Christ in the Spirit says ‘Behold, ‘I AM’ quick in my coming, always sudden as awareness and utterly direct as presence, instantaneously quick when invoked.’ First to come and last to stay, Christ unveils God’s Name, ‘ I AM,’ alpha and omega, aware at the beginning and present to the end, always shining and radiantly bright whether like the morning star of dawn, (see Rev 22: 13,16) or the same Venus, the evening star at dusk. When Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, she turned and saw him, but at first she knew him not (John 20: 14-18). Turning to her he asked her why she wept and whom she was seeking. Turning, he named her name, Mary, ‘Mari Yah,’ which means ‘my Lord is I AM.’ His name was Jesus, YAH shuah, meaning, ‘I AM’ saves.’ She turned and knew him in the Name as resurrection and as life, saying, ‘Rabboni, Master!’ He sent her to her brethren, his disciples, as his first apostle, love’s chosen apostle sent to announce resurrection and renewing life to love’s chosen apostles. Christ as wisdom and glory comes quickly, communicating peace, saying to the disciples that as the Father sends him, so he sends them (John 20: 21). Behold, ‘I AM’ quickening all things, suddenly.
Blessed is the Word of prophecy that communicates the Name as sudden wisdom unveiling instantaneous glory, awakening hearts to the uncreated light of Christ, opening to the Spirit’s anointing awareness of Christ’s presence in the midst. Christ makes his apostles friends of God and prophets, but reminds them that as prophets, friends of God are crucified as he was. He goes away but sends them the Spirit of Truth to guide them into all truth. The Spirit also comes quickly to impart what is Christ’s, revealing God’s Name by hallowing it. He transmits intercession in his Name, ‘I AM.’ He promises that all prayer in his Name will be answered by his Father in his Name, for ‘I AM’ and his Father are one. Confusion scatters but sorrow transforms, through recognition and thanksgiving, into ecstatic joy. Wisdom awakens friends of God through prophecy so as to turn friends into prophets, but the world condemns and crucifies prophecy just as the world condemns and crucifies Christ. Whenever wisdom beholds glory and hallows the Name, prophecy is pilloried and mocked, being mistaken for blasphemy by religions in power. But wisdom transmits great peace through the transfigured heart of Christ, imparting ineffable joy through the heart of Christ crucified and risen. Wisdom discerns light in the ascended heart of Christ and glory in the heart of Christ enthroned and interceding as ‘I AM’ in the hearts of saints and angelic hosts. They intercede for the glorification of all in his Name. Glorification is not therefore an optional extra that may be perpetually postponed. It is the mystery of sudden wisdom and quickening glory revealed in the heart of Christ glorified, whether or not this mystery is recognised and known. It is Christ’s intention for all as for himself, loving them without self-interest as himself.
The fact that prophecy is crucified whenever Christ comes quickly, quickening all things suddenly, explains why the mystery of glorification is instinctively and so conventionally avoided. Prophecy is crucified to preserve the religion of fear from the Cross of suffering love. But Christ suddenly cures fear by coming quickly through closed doors. Before Abraham was, Christ who is ‘I AM’ lives and communicates God’s timeless, resurrected life by overcoming death through death, descending into hell to resurrect diabolic confusion as hallowed communion, resurrecting satanic separation as indivisible union. Emmanuel unveils ‘I AM,’ God with us, holding the keys of hell and of death. Prophecy tells what it sees and so is condemned to hell for blasphemy by the ruling powers that be. Wisdom comes quickly but refrains from condemning apostles too quickly, perhaps because they fail to come up to some particular expectation. Those who overcome will eat of the tree of life, partaking of wisdom in the midst of paradise. The unveiled face of ‘I AM’ is first to prophesy so is last to lay claim to prophecy to condemn prophecy. Faithful unto death, wisdom’s first death overcomes death, but wisdom’s second death crowns glory with glory’s own living crown, which is alive with Christ’s undying resurrected life.
