by Don Nori
When the glory of God poured out of Solomon’s temple, the priests of the middle court fell on their faces. To the casual observer, it appeared to the reverent thing to do. After all, the appearance of Almighty God in this dimension was an event that was certainly not common and might never see again. Falling down in worship seemed to be the logical thing to do. Of course, they could not minister in the reality of the Ancient of Days, they were, after all, not the priests of the Presence. Since they did not know what to do, they did what some many patriarchs did in times past, they lay prostrate on the ground.
The truth is, they did not know what to do with His glory. But that is understandable. They were priests of types and shadows. They were Levites and their daily duties never required interaction with the reality of the Divine Who dwelled behind the curtains of the Most Holy Place.
They knew what to do with the symbols of faith but had no clue as to what to do with He Who actually is Who the symbols represent. They could break bread but had clue what to do when the Bread of Life came on the scene. They could burn the incense of worship but they never had authentic interaction with the living God so as to worship Him in this dimension. They refilled the candlesticks with oil, a routine function of the Holy Place. But interaction with the Divine, Who has His own thoughts, His own will and His own plans was something they never considered. Yes, in the Holy Place they only dealt with the symbols that represented the King and all He truly is. The candlesticks never moved, never had an opinion. The Shew Bread was made the same way day after day and never bothered the priests who made it. The objects of the Holy Place were just that, objects, inanimate objects that could be controlled, directed and used as the priests saw fit. But now, something out of their paradigm unfolded before their every eyes. The sweet song of worship rose from the very core of those Ancients and the Heart of God leapt to be one with His creation. He could no longer be contained in that small box, although He designed it,
ordered it built and chose to confine Himself to it. The Ancient One knew the time would come when He would dwell, not in a box and not only with His people but within His people. That day, within the Veil, was one of those times when the Divine desire for union moved Him from the dimension of His origin into time and space. That day, He showed that the shadows and symbols would be done away with and God Himself would arise to His forever resting place–the heart of man.
Glory cannot be contained in the shadows of the Holy Place. At some point, the Living breaks out of the dead. Even the overwhelming royal elegance of Solomon’s Temple could not contain the Living. Life will always find its way to its intended ultimate expression. That is, humanity where Christ in me is, most certainly, the hope of glory, which is, in turn, the hope of the world. Therefore if Christ in you is the hope of glory, that glory will eventually spill out, overflowing from you to the those around you. And yes, the results will be the same. Some will herald His appearing through you with joy and hope. But others will not be so accommodating. Some will fear what they do not understand and what they cannot control. But the revealing of the Father, His Glory, is never dictated by those who reject Him. His revealing is determined through the Yielded Ones, those cast aside by men but chosen by God. It is the surrendering heart that will always be the motivation that keeps your King ever rising within, ever unveiling Himself, ever loving the world through you. This interaction with the Divine is the essence of authentic Union and is not controlled by mere mortal men. Rather, Divine Union with the Ancient One is the hallmark, it is the quintessential reality of our interaction with God. The glorious evidence of this Divine Union is nothing less than new and flourishing life within our hearts. This Life, I might add, cannot be contained, hidden, explained away or ignored. Authentic union produces authentic life. The metaphors of the shadow make way for the authentic, the real that heretofore was only described in dreadfully inadequate types and shadows. Let’s face it. A greater Solomon is here. Someone will live it out for the world to see.
What else could they do?
Levites walked and worked freely among the symbols of the Divine but encountering the Divine was a completely new experience, a completely new reality that they were not prepared, in any way, to experience. They were not priests of the Living God. They were the tending priests of the shadows. When Father came to them out of the box of His own choosing, they had no idea what to do. All their priestly instructions did not prepare them for this measure of ultimate reality, the fullness, the unveiled, Face to face encounter with God.
Melchizedek- the priesthood of the King
Aaron’s priesthood tended to the Outer Court. The Levitical priests tended to the Holy Place. The priesthood of Melchizedek, of which Jesus was the first, tends the Most Holy Place to this day. Jesus is the first born of this magnificent order of priests who are created to serve the Father in all His manifest reality. In this dimension, there are no shadows, not types, no metaphors. He is seen and experienced in His fulness; the unveiled, Face to face reality of Who He is in this dimension and all other dimensions through which He passes freely.
