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Carrying the Presence of Christ
By David A. DePra
Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever. (1 Chr 15:2)
And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD. (1 Chr 15:15)
Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. (Josh 1:2-3)
And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore. (Josh 3:3-5)
From the time that the Ark was created, God had commanded that it be moved in only one way: The Levites were to carry it. There were no exceptions made to this command. In fact, as they carried it, the Levites were not even allowed to touch the Ark. They were to carry it upon staves, or long poles. Thus, the Levites were to carry to ark on foot, using these long staves and no one had the right to change, alter, or violate this command.
I trust that it is not necessary to quote the numerous NT verses that tell us that the OT contained many types and shadows of reality in Christ. Not only are we told this directly, but if you read the NT you will discover that Jesus Christ in His teachings, and later the apostles in their teaching, as well as the other writers of the epistles these all interpret much of the OT as being a shadow of reality in Christ. They continually refer to the OT, and most especially to the Ark and the Tabernacle, as physically representing what would later be unfolded spiritually in Gods Son.
This is certainly the case with the Ark of the Covenant, and the commands of God concerning the carrying of it from place to place by the Levites. What are we being taught through this OT type?
The Levitical priesthood was separated by God from the rest of the nation of Israel. God choose them from out of the 12 tribes to serve Him. They were to be holy unto HIM. Accordingly, they had no physical inheritance in the land. They didnt need one. God said that HE was their inheritance. In fact, the Levitical priesthood was to be mediators between the people and God under the Old Covenant. Every contact that the people had with God, in one way or another, went through the Levitical priesthood including the High Priest.
Of course, not only the High Priest, but also the priesthood as a whole, was a type of Jesus Christ. He alone is now our Mediator unto God. But very often where you find types of Jesus Christ you will also, within that same symbol, see a type of the believer. Such is the case with the Levitical priesthood.
In the OT, the Levitical priesthood was a special tribe chosen by God for a special purpose. God did not choose the other tribes for the same purpose. From this we are apt to think that they were better than the other tribes. Indeed, such nonsense often forms the basis for people today thinking that ministers of the gospel are special in the eyes of God, or that they have a, "hotline," to God. But this is never the case. If God ever chooses any of us for anything, it is never because WE are special. When will we learn that? Do we seriously think that BEFORE we are chosen that we have anything to offer God? Well, what did Paul have to offer God? Legalism and a list of Christians he had thrown in jail. He said he did many things against the name of Jesus. Not a very good resume if God is looking for someone with credentials He can use. No. The things that natural man looks at God does not consider.
So why did God creates such a purpose for the tribe of Levi? God was using the Levites to represent His thought for ALL of Gods people. Rather than be a special tribe, the Levites were equal to all the other 11 tribes. But God chose them to represent His desire, thought, and purpose for ALL. It was a special purpose for an average tribe.
Thus, when we read Gods commands to the Levites, and when we see what He did with them, we are reading about Gods mind regarding all His people. And we are certainly being given types and shadows of Gods mind regarding ALL NEW TESTAMENT Christians.
Carrying the Ark
The Levites alone were to carry the Ark of God. And they were to carry it according to specific instructions. As is the case with all of Gods commands regarding the Levites, this represented Gods mind for ALL of His people and it was a type of His purpose for His people today. What is that purpose?
Note the symbolism: Carrying the very presence of God. Carrying the presence of God, but not being allowed to touch it with human hands. The type is inescapable: Through this God is illustrating CHRIST IN US. When the Levites carried the Ark of God on those staves they were representing the fact that Gods full thought for His people was that each of us should walk through life with Christ in us. In addition, He was showing that we are not given the liberty to touch the presence of Christ in us. In other words, we are to be holy unto the Lord. We do not belong to ourselves; Christ does not belong to us we cannot do as we please. We belong to HIM.
This is NOT about ministry and ministry alone. It is about LIFE IN HIM. The Levites do not represent a special class of Christians, or merely NT ministry. No again, they represent Gods desire for ALL of His people. God desires that ALL of His people be indwelt by CHRIST. Christianity is CHRIST IN US, or, if you prefer, US BEING IN CHRIST.
This could not have been more aptly expressed than it was when Israel entered the Promised Land. The Promised Land represents FULLNESS IN CHRIST. You will note that the Levites were to lead the entry into the land across the Jordan, and the other tribes of Israel were to follow. Not only that, but there was to be a big space or distance between the Levites, who bore the Ark, and the rest of Israel. What is being revealed here?
