25. The Power of Seeing God
So, I take my family, my wife and children, and see them out from the Heart of God, the Atoning One. I see them out from that heart, and I see them utterly carried inside that heart. I see that God fills them, that His blood flows over them, that His power and might surrounds them as a mighty fortress wall. I see that God heals them, that He inspires them, that He guides and orders their every step. I see that they walk in union with God and God with them, His person inside of their person, and their person inside of His. As I see God, as I expect God, those whom I love are carried into the same Kingdom of God with me.
25. The Power of Seeing God
© Daniel Yordy - 2012
The problem with writing a series on any one topic is that God never stops speaking. We are bouncing up the mountain on hind's feet, and we barely land on one plateau in God, seeing as we have never seen before, before we are off with Him in a leaping bounce to the next plateau above. Yes, I'm mixing metaphors, but there it is.
I heard recently the words, "You will experience times when God is far away and silent," spoken to high school graduates. I've never bought into that line, not really. Now I know that the "silence" of God is so unreal that we must do horrific things to Him to keep ourselves in such a place. We must refuse to believe what He says - and that is the most cold and horrific thing we could do to God. We Christians treat Him so cruelly, shoving Him out into the cold, keeping Him far away from the union and the communion with us His heart has so always longed for.
God is never silent. He is always speaking; He is always filling us full, carrying us, walking with us, becoming us, flowing out from us. It is we who treat Him as if Christ, the always-speaking-of-God no longer lives in our hearts by simply refusing to believe what He says.
Now, my previous letter, "Are Become the Kingdom," coming in unexpectedly as it did, has sent me leaping to a another plateau above the already high plateau I had unexpectedly found myself on already as a result of God opening my eyes to see Him through this series. We are fully free to boast in the glory of God since God is the base of our boasting, and He is sure and certain in all things.
Let me reiterate that first plateau here in just a few words.
Everything said about God in the Bible, by Jesus' words in John 16, is figurative. Only one time and place in all the Bible and in all creation, both heaven and earth, does God show up for real so that we can see Him as He really is. That time and place is the Atonement, the path of the Lord Jesus Christ from His kingdom-birthing prayer in John 17 to His sitting down at the right hand of the Father, the path that also includes Gethsemane, the cross, the resurrection, and the ascension. Jesus said, "Now I will tell you plainly about the Father," five minutes before the Atonement began.
In complete contrast to the limitation of Augustinian Christianity, this view of God shown to us by Jesus is God as He really is, not God "stooping down" briefly, before returning to His "true" state. Thus all the eternality of God is NOW in that path and all the infinity of God is present and personal in that path. All of His power, all of His wisdom, all of His heart, is open, there and there alone, for all to see.
But the most fantastically incredible thing we discover about God for real, a thing almost impossible to believe, is that WE, you and I, are there inside of Him. Our presence inside of God is not peripheral, it is not incidental; it is God as He IS. Thus God is the becoming One. You and I fill the heart of God and have always filled the heart of God. There is no God apart from the God whose heart is filled with us.
Thus we know God, now, as the Becoming One, the One who is always coming up from beneath of us, always catching us up into Himself, always conforming Himself to our weakness and lack and inability, always stumbling with us along our way, always carrying us into death, always arising with us inside Himself into newness of life, always ascending on High and we in Him, always seated upon the throne of heaven, His heart and ours, always and forever.
This is God; know Him. And when we know Him thus, we find that we are granted to eat of all the tree of Life.
But in knowing Him thus, and in eating with all joy of the very tree of Life in the proto-universe of God, we find the next shocking thing we have never known.
A universe fashioned out of the tree of Life has never existed. We, nor any created being, have no idea what such a universe really is.
The universe we have known is a universe of good and evil, life and death, light and darkness, heaven and hell. Every part of human philosophy and study has been inside and concerning a universe that is wrongly altered.
There is neither death nor darkness nor any word spoken against the goodness of God inside the universe coming out of our bellies. It is a universe we have never known.
The present universe is a false universe and as such God holds it inside a band of separation. God cannot know the universe Adam fashioned. God penetrates this false universe, yes; He does so by Blood. That Blood is the barrier of separation by which God can move within the darkness in order to catch us up into Himself and to carry us inside Himself through the dark passage all the way into Life. The writer of Hebrews tells us that the Blood began in Gethsemane, that it was by great drops of blood flowing out with His sweat that Jesus brought you and me into Himself in those eternal-now words, "Not My will, but Thine be done."
Abel came to God by blood. God did not become present among Israel until the blood of the sacrifice covered the Tabernacle and all the people. We know God in our present state ONLY because of the Blood always flowing over us. No Blood, no God - inside Adam's universe.
Now, I want to come at the truth intended for this letter, the power of seeing God, from a number of different angles. Please bear with me. First, let's look at the nature of the old creation.
I read this account of the religious beliefs of the Shawnee Indians in a book I'm reading titled The Frontiersman by Allan W. Eckert.
"The Supreme Being of all things, the chief told him, is Moneto, who rules the universe and dispenses His blessings and favors to those who earn His good will, just as He brings unspeakable sorrow to those whose conduct merits His displeasure.
"Moneto was not to be mistaken for the Great Spirit, or the ruler of destinies, who is subordinate to Him. The Great Spirit is a grandmother who is constantly weaving an immense net. When this net is finished it will be lowered to the earth and all who have proven themselves worthy will be gathered into its folds and taken to a world of great peace and happiness. At the same time, an unspeakably terrible fate will overtake the remainder as the world comes to an end. Good conduct always brought reward, just as evil conduct must bring sorrow."
We assume (though we don't know) that the Shawnee Indians did not conceive this understanding of the universe from things told them by Eurasians. Rather, it is an accurate conception of the universe as it is, as fashioned by Adam, perceived in truth by the Shawnees. Remember, in Adam all die - God subjected the whole creation to vanity, that includes all the realms of heaven as much as earth.
Yet look at how identical this account of reality is to Augustinian Christianity and to the law of the Old Covenant. Reality simply does not fit into the logical talking points of Protestant theology!
Let's try to build a clear picture.
In the beginning God created heaven/earth. This is not two separate places, but one place having two dimensions, the physical and the spiritual. And when we say "spiritual," we mean "spirit-substance," as tangible and as real as physical matter, just at a higher level of frequency.
Now, God called this creation "good" until Genesis 2:18 when He discovered to us that things were, in fact, "not good." We understand that God meant "incomplete" or "unfinished."
The simplest metaphor we could use is that the creation was "unpainted," that is, God had reserved the "coloring" of all things to His union with Adam and Eve.
In Genesis 2:9, God places the two trees into the midst of the garden in the midst of all creation. Then verse 10 says this: "Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four river heads." The next few verses describe the four directions the rivers go, NE, NW, SE, and SW, to water the whole earth.
This full metaphor God created shows us His intent in giving Adam a choice between knowledge and life, between the law of God and union with God. Adam was the father of all that would come out of that garden, giving color and shape to all things.
Adam chose to paint the universe good and evil, light and darkness, a universe ordered by the external law of God, a law no one can keep. Now, we understand that all the consequences coming out of Adam's choice were Adam's doing. And Adam's children have continued right on, making themselves as guilty as Adam, and more so. No one dares point the finger at Adam.
In Adam all die.
And we know that death means many, many things, all of them - but one - horrific and evil.
The universe, all creation, the entirety of heaven/earth was now unclean to God. He did not know it. Although God spoke the curse in Genesis 3, everything God said was simply an explanation of all the things flowing out of the tree of knowledge. Yet it was God who subjected all creation, both heaven and earth, to futility. Man was cursed with always trying, but never succeeding, always reaching for, but never grasping hold. And in the end, death.
More than that, because Adam connected with the tree of knowledge through a contract with the serpent, fallen angels now had rule over man.
