“What have you been studying?” the Seer asked me when I came into the meeting room.
“I’ve been reading in John 14 and 15.”
“Are you understanding what you’re reading?” he asked.
“Some parts I do. But there is so much to it.”
“Yes. Chapters fourteen through seventeen are the Master’s last instruction to His disciples, and they, of course, are extremely important. You noticed that He withheld this teaching until Satan in Judas Iscariot left them after the Last Supper in chapter thirteen.”
“Yes, that is right.”
“What Christ had to say was to those faithful ones; He would not cast His pearls before swine. Although there are things in His words for all of His followers, this last discourse is not for babes in Christ. It is actually a putting together of all the puzzle pieces that, once completed, shows us a picture of how the sons of God will be manifested.”
“I’ve heard you speak many times of the manifested sons of God coming on the scene,” I said.
“Christians must begin to realize that God’s plan and purpose entails a much grander vision of what will take place on this earth than what is being taught in most every church in the world.”
“What is the grander vision?”
“The whole creation doesn’t realize it, but it is “groaning and travailing,” waiting for the “manifestation of the sons of God.” [Rom. 8: 22]. This is when upon Christ’s return He changes us. It is when we receive our new bodies. These old decaying earthly shells will be swallowed up by our new spiritual bodies, bodies that will live on eternally. This is what mankind has dreamed about, what every culture’s philosophers have written about. This is the fountain of youth that will quench every person’s inate thirst to live forever. This is it! Christ is expounding the key points on the way to this grand event.”
“You are talking about immortality.”
“Yes. It is the deep longing of mankind. And there is a way, and that way has been mapped out in Christ. He not only has the answers, but He is the answer, for He in His glorified form now contains the Eternal Spirit that we call God–the Creator.”
“So what prevents everyone from seeing this vision of how to obtain eternal life or immortality?” I asked.
“This vision of immortality for mankind is like a jigsaw puzzle. Many pieces to this true picture of God’s plan lay scattered about the table of man’s knowledge. But there are many other pieces to other puzzles scattered in among God’s pieces. Other visions of what is the truth, false visions, false puzzle pieces, litter the landscape. They sometimes have the same color and appear to be like the true pieces to God’s puzzle, and they deceive the people. “For many false prophets and teachers” have run to and fro on the earth deceiving themselves and others with their half baked false conceptions of Christ’s plan and purpose.”
“I know. They sound so convincing.”
“Yes, because they take a snippet of scripture and build whole doctrines out of passages taken out of context. But the fact is that the truth is out here to be found, but we must seek diligently for it. He said, Seek and ye shall find. Find what? Find the truth. We must winnow the wheat from the chaff of false teachings.”
“How does this fit in with the manifested sons?” I asked.
“The concept of the manifested sons of God can’t be clearly seen until one’s eyes are open to the Parable of the Sower. This parable shows us God’s great secret in how His Spirit grows in us His children. Especially how His Spirit will yield in us a certain amount of spiritual fruit.”
“What do you mean? We are all Christians, children of God–those of us who have been born again,” I said.
“Of course. But there are spiritual differences in the body of Christ. It’s just like in a literal field of corn there will be some of the seeds yield more ears and grains on those ears than another for whatever reason–more water or fertilizer or just richer soil. Or maybe the weeds choke some plants and not others. The fact remains that like corn in the natural world, we, too, in the spiritual world bear the fruit of the Spirit at different levels. As He said in the parable, some will bring forth ‘some thirty fold, some sixty fold, and some one hundred fold.”
“What does that mean in a practical everyday sense?” I asked.
“It means that there will be some Christians who will be more Christ-like than others after their growth here on earth is completed. There were many Christians in the New Testament days, but after the resurrection, there were not many like Peter, James, John, and Paul. These one hundred fold followers of Christ did great works, just like Christ! And so can we, if we are to be one of those one hundred folders.”
“I can hear them saying now, ‘Nobody can be like Christ!”
The Seer smiled knowingly. “Yes, they will say that–their doubt-filled minds gushing forth their negative thoughts. But to them I will say, If you won’t let me be like Christ, is it all right if I be like Peter and Paul? They raised the dead and healed the sick–just like Christ! That’s close enough.”
“Hold it. I can see that what prevents some from being hundred folders is doubt and unbelief.”
