IS JESUS IN YOUR SHADOW?
"Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence (panim = faces [plural due to reference to the trinity])?
The believers of the Old Testament knew of the divine immanence of the Trinity. They knew and believed in a God Who is everywhere. Many, in that day, as well as in our own, shied away from its implications. Many do not sense the presence of the Lord, and are thereby more tempted to sin, to discouragement, to temptation.
The New Testament church came to a new revelation from God, and entered into a new experience that revolutionized the world. It resulted in the early rain revival... They were shown by the Lord, that God wanted to have more than an immanence, a nearness to mankind... God wants to enter within us. God, the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit want to dwell within us.
God had been transcendent and near during the Old Testament period, but until the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus could not dwell within. This was caused by the sin of Adam and the long wait for Jesus to atone for sin. in a way that no lamb, turtledove, or ox could do.
Adam tried to run from God's presence and hide, but could not. God has always been near, aware, and involved in our lives, but He wants more. David thought of fleeing from God's presence, but realized that it was impossible to ever escape God's presence. (Ps. 139:7).
II Chronicles 6:18
"...will God in very indeed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heavens cannot contain Thee."
God is so great that He is uncontainable to one place, and His presence can fill the earth. Too many forget this, and think they can sin, gossip, fault-find, murmur, etc. and God will not notice. God does see, know, and is always watching and hearing, though we may not know it.
"Surely, God is in this place, and I knew it not."
To illustrate the nearness of the Lord to us, the metaphor of a shadow is used inScripture. A shadow is the obscuration of light with the form of an intervening object. Just as a shadow indicates the nearness of the form of substance, so the Lord indicates that though we cannot see His substance yet, He is like the shadow that proves that He is near.
"shadow of a rock in a weary land.
"Hide me under the shadow of Thy wings."
Two golden cherubim overshadowed the mercy on the ark of the covenant. This was to show the ever present concern of the Lord for His covenant...
The word "shadow" is used for other things... One use of such is the term "shadow of death" (Hebrew - calmaweth). In sheol, the fires of hell provide the light, but the abyss has clouds of darkness wherein demonic and fallen angelic creatures are bound. These shadow the rest of sheol from time to time.
Yet, even if we walked about that near to these evil ones in the abyss, and the evil sinners in hell, still we need not fear, for our God is nearer. No matter how troublesome evil is to us. God is still nearer.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou are with me.."
(Sheol is the land described as "the valley of the shadow of death".
"Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness, and the shadow of death."
"He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death."
"Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?"
"The people who sat in darkness saw great light, and to them that sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up."
"...to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.")
The land of Ethiopia is described in Isaiah 18:1 as a land "overshadowing with wings." Scholars have debated the meaning of this with no resolution. This indicates that God is giving His presence to watch over the land of Ethiopia wherein some of His people reside, and the ark of the covenant is hidden. The word "wings" is the Hebrew word "kanaph" which means "overspreading". The "overspreading" of God's presence is like a shadow to the land of Ethiopia. God's presence is like a shadow.
Then there is an interesting verse in the books of Acts about the shadow of Peter:
"Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter might overshadow them."
How did the shadow of Peter cause anyone to be healed? This has been long discussed. There must be an explanation, and a reason for this happening, and for inclusion in the Word of God. The Lord is trying to illustrate something to us with the inclusion of the events concerning Peter's shadow.
There is a reason the shadow of Peter had such power. It was a prime teaching of Jesus. John spent most of his gospel trying to show this teaching of the Lord.
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine and ye are the branches; He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing."
There is now, in this church age, a possibility of the Lord abiding in us, and we in Him. The Lord penetrates our being with His presence. No longer just a presence as a shadow over us, but now the Lord is within.
Jesus came and illustrated this truth by having the Father abide in Him, as He wants now to do to us.
"...he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself, but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works."
The whole of the gospel message has been diluted, perverted, and adulterated by the church down through the ages. The early church caught hold of this concept and preached it in truth. They had revival. When the truth of this concept was lost, the revival was lost.
It was a mystery during the Old Testament period, hidden through the ages, and when finally revealed to the New Testament church, it was attacked by the devil.
"Even the mystery which hath been hid from the ages, and from generations, but now is made manifest to the saints; to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles which is CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY."It is the Lord abiding in us, not just with us, that makes the gospel to be the "good news."
"...He be not far from everyone of us. For in Him we live, and move, and have our being."
Because we have more than just His shadow over us, we will be able to do great works for the Lord.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do, shall he do, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father."
The Lord provided a way for the immanent, shadowing presence of the Lord to penetrate our being, and to abide within us. That is why the shadow of Peter had the power to heal. Jesus abode within Peter, and the shadow of Peter was as the shadow of the Lord.
Our physical body has not put on incorruption yet, but our spiritual body has.. We, as did the early church, must realize that we have two bodies.
I Corinthians 15:44, 45, 50, 52, 53
"There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body... the last Adam was made a quickening spirit... flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption... at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. This corruptible must put on incorruption."
Our spirit and soul put on the incorruption of the Lord, when we are saved. When the rapture takes place we will have the body put on incorruption also. Until then we still can enjoy the quickening of the spiritual body. The spiritual body can inherit the kingdom of God. Soon we shall be able to have our body also enjoy the kingdom.
II Corinthians 5:1-5
"For we know that of our earthly house of this tabernacle (tent) 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. Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, Who also hath given us the earnest of the Spirit."
This "earnest of the Spirit" is the Christ life that dwells within us. It is now just a small taste of what we shall have when the resurrection takes place. But still, many, if not most, of the Christian world has lost the truth of this teaching. The early church preached it, and had power amidst revival. Many of the church of our day has lost this truth, and have likewise lost power and revival.
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."
Your body, though vile and frail yet, still can contain the abiding Lord Jesus, and then your shadow is His shadow. Your being is penetrated by the power of the Lord, by the wisdom of the Lord, and by the very being of the Lord. The early church knew this and lived it.
Peter and John said "silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I to you." We too have much to offer this world. It is the presence of the Lord.. Just as the Lord once said, "...he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." (John 14:9), we too can say that "to see us is to see Jesus" for He dwells in us as the Father dwelt in Christ. When we learn that and learn to live that truth, revival will be great and powerful!
What is in your shadow? Is it Jesus?