Picture this arena, now, as a bubble surrounded by a plasma sheath. God cannot know sin and death, thus there is an immediate barrier between Himself and all of Adam's creation. This barrier protects God from creation's pollution, and it protects creation from God's wrath. The metaphor God gives us to understand this plasma sheath, this barrier, is the dual shedding of blood/clothing man with the skin of a beast that happened before God drove man out of the garden. The blood protects God from man, the skin of the beast protects man from God.
Yet God did not stop placing the two trees before man. Immediately, He involved Himself outwardly in human affairs via Cain and Abel. Through Cain and Abel, God placed the two covenants again before man. To Cain, He said, "Sin is right there; you deal with it." To Abel, God spoke the blood, "I have already dealt with sin; you live in Me."
Then again, God placed the two covenants before man in detail. The second He prefigured through Abraham, "And Abram believed God and He counted it to him for righteousness." The first He gave through Moses, "the man who does them (the requirements of the law) shall live by them." (Galatians 3)
Now, this picture must be expanded in any teaching on The Covenant; however, here we are speaking of the Kingdom of God. For our purposes at present, let's look at how the law IS the coloring of creation coming out of the tree of knowledge. Every Christian ought to know precisely the specific contrast between the New Covenant and the Old as found in Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews. Sadly, most do not. The law, the Old Covenant, IS the tree of the knowledge of good and evil writ large. It is "hearing what God says and doing it" as a way of living God did not create us to know.
Here are specific points concerning the law that are equally true of the tree of knowledge.
1. It is pure and holy and good, created by God and placed by God before man.
2. God commanded us not to eat of it, but rather to cast it out. If you "do good," you will do evil. If you "try to obey God," you will disobey God. There is no faith in the law; those who live by it cannot please God.
3. All who eat of it fall from grace and must "die." There is no law given that can produce life.
4. Eating of the law carries only a curse.
5. The death of Christ severs us from the law/the tree of knowledge forever.
And so we see that most of what has been Christianity has been just a continuation of the tree of knowledge. All Catholicism and all Eastern Orthodoxy and all Protestantism taught God's words to Cain, not God's words through Abel. Even that part of Christianity that has taught God's words through Abel, combined with those words, in one way or another, God's words to Cain.
The move of God I was a part of did exactly that. Both words were preached side by side. The word spoken to Cain, however, has seemed to prevail over time in the larger teaching of that group.
"SIN! Look at it; deal with it!"
Ha! I refuse. How can I look at sin when my eyes are filled with Christ? How can I deal with sin while I am always eating of Christ? The tree of knowledge about God and sin is behind me. My back is turned to it, and I cannot know it.
You see, it's no good, even, not to eat of the law, not to eat of knowing what God requires and both doing it and not doing it. We also must eat of life. But the moment we eat of life, the moment we truly begin to believe in Jesus, the waters begin to flow once again. Only this time, they are not waters of death, but waters of life.
Let's return now to the second staggering reality God is causing us to know.
We have no knowledge or conception of what a universe, a creation, the entirety of heaven/earth would be that flows out of, is colored and shaped by, the tree of life.
Every part of the present creation that we would call "good" is nothing more than the good part of the tree of knowledge. Jesus said, "Do not call Me, 'good.' Only God is good." That is, nothing inside the realms of Adam, the only realms you know, can be truly called "good." What you imagine is "good" is only Adam's "good."
I suspect that the basic laws of the present creation, which laws I referred to in "A Foundation for Abundance," are, in fact, proto-universe laws. I suspect that those same basic laws will under-gird the new heaven/earth creation coming out of our bellies. However, every one of the basic laws of the universe, the laws of physics, the laws of spirit, and the laws of society, are suppressed and darkened, limited and perverted in the present creation. We do not know them as they really are, released from the darkness and from futility.
God is not fixing Adam's creation. He does NOT give us the task of working in either physics or spirit or society to alter and amend the darkness of those laws as they work, now, in Adam's creation.
No. God is birthing an entirely new creation out from our belly. He is birthing that new creation in fullness; yet the new creation, in it's very nature, swallows up all that is the old so that the original proto-universe becomes brand new. The New Creation and the Kingdom of God are two phrases for the same thing.
I am a dreamer. I am also practical, but in my "practical" work in life - designing and constructing buildings - I was always bold and daring.
In my teenage years, I dreamed of conquering the world and then the universe, and then, through science, gaining all the abilities of "God." This was no small dream, but one that filled and shaped all the thoughts of years. My ambitions were great, but alas (or rather, thank God), my outward abilities were wholly inadequate for my inward ambitions.
When the Lord took back my heart for Himself, I scaled down my dreams a bit. I determined that the second thing I would ask God for (the first being a panoramic view of a speeded-up movie of the events surrounding the flood of Noah and the drastic altering of the entire solar system at that time) would be for my own solar system containing several planets, all in proto-type form, that is, relatively smooth orbs, so that I could design and create the entire surface layout of a planet, filling it with rivers and mountains, with vegetation and creatures, all designed and ordered by me. When I complete one, after a few thousand happy years, then, I would have another to start again.
I spent many enjoyable hours designing planets in my very fertile mind.
Yet, through my twenties and thirties, I carried a secret fear. It wasn't always there, but it would show itself now and then, frightening me out of my wits. My fear was that, because my youth was filled with the ambition of "being like God," that is, having the power through science to understand and order all things, that I was, in fact, the Antichrist, and that the time would come when I would turn my back on God, betraying all that was holy, and stride out to "seize my destiny."
Now I simply laugh with joy.
You see, even though I had imagined that I was separated from God in the darkness of my mind through my teenage years, none of that was true. I had given my heart to Jesus when I was seven, and He had given His heart to me.
God created us to contain all of Himself in fullness; it should be expected that our desire also be large enough to envelop all of Him.
I have not only shared God's heart all through my years, but He created me just like Himself, with the love of creating and ordering beauty and all good things. Through my teenage years I thought separation because no one had ever taught me that God walked in union with me. If they had done so, I know I would have seized hold of that reality then just as I seize hold of it now. God withheld that knowledge from me for the sole reason that I may know LIFE more fully now and that I might have the understanding to teach life to others. I give Him thanks for His unfathomable wisdom.
Yet God also gave me Christian community. I loved designing planets and empires and cities and buildings and college courses, but now, my heart is only satisfied with the dream of community. From the time I was 21, I have planned and dreamed community as it was meant to be. Human society, filled with God and with the fellowship of Christ and with rivers of the Spirit flowing back and forth between brethren walking together in the deepest honor and respect for one another. Everywhere I go, I see community. I look at a building and think how a community of Christ could make use of that building. I see a piece of ground and I begin plotting the layout of the community.
As an aside, I hate socialism. Socialism is a bad idea. Part of my waiting on God in the present moment is to understand how community can operate in the love and goodness of God with no shadow of socialism impinging upon it. When God sets me once again into community of His design, He and I will walk together in the knowing of how to keep every element of socialism out of all our relationships in the church - and yet maintain the community of Christ.
Socialism is the mother of all disorder; freedom is the mother of all true order. Freedom IS holding one another in utmost respect and regard, above our true and good estimation of ourselves (that is, of Christ). Socialism and all enforcement of law is, in its essence, disrespect of another individual person and thus, disrespect of Christ.
God has placed His dreams inside of us, that's what shared heart means. The thing is, though, that when we thought we lived separate from God, our dreams also seemed separate and twisted. Thus, when teachers of the word said, "Follow your dreams," that idea sounded not right. And, separate from God, that idea is not right.
Yet we are not separate from God. And now that we walk in full union with God, the presence of His Person inside of our person makes all of our dreams holy and pure, shared fully with our Father. Your dreams are different from mine. A universe fashioned only through me would be utterly lop-sided. I would forget and leave out so many, many essential things. That's one reason why God lives in a many-membered body.
That's why Christ is a community of shared hearts walking together in love.
God really has given you and me the shared joy of shaping the new heavens and the new earth. Those new heavens and new earth are, in fact, coming right out of our bellies by the river of life flowing from our hearts.
