Stepping Out of Darkness
This chapter I did not include in the book, Our Path Home; rather, I placed it into The Unveiling under the title "Passing through the Veil." I insert it here, however, for you reference, since I wrote it as a third letter to the "Defeating the Curse" articles.
Stepping Out of Darkness
The animal skins with which God clothed Adam and Eve so that they would no longer suffer His presence in their sinful state became a part of the fabric of the human person. This aspect of the human nature is spoken of in a number of different ways throughout the Bible. It is called the “veil,” at times, the “flesh,” though flesh also means something else, the “outer man,” the “old man,” and so on.
First, we who believe in Jesus Christ no longer carry this animal skin nor any part of it in our being. “The veil was removed in Christ.” The veil of the temple, keeping us shielded from the presence of Almighty God was torn apart at the same moment that the veil of the flesh of Jesus was pierced upon the cross. The old man is dead and buried.
Our problem is we believe that we still carry that outer fallen nature. It is the proverb of the jail cell with an open door, but the prisoner remains inside because he cannot see himself free. We don’t even know what freedom is.
So we stay huddled inside our humanistic limitations; we read that “he who has died is freed from sin,” but we cannot walk free. (And I use the word “humanistic” limitations because I want to distinguish the beast skin we imagine we still wear from the godly human weakness that God created us as – forever the counterpoint to His strength made perfect in us.)
We are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Every part and element of the salvation that Christ gave Himself to provide for us is presently ours. There is nothing that is “waiting for heaven,” including ourselves – we presently live in heaven as fully as we ever will. As Peter said, “He has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness.” So what must change is our understanding. We must know, by faith and by appropriation, the things that belong already to us.
Why does God then require of us this lengthy time bound by the limitation of ignorance? I can think of many reasons that He tells us through the New Testament, all of them profound. But I want to share the reason that is most fresh to me, because it came only last night.
In the night, I was before the Lord, believing Him for the fulfillment of all that He speaks. He asked me, “What will you do, now, as I give you all power?” Well, things that fill my heart, that I have been believing God for, were there at the back of my mind. But the only thing I could think of was all the innumerable mistakes I make. My only response was, “Oh Lord, You alone have the wisdom to show me what to do with the power You say is mine.”
But I am speaking, here, of the second of three things that we must fulfill before we will know the full life of Christ released in us without measure or restraint. That second thing is sometimes called “brokenness.”
There are three things we must become before we will know all the life and glory that is presently ours. First, we must become blind.
It is an interesting study, looking at Internet articles on deception. The Internet is a great watering hole of Christians who feel it is their calling to expose deception in others. There are many sites that list all the many religious deceptions in the Christian world and expose them. Invariably, everything I believe from reading the New Testament is found in those lists, as well as my pastor, who is the most popular person today to denounce. I am amazed at the foolhardiness of those who, when God asks the question, “Who, then, shall bring a charge against God’s elect?” are actually ready to step up and give Him an answer. Who indeed?
But the most amazing thing I find in all of these sites or articles that are written to save God’s people from the “deceptions,” that will invariably cause them to “lose” their salvation, the writer always assumes that it is the other guy who is deceived. Never once does it enter their thoughts that they themselves, by the very same standards by which they call others deceived, are themselves incredibly in darkness. How many ever begin with the premise, “I am deceived”?
Almost all Christians believe that they can see. In fact almost all humans believe that they see, but Christians are most obnoxious with their mistaken belief that they see all things as they truly are. This belief is really a mental disease – insanity. A bunch of blind people, convinced that they can see all things clearly.
I said that we must become blind. What I mean is, we are blind, we must come to know that we are.
I have known a number of blind people in Christian community, seeing them every day, worshiping God together with them. The godly blind people I have known are the most trusting of individuals, with a joy of trust upon their faces. They know two things. First, they know that they cannot see. And second, they know that the one holding their hand, guiding them, can see.
