—MODecember 27, 1970GP No.29
1. [WHOEVER HEARD OF ALEXANDER SELKIRK (1676-1721)?—A poor Scottish sailor marooned on a remote island—but there he had time to sit down & write of his experiences, which inspired a book which circled the World & which many of you have read—& in which he lives on: in Daniel Defoe's (1660–1731) Robinson Crusoe (1719). He was nothing but an insignificant sailor of the System—nobody ever heard of him—until he dropped out & wrote, & that revolutionary book has influenced the World ever since.]
2. NOBODY EVER HEARD OF KARL MARX, UNTIL HE WROTE A BOOK in the privacy of his apartment in England—a book which has influenced the world—has changed the world: Das Capital.
3. WHOEVER HEARD OF VLADIMIR ILICH ULYANOV, UNTIL HE SPENT YEARS ALONE IN EXILE WRITING his works on revolution, which overthrew Tzarist Russia and turned the world wrong–side out—under the pen name "Lenin."
4. THE FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES, AND THE LAWS HE RECEIVED ALONE on top of Mount Sinai revolutionized the world!
5. EVEN THE HISTORIANS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT HAVE PRESERVED A RECORD which has left us breathless—and the words of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the prophets of old, were preserved for us by their scribes for the inspiration of future generations!
6. SOMEBODY EVEN HAD TO RECORD WHAT JESUS DID AND SAID, or you wouldn't have the Gospels.
7. IF JOHN THE BELOVED HADN'T SPENT HIS LAST DAYS ALONE on the lonely Isle of Patmos‚ countless millions would never have received the thrilling Revelation of the Future, which God showed him there—in isolation!
8. EVEN JESUS SAID, "IT IS EXPEDIENT FOR YOU THAT I GO AWAY: for if I go not away‚ the Comforter will not come unto you; but if depart, I will send Him unto you;" He literally meant He could communicate with them all better, after He had gone away.
9. I WISH I COULD TAKE THEM AND HOLD THEM IN MY ARMS AND HUG THEM and kiss them and comfort them and teach them and talk to them and put on a show for them. They'd love to have me there‚ so they could watch me do some miracle—so they could see with their eyes‚ and feel with their hands! "Touch me—feel me—See me—Heal me!" "Touch me, feel me, see it is I!"
10. BUT MORE BLESSED ARE THEY, WHICH HAVING NOT SEEN, YET HAVE BELIEVED!
11. WHAT IS IT THEY WANT? Why do they want my physical presence? It is a fleshy selfishness. Do they want me—or do they want my truth? I never saw so clearly before, when Jesus kept talking about "Me and My Words." Some of them loved Him, but they weren't too crazy about His Words! They wanted the thrill of His physical presence, the excitement of the sight of His power. They wanted the proof of the wonder of His miracles. They wanted to see—to hear—to feel—but He said He had to go away in order that He could really get through to them with what they really needed the most. Peter even said, "And we saw Him, we heard Him, and we heard the Voice‚" but that there was something more—something better—something even more sure—more lasting—more convincing—more effective—the "more sure Word of prophecy" (2Peter 1).
12. WE HAVE THE "MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY." The truth of His Words was more important than His bodily physical presence—the truth in His Word was better proof than seeing Him or hearing Him. The Spirit of Prophecy was more real than touching Him. "I must needs go away, that I might send a Comforter unto you, even the Spirit of Truth, which shall bring all things to your remembrance."—The more sure Word of prophecy—the very Spirit and essence of His Truth—the genuine reality of the unseen, rather than the seen. "For the things which are seen are temporal."
13. MY PHYSICAL PRESENCE—THE SOUND OF MY VOICE—THE TOUCH OF MY HAND—THESE ARE ONLY TEMPORARY and quickly pass away! The things which are not seen are eternal.—The truth of the Words—the Spirit of the prophecy.
14. IT WAS SAID OF PAUL: "HIS LETTERS ARE WEIGHTY AND POWERFUL: but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible" (2Cor.10:10). The powerful apostle Paul was powerful how?—In what way? What was his greatest power and his greatest ministry?—Healing a few sick folks with his immediate physical bodily presence, and the power of his spirit on direct contact?—The encouragement of the sight of him?—The inspiration of the fire of him? Even the physical words of man's wisdom? These were not his greatest power! These were not his secret! But rather, the demonstration of the power of the Spirit!
15. HOW WAS THIS POWER MOST GREATLY DEMONSTRATED?—Through his physical presence only? Today we don't even know what he looked like! We've never seen him or heard him speak in the flesh! We've never felt the power of his physical presence! But across the centuries, we've felt the dynamism of the power of his spirit in his words—words that he wrote because he had to go away—because he had to be absent physically, so he could be present with them in spirit.
16. SOME OF YOU ARE STILL SO INFANTILE, SO JUVENILE, YOU WANT THE IMMEDIATE PHYSICAL PRESENCE—the sight—the sound—the touch—the fragrance—even the taste—rather than the Spirit!
17. BUT WHAT LIVES ON WITH ME MOST TODAY?—the bodily physical presence or the appearance of my dear mother, my worthy father? Is it the sight of them—the sound of them—the feel of them—that is the most present with me? No! All these things have passed away and are no longer with us. They were fleshy, temporal, childish, and now that I have truly become God's man, I had to put away these desires for physical presence! For then, I saw through a glass darkly, but now‚ face to face in the Spirit! Then, I only knew in part, but now I know even as also I am known. For then I only knew in part‚ and I only saw in part, and only heard in part‚—the physical part—the fleshy part—that which is temporal, but now that which is spiritual—the spiritual contact—that which is perfect—is come, and that which is in part has been done away, and I have the genuine reality of their presence in the Spirit!
18. AND HOW DO I FEEL IT MOST? How do you feel Jesus most? How do you feel Paul most? The words they speak to us—they are spirit, and they are life. Jesus said‚ "The Words that I speak unto you—they are spirit, and they are life." His bodily physical presence, the sound of His voice, the sight of His miracles‚ His healing touch—these immediate physical manifestations are nothing compared to the power of the Spirit in His words.
19. WHICH HAS BEEN MOST POWERFUL AND HAD THE GREATEST EFFECT AND BEEN MOST LASTING through the years—the pitiful few Paul was able to minister to in the flesh—the brief crowds that were able to hear the sound of his voice—the occasional sick folks who felt his healing touch—his most intimates who breathed his fragrance and tasted his sweetness—or the power of his eternal spirit—the Truth which has come down to us over the years‚ to millions through his words?
20. HOW DO WE HAVE THESE WORDS TODAY? BECAUSE HE HAD TO GO AWAY AND WRITE THEM in his Epistles in his absence, or we might not have the record at all‚ and the millions who have benefited from them, would be left in the darkness, and only the pitiful few who profited from his physical presence would have enjoyed them and lived by them!
21. HALF THE NEW TESTAMENT IS THE EPISTLES OF THE MEN WHO HAD TO GO AWAY—who had to be absent from them in body, that they might be present with them in spirit, and that their words might be recorded for posterity and generations of followers to come.
22. WHY DO WE HAVE JESUS' WORDS WITH US TODAY? Because after He went away they wrote them down—recalled them through the communication of the Holy Spirit. "My Spirit shall bring all things to your remembrance—even the Spirit of Truth!" They weren't even as conscious of His Truth and His Spirit and the real meaning of it all when He was still with them bodily and physically. They just knew that they loved Him—He loved them—and enjoyed being in His presence—the comforting sound of His voice. Like the little babe that doesn't understand the language, but is soothed by his mother's voice, the tiny child that couldn't possibly comprehend the meaning of it all, but is comforted by the physical presence. They were pleased in the flesh by the sight of Him. It soothed their fears. They were comforted by the touch of Him. It comforted their hearts to know He was there. They didn't really understand why. They didn't really know Him yet, as they were to later know Him in the Spirit—by His Spirit of Prophecy—the immortal truth that he represented!
23. HOW COULD THEY KNOW THEN? THEY WERE TOO CONSCIOUS OF THE PHYSICAL—the bodily—the sights—the sounds—the feel—the flesh!—So much so that sometimes He got disgusted with them, exasperated that they couldn't understand. "Phillip, have I been so long with you, and yet hast thou not understood?" "Peter! O‚ wicked and perverse generation! How long shall I bear with you?" "O ye of little faith, wherefore dost thou doubt?"
24. THEY WERE NOT AS STRONG IN THE SPIRIT WHEN THEY HAD HIS ACTUAL PHYSICAL BODILY PRESENCE WITH THEM—could see and hear and touch Him. They were dull clods of clay, crude blobs of flesh, insensitive to the Spirit—always misunderstanding, often misinterpreting, thick witted! "O fools and slow of heart to perceive!"—Because their flesh, even His flesh, was in the way. They couldn't really get into the Spirit of it all! They didn't need His Spirit. They had Him! Why should they worry about what He meant? He was there! Like the little babe in the cradle, they didn't know why, but it just felt good to have Him there! Like the infant in his mother's arms they stopped their wailing at His touch! They were not truly mature and come to full manhood spiritually until after His bodily presence was gone from them. Then they could no longer sense Him physically, and the physical sensations were done away—the flesh that had actually gotten in their way and prevented them from sensing the genuine Spirit of the real Truth, of which His body was a mere physical representation.
