He Took Us All the Way to His Throne
There is some repetition in this article from the last one, A Light that Remains. This is so we can have in hand a complete view of the precision words Paul used as he defined the togetherness we share with Christ, and with one another, in His Body. We call these Paul’s “together with” words. In the Greek New Testament, they have the Preposition sun affixed to them. It means “together with” another in the same place. With some words it appears as su-.
There is perhaps no understanding more important than what we gain from the scope of these words. Seeing them as we list them can help us grasp Romans Truth as it melds into Ephesians Truth. They point us on as believers to know what happened to Christ, and to us, when God loosed the birth pangs of death that held Him in the tomb (Acts 2:24).
In Paul’s introduction to Ephesians, 1:3-15, it is enlightening to note how often he made use of the first person plural Pronouns, we and us. When we see this, we begin seeing that “I” am not in Christ alone. “You and I” are in Him, with others of His Body. This togetherness we have with Him and with one another is the grandest union we may know. It lasts longer even than the holy union husbands and wives may know in marriage. Jesus taught this union does not follow us into the age to come (Lk 20:35). There we share in the union of the Lamb and His wife (Rev 19:7). This is a union with Christ that begins in this age but goes with us into the next.
Seeing the “sun” words (as we will call them) in their settings, will help us gain a keener perception of what God’s grace will perform in us, and for us. As a result of Christ’s resurrection, grace reigns, and will reign on into the ages to come. It is bringing us from the lordship of sin and death into the glory of a union “together with” Christ, and with one another in His Body.
The following numbered verses are not to be quickly read. They give their best light and life when we will read them over and again. They give forth even more when we read them in their settings. This is best done by taking one’s own Bible and marking each passage. There is still more for us when we ask the Holy Spirit for His help in studying the passages. He will bring the unfolding truth we are about to see over into our everyday living.
I’ve found this to be so.
At this point, you may recall what we saw two articles back relating to Rom 6:11. There we found the word reckon which means “put it down to your account.” You can do that with the light that is about to shine in upon us from in the passages we will see. You can say, “I put it down to my account that the truth I see in this verse is becoming effective in my own life. I will grow in the grace it gives as I remember its truth and meditate on it.”
Before we view the “together with” verses, we should see II Cor 5:21. It holds another facet of our identification with Christ. He identified with us. Christ was innocent of sin, and yet for our sake God made Him one with the sinfulness of men, so that in Him we might be made one with the goodness of God Himself (New English Bible.) Jesus has taken us with Him through death on the cross to His Throne. But first, He took our sin on Himself. In fact, He took the sin of the whole world (I Jn 2:2). Read on, and on...
1—Rom 6:4 . . . Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (sunthápto, “We are placed together in the same grave with” Him.)
2—Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. (sumphúto, . . .If “we are closely entwined, or united with,” Him in His death, we shall also partake of His resurrection.”
3—Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with (sunestauróthe, “is nailed on the cross together with”) Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. We hold this knowledge, that we “went together with Him to death on the cross,” that the sin once ruling us might be rendered powerless.
4—Rom 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with (summarturéo, “testifies together with”) our spirit, that we are children of God... The Holy Spirit “testifies together with” our spirit that we have been born into God’s family. We are His children.
5, 6, 7—Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and 5 joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that 6 we suffer with Him, that we may be also 7 glorified together.
5 sugkleronómos—If we’re in God’s family through Christ, “we share in the inheritance with” Him.
6 sumpáscho—If we “endure suffering together with” Him....
7sundóxazo—... we will “share together in ruling dignity” with Him.
8—Rom 8:29 For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate (“design in the first place”) to be conformed to (summórphos, “made in form to be the same as”) the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren. God’s primary design for us was that we should “exist in the same form” as that of the resurrected Christ.
• Paul used this word summórphos again in Phil 3:20,21—... the Lord Jesus Christ…shall change (remodel, transform) our vile body (the body of our humiliation), that it may be fashioned like unto (summórphos, brought into the same form as) His glorious body... This tells how we shall come into the form that will be ours when this age has moved on into the age to come. The Lord Jesus Christ will transform us, equipping us to be like Him for life and function in His eternal Kingdom.
