~ From the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 1 ~
John the crazy man came out of the wild places with fire in his eyes and a brilliance about him that came from the burning passion in his spirit that overflowed until it filled all the atmosphere around him. His wiry, sun darkened body was covered in camel hide and he ate ~ really ~ crunchy locusts and sticky sweet wild honey. His words bore a weight that caused everyone to take note until they could no longer measure themselves by any other standard than the plumb line of God. This required some adjusting, and he offered the solution: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is here!” He came as a witness that the Light of the World was among us and we needed to prepare ourselves for Him. There was a baptism ~ an immersion ~ into a repentance or turning of the whole direction of our focus toward God that brought a remission or complete removal of our sins, a wonderful cleansing from all the guilt and shame and punishment, and a full restoration into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Wow!
The people went out to him in droves and he put them under the rushing current of the river to come up somehow wonderfully clean and changed; aligned with the plumb line of Heaven. It was the call on his life, his destiny. He was the voice in the wilderness crying out: “Prepare the Way of the Lord; make His paths straight.”
And then HE came like an alien from Heaven, His feet in the dust of the earth but His heart and mind still connected and pulling on the unseen realm. And John saw Him and John recognized Him. The Holy One, the Lamb of God, stepped into the river and John put Him under, but not without protesting, “Who am I, Lord…?”
Immediately as He came up through the surface of the moving water the Heavens were ripped open and The Voice boomed out from an unseen source: “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” And the Holy Spirit of God came upon Him in a form all could see: a dove who stayed on this One, the son of man who was being revealed as the Son of God.
And immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness… That word keeps showing up in the Gospel of Mark ~ 12 times in the first chapter alone. Curiously, it’s the same word used for “straight” in John’s charge to the people to make a direct route for the coming of the One. It’s the immediately of God, when we align with Heaven and the favor of God blows open the skies and His Glory fires down on us and seals us as His own, a child of Heaven and Son or Daughter of the Living God.
Immediately in the Greek manuscripts is εὐθέως (eutheōs), which means immediately, directly, straightway, and is used nine times in the first chapter of Mark. Three more times in the same chapter its root word, εὐθύς (euthys) is used to also mean immediately and straightway, but also a straight way, one that is plumb or level, right, and also straight forward, upright, true, sincere.
When we stand under that same Open Heaven as true sons and daughters, in Christ as He is in us, all our sins and failures cleansed by Him, aligned with the Father’s pure purpose, accepted, embraced, affirmed, we find ourselves loved with the same love with which the Father loves Jesus His Son. And then the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Living God, the Spirit of Holiness and Power, comes upon us and we are IN the Son and aligned in the plumb line of God; then unlimited LIFE flows from the Father in an Open Heaven to the Son standing on a ready and receptive earth. This is the immediately of God. This is the alignment that brings all the abundance of the Heavenly Kingdom into all the realms of this world. This is what God has accomplished for us.
The people entered into the waters of a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins to get in line with a straight, level, plumb, right and true path for the Way of the Lord to come from Heaven to earth. It was drama, a prophetic act choreographed by John, the last of the Old Covenant prophets. It pointed to our immersion into the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans chapter six. Even in the prophetic act there is power to enter into the immediately of God, that miraculous realm outside of time where the NOW of God brought complete cleansing even before the chronological death and resurrection of Jesus. How do You DO THAT, God?
Jesus walked in the plumb line of God, always attentive to what the Father was saying and doing. He lived in the NOW of God; like a lightning rod He grounded the limitless abundance of Heaven into circumstances and situations, lives and even concepts and thought processes on the earth. And immediately ~ throughout his Gospel Mark continues to use this word ~ immediately people were healed and their lives transformed. And Jesus extravagantly invites us to enter into it all, one in Him with the Father, welcome to do the works that He does, and even greater works now that He has gone to the Father and they have sent the promised Holy Spirit to be in us. It’s phenomenal, this great honor and privilege! That we can now stand in Him, in the plumb line of Heaven, in the NOW of God that overrides the ravages of time and anyone’s terrible choices and see the immediately of God sweep in like a tidal wave, a cleansing storm, a hurricane, and all that is wiped out are the results of sin and “the handwriting of the ordinances that were against us.” The suddenly of Heaven comes and we see sickness and disease flee along with guilt, shame, hopelessness, fear and depression. With the plumb line of Heaven, with the immediately of God, the Kingdom of Heaven comes NOW and takes ground, impacting lives with love, hope, joy, healing, abundance, as it spreads from person to person, embracing all the realms of this world. This is global takeover at its best…
“That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” John 17: 21-23