SEEING JESUS FACE TO FACE
By Dan Luehrs
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6 (nkjv)
Today is a new day for those who are seeking God in the face of Jesus Christ, for there is an open heaven for us to receive all that God has available for us. It is a day of miracles, signs, and wonders. Yet the greatest wonder of all is seeing Jesus face-to-face. Nowhere in Scripture does it say to seek miracles; we are told to seek God’s face: “This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek your face” (Psalms 24:6, nkjv). Despite this invitation, it is sad to say that many in the church do not know how to seek the glory of God in the face of Jesus, so they seek for signs and wonders that after a while does not satisfy the longing of the heart because only the presence of Jesus does. Some Christians want to be changed into the likeness of Jesus, yet this will only come about from the inside out; it takes place when we behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. He is the glory of God, and He is calling us to behold Him as never before so that we are changed into His likeness in the process. Seeing Him is to have our spiritual eyes opened to beholding Him as truth and light, which gives us life and joy. How could we not be changed if we have really seen the Lord of glory?
A Movement of Life
The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I alone came in order that they might be possessing life, and that they might be possessing it in superabundance.
John 10:6 (Wuest Translation)
Superabundant life—who would not want it? We live in a culture of sin, sickness, and death. Sin is death; people love darkness rather than light. They would rather seek out the things of darkness before seeking the face of God. Why is this? Because they are ignorant of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. His truth will set our minds free to understand spiritual realities of how life is to be lived and how it operates around us in our daily life. People do not understand that when we walk in willful sin, we are opening the door for the enemy to come in our lives to steal, kill, and destroy what we have been rightfully given by God. For example, when we give in to unforgiveness, bitterness and anger are the result, and the enemy steals God’s joy and peace from us. Likewise, when we give into greed then the love of money comes in rather than joy, peace, and true contentment with what we have been given and trusting God with our financial future. It all boils down to knowing and obeying the knowledge that we have been given in the Word of God. This is what the Bible says of the unbeliever: “Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18–19, nkjv). But with the believer this is not so because we have the knowledge of God’s Word.
We live in a society that wants instant gratification rather than waiting for God to bring His will and purposes to pass in our lives. Yes, our flesh is impatient, but if we will wait upon the Lord for His timing and strength, He will not only give us what we need but also what we desire. Jesus came to give us His supernatural life every day so that we might live in peace and joy, but we must go after it. If we lived a greedy life, we would have to put forth the energy to make money, and when we are embittered with someone, we have to think negative thoughts of this person taking up valuable time and energy. Either way, we can live by faith or in the power of the flesh, but if we live the life of faith or being self absorbed we are going to have to put forth the energy to maintain our walk.
The more we seek the face of God with all our heart, the more we receive His presence for our time well-spent with Him: “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6–7, nkjv). When we walk out of our homes with a smile on our face and joy in our heart, it is because we have met with the King—we are being rewarded openly. But if we as Christians are always stressed out and over-burdened, we are not carring the burden of the Lord, which is light.
In my spirit, I feel and see a new wave of life breaking forth upon the earth that will change Christianity into something that is living and very vibrant. Soon every Christian that calls on the name of Jesus is going to experience His life and power to live their lives in the victory of His life. Right now, if most Christians would be honest, they would tell you that their faith and hunger for God is not what they would like it to be. We live in a culture of death because so many people are focused on all that is wrong with society and their own life rather than looking at God’s abundant life that He has put right before their eyes, but most will not take the time to seek it.
We know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the Word of life, but how many of us are experiencing His superabundant life on a daily basis? To do this, we must stop the enemy from throwing the cares of the world upon us and stealing the joy of receiving the life that Jesus died to give us. Part of the problem is that we do not know how to receive and maintain His daily life to walk in the superabundant lifestyle. By the time you finish reading this, you will not only know how to receive His daily life, but you will know how to give it away so that others will walk in it also—because His life is addicting.
Some twenty years ago, I was praying with someone else about a name for his ministry, and the Lord gave me the name Eternal Life Ministries. When I spoke the name out, the Lord said, “That is the name of your ministry.” I did not know that I even had a ministry. So I just kept it in my heart and pondered on the name, thinking that it must be an evangelistic type ministry with that type of name, without realizing that the key word in the name is life. I just thought of it as a soul-winning ministry and not a ministry of life. Then He gave me Titus 1:2 as the motto verse for the ministry: “In the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago.” For years, I wondered about this verse because how could we hope for eternal life if we already had eternal life when we received Jesus in our hearts? I then knew that there was more to the ministry than just soul-winning. This ministry is about knowing, receiving, and experiencing the abundant life of God.
