The End Time Visitation of Jesus Christ:
The Searcher of Hearts and Minds
After some 18 centuries since His ascension, Jesus has come back ahead of His Manifest return by way of mass Spirit visitation—to stand and walk in the midst of the end times candlesticks—ministering and speaking in the same authority and power as before, but primarily in all of which, as before, to “search the hearts and the minds” of His people, taking hidden measurements of His Temple:
Rev. 11:1…Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.
Luke 13:6 adapted …A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 And he said to the vineyard-keeper, “Behold, for five generations I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?” 8 And he answered and said to him, “Let it alone, sir, for this generation too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next generation, fine; but if not, cut it down.”
Again, where the original visitation was only 3-4 years, Christ’s current “prenuptial” visit has lasted more than a century, and continues. Yet His underlying purpose is entirely the same as before. It is to search out the hearts and minds of those called by His name, to probe their maturity, examining their worthiness and readiness for His final glorified appearance—to ultimately give unto every one of us according to our deeds.
When Jesus came to Israel, their only concept of the Messiah was of one who was to bless them and judge their enemies. They had no concept that He was come to test and to prove their own hearts.
Today, nothing has changed. Regardless of our blind insensibility within the Atmosphere we believe to be for our blessing, the judge is at our door. He is ever present as the one knocking on the entrance to the interior life of those called by His name, who sing and dance and offer lips filled with praise before Him.
Unless and until we are cognizant of this silent proving, we are cognizant of nothing. For we will give account for how we thought and behaved under the purview of Christ’s immediate walk among us. May we answer the call back to this fearful awareness even as we keep seeking more of His corporate spiritual reality among us.
The Presence “On Tour”: Hype and Hysteria
Much as during His first approach, Jesus has traveled throughout these last generations to engage various places at different times. In his original tour, He was confined to the nation of Israel. Many places there became famous as a result—Nazareth, Capernaum, Bethany.
But in these end times, Jesus has been visiting His candlesticks throughout the world. To the western household of the faith, the names of many of these closer locations have likewise become famous—Wales, Azusa, Hebrides, Battleford, Asbury, Toronto, Brownsville, Lakeland (naming only the best known…)
Just as His visits to Israel’s cities were short lived, so have they been short to ours—a matter of days, weeks or maybe months. Just as Israelites in their towns begged Jesus to stay longer, so have we rued that “revival has not lasted longer” in our midst. As He said before, so He says again, “I have other places I must visit.”
Very notably, however, is that wherever Jesus went in Israel, His “fame” attended Him (Mk. 1:28; Lk. 4:37). In other words, He was preceded and followed by carnal hype and rumor. In pursuit of a “piece of the action,” multitudes by the thousands left wherever they were to flock to the next place whence the news sprang: “Jesus of Nazareth is here. Right now! Come and see. Get here as fast as you can to get your miracle.”
And so as before, the rumor followers of these last generations have answered the call of the rumor mongers in the Charisma-tic news outlets to seek out their piece of “the glory” and to get their blessing under Christ’s latest visitory “move.” Nothing has changed.
But the real issue is, what was Jesus’ heart in regard to His own fame? Did it mean anything to Him? Did He capitalize on it to further promote Himself to the world? Did He give “interviews” to the couriers of the day so they could take the news to still more people to come see Him in action? The answer is, no. Rather, He repeatedly discouraged local news from spreading about Him because it hindered His truest work in the hearts of people!
This means two things today. Firstly, just because Jesus visits an Azusa or a Toronto or a Brownsville does not mean He welcomes the hype over it. He does not approve of the slick, glossy, self-serving marketing that “revival promoters” have put forth to announce “revival has come” to their location. Truer to His heart, Jesus would strategically prefer that fewer outside people knew what He was doing so He could get more done in the hearts of those local to His visit.
Secondly however, just because Jesus’ end time Spirit-appearance is surrounded by carnally hyped self-promotion and even by the co-opting antics of demons does not mean that Jesus has not come to that place! It does not mean that a “false revival” is underway, as numerous critics continually assert in every place of visitation.
This demands insight. For equally notably with the carnal fame Jesus attracted is the incitement of demonic hysterics His mere Presence naturally evoked. Understand well: wherever He went, Jesus did not just cast out demons, He involuntarily aroused them to act out before Him.
Mk 9:20 They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth.
And so it has occurred on His modern tour of the end time church. (Anyone remember the “barking dogs” of Toronto?)
