The End Time Visitation of Jesus Christ:
Rev. 2:1 NIV…These are the words of him who …walks among the seven golden lampstands…23…who searches hearts and minds; and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.
Lk. 19:41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes…44… because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
The will of the Father in these end times is to prepare the way for the joint manifest appearance of the glorified Son of God together with His fully placed glorified sons by adoption from creation. All historical life since the Lord’s ascension has labored toward this fulfilment, but these final end times have seen a unique preparation toward this climax unlike any preceding time.
The nature of this age-closing preparation is the subject of this article. It has been signally marked by a dramatic 1 ½ century-long increase of what we now commonly refer to as the manifest “Presence of God.” Over this period, God’s people have interchangeably used various terms to identify this Presence, including, most commonly, the anointing, glory, fire, and revival. These terms have all stood throughout the lore of Spirit-filled / Holiness / Pentecostal / Latter Rain / Full Gospel / Charismatic church writing, preaching and worship to describe the same aura.
One less frequently used term, namely, the visitation, is our term of choice for this study because of how it specially relays to us the Presence for who “He” (not “it”) really is in our midst. Once we perceive the Presence for His Personality among us, and not as a “phenomenon,” our vision of the Presence-filled church will be irrevocably altered. It will solve previously irreconcilable conundrums while re-orienting us to true spiritual “North” in more perfect readiness for glorified union with the approaching Risen One.
“Some Said It Thundered”
Jn. 12:28 “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; …
On what we call “Palm Sunday,” after Jesus has entered the city, a voice comes from heaven to affirm His glorification. It is the Voice of the heavenly Father to Whom Jesus has just prayed. Yet many do not recognize the sound as anyone’s voice, but only as an inanimate sound of nature. Some said “it” thundered.
This striking gap between the recognition of a Living Voice and an inanimate sound lies at the core of what Father has tasked to teach today about the true nature of “the Presence” since His first major end time stirrings in the late 19th century. From then till now, friction has ensued among God’s people as to “what this phenomenon” is all about.
Since those earlier times, some indeed have recognized that Christ has been Personally present to minister to His people. Most however have been enamored only of “what” was “happening.” They were and remain captive to impersonal descriptors such as “the power,” “the fire,” “the blessing,” “the baptism” and/or “the anointing,” etc. One early holiness writer, comparing his view with that of the Deeper Life (“Keswick”) stream of believers, cited the friction this way:
"We talk much of the blessing—the blessing. The Keswickites talk much of the Blesser—the Blesser. They are seized by a Him, we by an it. They talk of the great Person who has come into their body and soul and life. We speak more of a thing which we received of Christ..."
J.B. Culpepper, "The Keswick Movement," in Pentecostal Herald Vol XI, No. 3., (Jan. 23, 1899) as quoted by D. Bundy in Modern Christian Revivals, ed. Blumhofer and Balmer, p. 132 (1993)
Through the continued prevailing use of phenomenal terms as “anointing,” “glory,” “fire,” “cloud,” “revival,” “awakening.” “movement,” etc., the church has missed the Personal reality of Jesus Himself in our midst like as He dwelt among and taught His immediate disciples and the larger crowds. We keep reaching out for a “thing” called “revival.” We keep speaking of the “Presence” as an amorphous spiritual substance, and so forth. We might as well call “it” Thunder!
That we do this, however, testifies to our lack of real knowledge of the Father or of Jesus within our spiritual sensitivity. We thus have little comprehension of the true role Christ has fulfilled among us through His Presence over these last several generations—a role entirely modeled by His original incarnate Presence among Israel 2000 years ago.
The Visitation of Jesus: Then and Now
In truth, what we today call the Presence is Jesus Himself coming to us by way of Spirit visitation, walking among His candlesticks, as He said He does in Revelation 2:1. We corporately perceive His spiritual aura. Yet it does not mean we have a conscience that Jesus Himself, the Judge who stands at the door (Jas. 5:9), is literally visiting us. For as then, so now. As multitudes during Jesus’ first incarnation were excited unto hearing only thunder and seeing mere happenings, so it has been these last 150 years of Presence invasion in the church. We do not “recognize our day of visitation.”
Our burden today is to explain how everything true of Christ’s relationship to the Jewish people before is true now of His relationship by Spirit visitation to the end time church ahead of His climactic physical return. The following outlines what we will discover to be true of both visitations:
· Christ’s visitation is a period of probing, proving and testing by offense for the substance of heart within God’s people.
· Christ’s visitation brings prominence to different places at different times evoking both hype and hysteria.
· Christ’s visitation polarizes the people of God.
· Christ’s visitation is rejected by the hypocritical judgmental teachers of the scriptures.
· Christ’s visitation is attended by the spirit of stupor among the populace.
· Christ’s visitation is squandered on a false agenda by the carnal populace of believers.
· Christ’s visitation is internally prostituted by satan within Christ’s closest followership to birth the mystery of iniquity.
· The climax of Christ’s visitation immediately precedes the death of His visitation, the decimation of His discipleship, the resurrection, reorientation and new empowerment of His discipleship and the destruction of the visited culture.
“Because you did not recognize the time of your visitation”
Recapitulating our theme point: the end times for the church are not about spiritual events, experiences, or phenomenon in our midst. They are not about a corporate hosting of a nebulous “thing” called “the glory,” “the fire” “revival” or “the Presence”—all of which is impersonal thunder vocabulary:
“Look, up in the pulpit…it’s the glory….no, it’s revival…no, it’s the Presence…no, it’s Thunder, man!”
No, it is not spiritual thunder. What we now summarily call “The Presence” has been none other than the unperceived visitation of Jesus Christ Himself in the midst of the final end times church—living, doing, thinking and feeling among us as He did when He first came. Before, it was a tight 3-4 year localized tour. Now, it has been an unfolding generations-long preparatory worldwide engagement ahead of glorified union with the ready.
Because the Lord has concluded both the Old and New Covenant ages under unbelief, it means the same patterns during Christ’s incarnational visitation are being replayed in His spiritual now visitations to us. (That we are subject to the same patterns as Israel is confirmed by Paul and the writer of Hebrews who warn us against repeating those very patterns. Just because as New Covenant people we “have the Holy Spirit” internally in a way those of the first visitation did not does not make us immune from those patterns.)
Thus as before, save for a remnant of proven disciples, the greater “Presence-driven” church is failing right now to recognize the time of Jesus’ visitation for Who He has really been among us. Jesus has been speaking loudly and clearly in our midst for several prophetic generations. But for most, only impersonal spiritual thunder is perceived and unbelievingly craved. (“We want more of ‘the Presence’…we want another ‘revival’…we want the ‘power!’”)
This means that, to truly understand what is happening today, we must stop listening to those who hear only thunder in their fascination with Spirit-emanations among us. We must instead weigh carefully the “now” against the “then” of Jesus’ first Presential visitation. We must inspect the differing properties of His interactions with the various classes of people among whom He showed Himself—the inner disciples, the outer court crowds, the synagogue crowds, the Pharisees, the Samaritans and even Judas—observing carefully His attitudes inside of all that action.
Once we do this, we will understand the true heart and mind of Christ as He shows up incognito now to the churches. We will stop being perplexed over what is occurring under the banner of “the Presence,” and otherwise over the proclamations and teachings of the exciters who have heard nothing more than a sound, oblivious to what Jesus really thinks among us.
(To be continued…)
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created December 10, 2019