Words of this Life
Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.
Acts 5:20 (nkjv)
Peter was placed in prison by the high priest because he was preaching the Word of God with power, and the religious system did not like it and was jealous because people were turning to the Lord in the thousands, in turn, taking people away from them. The religious system threw Peter in jail for preaching life, but one night, an angel came to Peter and opened the prison door and told Peter to get back out there and preach the words of this life. Peter was not to listen to all the religious arguments of his day; he was to give the life of Jesus away to all that would listen and receive God’s power of life.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter and the others with him were filled with the Holy Spirit; yet the Bible says that they were all filled again with the Spirit in Acts 4:31, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” The question remains, why did the people need to be filled with the Holy Spirit again when it was only a few days since Pentecost? Because we leak! God has made it so that we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit every day, hour, and second if we desire it. The Holy Spirit is the life of who we are; we must stay connected to the source of our life. But the problem with most Christians is that they do not stay filled with the Spirit of God every day and then wonder why they are not enjoying the abundant life of Jesus. God has made away for us to receive His life each day, but we must seek for it and wait upon the Lord. If we are lazy and will not seek after God with all our heart, we will dry up on the vine; but if we will take the time to stay filled with God, we will have His abundant life flowing through us daily.
Then they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul … And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.
2 Chronicles 15:12, 15 (nkjv)
Judah entered into a covenant with the Lord to seek Him with all their hearts, have you? Listen to the benefits they received; God was found by them, and they had rest. Few Christians today have true peace and rest within because of all the turmoil going on in the earth and in their own lives. God promises us rest if we will seek Him diligently with our whole being. God created man to fill with Himself; He wants humans to walk with Him in the cool of the day as Adam did. But Adam fell out of fellowship with God, and nothing is ever said that he walked with God again after this. I presume that he did. It was not until the life of Enoch that the Bible says a man walked with God, and God took him to Himself because he sought God diligently and knew that God would reward those who seek Him through faith. His faith of seeking God was rewarded with His likeness, and so will ours be if we seek Him with all of our heart in faith. Then He will reward us with His presence: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6, nkjv). The Bible calls those wise who seek God, but to those who do not, they are foolish. I do not want to be one of the foolish virgins who misses his destiny because he would not take the time to seek after the face of God and keep his flasks filled. This is why we are to know what the will of God is and redeem the time that He has given to us and not to waste it.
Look carefully then how you walk. Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise [sensible, intelligent people], making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.
Ephesians 5:15–18 (AMP)
These verses clearly tell us what the will of God is to ever be filled with the Holy Spirit. He is our comforter, friend, and the one who lives in us and walks beside us at all times. I have done a lot of traveling by myself to developing countries preaching the gospel, and I cannot think of one time that I did not feel the Holy Spirit’s presence both in and upon me. He is ever-faithful to fill us if we will just ask Him. It is not only on the mission field that I sense His presence, but every day I have learned to practice the presence of the Lord. This is not just for a few chosen people; it is for all Christians to learn and cultivate. When we are staying filled every day with the Spirit of the Lord and are so in love with Jesus and are singing and thanking Him for all that He is allowing in our lives, both good and bad, His presence and glory in our lives will only grow. By doing this, we are constantly staying filled with God and are bringing glory to His name. I was once passing blood, and fear tried to come on me and I began to worship the Lord and said to Him, “Whether I live or die I am going to worship you!” That night while I was sleeping Jesus walked through my bedroom door and said, “Be healed.” The next day the doctor could not find anything wrong with me!
But be constantly controlled by the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord, giving thanks always concerning all things in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father, putting yourselves in subjection to one another in the fear of Christ.
Ephesians 5:19–21, (Wuest Translation)
We are redeeming our time when we do these things and seeking after the face of God; we each have been given only so much time, and God considers us wise if we are staying filled with His Spirit. We were not meant to live life without Him from the beginning of creation, and that is why we are to ever stay filled with the life of God. Adam and Eve were to eat daily from the Tree of Life, for that is what the Holy Spirit is: life. They had to take the time to pick and eat from the tree, and so must we. The way to the Tree of Life has been opened to us through Jesus Christ, and God expects us to eat from Him every day and all day if we desire to gain eternal life with Christ: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:27, nkjv). What I believe Jesus is saying is this: “Make it your life’s work to seek after and eat of me and I will give you my eternal life.” Eternal life is not time that goes on and on, it is Jesus Himself, and He desires to share His life with us. (See John 17:3.)