“Precisely. And why do you think that they have such doubt and unbelief?”
I thought a moment. “Because it disagrees with what they have been taught?”
“Exactly. Those who will not and cannot grow up into the fullness of Christ as a hundred fold fruit bearing Christian are those who have been fed lies and misconceptions, which have stunted their growth. So much so that they cannot come to a place where agape love helps them to ‘believe all things.’ In other words, it takes truth nurturing them to a point to where they can believe the vision God has for us–to be just like His Son.”
“What can be done to help them believe more?”
“All we can do is walk on in this truth, sow the seed, the word of God, and let God be God. He is the great Architect. He is building His spiritual house, which is us. Those whose destiny is to become a manifested son of God, He will bring into His fold. He is faithful and true and quite capable of bringing His sons unto glory.”
“Some people will say that God is not fair–to have some followers remain children and some be like Peter and Paul.”
“What can I say to the gainsayers? They did not create the world according to a specific plan and purpose. ‘Let God be true and every man a liar’ who does not agree with Him. No. God is right. It is a grave responsibility to be a manifestd son during these end times. A lot will be required of them, and not everyone has the physical and spiritual strength to make ‘this calling and election sure.’”
“I want to be one of them. That is why I moved out here.”
“It is a worthwhile goal in this life–to aspire to the ‘high calling of God in Christ.’ But it is a paradox, for although we must study and pray to make ‘our calling and election sure,’ God chooses whomsoever He will for this honor. No man takes this honor unto himself. It is only by His grace that we can run this race.”
“I see what you mean,” I said.
“So, knowing about the manifested sons is the first of the puzzle pieces that we need in order to become one of them. We have to have knowledge about something first before we can ever hope to obtain it. Christ in John 14-17 elucidates several more puzzle pieces that we need. He lines them out as a kind of stepping stone path to glorification.”
“What’s the next piece to the puzzle?” I asked eagerly.
“I’ll share more with you a bit later,” the Seer said turning to greet the others coming in the door.
The next morning I came early to the morning men’s meeting. We would all meet every morning at the small hall we had built with the salvaged lumber we had taken from old buildings and houses. The Seer was sitting next to the old box wood heater. I could not wait. I sat down and asked, “What is the next piece to the puzzle?”
“Once a person learns and then believes that there is growth in God that matures into the same level of spirituality as Peter, James, John, and Paul–and yes,like the Savior Himself–then they are ready to actually begin to walk on unto perfection, or complete spiritual maturity. As Paul exhorts us all, ‘Let us go on unto perfection’” (Heb. 6: 1).
“But what does spiritual maturity mean?”
“A few are destined to reach this maturity, this perfection in Christ. Actually it has to do with Christ being “formed in you” (Gal. 4: 19). His Spirit comes down into us by faith in His resurrection in us. We receive a new heart from Him. Then by receiving pure seed and watering it with His word, we grow from children into the fully matured sons and daughters of God.”
“Yes. Have you not read where Christ commands his followers, Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect? Anyway, if someone has enough faith to get this far, then they may begin to receive the next big teaching found in John 14-17.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“It is to believe in the oneness of God.”
“Everybody believes that there is one God.”
“They may say they do, but when pressed to the wall they believe there are two or three of them sitting up there in heaven on different thrones. Even staunch trinitarians, although they say “three in one,” when pinned down, they ‘see’ a Father figure and a ‘Son’ figure up there in heaven sitting on their respective thrones.”
“In order to be one of His elect manifested sons of God, to be just like Christ in these latter days, one must get the correct concept of the Godhead. It is here in John 14, that Christ sets the record straight. He flat out commands all manifested sons-to-be, saying this: “<em>Believe Me. </em>Believe Me that the Father is in Me (John 14: 10).”
“Is that it? Just believe Him?” I asked.
“Yes, it is really very simple, and yet, man’s inate unbelief hardens his heart where His word, like a tiny seed, cannot get down into it and grow. We all start out in early childhood with soft and tender hearts, eager to believe what we are told. We are vulnerable and trusting and are able to believe the truths about God readily. This is why Christ told us to ‘become as little children’ or we will not be able to “enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 18: 3). Unfortunately, this world system is cruel and the little children become disappointed and disillusioned with life and soon their hearts grow cynical, for they become convinced that no one is sincere.”