This is the reality of His appearing so long ago. This the unfolding of a Union that that transcends the senses but fills the heart. The journey has brought us through the Outer Court where the sacrifice of the Lamb made us worthy for the Holy Place, the middle court. You know that place, akin to the Wilderness where conflict of the mind rages and the uncertainty of destiny is the rule of the day. Here, in the middle court, the Wilderness, soul and spirit struggle for dominance. There is little that brings peace and nothing that is permanent. Like the Wilderness of the Ancients, the desire to follow the King is shrouded by uncontrolled thoughts, lusts, rebellion and greed and pride. It is a dimension where the miraculous is an every moment lifestyle but so is the chronic double-mindedness that keeps life out of balance and our future obscure. Though the destiny of the believer is on the other side of the multilayered curtains that separate the Holy from the Divine, most are reluctant to risk everything to behold Him within, experience Him without, yielding to His Life that would change everything for us, if He were given the opportunity to have His way within the heart. The Holy Place, (the Wilderness, Pentecost) has become the resting place of the fearful, the stubborn, the arrogant. Though doggedly certain they will not fall short of His glory, they refuse to pay the price for the destiny prepared for them, determining in themselves that “What I have is all there is to have.” Refusing to drink the cup of His suffering, they tragically fall short of His glory in spite of the lofty prayers, proclamations and prophecies. Getting so busy with life and ministry, we cease to hear Him in the places where inner transformation is still needed, we miss the epitome of life by a country mile.
But for some, deep is calling to deep. For some, the passion for Union with Him obscures the ever fading resistance within them. For some, all they have suffered, all they have learned, all they have experienced prepared them for this moment when the Voice of the King calls to them with clarity, joyful anticipation and determined resolve, “Come up higher!” There is nothing more invigorating, nothing more sweet than the sound of His Voice. There is nothing within that can resist the fragrance of His Song in your heart. For when you hear the joyful sound, when you sense His nearness you will go wherever He beckons. You will gladly risk anything, as though anything you might have can even began to compare to the wonder, the honor, the ecstasy of knowing your King is calling your name personally, purposefully and with great anticipation of your coming to Him. Now the Union for which He came is fulfilled and you have not only seen Him whom your soul loves, you are One with Him. Now, the Divine ‘everything’ for which He came can be fulfilled. The visible, tangible, effortless redemptive Life of your King flourishes inside your mortal being and you finally understand what it means to be a lamp for His Anointed. Union has come to pass.
Some hear it thunder…
For those who neither hunger or desire such interaction with the Divine, fear, uncertainty, anger or ridicule begin to rule their hearts. As the priests found at Solomon’s Temple, man never knows what to do when Father is seen so clearly among men. The Levites fell on their faces when the glory rolled out of Solomon’s Temple. They had no idea what to do when God was no longer safely tucked behind eleven layers of curtain, where He was expected to stay. But for Melchizedek, it was a different reaction. God would no longer keep Himself behind a curtain. He would dwell among men, in men and through mankind He would show Himself lovely, compassionate, merciful and full of love at the anticipation with Union with His creation. Not everyone hears thunder. Some hear the Voice of their King.
For when you see Him, hear Him, even a momentary glimpse of His love, a momentary Song of His heart, everything begins to change. Transformation becomes so powerful, so complete, so focused that everything that hinders, that cannot withstand the fire of authentic reality burns away leaving only cannot be destroyed. Long held beliefs that hinder union are gone. Titles, positions, in fact, every manmade structure that is contrary to Him are freely and eagerly laid aside for the surpassing worth of knowing Him in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.
I do not talk about such glorious things in a vacuum. I do not speak things as merely revelations or new ideas. I speak of what I have seen, what I have experienced, what I know all through what I have suffered. I have touched the depth of despair and the heights of His glory. I have suffered and still suffer in body and soul. But for the surpassing wonder of knowing Him, I embrace the pain. I have come to the place where I do not pray the pain to leave me or that I would be somehow healed before God is done with the pain. For this is one of the very instruments of transformation. They have brought me to a realization of His Life that I would have never know otherwise. If and when my King determines I should be physically whole, I will gladly accept it. Until then, I gladly surrender, knowing that such durrender produces transformation, enlightenment and union with my Creator.
Prisoners of yesterday
If your doctrine cannot at least consider these words then I fear you are a prisoner of the Wilderness, locked behind the bars of doctrine that will never allow you the authentic fellowship of His suffering which you believe in, yet run from when suffering and Brokenness come knocking on your door. I AM not looking for the easy Life. I AM in pursuit of His Life which has passed through the Outer Court, through the Holy Place and now rests within the Veil of the Holiest Place of all where He is seated in the throne room of my heart. There He awaits my companionship, my fellowship, my friendship. This kind of fellowship comes no other way, although it does not comport with the popular teaching of contemporary Christianity. It bears little resemblance to the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus lived and still lives out through the Surrendered Ones, His sons, to this day.