A sister, referring to another group of brethren, said to me, “Reading those writings, I feel that my knowledge has been expanded on important things, but in my spirit, I get a sense of condemnation and hopelessness. In contrast, what you are teaching is full of God’s mercy which brings hope and joy.”
She shared a statement made by a leader in this other group: “To claim by faith, that what is spoken by the Word although apparently physically non-existent, but believing is really real in the spiritual realm, is presumptuous.”
I am amazed at the ways we Christians have come up with to persuade ourselves that what God says is not true at all – not until we make it true. Rather, “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” In other words, what God says is the way it is, what man sees is a lie. In fact, that argument is the first argument raised against God – “Yea hath God said?” — “Did God indeed say?” Indeed, the idea that what God says is not true until we ourselves make it true, is incredibly presumptuous. Then it would be, “Let God be a liar until every man make Him true.”
God liked David so much because he was the most presumptuous man in history. He had no sense of propriety, he disregarded Moses utterly, he went straight into the Holy of Holies with his sin. The list of presumption is endless. God, the most adventurous Being in the universe, loved every bit of it. David was real.
Yes, we humans are created to live in both heaven and earth at the same time, and we do. The problem is, we don’t “see” heaven because we are blind, not because we don’t live in heaven right now. But how can those who are blind describe what reality looks like?
Physical blindness is not like that. A physically blind person is usually a very trusting person. They have to be. They know they can’t see. So they allow others to tell them what they can’t see, and they believe what they are told. Then, believing that there is a chair right in front of them, a chair they can in no way see, they reach their foot out slowly and thus “prove” in their experience that what they were told and believed to be true is really true.
But it is not that way with man who is spiritually blind – and wears a beast skin. Man is convinced that anything he cannot see cannot be true, though God Himself tells him it is true.
I picture a blind woman I know. If you were to lead her by the hand into Buckingham Palace, sit her in the Queen’s throne, and say, “L___, you are seated upon the throne of the Queen.” She would have no personal way of knowing whether you are telling her the truth, no. But I can picture her face, all aglow. She would look around her and say, “Cool! Tell me what I see.”
God says we are seated in the heavens upon the throne of Christ with Him. Most Christians argue that since they don’t “see” anything different, it is just their “position,” and now, they themselves must go on to “make their position their experience.” In other words, they are convinced that they are in fact not blind, and that they can see all things as they really are. This is the arrogance of the skin of the beast and the difference between one who wears a beast skin and one who is simply blind.
A blind person, upon hearing from One she trusts, that she is seated with Him upon His throne, will say with great excitement, “Cool! Tell me what I am looking at.” And there are no religious theories anywhere near as they enjoy the moment together. He, showing her the glories of His Father’s house and she “seeing” with all her heart what she knows to be true, simply because she knows that although she cannot see, He can.
For us to leave the skin of the beast, we ourselves must become blind. A beastly person is convinced they can see. A blind person sees all things by what he or she is told by the Beloved.
This is why speaking what God says concerning us in the New Covenant is so important. As we speak what God says, His descriptions of reality fill our mind. The more we “see” His descriptions of reality, the more we see them. Everything God speaks becomes real to us because we believe what He says.
If you believe you can actually see, you will judge what God says by the sight of your natural eyes and decide He is telling you stories that might be true, but aren’t really. However, you want to remain a “Christian,” so you create a theology allowing you to denounce as “deceived” anyone who believes, simply, that what God says is true, in spite of what they “see” inside their humanness.
There is a saying, “In a land where all are blind, the man with one eye will be king.” I don’t know where that saying comes from, but it is complete nonsense. “In a land where all are blind, the man who can see is immediately crucified,” is the reality.
There is a door into all the fullness of Christ. That door has three simple keys to stepping through it. The first key is this. Let us be blind so that Jesus, who is the word God speaks, might show us what He Himself sees.
How does that work?
God says that you are filled with all the fullness of God. See God, in all that He is, filling you at all times.