To see what more we share “together with” Christ, we will go to Ephesians. But first, there is something we need to see there about what took place after God raised Him from the dead. We will take special note every time we find the word set.
In Eph 1:19 we find Paul is praying we would know, in our own lives, how great was the power that brought about Christ’s resurrection. Before he concluded what he was praying, however, he inserted a parenthetical statement telling what God did with Jesus after He raised Him from the dead. He set Him at His Own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world (Greek aíon, “age”), but also in that which is to come (Eph 1:20,21). Note the word set.
That Christ is set at the right hand of God is the sign of His Messianic rule. The Greek Verb Paul used here is in its Aorist form, ekáthisen. This means it was an action settled, never to be revoked by God and never to be overcome by man, or devil.
As we go on in 22 and 23, we find after God set Christ, He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church (in behalf of the Church), which is His Body, the fullness (the full formation) of Him that filleth all in all ( .... of Him Who is bringing to completion everything in everyone). Christ Jesus is overseeing the completion of all that pertains to us and to this age. We need not fear that any other “lord” will come on the scene to overthrow His authority or bring down His right to bring all things to their completion. There will be those, however, who arise with this intention. All of them will fail, because there is but One Conqueror of the last enemy, Death. And, there is only One Whom God ordained by Covenant to bring all things to completion. And—when we follow on with Paul, we see ourselves as one with Him.
We have much to learn about the intention of the anti-Christ forces who plan to take Christ’s dominion from Him. We can look at but one prophetic passage, Ps 2. It points to a time when the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His Anointed, His Christ. Note again the word set. This time it is the world leaders who set themselves against God and Christ to take Their dominion.
In the next verse, we see world leaders showing a determination to break Their bands asunder, and cast away Their cords. Bands and cords refers to the restraint on evil that has come from the Kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph 5:5).
In response to the begrudging declaration of the world leaders, God replies with, Yet have I set My King upon My holy Hill of Zion, Ps 2:6.
In Psalm 2, David, as a Prophet, said God has set Christ in Zion. The Apostle Paul said He set Him at His Own right hand. Where is Zion? Can it not be the same as God’s Own right hand? From Zion a force of heavenly government prevails against all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named.
We cannot ignore the Word of Heb 12:22 as it says, ... ye are come unto Mount Zion. This is a Word to those who know who they are in Christ.
Does Christ’s rule belong to an age to come? Not just. According to Paul, His dominion stands not only in this world (“age”), but also in that which is to come (Eph 1:21). The Government of Christ belongs to the past, the present and the future. It is belongs to the eternities. Never need we face a day that does not have Zion’s full rule over it.
Let us see again the realms of rule, named in Eph 1:20,21, over which Christ was set after His Father raised Him from the dead. He set Him at His Own right hand in the heavenly places, far above • all principality, and • power, and • might, and • dominion, and • every name that is named, not only in this world (age), but also in that which is to come...
• all principality designates the chief rulers. Lesser spheres of rule may be under them. This word is from the Greek arché (pronounced ar-KAY), meaning the first one, the head. In Scripture, it usually has reference to a realm of spiritual dominion, desired by Satan and often held under his sway. But, it rightly belongs in the dominion of Christ. Even in this age, He holds—with us—the supreme rulership.
•…power is from the Greek exousía, meaning authority. It designates those who hold jurisdiction in spheres under the administration of principalities.
•…might is from the Greek dúnamis. It is sometimes translated miracles. Here the apparent reference is to those who have both the power and authority to perform mighty acts, miracles, acts of war, take over of property, placing people under arrest, etc. Much oppression will come from this dimension of government when evil principalities rule.
•…dominion is from a word meaning lordship, like one who holds sway over a large tract of land. While it may point to a lesser ruler than a principality, it still may define one who is a tyrant, a taskmaster or a slave driver.
•... every name that is named can have reference to nothing other than something called by a name. Whatever has a name, Jesus is set to rule above it.
