Psalm36,9: "For with you is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light."
Hebrews 10,19-20: "Therefore brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which he consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near..."
2Corinthians4,3-6: " If our gospel seems to be veiled at all, it is to those who are on the way to destruction, 4 the unbelievers whose minds have been blinded by the god of this world, so that they cannot see shining the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 It is not ourselves that we are proclaiming, but Christ Jesus as the Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 It is God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' that has shone into our hearts to enlighten them with the knowledge of God's glory, the glory on the face of Christ."
One of the great luminaries of the 20th century Pentecostal movement, William Branham, has a notable sermon on Hebrews 10,19-20, A Hidden Life, that depicts the Jerusalem Temple as having three gradations of light.
The outer court was filled with natural light; the Holy Place, (or "sanctuary", which also had the table of showbread) with artifical light from the seven candles of the menorah; and the Most Holy Place, on the other side of the veil, with the perpetual and glorious light of God.
Only one time per year one person, the High Priest, got to see this glorious light. This light perpetually resided on the mercy seat, the crown or cover of the ark of the covenant, which contained the most sacred objects and realities of the ever living faith of Israel, the tablets Moses received on Sinai, Aaron's rod that budded, a large jar of ever-living manna.
This glorious presence, particularly on the mercy seat, was framed by two carved seraphim, in that angels always surround and protect the light and presence of God.
His Light Now Accessible To All
Yet our hidden life of faith in Jesus continually brings us into the merciful and pure light of the the Holy of Holies, the light of God, who is Spirit. His perpetual light is accessible now to all who are born again by water and the Spirit. Jesus' death and resurrection accomplished this great feat of getting us to the other side of the blood of Calvary, his flesh.
Martin Luther King preached that he had been to 'the other side of the mountain', the heavenly side, the hidden side, lit up by the glory of God, meant for everybody.
This is where we who profess Jesus are challenged to live our faith, on the right and exalted side of Calvary, not the dark side that killed our Lord. This right side of Calvary, the resurrection-eternal glory side, is the best place to be and the only place to dwell, to camp out. In this victorious light of his resurrection, we see his cross and our cross, his success and our "success", his mercy and our "mercy", his love and our paltry love, his deeds and our deeds.
No Darkness and No Man Is Going To Defeat Jesus, Light of the World
At Paul's conversion, when he was knocked off his high and violent horse, we learn something more about the light of our risen and reigning Jesus. Jesus' light is so intense that Paul, though his eyes were open, could see no one (Acts9,8). The light of the Lord blinded Paul. He apparently needed these three days of physical blindness, contemplating the Lord's light, and his own Spiritual blindness, before he could even see physical light again: "in your light we see light" (Psalm36,9).
That is, only with and in due regard to God's word and holiness, do we see anything and everything, physical and Spiritual. "For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light." And praise God how much better we "see" with new and faithful eyes, that have died to themselves, and risen with him after three days.
We have to let go of seeing just the natural, just the reasonable (as if humanity could place any trust in our own rationality). There's no faith in that. It's merely the word of man, which crumbles.
We also have to let go of the supposed light of religion, as if burning candles could guarantee His light, as if our own will and religiosity could summon the light and prescence of God.
Instead we must rush to and follow hard after the light of God, through the dead flesh of Calvary, then through sterile husk of religioisty, until rush unto the resurrectional light of God Himself.
Only in this this true gospel light, can we see the mercy of the risen man-God Jesus for all humanity. Only in this resurrection light can we see his glorious face (2Cointhians4,6).
But Satan, the god of this world, comes as an angel of light. He presents his various lights- the harsh light of the critic and gossiper, the accusatory light of the persecutor and falkse brethren, the deceitful light of the greedy and violent, the wordly light of Babylon that tries to make dirty clean, and clean dirty, again and again, in new ways over the centuries, simply by the stunning fascination of the power of false light.
Satan uses all these false and partial lights, sometimes ever so subtle, to blind and deceive any of us in any way he can, so as to cut us off from God and each other. In contrast, the true light of God, lights up the whole room, the whole situation, and heals individuals and relationships.
Hebrews 10,19 tells us the only way to get into the Spiritual presence of God is to come through his death. This is true. And the word also says that 'without holiness no man will see God' (Hebrews12,14). In a very real Spiritual sense then we don't just come into the presence of the risen Jesus through the veil of his body offerred on Calvary, we also come like the sinful, still goad-kicking Paul, through a rebirth authored and finished by the the light of the world Himself. Paul, in the darkness of his rigid learnedness and pride, put up a longtime struggle with the light of Jesus. He finally had an unforgettable encounter with Jesus, wherein it was proved that he was no match for the light of the world, who called him by name for salvation.
At Genesis 3,24 there is Jesus, 'the tree of life,' still in the center of the garden. Adam and Eve are no longer welcome in his presence. So they are kicked out, veiled off from the light. He's in his most holy place; while they are no longer welcome there.
And Jesus, the tree of life, is also guarded at the garden entrance by great angels and a fiery lighted sword! This is related to Revelation 22,2 where the tree of life, Jesus, again appears in the new Jerusalem down from heaven. There is no night- the Lord God Jesus is the perpetual light of the city. He's there, the exalted face of the Lord God of Israel, light of the world, lighting the whole city.
(This Genesis 3,24 scene is sort of like the wooden carved angels protecting the perpetual glorious light on the mercy seat of the ark in the holy of holies, Exodus25,17-22)
If We Want To See The Exalted Jesus
So if we want to see the light who is the risen and exalted Lord Jesus, the one Paul called "Lord" in faith, and live a hidden but glorious life of faith, on the right side of the veil, we do so by coming through 'the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ." (2Corinthians4,4)
We don't just come through the veil of his body on Calvary, we come through faithful repentance with hopeful eyes that have, by his grace, seen his fiery holiness. We come to the risen Jesus Himself having walked toward and through the exalted light of his goodness and his perpetual mercy, this side of judgment.
Some folks aren't ready for this light, for the resurrection side of Calvary. Paul wasn't. But born again out of that encounter with the light, he was fit to carry the gospel of Jesus, Lord God of Israel, light of the nations, to all the world.
Great Faith Brings Us To The Light On The Other Side Of The Veil
It takes great faith to go to the other side of the veil.
It takes a committed decision to leave the earthly view of Esau, that's sells off the precious gifts of God.
A committed decision to take Jesus' point of view, a view that now sees with new human eyes, eyes of faith, that sees with a heart transformed by the risen Jesus lighting up our souls, making even our bodies temples for Jesus.
This simple bible faith is not a committment to be super spiritual and or super knowledgeable, or a super member any group or church, but a committment to be super faithful, super about acting on the the written promises of the Word.
We remember Simon Magus, a magician and sorceror (Acts8,9-24). A magician-sorceror taps into satanic and devilish power, and plays around with evil in the realm of fallen angels and demons, he or she plays with false light.
Simon Magus got baptized and attached himself to Phillip and later saw the Apostles Peter and John pray down the Holy Ghost on folks in Samaria he wanted to pay someone to give him that same power.
Simon was a poser, a charlatan. He had no interest in the true birthright of God. No doubt he affected an attitude of piety, a stance, an image and persona of churchiness or godliness and knowledge of the supernatural realm.
This super spiritual type will adopt the actor's mask of the hypocrite if necessary, even pay others to be seen as a powerful man of God, but the gifts of God are not for sale: 19 'Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit. 20 But Peter said to him "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God."
There's a right way to go Spiritual, go to the light on the other side of calvary, on the other side of our own repentance, and there's a wrong way. Playing around with holy things, dabbling in this and that, always interested in this and that but learning nothing much about anything. True light and false light.
The light of the world or the false light of the god of this world.
In contrast to the Simon Maguses among us, a man or woman of faith, put's on Christ, His mind and his armor, and makes no provisions for the flesh. Nothing comes before his or her willingness to live by faith, to get to that actual place of light, actual place of the risen Jesus, the actual place of redemption.
Imagine Jesus as a car dealer, who sold the best and most well engineered cars in the world. And every day folks came to his showroom, day after day, sometimes the same people day after day, and all they wanted to talk about were go-carts.
Imagine Jesus as a Harley Davidson Motorcycle dealer, and folks came to him every day and all they wanted to talk about was mini-bikes.
Imagine Jesus as pastor of your church, and every day folks came to you to talk about funerals and bingo, and what kind of ice cream we had at the ice cream social.
To which Jesus might say, "Go to the other side of my dead body on calvary. Go to the true light. Forget the natural light of things, Forget the religioius light of things once in awhile. Come to me, light of the world.
Taste and see my goodness.
Taste and see the supernatural manna I'm feeding you with today.
Oh that you Jesus would give all of us a faith hunger for your light, to live on the right side of Calvary, hidden in the most holy place, confident of your mercy, seeking your exalted and glorious face, the face of our risen and eternally human-God-brother, our kinsmen redeemer, Lord God eternal and allmighty too.
"God is light and in Him there is no darkness, at all." 1John1,5
(first July '14)
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...