“But God gives us another chance, doesn’t He?”
“Yes, He does. Through His mercy, we can become His spiritual children, and we can soften our hearts and receive his truth and grow in Him. And so we are told by Christ, ‘Believe Me that the Father is in Me.'”
“We just need to trust Him, don’t we?” I asked.
“We need to trust His word when He says that the Father is in Him. How can that be? It is because the Father is an invisible Spirit (I Tim. 1: 17). And Christ is the ‘image of the invisible God.’ In other words, the invisible Spirit, who is the Father, dwelt in the Son, who is visible, who always said that the works that He did were really done by the Father inside of Him (John 14: 10). Christ said that the miracles He performed were proof that the Father dwelt inside of Him.”
“But I haven’t seen any of those kind of miracles,” I said.
“When was the last time you looked into the mirror? You are one of the miracles the Father has performed through His Son. You came here hopelessly addicted to drugs, and now the mouth that cursed every other breath speaks sweet words. He has made a most miraculous change in your life. You are your own greatest witness that the Father raised up Christ from the dead, and in so doing through faith, you, too, are raised up to walk in a newness of life'” (Romans 6: 4).
“I cannot deny it. I have a new life! That is a miracle!”
“Yes. Your new life in Him is proof that the Father lives in Christ and did perform the miracle on you. Indeed. The oneness of God is extremely important. Without our belief in this concept, we cannot grow into full maturity, which is His desire for us. Christ commands us, ‘Believe Me that the Father is in Me.’ When we do this then we realize that the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Christ (Col. 2: 9).,
“Why is believing that the invisible Father was inside the Son of God so important?” I asked.
“This is a very good question that leads us to the very next statement Christ made in John 14. In verse 11, He said, ‘Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.’ In other words, These miracles that I am performing prove that the Father God is in Me, for only He can raise the dead and heal the sick. Then after we believe Him that the Father is in Him, He says in v. 12: ‘He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also.'”
“You mean the miracles He did we can do, too?”
“Yes. Those who really believe that the Father is in Christ–the ones who really get it–they are the ones who can go on unto perfection, or full spiritual maturity, which entails raising the dead and healing the sick–the very things He did. Christ goes on to say that they will do ‘greater works’ than what He did. These will be the 100 fold fruit bearing manifested sons of God.”
“Wait a minute,” I said. “How can they do anything greater than raising the dead?”
“Because they will number in the thousands, doing miracles all over the earth in His name” [Revelation 14].
“How can this be?” I asked.
“You see, Christ was the Seed-Son, who fell into the ground and died, and during the time of the end, He will reap the harvest from that one Seed. A harvest of many thousands of manifested sons of God will grow up to be just like Him” [John 12: 24].
“Wow. That is some calling. I doesn’t seem possible.”
“With men it is impossible, but with God’s direction and grace, it is possible” [Mark 10: 27]. That is what He said. We again just need to believe it. That is what the walk of faith is all about. Believing having not yet seen. We believe His word first, then the works, the miracles, will come. Starting first with the miracle of our own new life in Him.”
That evening after work, I went to the Seer’s cabin. He invited me in and made some hot tea for us. We sat down around the fire, and with little small talk, I asked, “Could you go over some of the things we were talking about yesterday concerning the manifested sons?”
“Sure,” the Seer said, the question obviously energizing him. “The Savior lines out the path to sonship in His last major teaching in John 14-17. First, a future manifested son must know and believe that there is such a thing in God’s plan as sonship. And to fully comprehend this, one has to know and believe the secret of the growth of the Spirit in us as lined out in the Parable of the Sower, the parable that actually opens up our understanding of all the parables. They will then realize that there must be a harvest of the firstfruits before the big harvest can take place. Many preachers will speak of a ‘harvest of souls,’ but they rarely mention the manifested sons of God being the first into perfection in our day. The ‘last shall be first,’ Christ said. The last of G0d’s sons will be the first harvested in this end time generation.” The Seer stopped a moment, and then looked at me and asked, “Are you seeing all this?”
“Yes, I am getting it.”
“You see, the parables, after all, are the ‘dark sayings’ that God has hidden His secrets in for millenia and that they are spoken deliberately to prevent some from knowing His secrets. This Parable of the Sower shows us that there are different levels of spiritual growth–the ultimate, of course, being the manifested sons of God.
