Thoughts from J. B. Stoney, based on the truths of scriptures such as John 14:1-4; Mark 16:19 (KJV); Acts 2:22-36; 7:55-56; Philippians 3:20; Ephesians 1:3, 19-22; 2:6; Hebrews 1:3; 3:1; 4:14; 8:1; 10:19-22, 34; 12:1-2; 13:14; Colossians 3:1-4:
"The Lord Jesus is not now on earth. He has ascended into Heaven. What a very peculiar position then is mine here! Sensible of the worthlessness of the first man, and of the absence of the Second. My own life -- that of the first man -- I hate; the One I love -- the Man who has glorified the Father on earth -- I find no longer here. How can I get on? Only as united to the One in Glory. HE IS MY LIFE. One with Him I can walk here, not to cultivate my own life, but to manifest HIS, which is mine IN HIM."
"It is a most important thing to get clear about this great fact -- WHERE Christ is, and WHY He is where He is. He is at the "right hand of the Majesty on High," and God's eye rests on the believer THERE, because Christ has removed everything according to the will of His Father (John 19:30; Hebrews 1:3; 10:5-18; Romans 4:8; 6:6-7; 8:3, 33; II Corinthians 5:14-21).
God says, "I have removed everything from My own eye in the most perfect way." If you do not believe this you cannot enjoy what He has done. Do our souls grasp the fullness of that wondrous fact, THAT GOD HAS A GLORIFIED MAN IN HEAVEN, ON WHOM HIS EYE EVER RESTS; AND NOT ON HIM ONLY, BUT ON EVERY BELIEVER IN HIM NOW?"
"The tragic lack I find in souls is, that while they know their sins are forgiven, they do not know their new position in Christ. What place have you? Is it earth or heaven? It could not possibly be earth, for Christ was rejected from the earth. It has a great moral effect upon a person to be able to say, "I have a position in Heaven; I HAVE NO PROPERTY ON EARTH AT ALL; IT IS ALL IN HEAVEN." All I have down here is His; all He has up there is mine.
"Who shall give you that which is your own?" (Luke 16:12). It is the Lord's property I have on earth, but in Heaven I have my own. In the Garden of Eden, man lost his place; man is lost. The question to him then is, first, Where art thou? Then, What hast thou done? Every believer seeks to be clear as to the latter, but very few are clear as to the former."
"It is very difficult to lead saints to understand and accept the simple fact that THEY BELONG TO HEAVEN because the One who cleared us from the misery and judgment under which we lay IS IN HEAVEN. HE IS MY LIFE (Colossians 3:4), AND HE IS IN HEAVEN. Souls are slow to truly learn this, and to take it to heart.
But -- what are you doing? Trying to make yourself as comfortable HERE, as you can! (Hebrews 11:13;13:14; Col. 3:1-3) I ask, where is the Source of your life? HE IS IN HEAVEN -- then your "associations of life" ARE IN HEAVEN."
"You belong to another sphere altogether. YOU HAVE DIED, and your New Creation Life is "HIDDEN WITH CHRIST IN GOD." Be like a tree that has its roots IN HEAVEN, and its branches down here. No doubt they are fretted and nipped by the atmosphere here, but nothing can touch the roots up there. "Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God" (Psalm 92:13). Planted INSIDE, they flourish OUTSIDE."
"I have a very critical and personal question for you. ARE YOU AT HOME WITH HIM THERE? If you read the writings of the old divines, you will find beautiful statements of their affection for Christ; but they do not rise beyond Christ on earth, and so far they are beautiful, I quite admit. But you do not lose your first acquaintance with Christ risen from the dead, when you know Him IN GLORY. When the heart discovers that "He is not here" it is an immense solace to know Him WHERE He is."
"You may be a redeemed man, running on TO Heaven, but that is NOT the same as being now IN HEAVEN. An Ephesian is one coming FROM Heaven. He is not only raised up, but he KNOWS he is raised up, to the spot WHERE CHRIST IS. He has BY FAITH IN THE FACTS crossed over to Heaven, and now comes back from it, and yet STILL IS IN THE PLACE WHERE CHRIST IS, in spirit, though not yet in body." Philippians 4:8
More later, Lord willing.