7. Seeing the Invisible One
Those who seek the invisible do not seek what I seek. They seek for the things of the heavens, the “things of God,” imagining that those things are the invisible. I seek only to know the Invisible One – and He is inside of me.
7. Seeing the Invisible One
By faith (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. Hebrews 11:27-28
It is impossible to understand Passover without answering the question – Why? Typically, teachers simply assume that everyone knows the why, that Adam sinned and man is under darkness and God reaches out to redeem.
When I wrote the title to this chapter just now, I wrote “Seeing the Invisible,” but then I looked closely at the text and saw that my words were wrong. And that's the whole problem. Even those who manage to “see the invisible” still don't get it. It's not the invisible; it's HIM who is invisible, the Invisible One.
Heaven is not invisible; there are billions of created beings, human and angelic, who see all the elements of the heavens all the time. None of them ever see God.
God, the Person, Father, is the One who is invisible, seen by no created being.
There is one God, the Father and one Mediator between God and man, the Man, Christ Jesus. Paul
Jesus is not the Father; Jesus reveals the Father in the physical realms.
The Holy Spirit is not the Father; the Holy Spirit reveals the Father in the heavenly realms.
You and I share one body with Jesus right now, flesh of His flesh, and we share one spirit with the Holy Spirit, one spirit with Him.
Bondage in Egypt and Passover-redemption were NOT about getting God's people out of slavery and sin. Bondage in Egypt, Passover, and all that followed were all about God getting Himself into man.
I've put these two verses together only recently. I will now place them together over and over until we know and reveal their full meaning.
He that has seen Me has seen the Father. – We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.
Those who seek the invisible do not seek what I seek. They seek for the things of the heavens, the “things of God,” imagining that those things are the invisible.
I seek only to know the Invisible One – and He is inside of me.
I want to talk about this One who is Invisible. He is extremely odd. He is more than odd; He is bizarre.
First, He is invisible; that means He is undetectable by any created form of detection, heavenly or earthly. Anything you might think of as “God showing up” is never God Himself, but God expressing Himself through some created form or circumstance or feeling, even. He remains forever invisible.
Second, He is a Consuming Fire. That's both a part of what is love along with God's holiness, always working together. God cannot know evil; He cannot know those who partake of evil. That means God cannot ever know not-God, nor those who practice not-God. Evil, approaching God, simply gets zapped, like a bug to a bug-zapper, nothing personal, it's just what happens. At the very same time, that same Consuming Fire is a jealousy beyond our comprehension. God wants what He wants, and He will have what He wants.
We don't approach a Consuming Fire flippantly. We do sit upon the throne inside that fire boldly, yes, but never in a manner that disregards Blood and what it means.
That takes us to the third oddity of this Invisible Fire; He is meek and lowly of heart, gentle and tender and kind. And that means that what He wants – and will have what He wants – is tender fellowship with precious people who dance together for joy in His presence in love.
Then, fourth, God is All Sovereign power. He works all in all. – Unrestricted Power Exercising Absolute Dominion. – There is nothing outside of God's absolute sovereignty.
But, in total contradiction, back to the “I am meek and lowly of heart” stuff, fifth, God is Love. Which means He never ever pushes anyone around, but treats each person, human and angelic, fallen or unfallen, with the same tender regard and the highest honor and respect.
And finally, God is a Person with a heart who thinks and feels and chooses. He loves and He wants to be loved; He desires and He wants to be desired. God is very personal, and there is inside of Him a very tender and private place, known by very few.
Invisible Fire that cannot ever be seen, yet zaps anything not of Him that gets close, and is meek and lowly of heart. Absolute dominion that works in all things, yet never controls anyone, but respects all and sets all free of Himself, yet a fierce jealousy that WILL win all things back.
But these things, as incompatible as they are, do not show us the most bizarre thing about this Invisible One who lives inside of us.
Do you see those precious people dancing for joy together in a celebration of His love?
This bizarre Fellow who fills us with all of Himself and tells us to call Him Father, holds a secret desire, almost embarrassing, one might say.
He wants to dance with them. He wants to take little children up in His arms to bless them. He wants to see and be seen, to touch and be touched, to walk among and as the least and the lowest, those who delight in the simple pleasures of life, both heavenly and earthly life (the two cannot ever be separated).
AND – He wants to share that private, tender place inside His heart with others, His equals in heart. He wants to share His heart.
So, tell me, how can an invisible Fire that no one in heaven or earth can ever see, but that zaps anything wrong that comes near Him, be seen and touched and handled? How can we see someOne who is invisible? How can we know a love that is beyond knowledge?
