It was Sunday morning. My four year-old son, Joseph, was sitting on the floor in front of the TV playing with his toys. I was watching a news broadcast while waiting for my wife to finish getting ready for church. Joseph saw an Arab on TV, and asked, “Is that Jesus?” “No,” I said, and explained that the Lord Jesus Christ is invisible. His response was “Why is the Lord invisible?” I told him that the Lord was invisible because He wanted us to know Him as He really is. That seemed to satisfy him and he continued playing with his toys. Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit began enlightening my heart to what that really meant.
It became clear to me that as long as we cling to an image of Jesus, such as the Arab Joseph saw, it would be very difficult to really know Him. Yet, most Christians nearly always think of the Lord only as Jesus the Nazarene. They know Him after the flesh and not after the Spirit.
I thought about a particular ministry that I had known for a number of years that is now passed away. He was a tremendous ministry, a real apostle of the Lord. I thought about the people who sat under his ministry week after week and year after year, and also those who lived far away and only listened to the messages on a cassette tape recorder. Strangely enough, those who only heard a voice in a box seemed to mature faster. Many of the ones closest to him only saw the man and did not hear the depth of the Word that God was speaking through him. The ones that could not see the man were more focused on the Word and grew faster.
The same was true for Jesus. People could not see the divine nature that was hidden by the flesh. Thus the Bible says, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11).
After rising from the dead the Lord Jesus had a resurrected body that would never taste death. Moreover, had it been the will of God He could have remained here in that state until now. But that was not the will of God. It was necessary for Him to disappear on the physical plane so we could learn to know Him and experience His divine nature. Remaining in a physical state would also limit Him to a particular locale, whereas manifesting Himself in the realm of spirit gives all men access to Him.
The amazing thing is that many Christians continue to reject the access given to them and endeavor to approach the Lord by way of images (both literal and conceptual) and works on a human plane.
One of the commandments of God is: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. Exodus 20:4-5. Yet Christians have thought of every conceivable way to worship in that manner. Images, pictures, and other religious paraphernalia are commonly found in most Christian homes and churches. And if someone was to preach against those things the religious world would rise up in indignation. Yet those kinds of things greatly hinder us from receiving a revelation of the Lord.
Such objects are not the only hindrances to our access to the Lord. The way we think (our belief) can be an even greater deterrent. When our pastors and Sunday School teachers only present a historical Jesus, then that is how the people learn to perceive the Lord. A dominating image of Jesus after the flesh hinders us from receiving a revelation of the reality of Him in the present.
The same is true in a futuristic sense. The second coming of the Lord is a truth often spoken of in the Scriptures. Yet we tend to only visualize His coming on a fleshly plane. And, of course, it is always thought of as an event that only takes place in the future. Again, the door is closed to a present reality of the Lord.
John 14:2b-3 I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
The Lord wants us to be where He is. And where is He? He is in the realm of spirit. He wants us to know Him and fellowship with Him in the realm of spirit. He wants to reveal Himself to us, but He will only do it spiritually. This is the only way we can have a present reality of the Lord. He disappeared on the natural realm in order to give us access to Him.
Think about it. Almost every aspect of religious activity and teachings today tend to draw people away from the route of access that the Lord has provided. The Lord continues to reveal Himself in the spirit realm, but we close the door by our mode of worship and the way we relate to the Scriptures. We tend to interpret the Scriptures by where we live, our present religious thought patterns. The Lord has prepared a better place for us, but we continue to live on a realm where there is no spiritual growth. If someone bought you a new house, you would never experience your new dwelling until you moved out of your old house. So it is in our Christian life.
Abraham refused a permanent dwelling place. He sojourned in the land of promise because it was on a natural realm. By faith he knew God had prepared a better place for him. So he looked for a city, whose builder and maker was God.
Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the
promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and
embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.
Do you want to live in a better country? Do you want to live in the city, the place the Lord has prepared for you, that you may be where He is? Refuse to live and think as you have in the past. Learn to relate to the Christ that is revealing Himself now. He hath made Himself invisible that we may really know Him. Ω
Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose