“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 KJV.
“…from one degree of glory (splendour) to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” Corinthians 3:18 ESV,
As we look into the Glory of the Lord (The Light-Being of His Person, resonating His Character, His Nature and His Personality), it is as though we are looking into a Mirror that reflects the Image that we see back into us, and as His Image is reflected into us, we are changed, to become all that we see!
And as we continue to keep gazing, we are forever being changed into new expressions of His Glory within us, from one dimension of Glory to the next!
This wonderful unfolding process is called salvation!
Sadly there are people who today miss the experience of truly being born anew into the Holy Spirit, relying rather on a theology they are being taught which hangs their ‘salvation’ on a few words confessed in ‘faith’ and a prayer of penitence, called the “sinner’s prayer”.
For those who do find it, it becomes a journey of Wonder.
You see, true salvation has everything to do with the reality of experience – seeing, feeling and hearing. It causes those who are born into the Spirit to have the eyes of their understanding, or the eyes of their heart, to be opened.
They begin to see what they previously could never see and in this seeing, they experience the reality of feeling, sensing and beholding the Glory of the Person and the Presence of Christ (The Spirit). (Ephesians 1:18-19)
As they begin this journey of gazing into an open Heaven, they discover the rich treasury of God’s Secret Wisdom and Revelation that He shares only with those who are within His circle of intimacy.
This is nothing new, as we see Him doing exactly the same with the twelve disciples through Jesus. To them it “was given” to know the Secrets of the Kingdom, while to others it “was not given”. They lived in a unique position of being able to see, experience and hear in the Spirit what no one else could. (Matthew 13:10-12)
The more they gazed, hearing, seeing and experiencing, the more they were changed to become what they see. Until we read in Acts chapter four, that the Jewish leaders who were listening to them speak, recognized the Voice of Jesus in them! (Acts 4:13)
They had become what they had observed, experienced, and what they saw and heard – What they had gazed into!
Many people today want salvation purely as a safeguard against hell. They are saved only to ensure that they are going to Heaven.
The truth is that Heaven was never the purpose of our salvation; rather it was the reward (or fruit) of being saved. The purpose of our salvation, and the reason Jesus came is far deeper and richer than merely to ‘save us from hell’.
The Word clearly states that Jesus came to “reconcile” us with God. To reinstate us to a former place of glory, and to a former position in relationship we, as man, once held with God.
This was His primary purpose in saving us. He wanted us to have the eyes of our mind (heart), opened, so that we may come into the full revelation of the Father here on earth, and know Him in all He is, and that He may reveal Himself to us in ever increasing dimensions of the revelation of His Glory, and that in beholding Him, we would be changed into what we see, from one dimension of the revelation of His Glory into the next. (Ephesians 1:17)
God’s ultimate salvation plan with us was intimacy! He wanted us to know Him and to be known to Him – that’s why Jesus came! He came to introduce the Father to us.
In essence He became the earthly body through whom the Father would be revealed. He became the “express Image of His Person, and the Radiance of His Glory”.
All of this was not done to show us how perfect Jesus was, or to exalt Him in the eyes of man.
No, He clearly states that He came not for His own glory, but so that the Father may be glorified in and through His life. He comes not to be seen as “good”, but to introduce the Good Father to us.
He comes to lay His Own life down so that we may come to intimately know and experience the Father through Him, and become acquainted with Him.
Jesus came for our sake! He did not come for Himself.
He came as a servant, to serve mankind, He came as the ‘Son of man’, the One Who would come to mend, restore and re-institute every man and woman who would come to the Father, drawn by His Spirit. To restore them to their original experience of revelation and of intimacy with God.
This process of ‘knowing’ God in ever unfolding revelations of His Glory (His Person, Character and Nature, and every spiritual aspect of His Being), is what the Word calls the process of our ‘salvation’.
It is an ongoing unfolding understanding of Who God is, that causes us to change to become as Him, as we it He reveals Himself in to us and in us.
Salvation begins the day we yield our lives to come under the government of the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to lead, teach and to guide us into the beginning of this life of revelation in God, where we will constantly be changed, by what we see and come to understand about His Person.