What color will you paint with?
And why has God so battered and crushed our hearts all the days of our lives?
God has done what He said He would do, He has given us hearts of flesh instead of hearts of stone. God has given us hearts of flesh so that the universe flowing out of our hearts would be gentle and tender and kind.
If there is one quality that I would impart to this new universe; if God granted to me the opportunity to choose just one trait myself, what would that quality be?
That's real easy for me.
I would color that universe with this one quality, that every individual creature in whatever realm would treat every other individual creature, whether great or small, whether high or low, with the utmost respect, the highest regard, and the deepest honor.
If God would grant me this desire, it would be enough for me.
There are many awakening to the glory and joy of a community of Christ in whatever form it might take. I have one piece of counsel.
My counsel is serious and real; I know whereof I speak.
It is none of our business whatever what anyone else in that community to whom God has joined us does or doesn't do. (Those who are wise in the church DO protect others from abuse, which always inserts itself from time to time.)
Our only business is to love. Owe no man anything except to love one another. Love is a mushy word, though, and will not do. Our only business is to treat every individual person, young or old, able or unable, great or small, with the same utmost respect, the highest regard, and the deepest honor that we would show to the Lord Jesus if He were personally present as a member of our community.
At the core of any successful community will be a small group of brethren whose lives are utterly cast upon God and His revelation inside of them. They will always be laying down their lives for the brethren, carrying the weak, encouraging the youths, God in them reconciling all things to Himself. This core will guide with wisdom, yes, but never push their own agenda, never "try" to keep the ark of God or their own ideas from hitting the dirt.
Never try to keep God or yourself from hitting the dirt. God makes wondrous things out of dirt, including His image.
Now, I titled this article, "The Power of Seeing God." I want to relate that power and that practice to the new creation, the kingdom of God flowing out of our bellies. And seeing God is a practice for us because our normal spirit-eyes are presently blind. Just as a blind person will "practice" a room, discovering the location, size, and shape of everything in it before they can move comfortably around that room, so we practice seeing God, knowing that our outward sight is not telling us the truth - only faith in what God says.
Seeing God does not come "naturally" to us right now; it is something we must learn. We learned our times tables by practicing; we learn to see God in all things by practicing.
I began this practice by seeing Christ in myself in the present moment. I practiced that again last night. In the middle of the night I awoke and felt the press of "not-God" against me. I merely spoke in my spirit, "Christ is all there is in me," for a bit, practicing seeing God in me now, and soon the "not-God" lifted and His peace flowed all through my heart.
Then, I took the practice of seeing God to my past life, determining and confessing that all of His ways concerning me are perfect. But there were still bits and pieces in my life, particularly my youth, that I did not look at. God brought those things before me and showed me that, indeed, He was all through me all through those things and that He always carried me. That even in my foolishness, He shared heart with me.
I can hardly believe that I have written in this letter my darkest secret and my deepest imaginative fear, that of my teenage dream of conquering all and becoming "God" by science and my adult fear that I would betray my Beloved and become "the Antichrist." - And, that I can laugh and see God all through it! What a sea change has been wrought in me.
Now, I finally understand what bothered me about seeing God "all in all" right now that felt too much like pantheism - God is everything, everything is God.
We know God in the Atonement and in the Atonement, we look out from God. When we know the God who is Atonement, when we see all things out from the God who is Atonement, then we see God all in all. Knowing the God who is Atonement is an entirely different thing from pantheism.
When we look out from the Atonement God, we look out from the One who carries even His enemies inside Himself, even as they are mocking and spitting upon Him. We look out from Blood. We look out from laying down our lives for our brethren. We look out from the always-expectation of a resurrection God arising into life and we in Him. From this nested place, deep inside His bowels, we see all things in God. He carries all.
We expect God.
Now, let me explain the power taking place in our present practice of seeing God.
