LISTEN TO EPISODE EIGHT
KEY SEVEN | WHO IS CHRIST UPON US TODAY?
Jesus’ supremacy is also displayed in how he often comes “upon” his people to enrich, deepen, intensify, accelerate, and extend all he’s already doing in our lives. Sometimes this is called renewal, revival, or awakening. Ultimately, one day he will come “upon” the whole universe in what we call his Second Coming. The first experiences give us “approximations” of the other. In other words, with Jesus there is always “more,” both for us and for him.
Dr. Steve Greene: Hello again and welcome back to Christ Is Now, our mini-course is written by David Bryant based on his book, Christ Is Now—meet him again for the first time. David’s written seven groundbreaking keys to help you explore and experience the spectacular supremacy of God’s Son today. If you don’t have this book yet, if you haven’t purchased it, it’s available at www.amazon.com. I also want to refer you to his website www.christnow.com. There are so many goodies there—good background material. By now, you’ve been through seven lessons and you’ve heard David speak in depth about these seven keys, but there is much more material and believe me, we haven’t covered ten percent of the book, but we’ve covered a good, important part of it. This mini-course has been available to you to open doors to you to desire and to follow your heart to grow in Christ. We hope that that’s the end product of this course and that you understand that Christ is now and how it’s going to affect you in the rest of your life. I can’t wait to hear this last lesson from David. It’s our eighth lesson and the seventh key. That seventh key is Who Christ Is Upon Us Today. I’m mindful of what I know we’re going to start with because there are many times in church, I pastored for so many years, there were so many people that were in there that couldn’t wait for the last prayer of the sermon. They knew if they could just sit still until the last prayer, they’d be OK. David, in this chapter, you refer to the last prayer of the Bible. Would you share that with us?
David Bryant: We ought not to sit still until the last prayer of the Bible does get answered because it’s sort of, in a sense and I taught this for years, it sort of summarizes the answer to every other prayer and I’ll show you why in just a moment. Most Christians in audiences that I’m with, I’ll say, “What’s the last prayer of the Bible?” and people just look dumbfounded—they aren’t sure. It’s the next to the last verse of the Bible and it essentially says, “Come, Lord Jesus.” You think about every prayer you’ve ever prayed or every prayer you read in the Bible, what is the ultimate answer to every prayer? What’s the ultimate answer to what we call The Lord’s Prayer that has six major requests to it? Well, the ultimate answer to every prayer that’s ever been prayed is the Lord Jesus himself—in him, through him, because of him. On the basis of all these seven prepositions that we’re looking at are all these seven dimensions of who he is in his majesty, in his supremacy. He is absolutely the answer to every prayer we pray. It ends by saying, “Come, Lord Jesus.” and I sometimes add the word “upon us.” Come upon us, Lord Jesus. Come and be for us all that you are and when he does that, he takes what he finds and takes it deeper and further. He intensifies it, he accelerates it, and he leads it on to the fulfillment of everything God intended with every grace he’s given us. It says in one other passage that sort of parallels the last prayer of the Bible. It’s the prayer of Isaiah 64, where the prophet says, “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down and cause the mountains to quake before you.” Well, that’s sort of the prayer at the end of Revelation. Lord Jesus, come and shake everything and remove everything that can be removed so that those things that are permanent will remain. It’s interesting, in 1 Corinthians 2 as Paul is discussing the ministry of the Holy Spirit, he introduces the deeper work of the Spirit by quoting from Isaiah 64. He sort of says the answer to the prayer of Isaiah 64, rend the heavens and come down, is what the spirit of God is doing in our lives right now as he says there in that chapter. He takes the deep things of God and reveals them to us and then he ends by saying, “You have the mind of Christ.” In other words, Christ is being poured into you, he’s coming upon you and that’s a whole other dimension of who he wants to be in our lives.
Dr. Steve Greene: You know, David, I spent a lot of time in Oklahoma in Tulsa, with Oral Roberts University and I got to see a lot of tornadoes coming our way, a lot of storm clouds forming. You write about the impending thunderclouds. Speak to that.
