|Matthew 18:20 |
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them."3
3 Again I say to you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them." To be "in his name" is to be living in Christ. To be living in Christ is to be in union with Christ, a part of His body. From the Word of the Lord within: "He who is in my name is part of my body;" and if you are part of His body, then all your thoughts, words, and deeds are controlled and commanded by Him. Just like your arms, legs, eyes, hands, etc., are controlled by your head, so all members of Jesus' body are controlled by Him, the head of His body of purified, perfected, holy believers.
It is quite fashionable in today's Christianity to claim to be "in Christ" and "in His name." Even letters are frequently signed off with "Yours in Christ" or "In His Name;" and deficit sect preachers constantly finish their long prayers for show from their carnal minds and evil imaginations with "we ask in His name, (or 'in the name of Jesus'), Amen;" as though saying His name would make a difference to God. To be in His name is to be "in Christ," which is explained by Paul and John below:
- John explains who is in Christ: whoever keeps his word [obeys the Lord's commands spoken to him], truly the love of God is perfected in him; by this we know that we are in him. 1 John 2:5. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12. Notice, this is to be "in Christ" — to have the love of God perfected in you.
- Paul also explains who is in Christ: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Rom 8:1. To walk after the Spirit is to be led by the Spirit in thoughts, words, and deeds. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Gal 5:18. To walk after the flesh is to walk according to your carnal mind and evil heart, before it has been cleansed and purified; until them you are not in Christ Jesus because your are still walking in the flesh — in your lusts, desires, affections, pleasures, pride, anger, vanity, fear, worries, plans, etc.
- Paul further explains who is in Christ: Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor 5:17. This is not to imagine yourself a new creature; this is to experience the death of the old and the birth of the new; death of the sinful nature is the old which must go. And death of the old is only through the cross of Christ, sharing in the suffering of Christ, sharing in the death of Christ, sharing in the burial of Christ, sharing in the resurrection of Christ - that is NEW - all else is presumption and imagination, or make-believe Christianity. From the Word of the Lord within: "The new life is as radically different as a man who has lived underground his whole life, suddenly coming above ground to see the sun, the sky, the plants, the animals, the wind, the stars. If anyone is standing with a new heart, he is a new creature."
From the Word of the Lord within: "He who is in my name is part of my body." This is why prayers from such groups are seldom if ever answered; no one is in union with Christ. If you are in His name, you have been translated into the kingdom of Heaven, and you have received a stone with your new name on it. George Fox relates what it means to have Jesus in the midst of you, making frequent references throughout his Journal, such as:
the people were so affected with the truth and refreshed with the powerful presence of the Lord, that when the meeting ended, they were did not want to depart.
A blessed, weighty meeting it was, in which Friends were sweetly refreshed together; for the Lord was with us, and opened his heavenly treasures among us.
I went that night with him to Evesham; and in the evening we had a large, precious meeting, wherein Friends and people were refreshed with the word of life, and with the power of the Lord.
So the Lord's power was over all and Friends were refreshed within it. From there I went to another market town, where in the evening we had a precious meeting; and the fresh sense of the presence of the Lord God was sweetly felt among us.
After the meeting Friends passed away in peace, greatly refreshed with the presence of the Lord, and filled with joy and gladness that the Lord's power had given them such dominion.
And all waiting and walking in the light, with it you will see the Lord Jesus among you.
We had appointed a meeting five miles from there, where we had a large one at a butcher's house; and it was a blessed meeting. The people were directed to their teacher, the grace of God, which would bring them salvation; and many were settled under its teaching. The Lord's presence was among us, and we were refreshed in him, in whom we labored and travailed; and the meeting was quiet.