I have found He is far more than a Spiritual Caretaker. I AM not His pet that needs to be spiritually domesticated, so far below Him that I can never understand Him or have a meaningful relationship with Him. I AM a being made His Image for the purpose of Union, fellowship, friendship and co-labor. I AM a Lamp out of which He shines for all to see. Therefore, He is not my servant, I AM His. And yes, this requires more attention than anything I have ever done. And yes, I understand that most believe He paid it all but really, He didn’t. He paid the price to get me out of Egypt, that hellish place of bondage and slavery. I, on the other hand, must pay the price to enter into the fullness of all He has destined for me in this life. If I choose not to, I AM like the Ancients who died in the Wilderness. They could see the Promised Land but refused to cross the River, choosing rather, to enjoy the miracles of the Wilderness but never experiencing the purpose for which Jesus delivered them from the hand of the slave masters.
All was not not as it seemed
The miracles of the Wilderness, as stunning and flamboyant as they were, have a profound story to tell us today. The Wilderness miracles were types and shadows of the Father’s Life within the believer. In reality, the Ancients who fled Egypt, wandered in the Wilderness forty years and ultimately crossed the Jordan where transformation begins, represent everything that resides in me for better or for worse. Only Joshua and Caleb would ultimately go into the Land from among those who left the slavery of their brutal captors in Egypt. They were the only two who were willing to surrender to transformation. Everything else had to die. Everyone that doubted the words of their Lord would perish in the Wilderness, that no mans land where all was not as it appeared to be.
On the surface, they were surrounded with the miraculous activity of God that protected them, fed them and was determined to lead them to their destiny. But those who wanted to go back far outnumbered those who wanted to go forward into the ultimate plan of God. For all the focused attention God gave to the Ancients as they wandered through the Wilderness, they did not have a mind to cross into Canaan. In spite of the continuously manifest presence of their God among them, they were bankrupt within. The air was filled with miracles whilst their hearts were filled with fear, rebellion, lust, doubt and pride. Outwardly everything appeared to powerfully right. But little did those who watched them from afar realize that the Ancients were a people who had doomed themselves. Their hearts’ secret resistance to God would cause them to be walk aimlessly for forty years as they slowing died in the desert one by one. They did not understand that their aimless hearts were reflected in their aimlessness through the Wilderness.
The contrast could be more clear. The outward appearance was one of strength, courage and power while they resisted God’s heart, inwardly deciding that they would not go where He wanted them to go. They still lived in the outward miraculous, though there was no point to it. For there is no destination and there can be no defined destiny to an aimless heart. They wanted all they could get from God with the least amount of obedience or surrender. They wanted their own life and all God would bless them with whilst they refused to follow Him. They must have thought they had the best of both worlds. In the end, their foolishness cost them their greatest opportunity, their greatest sense of fulfillment. How foolish, indeed.
But nothing has changed over the millennia. Believers still want both worlds. They want the most God will give them whilst maintaining as much self-indulgence as they can. Like the Ancients, they have struck an acceptable balance between the moderate success in their supernatural experience while living as much of their fleshy lives as they can get away with. Outwardly, like the Ancients, all appears wonderfully powerful. Inwardly, they are full of dead mans bones.
They have been taught that the miraculous life is the ultimate experience. It is not. They are taught that miracles are a sign that they are in God’s will. It is not. They are taught that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the quintessential experience with God. Once again, it is not. It is no wonder that most grow tired of ‘revival’, of running to the latest fads to try to capture that elusive peace they are supposedly promised that ‘passes all understanding.’ But as most have experienced, it does not pass all understanding. In fact, it is evasive at best. For this Divine peace comes at a great cost. It is the product of obedience to Him. And I am not talking only about obedience to abstain from sin. I AM talking about the obedience that produces other-worldly Divine inner harmony; obedience to the sound of His Voice, to the leading of the King within Who directs us to do the will of Father God in everyday life. The obedience that releases the Divine, in all His love, mercy and compassion into the time and space right where I live everyday. Now that kind of peace is beyond understanding and is anchored in the heart of the Surrendered Ones, whose peace is settled, secure within them in spite of any turbulent outward circumstance or trouble. This is the ‘glory’ that abides for this glory is none other than the King, Himself, King Jesus, taking up His permanent abode in our hearts.