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The Calling of the First Disciples of Jesus and the High Movement of Angels

03.05.2020, Daniel Glimm

‹bersetzung: Margit Kelly

With this message, I want to take a look at the calling of the first disciples Jesus called to follow Him.
 
Some of them were so excited about this that they couldn't restrain themselves. These disciples gave a testimony of their encounter with Jesus.
 
Their testimony was directly connected to His presence as the son of God.
In this the presence of Jesus cooperated with the testimony of His disciples who spoke about the living truth.
 
Come and See!
 
Philip was one of the first disciples of Jesus who was called; with a statement about vision he invited Nathanael to come and see Jesus (see John 1:46b).
 
John 1:46b:
… 46b “Come and see,” said Philip.
 
Deep inside my heart I feel that it is time for the body of Christ to take hold of Philip's statement and to speak to the people.
 
This invitation should not be spoken from a heart filled with hope deferred or any kind of doubt but with living, convincing faith.
 
The Testimony of the Vision
 
As people of God we have to be aware that our God, the God of Israel, is powerful and that He takes action. In this we need to make sure not to speak of the signs and wonders of the past only, but to also bear witness to the present-day presence of God by our statement of vision.
 
It says that Nathanael was invited by Philip to come and see the presence of Jesus; this tells us that Philip already saw Jesus and he was keen for Nathanael to see Jesus, too. In this day means it that we have to be willing to leave our accustomed place or current comfort zone, when we get called by Jesus to meet Him in a new place.
 
When we display this willingness and leave our current comfort zone by the “testimony of vision” we start seeing the presence of Jesus and how He moves among the people in this time and serves them.
 
The Special Status of the First Things in the Eyes of God
 
There is an importance on Jesus' calling of the first disciples, because in the eyes of God all first things have a special status, and it carries a basic principle which we need to understand better (see Exodus 13:12-13; Exodus 23:19).
 
Exodus 13:12-13:
… 12 you are to give over to the LORD the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD.
13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.
 
Exodus 23:19:
19 “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.
 
Nathanael's Appointment, the Fig Tree and its Relevance
 
In link with the appointment of Nathanael who, according to the gospel of John, was the fourth disciple to be called to follow Jesus, a deep revelation is hidden, which is connected to our spiritual identity in Jesus Christ.
 
The name “Nathanael” means “God has given.” And the number “4” is connected to the Hebrew letter “Daleth“, which in turn is connected to an “open tent entrance” or an “opened wing of a door“.
 
According to His word of knowledge Jesus saw Nathanael sitting beneath a fig tree (see John 1:48).
 
John 1:48:
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
 
The fig tree represents the people of Israel and it is one of the most important fruit trees in Israel. It is no coincidence that the fig tree is indirectly mentioned by name in the biblical creation account (see Genesis 3:7-8).
 
Genesis 3:7-8:
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
 
We may assume that after the fall Adam and Eve stood close to the fig tree or even beneath it, because they used its leaves to cover their nakedness or to even hide behind it from God.
God said, Adam and Eve were allowed to eat from all the trees in the garden except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which was located in the center of the garden (see Genesis 2:9.16-17).
 
Genesis 2:9.16-17:
9 The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. …
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
 
Hence we can see that God set apart the fig tree from the other trees in the garden or rather, He emphasized it so that it received the place of a chosen tree, as it was located in the center of the garden.
 
In a similar way God chose His people Israel and her capital Jerusalem from among all the peoples on earth as His special possession and placed them in the center of the peoples on the earth (see Deuteronomy 7:6-7 i.c.w. Ezekiel 5:5).
 
Deuteronomy 7:6-7:
6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.
 
Ezekiel 5:5:
5 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.
 
The fig tree became a test for Adam and Eve to submit to God's instruction in order to live in a pure relationship with God or, on the other hand, to oppose His instruction and be removed from the immediate nearness of God.
 
This explanation clearly shows that God challenges us, mankind, as we have to decide whether we are for His chosen people (note: Israel) or against them.
 
Nathanael's Spiritual Understanding
 
Looking at the place where Nathanael sat beneath the fig tree, his name and his position as the fourth disciple called by Jesus, we can see that he functioned in his spiritual position of authority and that he had a spiritual understanding of Israel's position and her capital Jerusalem.
 
