“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, August 04, 2017

The Voice became visible; the Touch became tangible

“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us).” (1Jn. 1:1,2).

The Voice from the beginning.

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him.” (Gen. 12:1-4).

It was enough for Abram to hear the voice of his fathers’ God speak to someone who was not a great man. The God about whom Abram had heard so much from his grandfather or great-grandfather came to this man harassed  by a severe emptiness. He had a perpetual sadness for never having a son of his dreams, and a happy family. His beloved wife, Sarai could not bare him children. Now the very God of his fathers was promising to bless him with that son of his dreams, and also give him a place to raise his child apart from the world’s hard-hearted and ungodly influences.

The love of Abram for the Voice gave greater ability to commune with this extraordinary man whose father was an idolater from a suburb of occult Babylon. Increasingly Jesus opened up to Abram, even calling him by name. And responding in kind, the needy heart of this man increasingly opened to Jesus.

“And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.” (Gen. 12:7,8).

At times, the Voice appeared in a vision to Abram.

“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1).

“And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This (servant Eliezer) shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness. And He said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” (Gen. 15:4-7).

On a special occasion, the Voice coalesced into a human form for the benefit of Abram’s encouragement to endure the wait for his promised son.

“And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground…” (Gen. 18:1,2).

The Voice also came personally with precious communings to other anointed ones.

“Moses said unto the LORD, See, Thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and Thou hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me. Yet Thou hast said, I know thee by name, and Thou hast also found grace in My sight. Now therefore, I pray Thee, if I have found grace in Thy sight, shew me now Thy way, that I may know Thee, and I may find grace in Thy sight: and consider that this natio is Thy people. And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto Him, If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and Thy people have found grace in Thy sight? is it not in that Thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that though has spoken: for thou has found grace in My sight and I know thee by name.” (Ex. 33:12-17).

“And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with Him, then he heard the Voice of One speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto Him.” (Num. 7:89).

“And He said, Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live.” (Ex. 33:20). Sometimes in a vision would these privileged persons stand before the pre-incarnate Christ (see Jeremiah 15:19). But, most often His voice in their spirit was His key means of communication.

“And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small Voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a Voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” (1Ki. 19:12,13).

Since the Voice, and not a spectacular demonstration, was what most had, the Voice more than satisfactory to them.

“I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” (Ps. 34:4-8).

The Voice came only to those had been striving to hear a word of loving kindness and tender mercies from heaven.

“Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will He be favourable no more?
Is His mercy clean gone for ever? doth His promise fail for evermore?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah.
And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.
I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember Thy wonders of old.
I will meditate also of all Thy work, and talk of Thy doings.” (Ps. 77:7-12).

In a rare event, the Person behind the Voice appeared in a vision before the leaders of Israel prior to their new covenant with Him.

“Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: and they saw the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in His clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He laid not His hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.” (Ex. 24:9-11).

Abraham and others saw visions of Jesus. But, in comparison the visions were far from the reality of day by day walking in His physical presence. If they could not see His person, they must discern Him by His working, and glean from His actions something upon which to hang their faith. His promised gifts through their own obedience to His Law also painted a picture of Him by which they could trust Him. As wonderful as it was for Abraham and the prophets to hear Michael’s Voice, a greater manifestation of the Prince was yet to come to this world. The Voice must become visible and tangible. His incarnation into human form would be more wonderful to fallen children of Adam than His manifestation to the leaders of Israel on Mount Sinai.

As the seventy elders of Israel had experienced, again the twelve disciples ate and drank before the Prince of heaven. Michael, who God had anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows, walked and talked with men. Him who had walked beside Adam and Eve again walked as a man in the world of His making. The joy of His free Spirit residing with the spirit of Adam, who was the pinnacle creation of the intelligent universe, was again experienced by God the Father. The second Adam found every moment of owning a human body fulfilling the same princely pleasure and sacred joy that He had had while in His pre-incarnate, Spirit form from eternity past.

“Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into Thy lips: therefore God hath blessed Thee for ever.
Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O most mighty, with Thy glory and Thy majesty.
And in Thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things.
Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; whereby the people fall under Thee.
Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” (Ps. 45:2-7).

Unto us the precious Son of all heaven was given. The only begotten Son of the Most High came to again link earth and heaven.

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou hast the dew of Thy youth.
The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Ps. 110:3,4).

Him who before had been only a Voice to the soul, albeit a Voice full of precepts and promises, now visibly and tangibly and filled with the happiness of Eden, expressed His ancient scriptures in the hearing of common people. The holy prophets had ceased, but sinners could hear the Voice. In all who had been striving to hear a comforting word from heaven there would be no misunderstanding. The beauty of the Lord our God was in their spirits. Before their privileged minds’ eyes the glory of Eden again rested upon all created works, as it had for Adam and Eve.

“Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness; … and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.” (Ps. 65:11-13).

The Voice was made visible and real. “The desire of all nations” (Hag. 2:7), the Desire of all ages, had come. Physical vocal chords communicated with physical eardrums. Not only those with spiritual ears could hear Him; everyone, even Gentiles could hear His magnificent truth and His merciful beckoning.

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” (1Jn. 1:1).

The Word of life appeared to represent His Voice in person. More perfectly than ever did truth and life perfume the Earth, and enter the faith of this world’s children of men. “Thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness.” (Ps. 65:11,12). Moment by moment, day by day, month after month, year after year, the Voice continued with fallen mankind, bringing it blessing at every turn.

“And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and He healed them: insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.” (Matt. 15:30,31).

They “were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: He maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” (Mark 7:37).

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
And Jesus said, Who touched Me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me?
And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me.
And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately.
And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” (Luke 8:43-48).

The greater experience with Michael the Prince augmented a new, even better covenant with Adam’s race. Yet, many didn’t see anything good in the visible Prince of heaven. “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” (Isa. 53:2).

His continual plea was to believe His convicting words of truth and to see that He was the Prince of heaven sent from His Father to bless the world.

“Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:11). “To Him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” (John 10:3-5).

“With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.” (Isa. 11:4). His perfect balance of justice and mercy should have awakened every heart to fear and trust Him, and to welcome His Spirit into theirs.

Nevertheless, despite widespread unbelief finally the marred visage of the good Shepherd, who had always laid down His life for His sheep, made the fullest confirmation that He was the Voice that had been calling to the sons of men since the beginning.

“As many were astonied at Thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.” (Isa. 52:14).

The glory of the silent Voice streamed from the cross. And as many as would receive Him the same souls would become His voice to the sons of men.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Cor. 4:6).

“God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him”, “who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God.” (John 3:34; Heb. 9:14).

As “the voice of [Abel’s] blood crieth unto Me from the ground”, so the Spirit of Christ’s blood will cry out to us and “purge [our] conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Gen. 4:10; Heb. 9:14).

The Voice made visible has been exalted and broadcasted to the world more than at any other time of humanity’s history. “God…hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.” (Phil. 2:9).

“I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6).

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1Tim. 3:16).


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