THE DESIRE OF ALL LIVING
The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all those who are bowed down. He will give them meat in due season, as He opens His hand and satisfies the desire of all living (Psalms 145:14-16). The singer and writer of this wonderful psalm of promise also expressed in another place what that desire might be. Speaking for himself, David wrote: "As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness." Psalm 17:15. And the apostle Paul said this about it, that creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. Because they will all be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:19, 21.)
To be changed from the adamic man that was formed from the dust of the earth to a glorious one of the heavens has been creation's desire since the death of all living. Men of low and high estate alike have had an insatiable desire to be like their creator. Creation's cry has always been to transcend the human veil of evil, toil, pain, sorrow, and death to enter into a far better place of God's celestial glory. Without such a dream, they would have very little hope.
Over the ages people have pursued their hereafter dreams in a number of ways. Discounting the world's natural furnishings, their endeavors have included believing in reincarnation, nirvana, meditation, the dogma of various religions, et al. God, however, has ignored them all. He chose only His way by which to reveal His glorious perfection to and for creation, and that was by a Son born in the lineage of Abraham. Jesus Christ was the One in whom it all began and will ultimately end. For instance, Isaiah penned these enlightening words:
ALL nations will flow to the Lord's house, Isaiah 2:2; ALL are commanded to look and be saved, Isa. 45:22-23; Unto God ALL will bow & every tongue swear, Isa. 45:23; Highway of God enables ALL flesh to see His glory, Isa. 40:3-5; ALL will see the salvation of God, Isa. 52:10; The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, Isa. 11:9; Egypt & Assyria will be restored, Isa. 19:14-25; He will be called the God of THE WHOLE EARTH; The Lord will make unto ALL people a feast; He will destroy the veil that's cast over ALL; and He will swallow up death (ALL death) in victory and wipe away ALL tears; the inhabitants will learn righteousness, Isa. 54:5-9; He shall see of the travail of His soul. 53:11.
He also wrote: "Behold, My servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles....and my glory I will not give to another, neither My praise to graven images." Isaiah 42:2 & 8
The Bible makes it very clear that God chose a special Seed of promise by which to reveal His glory. The covenant that all flesh would be cut off was made with Abraham in Genesis 17, and it was passed down to Isaac and carried on to find its fulfillment in Jesus and His Church (Galatians 3:19-29). The seed of flesh was Ishmael, from the bondwoman of an idol worshiping nation, Egypt. There were no promises made to Ishmael, except God would make him a great nation. That seed did become a great nation, and according to Isaiah, two of his Muslim nations are named that will eventually be brought in with the promised seed:
"In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance." Isaiah 19:24-25.
Of course, as long as Ishmael and his descendants are of the bondwoman, they cannot be a part of the kingdom of God; but spiritually speaking, and by the Spirit, their hearts can be circumcised. When that takes place, they will be blessed and brought in as well.
However, without Christ and the appointed time, they will all remain void of the promises and glorious revelations of God. Therefore, if anyone is to know anything about any of the mysteries of God, and if they are to bask in the paradise of His reality, it will have to be by and in the Promised Seed. Galatians 4:22-31, Galatians 5:1).
A large portion of nominal Christians have pursued God's promises of celestial bliss in at least three major ways. 1) By way of a rapture, 2) by being resurrected or 3) by death. Some others look to what all living, that is, what creation is anxiously awaiting--the manifestation of the sons of God.
Whichever might be the case, Paul said it is to take place in the twinkle of an eye. These avenues of thought are valid but only in the light of truth. Although the word rapture is not found in the Bible, in the true sense of the word, it does describe something people can experience. For the meaning of the word is "A deep, joyous feeling; ecstasy; utter delight." This is a legitimate expression that describes what it is like when one finds him or herself seized and spiritually caught up and become one with Christ. The word, however, does not have anything to do with taking a trip to the clouds without the aid of an airplane.
It will help our understanding when we see that the Greek word, anastasis, for resurrection means to stand up. It is also good to know that we began our standing up when we were first born of the Spirit of Christ, and there has been an ongoing process of standing up. However, we must remember that the resurrection did not take place in the past as Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:17-18. In like manner, before there can be a manifestation of the sons of God, as he also mentioned in Romans 8:19, there has to be a maturing of the sons before the Father reveals them. The atomic change of our bodies then takes place, that is, in a moment (Grk. atomos) and in the twinkle of an eye, as he related in 1 Corinthians 15:52. For more clarity of the "twinkling eye," we will quote a dear brother and good friend, J. Preston Eby:
IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE
"...'twinkling' is from the Greek word RHIPE meaning 'a jerk' of the eyes. RHIPE is from the root RHIPTO, a word which indicates a sudden motion; to hurl with a rapid movement; a stroke; to toss; to fling. The twinkling of an eye relates not so much to time as it does to the ACTION and MOTION involved. It is not a question of how quickly the eyelids flutter, but the fact of a movement, a jerk, a change of direction, a SUDDEN REFOCUSING OR LOOKING AWAY. If I were reading a book and I heard the door open, I would swiftly dart my eyes in the direction of the door to see who is entering. I would LOOK AWAY from the book and quickly REFOCUS my sight on the person coming through the door. This abrupt motion, this sudden refocusing of vision, this rapid change of eye contact is what is indicated by the Greek word RHIPE.
"When our attention is unexpectedly attracted by a sudden burst of revelation and spiritual understanding there is that instantaneous 'turning away' from our former concepts, beliefs, actions and ways, to behold and embrace the truth and glory of God disclosed by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This sudden change in perspective, this immediate transformation of consciousness satisfies precisely the meaning of the Greek phrase -- 'in the twinkling of an eye.' It bespeaks vision, illumination, understanding, perception and perspective. Furthermore, it has absolutely nothing to do with a so called 'rapture of the saints,' or the 'second coming of Jesus.' Plainly and unquestionably it concerns OUR CHANGE, OUR TRANSFORMATION into the image of Christ. It says 'nothing about us being 'raptured' in the twinkling of an eye; what it does say is that 'WE SHALL BE CHANGED in a moment (in atoms), in the twinkling (re-focused vision) of an eye.' Yet the preachers loudly proclaim on the basis of this verse that Jesus will return in a split second, and the saints will in a flash of time travel a trillion miles of miracle speed at the Rapture. It is as pure a myth as ever entered the brain of man!" --End quote.
No brethren, the believers will not be suddenly changed and whisked off the earth. There will be no bursting open of graves that will produce the change. Neither will our change come as a result of simply believing the teachings of the rapture, the resurrection, the manifestation of the sons of God, or any other doctrine, for that matter. It is great to believe that which is true; but we find no place in holy writ suggesting that anyone will put on glorified bodies by believing anything regardless of how true the belief is or how sincere and intensely it is believed.
Of course, regardless what we might believe, there will be an alteration of who and what we are. The scriptures speak of being changed, transformed, transfigured, and depending on how the words are used determines the meaning of each. For instance, the same Greek word, metamorpho, is used when it speaks of us being transformed and Jesus having been transfigured. Satan and his ministers can transform themselves into angels of light; but that Greek word is metaschmatiz and means to disguise or masquerade.
Jesus was transfigured instantly as we shall be when we are changed in a moment, in the smallest particle of matter and measurement of time; but there is a change/transformation that does not take place suddenly.
Paul wrote about this ongoing change. It is a work in progress and is not quite so obvious as the glory we are pursuing.
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18. Being changed from glory to glory is one step at a time rather than an instantaneous event.
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2. That ye may prove suggests that we will be daily working out that which is being transformed in us; but there is more. Many of us slept through high school grammar, but now that I have been somewhat awakened to this boring subject, let me explain what the word transformed in this verse is saying. First of all, it is in the imperative mood. This means that it is a command. It is something for us to do. It is something to be obeyed, such as, "Wake up," or "Pay attention."
However, here is the strange thing. The word is in the passive voice, which means that the action of the verb is done to the subject who is you and me. So the action of transforming us is to be done by someone else. It is imperative that we do it, yet it is also saying that it will be done by another.
So the point is this. God gives us a command, and then He is the one that brings it to pass. We obey, and He makes it happen. It is not the work and will of the flesh, but by His Spirit.
The present tense of this Greek word describes the nature of the action at the time, especially in the imperative mood. The point of the present tense in Greek is something that is present, of course, but is happening continuously. It is similar to a little girl who is presently pretty; but she does not stop being pretty after that present moment passes. She continues to be pretty each day of her maturing life. So it is with us, as we are continuously being transformed.
Romans 8:2 is another verse which speaks of this principle, and the Greek makes it clear that a process is involved. We will also amplify this verse in order to glean its clearer thought: For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made, is making, and shall continue to make me free from the law of sin and death. The words hath made is in the indicative, aorist, active tense which is an undefined action. It could indicate an action that took place in the past, is presently in process, and will continue into the future. This action will work until the goal has been reached for which creation has been anxiously yearning.
This law of life has certainly not reached that which all living has desired. It has not in its entirety made humanity totally free from the law of sin and death. However, we can say with all assurance that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free in many areas, is now making us free in other areas, and shall continue to make us free from the law of sin and death in all remaining areas. This action will continue until there is no more sin, until there is no more death, and until we can triumphantly say, "O DEATH, WHERE IS THY STING? O GRAVE, WHERE IS THY VICTORY?"
PRAISE GOD! What a great law is His life! There shall be no more sin, no more sorrow, no more death, and the grave shall no longer have victory over us when this law of life has accomplished all that it was sent to do. The last enemy, death, all death, will have been destroyed forever! That, dear friends, is the hot pursuit of all living.
THE MYSTERIOUS METAMORPHOSE
Let us now explore the wonderful mystery of the metamorphose and see just what it entails. The best example we know to use is the changing of the caterpillar to the butterfly. This will enable us to see, in a measure, what our change will be and how this law of life works in us. I am sure we have all heard teachings on the transformation/metamorphose before, but there are some additional thoughts worth mentioning.
You see, the caterpillar has a unique little speck of a gland in the middle of its brain, which is quite a puzzle to the scientists. They do not know why or how it works, but at a given time this tiny gland starts secreting a remarkable hormone. Although there is no apparent or immediate physical change, when this hormone begins to flow through its body, the caterpillar starts its journey of becoming a new creature at that instant. There is no visible manifestation of it being a new creature, but from that time forth, the earthbound creature will never be the same, for he will have then embarked upon its miraculous venture of transformation.
No longer will he be a ravenous creature reeking destruction wherever he goes but begins his progressive ascension of peace and beauty. In the same manner as the caterpillar, those who have been awakened by God's living word have the hormone of transforming life (the anointing) flowing through them, and they are indeed new creatures that are pursuing after that to which they have been called. Once this begins, like the caterpillar, they will never be the same; for indeed, "...If any man be in Christ, he IS a new creature."
There are certain revealing characteristics of the caterpillar before that miracle hormone begins to flow from its obscure gland. All it does is eat and chew, eat and chew, that's all it does, night and day, it eats and chews. Its eyesight is very poor, never noticing anything except the earthy leaf it is chewing on. It couldn't care less about the things from above. This unbecoming creature continually feeds upon the bitter leaves of the field, and nothing else. Its appetite is only for that which pertains to the lower realm of the earth.
The caterpillar has its mind constantly on earthy things; and wherever it goes, the little busybody leaves a trail of earthy waste behind--not unlike ourselves before we were awakened and made alive in Christ. We were totally caught up in that lower realm of life, or rather death, and had no care or vision whatsoever of heavenly things. With many of us, we could be found by following our residual trail. The futility of our lives from feasting upon the carnal things of this age were very evident. Corruption was our diet, for that was our appetite. Therefore, we would eat and chew, eat and chew, that was all we knew to do, just eat and chew.
But praise God! When the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus started flowing through our spiritual veins we became new creations! And what did we then do? The same as caterpillars--we stopped eating. We stopped eating of the bitter things of the world. We lost our appetite for that which we had always known and loved. We then crawled as high as possible upon a tree, the Tree of Life if you please, and attached ourselves securely to one of its branches. We became stationary, no longer busy with the things of the world.