God says that you are seated in the heavens with Christ – seated upon the throne at the right hand of the Father. See yourself sitting upon that very throne. You are not before the throne, you are in the throne, tucked into Him, looking out. Ask Him to describe for you what you are looking at, so that you can see as He sees. He will be delighted to tell you – but only if you are blind. If you think you can see, you won’t believe a word He says.
I mentioned previously that we are seated upon a garden bench side by side and heart to heart with our Beloved. That’s one precious way to see our relationship with Him. But don’t be fooled. He sits upon no “garden bench.” He sits upon the throne of His Father, and you sit there with Him. Ask Him, ask Him, to show you what He sees.
God says that Satan is crushed beneath your feet. See it so.
The other night, I awoke in the night, after a day of the joy of His presence, with as horrible of a crushing weight sitting upon my heart as I have ever known. It was all condemnation and darkness. I was not bothered, but battled for a position of faith as I always do. It did not leave right away; I wondered at the contrast between the day and the night. I thought to myself, “You know, this guy is assaulting me because of the holy place in the presence of God in which I walk. Satan is terrified of me.” My next thought, deep in my heart, was this, “Wow, this very assault is holy.” The thing sitting upon me then gave a terrible, violent shudder and vanished as if it never was. To have its very attack seen as holy was more than it could bear.
God says that you are just like Jesus. See Him as He is right now, filling you. If you can “see” anything else besides Jesus when you look at yourself, then you are most definitely blind. The King of Glory fills your heart, how could you possibly see anything else.
See what God says and stop imagining that you can see any other way. And the simplest path I know to see what God says is to speak, yourself out loud, what God says concerning you.
Become blind, and let Jesus be your sight.
“I counsel you to buy of Me gold refined in the fire that you may be rich, and white garments that you may be clothed and eye salve for your eyes that you may see.”Revelation 3
I am not interested in nice discussions about Biblical topics. I am interested in what God is doing in the earth right now. God has me focused on His fulfilling all that He speaks in the New Covenant in our lives right here and now. This focus brings great distress along with great joy. The joy is the wondrous knowledge that He fulfills all these things in us in our weakness and that He does so AS US in our humanity, that all of His ways concerning us are perfect. But the distress comes from the reality that we live in difficult times, our fellow believers are under darkness, and what God speaks in the New Covenant appears to us as impossible.
Here, in the church of Laodicea, are a group of poverty-stricken, deprived, bottom-of-the-barrel Christians who are convinced they have all abundance. They are also blind, but are convinced they can see; and they are naked and shameful, but are convinced they are clothed.
I will make no apologies for the fact that I am convinced we are about to enter times of deprivation and death and chaos in this world worse than anything we have ever known. As an amateur student of history, I am fully aware that the incredible bubble of safety and abundance of the last 60 years through which we have lived in America has no correlation in history. It is so unusual that it it is hard to understand how it has existed this long.
More than that, most people have no idea how incredibly fragile the massive interwoven worldwide support system that brings us our sustenance daily really is. The food you will eat next week is at the present moment hundreds of miles away from you. One large coronal ejection from the sun, or one large nuclear blast high in the atmosphere, will eliminate that support system in a moment and there will be no recourse. No one knows how to survive. There will be no electricity, no water, no food, and no one will be able to fix it. Then, things will start to get bad.
There is an argument that says that we must not think about such things because they are so “negative.” We must express only positive things so that only good things will happen to us. “Don’t be so negative, God would never allow anything bad to happen.”
I find that argument repulsive because it requires me to live in a lie. We can know the truth that is Christ Jesus and wrap ourselves in lies at the same time. The revelation of Jesus Christ is within the world as it is, not the world we wish in our fantasies. I would much rather grapple with fear now, bringing my faith into the knowledge of Jesus Christ now, than to deal with that enormous transition all in a moment, as most people have chosen to do.
In China, when the Communists took power, they targeted the churches last. While all other freedoms vanished, Christians continued to believe they were free. Then, the Chinese Communists did not assault the church openly, but through backhanded means they spread dissension and accusation.