Going on in Eph 1:22,23, we see God hath put all things under His feet (the feet of Jesus), and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church (in behalf of the Church universal), which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. The Church, which is Christ’s body, is His full formation. Through His body, a fullness is rising that all the world will eventually know—perhaps soon.
Is this too much to believe? It wasn’t for Paul.
Almost every translation has a chapter division after Eph 1:23. But there was none in the original Greek. The and you beginning Eph 2:1 comes in continuance of what Paul was telling in Eph 1:23, the concluding verse of Chapter 1. After he told that God raised Christ from the dead, he inserted a parenthetical statement telling what took place with Christ after God raised Him.
If we take out the parenthesis and join the Verb raised of 1:20 with its two objects, Him and you, we have the following: God raised Him from the dead...and you who were dead in trespasses and sins. Translators have done various things with this passage to smooth over what seems to be a missing Verb. If we will but see the flow of the revelation coming through Paul, we can see clearly he was saying that when God raised Christ from the dead, He also raised us who were dead in trespasses and sin.
What do we see? What Paul saw. When Christ died, we died. When He was buried, we were buried. When He was raised, we were raised with Him. Now, there is more as we see three additional “together with” words— powerful words—that Paul used in Ephesians. We see them in the following verses. They join our earlier list of 8 items.
9—Eph 2:4,5 But God, Who is rich in mercy, for (on account of) His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with (suzopoiéo, has made us alive together with) Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
10—Eph 2:4a And hath raised us up together (sunegeíro, simply, He ‘has raised us up together”),
11—Eph 2:4b . ..and made us sit together (sugkathízo, has “made us sit together on the same seat”) in heavenly places in Christ Jesus...
Oh, there’s yet more! We go on.
This is not a matter for a simple person like I am to lay hold on easily. I must see it at work. And, oh, it does! But let us review it again. Repetition will prove helpful. • The Lord Jesus identified with us when He took the sin that had enslaved us. • We were crucified together with Him. • We were buried together with Him. • We were raised up together with Him. • We are seated together with Him.
Oh, yes we are!
Where is He seated?
After He made purification for our sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb 1:3). He is seated there far above all the spiritual forces in the heavens who oppose Him and His rule.
Where are we seated?
We are made to sit together with Him, far above all the spiritual forces that oppose Him and His rule. We are learning to live in our everyday lives together with Him. Together with Him, we are learning to exercise authority against demonic powers. We are learning to face, together with Him, the spiritual forces opposing the extension of His Kingdom. We are learning to remember—oh, yes, we must learn to remember—He is here in us. We are there in Him.
Let us consider the matter about “us” being “together with” Him in His Body. He is not fragmented. His Body is not divided by doctrinal, theoretical or functional issues. Even if we do not see issues the same, we have no right to separate ourselves one from another. We are not to see issues; we are to see Him.
Years ago a brother, with whom my heart has been joined since college days, had a vision of the Lord. Memory of it has remained with me. He saw Christ’s Body as a circle, sectioned like pieces of a pie. The walls of each part were high near the perimeter. Those on one side of a wall had little or no communication with those on the other side.
Christ was at the center. As people drew closer to Him, watching Him, the walls separating each from the other became less. The nearer to Christ people came, the smaller were the walls. Finally there were no walls, just people “together with” Him.
Years ago, I had visions of the Lord. I could see Him as He moved among people. I could move and minister in accord with His movements. Those were precious days. One day, He told me I would not see Him like that any more. That brought sadness.
Years later, He spoke to my heart that I was to see Him again, if I would but watch for Him. That brought gladness.
I watched, but could not see Him. With attentive eyes I looked—maybe on my walk, maybe in my study, maybe while ministering I would see Him. Then I would know what He was doing and I could move with Him.
I could not see Him. He seemed nowhere.
Then, one day, He spoke to me that I could see Him if I would but watch for Him in my brethren.
He gave me a little secret. If I would watch for Him in my brethren—or in anyone I knew who professed to know Him—that would call Him forth, and I would see Him. What’s more, they would know His presence.
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