He that has seen Me has seen the Father. – We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.
There is one thing only that solves the Fire problem, and we have it.
BLOOD! – The blood of the Lamb. – The Blood sprinkled upon our hearts.
You see, the Fire problem has to be solved first before any other of God's problems can be solved in order for Him to win the secret desire of His heart. What good is a meek and lowly heart, what avail is tender and kind regard, if everyone gets zapped before they get close?
Why bondage in Egypt? (I will likely not fully address this question until the article, “Passover.”)
Well, look at this Heart that God secretly wants to share with us.
Let's combine some hearts together. In one merging, let's place the hearts of Alexander the Great, Elizabeth I Tudor, Genghis Khan, Boadicea the Queen of the Brits, and Blackbeard the pirate. Bold and daring beyond measure, hearts that any lesser man or woman would give his life to follow. Now, in a second merging, let's place the hearts of Mother Teresa, St. Francis of Assisi, the apostle John in his old age, Florence Nightingale, and Father Damien of the leper colonies of Hawaii. Hearts that reach out in tender regard to the lowest of the low, hearts that weep silent tears in the shadows.
Now, let's take these two mergings of heart and place them together into one man. Have you guessed his name?
David – a man after God's own heart.
It was David's Son who said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
There is no way that God can share heart with strong men and women only; there is no way that God can share heart with tender men and women only.
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same . . . Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:14-18
My strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
A heart as bold and daring as God's, meek and tender and kind.
No created being can know such a heart, not in their original state. Such a heart is un-creatable! Such a heart is forged only in a furnace of affliction, in a vale of tears.
Such a heart is formed only by the throwing of spears – and by not throwing them back.
But those stories are for other letters.
I want to deal, in this letter, with God's most difficult characteristic.
God is INVISIBLE. – God is forever invisible to all.
The entire purpose of bondage in Egypt AND Passover, two things that cannot be separated in our understanding, is the incredible and intense Desire of an invisible Person, who is forever INVISIBLE, to be seen and known and touched.
Those who do not know this Heart DO NOT KNOW man. I can point out to you 15 billion humans, in both heaven and earth, who do not know what a human is.
I can also suggest to you that you have no idea what you are. You have never known and never seen yourself.
Let me hammer you with the hammer of God; let me bring you to tears with Jesus wept. Oh, you arrogant and frightened human, you do not know who you are; you do not know this One who has seized you in His grip for His Heart alone and will never let you go. (Please understand, I am talking to myself.)
All humans are arrogant; all humans are frightened. The arrogant part comes from a heart as bold as God's, empty of God. The frightened part comes from a heart as tender as God's, empty of God.
The things of God will never fill your heart, stop seeking them. The only thing your heart is made to contain is God in Person Himself. And He is already there. God knows how to be God, a whole lot better than you or I. But He cannot be God in us when we do not know He is both there and very much part of us. Anyone who thinks, “My heart is one thing and God is another” cannot know God. That's why they are so busy trying to seek the things of God, trying to be acceptable to God in themselves, not needing Christ to be their only self.
It is possible to have and to know and to reveal everything that is of God and never know Him at all. That is one of the central truths God showed through Moses. We will get there soon.
The problem IS that God is invisible. – I want to talk about what that means.
You see, “seeing the One who is invisible” to almost all humans means seeing something that ain't there.
There are two broad types of human thinking, the realist and the idealist, the practical mind and the dreaming mind. The realists far outnumber the idealists and almost always dominate. Yet they cannot rid themselves of the idealists, for they are the creative ones and they speak their stories and their songs into the desire to dream in the heart of every human being. But behind every successful creative artist, there is a swarm of realists making that success happen. Without the realists, we would hardly know the idealists.
Dreaming is not practical. Yet nothing truly important is ever birthed apart from such dreams.
One of the greatest works of literature, Don Quixote de la Mancha, by Miguel Cervantes, is a brilliant and hilarious pairing of an idealist, Don Quixote, and a realist, his servant, Sancho Panza, taking the two as they interact together across the breadth of Spain and into every kind of circumstance. Don Quixote wants to free the princess from the dragon, but Sancho Panza needs to use the outhouse. It is a study of humanity.
Very little would get done if there were no practical people; very little would ever be achieved if there were no dreamers. Yet the realist will always tell the idealist that he is wrong to be the way he is.
Let's apply this distinction to figures in the Bible, not to categorize, but to arrive at an understanding of what is truly real. (And most realists carry a bit of idealism, while most idealists carry a bit of realism.)