“Second, because the Son of God is the Seed, we cannot have His likeness harvested in us without believing in Him and His words to us. He reassures us that He is preparing a place for us and that He through His Spirit will come to us and help us to get through the long, lonely days of our spiritual sojourn here on earth [John 14: 1-3]. He tells us that He, Christ, is the way, the truth, and the life. And He is the only way to come to the Father’ [v. 6].
I asked, “Why do so many people say that there are many ways to get to God? You’ll hear them say that Allah and Vishnu and others are all just different names of the same Supreme Being and that there are many ways to get there.”
“No. Don’t believe them. They do not know God at all. Christ is the way to the Father for one very simple reason. The Father is in Him. The Father was in Him then some 2,000 years ago, and the Father is still in Him, for He lives forever and is alive now making intercession for us to God, who dwells within Christ.”
“The Father is in Him,” I repeated, for my mind was straining to grasp these concepts.
The Seer looked at me and smiled. “Pretty intense, huh?
“Yes,” I said.
“And that brings us to the third major point of Christ’s teaching in John 14-17. He told them that they had already known and seen the Father. And they questioned that and said, Show us the Father. And Christ said to them, He that has seen Me has seen the Father. It is the Father in Me that does all these miracles. And then He commands them: Believe Me that the Father is in Me” [v. 9-11].
“This is where the oneness doctrine takes shape,” I said.
“Yes. He gives us a new commandment here to believe that the invisible Father Spirit is inside Him. And then, in His very next breath, He gives us the fourth major point that builds upon the previous three that I have just outlined. ‘He that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works that these shall he do.’ In other words, those that believe that the Father was in the Son doing the miracles will someday do those same miracles and even greater miracles than Christ did!” [v. 12].
“That’s exciting, but how do we get from here to there?”
The Seer rephrased my question. “How do we begin to get the power to work miracles and thus do the ‘greater works’? Excellent question. And I will give you a profoundly simple answer. We have to ask Him for the power.”
“Just like that? Just ask Him for it?”
“Of course there is a bit more to it than that. In the very next breath after He promises that we will do the greater works, He says, ‘Whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son'” [v. 12-13].
“I’ve heard that verse quoted in Sunday School and sermons many times.”
“Yes, people run with it, taking it out of context. But let’s look at it closely. In verse twelve He promises that we will do greater miracles than what He had done. And in the very next verse, He says that He will do whatever we ask in His name. ‘Do’ is the very same word. The point is that He will do the greater works in and through us. It won’t be us doing the miracles; He will be doing them. His Spirit in us will be doing them. Our part is to surrender our hearts, souls and minds to God so that He may come down into us and perform the miracles by His Spirit in us. Us asking in His name, first, humbles us, for we acknowledge thereby that we of our own power cannot do the miracles. We will realize when we are in this growth that we are a part of the body of Christ, part of the Son, which fulfills the last part of John 14: 13: ‘That the Father may be glorified in the Son.’ But the point is, we have to ask Him to do the greater works through us. And this won’t happen if we just ask Him any old way. Father, can I do a miracle today? No. We must ask in His name.”
“People do that all the time. ‘And we ask all this in Jesus’ name, Amen.’ Millions of prayers go up like this every day. People are doing this already,” I said.
“Wait a minute. Not so fast. People are saying these words as a formula without the deeper knowledge.”
“What deeper knowledge are you talking about?” I asked.
“Consider these two points. What is being asked for and what name is being asked in. And this brings us to the fifth piece to the puzzle–asking in the Savior’s name for the greater works to be done through us,” said the Seer.
Asking in the Savior’s Name–His Hebrew Name: The Fifth Piece to the Puzzle of Being a Manifested Son of God
I have this impetuous habit of blurting out what pops into my brain, and so I asked,”The Savior’s name. Why is it so important? I know that sounds terrible, but ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.'” How did Shakespeare ooze out of me at this moment? I could not escape my past; I was an English literature major through and through.
But instead of biting off my head, the Seer discerned that I was maintaining some semblance of sincerity, and so he replied, “In man’s way of thinking, names hold little revelance to one’s destiny. This is because the word ‘rose’ does not hold any profound meaning in and of itself. But this is not the case with the Savior’s name. His very name means something very important.”