Wisdom is a two-edged sword severing communion from confusion so as to heal division with hallowing union. The glory of presence heals ethnic separations but not without long-suffering love, a white stone concealing the Name of names. The bread of glorious presence calls for the wine of wise awareness if the Name is to be truly hallowed. ‘I AM’ is a flame of fire sweeping quickly through the stubble of our paltry minds. Prophecy itself does not err but may discern its own difficult glory to lie in dying to what it was given once but not once and for all. The glory of the Cross of unselfish love may take prophecy where at one time it said it would not go. Eating meat offered to idols is not an issue anymore, but it was once an issue when the Spirit in Jerusalem inspired seven apostolic epistles to seven churches in Asia (Rev 2 and 3). What prophecy saw as Barlaam’s synagogues of Satan were later received as Saint Paul’s seven Churches in Asia who were no longer bound by Jewish Torah. Jezebel’s fornication was discerned to be the faithful discipleship of Saint Lydia, seller of purple dye in Thyatira, who was widely remembered as the first Christian convert in Europe. Prophecy in Jerusalem was once in conflict with prophecy among Gentile Christians in Asia, but when the Holy Spirit inspires a canon which embraces both conflicting prophecies, it does not undermine or quench prophecy but faces into the heart of the prophetic mysteries of the Cross of costly love.
The wisdom of the morning star does not forget her first love, which is the glory of presence. Evenstar wisdom does not neglect the holy oil that nourishes the flame in her lamp as she watches and waits on ‘I AM.’ The Name names all who are written in the book of life, even if they were in conflict over excruciating difficulties as early Christianity was first being separated from Judaism. The destruction of Jerusalem destroyed the Jerusalem Church of James and jewish Christians. Later generations of Christians were caught up in conflicts like the English Civil War, where the eventual restoration of monarchy was made possible by an earlier Puritan Parliament scape-goating Quaker prophecy. Whenever wisdom inspires prophecy to awaken prayer of the Spirit in the heart, the crucial question arises, does the stillness of prayer in the end require the quenching of prophecy? Sometime the tension is almost unbearable but when prophecy is quenched, quietism replaces not only prophecy but prayer of the heart as well and the radical eschatological roots of Christian mysteries are lost.
Holy is the Name ‘I AM’ in throngs of saints and angel hosts who witness to God’s awareness in their single-eyed foreheads and his presence in their whole-eyed hearts. Wisdom’s open door of ever-present awareness calls for living prophecy and life-giving prayer. Wisdom is a crown of glory when God’s renewing Name is hallowed. The Name regenerates all who turn and see God’s ‘I’ awareness ever-present and ‘AM’ presence ever-aware, wisdom beholding glory in the midst. He who is ‘I AM’ in the midst awakens awareness to presence and presence to awareness, always opening wisdom to glory through prophecy and prayer. Prophets become apostles when ‘I AM’ sends and is sent, when prophecy inspires epistles that are sent by wisdom, but also the wisdom of prayer that receives them. Elders may be said to transmit wisdom but they know that God alone is the giver of this grace and God alone can truly receive this grace. For it is God who awakens through God to God in Holy Trinity and elders without this three-in-one mystery of grace are nothing.
The wisdom of ‘I AM’ is timelessly sudden and the glory of presence is always quick in coming to enlighten and hallow wounded hearts. Sudden wisdom is the faithful and true witness to the quickening glory of ‘I AM,’ never tepid like a lukewarm bath but a flame of uncreated fire. Well-tempered and tried by fire, elders know that Christ’s ‘I AM’ is always waiting at the door of the heart, waiting but also knocking. Emmanuel, God-with-us, enters when invited but never forces his way in. Glory enthrones God in all who no longer usurp God at centre. Wisdom crowns all who no longer confuse ‘me’ with ‘I AM.’ But it is God who overcomes when wisdom comes, and it is by God’s kind and generous grace that glory opens from glory to glory. Heaven opens to glory when wisdom knocks, but without the Name, awareness is cut off from presence and presence from awareness. Sudden and quicker than quick, wisdom beholds glory, awareness beholding presence without trace of separation. Mystical union is Christ’s generous intent and wisdom’s restoration of glory to glory never fails to restore glory to God. The suddenness of wisdom renews all things with her quickening eye, embracing glory as instantaneous presence.