The church in Shanghai that Watchman Nee was a part of was one of the most dynamic and healthy churches in China. It had been birthed by one of the greatest apostolic ministries in church history, Hudson Taylor. Ninety percent of that church turned their backs on God and walked away from Him; the other ten percent went to prison.
An honest reading of history shows us that this is the normal Christian life.
We are terribly poor and we need the wealth Jesus is talking about here more than we understand.
I am saying these things for a purpose, to share hope and faith with you – and with myself. But faith is specific to reality; it does not work inside of the dullness and fantasy where many American Christians live.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4
There is inside of the life of Jesus inside of us all provision for all things in all abundance. If we do not know that we are poor, we will not live in the abundance of Christ.
In order to step out of poverty we must become poor. Because we think we are rich, we are content to live separate from the abundance of Christ. Why do we need His provision when we have the corner store?
The curse stripped mankind of the abundance and wealth of God. But trying to live as a collective of selfs separate from God, man has built a vast system of provision that is much larger than food and drink, clothing and shelter. It is a system of thinking that extends in every direction.
In other words, there are so many ways that our minds and the trust of our hearts will go other than our union with Jesus. That fact does not distress us because in all things God is working together with us for good. There is not a single struggle that you and I wrestle with right now that we will not discover is really producing unending blessing and benefit both now and in the ages to come.
But all good comes out of our discovery of His fullness in our weakness. The purpose for our limitation is to know Jesus as we can know Him only inside the vanity of our present state, and inside of casting off the curse by faith.
There are so many ways in which we imagine we are rich when we are actually trusting in something other than Jesus. At every point of imagined “wealth” we ask Jesus to bring us to poverty that we might know Him in His abundance. And don’t think I’m talking about monetary poverty. The issue is not money or the lack of money, corner stores or not corner stores; the issue is our source.
Two ways in which we imagine ourselves to be “rich” are found first in those who are “getting ready for what’s coming,” and second in those who believe we don’t need to “get ready for what’s coming.”
For many years I lived in a community of believers who were “getting ready for what’s coming.” I know what it takes to get your food out of the ground without the use of cheap oil. It takes unending hours of backbreaking work.
Today I see much more clearly just exactly what is at stake than I did then. And I know this: no natural preparation is going to help us. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have extra food on hand; that’s just a normal part of wise living. In fact, I’ve had the Lord impressing on my heart the need to have good hiking shoes for each member of my family. If we have to literally walk away from everything, not having good shoes will show itself very quickly.
Everything we depend on in this world is being framed more and more in the need to be identified in order to buy or sell. Soon, if we want to participate in the world system, we must be marked and identified.
How shall we walk through what is ahead? How do we prepare? Those who are trying to be prepared cannot be prepared; they will fail. But far sadder than that are those who imagine they don’t need to be prepared. “I’m just trusting in Jesus. He will take care of me.”
Forgive me if I don’t believe those who glibly make that claim. I really do not. It’s easy to write about how the children of Israel should have celebrated the victory before they saw it with their eyes; it’s quite another thing to do the same.
Most American Christians, when push comes to shove, will choose to trust in the government, convincing themselves with all of their hearts that in doing so, they are trusting in God.
Why am I saying all this? My purpose in these letters is simply to share with you a running narrative of the things God is teaching me concerning the life of Christ revealed in us.
We are coming into the full knowledge of our union with Christ in the context of unimaginable disaster sitting upon the people of the world. In fact, it is our coming into union with Christ that causes the light to go on in the world. Don’t think, over the next few years, that the world is “becoming more evil.” No, it has always been what it is, persevering in darkness. Its evil was hidden. Now that the lights are turning on, we will see what it is clearly.
Christ is everything we need, and Christ is the only life we have. Everything we need to be before God, Christ already is as us.
God is taking us through many small difficulties now for the specific purpose of enabling us to learn to hold to Christ our life now in little things so that when the big things come, we will be found in Him, and we will not join most Christians who will run to the world for their help, calling it “God.”