On the idealist side we can find Elijah, Isaiah, Hosea, John, Mary the sister of Martha. On the realist side we can find Solomon, Amos, Matthew, Peter, James, Martha. (Yes, Jesus defended the idealist against the realist.)
But there is another kind of person that is rare and unique in the human condition; that is a person who is both an idealist and a realist, merged completely together, a practical mind and a dreaming mind always connected. These people don't realize that there is any distinction between the two kinds of thinking; they are always thinking by both all the time. Although Jesus is one of these, we will leave Him out of our list for practical reasons.
Those individuals who fully embody both kinds of mind include Moses, David, Elisha, and Paul. Consider that these are filled with the impossible and filled with the practical all the time with no distinction between the two. (As an aside note, Elisha, who saw the invisible, established the school of the prophets, a very practical entity that kept the knowledge of God alive in Israel far longer than it would have been.)
No practical mind will put up with an invisible God. No dreamer will regard God as a Person desiring to show Himself. The idealists will follow whatever spirit leads them into whatever christ they want. The realists will build laws and words and requirements and duties and obedience to someone else.
I suspect that if both Peter and John had not recognized in Paul the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ, then their writings would not have been the same. I suspect that Peter would have preached a much more Judaistic gospel and John a much more Gnostic gospel like the “Gospel of Thomas.”
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ is the most ridiculous thing ever suggested in all the universe. No practical person will put up with such an idea. All the practical people will busy themselves only with making no provision for the flesh, their backs turned to such impractical gobbledegook as claiming that another invisible Person is their person. No dreamer will ever put up with put on the Lord Jesus Christ either. Dreamers prefer to put on their own christ, to reveal their own creative ability.
Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man. John 2:23-25
You see, Jesus' twelve were a group of hard-headed realists and spaced-out idealists, with the realists in the majority and the idealists bent on murdering the Romans and the Samaritans and whoever else stood in their way. Jesus did not entrust His gospel of Christ our only life to any of them.
You see, there was another man chosen by God, the same age as the disciples, whom Jesus did not bring into the mix until many years later. And when Jesus did bring Paul into the equation, He required of all the other disciples to yield themselves to Paul and to Paul's gospel.
God has a problem and that problem is two-fold. God is a Person, and God is Invisible.
Practical people don't mind God being a Person; they just want to keep any approach to or dealings with this Person entirely under their control. They want “I” to be righteous and holy, not Christ. Dreamers don't mind God being invisible; they just want to follow any invisible christ they want anywhere they want to go. They want no Person involved.
The majority go for word only; the remainder go for spirit only.
Few care about God.
In writing about Christ Jesus in The Two Gospels, I saw something about Him and His ministry that is the foundational seeing by which I now am able to write The Feast of Tabernacles. Let me bring in here what I wrote.
– Jesus knew that no one could hear Him, including His disciples. He did not waste His time trying to cause something that could not be to happen. He did not waste His time trying to alter God's purpose or present human reality. Jesus did not teach so that the people would understand Him. He did not do miracles so that the people would know He was “the Christ of God.” His teaching and His miracles were for ONE purpose alone, and that was to prepare a people on both sides of the Day of Pentecost, to prepare His disciples as those who would finally speak Him, and to prepare a people who would hear the apostles speak Christ. No one heard Jesus until the Day of Pentecost, and Jesus did not ever imagine that they did. –
Jesus did not ask Paul to be one of His disciples, though He could have. Jesus did not want Paul in the mix of human experience with Him in the natural, bouncing around between the realists and the idealists.
Look at these three men, Moses, David, and Paul. If we want to find our way out of the human MESS, then we had better regard them. They spent years in lonely isolation, both in the midst of God's people and cut off from most everyone. They lost everything, more than once. They SAW the invisible; they ordered the practical. Yet their testimony, over and over, is that the only things truly practical are those things that come, every moment, out of the impossible. No others would lead God's people into the impossible. No others would make an invisible God visible and real to the least and to the littlest.
My God, why can't people see?
So few, when push comes to shove, are willing to speak Christ Jesus their only life.
Then I remember Jesus; He knew that no one could hear Him, yet He had compassion on all and poured Himself out until His time came. Only on the Day of Pentecost did anyone even begin to know Him. Yet it was sixteen more years before He could release the gospel of Christ our only life through Paul. He could not release that gospel through Peter or John.
Only on the Day of Tabernacles will the realists, all the practical people, and the idealists, all the dreamers, see and know and rush into all the glory of God. Until then, we lay down our lives in the expectation of faith.
There is nothing practical about faith. Faith sees what “ain't there.”