The DIVISION between the Levites and the rest of Israel was to illustrate the DIVISION between CHRIST IN US by the Spirit and natural man. Or, to use NT language, this is the division between SOUL and SPIRIT. Natural man cannot intrude into, or take possession, of fullness in Christ. This is here being illustrated. Only the new creature in Christ represented by the Levites carrying the Ark can take possession of fullness in Christ. Our, "natural man," can only follow or, to put it another way, the only basis upon which we can walk with God is if the Spirit of God GOVERNS our natural man.
God gives a hint of this when He says, "You have not been this way before." In other words, He is saying, "You do not have any knowledge of fullness in Christ. And you cannot obtain in through natural thinking, or natural effort. So rather than intrude into the things of God without knowledge, keep your distance that is let God take the initiative to reveal to you Christ. Let God bring you into the fullness of His Son."
Dont think of what is happening in Joshua 3 as an illustration of Christ leading us into places or things. No. This is about being led into the fullness of Christ Himself by the life and knowledge of Himself that is resident IN US. We are being led into all Truth who is a Person. Christ is drawing us into an experience of HIMSELF not so much leading us into circumstances in life. There is a huge difference between God telling us what to do, and CHRIST IN US. Christ the Person -- is the, "land," we have never traveled before.
Christianity is not a series of LEADINGS. Sure. God can and does sometimes lead. But Christianity is Christ in us. If Christ is not in us, governing us through a growing knowledge of Himself, then of what value will it be for us to simply be told things to do, or to be told where to go? If Christ is not being formed in us, then all the leadings in the world cannot enable us to take possession of our inheritance. Yet if we KNOW HIM, then we will know what is OF HIM, and what is NOT of Him. That is the way God normally leads through knowing the Person of Christ. This is NOT intellectual or emotional. It is spiritual knowledge.
Read the NT. How much teaching do you find about how to be LED of God? Not much. In fact, there are a few instances where God directly leads people, but this does not seem to be a focus. Rather, instead of learning how to be led BY Christ, the NT talks tons about learning Christ Himself. About knowing Him. Learn Christ and you will not need signs and wonders to lead you. God knows how to speak if we are willing to hear. Primarily, if you want to know Gods will, you will KNOW to the extent that your heart is open to Him to the extent that you know the Living Word, Jesus Christ.
God can speak to us in many ways. But very often God is silent at least in a way that we might want Him to speak. The Bible says that God is speaking to us IN HIS SON. This means that God is revealing to us Jesus Christ revealing Christ IN US. That is the primary way God wants to speak to us. In fact, we can take His silence to mean that rather than tell us what to do, God is likely seeking to reveal HIMSELF to us.
Paul wrote, "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14) Christians have misunderstood this mostly due to an inadequate translation. It should read, "Those who are GOVERNED by the Spirit of God are the sons of God." Indeed, if you read the preceding passages, you will see a discussion of flesh vs. Spirit. Paul is talking about what GOVERNS us. Those who are governed by the Spirit of God which is the presence of Jesus Christ IN US are the sons of God. Being governed is more than just doing what you are told. Being governed speaks of the LIFE the Person -- that governs you in all things. This is impossible unless you KNOW HIM in the way the Bible means, "know Him."
The Levites were representative of Gods mind for ALL of Israel. They are likewise a spiritual type of Gods mind for ALL who are in His Body. God doesnt merely want us to follow the presence of God He wants Christ IN US. We carry Him and yet He governs us. But as we carry the indwelling Christ, we are not to touch Him. In other words, Christ must change us and adjust us to fit Himself. We are not to put our hand to Him.
Of Vital Importance
The reality of Jesus Christ in us is not merely one aspect of Christianity. Christ in us IS Christianity. Nothing is possible or real without Christ in us. When we receive Jesus Christ we are born anew from above He is from above. We are PLANTED made one with Him in His death and resurrection. Thus, when we receive Christ, we receive the Cross -- and His death will be at work in us upon the old nature. When we receive Christ we receive eternal life for He IS the Life. When we receive Christ we receive the embodiment of all Truth for He IS the Truth. In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col. 2:3) He is made unto us, "wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (I Cor. 1:30) We are COMPLETE IN HIM. In short, God does not give us spiritual THINGS. Rather, He gives us Christ, in whom ARE all things.
