This article has a bit more comprehending difficulties than most of the others I've posted. If you encounter enough difficulty (in which it took me a bit to get it all), please feel at complete liberty to bring it up for discussion, which of-course is the same for any material I post.
From Guest to Possessor
What is the difference between one in the company of the Lord Jesus and one who is united to Him? It is evident that the later includes the former; but the former, as we see even in the case of John leaning on His bosom, does not include the later. If I sit under His shadow, I have great delight, and His fruit is sweet to my taste while I am there; but if this scene changes, I have no certain link with the happy scene which I have left.
The sense of past enjoyment is not a link; it may be assured to me by the Word, but I require to be there again in order to be conscious of my right to be there. Now if I am in living union with the Lord Jesus I am secured in everything that I have enjoyed, whether I am in the scene of enjoyment or not. “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor 6:17). The realization of being united to Him by the Spirit comforts and sustains my heart in a much greater way than the double portion of Elijah’s spirit and his mantle cheered and helped Elisha when a lonely one in the wilderness.
No nearness of company could acquaint me with the wondrous unfoldings of the Spirit to me when I am in conscious union with the Lord Jesus. How could any mere quest comprehend that word, “At that day ye shall know (be conscious) that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you”? No experience could surpass this; and it can, through the Spirit by Whom it is made known, exist in any scene. No one without a divine nature could appreciate the perfectness of the Lord Jesus Christ, or enjoy His company.
But it is evident that the enjoyment cannot be but where He is who affords it; and hence, however capable I may be of enjoying it, if I am not in the scene where He is, there can be no real enjoyment; whereas, if I am united to Him by the Spirit, I am conscious of being in Him and He in me; and therefore though not bodily in the scene of enjoyment, yet I possess the One who makes the scene so enjoyable. I am not only a guest, but I am owner in Christ. He owns everything I have here; I own everything He has there. A guest necessarily only enjoys while he is a guest. The owner is possessor where he is.
The order as it appears to me is, first, a guest, and this we see (Rev 3) is of a twofold character. Christ sups with me, enters into my circumstances, as He says to Zaccheus, “Make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.” He first meets us in every variety of circumstances on our side, and next, we sup with Him. We pass into the circle of His things. We are emphatically His guests. We are conscious of untold benefits in His company.
But the next thing is, and it is an immense advance, that we are in union with Him; and the more we have gained by and appreciated His company, the more do we comprehend the vastness of the favor of union with Him; and it is consequent on union, abiding in Him, that we fellowship with Him and bring forth much fruit.
The heir and owner possess all that the guest enjoys, and he loses not the realization of possession, though he be not in the place of possession; but because he is in the spirit of the owner, he acts in the power and character of the owner, where his title is either unacknowledged or refused. There may be bright seasons of enjoyment to the guest, but there is no enjoyment when he is not a guest; if he be not consciously in union with Christ, the source and owner of all, neither can there be true service as servant and friend to Him down here, where He is disowned and refused.