There is nothing dreamy about faith. Faith is specific to the word God speaks.
Yet in the end, this faith brings forth the only thing that is real, the impossible, the invisible, God Himself into manifest glory, into the practical reality of everyday life on this planet.
No practical person calls those things that be not as though they are. No dreamer fears God.
You see, human effort to “do what God says” ALWAYS gets in the way of God revealing Himself. Humans going around trying to “act like God” always prevents God from being who He really is.
We have not known who He really is; we have not known ourselves.
God is not “a still small voice.” God is invisible. The Holy Spirit speaks by a still small voice, yes, and that same Spirit is always flowing out of us. But right now we are concerned with the Father. There is One God, the Father, and that God is undetectable. Yet He longs to be known, and knowing Him is the only thing that is eternal life.
No one who is busy trying to become righteous or learning to “please” God can know Him. No one who is building place for themselves can know Him. The first requirement of knowing this Invisible One who fills us with all of Himself is to shut up. To shut up and to STOP trying.
You are dead. Why are you dead? Because you are incapable of ever pleasing God. You're no good; you're a worthless piece of ___ as Paul said. God gives you the opportunity to abandon your self and any need ever to “measure up” right now – by giving you a totally different Self, someone else's self. If you will accept Jesus as your Self, already fully acceptable to God, with no need of your own to be a self trying to relate to God, then, for the first time in your life, you can shut up.
Full union with Christ is the only surrender to God that there is, the only repentance. Christ is all that there is in me, my mind, my will, my emotions, all of them are Christ living as me right now in this world. If I cannot begin there, then I will always be trying to connect with God – and that effort will always prevent me from knowing Him.
Practical people believe that if they don't SEE external proof, then Jesus as them cannot be real. Dreamers take “Christ as me” and build their own version of christ separate from all the speaking of God. Both react against the excesses of each other; both fail to see and to know the Invisible One who fills them full.
Only Jesus, only Christ living as me right now as I find myself to be, my full confidence in Him, that He is my Self, that He is already acceptable to God can ever take me to the Father. But Jesus is not the Father, and thus the full measure of Christ-as-us is not our goal.
How does the impossible become normal human experience?
By faith . . . he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. – We walk by faith and not by sight. – Who calls those things that be not as though they are. – God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
There is nothing practical about knowing and revealing God; yet when God is free to be God, He is unending practicality. Yet God's practicality is wholesome and real; it never drives with whips nor requires performance from others. God's practicality is always taking other people's difficulties upon Himself. But to the present human mind, such an action is utterly impractical.
“I need to set that person straight; what good will laying down my life quietly for them accomplish?”
I want to get right at God, here. Salvation is one thing – I am filled full to overflowing with Another Person, and that Person is God. That reality is complete already, it awaits only one thing. All the redemption and present work of Jesus has already brought us to God filling us full. Salvation Revealed is when that union of God and me is seen and known in all outward manifestation. The hinge to that outward visibility of God through me is my faith. God treats me with utmost respect.
Here's the deal. God is God, and this God who IS God knows exactly HOW to be God. I, the other full part of this union that grips the passion of God's heart, am a man. That means I don't have a clue. Not only do I have no idea how to be God, I have no idea how to be a man!
All human attempt to connect with God serves one purpose ONLY – to keep God at arm's length and the person in control. That includes all idea of “I'm going to learn to hear what He speaks to me so that I can be sure to do it.” The idea that you and I will “figure out” how to connect with this Invisible One who fills us full, that “He might be seen and not us,” is the most absurd and ridiculous idea ever concocted by any created being. It would be hilarious if it were not so evil. It would be the butt of endless jokes if it were not so hostile to God. It is the rebellion of Adam.
You and I cannot and will NEVER connect with God. The very idea is rooted in practical atheism, the denial that God is God.
God, this God who already fills us full, connects with us. God is God. He alone can be God. You and I cannot make Him visible; He alone makes us His image.
God conforms Himself to us. God knows how to do that; we don't.
What is our part? Faith. How is faith expressed? Three things: 1. Speaking Christ our only life. 2. Asking all that God speaks and believing that God is, right now, revealing Himself through us. That He IS!! As in IS!!!!
Did we get that – IS!!!!!! As in “I AM.”
Thus, 3. Giving thanks for all things, that all things ARE God through us.
All things are of God. 2 Corinthians 5. – God works all in all. 1 Corinthians 12.
All things are God through us.
Every individual trying to connect with God lives in denial of the Lord Jesus Christ and His redemption. The Blood – never consider sin again. The Cross – never consider sinner again. The Resurrection – consider all that you are, spirit, soul, and body, as Christ alone, Christ your only life.
Then, turn around, turn around, turn around, turn around, turn around, turn around, turn around.
You cannot sit down upon the throne of heaven without turning around. You cannot be the Mercy Seat in the earth, God revealed, without turning around.
God, in all things you presently experience, is now going out through you.
Give Him thanks. – Salvation Revealed. You are already fully connected to God.
But, we say, this is all sooooo invisible. – Uh, yeah! Yet only by the invisible, the impossible, the impractical, does God Himself become known through us, and that is the only thing real, out of Whom comes all true and practical reality, out from the Invisible One.
If this remains inconceivable to you, don't feel bad; God is inconceivable. That's why we must know that He already knows how to be God through us and is actually, in every possible way, doing so right now.
But it is possible that your definition of God has not changed. May I suggest that your definition of God MUST change before you will ever know Him. The reason that is so is that no pretender will ever reveal God, no matter how furtively they thrust their foreheads as “God” at you. More than that, as I read the words of almost all believers, words spoken in sincerity, I see no speaking of Christ, no acknowledgement of the God who always carries them, who already fells them full. Most Christians live in open unbelief.
My greatest desire, as a servant of Christ, is to change your definition of God. If I can get you to know Him as something completely other than how 99.99 percent of all Christians know Him, than I have succeeded in that which is entrusted to me.
My definition of God changed while I was writing The Kingdom Rising. That change began while I wrote “God Is Beneath Your Feet.” Writing that article was one of my most vivid experiences; I remember it distinctly and walking to church in the wonder of it. It was October, the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. That flow continued until “The Weakness of God” when God turned fully into a description for me, a Being quite unlike anything I had known in Christianity.
Let me give again here that description of God I first penned in “The Weakness of God.”
– God always reveals Himself through weakness, swallowing up into Himself all that we are including our sin and rebellion, becoming us in our present state, limiting Himself by our weakness. Thus, carrying us inside Himself, stumbling and falling along the way, He arises out of death into life, ascending on high, and we in Him. –
At this time in my life, I do not envision God any other way. When I speak of “God,” this is the only One I am writing about. I'm very serious about this. Most people want to communicate a God to me who is distant from themselves, a God whom they must approach. That God does not exist.
God is the becoming One, the arising One, the One who comes up from beneath, carrying all in His arms, inside Himself. This is the God who connects with us; we do not connect with Him.
Then, out of that sea-change in my view of what God is, I wrote the article “Filled with God,” expounding on being filled with all the fullness of this becoming God. But before I wrote that article, out from this enormous alteration in my knowing of what this Being is who lives in our hearts, 1 John 3:16 entered my awareness.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
A reader asked me the question, “Why did Jesus have to die.” I want to share my response.
– While your final answer to the question is the same, in its essence, as mine, I don't like your question. Part of finding the right answer is asking the right question. I am convinced that "Why did Jesus have to die" is the wrong question. The problem is the "have to" part.
Now, granted, God sticks something similar into the primary verse of 1 John 3:16: - and we also "ought to" lay down our lives. - And the Greek is "ought to." But somehow, to my mind, phrasing this central reality of God in terms of a "duty" cannot reveal God to us.
Thus I would position the question first. Given that Jesus' walking the path of the atonement, including His death and resurrection, is the one real picture God gives to all creation of Himself, I would ask the question in this way. "What does Jesus' death reveal to us about who and what God is?"
We know we are looking right at God. "What is it that we see?"
You can see that, phrased in this way, I have been writing towards the answer to this question from my beginning to write The Covenant on. We will likely remain engaged with that question and the answers that flow out of it for some time (as in forever). More than that, the "ought to"in "and we also" then takes on an entirely different meaning by phrasing the question in this way.
"What is it that we see," also places ourselves, for we know that, in looking at that picture, we ourselves are there inside of this God revealing Himself. "Here am I, and the children whom You have given Me."
This point is beyond belief, and yet it is the essence of our lives. We were in Christ first, then God, never removing us from Christ, placed us into Adam's sorry ruin, for God's purposes and no one else's.
That purpose is to reveal Himself through us. The “Himself” God reveals is the One who carries all, the One who has shown Himself in only one time and place as a Man laying down His life for His friends.
Thus right now, in your utterly turned-around position, God through you IS, as in IS, being Himself through you. With your active consent, your faith that it IS true, God is laying down His life again through you.
When people see God revealed, they will see someone beneath of them, on his or her knees to serve.
They will see you laying down your life for them with no visible hope of success. They will see God.