The believer is supposed to see self now as being with the Lord Jesus in heaven; for God has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6; Col 2:12, 13; 3:1)! There will be nothing to interrupt the resurrection of the saved; thus it’s as we are in heaven now!!

Personal Fellowship

It is evident that you must be with the Lord Jesus in His place before you can enjoy true fellowship with Him, and many miss this blessing because they are looking for it apart from being with Him where He is. If we realize that He is not here, in no way could we reach Him now but buy the Spirit, leaving this place and going to His place (postionally and spiritually speaking - Eph 2:6—NC).

This is where the defect in saints is. People are ready to change from one place to another in this world if they can secure an improvement, but there is a great reluctance, even in saints, to leave it altogether for another region. The idea in Christendom, founded on the supposition that the Lord Jesus is here, is, that going from one chapel or place of worship to another, you can get nearer to Him, whereas the fact is that He is not here, and you can only get to Him by the Spirit of God (don’t just go to where He is talked about, but go to Him personally—NC). It is on the principle of “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.

This is not going from meeting to meeting, but going to Him in the place where He is, to which the Spirit of God always leads you. It is only where He is that you can behold His personal glory via the written Word of God, and it is there you are “changed into the same image” (2Co 3:18). There you have fellowship with Him. It is easy to see what a “change” it would make to us all if we realized that we can only reach Him in His own place by the Spirit.

It is a new day to your soul when you realize that the Lord Jesus is the Source of everything, and that it is from Him you must draw, and not simply ministry about Him (Eph 3:16, 17). Many can explain Scripture and even apply it, who are not under the influence of it themselves (saved but not growing yet—NC). They have not come from Him, and are not themselves imbued with that which they are trying to convey. There is much wise counsel and good teaching which is not applicable to the moment. It does not effect what is the Lord’s desire as the end of ministry, which is to lead souls to Himself, because it is not spoken in fellowship with Himself. You must first get to where He is, and then you are brought into concert with the scene where He is.

If one thinks of what it is for a man to be made in the image of God, it is no wonder that he should be elated at the greatness of his origin; and therefore, man’s intense unwillingness to part with the man of the first order—Adam. No one heartily parts with the first man—himself, until he makes the painful discovery that in his flesh (in his sinful nature, the old man) “dwells no good thing” (Rom 7:18); and that the Man who died for him is the One who has borne the judgment for him, and is the spotless Son of God.

So that not only is the offending man brought to death in the Cross, but every believer has a totally new beginning of the new-creation order of Him who is risen from among the dead, and who is the Man of the Father’s pleasure. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1Co 15:22).

—James Butler Stoney (1814-1897)

“We must be born into our ministry, our service; and it must be born in us. Thus it will be a sharing of life, through which others will be born and will “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). —MJS

“Our Father will never put work or service in the place of character (what we do by Christ—NC); and, if we do that, eternity will reveal that, however much we may have done, we are very small amongst the inhabitants of the Land, whose stature will be measured by ‘the measure of Christ.’ It would be well if all who contemplate or are engaged in the work of God were governed by this one absolute final law: that, both as to themselves and as to those amongst whom they minister, the ultimate test is—not how much work is done, but how much of Christ is present, or results from the sharing.” -T. A-S.

The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS