I mentioned a while ago that I hoped to share with my readers some things that were opened to me about the realm of the Spirit during a time of fasting. It’s still on my heart to do that, but my leading is to first emphasize what the Spirit of the Lord is emphasizing—that at this particular juncture in the purposes of God when many are finding it very hard to go on, and prayer is difficult, and there is so little of His Presence with us, our Lord is saying strongly, “Keep seeking Me earnestly! Don’t quit! Don’t give up!”
We’ve had several confirmations the last while that this is what He is urging upon us. I sensed that again earlier today—that our Lord is bursting with hope for each one of us in the same way we would be cheering and shouting encouragement to our favourite runner in a marathon race. I don’t know how He manages to make each and every one of us His favourite runner, but He does, and He wants to see us finish and win the prize.
The shape this is taking in my own thinking is along this line: although we have a measure of this now, God is about to bring His people into a realm of the Spirit and a walk in the Spirit more wondrous than anything we have ever known. But necessary to this is the time we are now in—a very grievous time of spiritual drought and famine in which many at times can’t find enough of the water of the Spirit so much as to wet their tongue. So there is a lot of weariness and discouragement.
Part of the reason for this dark and desolate time, I believe, is that it emboldens the evil spirits to come out and make their play, like the psalmist said when the sun goes down and it is night, “wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth” (Ps. 104.20).
There are certainly a lot of beasts creeping around these days seeking their prey. And not just out there in the “world.” They are finding their prey even in many churches. In fact this is the hour when the man of iniquity is being revealed in the temple of God “shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thes. 2.4). He’s beginning to reveal himself, manifesting signs and lying wonders, and many are being deceived by it all.
And so it’s a very difficult time for the true of heart, and our Lord wants to reassure us. Don’t give up! Don’t quit! Keep seeking me! I am with you more than you can know, and what I am about to do with your help will deal with all this like a snail in the sun.
It’s a wonderful prospect. BUT. We are being very foolish if we think we can just wait for this and meanwhile fill our lives with earthly things. If there was a time when a Christian could keep his or her walk with the Lord on the back burner and just enjoy the earthly life, that time is gone now. We have entered a time when, as my friend Terry said recently, “if we are not in the Spirit we are going to be dead meat.” To trust the arm of the flesh to get you through something is to court total disaster. We are entering a time—have already entered it—when our own wisdom and earthly zeal will no longer get us through things. Our own strength will fail us.
And it’s for this very reason, I think, that God has permitted the great spiritual drought we are in. That’s how I’m beginning to see things. He has dried us up, has caused our own strength and zeal to shrivel, because He knows it just won’t cut it in the day that’s coming. So He dries us up to prepare us for what He has in mind to bring us into– a totally spiritual provision, a totally supernatural strength and sustenance, with no admixture of the earthly whatsoever!
Perhaps that’s a fearful thought. Personally I find it exciting. And why should it be less than exciting to the new-creation man?
So, with this in mind, the other day I was looking for a song on YouTube. (I go to YouTube very very cautiously, by the way; there are beasts there ready to eat you if you let your guard down even for a second.) I was looking for that old song, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” That’s what I have been wanting to do more fully—trust Him with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. Anyway, somehow I came across a song called, “I’m Not Tired Yet” by the Mississippi Mass Choir. Please forgive me: I was intrigued by the title, so I listened to it. 🙂 My old ear couldn’t make out the words, but “I’m not tired yet” was the continual refrain. I thought, they’re singing what God is saying: “I’m not tired yet.” Amen, I said to myself, God never gets tired. He’s not discouraged. He’s going to do what He said He would do.
I wanted to get the words to the song so I searched for the lyrics. When I found them I was a little disappointed. They were along the lines of… well, here they are, read them for yourself:
Been working for Jesus a long time.
(I’m not tired yet.)
Been running for Jesus a long time.
(I’m not tired yet.)
Been working for Jesus a long time.
(I’m not tired yet.)
Been singing for Jesus a long time.
(I’m not tired yet.)
Been running by day and praying by night.
(I’m not tired yet.)
I’ve gotta get going it’s a mighty hard fight.
(I’m not tired yet.)
No… I’m not tired yet.
No… I’m not tired yet…
There’s more, but see what I mean? I wondered if it was just human zeal boasting about a conflict they’ve never engaged. I know by experience that a painful revelation awaits those who zealously lean on the arm of the flesh in the trials of life. But then I thought… I’m probably not being very generous here. These people are no doubt singing because they have been through a lot and actually have discovered the secret of never growing tired. And that old familiar passage in Isaiah came to me.
Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard? That the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding.
So, yes, it’s true—and we need to remember this—God never gets tired. It’s a very difficult hour and it’s going to get even more difficult. But God is not tired yet. God is not tired yet. He is going to finish what He started.
“Well and good,” you say, “He is God. What about me? I’m starting to get so tired.” Let me say that I too know what it’s like to grow very weary in the trials of life. At times I have been filled with such inner emotional pain that I have said, “Lord, please just take me home, I can’t do this anymore.” Even the apostle Paul spoke of being “in weariness, and painfulness.” Christians are not made of plastic, and the Lord knows it. He Himself knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust. But when Isaiah reminds us that God never grows weary and never faints, he is leading up to something. This God who never gets tired, what does He do?
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.
He gives power to whom? To the faint. To them that have no might. Can you relate? These are the ones whose strength He increases in a day when the strong and the zealous are falling and fainting on every hand.
Now the verse we all love:
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles: they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.
We love that old song, don’t we. “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…” In other words, no matter what they are going through, those who are waiting upon the LORD will be able to say, “I’m not tired yet.” Why? Because they have tapped into a hidden strength, the resources of Almighty God Himself. Human zeal and strength—the arm of the flesh—will never carry the day. But those who wait upon the Lord will, because they have exchanged their strength, as the Hebrew word renew means. They are no longer walking in an earthly realm. They are walking in a spiritual dimension, and are being sustained with an entirely spiritual strength—God’s own strength.
And as I said, more and more we are entering the day when this is not optional. We are up against such complex problems, such grievous things, such difficult things, and forces in a heavenly dimension… forces that are far too great for us, far greater than any human resource can deal with. We must be in the Spirit, meeting all things with spiritual provision. This is what the day at hand is calling for and requires.
But if it is required, this can only mean that God has it for us, beloved! He has the provision for us to run this race and not get tired, to walk and not faint. And it begins by waiting upon Him, looking expectantly to Him… and mounting up into the realm where the eagle flies—the realm of the Spirit, the realm where we discover the wind under our wings, and find those thermals in the Spirit that draw us upward, upward, upward… and we have loosed the surly bonds of earth.
Let’s not be afraid of this. Maybe it’s frightening, the prospect of being so totally in the Spirit that we have none of the familiar earthly moorings to hold on to any more. But oh… what an adventure is before us!
…As it turns out this blog entry wasn’t a detour after all. In fact it’s already leading into what I have been wanting to share about the realm of the Spirit.
Thought-provoking as usual… 🙂 I have been into a dark night of the soul myself for quite a while, so I receive the encouragement…
Just a question, though. You write:
“They are finding their prey even in many churches. In fact this is the hour when the man of iniquity is being revealed in the temple of God “shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thes. 2.4). He’s beginning to reveal himself, manifesting signs and lying wonders, and many are being deceived by it all.”
I understand you are using this as a metaphor (the man of iniquity would actually be ending up in Jerusalem), but at the same time, could you specify what those signs and lying wonders are that you refer to? You can always email me privately if you want to keep names off your site…
Hi Andre, I know you’ve been going through a very dark time. I’ll continue to keep you on my heart and in my prayers.
About the lying signs and wonders, what I had in mind was, for example, some of the phenomena that were taking place at Lakeland, Florida, a couple of years ago when Todd Bentley was having a “revival.” Among other things, certain ones were reporting “angelic” visitations that in my opinion were very dubious. There are also other ministries around that major on this kind of thing. There are some very questionable ones coming out of Africa now. So this kind of thing is on the increase, because the Lord Jesus has His own signs and wonders, and the Devil is always there to imitate things so as to deceive the unwary. It’s going to take a very close walk with the Lord in this hour– a holy walk– to be able to discern the true from the false.
THIS PARAGRAPH HAS BEEN EDITED TO FINE TUNE IT A BIT. As to the man of iniquity making his appearance in the temple, I think this gets a little closer to home than the temple in Jerusalem (if it should ever be rebuilt). There are two words for temple in the Greek: naos, and hieron. When Christ was crucified and the veil of the temple was rent, the word used there is naos. But this is the last reference in the Bible to the Holy of holies of the old temple being the naos. Hieron continues to be used for that old structure of wood and stone. But now the new testament apostles consistently used the word naos to refer to the true temple of God that those who believe in Jesus Christ are part of. And so in 2 Thessalonians when Paul says that the man of iniquity is seeking to set up shop in the temple of God, guess what word he uses? Yes, it’s naos.
I don’t fully comprehend what shape this is all going to take, but heads up, everybody.
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I am not a Bible teacher and I marvel sometimes. I think how is he going to answer this one? I just appreciate the different giftings and callings God has on all our lives. I am learning to appreciate this body of Christ more and more.
Hi Alden, it’s what Paul said, isn’t it. If the whole body were the eye, where were the hearing? If the whole body were the hearing, where would the nose be? I remember years ago when I found envy in my heart over another brother who was really seeing some things. The Lord spoke to me: why are you envying your own eye? We are all so different, but at the same time we are one body, we are members one of another. The riches and gifts another has are actually my own. What He gives each of us is “for the profit of all.” So, I understand what you’re saying about a growing appreciation for the body of Christ. I share that appreciation.
Your thought-world expressed here is so very authentic to what numerous Christians are beginning to recognize for themselves in this day and hour.
I would like to add to the comment concerning the “temple”:
We all are familiar with the counterfeit and opposing concepts such as wheat and weeds, sons of God and sons of Perdition, spirit of the Living God and the spirit of the Antichrist … and so on.
In my opinion, there are two keys to be applied throughout the Book of Revelation: (1) Genesis 4:16-17 and, (2) 2Samuel 7:10 .
“So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden … Cain was then building a city.”
“And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly”.
Similar to the famous Dickens book (A Tale of Two Cities), we are witnessing the maturing of two cities; the city of God and the city of the evil one … the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. During this maturing it becomes increasingly evident who is baptized in the Holy Spirit and who is baptized in the spirit of the Anti-Christ.
Everything we are witnessing in this world revolves around two cities and two plantings; the New Jerusalem; and the city of Cain (alien to the presence of God); the sons of God and the sons of perdition.
When we are born again, God does not take up a dwelling place in us Himself; (The Word of God is the power of the Spirit). instead, God uses the Word of God as an instrument to open our eyes for a new (invisible) reality: the Kingdom of God. At the baptism with the Holy Spirit, we receive the life-giving Spirit Himself. He then takes up a permanent dwelling place. We are a temple of God only if the Spirit dwells in us.
In the same way, the counterfeit is that the children of the evil one drink in the poison of the Satan’s words. This drags them increasingly deeper into the devouring kingdom of darkness. We are increasingly becoming aware of those who have opened themselves to occult activities and evil as such. In this way they voluntarily become baptized in the spirit of the anti-Christ and decidedly give a permanent dwelling place for the spirit of iniquity.
Hi Blayne, I often think of that frightening passage, that “Cain went out from the Presence of the LORD…” There was something about His Presence that was incompatible with what was in Cain’s dark heart. So he just couldn’t stay there anymore, he went out from His Presence… “and builded a city.” That other City you mentioned is being built by those who are seeking to do just the opposite. They are seeking His Presence, and want to abide in His Presence, and “go no more out.”
As to what you shared about being born again, I take it that you differentiate between being born again by the Word of God, and the experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. But I think that it’s when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit that we experience regeneration: “…the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit….” (Titus 3.4-6).
In any case, as you said, because of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us we are a temple of God (1 Cor. 3.16). However, even then, I am not sure we have realized the fulness of becoming the habitation of God. This is a “work in progress,” I would say. I am reminded of the old testament types, of Moses building the tabernacle and Solomon the temple. And when everything was ready and in its place (just quoting from memory here) the glory of the Lord came down and filled the house. In other words, God had taken up residence. So there’s a sense in which it is the work of the Holy Spirit to prepare us to be this wondrous habitation. In fact this is what the City of God is all about. John the Revelator is speaking of the City of God when he says the “tabernacle of God” is with men again, and “He will ‘tabernacle’ with them…” (Rev. 21.3)– this time not just in one Man when the Word was made flesh and “tabernacled” among us. In its fulness, the tabernacle of God is a City with many, many men and women and children dwelling together in the same perfect unity and harmony of Father and Son! (In that other city they are trying to accomplish this by ecumenicism, and what a sorry accomplishment it is.)
…How awesome are these things!
Thanks for sharing, Blayne.
Yes, I can oftentimes be too analytical for my own spiritual good.
Anyways Allan, I heartily agree with you’re comment saying, “I am not sure we have realized the fullness of becoming the habitation of God. This is a “work in progress”.
We are surely living in the days of His parousia … His appearing (in us) … His revealing from within the ‘inward’ temple. Indeed, as the Scripture says: “every eye shall see Him” … in us.
Thanks, Blaine. I agree with you that we “are surely living in the days of His parousia… His appearing (in us)… His revealing from within the ‘inward’ temple.” That’s a precious insight, yet this is an aspect of the coming of the Lord that is almost entirely overlooked. When the Bible talks of the Lord coming suddenly to His temple, or, “The Lord is in His holy temple…” these are tremendous verses when we realize that we are this temple of the Lord!
I personally do believe God intervenes in our daily lives through miracles and supernatural signs and wonders. The Scriptures and experiences of millions attest to that. Lakeland and such happenings have had both light and darkness clashing, but numerous people had prayers answered by God for healing and restoration of all kinds. We do believe in those gifts of faith and that they are still vibrantly alive today.
This being said, the greatest disgrace of Lakeland, in my opinion, was the sheer lack of discernment, the anxious self-fulfilling prophecies to glorify man and their idea of end-times revival. Lakeland is a cautionary tale. Todd Bentley is a sign, but not a good one. I saw him during his “desert” season, a broken and humble man (without tattoos). The next day he had been seduced into coming back to ministry by a visiting pastor during the conference we were attending. There was such a slimy feeling about it all. Soon Todd started sporting tattos and posting pics of them on his MySpace account.
His ministry handlers at the time must have been quite perturbed at what to do now that Todd, their main attraction was on furlough. But in my opinion, they messed it up big time. Everybody who supported his coming back to ministry before his season was done surely sold him down the river, as they say. The following sinful and crushing events of his life bear witness to that. I think right now, he’s being helped to stay within boundaries by Rick Joyner and Co. I don’t have much affinity with this man’s ministry anymore. Although I understand the restoration issue, God knows it’s hard to accept he never got encouraged to go back to his family. But that’s God’s business….
Lakeland and similar hyped events: The danger of a lack of reverence toward God’s gracious manifestations, the cult of personalities, and the arrogance of those who “package” God’s Spirit to market a “strange fire” is most serious. Ministers who become “handler of the Glory” are to be stripped of authority and leadership positions until they wake up and have gained or regained the fear of the Lord.
As for the various temples, I still believe that God speaks of a true historical happening where the antichrist will usurp the LORD’s authority on the earth for a season, it may be a type of King Saul, king after their own hearts. Not sure yet. Others have a better grasp of this than me…
Hi Andre, I hope I didn’t give the impression that I consider all miracles and signs and wonder false; there are those who teach that this was only something for the early church, and God dispensed with it when the apostles were off the scene. I disagree. We can continue to anticipate our Lord doing, as He said, even greater things now that He has ascended.
As to Lakeland, I’m kind of weary of that whole thing, it has been talked about so much. But you are right, Lakeland no doubt had an intermingling of light and darkness. The troubling thing is that there was, as you said, so little discernment. Not only with regard to Bentley, but with all the manifestations that were taking place, both the light and the darkness. Were people discerning the one from the other? Personally, I think it showed that God’s people, multitudes of them, are in a very vulnerable state. Many are open to things with no idea where they are actually coming from. It’s likely because they don’t have a lot of interest in living a holy life and walking a godly walk, but at the same time want to see signs and wonders. God says that in this case He gives them what they are looking for; He actually sends “strong delusion,” that is, “a working of error,” so that people end up believing the lie “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” It’s a very serious matter. This is what I had in mind when I wrote of the man of iniquity being revealed in the house of God.
Like yourself, I don’t have a full grasp on what this will all involve. But I do see it as something taking place closer to home than many Christians are ready to acknowledge.
Thanks for sharing, Andre.
I would be careful here: “It’s likely because they don’t have a lot of interest in living a holy life and walking a godly walk, but at the same time want to see signs and wonders.” Leaders are to be held to a much higher standard, so I would venture to say that the marketing of signs and wonders is giving many the impression of “something glorious just around the bend, if only you go here or there, or follow this or that minister…” The Scriptures say: “…with signs and wonders following…” Not: “Following after signs and wonders.”
My opinion is that believers are at various stages of growth to maturity. That’s why we have movements, I think. They focus on various areas of our walk, but in the end, the Spirit in all believers longs to reveal Christ to each one individually, and to all corporately. He is the Spirit of Unity, of Fellowship. The humility of the creature, as Andrew Murray puts it, becomes us when sorting through what is of the world and of the flesh and the devil. We will exercise discernment to the measure we can divide truth and lies, and this isn’t limited to doctrines, or our understanding of doctrines…
We’ll meet soon… :O)
You’re right that I should be careful there, Andre. Thanks for the admonition. The greater concern is with the leadership. Scripture tells us of the controversy the Lord has with “the shepherds” (Ezek. Ch. 34) who have not been faithful to feed (to shepherd) the flock of God with His interests at heart and not their own. You wrote of “the marketing of signs and wonders,” and that’s very true. At the same time, how often we have seen the sheep of God’s pasture being marketed!
Well said, Allan. There is a lot of confusion (con- with, fusion- fused together) in today’s teachings about end times prophesies. Many teachers try to fuse the verses that refer to spiritual things in the NEW Covenant with the physical world (even Old Testament physical types and ordinances) and in this there is great error. I am happy to see that you rightfully understand where the temple of God is in our NEW and lasting covenant.
“What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2Cor 6:16, ESV)
So to be waiting for a new temple to be built in Jerusalem so Antichrist can sit on its throne while the real Antichrist is already inhabiting much of the TRUE temple of God through false doctrines is all part of his end times con-fusion.
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (1Pet 2:4-6, ESV)
Thanks also for addressing this spiritually dry time we are in. It is all part of God’s working to see who will trust in Him and seek His face instead of running after false teachers, prophets and apostles to lie to them and titillate their fleshly minds. How terribly necessary is a crucified life IN Christ!
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12, ESV)
And he [Jesus] said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. (Luke 21:8, ESV)
“The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (Luke 17:20-21, ESV)
God bless you as you seek His face,
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Michael, with a clear understanding of the basic difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant much of the confusion you refer to would disappear. That is the cry of my heart, actually– for true teachers in the churches, teachers who will open the eyes of the people as to a covenant that has passed away and another that is here to stay.
Thanks for sharing, Michael.
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Hi Allan. What a busy blog this time! I agree that many in the Body of Christ are experiencing dryness in their spirits. Is it any wonder! We have lost sight of the truth of the Gospel. Many speak of God doing a new thing in our day. Not only that, there is such focus on the return of Christ – almost as if he is absent now.
First of all, I don’t believe God is doing a new thing. He did the New Thing in the incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. When Christ was baptized by John in the Jordan the heavens were opened and they haven’t closed since. His glory has been poured out on the earth for 2000 years! The Bible speaks of a time when the “knowledge” of the glory of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Many are having a revelation or knowledge of the glory of God these days as they realize that they already are in union with the Godhead. That they can’t be any closer to Jesus than they are right now. I believe waiting on the Lord is not hoping that the Lord will do something if I pray more or believe more. It is simply resting in the gift of our oneness with Christ and in so doing knowing that we are all that God wants us to be and have all that God wants us to have right now. We simply enjoy the fullness of His love and the freedom that His pleasure with us awakens in us.
If we are looking for Jesus’ return to bring something new to the earth, we’ve missed what he has already done. We are as he is on the earth. We are not to pray for revival – we ARE revival! Let us not focus on the evil of the times or on when Jesus returns but on the the Incarnate Christ who is at work revealing the Kingdom as we speak. Let’s just hop on for the ride! Yee-haw!!
Hi, Paul. In the absolute sense, you are right that God is not doing a new thing. You are right that “He did the New Thing in the incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. When Christ was baptized by John in the Jordan the heavens were opened and they haven’t closed since. His glory has been poured out on the earth for 2000 years!”
But Paul, God is the God of unfolding revelation. What He did in the incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ must be fully manifested in the earth via that wonder of His purposes called The Church. “The church which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1.23). What God accomplished in Christ must be unfolded, unveiled… and this involves a lot more than just hopping on for a ride! 🙂 It involves much seeking, much prayer, much crying out to Him, much intercession… and much suffering. At times in history there has been a heavy veil over what God wrought in Christ, and that glory you speak of was totally obscured. Then through those who sought Him there was a spiritual breakthrough, an unveiling, and a long-lost facet of truth would be manifested in the earth.
It happened when the Reformers brought forth salvation by grace through faith– not by works and indulgences and the sacraments of the church. They suffered for this.
It happened when the Anabaptists and the Baptists sought God for the return of water baptism by immersion– something that is a simple truth to most of us, but many of them paid with their lives for this truth.
It happened when the Quakers sought to walk in the truth of a present Jesus Christ when the churches around them were glorying in an historic one. Look what the Quakers suffered for this.
I am just skipping through history; it happened again when the Pentecostals sought God for the release of the Spirit in their day– the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. These people were considered the off-scouring of the churches because of this.
It happened further when the Charismatics sought God for more of this release of the Spirit, and many Christians have been wonderfully blessed by this, in spite of the fact that the Charismatic realm has largely gone into corruption at this time.
…And there is yet more He wants to and intends to unfold– till inDEED and not just in doctrine, God is as glorified in the church as He was in Christ Jesus through His life and death and resurrection.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit to make manifest in the earth the reality of what God accomplished in Christ at Calvary, and He will continue to do this till the glory of the Lord is fully reavealed in and through the Church. This is why the apostle Paul talks of beholding with unveiled face the glory of the Lord, and being “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” From glory… to glory… to glory… It doesn’t happen all in an instant. It is an unfolding thing, till as you said, the glory of the Lord fills the earth as the waters cover the sea.
So as I said, I agree with you that God accomplished His “new thing” in the life and death and resurrection of Christ. But till this becomes the full reality Christians walk in, we can expect the Holy Spirit to continue manifest further facets of truth that will indeed be “new” to those walking in it.
…Maybe I can sum up what I am saying in one word, Paul. Realization. This is something more than just seeing something. Revelation is one thing, and vitally important. REALization is another. Revelation must be REALized. It is the work of the Holy Spirit– with the help and cooperation of those who have the Holy Spirit– to cause what Christ accomplished in Calvary to be REALized in the church. This is the way the glory of the Lord is revealed, unveiled, from glory to glory.
Thanks for sharing, Paul.
BTW, I’m with Paul and Allan concerning any “new thing.” I think we call it that because we haven’t seen it before, and maybe we are just catching up to the simplicity of the Gospel. Jesus placed a lot of currency in his disciples having eyes to see and ears to hear…
The dark night of the soul I’ve been going through lately has to do with light coming to unregenerated regions of my inner man, and this kind of revelation brings a lot of movement inside, and changes of perspective. Nothing to do with sins of the flesh or lust or addictions. A much deeper level of sin was revealed in the way my unbelief caused an inability to relate to God and others due to the heart being locked away because of vows and defense mechanisms. The LORD is wooing me to Himself at a level of trust that just plainly revealed the hardness of my own heart, something I wasn’t aware of.
In that sense I could say: “God is doing a new thing in my life.” There is gradual awareness. Jesus Himself said He had more to tell His disciples, but they couldn’t understand now.
How patient and rich in mercy is our Father…
Amen, Andre, I believe this is what that “from glory to glory” thing is all about. “We all with unveiled face…” This is where it starts. With His help and our cooperation, the opening of the heart. The unveiling of the face. And then the shining in of His glory. And we being changed (transfigured) into the same image “from glory to glory…”
…I’m looking forward to getting together with you before long.
Thank you to everyone who participated to this Post with their comments. I value and appreciate them much … and found them very encouraging.
I agree, Allan, that revelation isn’t where it stops. It needs to be realized (or in my own words “manifested”) in our lives. It is so easy to manifest the fruit of the Spirit when we know that we are branches of the Vine – that the life of Christ flows through us quite apart from anything we do. That is our life of faith – letting Holy Spirit move in and through us. The exciting adventure is the ongoing deepening of our knowledge of Christ in us the Hope of glory! Hallelujah!
Amen, Paul, thanks for your response. It’s challenging to get the perfect balance between these two things, isn’t it– between what is ours in Christ, and what has actually been realized in our lives. And there are many examples from Scripture that show the necessity of this perfect balance.
For example, Paul tells us that we are dead with Christ, and buried with Him in baptism (Col. 2.12,20). But then he says that, since this is the case, we are to “mortify (put to death) our members which are upon the earth” (Co. 3.5). If I am dead, why do I have to put to death my members? Again, he says we are risen with Him (Col. 2.12). But then he continues, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above…” (Col. 3.1). But if I am already seated with Him in heavenly places, why do I have to seek those things which are above? We see this perspective of Paul’s also in Romans Six.
Peter also. He tells us that God in His divine power has “given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him…” (2 Pt. 1.3). But then he urges us that for this very reason we are to “add to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” And then he says that it is the process of doing this that will supply us an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The question is, if God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, why do we have to go through this process of building these graces into our lives? Well, Peter says that it’s for the very reason that God has given them to us that we are to seek to not be “idle nor unfruitful” in the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord. It seems to imply that it’s possible, though God has given us all, to actually have nothing to return to Him.
I think a good picture for us is the children of Israel entering into their inheritance. God had given them the land. Now they had to go in and possess it. If God had not given the the land there is no way they could go in and possess it. But because He had given it, they were enabled to, and required to, go in and walk in it. He told them, “every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given you” (Josh. 1.3). They had to go in and “possess their possessions,” a phrase which Obadiah uses later prophetically, speaking, I believe, of our inheritance in the heavenlies in Christ.
It’s exactly what you have said, Paul: “The exciting adventure is the ongoing deepening of our knowledge of Christ in us the Hope of glory!” It is an adventure that can only be begun by knowing what is ours in Christ– what God has given us. But then it must be explored and searched out. And this is what the unspeakable gift of the Holy Spirit is all about. This is Christ in us, the hope of glory! But then “the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the depths of God.” That is, He “searches out” the depths of God, explores them, leads us into all the Truth.” What an adventure! It’s the adventure of God we are involved in! So I’ll join you in that “Hallelujah!”
Thanks again for your participation on A Mending Feast, Paul.
Thank you Allan for this timely word. I feel deeply that the Lord is now calling us into an entirely different realm than that which we have known before. It is a realm of closeness and knowing the reality of His personhood as never before. It is not a pseudo-Christianity where we say the words but it is a drawing of ourselves entirely out from this world to the Master Himself. I long and groan for this new reality. Today I have glimpsed it and have been aware of how much the world crowds in on us; how so infected we are by it without even knowing it. It is still a superficial love that I offer. It is a puppy love. I desire to go deeper. There are hearts yearning to truly follow Him and launch out. Many in Charismatic circles, in my experience, have painted this launching out as a route to blessing and so much of what is postulated, when we truly examine it at the core, is still “self” orientated and based. No, I feel this new intimacy is in fact an old intimacy or a previously known intimacy that has been lost along the way. It is directed at Him, knowing Him purely for the love of knowing Him and being found in Him alone. It is outward towards Him first of all. It is a giving of our hearts which seeks nothing in return. It is Him calling us “Do you love me? Do you love me as much as I love you?”.
Thanks, Martin. That very “yearning to truly follow Him and launch out” is our assurance that God has this for us. Frank Bartleman in his book on the pentecostal revival that broke out back in the early 1900s (Asuza Street) said, “Believe in your own heart’s hunger, and go on with God.” They suffered a lot of reproach from Christians who were the guardians of the status quo back then, but they continued to believe that God had something fresh He wanted to bring forth. They continued seeking God, being drawn by that yearning in their hearts. And oh how wonderfully they were rewarded. God met them; a fire broke forth that soon spread all over the world. I feel we are there again. There is an “oldness” about things these days; it’s apparent in the whole church realm; you hear very often that people are not finding what their hearts are hungry for in churches of all types and stripes. Even the Charismatic realm has waxed old. And so if many are feeling that their present Christian experience is too small for them, like an old suit of clothes on a growing boy… it may be very uncomfortable, but it’s actually very encouraging. God has something larger for us! So (to switch metaphors) let’s “launch out into the deep and let the shorelines go!”
Amen brother Allan. There is indeed an oldness as you say. I find it necessary to remind myself that despite this oldness there is a joining together going on as we know. I find this a remarkable and wondrous work of the Spirit which spans continents as the Lord does a new thing. It is sprouting up and those that are in step with this work will be those that perceive it. I was about to say that there is a pregnancy in the spirit, as if something is about to be birthed. However, I do believe the word that the Lord has impressed upon me is consummation, in the most purest form of the word. It is a completion and a joining at the very deepest level between the Lord and His people. A truly supernatural work that has been ordained before the very foundation of the world itself. A truly awesome work. I see the joining amongst Gods people to be a forerunner to this as the Lord brings unity amidst His people. I feel there must be this unity of love and sacrifice amongst true brethren before the Lord brings this full consummation between Himself and His Bride. Brothers and sisters willing to lay down all things in order to be found in Him. And yes, fire is a great thing. I long too for this great fire and how I wish it were already kindled. I feel so deeply that for those who have been through great testing in these days, there is going to be a great pouring out of the oil on that which looks like dead embers. The Lord Almighty will show forth a special glory through these ones. The flames they will exude will be brighter and will live longer; they will be the flames of those whose lives have been shaped by the Masters hand; who have surrendered to the deeper processes. Oh, that glory is going to shine forth my brother as never before; like nothing the world has ever seen. Sorrow lasts only for the night but joy will come in the morning; we are in a sort of night at the moment but I see the dawn breaking and the sun coming up upon the glorious Bride. To all who go through trials and testing now, to all those who have questions, to all who seek breakthroughs in situations and circumstances that seem immovable, I exhort you my brothers and sisters – there is a Promised Land up ahead won for us by the blood of the Precious Lamb.