25. HE HAD TO GO AWAY, SO THEY COULD REALLY GET TO KNOW HIM! He had to leave them physically, so they could truly understand Him spiritually! He had to take His body away, so they could feel His Spirit—Get their minds off the flesh—get their hearts in His Spirit!
26. YOU KNOW JESUS BETTER NOW, THAN THEY DID THEN! You understand His Truth better now than they did when He was with them physically! You comprehend the power of His Spirit more now, than they did merely watching the miracles, because you now have His Power! You have His Spirit! You are His Truth! "Ye are My witnesses!" You know Him better than they did!
27. "I WALKED TODAY WHERE JESUS WALKED, IN DAYS OF LONG AGO!" WHY SHOULD WE FEEL SUCH A FLESHY THRILL from touching the spots that His mere Body touched 2,000 years ago, when we can have the intimate ecstasy of His Spirit in spiritual intercourse—right this moment?—The real Presence—the eternity of the Spirit—the everlasting glory of the unseen—rather than the mere temporary pleasure of the physical sensations? "Set not your affections on the things which are on the earth," but rather set your affections on the things which are in Heavenly places—the realm of the Spiritual—for the things which are seen are carnal and temporal and almost disgusting, sickening‚ compared to the beauties and wonders and ecstasies and the purities of the things which are eternal—the unseen—the realm of the Spirit—the Kingdom of Heaven!
28. I COULD BE THERE AND HUG YOU AND KISS YOU and love you and pet you and pamper you and please your flesh with the touch of me—the sight of me—the sound of me—and like the little babe you'd be temporarily comforted—then weep at my absences and cry at my leaving; but only after I'm gone can you truly appreciate my spirit and the meaning of it all. For the things which are seen are temporal—temporary—but the things which are not seen are eternal!
29. MOSES ENDURED AS SEEING HIM WHICH IS INVISIBLE. Jesus endured for the Glory that was set before Him—endured the Cross, seeing the Glory beyond. Abraham looked at his own body as good as dead, yet he staggered not through unbelief, but rather he gave Glory to God, knowing that God was able to fulfill the eternal‚ invisible promises!
30. THE FLESH IS TOO MUCH WITH US! It gets in the way. We'll never know full reality, until we are fully in the realm of the Spirit!
31. WHEN WERE YOU MOST CONSCIOUS OF MY WORDS AND THE TRUTHS THAT I WAS TRYING TO GIVE YOU—the spiritual life I was trying to impart—the intercourse of the Spirit—the seed of the Word I was trying to implant in your hearts? When I was with you in body—when we had intercourse in the flesh? That which is of the flesh is fleshy and temporal, but that which is of the Spirit is spiritual and eternal. When have you been most conscious of my spirit and my words?—Had the real meaning of it all—to know the eternity of it—that it's God by His Spirit, by His Truth, by His Word, and by His Power? When did you really find out most of all that this thing was God, not of man?—When I was with you in the flesh—or since I've been gone from you and you've watched God carry it on in the Spirit?
32. THEN YOU ONLY SAW THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY—THE DARKENED GLASS OF MY FLESH! Now that my flesh is out of the way—Now you can see my spirit my face to face! Then you knew in part‚ but now you know even as also you are known—because I know you better, too, by the words that you write unto me—by how I hear that you carry on without me. Now I know if you really got the point. Now I know if you really meant business—or whether you were just in love with me—whether you were merely a member of the cult of the personality of man, or the spiritual body of Christ! Whether you were part of my body—or His Body! Without me there‚ we find out. With me gone, we find out who you really love the most! Those who follow the man, go back when the man is gone. But those who follow the Spirit‚ will go on forever!
33. WHAT DO I REMEMBER MOST ABOUT MY MOTHER AND FATHER? It's even hard now for me to remember what they looked like. It's difficult for me to recall the sound of their sweet voices, and the memory of their touch has all but faded completely from my consciousness. But what makes them live on within me? It's the words that they taught me—His Words—the truth implanted in my heart! The Spirit of their lives still lives with me! Now that I am grown and a man and a leader, and face the same problems, same difficulties, fight the same battles, and have the same struggles‚ I feel their spirit more than ever before—their words more real to me than they ever were—the truths that they taught me, I have finally begun to live!
