TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
Speaking to a group of people, Jesus said of them who were then present, that some would not taste of death until they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. All of them then present, have tasted of death. This seeming conundrum can never be solved with observation…with the natural senses. Jesus spoke of these things in the same breath with another conundrum. “He that would save his life in this world will loose it. He who looses it for my sake, shall keep it for life eternal. For what does it advantage a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?”.
Daniel was similarly shown a people who would awake from the dust, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel further was shown that some would have understanding…some would not.
The book of Revelation is not a chronology in any traditional sense. It depicts the way things are. It depicts the one who is raised eternal, and them who by faith are raised with him, and the revealing of him in turn, reveals a mockery of him, an earthy replica of the eternal things, rising up out of the sea. Everything which Christ is in resurrection, is available and attainable to us now. Every word of him in you, will stand eternally. Not one thing, not one bit of representation of himself in you, that came from him, will pass, or fail to fulfill itself. But every word of mockery, every representation in the individual, that comes not by him, but via any other thing, person, entity, spirit, what have you, that is false, will fail. It will fade, pass away, and not survive this age. It will go completely and utterly, unfulfilled. Christ in you, is the hope of glory. Christ in another is not my hope.
Paul spoke of two abodes which exist simultaneously. A treasure in an earthen vessel:
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord…”
We HAVE a building , not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The humble seed has been used in scripture in many places, to depict something. Namely, the life that it bears, when it comes up, no longer is limited to, contained within, nor bound by the chaff…the dry, scaly outer husk of the seed. In a place, the Lord spoke by the prophet, and asked a question:
“They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD…”
WHAT IS THE CHAFF TO THE WHEAT? Think about that question long and hard. Is there life in the chaff? It there hope of resurrection in the chaff? Can the chaff inherit and produce what is in the inner man? No amount of effort, no twisting of meanings, no words of sage, priest, preacher, politician and academic, can manipulate humanity into anything but an empty husks.
In my 35 plus years a believer (a drop in the bucket), I have been to many , many gatherings of believers, of every imaginable type and level of “formality”. From free and open, to priest and preacher dominated rigidity. In every form of gathering, there have been those who grasp the eternal, and those who do not. There is no hope that flesh and blood will inherit the kingdom of God, zero, zip, nada…any more than that the chaff can ever come remotely close to the potential written in the wheat. I have seen individual’s eyes light up with understanding. I have seen the bewildered faces of them who hear the word, and then reason within themselves, how to produce it, rather than by faith, lay hold on it. Two places of scripture come to mind to illustrate this. The wedding at Cana, and the parable of the Father, which some call the parable of the prodigal son, though the abiding nature of the Father is truly what is declared.
At Cana of Galilee the Lord first showed forth his glory. Galilee means “circuit”, or “district”. Cana means “a place of reeds”. It is called Galilee of the gentiles, because it was an undesirable circuit of cities given to Hiram, a foreigner, in payment for helping Solomon build his temple. So, Jesus first showed forth his glory in a place that the nation had ceded to a foreigner, a place deemed pretty much worthless. At a wedding, it was the custom to serve the best wine to the guests first, and after they have “well drunk”, to serve the lesser quality last, since they would likely not by then, know the difference. But their wine plays out before the guests are gone. The event is in danger of falling short of expectations. The wine served by the governor of the feast fails. Jesus orders six clay jars, not one, but six, the number of man, set forth. He commands that the servants fill them to the brim with water. He commands the servants to draw out the wine and serve. The governor and attendees were astounded. The quality of the wine was superior, and they had no clue where it came from, though the servants new. Out of six clay pots, the Vintner Par Excellence was revealed. Each clay jar produced the same superior wine. No two clay jars were involved with each other in the process. The last wine trumped everything that had gone before. To see this portrayed a little differently, read Revelation 19:9 and 22:9, and contemplate John’s confusion. In the middle of a failing feast that had exhausted its supply, Jesus reveals his glory in a select group of empty vessels, without setting foot from the place. No matter which of the six vessels a guest may have drunk from, he or she would have tasted the same excellent wine, and would not have known the vessel from the Vintner. But the vessels and the servants know.
In a great household, two brothers were heirs of all their Father’s substance. They did not need to do anything to become heirs…they already were, by reason of birth. One became impatient and demanded his share, which he was given. He promptly went out and squandered it foolishly untill all played out. Starving, he saw a group of servants feeding the swine of another with empty husks…chaff. He longed to fill his belly with at least some of the chaff that he was now employed to swill the swine with. But you see…while chaff makes fine fodder for livestock, it is indigestible to humans. Coming finally to his senses, he said “even my father’s servants have enough bread and to spare. I will go back, plead that I am no longer worth to be called a son, and beg to be taken on as a servant”. We know the rest of the story. He was not born a servant, nor could he be received again as a servant. He was restored to his place.
Serving up the worthless chaff of the preaching and teaching of human behavior modification, the doctrine of flesh emulating Jesus, expectations of a fallen nation returning to its former glory, etc. and etc., none of these things can translate what is in the wheat, into the chaff. The chaff, even manipulated into an image of the wheat, has but one end. That end is to be blown from the threshing floor.
If religion is failing you, if you are greatly troubled by the course of things, then perhaps it would be worth considering that hopes have been falsely placed in things incapable of inheriting everlasting life. The Lord fills all things now. He has all power and authority, in heaven and earth now. All things are unfolding, exactly as they should, now. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, now. If so be He is in you, He is in you now. And while in this clay vessel, you will not see the unspeakable treasure in you, anywhere but in you…for now. But God willing…you will see it.
Jacob, which name means “deceiver”, was in a place, told his name would no more be called Jacob, but Israel, which means “Prince (and heir) with God. Yet if you continue reading, you will find the man alternately referred to as Jacob and Israel many times. The treasure in the clay jar. The nature of the clay is to deceive and be deceived. That is not the nature of the treasure. That is not the divine nature.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”