In the book of Judges for instance it was Deborah, the judge and prophetess, who also sat beneath a tree and dispensed justice in Israel (see Judges 4:4-5).
 
Judges 4:4-5:
4 Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.
5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.
 
As God is spirit and as Nathanael's identity means “given by God“, we recognize that Nathanael knew his place of authority in the spirit (see John 4:24a).
 
John 4:24a:
24a God is spirit, …
 
Nathanael had a territorial understanding of the position of regions or cities in the spiritual realm. We can see this when we look at the answer he gave Philip by telling him that normally nothing good can be expected from Nazareth, because its inhabitants had only little faith for the Messiah, as was confirmed later (see John 1:45-46 i.c.w. Matthew 13:58).
 
John 1:45-46:
45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.
 
Matthew 13:58:
58 And he (note: Jesus) did not do many miracles there (note: Nazareth) because of their lack of faith.
Nathanael had a humble, devout heart and was willing to submit to the instruction of the revelatory truth given to him by Philip despite his knowledge about Nazareth; so Nathanael left his place beneath the fig tree and entered into the presence of the son of God (see John 1:47-48).
 
John 1:47-48:
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
 
Thus it was no coincidence that Jesus while speaking to Nathanael mentioned the fig tree in connection with calling him a true Israelite, because the fig tree is a symbol for the people of Israel, as I mentioned earlier.
 
Because Jesus had spoken a word of knowledge, Nathanael sensed the authority of Jesus Christ in the realm of the spirit by acknowledging Jesus as Rabbi (note: complete authority in the word of God), Son of God (note: complete authority in the true relationship with God, the Father) and King of Israel (note: complete governmental authority; see John 1:49).
 
John 1:49:
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
 
The Authorization to See Even Greater Things
 
Because of Nathanael's faith and his knowledge, Jesus granted him the right to see greater things which were connected to the exchange of angelic powers in the regions by the presence of Jesus (see John 1:50-51).
 
John 1:50-51:
50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”
51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
 
Looking at John 1:50-51, we see clearly that all believers in Christ who identify themselves with the divine choice of the people of Israel and the knowledge of the Son of God, will begin to see the heavens open and the angels moving up and down in the presence of Jesus. The reason for this we find in Zechariah 2:8b, where it states that Israel holds the position of the apple of God's eye with Jerusalem as its pupil; as Christians coming from the Gentiles, it enables us to view our life and environment with enlightened eyes to advance with confidence into our future with Jesus Christ.
 
Zechariah 2,8b:
… 8b for whoever touches you (note: Israel) touches the apple of his eye – …
 
The Significance of the Ascend and Descend of God's Angels
 
The ascending and descending of the angels of God over Jesus Christ reveal the exchange of angelic powers which is similar to the exchange of angels at the time of Jacob, when he was in a time of transition and received a promise from God (see Genesis 28:12-15).
 
Genesis 28:12-15:
12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.
14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.
15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
 
The ascending and descending of the angels over Jesus Christ is an indication for the high movement of the angels from God's throne room, and they are assigned to carry His secrets in the shape of scrolls in order to reveal them for this time. These secrets can only be received by those who identify themselves with Israel as God's chosen people and are aware of the significance in the realm of the spirit and who have truly submitted to Jesus Christ as head. Moreover, this supernatural ascend and descend is related to the increase in knowledge of the glory of the LORD (see Habakkuk 2:14).
 
Habakkuk 2:14:
14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
 
In summary, we learn from the walk of the disciple named Nathanael the principle of spiritual identification, because we need a spiritual as well as a higher perspective, so we can keep our focus on the Almighty in times of aberration and confusion among the nations. Only God's choice, grace and sovereignty as Father creates the movement of the Spirit through the Son in the people of God; this in turn enables the body of Christ to have access to the glory of the LORD according to Isaiah 60. This glory movement gives birth to the true bridal structure of the heavenly Jerusalem (see Isaiah 60:1-2 i.c.w. Revelation 21:2.9-14).
 
Isaiah 60:1-2:
1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
 
Revelation 21:2.9-14:
2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. …
9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
 
Amen and Amen.
 
In His Wisdom,
 
Daniel Glimm




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