Separated from God, seeing out from His law, my practice of imagining the conquering of nations and worlds and aspiring to attain the outward abilities of "God" through science is sin. Knowing that it is sin, my fear of betraying Christ and becoming the Antichrist was partly justified. Let us suppose that I had continued in a mind of separation from God, a mind of fear. Let us suppose that God had not set me aside, taking me all apart, and showing me Himself all through my life's experiences. Listen, I was a mess eleven years ago when God started that process, something He does not do for most people at the present time.
There is no question that today I would be a frightened, harsh, bitter, and angry old man. There is no question that I would be withdrawn and recluse, having alienated all who belonged to me. I would be lying in a gutter somewhere, because I am too weak physically to survive such a separated place.
And all of my pain, all of my fear, all of my confusion and misconception would be howling around in my heart and mind except I drown it in drink and hope for death. I would look back at all the days of my life and see only pain and wrong. I have reason to know it would be similar to this.
Yet look at me now! I see God all through my days. The result is that all of them are holy and pure and right. Every incident meant for evil, God and I have turned into great good and glory. That is the power of seeing God.
Seeing God is translation.
Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:12-14
The King James says "translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son."
Seeing God is translation.
Something may exist inside the separation of Adam's universe. Let's start with incidents in our past that by the law of God were not right. Now, understand that time is simply one facet of eternality. Time is eternality always now. Every moment of our lives continues in existence right now. There is no such thing as "forgetting the past."
Where shall every moment of our lives exist? In the new creation or in the old?
C.S. Lewis, in his preface to The Great Divorce, said it this way (and I paraphrase). Those who end up in heaven, looking back at their entire time upon this earth, see it all, from their infancy, as the beginning parts of heaven. And those who end up in hell, looking back at their entire time upon this earth, see it all, from their infancy, as the beginning parts of hell.
The difference is in the seeing. The power is in the seeing. The translation is in the seeing.
I take every moment of my life, good, bad, or indifferent, and I see myself in that moment carried by the Lord Jesus through the path of the atonement, I see my sin inside of Him, and I see Him sharing Himself with me at that moment. Then I see that I was created in God's image and that the expression of my heart was God, though it was turned momentarily in a separated direction. As I see God in that moment, my days are transformed and now are seen as always having been the New Creation from my infancy.
Let's take this practice of seeing, now, to the next important place. We have our face set on the deliverance of all creation into the glorious liberty flowing out of our bellies, yes. But God is real and practical, and He has given us right now those whom we love, our families and those precious people with whom we fellowship in some way.
Practice seeing God; practice seeing the expectation of God.
I like the word "expectation." It means God is always showing up and always about to show up.
So, I take my family, my wife and children, and see them out from the Heart of God, the Atoning One. I see them out from that heart, and I see them utterly carried inside that heart. I see that God fills them, that His blood flows over them, that His power and might surrounds them as a mighty fortress wall. I see that God heals them, that He inspires them, that He guides and orders their every step. I see that they walk in union with God and God with them, His person inside of their person, and their person inside of His.
As I see God, as I expect God, those whom I love are carried into the same Kingdom of God with me.
This is power; this is God and us working together to make all things good.
But in closing I want to address another critical place of seeing God.
Most do not realize it, but all this business of seeing God, of rivers of living water, of grace and love and a new-found joy of Christ running all through Christian circles - all this is seen and marked and planned for. The same faction of the Pharisees of Jesus' day rules the earth today. These men sit in the highest places of power, in finance, in the media, and in the militaries. They love the law, with themselves as the judges of the law. They loathe and despise the Lord Jesus with a fury you and I cannot comprehend. They control all governments on earth.
The birthing of the New Creation MUST draw the immediate wrath and power and hatred of the Old Creation that MUST see its utter ruin in that birthing. Just as the Pharisees opposed Christ, so that same faction, men who live by the doctrine of the Pharisees written down, oppose us. They have plans for us, plans that are bearing down on an unsuspecting church right now, a church that will soon know that "grace" and martyrdom go hand in hand.
JUST AS Jesus saw God as He stepped into their wrath, so we see God in exactly the same way as we step into that same wrath today.
God is in us, reconciling the world to Himself.
The Power of Seeing God.