The Language of Eternal Life
Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. John 8:43
I want to write you a word today about the closed circuitedness of our faith and of our eternal life in the Father.
We who enter into this knowledge of God called eternal life through the message of the Son are become a people of another world. We no longer belong to this world which our bodies and souls still inhabit. Outwardly, we interact with this world, with the world’s people, and with one another. But we as newborn spiritual beings descended straight from the Father through Christ are internally of another Life, and of its Language.
The Language of Eternal Life is a distinct language among us. In that Language, words do not have the same meaning that they do in this life. And it is a Language knowable only to those who are actually of that new birth and lineage. (When we make reference to the “word of God,” it is really to this Language of Eternal Life from the Father spoken among us to which we are referring.)
A language is a language unto itself. A language does not prove its validity to someone of another language. It simply speaks forth from its own language. And anyone on the outside of that language either comes to know it or does not. But one from another language cannot say, “My language is sensible and yours is ridiculous,” or, “My language is a language and yours is not. Your ‘language’ is just babble.”
This is what I mean by the closed circuitedness of our faith. Our faith has its own Language. It speaks as it does because of the Life it comes from. Our Life has a self-contained, self-referenced Language native to it, and the words of our faith all derive from that Language.
Challenging the Demand for Relevancy
The reason I write on this is because of the constant pull made on us to make our faith “understandable” to the world in its language. A presumption demanding “relevancy” exists throughout ministry that contends we must find a way to communicate our faith into a “language the world can understand.” This is a common drumbeat heard today.
But I wish to speak a word of correction to this premise, for it is a false one. The truth is that the Language of Eternal Life stands on its own, need only be spoken, and needs no defense or “translation” before those who do not know it.
The reason we feel a necessity to translate our spirit Language into the language of “Humanese” is because of the confusion that speaking our new Language introduces into the social fabric around us, and the shame and stigma that puts on us in the world’s eyes as a result.
To the world, the Language of Eternal Life is just babble. So wouldn’t it be much easier if we would do the courteous thing and keep translating our closed Eternal Language into a language the world can understand?
The answer is that, yes, it might be easier if it could be done, but no, it can’t be done. This is because the Language of Eternal Life cannot be taught or learned by translation into human terms. It can only be received and believed into by Spirit quickening and understood by Spirit immersion of the human heart. The Language of Eternal Life can only be apprehended this way.
The Language of Jesus
I desperately want to draw your devoted attention to the book of John, especially chapters 3 through 10 and 12. We as God’s people are so far from scripture anymore that we do not understand our own Language or how it works.
But if you will “immerse” yourself in these chapters, you will quickly come to see what I am talking about. If you read, and listen carefully and repeatedly to all the words of Jesus throughout, you will grasp with haste the reality that Jesus is speaking a closed language from another world.
All that Jesus says is “from the Father.” And the Father does not speak in Humanese. He only speaks His Language of Eternal Life (or “Eternal Life-speak”).
When you read what Jesus says, you will find that many words spoken in Eternal Life also used in Humanese do not have human meaning in that Language. We are talking about words like “water, light, bread, flesh, blood, eat, drink,” etc. None of these human words mean the same thing in Eternal Life-speak. Rather, they are all variations on the Spirit-apprehended meaning of Eternal Life itself.
Jesus differentiates His language from Human language here:
6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
- Closed Reference Meanings
So here is what else you will see about Eternal Life-speak. You will see that it is cyclically self-referencing. Eternal Life-speak says, “This is that because that is this.” The Language of God uses its own words to define the meanings of its words. In human grammar this is a no-no.
In human language, if you are going to define a word, you have to use other objective words to explain its meaning without using the word itself. Not so in Eternal Life-speak. When Jesus speaks, He uses words cyclically in a closed circuit of relationship to one another which you are expected to understand on their own merits by “believing into” the Language.
For instance, Jesus says that if we believe in Him we will do greater works than He did (14:12). But when asked how one might do these works of God, He said that the work of God is to believe in Him! (6:28-29)
Where you will really see the truth of this is later in the book of I John. There, speaking in the Language of Eternal Life, John circularly reasons that we know that we love God and keep His commandments because we love God’s people (4:21), and we know we love God’s people because we love God and keep His commandments (5:2). And he writes this way throughout about abiding, about love, about light, etc.—all spoken in circular Eternal Life-speak.
- Human Contradictions
Yet another trait of the Language of Eternal Life is its nuanced inconsistencies as it appears in human language. Jesus is speaking about His relationship to the Father. He says in one place that the Father judges no one but commits all judgment to the Son (5:22, 27, 30; 8:26). In another place He says He judges no one (8:15; 12:47). In yet another place He says the Father judges (8:50).
A similar inconsistency appears with the idea of testimony. In one place Jesus says He does not bear witness of Himself alone, because otherwise it would not be true (5:31). In another place He says that He can bear witness of Himself because only He knows where He came from (8:14).
In human language, these are all contradictions. But in Eternal Life, they are not. They are not contradictions because Eternal Life-speak has dimensions of nuance not detectable within the spectrum of human communication and translation.
All this is why that to human language, Eternal Life-speak is just so much unintelligible babble. It is after all its own Language. And one Language does not, cannot and need not “validate” itself in terms of another language. Yet men say, “Our language is valid, yours is babble, you have a demon.”