The Scriptures are very clear that all living things and all created things come from Jesus; all these things exist through His life and the power of His Word. We are called to be His bride, joint-heirs with Him, but we must understand what a bride is. It’s a person that is equal to the other. You would not marry a dog or any other animal because it is not your counterpart, and neither did Adam: “So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:20, nkjv). Jesus is looking for a suitable companion with all the right qualities (His character) to be His bride for all eternity and to share in ruling the kingdom of God on the earth. Just as Adam was called to rule with his wife, so we are called to rule with Jesus; He is our husband who already rules the universe and more.
Think of it this way. Jesus sits in His throne with all power and authority, the very life and presence of God flows from His person to all of creation. Around His one throne, there are many other thrones built where the saints of God will judge the angels and all nations. “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them … ” (Revelation 20:4, nkjv). As an overcoming believer, Jesus is offering us a seat with Him to rule as His bride, and as great as that is, He is offering us to share His power and authority with Him. This power and authority is His very life and anointing that flows through Him from the throne, and He wants to share this with you. If you enjoy the trickle of God’s presence flowing in and through your body now, just wait until you are on the throne with Him and His eternal life is flowing through you to give away to all creation throughout the universe. Now that is being swallowed up into life. Wow!
We now have a portion of God’s life flowing in and through us as the angel witness to this truth when he commanded Peter to speak the words of life to all the people that were in the temple. He was to give away the life of Jesus to all that would receive from him. God’s Spirit gives us life within because He is now living and abiding in us, He is the life-giving spirit: “And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45, nkjv). The first Adam received life from God and became a living being, but Jesus came giving life to all that would receive, and this is what we are to be doing with the life that we now have received. We are to be life-giving beings. We are to point people to Christ, to eat and drink of Him like we would partake of natural food and drink. We have the bread and water of life within us and must give it to all that want to partake of Him. Our words and actions can give life to another person as we go throughout our day.
Manifesting His Life
For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
2 Corinthians 4:11 (nkjv)
There is one thing that all humans hate: suffering. Notice what Paul is saying here: we who are alive must go through the dying daily process for Jesus’ sake so that His life might be manifested through us. There is no other way for us to become the overcomers that God has called us to be other than the way of carrying our daily cross to death. Nature teaches us this with the seeds that have to die so that they may live again. We all get excited about receiving and giving the anointing of Jesus away, but we do not like or fully understand the dying process so that His life can be manifested through us. It is this easy: no death, no life. You might be wondering, “What is the dying process that we all must go through?” Paul tells us:
We are hard-pressed [in tribulation] on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed , but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down [by people’s words], but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2 Corinthians 4:8–10 (nkjv)
We are always carrying about this body of death with us. If we do not take a bath, we stink, then we put on deodorant and perfume to cover up the stench; and when we use the restroom, we have to spray when we have finished. Why? Because death stinks to the high heavens. Whether we are followers of Christ or not, we carry about this body of death around with us. But we who are believers carry even more death than the average person does because of the dying of Jesus. Our flesh is a clay pot that God has chosen to fill with the treasure of His glory, and because of this, the enemy of our souls wants to turn us away from serving the living God. He attacks our mind in every way possible to discourage us so that we feel crushed, despaired, forsaken, and destroyed. It’s only an emotional feeling that makes it feel real to our mind, for it is based in fear of the unknown.
I had a dream one night wherein Jesus and I were standing outside of a carnival trailer, and we walked inside to see the freak show, and there was a puppet on the wall that had strings for its movement, and I said, “What is it?”
He said, “Satan.” Fear arose in my heart, and as it did, the puppet came to life, and I ran out of the trailer, and the puppet was chasing me. When I awoke, I asked the Lord about it, and He said that Satan was like the Wizard of Oz, standing behind a curtain to see whom he could cause to walk in fear when he was only a small man with no real power.
God wants us to arise over the power of the enemy like fear, which means: False Evidence Appearing Real. It is up to us to fight, for God has given us the weapons of warfare, and we must seize the moment and become the warriors of God.