34. THEY HAD TO GO AWAY. As long as my father or my mother were around, I always basked in their Glory. I reflected their light. I enjoyed their presence. I shared the fruit of their labors! And I never could have become what I am today, if they lived on, because I had to go beyond them—and they would have gotten in my way. Because sometimes their flesh was strong and the pride was great‚ and their opinions were wrong—so God had to remove their flesh, that their pure spirits might be made manifest and live within me, and work with me, and help to guide me, strengthen me, empower me. The memory of them, the truths they taught me, and the spirit they imparted to me, are more of a blessing to me today—help my ministry more today, than their physical presence did then! They had to go away, that I might live beyond them. "For the works that I do‚ shall ye do, and greater works also, because I go unto the Father."
35. AND WE COULD NEVER DO THE GREATER WORKS IF HE HADN'T GONE! Because we would have continued to lean on His physical bodily presence, as I did on my mother and father. We would continue to expect Him to do it, as I did them. Now—I have to do it. They are no longer here.
36. NOW WE ARE HIS PHYSICAL PRESENCE! Now we are His body—His hands,—His feet—His eyes—His mouth! We have to do it—and He does it through us! Otherwise, we would have continued to let Him do it and rest in His labors, and sleep on His prayers, and coast on His greatness, and ride on His coattails. Now we have to grow up, and do it by His power, and show if we are really His, and if He is truly ours, in Spirit and in Truth. For the Father seeketh such to worship Him!
37. NOT SOME PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION OF SOME TEMPLE OR BUILDING or place or thing, which are only shadows of the true, but now we have greater reality—a more sure Word of Prophecy—the very presence of His Spirit within us! He is no longer merely with us, but in us!
38. WHEN HE WAS HERE, HE WAS ONLY WITH THEM; BUT HE SAID WHEN HE WAS GONE, HIS SPIRIT WOULD BE IN THEM! When I was there, I was only with you in the flesh. Now all you have is my spirit—but it's within you—in the words that I say, in the thoughts I reveal‚ in the truths I teach, the letters I write! Now you know the real me. You can have me with you all the time—everywhere—in your heart. We can have instant, continual, endless‚ intercourse in the Spirit!—the blissful ecstasies of eternal love that shall never fade away!
39. NOW YOU REALLY KNOW ME FOR THE WORDS THAT I SPEAK UNTO YOU—THEY ARE MY SPIRIT AND MY LIFE—and if you take them to heart‚ we can have sweet fellowship together and work together—not merely side by side in the flesh, but one in the Spirit—even in the Spirit of Truth, who shall bring all things to your remembrance!
40. THIS IS THE COMFORTER WHEREOF HE SPAKE! WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE HIM BESIDE YOU—OR IN YOU? Would you rather have your lover merely by your side—or within the very heart of you—feel his spirit pressing within, feel the ecstasy of the mounting joy as his spirit bubbles up and overflows within you? When we're the furthest in the flesh—we're the closest in the Spirit. When we're the closest in the flesh—we're more conscious of the flesh‚ than of the spirit!
41. NOW YOU CAN FEEL ME AS YOU'VE NEVER FELT ME BEFORE—as we feel Him now—in a way His disciples could never feel Him, until He went away.—In the present power of the enduring eternal Spirit that will live on forever—that will never die, but grow stronger and more powerful and more lasting than flesh could ever be. Praise His Name! Thank You, Jesus! Hallelujah!
42. THERE'S A STUPID SONG: "WHEN JESUS WAS HERE WITH HIS DISCIPLES, I WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN WITH THEM THEN." How ridiculous can you get? You have Him closer to you now, than they had Him then. He was only with them then. Now He's in you—every moment of everyday—for all eternity. He will never leave you nor forsake you. For, lo‚ He is with you, even unto the end of the world—in Spirit.—The best of all!
43. ARE YOU WITH ME IN SPIRIT, or would you rather be with me in the flesh? The words that I speak unto you—they are Spirit and they are Life—more powerful than my flesh will ever be—more comforting than my physical presence could possibly be, and will do you more good, as you read them, study them‚ understand them, absorb them‚ feel them, live by them, and practice them—more good than my bodily presence could ever do you—and my words will ever live in the Spirit—for it is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing!
44. FOR THOUGH I BE ABSENT IN THE FLESH, YET AM I WITH YOU IN THE SPIRIT, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. Now I am living in you, and the world knows me not; but it shall know me. For lo‚ I am with you in Spirit, even unto the end of the world!