Martin, regarding what you said about unity, we talk about “the body of Christ.” But I believe the implications of this have scarcely dawned on us. I believe the full reality of what Jesus said is going to yet dawn on us and impact us all mightily: “At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”
Martin, that is just beautiful… Thank you for this worshipful and lucid sharing… 🙂
This certainly has become an active Thread, ay? Not a wonder that is!
Ummm, when I read the words in the above Comment saying, “I long and groan for this new reality”, and again, “I desire to go deeper”, I was touched deeply by the intense sentiment of the expressed desire.
There is a lot of chatter these days about ‘new’ … a ‘new’ move of the Spirit, a ‘new’ emerging doctrine ‘er whatever else.
I have the opinion that a church’s eagerness to preach something ‘new’ can often be the result of the desperate need to apply healing salve for the open sores and wounds among us.
It’s not entirely a wrong or sinful thing to seek those things which seem somehow ‘new’. I jus’ think it risks being a distraction. As the popular song says: “looking for …. in all the wrong places”.
I think we all have to go back to basics … to Bible boot-camp (so to speak) and re-examine our thought-life … our posture about certain concepts and doctrines. The Bible doesn’t necessitate a renewal of the mind for nothing.
Sometimes we have to first empty our heads and hearts before God can begin to restore and properly fill them. It’s a difficult thing to abandon long-held wrong ideas concerning God and about His intents and purposes for our lives.
Take for instance, all this excited chatter about ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. Have you noticed that the ideas behind the book have a fatal flaw?
Ask yourself this question:
We are a word spoken by God. When God uttered, ‘Let us make man’, did He create something meaningless?
Simply having a purpose in life is woefully insufficient.
While self-sacrifice for a higher good might be noble, it fails miserably in one very important aspect: it does not give genuine meaning to one’s life.
Having a purpose merely values our existence; but finding meaning values our identity … our person.
After all, it’s the meaning of life which contains both the beginning and end of everything which exists
It’s one thing to attach ourselves to a purpose FOR life and quite another to attach ourselves to the meaning OF life.
Therefore, to know the meaning of life and to experience the value of it, one must come to know the origin of all life … God.
Since you and I are a Word spoken by God, we can have the sure confidence that God does not speak something meaningless.
We would do well as individuals to seek and find the godly meaning for our lives.
That’s why I say, we have to return to Bible boot-camp. We have to train ourselves to focus on the Gospel properly. A good place to begin is to re-appraise what God intended by causing us to become a ‘NEW CREATURE’.
After all, our becoming a ‘new creature’ is the very foundation of our Christian experience.
Many seem to have improperly equated this with something which might be better called a ‘new start’ ,,, an abandonment of our old lifestyle and sinful habits.
But a closer look will show you that the original/literal word ‘creature’ would be better stated in modern language as ‘species’.
We are a new ‘species’ … a heavenly species … a spiritual species .. a spiritual creature. Jesus was the first such ‘creature’ and we are the second.
We are not called to live a ‘new’ life … but experience an entirely ‘new’ form of life … a form of life which transcends the earthly life we were born into. We have been born anew … again … but this time as heavenly creatures.
That’s why our citizenship is in heaven. We are invited to live and move and have our being in the kingdom of heaven … in the invisible world of the spirits.
Because of that, there will never be found a ‘new’ move of the Spirit nor a ‘new’ formula or invented doctrine to satisfy us.
The only thing ‘new’ has been already given to us. We jus’ have to truly learn and appreciate it’s godly meaning and consequence.
Hi Blaine, indeed it is not a “new start” God has given us, but a new nature. “If any man be in Christ he is a new creation…” Christ is the begining of that creation (Rev. 3.14). He is also the end of the old– the last Adam (1 Cor. 15.45). And He is the Second Man (1 Cor. 15.47). We who are baptized into Him are members of a new creation Man. And we are governed by a new law– not the law of sin and death, which reigned in the old man, but the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which reigns in the New. What awesome things these are! It causes you to tremble. Wondrous things are before us.
Yet many are growing faint and weary, wondering how they can go on. It is such a difficult time; we are in a real dearth of the Spirit. This is why we have felt the Lord urging us of late– He has spoken to others beside myself the same word– Don’t quit! Don’t give up!
Thank you for this beautiful and powerful message. May God keep you safe.
Thank you kindly, Anna. And I pray His safety for you as well. As a friend has reminded me not once or twice recently, “Safety is of the LORD.”
We do our part, we “prepare the horse against the day of battle,” but “safety is of the LORD.” Proverbs 21:31 KJV