BEHOLD HIM

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

But whenever a person turns (in repentance) to the Lord the veil is stripped off and taken away. (17) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty -- emancipation from bondage, freedom. (18) And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continue to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit. 2 Corinthians (3:16) (Amplified Bible)

This series of verses carries an enormous message to those who are in Christ Jesus and struggle with the behavior that besets them. There are numerous parts that require a closer look and comparison to scripture and what God has written in nature. Search this out with the Holy Spirit Who has been given all authority to teach us the Truth. The truth does set us free.

This book, 2 Corinthians, is written to believers in Jesus Christ. So all verses are to us who are in Christ. So "whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is stripped" away. What is the veil? It is the impact of sin on our ability to see the truth. The veil conceals the truth of Jesus from us and the truth about ourselves from us. When we repent, the veil is taken away. The false knowledge about us is no longer in the way. Who does the stripping? The Lord.

This work is done by the Lord to set us free from the untruth. We are to be set free from bondages, lies, misunderstandings, coercion of conscience to false thinking, etc. His presence with us sets us free. He says He will never leave us nor forsake us so He is always there securing our freedom.

We are becoming something we have not been by the power of His presence. What is it that we are becoming? This is an exciting question and an even more exciting answer.

"All of us," means all Christians. Those who have given their hearts to Him in exchange for eternal life. Some many say it is only those who accept Him as Lord and not just savior. The verses do not say this. It says, "all of us" who have repented. This is an elementary Christian position. It boils down to His being with me and not my trying to do His will. His work in me causes me to do His will. For me to will is dependent on Him being with me.

"As with unveiled face" says that I may see Him. The veil is not there. No more false representations of myself to Him. I am not trying to be what I am not. I am being in Him.

"Because we continue to behold in the Word of God as in a mirror the glory of the Lord" is a long prepositional phrase that has much meat. "Behold" means to look with intensity. Somewhat like we would watch a celebrity or beautiful sunset. This is a "be" word. Think of it as be holding Him. Put your spiritual, psychological and physical arms around Him and you "be holding" Him. "Continue" says we do not look away but are locked on looking. "Because" sets the consequences of the continuation of the beholding. The causation is the Glory of the Lord. "In the Word of God" will include both the Written and Spoken Word of God. So what we behold as we read, as we meditate upon, what we see as a vision from God, or what is internally revealed to us, all will speak of the Lord and will reveal His nature to us. Why "in a mirror?" If the Lord is standing beside you, you will see Him and you. As you behold Him you don’t look at yourself but you do see you. As you are beholding Him, you don’t want to look at you. You want to look at Him. After all, you are beholding His glory. His glory is staggering. His very nature is revealed to you in the Word written and spoken. It is the "glory of the Lord." You are never going to be the same for you have beheld the Lord of Glory and that changes people.

As you behold him you "are constantly being transfigured." Transfigured means metamorphosed. That is what happens to caterpillars while in cocoons. So you are transfigured into what? "Into His very own image" is what. What is that? The image of God Himself. The very nature of God as seen in Jesus. Some believe they will die if they see God. We can see Jesus without dying. Lots of people saw Him walking , eating, talking, teaching, sleeping, praying, BEING around them. Seeing His image is possible from a 2000 year perspective. Not Polaroids, no videos, no stone carvings, no earthen image is left for us to behold. We behold Him in the Word of God and we see Him in our spirit-man. We know and behold Him spiritually so it is a spiritual image. How you look is also a spiritual image. The spiritual nature inside you, the very essence of who you are is spiritual. Out of that essence came the physical you. So instead of seeing the physical Jesus, you are seeing the Spiritual Jesus and that is the very essence of Who He is. As you behold Him, His Spiritual Essence has the power to transfigure you into His Spiritual Essence. It is as though I behold the door in my office and because it has the power to transfigure me (which it does not), I develop six panels, three hinges and a door knob. "As I behold Him" is the key action on my part. I do not transfigure me into Him, HE TRANSFIGURES ME INTO HIS VERY OWN IMAGE. I am becoming just like Him. I am made for that. My DNA supports that level of action in the spiritual realm.

Consider the caterpillar. It starts as an egg and becomes a larvae. The larvae becomes a caterpillar and leaves the nest. The caterpillar has one primary directive. Eat! Yes, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat is all it is to do. It grows because it’s DNA says green leafy stuff will make a full-grown caterpillar. After a time of eating, it goes and finds the particular spots that seems right to its DNA commands and it winds itself up in a cocoon and essentially dies to being a caterpillar. After a period of time something different appears, a butterfly. While the caterpillar waited upon the Lord, it was transfigured into something with a different directive. Now it has no fuzzy body, the legs are different, has four wings and is ready to fly. The new directive is to eat nectar, concentrated sugar. Leafy stuff will not support a butterfly so it’s need has changed along with it’s body. Before it consumed and seemed to destroy all it came in contact with. Now it eats and does not destroy. In fact, it becomes an active part of bringing life to plants by moving pollen around. It’s directive to eat supports flowers and who knows what else. All the butterfly knows to do is eat nectar. So as the butterfly flutters by, he does his job and more. The DNA in the larvae, the caterpillar and the butterfly is the same. That which is written in nature supports the purpose of God and the creature accomplishes his task in creation. The animal follows the word written into his DNA.