The Christian life is an unfolding of the indwelling Christ to us. As we grow to know Him, we grow to know the Truth and knowing the Truth MAKES US TRUE unto God. This knowing of Christ in an inward way through revelation is the, "forming of Christ," within. (see Gal. 4:19) It is what God is doing. Nothing much else is possible, nor will it progress very far, unless Jesus Christ is being revealed IN US.
Do you want to know why the church seems to lack power? I include among those who lack power the charismatics, who claim to have power, but in most cases actually substitute for Christ, the power of God, with soul power. (Sorry, but this is what they are doing in most cases.) The Body of Christ lacks power because Christ has not been formed within. Thus, the living Christ is not ushered into situations. Instead, what is ushered is a, "form of God," but not the living Person.
Again the Levites were out in front leading the children of Israel. They carried the presence of God which, in the NT, is Christ within. God is showing by this that CHRIST IN US is the means by which we are to live, move, stand in victory, minister, and take possession. We cannot do so in any other way. And history proves, right up until today, the utter futility of try to do so.
Why do we think that for two thousand years, there has been nothing but one terrible failure after another? Why have Christians gotten into, to their own destruction, one religious, indeed, superstitious FAD after another? The church originally turned the world upside down. Today the church is becoming conformed to the world. Look at the church today almost every one of the gimmicks and movements you see have arisen for one reason: That which has gone before HAS NOT WORKED! Every revival in history has mostly fizzled out, or turned into some terrible movement of error. Why? It all comes back to ignorance, or to a denial, of the essence of Christianity: Christ in us, the hope of glory.
The Purpose of God
When is the last time you so much as heard a sermon, Bible study, or Christian television program even mention, "Christ in us?" When is the last time that your Christian fellowship was about Christ, knowing Him in a personal way, or about how, through the work of the Cross, people have come to have Christ formed within? When is the last time the spiritual gifts were talked about in the terms God talks about them as the means for edifying the Body in Christ unto the full knowledge of Him? With few exceptions, this is NEVER mentioned. It is, in fact, almost completely HIDDEN from the consciousness of most Christian people. And yet it is what God is doing. It is THE purpose of God the purpose upon which all other of the works of God are based.
Lets look at a few passages that emphasize the forming of Christ within, or the essential of personally knowing Christ in an inward way:
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you! (Gal 4:19)
f the apostle Paul TRAVAILED over the forming of Christ within and if he wrote this cry under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit why is it not front and center in the teaching and purpose of the church today? It is not because we have been blinded and DECEIVED? I would submit that if knowing Christ and having Christ formed within which are the same thing if this is THE purpose of God, then to hide this, or deny it, or to distort it, or to substitute for it this is going to be THE purpose of the enemy. He has had a great deal of success. Deception is why what is central to God is rarely even talked about among Gods people.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: (Gal 1:15-16)
I dont think many of us have ever heard about, or know about, the possibility of having Christ revealed IN US. Paul is talking about having Jesus Christ formed and expressed in him in a way that will divide his soul from the Spirit of God. He is talking about an inward revelation that will agree with every word of scripture but which makes us a LIVING epistle.
Paul the apostle did not have an experience with Christ that was unavailable to others. No. In fact, he was a minister unto the end that others would also know Christ. Indeed, that was his prayer:
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 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 eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power. (Eph 1:16-19)
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (Col 1:9-11)
You will note that Paul did not exhort his readers to come into this knowledge of Christ by going out and reading a book. No. That will never work. Rather, the only means by which we can have Christ formed in us is through a work of the Cross, resulting in a greater release of His life in us. We must, in other words, LOSE our life in order to find HIS. And in His life in HIM is the Light. (see John 1:4)
You cannot know Christ unless you lose your life to find His. Why? Because He is a Person, not a doctrine. In other words, if the LIFE of Christ is released in us, then LIGHT will be there. In short, this is the FORMING OF CHRIST IN US where there is LIFE there is LIGHT.
