The Throne in Heaven (continued)
1. The Fact of Union with the Lord
It would not take us long in turning to the Word to establish the fact. We should only have to take one part of the Scriptures alone to establish that quite definitely, but there is a very great deal more. If we were to take the Gospel of John, we should find there that union with the Lord is one of the great features of that Gospel. It is illustrated in various ways right from the beginning - in the second chapter, the third chapter, the fourth chapter, the fifth chapter, the sixth chapter - right on it is one many-sided presentation of the truth of union with the Lord. And then there comes a point at which the Lord, having illustrated it, emphasizes it. Having shown it to be the deepest reality of the relationship between Him and His disciples, and His disciples and Himself, He begins to speak of going away, and says much about not tarrying, of there being but a little while and He will have gone. By such utterances He has provoked in them considerable concern, so that they are much troubled.
Then, when that anxiety, that fear, that dread, that concern has reached a certain point of intensity in them, so that it is approaching the point of overwhelming depression, He changes the whole course of things with His Word of exhortation, "Let not your heart be troubled ..." From that point He goes on to show that all that He has been saying about union is to be a spiritual thing of a deeper, stronger character than all His earthly association with them. He shows that although He is going, He is yet remaining; although He will be in heaven, He will still be in them. The union is a tremendous reality. He is saying quite clearly that this is far more real than the association of people on the earth.
You move from this Gospel to John's first epistle, and you know how much the same thing is emphasized there; "... our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son ..." That is the basis of the epistle. The nature of that is expanded in the epistle, but we are not dealing with the nature, we are observing the fact of union with the Lord in heaven.
This is not merely the relationship between a god and his worshipers as in heathenism. There is a relationship between the gods of the heathen and their worshipers, but you can never call it a union. This is not relationship between a master and his servants, neither is this the relationship as of a workman and his tools. All these represent a relationship, but they never represent a union. What the Lord has designed is something very different from that kind of relationship. We fear that there are not a few people who know only that kind of relationship. God to them is a Creator, and they are His creation. God to them is God - perhaps the only true God - and they are worshipers of the true God. But that is not union. God has willed union. That is a great fact which is revealed throughout the Scriptures.
2. The Nature, Basis and Plan of This Union
(a) The Nature
The nature is that which carries it beyond such relationships as we have just mentioned. The nature of this relationship is essentially spiritual; that is, it is a union of spirit. "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." "... they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit..." because God is Spirit." The union then, is the union of spirit. That goes deeper than any other kind of union. We cannot go deeper than that. That defines the nature of man in the deepest, the most real part of his being, that is is fundamentally in the sight of God, spirit.
(continued with # 39 - ((b) The Basis)