David Bryant: Jesus actually used that image himself. We read in Mark chapter 1 that when Jesus came preaching, it said, he proclaimed the time is fulfilled, the kingdom is at hand, repent and believe this good news. Now the time is fulfilled based on that, everything God promised is about now to be brought to pass. Repent, we understand, means turn from anything that’s getting in the way so you can be fully a part of what God’s up to. Believe this good news and of course, in the end, the good news is who Jesus is, the very one who’s proclaiming this. So that’s three of the four points. But what does he mean: the kingdom is at hand? Actually, the Greek phrase there literally means it’s “bearing down on top of you.” And so in the book I talk about how you can be outside in the middle of summer, it’s in the afternoon and you can feel the electricity in the air, and you see the clouds forming in the sky and you just know it’s not going to be long and there’s going to be a thunderstorm. It’s going to let loose. It’s impending, it’s there, it’s not quite fully released yet, but it’s hovering and it could happen at any moment. When we think about Christ coming upon us, it gives me tingles to think about all the things he wants to do for us and in us and through us, all the things we’ve been talking about in this mini-course. There’s so much more of it and it’s hanging over us, it’s bearing down on top of us, it’s about to let loose on us, in some whole new ways and we ought to live every day in anticipation and actually with the prayer of Revelation 22. Every day our greatest prayer is, would you please come, Lord Jesus, and actually do the work of the kingdom that you’ve promised you would do?
Dr. Steve Greene: So we know that the students that have been with us this far in the course, they haven’t walked out of the class yet, they keep coming back. We know something about them. We know that they embrace a lifestyle of anticipation, that they look forward to a day coming and you speak to that in your concept of consummation. Would you speak to it now?
David Bryant: I talk about how the coming of Jesus upon us that there are two major dimensions of that in the Scriptures. One is the consummation, that’s what you’re asking about and I will get back to that in a minute, but the second is what I call approximations of the consummation which has a lot more to do with what’s going on in my life day to day. Now, the consummation is a big word that theologians have used for generations. That means that the end when all things, maybe a good word would be culmination—when all things are brought to a culmination, when all things are consummated, everything God has promised, Ephesians 1, everything summed up under Jesus as Lord. I sometimes like to play with the word, Steve, and say it means the come-summation, that is, there’s coming a day when Jesus returns in glory and victory when all the other ways he’s come upon his people, upon the world over the whole history of the world and the whole history of redemption, all of that will then be summed up. There will be one great coming that will be like all the other comings all put together at one time and that’s even impossible for me to begin to conceive of. Another way to think of it, another way I play with the word consummation is to call it the consume-ation. The Christian life, you could say as I understand it, is made up of two kinds of consuming. We are to consume Christ. We’re to feed on him and be nourished by him. But, we’re to be consumed with Christ. Our whole life is caught up in him as we said before, living in his supremacy means living at the center of who he is, where he’s headed, what he’s doing and how he gets blessed. The consummation will be the ultimate and eternal and everlasting experience of consuming Christ and being consumed with Christ. That’s why it’s called a new heaven and a new earth because there’s never been anything like that before.
Dr. Steve Greene: Unfortunately when you speak of consummation, you’ve also got to speak of judgment, would you do that for us, and redemption—both concepts.
David Bryant: I’m glad you said it that way, Steve, because the two need to be always kept together. A lot of times I’ve heard preaching on the judgment and it’s all isolated by itself. There is a reason to preach on the judgment. Revelation 19, talk about seeing Jesus in his supremacy, there he is appearing with all the armies of heaven and a sharp sword coming out of his mouth and he’s wearing every crown that’s ever been given to any king anywhere. It’s hard to imagine this image, but John says they’re all on Jesus’ head, right now and the thing is, this battle, this judgment, this is not even a battle that is a conflict between troops. Instantly all the armies that are gathered against the Lord, they’re all eliminated without a single sword raised. They’re just done, they’re gone, and the powers of darkness are thrown into the Lake of Fire. We have passages like Matthew 25 where he says: I will come and sit on my judgment throne and all the nations are gathered before me and there are sheep and there are goats. But you know, there are also other passages that deal with the judgment like 2 Corinthians 5 where Paul said: Listen, all of us believers are going to also stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, not to be condemned, our condemnation is gone forever, we are forever accepted in Jesus, but the fact of the matter is, God wants to test what we’ve done in our physical life in this world for Jesus. Paul says you know the fear of the Lord, the understanding that that day is coming is part of what motivates me to get out there and really live for Jesus. We’ve got to keep both kinds of judgments in mind because all of that is ahead of us in the consummation, but with that is redemption. In fact when it says that the new heaven and the new earth, Peter says in 2 Peter chapter 3, when he talks about the new heaven and the new earth, he says, he adds this phrase, “in which righteousness finds a home”, which means that everything has been so thoroughly redeemed and washed and cleansed and purified, that righteousness feels right at home and everything that’s going on for the rest of eternity. We read that when the saints fall down and worship the Lamb on the throne in Revelation 5, coming from every tongue and tribe and nation, in the final day of the consummation, they’re going to say: Worthy is the Lamb who has bought us with his blood. In other words, we’re here giving praise to the Son of God because of the great work of redemption.
If there’s any one passage our students might like to take a few minutes to look at when this session is over where it brings both of these aspects of the consummation together in one place, I would say go to 2 Thessalonians, chapter 1. Read the whole chapter but beginning about the middle of the chapter to the end where it talks about Jesus coming with all the fire of God and “everybody that doesn’t belong to him is going to be cast out of his presence”, but then it also says in the very next breath in that same section, “but he also comes to be admired by all of the saints and those who love him and put their trust in him.” Both things happening at the very same moment! That’s what lies ahead of us when we think of the consummation and praise the Lord for all of us who belong to the Lord Jesus that we will never have to fear being cast from God’s presence forever. Oh, how our hearts should break for those who have not yet known the redemption that is in Jesus because that’s the fate that lies ahead of them unless that gets turned around.
Dr. Steve Greene: So powerful and we’re running so short of time in this course, but we cannot finish this chapter without speaking about the lifestyle of anticipation. Would you speak to that, sir?
David Bryant: We talk about the consummation and approximation of the consummation which means that God wants to do some of today of what he will ultimately do in totality tomorrow. For example, miracles. I really believe in miracles and I’ve seen miracles and those are just little foretastes of the great miracle when the entire creation is fully and totally redeemed. The fact of the matter is, and this sort of covers our whole course, what Jesus will be Lord of all ultimately, he is Lord of all right now. All the glory he will have ultimately, he’s got that glory right now. All the promises he will fulfill ultimately, he will fulfill these promises right now and he’s even at work right now to fulfill some of them. We will not have in this age the full quantity of the consummation, but the quality of the life of the consummation can become partly ours today. As God gives us, I like to often call it previews of the coming attractions, a lifestyle of anticipation is just waking up every day knowing that today there is so much more. Today I’m going to taste some more of the consummation, today might even be the day that leads us straight on into the consummation. What a way to live! No wonder Paul says in Romans 15:13, maybe this verse could cover our entire eight sessions of this mini-seminar. Paul says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Christ so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I often ask believers, “What’s the evidence that you’re living in the power of the Holy Spirit?” According to Romans 15:13, it is that your life is abounding, overflowing with hope. And you say, “How could that be evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit?” The answer is because the role of the Holy Spirit is to take the glories of the supremacy of God’s Son right now and make it so real to you that your whole life just bubbles over with hope and anticipation of all that is yet to come. When that happens, you know you’re living truly in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Steve Greene: Amen. Who could add to that? Your Bible teacher, this great, anointed Bible teacher has told you there’s always more. There’s more to see, more to seek, savor, speak, show, serve, share. Wow! May I also suggest that when you’ve closed this book, and you’ve read over 600 pages, that there’s always more. There’s so much more than even what we’ve heard and so I want to encourage you to get more, to get more than this mini-course, to go back and find this book if you haven’t read it yet, to go to the website: www.christnow.com. You had an amazing opportunity to sit before a great teacher to study a great book, Christ Is Now—meet him again for the first time. David Bryant has introduced you to this course Seven Groundbreaking Keys to Help You Explore and Experience the Spectacular Supremacy of God’s Son Today. And it can’t end without saying there’s more, always more. David, we thank you for your time, for you investment in this book and for teaching us this great class. Thanks to all of you for listening. You’ve been a part of an amazing class, something that’s moved me in my spirit and I’m certain that everyone who takes this mini-course with an eye toward Christ and a heart open wide with hands lifted up would say surely there’s more for me. Help everyone who listened to this course, who participated in this course, Lord Jesus, help them to come up higher because they seek it. Move them in their spirit, move them in their heart. We thank you for this book, Christ Is Now, and I thank you for every student. God bless them all. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.