We must decrease so that He can increase. You will note that HE Christ in us must increase. This isnt about US becoming better people, or about our flesh learning to behave, or about us structuring our life according to Bible principles. No. This is about LIFE it is about which life governs us. The only way in which the Christ who lives in us, can live through us, is if WE are progressively under the work of the Cross. Then, it is not US living a better Christian life. Rather, it is then about Christ living THROUGH us.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
Christians speak about sanctification as if it is the product of God doing something TO US by His Spirit as if God gives us some kind of, "power to live holy lives." No. Sanctification is Christ living in and through us. (read again I Cor. 1:30 Christ is made unto us sanctification!) Sanctification is the result of my coming under the power of the Cross so that my flesh and natural man no longer GOVERNS. Then Christ who is already in me is able to live through me. I will move in concert with Him.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you. (2 Cor 4:7-12)
Paul is here describing the MEANS by which true spiritual ministry is made possible. It is not merely by study, or learning how to give sermons. It is by DYING so that the life of Christ within might be made manifest. Ministry is HIS LIFE. If I want to, "be a minister," therefore, this is my resume: I bear in my body the dying of the Lord Jesus, so that the life of Jesus might be made manifest and minister life to others. Paul said it outright. He described all of this as, " this ministry." (II Cor. 4:1)
But can we see that ALL of this has at the basis Jesus Christ IN US. Christ in us is the foundation of ALL. Didnt Jesus Himself say this? Yes.
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Mat 16:16-19)
What is the foundation the Rock upon which the church is to be built? Remember that the church is people. The church is not some ecclesiastical organization or denomination. It is not a physical building. No. The church is people in whom Christ dwells, and in whom Christ is revealed. This is what Jesus said. He said, "Flesh and blood cannot reveal to you the Truth that I am the Christ. No. This is an INWARD SPIRITUAL revelation only possible from My Father. But nevertheless, this revelation of Myself to human beings is the very FOUNDATION upon with the church will exist. It is THE ROCK there is no other rock.
Over and over again we are told that Christianity is Christ in us, the hope of glory. We are told that the Christian life is a progressive unfolding in an inward, life changing way -- of the indwelling Christ to us. We are told that God desires to form Christ in us which will make us living epistles; which will make us a living testimony to the resurrected Christ. We are told that Christ in us is the very means by which all ministry functions, and the very foundation of the church itself. Yet we hear little of it today. If we hear anything at all about Christ in us, it is just a teaching. Few of us have actually come to know Him the way in which the Bible describes.
The Reason for Failure
The reason Christ within is an unknown reality today, is, of course, because the enemy has succeeded in hiding this Truth. But there are always two things we need to remember when the enemy is successful. First, the enemy is only able to use the materials in our own heart a man is drawn away and enticed by his OWN desires. Secondly, and this is based on the first, Satan always offers a substitute. He will appear as an, "angel of light." Christ is THE Light. Satan will offer what looks like Christ.
To find an example of this we dont need to leave the example of the Ark of the Covenant.
And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. (2 Sam 6:3-7)
Here we see a direct violation of the command of God that stated that the ark must only be moved by the Levites carrying it on foot with staves. But you see, in time, that command of God was forgotten really, it was taken lightly, which is WHY it was forgotten. I mean, putting the ark on a new cart WAS easier. It was more convenient. And it was clever. It would get the ark to Jerusalem. In fact, David was so convinced that he was honoring God and doing His will that he, "played before the Lord." In other words, he held a big WORSHIP SERVICE.
The fact that David violated Gods command was bad enough. But there is always a reason why God commands something. In this case, there was a tremendous and essential symbolism that God was giving in His command. The Levites were illustrating CHRIST IN US. They were showing that the only means by which God intends to accomplish His purpose is through CHRIST IN US. To violate that is to violate Christ Himself.
We have already seen that Christianity is CHRIST IN US and all this means. We have seen that the Christian life is Christ being revealed IN US. We have likewise seen that it is through Christ in us that true ministry is possible. All of these things are illustrated by the Levites carrying the presence of God on foot with staves. Thus, once you try to convey the Ark through some other means, you are suggesting that Christianity, the Christian life, and the means of Christianity is NOT through the forming of, and the living of, Christ Himself in us but you are suggesting ANOTHER means namely that of the methods of religious man.
If we try to live out Christianity to the disregard of CHRIST IN US we will end up with religion that speaks of Christ, and might even be a big worship service around Christ but we will be misrepresenting Christ. In the end, we will be walking and teaching ERROR.
The conveyance of a new cart for the Ark of the Covenant was not an original idea that David came up with. There is reason to believe, if we read the account in the OT, that he borrowed this idea from the Philistines. Thus, here we have a perfect picture of the church using the ways of the world. But it is more than just the methods, ways, or the ideas of the world. It is the power and unbelief of the world. The church has always patterned itself after the world in order to, "achieve things for God." This is why the church has so often been about money, popularity, and even politics. No. The church is supposed to be about CHRIST IN US it is through Christ in us that God wants to work. But we have found a new cart.
