"Is the Lord Jesus "in heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:20-21)? Am I united to Him there now, or am I only going to be united with Him when I die? Am I NOW in this very place before the Father, raised up together with the Lord Jesus, and so "in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:3; Phil. 3:20)? It is quite evident that the teaching of the Book of Ephesians is that WE ARE SO; however, it is notorious that the doctrine of most Christians is, that we cannot be so till we die.
Now, why is it that people do not enter into this truth? A primary reason is, you cannot be both a prosperous earthly man, entering into that which occupies men here below, and a heavenly man too; but the natural mind would like to make the best of this world, and the best of the next, too. The truth is, I must cross the Jordan now as a Christian; nay, I HAVE crossed it IN CHRIST, if I am a Christian! So you will observe that I am not going to point out to you what you have TO DO, but I wish to make plain WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU, if you are a believer. How blessed it is that Christianity does not hold out what I must attain to in order to be saved, but is a revelation of what the Father has given me in His Beloved Son!
Our Father gives us a salvation so full, that it not only means that we have been brought across the Red Sea (thus made pilgrims and strangers in this world), but that we have been brought across the Jordan into heavenly places, and blessed with all spiritual blessings there. You say, perhaps, it is mysticism. No such thing. It is the very negation of mysticism. For THIS turns the eye to the Lord Jesus IN GLORY (an objective, Biblical FACT -- Acts 2:30-36; 7:55-56; Hebrews 1:3, 13; 8:1; 10:12-13), and the Father's work IN HIM; whereas mysticism occupies the heart with its FEELINGS about Him (a subjective, emotional thing, that may have little or nothing to do with the Biblical FACTS).
If the Lord Jesus is my life, and He is seated there, it is evident that I have by the Spirit of God who dwells in me, and who has been sent by the Lord Jesus, a divine link with Him who has entered there. It is thus that the Father speaks of us according to THAT WHICH IS TRUE OF HIS SON. That is, He being there, and He being the very LIFE of the believer (Colossians 3:4; Phil. 1:21), and the Holy Spirit the POWER of that LIFE, we are spoken of according to the place that the Lord Jesus has entered.
The grand point of the Red Sea is what the Lord Jesus brings us OUT OF, and that of the Jordan is what He brings us INTO. It is quite evident that what the Father sets forth by this illustration is the blessed truth that the Lord Jesus having entered into the very place where the Father means the Christian to be, He would form us according to the Son in that which is to be our true home. Our proper home IS NOT THIS WORLD, nay, not even the millennial kingdom state. Our hope is not any change that will ever take place in this world, but the "Father's house," where the Lord Jesus is dwelling. The Father means that where He is we shall be. It is not merely that the Lord Jesus will come and bless us where we are (like Israel by and by), but that He will come and take us to WHERE HE IS; this is what we are waiting for; but meanwhile we are viewed and treated as ONE WITH HIM TO WHOM WE ARE UNITED THERE.
I beseech you to hold fast this vital truth. You have passed across the Jordan as truly as you have marched through the Red Sea. You are not only to remember that you are a pilgrim in this dark world, but that you have a living link in heaven; be sure you regard it as your own proper home. The wilderness is merely a place of sojourn, but the heavenly places are our only abiding position. The Father's purpose is to have us in heaven WITH HIMSELF was decreed before the world was. The world has become sinful, and so has become a wilderness, for there would be no wilderness if there was not sin; but the Father has delivered us in grace from our sins, and has also brought us in spirit through the wilderness into glory. As a matter of fact, indeed, we have sin, and are passing through the wilderness; BUT IN TITLE AND POSITION, AND AS UNITED TO THE LORD JESUS AS OUR LIFE, WE ARE CLEAR FROM BOTH. May the Father in His grace give us to enter more into this Truth, and to LIVE IN THE REALITY OF IT!"
-- William Kelly