Saturday, June 26, 2021

Unveiled Faces, Transformation & God's Purposes in Israel

 One of the things that I learned from Francis Frangipane is that God calls us to a love for others that is greater than what we can rise to without knowing His love in greater and greater measures.

I do believe this is the spiritual principle behind Psalm 84:7 "They go from strength to strength, until each appears before God in Zion." which finds its New Testament parallel in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
The reference to "unveiled face" hearkens back to Moses seeing God with an unveiled face, while all the children of Israel that Moses was leading to the Promised Land could not bear seeing the full glory of God, so they had to have a veil over their faces.
It was according to plan, as Deuteronomy 29:4 explains: "You saw with your own eyes the great trials, and those miraculous signs and wonders. Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a mind to understand, eyes to see, or ears to hear." And Romans 11:8 verifies it: " it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see, and ears that could not hear, to this very day." To what end? Romans 11:31-32 "so they (the Chosen People) too have now disobeyed, in order that they too may now receive mercy through the mercy shown to you. For God has bound up everyone to disobedience so that He may have mercy on everyone."
In the story of the "Transfiguration" better understood as "Transformation" Jesus takes Peter, James and John to a high mountain apart for prayer. While praying Jesus was "transformed," "His face did shine as the sun," "and his garments became glistering, exceeding white, so as no fuller on earth can whiten them." Moses and Elijah appeared to talk to Jesus about His coming self-sacrifice.
Now Peter, James and John witnessed these things but they were not instantly transformed themselves as the rest of the books of the New Testament show. They still had imperfect love, they still argued among themselves, they still separated because of conflicts, but they were each on God's journey of transformation of perfecting them in love, as were the other apostles and disciples ever since.

The thing I learned from Francis Frangipane is that is our journey too.
We are not capable of just loving everybody as Yeshua/Jesus loves us, but we are able to commit to that journey to expand our love. Our first circle of love is loving those closest to us, our families. Some have more serious challenges with that than others, but we really cannot love the greater world if we do not find the way to love our own families with the love of the Lord first.
Our journey into loving like God loves is one that expands - strength to strength, glory to glory. It begins close and expands to include more and more. The key, if we go by what took place on the Mount of Transformation with Jesus, is that we go and pray for the ones we find it hard to love. God takes those prayers and transforms us first and grows our capacity to love others even farther away from us.
Yeshua, Jesus, laid down His own life in love for sinners, that we could join Him in being transformed by God from mere humanity, to people touched by God's love and glory, so we could reflect His glory through love to a people with veiled faces.
2 Corinthians 3:14-18 But their minds were closed (up by God). For to this day the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant. It has not been lifted, because ONLY IN MESSIAH can it be removed. And even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Praying for the removing of the veil over Jewish faces, is in perfect timing with God's ultimate purposes now: that "all Israel shall be saved." If that is so, then also it is so that those you have desired to open their eyes of faith in Jesus is also in perfect timing.
P.S. It also needs to be said that too much of Christian time has been focused on these verses in 2 Corinthians about the passing away of the Old Covenant to make way for the New Covenant in seeking to feel superior over "the Chosen People" that it has blinded much of Christianity from seeing all of the passages that say it was GOD who blocked the Jews from seeing so He could extend to the rest of the peoples of the world, the ONLY pathway to God and His eternal life. Only when we take that into account can we truly love Israel as we ought, when we see it we will see also that God PURPOSES to bring the Jews into right standing ONLY through faith in Yeshua. They don't have some other deal, but God has executed His plan for salvation of humanity through distinct phases - and we are in the the phase at long last when "all Israel shall be saved" by faith in the Messiah Yeshua.

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