We are being taught through these examples in the OT that EVERYTHING God wants to do must be accomplished first by the forming of Christ within individuals. In other words, people cannot reign and rule in the kingdom of God unless that kingdom, who is a Person, is first reigning and ruling IN THEM. People cannot dispense much real Truth about Christ unless Christ, who is the Truth, is being revealed IN THEM. People cannot go out and preach Christ and Him crucified unless they are being personally crucified with Christ. But you see, if we can get for ourselves whatever constitutes, "a new cart," then we, ourselves, do not have to carry the presence of God IN US. We can carry Him another way but it will be a way that will ultimately be a DEAD way.
When the oxen stumbled, and the ark almost fell off the cart, Uzzah tried to steady it. Talk about trying to prop up and perpetuate that which God has destined to FALL APART. The result was death. The message ought to be clear.
The Levites represented Gods thought for all of His people. You cannot enter into His rest, into inheritance in Christ this is not possible unless Christ is being formed in YOU personally. Try it another way and it will bring death. But the greatest deception of all is that it will bring death and you wont even realize it. That is deception.
Everyone would easily say they want Christ to be formed in them. But then when we are turned to II Cor. 4 and Gal. 2:20 we will discover that in order for Christ to be formed in us in order to FIND His life we have to LOSE ours. We have to carry our Cross. Well, a new cart is easier and for many of us there is enough flesh and self-will in us for the enemy to work with. By the time he is done we might even have a big worship service in our deception.
The Key to Power
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God .For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men ..And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1 Cor. 1:17-2:2)
Christians often speak of POWER as a THING that God gives us by His Spirit a power to DO STUFF for Him. Well, the Bible does speak of the church receiving, "power because the Holy Spirit shall come upon you." But we have to understanding how God means this: Christ dwells in the believer through His Spirit. If we read no other passage than this one from Romans we can see this.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you. (Rom 8:9-11)
Once we see that the terms, "Spirit of God," and, "Spirit of Christ," and, "Holy Spirit," are all talking about the same thing Christ in us BY His Spirit then a lot of other passages make sense. Thus, there are not TWO kinds of power given us, but one the power of the Spirit is CHRIST, who is the power of God. The power of the Holy Spirit is likewise the power of the Cross. Jesus Christ is a PERSON. But in Him is vested ALL power that is what He said after His resurrection. Thus, regardless of the way this is described, you cannot divorce Christ from Christ crucified. You cannot divorce Christ from resurrection life. You cannot divorce Christ from the power of the Spirit. All is IN HIM the power of God is a PERSON. And that Person dwells in each believer.
Ive said that to say this: The key to all spiritual power is Christ. Christ, once He dwells in us, must come to live in us. Then, and only then, can there be power. And in saying that we now see why there is usually very little power. Its because there is very little of Christ being formed in people.
Paul said, "When I am weak, then the power of Christ rests upon me." In short, let the power of the Cross do its work in you make you weak; cause you to lose your life -- and the life of Christ will emerge and His life is resurrection life He is the resurrection and the life. That is power. He is power. In other words, to the extent that we COME UNDER the power of HIS death and life, His power can work in and through us. There is simply no other way.
Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me .." (Gal. 2:20) I submit that if Christ is living IN a person, and THROUGH a person, that the POWER of God, who IS Christ, will likewise be moving in that persons life. Christ is the power of God. But as Paul also stated, the Cross is the power of God which is to say Christ crucified. The power of God cannot move through a person unless they are being, "crucified with Christ."
The Cross made possible the very life of God through Christ to be released into our experience. But likewise, the Cross FORBIDS much. The Cross forbids the natural life of man the Cross has shut out, yes, the sin of man, but also the self of man. It is because of the Cross that any other means except Christ in us is acceptable to God. All else is thankfully under the Cross and death.
When God gave His commands as to how the Ark should be moved and dealt with by His people, He was careful to illustrate the Truth that would come through Christ. The people of God themselves would carry the presence of God we would lose our lives but find HIM. We would be living epistles, indeed, we would be a type of the Ark of God. We would be ONE with Christ. But this also would forbid that we would intrude into the life of God with our natural SELF with our agenda, with our methods, or with our religious flesh. No. It would be Christ IN a people. This would be the means by which God would have us take possession of, and live in, the inheritance.
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