With and Without
“Enoch walked with God...and God took him” home...that’s where his heart was. Genesis 5:24. “Noah walked with God” Gen 6:9 in an earth that was corrupt and filled with violence. Jacob wrestled with God’s Son and his name was changed. “Your name shall be called no more Jacob (cheater), but Israel, for as a prince you have power with God and with men, and has prevailed.” Gen 32:28. Hosea referred to this in Hosea 12:3,4 “Jacob...had power with God; he had power Over the angel and prevailed.” Gen 39:3
Joseph was sold as a slave in Egypt, but “his master saw that the LORD was with him”. In prison, the warden relied on Joseph “because the LORD was with him” 39:23. Even “Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him” 1Sam 18:12. “Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God” Exodus 19:17. Is this a lesson, a message for us today? To come out...my people, so you can be with God. Out of darkness, out of error, out of the city, into His marvelous light. Job said, “I desire to reason with God” Job 13:3. God even invites us to do just that “Come let us reason together” Isaiah 1:18.
But it wasn’t always that way. There were good kings, and bad kings. 2Chronicles 15:3 tells the story: “Now for a long season Israel had been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without the law” Hosea described it this way: “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and teraphim. Hosea 3:4. An image? Teraphim? These were idols that the northern kingdom had worshiped, and the very reason they were now without a king or a prince.
Then, in the fullness of time, God sent His Son into the world to be Immanuel, God with us. How could this be?, Mary asked. Gabriel assured her, “With God nothing shall be impossible” Luke 1:37.
Jesus said, “with men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible” Matt 19:26. This time the subject was being saved, a camel or a rich man. And Jesus made a comparison between Salvation with men or with God; impossible or possible. Or as Luke quoted him (18:27), “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God”.
Being in the form of God, Immanuel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God”, “the same was in the beginning with God” John 1:1,2, “that eternal life which was with the Father” 1John 1:2. He is our “Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” 1John 2:1. “Truly, Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” 1John 1:3.
Jesus said, “I am set down with my Father in his throne” Rev 3:21. And he invites us to overcome even as He overcame, that we might sit with Him in His throne. Thus, “We are laborers together with God, God’s husbandry, God’s building” 1Cor 3:9. And we “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” Phil 2:12. Because we “are bought with a price” we can “abide with God” 1Cor 7:23,24.
With God all things are possible: overcoming, salvation, being born again. But “Without me,” Jesus said, “you can do nothing” John 15:5. Pharaoh and Joseph are a type of the Father and the Son. Gen 41:44. Pharaoh told Joseph, “without you shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all Egypt” Just as Joseph was falsely accused, so false witnesses testified against Jesus at his trial. Mark 14:58 We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days, I will build another made without hands”.
Actually, Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days, I will raise it up” John 2: 19. If the false testimony contained some element of truth, the added detail of ‘made with and without hands’ might have been stated by Christ. “You destroy this temple made with human hands...my human body, and in three days I will build another made without human hands, a divine, glorious body, my church.
The expression “without hands” is spoken of that perfect temple of which Jesus is our high priest. Heb 9:11. The “stone cut out of the mountain without hands” Dan 2:45 is a divine, superhuman, process. “The circumcision made without hands” is a divine, spiritual cutting away the foreskin of your hearts. Col 2:11.
“Without Christ” we are “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” Eph 2:12. But with Him we can “Do all things without murmurings and disputings” Phil 2:14. So, “rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1Thess 5:16-18. “Pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting” 1Tim 2:8. “For we have a high priest which CAN be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, Tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.” Heb 4:15.
With and without. Finally, there are those who will stand with the Lamb on mount zion because “they are without fault before the throne of God.” Rev 14:1, 5.
Thank God, He is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you without fault
before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. Jude 24
Grace and peace be unto you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the Father in truth and love. 2 John 3