And from William Penn's Journal of his second visit to Holland and Germany, the following is an extract regarding the evangelical meetings held at the home of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Frederick V, Prince Palatine of the Rhine and King of Bohemia, and grand-daughter of James I of England:
So we went to our quarters; and some time after we had dined, we returned. The meeting soon began; there were several present besides the Princess and Countess. It was at this meeting, that the Lord in a more eminent manner began to appear. The eternal Word showed itself a hammer at this day, yes, sharper than a two-edged sword, dividing asunder between the soul and the spirit, the joints and the marrow. Yes, this day was all flesh humbled before the Lord! It amazed one, shook another, broke another; the noble arm of the Lord was truly awakened, and the weight and work thereof bowed and tendered us also, after an unusual and extraordinary manner; that the Lord might work an heavenly sign before them, and among them; that the majesty of Him that is risen among the poor Quakers, might in some measure be known unto them, what God it is we serve, and what power it is we wait for and bow before. They had a sense and a discovery that day, what would become of the glory of all flesh, when God shall enter into judgment. Well, let my right hand forget its cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, when I shall forget the loving-kindness of the Lord, and the sure mercies of our God to us his travailing servants that day. O Lord, send forth your light and your truth, that all nations may behold your glory!
Thus continued the meeting till about the seventh hour; which done, with hearts and souls filled with holy thanksgivings to the Lord for his abundant mercy and goodness to us, we departed to our lodging; desiring to know whether our coming the next day might not be uneasy or unseasonable to her with respect to the affairs of her government; it being the last day of the week, when we were informed she was most frequently attended with addresses from her people. But with a loving and ready mind she replied, that she should be glad to see us the next morning, and at any time when we would.
The next morning, being the 11th of the sixth month, we were there between eight and nine; where, Robert Barclay falling into some discourse with the Princess, the Countess took hold of the opportunity, and whispered me to withdraw, to get a meeting for the more inferior servants of the house; who would have been bashful to present themselves before the Princess. And, blessed be the Lord! he was not wanting to us; the same blessed power that had appeared to visit them of high, appeared also to visit them of low degree; and we were all sweetly tendered and broken together; for virtue went forth of Jesus that day, and the life of our God was shed abroad among us as a sweet savor; for which their souls bowed before the Lord, and confessed to our testimony.
It did not a little please that noble young woman, to find her own report of us and her great care of them so effectually answered. Oh! what shall we say? Is there any God like unto our God? who is glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, working wonders! To his eternal name, power and arm, be the glory forever!
.......................... (The next day)
The second hour being at hand, we went to the meeting; where were several, as well of the town as of the family. The meeting began with a weighty exercise and travail in prayer, that the Lord would glorify his own name that day. And by his own power he made way to their consciences, and sounded his awakening trumpet in their ears, that they might know that he was God, and that there is none like unto him. Oh! the day of the Lord livingly dawned upon us, and the searching life of Jesus was in the midst of us! The Word that never fails them that wait for it, and abide in it, opened the way and unsealed the book of life; yes the quickening power and life of Jesus wrought and reached to them; and virtue from him in whom dwells the Godhead bodily, went forth, and blessedly distilled upon us his own heavenly life, sweeter than the spices with pure frankincense, yes, than the sweet smelling myrrh that comes from a far country. And as it began, so it was carried on, and so it ended; blessed be the name of the Lord, and confided in be our God forever!
As soon as the meeting was done, the Princess came to me, and took me by the hand, (which she usually did to us all, coming and going,) and went to speak to me of the sense she had of that power and presence of God, which was among us; but was stopped. And turning herself to the window, she broke forth in an extraordinary passion, crying out, "I cannot speak to you—my heart is full"— clapping her hands upon her breast. It melted me into a deep and calm tenderness; in which I was moved to minister a few words softly to her, and after some lime of silence, she recovered herself; and as I was taking my leave of her, she interrupted me thus; "Will you not come here again? Pray call here as you return out of Germany." I told her, we were in the hand of the Lord; and being his could not dispose of ourselves; but the Lord had taken care, that we should not forget her and those with her; for he had raised and begotten an heavenly concern in our souls for her and them, and we loved them all with that love with which God had loved us; with much more to that purpose.