I sense such an awesomeness in the spirit. There are times when I feel things more deeply, and this is one of those times. Do you have times like that, too, when your whole being – spirit, soul, and body – seems to come alive, and you’re aware that the Lord is so very close? Our spirits are bearing witness that we are in the days of visitation from the Lord. God is visiting His people!
John 1:11 He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.
The vast majority of people did not know who Jesus was. Some said He was a good teacher; others thought He might be a prophet, and some thought He was a deceiver, but there weren’t many who knew He was the Son of God. He didn’t fit the mold they had made for the Messiah. So, for the most part, they rejected Him.
There was an old woman, a prophetess, who stayed in the temple and prayed continuously. When Joseph and Mary brought the child Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord, she saw Him and knew immediately that He was the Son of God. Think about it; that was revelation! She looked at a child that looked just like any other child, and she knew by the Spirit that He was the Son of God (Luke 2:36-38).
There was also a man named Simeon who had the revelation. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. He took the child Jesus in his arms, and said, “Lord, now let Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy Word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation” (Luke 2:25-35).
There were also the three wise men that followed the star to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-12). They had read the message in the stars. They traveled a great distance to bring gifts and to worship the King of the Jews. Finding Him in a manger instead of a palace did not deter them at all. They had a revelation that God was visiting His people.
John the Baptist and Jesus were cousins. They probably played together when they were children, but John didn’t know that Jesus was the Messiah. It wasn’t until Jesus (at the age of thirty) went down to the Jordan River to be baptized by John that he received the revelation. He said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29-34).
Then there were the twelve men that Jesus chose to be His disciples. They had a revelation of Him. Jesus walked by where James and John were mending their nets and called them. There was no sales pitch. He didn’t try to explain who He was or why He was there. He just said, “Follow Me, and I’ll make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:18-22). They walked away from their boat and followed the Lord. Over all, though, there were very few who were aware that Jesus was the Christ.
The sixth chapter of John gives an excellent example of the lack of revelation and awareness upon Israel. Jesus took five loaves of bread, a couple of small fish, broke them, blessed them, and fed five thousand men, not counting women and children (John 6:1-15). There was no lack of disciples then. After that miracle they were all ready to follow Him.
The next day Jesus tells this same multitude: Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. John 6:54,53. You can imagine what those Jews thought about that. They had strict commandments in the Mosaic law against eating meat with blood in it. If an animal was killed and the blood wasn’t drained properly, they weren’t about to eat it! And here was this man telling them to eat His flesh and drink His blood. Suddenly, they weren’t so sure they wanted to be His disciples. We know what Jesus meant, but they didn’t know. “This is a hard saying,” they said (John 6:60). Then they all walked away. There was no one left but the twelve. Jesus said to them, “Will you also go away?” And they said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God" (John 6:66-69). You can imagine what they must have been thinking: “Lord, it sure looks like You need some lessons in diplomacy. You’re running off more people than You’re winning. Nevertheless, we know who You are and we’re following You.”
Jesus had a unique way of ministering, particularly during the last days of His ministry before His crucifixion. He would go up to the Mount of Olives, spending much of the night in prayer; then in the morning He would come down and minister to the people in the temple (Luke 21:37-38). Mount Olivet was situated on the east side of the city. So He would go up on the Mount of Olives and from that place He would minister unto the people.
On one occasion He came down from the Mount Olives and when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying: If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. Luke 19:41-44. On another occasion He looked over Jerusalem and lamented: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, ye shall not see Me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Luke 13:34-35.
He stood there and wept over His people, “How I would have blessed you and cared for you! How I would have ministered unto you, but you knew not the day of your visitation. Now there will be great tribulations.” Oh, what they could have received from Him had they known who He was. But they were so caught up in their religious traditions that they were not able to recognize Him.
Then the time came, forty days after His resurrection, that He went up on the Mount of Olives for the last time. He stood there on the Mount with His disciples, and after giving them instructions on what to do He ascended into a cloud (not a regular cloud, but the Shekinah Glory) and vanished from their sight. Such a short time, three and a half years, a very short time. And only a few people knew Him. Most of them missed the time of their visitation. Now the Shekinah Glory had departed from their midst.
