10. Between Two Ages
We are becoming what we already are. We become what we believe ourself to be. We see what we believe; we become what we see.
10. Between Two Ages
In recent days, I have known an assurance of relationship with Jesus like I have never known before. I am convinced of this truth: “Until we see Him in our weakness, we will never know Him in His power.”
And so, I have wondered, “Lord, You are so real to me now. Yet, I wanted You to be this real to me all the way through. The truth is the truth. Why did You not reveal these things to us many years ago? Why all the years of heartache and failure and pain?” We know the answer, but the question must still be asked.
Then I discover, the revelation of Jesus in our flesh does not come with sweetness alone. The revelation of His presence comes hand in hand with two companions. And these two companions are fierce. If we are not ready for His revelation, we will be unable to bear the two who come with it.
The first companion of His revelation is the savage, unrestrained opposition of the demonic realm. This is essential. We are not defeating Satan, per se; we are rejecting the accuser. The ages turn as the accuser is cast down. He knows that. There is nothing more terrifying to Satan than the revelation of Jesus Christ in the heart of any simple believer. Do not be surprised at the increase in fierceness of the voice of accusation.
But here is what I find. I hold to this primary word: “Christ is all in me.” As I do, I experience regular times of Christ’s refreshing presence, a union I have never before known in this way. But it is not long before the opposition, the accusation, comes screaming back again. In the middle of it, I hold to what God says by faith alone. His word stands; all other voices fall.
That is one companion of the revelation of Jesus, the other is anguish for His people. Over the last few months Isaiah 53 has been close to my heart.
He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. . .
Isaiah 53 has been my support because at the same time as I have come to know my union with Jesus, I have come to know this same rejection. Not a rejection of me, but a rejection of the testimony that I bear. Jesus has shared with me a tiny taste of the immeasurable sorrow that He bears as He is rejected by those whom He comes to save. And I bear that sorrow as my part in His intercession for His beloved.
Union with Jesus, “You in Me, and I in you,” brings with it accusation and rejection, both within and without. To know Jesus is to know unspeakable joy and overwhelming peace; to know Jesus is to know the exquisite sorrow that He bears.
The Lord knows the seasons of our lives and brings all things in their time.
No one believes what they see. Rather, we see what we believe. When we believe that Jesus is revealed in our human weakness, we see Him in His power. And when we see His power in our weakness, we become what we see.
Stop looking for iniquity in your heart. If you do, you will find what you seek. See Christ alone; your heart is His throne. Know that He lives in every part of you, especially in your human weakness, and that every part of you He carries inside Himself, especially your human weakness. Cast down all accusation; bear the sorrow that He shares with you for His people.
And kingdoms of darkness are crashing into ruin. The revelation of Jesus is upon us. Believe it!
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 1 John 3:2
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18
The power that is in these words will birth inside of us everything God meant when He said them, as we believe what God says.
We live inside the transition between two ages. As such, we understand that the ages do not change instantaneously. The present Church age began with the conception of the Lord Jesus in Mary’s womb. The Old Covenant age did not end in its totality until the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. In between those two events are a whole series of points at which one age began and the other age ended with the most defining moment, unseen by most, the tearing in two of the veil in the temple, signifying that what was once unseeable was now open to all.
In many ways the transition between two ages that we are excitedly in is much more dramatic than the transition 2000 years ago. Most of the drama 2000 years ago took place in the heavenlies, but now, the age of human folly is drawing to an end, thank God! But it is not the ending of this age that concerns us, it is the birthing of the age to come, a birthing that has already started.
The Latin word “eternal” should never have been used in the translation of the New Testament. It came in at the end of the fall into Roman darkness, replacing the New Testament Greek word aeon, which means a period of time. So now, when most people read the words “eternal life,” they think, “Oh, I get to go to heaven when I die.” But we should read it this way: “Right now, I have inside of me, inside of the human me, the life of the age to come.” That life is, of course, Christ Jesus, but Jesus as He is, the victorious conqueror, risen above all heavens, who reveals Himself as He is in all the messiness of our human person.
Life – kingdom, resurrected, age-to-come life – is inside of us now.
The revelation of the life of Jesus inside of us is forcing the end of the age of human folly, not the other way around. This is true both in each one of us personally and in the world at large. Most Christians believe that if you “get rid of the flesh,” then Jesus will show up. No, it is Jesus revealing Himself to us as He is in our weakness that transforms us. If we do not first see Him in our weakness, in our flesh, we will never know Him in His power.
So it was before. Jesus came in the weakness of human flesh. He was born a baby in a cow trough, utterly weak. He came to His own in the weakness of human flesh and His own did not receive Him. But those who received Him, this fleshy human, who ate and drank with sinners, who smelled and went to the bathroom, to them gave He the power to become children of God.
We are becoming what we already are. We become what we believe ourselves to be. We see what we believe; we become what we see.
“We shall see Him as He is” is not when He becomes visible to all in power and great glory. Christ in us is our hope of glory, not Christ up there. When people see Him then, they weep, they do not become like Him.
I am becoming what I already am. And what has limited me in the past is that I did not see Jesus. When I looked at myself, I saw one big problem. And everything anyone told me confirmed what I thought I saw. I always wanted to be close to Jesus, but I never really was, so I thought.
Now, when I look at myself, I see Jesus. When I do what is wrong, I still see no one but Jesus. He carries all of my human weakness inside of Himself. As I walk in the light of seeing Him only, His blood cleanses me from all sin. I do not carry the consciousness of sin. I see Jesus, as He is in me. That doesn’t mean that I am not wrong, or that I shouldn’t apologize. It simply means that Jesus is my life, I have no other life. Whoever did anything wrong is dead, crucified 2000 years ago. I believe that absolutely. And God says that as I see Jesus, I am being changed. I also believe that absolutely, whether I see the change or not.
Jesus comes to us and reveals Himself to us, inside of our human weakness. We see Him as He is, and with that revelation comes a grace we have never received before, a grace that enables us to be who we already are, in fullness, in weakness, in glory, in humanity.
We are just like Him for we see Him as He is. The time is now. Believe it!