“What does it mean?”
“Christ’s Hebrew name Yahshua means ‘Yah is the Savior,’ or ‘Yah is Salvation.’ It’s meaning actually explains to us just who He is and what His nature is. His name declares His purpose and speaks volumes as to the nature of the Godhead.”
“I still don’t get it.”
“It is a fact that the Hebrew names of biblical characters have meaning. ‘Daniel’ means ‘judge of God.’ ‘Sarah’ means ‘princess,’ and so on. So now it is time for the future manifested sons of God to know the Hebrew name of the Savior, and that name is Yahshua. Very much like the English name ‘Joshua.’ In fact, the Savior’s name and the patriarch’s name who carried on for Moses is the same name in Hebrew–Yahshua. It is not just a tag. His name is something to be believed. It states the truth that we are commanded to believe what it means.”
“What does it mean?”
“The first part of His name is ‘Yah.’ It is the shortened form of the very name of the Creator Himself–Yahweh. It means ‘the self-existent One.’ ‘Shua’ is Hebrew for ‘Savior’ or ‘Salvation.’ Together, both parts of the Savior’s name means ‘The Self-Existent One is the Savior.” The apostle Paul says that ‘the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Christ.’ And ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.'”
“Can you simplify that for me?” I asked.
“In other words, the message in His name to be believed is that the very Creator Himself resided in the man Christ and was the One doing the saving. Through Isaiah Yahweh says, ‘Beside Me there is no savior.’ Yahweh saves through His Son. That is what the Son’s name means. That is the message we are to believe. And when we do this, then great things begin to happen.
The Great Things that God Makes Happen When We Believe the Message in His Name
“What are these great things?” I asked the Seer.
“If we believe on the name, then God will answer our prayers, and even more shall He do for us. The biggest thing is that God Himself through His Spirit will come and take up residence in us. After all, we are the temple of God, are we not?
“That is what the Bible says,” I said.
“This is what He means when He promises that if we ask anything in His name that He will do it. And the first thing is that He will come down into us and abide and stay in us. He calls the Spirit our Comforter Advocate. The Spirit of truth will come down and reside in us to help us through the ‘dark night of the soul’–to help us on down the treacherous path of earthly existence. This is a cruel and deceiving world system that we have been brought up in. This earthly walk is hard on the future sons and daughters of God. So God in His infinite wisdom knew that we needed a Helper.”
“What all does the Comforter do” I asked.
“The most important thing that the Holy Spirit does for us is encourages us that we are not alone in this universe. The Spirit also leads and guides us into all truth. Be aware that the Comforter is the exact same Spirit that was in Christ.” The Seer turned back over to John 14: 16. “Christ will interceed to the Father for us that God would send us another Comforter.”
“What does He mean ‘another?’
“The Spirit, the Comforter, dwelt bodily in the Son of God. He was their helper and comforter as long as He was with them in the flesh. That’s the reason He said that He had to go away so that He could send the Spirit down to us to abide in us. He promises to send the Spirit to live inside us if we keep His commandment about believing that the Father, Yahweh Himself, was inside Him” [v. 16].
“It keeps coming back to believing God,” I said.
“Yes, without faith and belief in what God says, there is no way to please the Creator. The concept of believing God is easy; it is our hearts that are hard. Anyway, some will achieve His abiding presence through faith or belief in His word about these things and about keeping Christ’s commands about believing that the Father dwells in Him. He said, ‘If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him’ [v. 23]. He does this by the Holy Spirit of Love coming down and staying within us in our hearts. This Spirit of God will be sent to us in Christ’s name” [v. 26].
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“We must go back to the meaning of Christ’s Hebrew name, Yahshua. Knowing the meaning of it and believing it–that is the key to understanding how the Spirit is sent to us in Christ’s name, which is ‘Yahweh is the Savior.'”
“It goes back to believing that the Father lived inside the Son.”
“That’s it,” the Seer said. “You are getting it. He will send His Spirit–and this is a promise from God Himself and He cannot lie–He will send His Spirit down to take up residence when we know and believe what His name means. That is when the Father sends the Holy Spirit in Christ’s name. And Christ promises that the Spirit will ‘teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. This is the abiding of the Spirit of God within us. Those that continue on in this full abiding presence will grow to full maturity into the manifested sons of God.'”