“And they shall nourish her there . . .” Revelation 12
That word “nourish” is so breathed upon by God right now. We are that nourishment and through us, God sends rivers of living water. We are right now buffeted on every side. The powers of darkness are terrified, and all of their fighting ability is directed against us.
God deliberately led the children of Israel to a place where they would be pinned between an impassible sea and the vicious killers of Egypt. God deliberately led the children of Israel to an entrance into the Promised Land that required crossing an impassible river at flood stage. This is what He does.
Why? So that He can show Himself mighty on our behalf. God likes to prove His stuff. More specifically, God is focused on faith in what He speaks. We are not trusting in God when we are filled with joy and peace while things are easy. When destruction is upon us and the way forward is impassible, then we know what faith in what He speaks really is.
It is on this point that God focuses every part of His creation throughout the whole history of time –unwavering faith in the word He speaks when confronted with all opposition.
And out of this connection of unwavering faith with an impossible word in the center of all opposition, God releases all provision, not only for ourselves, but for the entire creation through us.
We must become poor; that is, we must cease looking to any other source besides our union with Christ for all provision. Will you stay at your job if doing so requires receiving a radio identification chip? Will you go to the doctor if payment requires having a radio chip under your skin?
I know there are many Bible teachers who say that receiving a radio chip under one’s skin is not a problem – that it is not the “mark of the beast.” That is a personal choice they are making. Are they really brave enough to teach that to others as well? Most American Christians are convinced that nothing can be that mark because they are not raptured, and it can’t come until after they are gone.
I have no idea what “the mark of the beast” is. I know that phrase is primarily a spirit word. I know that in our union with Christ, His blood covers us in all things. I know that many people say many things about it.
Yet, I am left with these facts of present reality.
1. The system requiring a radio identification chip will not allow you to function in any part of modern society if you do not have it, which includes buying and selling.
2. The chip is an identification that tags your body, marking your body, the temple of God and the focus of salvation, as the property of the government.
3. The chip is a tracking device that allows anyone with the right equipment to be able to track your every movement.
4. The chip is a direct electronic control device through which your thoughts and feelings can be manipulated and controlled.
5. As time goes on, those who have an active radio identification chip under their skin will develop cancerous sores as a result of the pinpointed microwave exposure taking place at that site.
6. The people pushing these things are evil and their intent towards us, particularly towards those who love Jesus, is evil.
7. The system that creates the “provision” that comes through being chipped and identified is imploding even while it is reaching for power, and all who put their trust in it will discover that it will not meet their needs after all.
Would God place His people between impossibility and impossibility and in the middle of screaming contradiction say, “Stand still and see the salvation of God”?
Actually, that is the point of the whole fall of man and all the ages of vanity.
It is for this that God has chosen you and me.
“You who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls. . .
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”1 Peter 1:4-13
Again, I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. I write only for those whose hearts are yearning to be found in Him and He in them, ready and willing and able as He reveals Himself in His glory.
Peter says here that there is a grace that is yet to come, a grace, a divine enablement, that neither he, nor Paul, nor John, nor David, nor Moses, nor Elijah, ever received or knew. Peter is claiming here, that at a certain point in time, as God wraps this thing up, we, you and I, must have our hope focused on receiving a grace from God, an enablement, a reality of life and power that no Christian or saint has ever known before us, save Jesus alone. Not Wesley, not Patrick, not Wigglesworth, not Madame Guyon.
This is a grace.
We do not earn it. We can do nothing to deserve it.
Yet when it comes, most Christians will miss it. They will not recognize it at all.
Because we look for it with all desire, because we believe God for the fulfillment of all that He speaks, because He has said so, we will recognize this grace when it comes, and we will receive it.
And in receiving that grace, we are not made “elite.” No! The whole purpose of God for us is that we turn and give His mighty power to others.
“And they shall nourish her there.”
This is the source of all abundant provision.