We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 1Co 13:12 Msg
What is the goal of this whole thing of humanity? Why are we here? What does God intend with all this?
The goal is total unity and eternal relationship. We in Him, He in us, and we all in the Father. God wants a wife for his son, and he wants the two to become one flesh. One body, Jesus the head, and we the body. A new creation, the second Adam, the one new man.
Not millions of men and women in heaven with him, but so much more. A new being, the collective intelligence, emotionality, willfulness, creativity, curiosity of many in one new man. Total unity in diversity. Collective, not swarm. Each and every part irreplaceable, unique, wonderful, but codependent on everybody else. The individual in its highest calling, to serve the whole.The whole in its greatest purpose, to look after the individual. And all that in and for constant praise of the Father.
This is what Peter alludes to when he tells us that we are living stones of the temple. This is what the song of songs tells us. This is what the creation story tells us: bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. And they will become one flesh again.
What will it look like?
Little do we know, but what we know is this: love will be there, together with hope and faith. But prophecy, tongues, and knowledge will be rendered useless.
Wait, after all you told us about knowledge, wisdom, and understanding lately, now this?
Just remember, the verses we are talking about today are in the new testament. The word for knowledge here is Greek, not Hebrew. It is gnosis.
Why are prophecy, tongues, and knowledge rendered useless? The paragraph we read from tells us that we prophecy in part, we know in part. But once we see clearly, who needs the partial any longer? We will then see that all the knowledge we accumulated about temporal facts is useless. It does not matter whether it was true in the first place—a lot of it probably was. It fades in the light of truth, in clear sight of the real thing.
We will recognize that all gnosis, all science, all information only had one reason d’être, one reason to exist: to point to him. Be it the complexity of biological life, the mysteries of the universe, or the sheer beauty of logic and mathematics, they all point to God. Through Jesus, everything is created, and he holds it all together.
- Knowledge in the Greek sense is but a tool to accumulate understanding and wisdom.
- Prophecy is but a tool of encouragement and guidance as long as we do not understand.
- Tongues are but a tool to bridge the language barrier between the natural and the supernatural.
Our toolset will be perfected: love, hope, faith.
Not that this toolset will be new. We already have access to it as much as we want and understand. I am back speaking Hebrew: accumulate wisdom and understanding, and we will get to know him better and better. And as he is love, he gives hope, and functions through faith, wisdom and understanding are part of the toolset to grow in love, hope, and faith, as much as love, hope and faith provoke in us a longing to know him better . It is all intertwined.
When will this happen?
Is this the afterlife? One thing I know: for all those gone before us, it is. But how about us?
But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. 1Co 13:10
[Christ cleansed the church] so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Eph 5:27
There are a few key word in the verses above that point to an answer about the when, and where. Not as in date and hour, but let’s see.
The complete will arrive. From the above we can see that the complete is this new creation, this unity, this body. This body was created at the cross. That is were the new creation started. But as regular readers of this blog recall, we do not believe and therefore not live and take hold of that, but are on a journey of revelation to grasp this truth fully. As Paul says in Ephesians:
… until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ. Eph 4:13 Msg
But the key word I am after is arrive. This tells me that it will come, not that we will go. In revelation, God comes to live with his people, in their very midst.
The process is very clear in this verse:
So that he might make [the church] holy, having made it clean with the washing of water by the word. Eph 5:26
He made us clean, and he is making us holy.
Jesus wants to present a wife, a church to his Father without spot or wrinkle. He already made this possible, he made it happen at the cross. Let’s grow into this. Here. Now. He gave us all the tools we need. Let’s go.
Let us use the full toolset that he gave us to grow into what we already are.
Let us serve each other with our unique portfolio of gifts. Let us love each other, build us and others up through prophecy, tongues, hope, and faith. And let us search wisdom and understanding to know him better.
Let us exchange our sources of knowledge that only give us gnosis with the ones that show us God. Read his word, listen to teaching and preaching, pray, communicate with him, commune with him, and communicate and commune with others that are on the same search, expose yourself to the fivefold ministry. It is that easy: search first the Kingdom of God, and everything else will be added to you.
Do you know some more tools? Help us with your gifts and understanding in the comments, please.