Without knowing why, we were alone and started to spin a cocoon of confinement. We began to be so confined and restricted that we had even wondered if we were on the right track. There was no way to make sense of what was happening to us. It was especially hard when we became the main topic in the rumor mill among our friends. Some of those concerned saints would ask, "Why have you separated yourselves from the rest of us? Nowhere else will you find the truth. It is only with us that an abundance of milkweed be found (the Monarch caterpillar's sole diet)." As much as we may have wanted to defend our actions, there was nothing to be said. All we could do was to continue on with what we were doing, or not doing.
We had lost our appetite for those old things of the world, and it was much the same with the church-life we once knew. So there really wasn't anything to go back to. The renewing of our minds remained steadfast on that which we were drawn to but hadn't fully understood what it was. There was nothing else we were able to do at the time; for the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus was working heavily in us. It was and has been the primary influencing factor in our lives since this strange transforming substance began to flow in the midst of our being.
Some had accused us of having been deceived by the doctrines of devils. Nonetheless, the misunderstanding often came because that unique, transforming hormone had not begun to flow in them. Yet their day will surely come. They can count on it.
In this transforming process, we eventually found ourselves completely encased and trapped inside the cocoon we had spun, and the great and mysterious metamorphose began. This phase of metamorphose placed us in a deep sleep, rendering us quite helpless and unaware of the marvelous change that was taking place. However, a couple of our old buddy caterpillars remember the bold statements we had made upon leaving the fields of the world and our church life. In our own immature, caterpillar stage we had said something like, "We have been called to Sonship! We are going to become a manifested son of God!" Well, they now want to investigate such claims and see if they are true.
The inquirers have indeed noticed we no longer have an appetite for the world, but they are puzzled that we have separated ourselves from their fellowship. Therefore, they probe within to see what strange thing has come over these people who used to be so zealous for the Lord but are now doing virtually nothing--and what do they find? Not much beauty, I can guarantee you. If you haven't done it before, open up a cocoon, look inside and you will see what I mean. When I was a child, on occasion, I would open cocoons, trying to capture the mysterious change. In the earlier stages all I would see was a gooey mass of oozing colors. There was no identification points whatsoever. There was no caterpillar and there was no butterfly, just a muckle of less than pleasant, swirling colors. This is the picture others may see when they, with queering eyes, look into our early stages of confinement. To the natural eye it can definitely be anything but desirable.
Perhaps we have also inquired within to examine ourselves, wondering, "What are we? Who are we? Where are we going? And are we there yet?" We may have been a little shocked, of course, at what we saw; and some of us could be heard crying out, "Oh my God! What is going on? This is not what we had expected! There is no beauty or identity whatsoever! We were better off as ugly caterpillars! At least we were somebody! We had a form and could accomplish a few things in the world! But now look at us; we are ugly, misunderstood, useless, and good for nothing."
The evidence is clear; we are not what we used to be. We are not that old adamic man, but we can also see we are not anything like the glorious, manifested sons of God either. There seems to be nothing about us that looks even remotely like the beautiful Monarch butterfly (Jesus Christ). Nevertheless, the Spirit within enables us to ignore our state of being, knowing it is impossible to go back; and we hope that the next time we look at ourselves, we will be mature and transformed enough to soar into the heavens and help establish God's kingdom. But to date, it hasn't been that way, has it? However, can we not see where we have been, where we are today, and by the Spirit see a little of where we are going? If indeed, the law of life is working and renovating our minds, we should be able to.
After a period of time, we investigate again. Looking inwardly we find progression all right, but still, it is not a pretty sight. As a matter of fact, things probably look worse. The mass of liquid colors have now changed to a slimy, grotesque creature that looks nothing like a member of the holy family of God. There is nothing at all to identify it as being a caterpillar or a beautiful butterfly. It is a misfit of being neither of the earth nor of the heavens. In all respects it is uncomely, and no one would care to give it more than a glance. The farther the transformation goes the more repulsive it can look to the worms in the fields of the world.
No wonder, the world and those of various religious orders have not been drawn to those being changed, for they see the ugly process of metamorphose rather than the gloriously arrayed butterfly that has yet to be manifested. In this stage, there is not much to be desired. However, although there is nothing appealing about the substance of this new creature, it is beginning to take shape. There is a form to it, but there is not enough shape that it can really be identified.
Is it not clear that we have been in the confinement of a cocoon, or rather, a chrysalis? (Moths make cocoons while butterflies spin chrysalises.) And haven't we been disappointed while sensing the flow of celestial life flowing in and throughout our new creation? But we are unable to do anything about it, because we have no form or comeliness of being a son of God. Figuratively speaking, we are still nothing but a liquid mass of unidentifiable colors.
That's all right, brethren, for this declares loudly that there is something grand taking place in the hidden chambers of our confinement. We have seen a few who have tried to rush the process; but it was always to no avail. Truly, dear ones, try as we may, we cannot hurry it, for if we come forth before the time, there will be no beauty at all, and the new creation that is neither a worm nor a butterfly will die.
However, as we get down to the end of the season, the same law of life that caused us to fall asleep is now heard, saying, "Awake, thou that sleepest, arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." When the night came, it was the time and season for sleeping, and the winter began. It was the season for the mysterious transformation to take place. But praise God, there is also a time to awake and live; that is, when the season of metamorphose will have finished its gallant course! This will then be the full end of the age and the beginning of the new. Let us not forget: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5.
There is another phenomena that takes place with the caterpillar as the metamorphose reaches the end of its cycle. As the new creature begins to awaken, its head and thorax begins to grow at an alarming rate which breaks open the chrysalis. This, of course, is comparable to the mind of Christ, our Head, our King, our Government, as it grows rapidly in the last days of our change and bursts forth from the confines of metamorphose and into the glorious liberty of being the manifested sons of God.
Like the Monarch butterfly, we awaken as the chrysalis breaks open in the new day and emerge from our seclusion. Grasping the branch upon which we were birthed, we hang our wings downward to straighten and dry. Once this is accomplished we notice anew, the light of the Son and go upward to the top regions of the Tree of Life. We bask in His glistening rays from the heavens above, even the shining of our Lord of glory in righteousness. Slowly, we unfurl and spread our newfound wings--beautiful wings splashed with silver and gold and other precious brilliants of the kingdom. The same colors the mass of oozecontained that was being shaped inside the dark confines of our transformation, as Tom and Julie Goodall had shared. The gentle wind of the Holy Spirit then lifts us into the heavens of Majesty's presence.
Praise God! For the first time we are in free-flight. We are finally moving with complete liberty in the element for which we were created. In full flight we soar at will, in any direction we desire to go; for the Spirit is our internal guide. There are no limits or boundaries, for we have the fullness of the conscious mind of Christ. Therefore, wherever we go or whatever we do is according to His mind, His desires, His will. We have arrived at our predestined purpose.
We know where we are going and what we are doing and why we are doing it. We are like the wind, but more, for now we have the divine substance of expression! And the dimensions of our vision are now limitless, for such as the eyes of the butterfly are, we can see in all directions at the same time. From our exalted vantage point nothing is hidden from us, and all things are seen as they truly are. Also, we no longer desire nor could even eat the bitter milkweed leaves of the field. Our chewing, grinding mandibles have been exchanged for a harmless proboscis, and we draw with it the sweet nectar of God from the very heart-center of the flowering blossom of the beautiful Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.
And all of this is the result of the eventual metamorphose by the renewing of our minds; awakening, refocusing our sight, and being caught up together to meet the Lord in the conscious air of our minds. We are truly "raptured," if you please; the completion of coming into the faith that He had not only started but will also finish.
Brethren, hear it today--our Lord Jesus is trumpeting the sound, and it is saying, "Put on My mind, be ye transformed and ARISE! MEET ME IN THE AIR OF MY SPIRIT AS YOU TAKE DOMINION OVER THE EARTH!"
Praise God! This is the way, this is the walk, or rather, this is the flight into the reality of what we are and what we are becoming in Christ Jesus!
Everything we are to be is already within us; but we wait with patience, endurance and expectation. We wait for the law of the life in Christ Jesus to finish what it set out to do; namely, to transform us into the beautiful image and expression of Himself. This, dear ones, whether consciously or unwittingly, IS THE DESIRE OF ALL LIVING. And this aionian desire and groan of creation will be manifested according to God's order and divine calling!
What a wonder and unfathomable plan of the One who is making it so!
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