THE PROCESS OF ILLUMINATION
By Dan Luehrs
Today most people in the church will not run after Him with all their hearts because they have not seen the beauty of the Lord within their own hearts, but instead chase after the temporal things of the world to satisfy their longing heart. Satan tempted Jesus with all the glories of the world, but because He knew the deception of the world He would not take Satan's bait so as to be deceived by Him. We neither can afford to exchange the eternal glory of God for the passing glory of this earth, we would be mere fools!
Just as it takes a great amount of time and effort for us to acquire the riches of the world, so it is with the riches of the kingdom of God, but His treasures will be with us forever. To have our understanding opened to the things of God is a process and can take many years for us to understand spiritual things. If we will persevere we will grow year by year just as we do in the physical body until we are like Jesus. Now that is being truly rich beyond measure!
A VISION OF GLORY
I saw each level as a filter of sorts to straining out the impurities of the soul so that we could ascend to the realm of glory and fire of God without being consumed by our fleshly ways. In the glory level I saw things so spectacular and beyond description as it is multilevel in itself, even as the whole mountain of God is layered, so is the glory realm with different levels as we ascend higher through it. Each level in the glory realm was beyond description like a galaxy of the universe that would take us forever to explore if we so desired to learn of God's ways. But what I saw next makes me to believe that God wants us to come up higher into the glory where His presence is the fountainhead of all life itself. Even though we are now in the flesh we seem to only visit this place in spirit once and awhile, but one day we will make it our eternal home and abide there. "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 6:19-20).
What I saw next astonished me because of the creativeness of God. Things of the spirit are more real than any natural thing because they last forever, when earthly things are only temporary. We cannot have the misconception that the things of the spirit world are like a cloud floating in some heavenly place, because God made them to have substance. What I saw in my vision of the glory realm was a whirlwind of fire that went straight to the top level of glory-the throne, like a heavenly elevator or a porthole that we entered through. Once a person reaches this level they can behold revelations of God and things unspeakable as Paul wrote about in 2 Corinthians 12:4, "How he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." This was not for Paul alone, but for every believer that would seek the heart of God and search out His depths.
The Bible is very clear on this, that our God is a consuming fire. Like a fire left to itself it will consume anything that will bum and if we draw closer to God He will consume our fleshly ways from us if we will let Him. But the opposite is also true; we can consume God as our daily bread
because we have been made in His image. God's whirlwind is a tornado of fire that will consume everything within us that is not of Him! Let Him consume all of you, as you in turn, consume His presence as fire from the throne. As we fly closer into the flame of Who God is nothing of our flesh will remain in His presence. If we are battling with fear, lust, unbelief, or any other sin, God's fire will bum it out of us if we draw closer to the Flame. He knows that we can not get rid of our sins on our own, but if we will run into His fiery presence He will give us the grace to overcome our enemies. We are safe in the fire of God, for the enemy cannot follow us there! "HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I (confidently) trust!" (Ps 91:1-2 AMP).
The whirlwind of God's fire will consume all that is not of Jesus in us, while the cloud of glory will cover us with His protection. "He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people" (Ex 13:22 NKN). I believe the pillar of fire that was with Israel in the wilderness was a whirlwind of fire that was protecting them from their enemies while the glory cloud was guiding them in the way they were to go.
One day I was driving in Northern California and I saw three whirlwinds in a field when I was going to see some historic sights and one of the whirlwinds went right over my car on the roadway and shook it. I cried out to the Lord for Him to come upon me with His waterspouts of blessing and I thought nothing of it for the rest of the day. That same day I met two ladies, Melody and Fem in their ice cream shop and we started a conversation about the Lord and talked for three hours. The next day we went to a nursing home to do ministry and then went into the mountains to pray with some of theirs friends. When we began to pray a whirlwind came in the center of the group like it was pulling my spirit up into the glory of the Lord and I did not understand what was happening because I had never heard of this before.
God's heavy presence continued on me the next morning and day, and then God reminded me of the experience with the whirlwind in my car the day before. The Lord began to show me how Elijah went into heaven in a whirlwind and how the living creatures came to earth in a whirlwind. A few days later I returned home to Florida and as I was watching my daughter's horse riding lesson a natural whirlwind formed right in the middle of the corral and proceeded to move right over the top of me. I wondered what God was trying to say to me through these things. I began to understand that God has a fast track into His glory and as we are willing to yield to the Spirit of God we rise up into the glory realm!
As I was writing this article my wife and I were in a prayer meeting with about thirty other people at the Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida. Three ladies began to dance in the spirit in a circle as the Spirit of God was moving and I saw a whirlwind form in the middle of all of us who were praying. Then from the large whirlwind smaller whirlwinds came out of it and went over each person that was in the room and as this happened the glory of God intensified over all of us. When this took place I thought to myself that I was just making this up in my mind because I was writing about it. I shared this with no one, than a woman in the prayer meeting named Bonnie began to testify of seeing exactly what I just told you and I knew that I did not make it up. I was and am amazed at the reality of God's goodness and creativeness with His people.
"Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man" (Ezekiel 1:4-5 NKJV).
If we would take the time to study out Ezekiel chapter one, we would see that the raging fire and whirlwind came from the throne of God. Just as the chariot and horses of fire came from God, so does the whirlwind. If we will pay the price of seeking God daily and yielding ourselves to His mighty hand He will cleanse us of the flesh so that we can ascend higher and higher into Him. To have sin in our lives is nothing but weights that hold us down to earthly things so that we cannot have the confidence to go higher into God. "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV).
Salvation is the first level on the mountain of God followed by many other levels that every Christian needs to know and experience in order to grow in faith. First we need to get the sin issue taken care of at the cross of Christ if we desire to enter the Holy of Holies. Jesus has gone before us into the Holy of Holies, where the glorious fire of the Father. He has gone in as a Forerunner, meaning that He has gone before us as a trailblazer to show us the way into the Father's glory. When we have been prepared by God through our fiery trials and in the Father's perfect timing He will call us into the fire of Who He is. God has an eternal purpose, the preparation of the bride of Christ, which is to make us into the image and nature of His Son. He cannot lie, for He has promised this to all who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. This should give us strong hope as we press onward and upward into our heavenly calling. "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass" (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Our earthly marriages are only a type and shadow of the oneness that the true marriage made in heaven is between the bride of Christ and her Beloved.
The Father wants His children to draw near to Him, for this is our daily calling. We cannot become lazy and say, "If God wants this done; He will do it with no help of mine." We must take the kingdom of God by force over our flesh and all the demonic powers that will try to stop us! "Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws bac My soul has no pleasure in him" (Hebrews 10:38 NKJV). We must progress forward by faith to meet with God daily, if not on an hourly basis so that we do not draw back to our old carnal ways. His presence and grace will help us if we push in with a full assurance of faith, then we will see the Lord do great signs and wonders in and through our lives.
We are told to draw near to God, but few do! "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22 NKJV). But before we can draw near our hearts and bodies must first be cleansed of all the defilements of the flesh. Only Moses could have drawn near to God's fire because he was prepared, but the children of Israel had to be careful not to even draw to near to the mountain lest they die. Our hearts have been made clean by the blood of Jesus and our bodies are made pure by the washing of the word of God. Paul calls this "•.•A New and living way... " "By this fresh (new) and living way which He initiated and dedicated and opened for us through the separating curtain (veil of the Holy of Holies), that is, through His flesh" (Heb 10:20AMP). Jesus is the living way (Roadway) into the glory of the Father that was paved for us; we do not enter through the blood of dead goats and lambs, but through the living blood of the Lamb of God.
here is no end to His kingdom or to the glories of God, and as we seek Him in our hearts and the Scriptures we will find Him.