The prophet Ezekiel had seen in a vision the departure of the Glory of the Lord. He saw the Shekinah Glory leave its resting place and stand over the threshold of the house. Next, it moved from the threshold to the east gate where it stood for a time. Then it moved from the east gate and ascended to the Mount of Olives where it stayed until it disappeared completely (Ezekiel 10:4, 18-19; 11:23). It was a prophetic vision of the Lord of Glory leaving the temple by way of the east gate and ascending the Mount of Olives. After speaking with his disciples He vanished from their sight.
Later, Ezekiel had another vision. This time he saw the Glory of the Lord coming from the east and filling the temple of God (Ezekiel 43:1-4). What we must understand is that we have come to the day when the Glory of the Lord is returning and filling His temple – not a literal temple, but His people, for we are His temple (I Corinthians 3:16; II Thessalonians 1:10). We are in the beginning of a visitation of the Lord. Jesus portrayed how His return would take place in the seventh chapter of John. Notice that it happens during the Feast of Tabernacles.
John 7:2-14 Now the Jews’ Feast
of Tabernacles was at hand.
3 His brethren therefore said unto Him, Depart hence, and go into Judea, that Thy disciples also may see the works that Thou doest.
4 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If Thou do these things, shew Thyself to the world.
5 For neither did His brethren believe in Him.
6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready.
7 The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for My time is not yet full come.
9 When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in Galilee.
10 But when His brothers were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, Where is He?
12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but He deceiveth the people.
13 Howbeit no man spake openly of Him for fear of the Jews.
14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
It was required of the Jews to come together in Jerusalem three times a year: for the Feast of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16). So not only were all the inhabitants of Jerusalem present but literally thousands of Jews from other lands were there, too.
Now the brothers of Jesus did not have a revelation of Him either. They did not believe He was the Son of God. Sarcastically they said, “Come on, Jesus, go up to the feast with us, so all the people can see Your works.” And Jesus replied, “My time is not yet.” So His brothers left and went on to the Feast of Tabernacles. After they had gone, Jesus also went “as it were in secret.” He was there during the whole Feast of Tabernacles. During the first half, though, no one knew that He was there. He was there, but He was out of sight.
Then the scripture says that in the middle of the feast He went into the temple and taught openly. There is something to be learned in that, because it is prophetic of what He does in the end-time. Before He is manifested openly, there is a period of time in which He is here, but He is not seen. The world cannot see Him because it is a spiritual coming. During this period of time He is ministering to His sons, the remnant. This is what Jesus was referring to in the Gospel of John when one of His disciples asked Him, “Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” (John 14:27). Other scriptures speak of this as the parousia, the time of His “presence.” The day of visitation is upon us. However, as it was when “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not,” so it is now. There weren’t many who were aware that the Christ was in their midst then, and there are not many today who are aware that the days of visitation have begun. The Lord of Glory is, once again, ministering in the midst of His disciples – His “called-out ones.” The world, though, is blind to what is happening. In fact, most of Christianity is not aware of it either. Like the Jews were in that day, they were so caught up in their religious tradition that they couldn’t sense His presence. Christianity, in general, is so busy playing church that they do not know that the glory of the Lord is returning and already beginning to fill His temple.
There are many scriptures that speak of the condition of the church-world in this day. Let’s look at two of them.
II Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that
in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Who are these men of which Paul is speaking? They are religious people. They make up the bulk of the Christian-world of today. They have a form of godliness (that cannot be said of non-Christians), but deny the power thereof.
Revelation 3:14-21 And unto the angel
of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the
faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thy eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.
21 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Laodicea is the seventh church, and it represents the last church age. It is a perfect example of the church-world today. They are very comfortable in their religious surroundings. They feel rich and have need of nothing. They are so wrapped up in their religious traditions and activities that they cannot hear the Lord knocking on their door.
The fact that He is knocking on the door of the Laodicean church tells us that the parousia has begun. His presence is among men again. Notice also that His voice, the living Word, is the medium by which the Lord of Glory comes forth in the earth. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in…
The key is: If any man hears My voice…He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. We must have ears that can hear! The bells on the hem of the High Priest’s robe are sounding forth (Exodus 28:31-34). It may be only a tinkling right now, but His voice shall soon be like “the sound of many waters” (Revelation 1:15). Let’s open our hearts to the Lord; this is the day of visitation.
Copyright © 1995 by Henry DuBose