You have DNA. You have purpose. You have an opportunity to choose the path God wants or the path you want. Butterflies don’t choose, you do. The purpose of God is written into your DNA and you can do it or you can choose to sin and not do it. Your purpose is at least to behold Him. The transfiguration process metamorphoses us into His image in ever increasing splendor. You are not immediately going to look like His splendor to those around you. The splendor is ever increasing as is your nature that is becoming like Him. You are not going to reach a stage and be finished. You will go "from one degree of glory to another." We are so complex in our nature that God takes us in steps according to His will to the final design He ordained from the beginning. He also observes our damage from sin and works to re-order us so that sin is no longer the problem it once was. Eventually we will not strive against sin, just resist it while we keep our eyes on The Throne.

When you behold sin, it seems to transform you back into its nasty image. This is really a conforming to this world spoken of in Romans 12:2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (NKJV) The Truth says you are not re-transfigured. Satan’s lies are just that, lies. You may believe God has lost you, but the truth is, He never loses.

Lastly, "for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit" holds us to the fact that God, through Jesus, who is God, is doing the work in us to transfigure us. We just behold Him and He does the transfiguration of us into His very own image. The beholding part is simple but sometimes very hard to bear. We are distracted by the world around us, the lack of speedy change, the frustrations of the inner man or child, and the dissatisfaction with the outcome. Hold tight to God and He will hold tight to you. He is not finished. When He is finished, you will know for certain.

It is very important to compare Jesus in the transfiguration process. In Matthew the scriptures read: "(17:1) Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; (2) and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. (3) And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. (4) Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." (5) While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" (6) And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. (7) But Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid." (NKJV)

In Luke the account is rendered as follows: "(29) As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. (30) And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, (31) who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. (32) But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. (33) Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"; not knowing what he said. (34) While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. (35) And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" (36) When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen." (NKJV)

In this recounting of Jesus’ history, we see Him and three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration which is Mount Hermon. Mount Hermon is 126 miles north of Jerusalem. It is as far as Jesus physically walked in his ministry in Biblical times. As He was praying His appearance changed into a radiance. The Amplified Bible reads, "His countenance became altered (different), and His raiment became dazzling white -- flashing with the brilliance of lightning." This is an awesome sight. A man who has turned to flashing brilliance. I have a sense that the sight looked like white electrical impulses running up and down and from side to side with an incredible purposefulness. Close your eyes and see the majesty of God poured out in an awesome show of glory that a man can behold. What you just imagined is still not what the disciples saw, it was greater than that.

As He stood on the mount He was talking with Moses and Elijah. Behold by Moses the word written and the Law. Behold by Elijah the word spoken and the prophecies. Here Jesus was speaking and beholding the law and the prophecies and the word written and spoken. What was He beholding in the scriptures through Moses and Elijah? Himself, as exposed by the scriptures. He was beholding His very own nature. The Father had provided enough information to finish the process of bringing the Son of Man, the Perfect Man, to His finishing work on earth as a man. Using the model of 2 Corinthians 3:18, we can see Jesus being transfigured into His very own nature while beholding Himself in the Word written and spoken. Why did He need transfiguration? He was and is perfect. What did He take off and become? I believe He was in final preparation to do the most awesome will of Our Father in putting His life upon the cross. His own faith was to raise Him from the dead while He was dead.

What did the transfiguration look like? He was not particularly different except for the moments of the transfiguration. He looked like the same Jesus as they worked their way back to Jerusalem. His body seems unaltered except for that moment. What was different? He was internally changed to the completion of Our Father’s will for Him. Not changed from not wanting or being able to complete the work. He was strengthened within. He was not added to, He was confirmed in all that Our Father had for Him to do. We need the same transfiguration in us to the purposes of God. We need a transfiguration so that our wills will never depart from the complete will of God for us. We need transfiguration so that our nature will be like His very own nature in all that we think, will, and commit to do. We need a nature without fault or blemish and that can come by only one way. Let the power and commitment of God through Jesus transfigure you to His very own image. He must do the work. The work is good. Our Father said on the Mount of Transfiguration, "This is My Son, listen to Him." Renew your mind by listening to Him and seeing Who He is, The I AM. There is only one source of truth. Know The Source and you will be transfigured by Him. Yes, metamorphosed by Him into His very own image, for He is the Spirit.