Salvation is brought to completion in us when we come to maturity in Him, and when the full stature of Christ (the Spirit) is formed within us, and when we become the expression of the Father, as Jesus was the expression of the Father.
When we too become mirrors of His Glory!
When there is nothing to be seen in us except Christ (The reflected revelation of the Spirit), nothing heard except Christ, and nothing experienced of our old human nature, but when we become fully flooded with His Person, radiance and Glory, so that others may behold Him in us.
The Bible is full of individuals who are examples of this process, and how it unfolded in them and changed them from one degree of Glory into the next. This was and still presently is God’s plan for every true believer – and it will never change!
Without intimately knowing the Lord here on earth, we will not be intimately known by Him in Heaven. Intimacy is salvation being worked out!
It is the only way we can ever change. We cannot make ourselves “better”, we have to allow ourselves to “die”, as we allow more of Christ, through the process of intimate change, to come and impart His Glory in us.
God created you and me as ‘mirrors’ of His Spirit!
Firstly so that we could receive the reflection of His Glory in us and be changed into His Likeness, and secondly, as we are changed, to become the radiant expression of Him, as He radiantly beams His Glory through us for others to behold and see.
We were called to be changed by the expression of His Glory, and to become the expression of His Glory, so others may be changed also!
What are you gazing into at present, what do you see? Because what you are looking into, you will become!
Jesus states that if a man looks into darkness(if his eye is dark), his whole being will be full of darkness. On the other hand, if a man looks into the Light (if his vision is good, or if what he looks at is healthy),his whole body will be flooded with Light.
Our vision (what we see in revelation, or fail to see), determines the condition and outcome of our entire lives.
So many people look into theology and hope to see God there. Others look into religiously following Jesus, hoping to have the eyes of their heart opened by doing so.
At the end there is only one place we can come to see, and it is not in what we do, but in our full surrender to be led and taught by God Himself!
This is the‘water separation’ for those who enter into the full revelation of being able to look into Heaven, and those who forever try, but never come to see.
The disciples dropped their nets, they left everything familiar to themselves and to their world, to be led into a new world to be revealed to them, of which they knew nothing at the time.
They had to be willing to follow and to forsake the known world that they were comfortable in, to explore uncharted waters(and even to walk on water!).
Today it is the same for those who are called to follow to become a part of God’s inner-circle.
They have to put everything they know down, to become unskilled, and unlearned men, following along a journey of new discovery, learning what they do not know and could never come to know, unless the Holy Spirit would teach them and reveal it in them.
Peter, having this experience for the first time, was prepared for a life of“visions and dreams and prophecy”. When Jesus asked them a question about Who they thought He was.
Peter, under the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, spoke forth from Vision (revelation given by utterance by the Holy Spirit) and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God”.
Jesus immediately responded, “Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in Heaven”, knowing that Peter had just received a Heavenly revelation!
Peter had a moments glance into an open Heaven and what he saw impacted his life with a revelation of Christ that would forever leave him a changed man.
Jesus said that “upon this rock” He would build His church, and that the gates of hell would not be able to prevail (overcome) it. There have been many things presented as “this rock”, Peter even being one of them!
Ultimately the “rock”, or sure place, Jesus referred to that would never be able to be shaken in those who had come to experience it, was the revelation they would receive from His Father about Him.
Anyone who would come to see, hear and experience what Peter did, would as a result thereof forever be changed by what they have come to know, and nothing would ever be able to pluck the inner-revelation of the Spirit of God from within their hearts.
They would forever follow Him!
This experience prepared Peter for a life of being led by the Living revelation of the Spirit. He would become one of those “whose eyes have been opened to see”, and who would walk in the Spirit in dreams, visions and prophecy, just as Joel prophesied it would be!
~ Johann van der Hoven
Johann van der Hoven is in South Africa. He has been serving the Lord in ministry since 1991 and has hosted numerous apostolic revival meetings in South Africa and in South America. He also currently pioneers a organic church planting movement across South Africa. For more information about him and his ministry visit Fellowship of Believers or Revival.