But again, what did Jesus make of all this? Did he approve of what He aroused? No. But did He ever consider what He naturally aroused to be an emanation of His own Spirit?? No. Did He conclude that because He naturally aroused demons He Himself must be demonic?? No. Did He act to shut down what He falsely aroused? Yes. Finally, did Jesus know more about what was really happening than the crowds, the Pharisees and even His own disciples did? Yes.
So it is with His visitation today. And the wise will see past the “thunder” to arrive at the same attitude.
Consideration of the unseemly, raucous hype and hysteria attending Jesus’ ministry leads immediately to our next historic parallel between His first and modern visitations.
Polarization of the Presence
The first time around, Jesus continually stirred controversy and opposition. In comportment with His purpose of proving the hearts of His people, He intentionally left confusion and doubt in place over Who He was, polarizing the populace in every place:
7:12 There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.”… 27 “However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.” …31 … and they were saying, “When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?” … 40 Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” 41 Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He? …43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him... 9:16 Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. ..10:19 A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”…24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly!”
Christ’s divisiveness in Israel is obvious now for what it was. Yet it is only obvious now because we have the scriptures to tell us so. But in those living hours, no one had a “Book of John” to objectively tell the people the nature of Who they were encountering— that this was indeed the Son of God, not a deceiver. And no previous scripture in their hands did this for them. The disciples did not connect Christ’s doings to the scriptural prophecies of them until well after the fact. Rather, as we are about to see, Christ’s visit required that one’s determination about Him be proved in real time by one’s own spirit perceptivity qualified by his own sensitivity to the will of God.
Jesus wrought social upheaval by crossing and offending the expectations of all among whom He came. We should remember that all Israel was in an expectational mode, anticipating the imminent coming of the Messiah. Nationwide consciousness of God’s readiness to send their Deliverer prevailed. Yet as He was born, grew up among them, and was then finally presented to them, Jesus brought nothing but confusion to those expectations.
At the heart of this confusion is the fact that Christ Himself would not come out in plain Hebrew and openly declare, “I am the Messiah Whom you have all awaited! Look at Me! Behold Me for Who I AM!” He instead left almost all direct testimony of His identity to the Father’s inner persuasion of the People. If the people could not hear the Father convicting their hearts (because they themselves did not already have any real heart for God), they could not know Who Jesus really was. And He said so repeatedly:
Jn. 5:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life,… 37 And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me… 38 You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent”….6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him”;…7:17 “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself”…. 8:19 …“if you knew Me, you would know My Father also… 42 …If God were your Father, you would love Me,… 54 …If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God ';…12:30 Jesus answered and said, "This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. …Mt. 16:17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”
Similarly today, pumped full of expectation of Christ’s imminent return as we are, His end time visitation has stoked complete confusion, especially in those places where He has made Himself most pointedly evident—i.e., the places we have always referred to as the places of “revival.” As in Israel, so now we live under a body-wide consciousness of expecting both “revival” and Messiah’s ultimate appearing. Yet everywhere and anywhere Jesus now visits as a “move of God,” controversy erupts—which He leaves in place with no attempt to quell, and all for the same reasons as before.
The “Lakeland Outpouring” of 2008, which this ministry diligently labored to understand in real time, is a most obvious example of such modern visitational confusion. All manner of divisive issues accompanied this special stopover of Christ, pitting believers against believers, prophets against prophets and churches against churches. The vehemence over the social media blogs was hot and heavy. The angst in every quarter was as palpable as in John 7 where “some were saying, ‘[Bentley] is a good man’; others were saying, ‘No, on the contrary, he leads the people astray.’”…
In making comparison between Jesus’ incarnational visitation 2000 years ago and His Spirit visitation now as hosted through others, let the reader remember: Christ’s visitation is not the man or place who hosts Him, and no man or place is the visitation. Here, the “outpouring” was not “Bentley” and “Bentley” was not the “outpouring.” It is Jesus’ visitation alone with which we are concerned, not the name of a man or place through whom or to which He comes. That we identify visitations by a man or the place only further reveals our thunder-based hearing.
In the end, Jesus’ Lakeland visit was largely rejected because the man who most prominently hosted His coming proved (and continues to prove) himself utterly unworthy of Him (—hold onto this thought. It will prove critical later when we discuss the mystery of iniquity). But the present point is that, throughout the “ordeal” of the visit, Jesus would not plainly tell anyone whether “He” had truly come or not. Intercessors diligently prayed, “How long will you leave us in suspense? If this ‘outpouring’ is of You, tell us plainly!”
But Jesus would not tell us. No Voice beamed down from heaven to announce this to the church, nor does it ever. It required the whisper of the Father to the humble hearts of the obedient to recognize the time of visitation.And then, Jesus moved on……
(To be continued…)
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created January 6, 2020