Apart from the person of Jesus Christ we can have no true knowledge of God as our Heavenly Father.
Herein is the dividing line that separates religion from Christianity. When all is said, it may easily be that the great difference between religious philosophy and Christianity is those who see an Almighty God or a Supreme Power; and those who, in reality, have come to know this awesome, Almighty God as, "Father." We cannot think rightly, or honestly of the God we serve until we perceive Him as our Heavenly Father.
It is doubtful that man can be both religious and spiritual at the same time. Jesus continually infuriated the Scribes and Pharisees because of His irreligious life! They despised Him because He healed on their Sabbath.
They hated Him because He exposed the hypocrisy of their religious acts. In fact, if we were to take a close look, it becomes obvious that it was religion that put Christ on the cross. Religion without the indwelling Spirit.
In moving beyond the knowledge of God into the character of His Fatherhood, we need to isolate our minds from the mass of hazy ideas which slander and distort the character and reputation of God.
Much confusion is removed when we understand the Scripture in Hebrews 7:25. "Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He is ever liveth to make intercession for them." This word "intercession" is the Greek word, "entugchano." It means, "to meet with in order to converse, have dealings with, to intervene," literally, TO INTERPOSE HIMSELF TO BE OUR HELPER. Jesus Christ is not pleading with the Father to influence the Father to be favorable to us. HE IS THE VERY EXPRESSION OF GOD'S FAVOR TO MANKIND." "To wit, that God was IN CHRIST reconciling the world UNTO HIMSELF."(2 Cor. 5:19) JESUS CHRIST IS GOD'S EXPRESSION of His phenomenal love and compassion for all mankind!
"Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, WHICH HATH LOVED US, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace; comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work."(2 Thess. 2:16,17)
This Scripture in 2 Thessalonians is a true rendering depicting the love of our heavenly Father. It is intended to draw mightily [sic] to the heart of mankind. If Christians in this generation are to escape religious suffocation, we need to pray that the veil be removed from our eyes; that we might see there is nothing in God our Father, which would make us hesitate to run and bow at His feet. It is our own blindness and distorted images of Him, which do injustice to God and cause us to be "enemies in our mind."(Col. 1:21)
As we center our focus on Jesus Christ, even our distorted image of the wrathful conduct of God changes. We discover with joy, that even His wrath is motivated by His immutable love. It was because of the full weight of the wrath of God that He gave His only begotten Son. As expressed in past writings, His wrath is simply His love, red hot!
"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."(John 1:18)
All previous manifestations of God were surmounted in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ...Emmanuel..."which being interpreted is, God with us."(Matt. 1:23) It is so vitally important we understand and hear the heart of God! There never was a division between the Father and the Son. All that was in the Father's heart was manifested through the Son, for the son could do nothing of Himself.(John 5:10-20) When we see the character of the Father in the Son, he becomes the center of all that we see: resulting in the revelation of His Oneness in Christ. One writer penned his thoughts in this manner, "Jesus is the way to the Father. He revealed the truth of the Father and He gives us the life of the Father."
An interesting statement was submitted to Jesus by Philip in John 14:8. He simply said, "Lord, show us the Father, and that would be sufficient." The response must have echoed in Philip's ears, as in the person of Jesus Christ, the Father answered Philip. "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip?
Today the Father still speaks. The question which is placed before us is this: "Have I been so long time with you, and yet has thou not known me?" Much anguish has befallen us simply because we fail to recognize the presence and voice of the Father. The joyous message of Christianity, the good news of the Gospel, was related to Philip in that one response. How often we must be reminded of where God now is. Our Lord may have well been introducing this new and living way, in that the presence of the Living God, once signified in outward Divine manifestations, is now to be an INWARD POSSESSION, FOR "HE THAT DWELLETH IN YOU, ...SHALL BE IN YOU. To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in YOU, the hope of glory." (Col 1:27)
Now let us consider what Jesus is saying.
He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, HE DOETH THE WORKS. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto My Father.(John 14:11)
The key statement here is "because" I go unto my Father. It is because of the return of Jesus to Spirit that we will do these works and greater. Jesus was in the Father and the Father was in Him. Jesus entreated the disciples to believe that He and the Father are one. Then He tells them, He is going to the Father.
There can be no doubt at this point, that the disciples needed a portion of divine wisdom to understand what Jesus meant. Let us reflect on a number of Scriptures which will help to interpret this apparent enigma.
"In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature."(Col 1:14,15) The concordant Literal Version reads, "the Amen, the Faithful and True witness, God's creative Original."(Rev. 3:14)
Jesus was the invisible image of the visible God [sic]. Hebrews 1:3 speaks of Him being "the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person." "God is Spirit, and those who are worshipping Him must be worshipping in Spirit and in Truth."(John 4:24 Conc. Literal) Here Paul is speaking of "the invisible God." John testifies, "God is Spirit." Spirit is invisible. When He came back, He came back in Spirit. Jesus had to go back to Spirit, in order to return into us by Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, they were baptized into the Spirit of the Son, the Spirit of Christ: for, "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying Abba, Father."(Gal. 4:6)
Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself."(John 16:13)
Clearly, humanity could not possibly have understood the things of the Spirit, unless Jesus Christ in the flesh left. "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you..."(John 16:7) It was imperative that Jesus ascend to that realm of Spirit, that the operation of the work of the Spirit might be set into motion.
While we have gone to much detail to show the expediency of the departure of Jesus, we need to give as much time to the issue of his return.
The personal, visible return of our Lord and Savior is promised and assured by the Word. His coming should not be a point of controversy. His Word declares it! He shall return.
How shall He return? "In like manner." He shall come from the Father, back to a personal, physical manifestation on this earth. Upon His return, He will be the risen, glorified Christ of God! He will not return again as the Jesus of Nazareth. He is now the Lord of Glory!
"Let not your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there ye may be also."(John 14:1-3)
From Strong's Concordance, we will take a look at some of the key words in this passage of Scripture. We find that the word "mansions" means "abiding places." Continuous in a place or state of being. The word, "place" means a space limited by occupancy.
The Scriptures maintain that we are His abiding place. We are His temple. "Ye are the temple of God."(1 Cor. 3:16) "Christ in you, the hope of glory."(Col. 1:28) The Lord's promise was, "Lo, I am with you...but shall be in you."(John 14:17) When the veil of our flesh has completely fallen from our eyes, we will fully behold Him dwelling in the midst of His saints, for, "The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come into His temple."(Mal. 3:1) When the Lord of Glory fills this "place" we can be sure that this space will be entirely limited by His occupancy!
The emphasis today appears to be on the timing and manner of the coming of our Lord. Often we get so wrapped up in when, where and how, that we neglect to...see Him as He is. He is in the midst of His brethren: in His body, being glorified in His saints.(II Thess. 1:10-12) This is the manifestation and appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ that should first take place, before we are caught running to and fro and listening to those who say, "Lo, He is here, and Lo, He is there."
For it is written, as I live saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then, everyone of us shall give account of Himself to God."(Rom. 14:11-12)
In times past when hearing this verse quoted, we often heard a "hard spirit" behind it. Often a picture would be painted in our mind of a "tyrant God" forcing mankind to bow down and acknowledge that, He is God! As we take a closer look at the scripture we recognize the Lord's dealings with every aspect of the doctrines we have held in the past.
The word "account" is rendered in the Greek as "logos," meaning, "the Word." Specifically, the divine expression, "Christ." Everyone of us shall give an account (expression) of the Word in us. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, the only question that will be asked is, "How much of my Son is in you?"
What about His wrath? He gave His Son. What about His judgments? They are righteous...He gave His Son. What about damnation? He gave His Son. Believe it! As we approach Him, who alone is become our Life we are brought to a place where we willingly, freely, joyfully, fall at His feet in homage to declare HE IS LORD OF ALL, TO US and IN US.
In a moment of divine reality, the SEED (CHRIST) was planted within mankind. The Word has been encased in these human vessels; that where He is, we may be also. That we may be ONE. This Seed is..."growing up unto the measure of the stature of Christ."(Eph. 4:13,15) ...that we might be conformed to His image, to possess His divine nature...being the firstfruits of the creations of Himself."(2 Cor. 5:17) A WHOLE NEW CREATION SPECIES!
We can only marvel at it! Mortal man now becomes the dwelling place of the Spirit of God. God reached down and put His Spirit within our own and we are born from above.
God in man!
The Father and the Son through the Spirit make their abode with man. "...When a man loves Me, he will keep My words, and My Father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him."(John 14:23) Paul called this phenomenon, a mystery, Christ in you, the hope of Glory."
The eternal plan of redemption was purposed in God from before the foundation of the world.(Matt. 25:34) He foreknew Satan and man's disobedience. He predestined according to the, "purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."(Eph. 1:11)
The entire plan and purpose of God stems from His innermost nature as Father and His passionate desire to have a Son. God did not fail one single time in bringing forth His Son supernaturally in the person of Jesus Christ; neither is He going to fail in bringing us forth as Sons! As the everlasting Father, He has the sole responsibility over all of His creation!
Let us remember always, let us repeat it to ourselves often, let us remind one another: if we would learn to know God as our father, we must first come into an intimated relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. It is only through the blood and the righteousness of Jesus wherein we are granted forgiveness; the honor to be placed as Sons; and the privilege to abide in Him and He in us!
God has set eternity in our hearts. Let us not get bogged down with the cares of this life, and in doing so lose sight of His/Our eternal purpose: for, "at that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in Me, and I in you."(John 14:20)
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (the Father) for Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and the strength of thy salvation."(Isa 33:6)
It takes a Son to reveal the Father! From ages past He has been known as God the Creator, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient; Sovereign Lord. Now because of Jesus, the Son...we are given the privilege to also call Him, FATHER!