The Unavoidability of Social Clash
Having said all this, I now want to look at how Jesus spoke in Eternal Life-speak compared to the way we “try” to speak it to the world today. For this is the main burden of this article.
The core chapters for study here are John 6 through 10. In the course of these chapters, the Language of Eternal Life as Jesus speaks it produces clash after clash with the people of the world speaking in Humanese. We are witnessing two languages speaking back and forth at each other throughout, stoking a high level of animus between the parties.
Jesus clashes with the Pharisees. He clashes with the people. He clashes with His general followership. (And eventually He clashes with His own closest followers, including Peter and Martha, not to mention Judas). There’s enough animus to go around for everyone. (And this at the core of the book written by the “Apostle of Love.”)
The question is, why does this all happen and what is the instructive “take away” for us who speak the Language of Eternal Life today?
The reason that all this social conflict occurs is because the Language of Eternal Life is not meant to be translated into human language, but is expected to be absorbed by immersion according to the working of the Holy Spirit in those who come within the range of its Voice!
May I say that one more time?
The Language of Eternal Life is not meant to be translated into human language, but is expected to be absorbed by immersion according to the working of the Holy Spirit in those who come within the range of its Voice!
The reason the church is ineffective at communicating the word of God in the world is that it has dumbed down the Language (can I say “bastardized” it?), attempting by “human translation” to make Eternal Life “relevant” to a populace that cannot come to know the Language except by Holy Spirit Immersion according to the working of the Father.
Sticking to the “Original Language”
Once many years ago, I picked up a hitch-hiker from the U.S. in Maritime Canada seeking to get to the port of Halifax to take a ship to Arabia. This young man had been in prison in Ohio, had been released, but while in prison had converted to Islam. He had read the Quran.
So I asked him why he was trying to get to Arabia. His answer was that he wanted to learn Arabic so he could read the Quran in its original language. I said, “What’s the matter with the Quran in English?” He said, “You can only know the true meaning of the Quran in its original. The translations do not convey the true meaning.”
In light of what I am sharing here, that story makes sense, because it is exactly the case with Eternal Life-speak. You cannot translate the word of God into Humanese without emasculating and nullifying its effect. It is not a humanly understandable language.
Social Clash and Our View of Jesus
Yet what do we have before us now? The records of how Eternal Life-speak was spoken originally by Jesus and how it has been spoken by believers in most cultures and generations ever since are globes apart. In most places and generations since Christ, the People of the Lord have attempted to minimize the prospect of social conflict by dumbing down our Language to humanly comprehensible terms.
The truth is, we have failed to stand up for our Language. And instead of believing in our Faith and its power to convert, we have believed in our ability to convert our Language to humanly comprehensible terms. Our motive for this has been to minimize the clash with the culture, supported by an adulterated humanist-passionist view of Jesus as nothing but a “kind” person. And in so doing this, we have thus removed the Spirit from the equation of conversion.
Now, look. I will be the first to confess that I do not like social conflict. I don’t like being thought of as a demoniac by the world, or as a deluded prophet—all of which Jesus was considered by the way. (After all was said and done, most people in these discourses no longer had reason to think of Jesus as a kind person.)
But the question really is, do we really want to be like the real Jesus or don’t we? Do we believe that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith, and if so, that what we read in John 3 through 12 presents a realistic view of what we should be coming to sound like?
Loving Is Not Pleasing
Here’s a good question. Why was Jesus not afraid of entering into social clashes to speak the Father’s Language? Why was He unafraid of not accommodating the ears of His human hearers who obviously could not understand what He was talking about?
The reason is simple. The reason is that Jesus did not come because He wanted to please us. He only came because He wanted to please His Father, and because to love men and to please men are not the same thing!—not by God’s rule, they’re not.
So do you want another lesson in the love of God? Well here it is. Read John 3 through 12—thoroughly, deeply. Take in every word, every nuance, every punch line. Drink in the conflict. And there you will find that “God so loved the world” does not mean “And God so pleased the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”
When men are on the road to destruction because they are going to die in their sins, and you are on the road to eternal life, then you need to understand that loving men has nothing to do with pleasing men. It has everything to do only with pleasing the Father.
So if you look and read carefully, that is all you will see in the Eternal Language of Jesus---the desire to please the Father, and at the Father’s bidding alone to willingly speak out in an unadapted heavenly Language designed as a conduit only for the sovereign Spirit to work past the human mind to save His elect---
Just speaking the Words of the Father.
Just “planting” the word and leaving the results to God.
No thought to self-appearance, reputation, whatever….
Jesus lost it all as far as that all went.
Can we do the same? Can we love the Father enough to speak the Language of Eternal Life without trying to water it down for our worldly hearers, or even for the church?
Can we believe enough in our new identity and Language in Christ with its inherent self-contained power to convert to be able to endure the stigma that can only come of reaching out from one Language to the unreachable of another?
I leave you with this word from John reminding us of the only way we ourselves have been graced to come to know the self-referenced Language of Eternal Life:
I Jn. 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
So much to ponder….
Love to all in our Faith and its Language,
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
Page created January 13, 2016