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When Jesus arose on that day, those who had previously known Him could not recognize Him until their eyes adjusted to the newness in Him.  Mary Magdalene, the first to see Him after He was risen, saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.[1]  Neither did the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, even as Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them… they were kept from recognizing Him.[2]

What stopped them from recognising Him for a moment, and why is it recorded for us that these three did not recognise Him?  They knew Him, but they did not recognise Him.  Just how different did Jesus look and why did He look different?  Indeed, even John the beloved, when he saw the Lord on the Lord’s Day, beheld someone who bore little resemblance to Jesus.  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.  Perhaps the only part that John recognised of Jesus was that His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance,[3] just as it did that day on the mount of Transfiguration when the Father gave him, and also Peter and James (John’s brother[4]), His command: “Listen to Him!”[5]

They were all familiar with how the Son of God looked like as He walked with them, ate with them and taught them, but now in the Light of His Resurrection, they could not recognise Him.  The Light of the Resurrection had changed even the very appearance of the Son of God; so likewise, the Light of the Resurrection should change what we now see of the heavenly gift, of fellowship with the Holy Spirit, the tasting of the goodness of the word and the powers of the age to come.[6]  Let us now begin to look at maturity in this new light, the Light of the Resurrection.

Unlike the eleven whom the Lord raised up in power to start the church, those whom the Lord raises up in power this time, will be able to see the world, the church and the Kingdom of God in a different light, the Light of the Resurrection.  They should be able to look at the world and the church in the same way as Jesus would look at the world and the disciples, after He had risen from the dead.  Within Jesus, was the sure knowledge He had accomplished His work, and He was now looking at the next phase of the plan of God, as He sat and ate His fish, and watched them looking, even staring back at Him.  In Mary, in Peter, in Thomas, He saw the very instrument, the people who would set in place the Church Age to prepare for the Kingdom Age, which would begin with His arrival from the right hand of God, the Father.  The scars on His flesh that He showed them, was the proof that the Age of Uncertainty was over, and the Church Age could begin, during which all who believed the Gospel would be saved.  It would also be an Age of Tribulation, of darkness with triumphs and defeats, with glory and disgrace that would build on the foundation He had laid, until both the world and the church would be ready for Him, the Cornerstone to come back as the Capstone.

In this Light of the Resurrection, the heavenly Gift of Sonship is no longer seen in the context of a title, or an achievement or a gift that rewards any of our achievements, which we could boast of.  It is no longer seen in the light of a prodigal son’s welcome home by a gracious righteous Father, but the Gift of Sonship will be revealed by Resurrection’s light as a duty to go forth and to seek and to save what was lost, not as one would salvage from a disaster, but as one who would use what they had learnt from what was lost to resurrect what could never be lost again.  The prodigal no longer sees himself grateful to be home and to live at home as one of his Father’s servants, but he sees the world in which he wasted his Father’s wealth as fertile ground to now increase his Father’s wealth.

In this light, the Gift of Sonship to the returned prodigal is not just a meal ticket, so that he might eat better than the swine he once lived with.  No, it is the gift by which the Father’s realm can be extended.  For the prodigal has explored the land; he knows what is worthwhile, and he knows what needs to be overcome and he sees the opportunities.  The very source of loss of his Father’s wealth now becomes the source of future gain for his Father.  Thus the heavenly Gift of Sonship is no longer the means by which we may be in the household of the Father, seeing Him as we are fed by Him, but now, it is the very gift that allows us to go forth to expand the Father’s wealth, be it business or Kingdom, so that we feed the household we serve, and are not fed by the household we serve.

Remember Jesus said of the prodigal, “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’” [7]  When the father greeted the prodigal, his son was restored to him.  Now, if that prodigal would once more leave his father’s house, this time not just with his share of the father’s wealth to spend on himself, but with his share of work to increase the father’s wealth, to spend on his older brother, than you will see what the heavenly Gift of Sonship looks like in the Light of the Resurrection.

Indeed, those he caroused with when he first lost his money, would now have difficulty recognising this humbler and steadfast young man, who is out to increase his father’s wealth rather than decrease his father’s wealth.  This young man who is out to acquire more wealth, so that his brother would have all the fattened cattle to celebrate with his friends, rather than spending so much of his share that his older brother had to slave at home to maintain the father’s estate.

Can you now begin to see how different the Gift of Sonship looks in the Light of the Resurrection?  In this light, you likewise, are no longer prodigals going home to Heaven, to have your older Brother share what He has with you so that you may live, but as resurrected sons, you are coming out of your Father’s house again, this time not to waste your Father’s wealth in a distant country, but to add the distant country to your Father’s wealth so that your older Brother may celebrate all He wants with His friends.

When your eyes are adjusted to seeing in the Light of the Resurrection, the church is not a collection of hopeless bankrupts, praising God and returning to the Kingdom of Heaven for refuge and sanctuary, but an army of overcomers, marching out of Heaven to enlarge the Kingdom of God, praising God as they advance to make war with divine power to demolish strongholds.  And to demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ[8]

Indeed, the world, like Mary and the disciples, would not recognize you, for the world has never seen the church where all are healed, all are delivered, where there is such abundance of all things physical and spiritual that there is no buying or selling.  The world has not seen the church that exposes the world of its sin rather than have the world watch as the churches’ sins are exposed.  The world has never seen the church that has come out of Heaven to stay on Earth.  It has only seen the church that wants to leave the Earth to run home to Heaven.  Can you see the resurrected prodigal son, not the restored prodigal son?  Can you see the Gift of Sonship in Resurrection’s Light?

If your eyes are filled with the Light of the Resurrection, by which you see, or if your eyes are seeing by the Light of the Resurrection, then your body is filled with the Light of the Resurrection.  Then the Light of the World that you are, as Jesus said, is the light that shines on the world, the Light of the Resurrection.  It is and will be by this light that the Holy Spirit will be able to go beyond convicting “the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me.”  But He will now also be able to expose the guilt of the world.[9]

How could the Holy Spirit expose the guilt of the world if the church herself would not shine with the same Light of her Lord and Master, The Resurrection?  Any lesser light would still permit shadows in which the world could hide.  Only the full light of day, the Light of the Father of Lights, the Light of God’s greatest triumph, The Resurrection, would the entire guilt of the world be exposed.

If the Holy Spirit remained and continued to hold back the lawless one, how could the depth of his lawlessness be exposed, unless the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way,[10] so that the fullness of the depth of rebellion could be exposed, And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendour of His coming.[11] 

So, have no fear; the revealing of the lawless one is to expose the guilt of the world, for the world will embrace the blasphemies of the lawless one as he speaks of unheard of things against the God of gods, even appointing himself as god in the Temple of God.  These days of distress, as the Lord has warned us of in Mark 13:19 are to expose the guilt of the world, and in so doing, expose the righteousness of God and the judgement of the prince of this world.  The Holy Spirit has spent 2000 years convicting the world in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment, and now He will expose the world of its guilt, and the righteousness it denied and the judgement it refused to accept of the prince of this world, now that He has co-witnesses to His testimony who can also see by the Light of the Resurrection as He does.

Indeed, our brothers and sisters who are returning with Jesus, are the manifestation of the resurrected heavenly gift, sons of The Resurrection.  For they are not prodigals who returned home to be fed like the servants of the Father, so that they would not have to live in the consequences of their sin, but they are like the resurrected prodigals who are leaving home again, and this time, not to deplete the family of its wealth, but to increase the wealth to the family.  They are coming to reign with the Lord in His Millennium, raising up for the Father a harvest of even more sons and daughters from the inhabitants of the Earth, until the Father’s promise to Abraham, His friend, is fulfilled:  “Look up at the Heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.  So shall your offspring be.”[12]

And when they arrive, they will take their places on their thrones to judge according to what they hear, just like the Lord, as the testimonies of those who are left alive are heard concerning that which they have seen and witnessed through the days of distress.  And so, each nation will be judged and separated as sheep and goats.[13]  Those that have through the ages and through the final days shown mercy to the least of the Lord’s brethren will enter the Kingdom prepared for them, and through them, the latter-day harvest of proportions that equal the sands of the seashore and the stars of the sky will be raised.

Our brothers and sisters who are returning are the prodigals who are leaving home again, but we who are left alive, can be the prodigals who go the extra mile for The Resurrection.  Having come to our senses, having our senses restored so that we can see the truth as the prodigal did in the parable, we need not say, “ ‘I will set out and go back to my Father…’ ” empty-handed, hoping that He would give us a portion as a servant, so that our stomachs are filled.  You who have ears to hear, listen and you who have eyes to see, see, and understand that you may indeed glorify the Lord of Hosts…  You can be the prodigal who has come to his senses and says, “I will recover what I have lost, and return back to my Father, a hundred, sixty and thirty-fold of that which He has given me, so that my Brother will celebrate with me and wipe the shame from my Father’s Name forever. ”

So, stay and look with eyes opened, as one who was blind but can now see, at the days of distress that surround us and the people in their distress.  This is the same evidence of that which we hope for and believe for, the soon arrival of Jesus.  The increasing darkness is also the opportune time for us to fulfil Paul’s words:  Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out [Or hold on to] the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour for nothing.[14]

Let us give our brother Paul his boast on the day of Christ, and do everything without complaining or arguing to prepare the world for the arrival of Jesus, working as the sons of the Resurrection, holding out the word of life for all who will listen to Jesus.  No, Paul, you did not run or labour for nothing, for the Lord is true to His word and the Holy Spirit has been watching over His word, to raise it again with His power as He did our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Righteous Father, glorify Your Name again.”[15]  AMEN

[1] John 20:14

[2] Luke 24:15-16

[3] Revelation 1:14-16

[4] Matthew 17:1

[5] Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35

[6] Hebrews 6:4-5

[7] Luke 15:17-19

[8] 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

[9] John 16:8-9

[10] 2 Thessalonians 2:7

[11] 2 Thessalonians 2:8

[12] Genesis 15:5

[13] Matthew 25:31-46

[14] Philippians 2:14-16

[15] John 17:25/12:28


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