INTO HIS IMAGE
BY: DANIEL YORDY
MORE PRECIOUS than GOLD
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called the children of God. We do not know what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:1-3
Right now we are children of God. We know it is God’s purpose to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. That is who we are right now before God. And the hope that we are just like Jesus fills our hearts. What we understand of Jesus right now as we read about Him in the gospel, what we perceive of Jesus right now as the resurrected Christ ascended above all the heavens, every truth, every insight the Spirit of God gives us concerning who Jesus is, as wonderful and glorious as all that is, we also understand this. We haven’t seen anything yet. Our present understanding of Jesus and who He is and how we are like Him, how He is our life, is but a dim shadow of what we will know.
Right now we see through a glass darkly. God opens our eyes and the Holy Spirit teaches us more and more of who Jesus is. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach us who and what Jesus is. And as the Holy Spirit teaches us who and what Jesus is, we understand that we are made just like Him as we see Him as He is.
But we also understand that the revelation of Christ is an infinite revelation. It will never end. We will never come to an end of seeing Jesus as He is and being made just like Him.
But I want to insert an important understanding. When God created Lucifer in the beginning, God in a sense got carried away with Himself. In creating Lucifer and other archangels like him, God created the largest, the most beautiful, the most fantastic, powerful, intelligent, the most capable creatures in all of His creation. Ezekiel indicates that of all God’s creation, nothing was higher or more glorious than Lucifer. But Lucifer made a mistake when he looked at himself in all the beauty, power, and wisdom God had made him to be. He took from his view of himself the idea that he was the expression of who and what God is.
He was not. God just got a little carried away with Himself, that’s all. He loves to make things, to create.
There is something about God, at the center and core of who and what He is, that Lucifer did not share. Lucifer could not ever really know who God is. You see, God is invisible. No one has ever known Him or seen Him. No one really knows what He looks like, who He is.
Then God made man way down on the totem pole of creation, a weak creature made out of dirt, a worm. God said to all creation, “This is man, My image and My likeness.” It was too much for Lucifer. How could God turn from him in his great beauty, power, and wisdom, and then claim that lowly man was like Him?
This did not fit into Lucifer’s thinking. I believe that contradiction was a central part of his fall.
Jesus revealed to us who the Father is. God is meek and lowly of heart.
God is meek and lowly of heart! He doesn’t put Himself forward; in His inner person He is quiet. If you have a rush to the food line, you’ll see God angling in to the last place, making sure everyone gets a plate of food ahead of Him. If you’re in a race, you’ll see God there near the end, helping the guy who can’t quite catch his breath to make it across the finish line. He’s not trying to beat everybody. You’ll see God there helping, lifting up, a tender word, “You can do it.”
God is meek and lowly of heart.
Lucifer has never understood God. But Lucifer fills the earth with his thinking and his deception. The whole world lies under the sway of the evil one. The serpent deceives the whole world. He has put into man a satanic view of God, that God is top dog, that He runs the show that He gets what He wants just by flicking His fingers.
When Jesus walked on the earth and people spit on Him, hitting and mocking Him, He did not do anything in return except love them. Nobody understood. That’s the way it is today. People see a gentle believer in Jesus Christ who will not fight back, and they mock him. All he does is return kindness. They don’t understand that, it makes no sense to them.
God is meek and lowly of heart.
Man without God tries to be like Lucifer, pride, climbing the way to the top.
I suspect we will find when this thing is over that we are never more like God than when, out of meekness, out of lowliness of heart, we are kind and tender to other people. We will discover we are never more like God than that.
And so, when people hear Jesus say, “Be ye perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect,” they approach that command of Jesus with a satanic view of God, that God is top dog on the pile, that He does everything right outwardly, gets it perfect every time, some external sense of what it means to be perfect. They think that way because they don’t know the Father.
We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.
It’s very important to understand that there is a view of God that is not as He is. There is a view of God that comes from a fallen angel who does not understand God.
We shall be like Him for we shall see Him AS He really is. – Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.
It begins by being filled with the hope that we are just like Him. Then, out of that hope comes purification.
We are being transformed as the caterpillar is metamorphosed into a butterfly, in the womb of the church, transformed in our mind, our will, and our emotions, into the image of Jesus Christ.
The first ingredient of transformation is the renewing of our minds, seeing as God sees, confessing what God speaks. We become whole people on the inside, one mind, one heart, one spirit. We do not have two minds or two hearts, but one mind and one heart, whole people. The next ingredient is the love, fellowship, and encouragement we give to other members of the body of Christ and that they give to us, the gifting of the Holy Spirit by which we build one another up in the spirit of Christ and in the faith.
The third thing that takes place inside of us is purification, cleansing away all filthiness of flesh and spirit. Peter talks about our faith being purified as gold, proving its genuineness. To purify gold, you put it on a fire to melt. As the gold simmers, up comes all the non-gold ingredients out of it to the surface. Then you ladle it away. It keeps simmering, more non-gold particles come to the top, and you scoop them away. You continue doing that until it is nothing but pure gold.
There are two ways to view this process. It is so easy to fall into the second view, especially when we look at our brothers and sisters.
The man purifying the gold pays no attention to the dross that comes to the top. All he has eyes for is this huge vat of gold in all of its value and beauty. As the gold simmers and the dross comes to the surface, he just quickly skims it off; his eyes are on the gold.
But someone who does not understand might come along just before the dross is skimmed off again, look at the pot and see only bubbling blackness. He says, “That looks like pretty nasty stuff,” and goes his way. He does not see how thin that black stuff is. He completely misses the precious gold underneath.
Now, that wouldn’t be a problem except to the foolish man who does not know how to see. But here is the problem, when the foolish man who does not know how to see becomes a preacher, he teaches the gold that the dross is really a problem. He teaches the gold to get its eyes on the dross and to define and understand itself as the dross. He teaches the gold to forget that 99.9% of it is pure gold, with the dross just a thin layer on the outer surface that the refiner is skimming off in His wisdom and skill. He teaches the gold to weep and cry, “Oh dear God, I am so dark and ugly; have mercy on me, a sinner.”
That would be very sad indeed.
Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.
We are filled with the hope that we are just like Jesus. Out of that hope comes purification. We do not worry about the impurities, the dross. We know the Refiner is removing them. We keep our eyes on Him and who He is in us and who we are right now, in our completed state, just like Jesus, standing in the heavens before God.
He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:4-9
Sin is falling short of God’s glory. Sin is whatever is separate from God. Whenever I turn my eyes off of God and to another direction, seeing anything other than God, then I am looking at sin. He holds me in His hand, close to his heart, but I must keep my eyes on Him.
Now this passage is one of those wonderful passages to cut out of the Bible. Every kind of scissors has been used to cut out this passage and others like it. The most effective way is to ignore it. If you read it, don’t think about it. In fact, there is a whole line of argument explaining why it doesn’t mean what it says.
Or we could just believe it. We could stand in the knowledge that we are born of God, and we could get on our face before God and say, “Father, let it be to me according to Your word.”
Those who believe that we cannot overcome sin in this life and in this age CANNOT be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in this life and in this age. Those who cannot believe that we can walk in our mortal flesh separate from sin in the full life of Jesus moving through us, who believe that we cannot walk just as He walked, who believe that we cannot love just as He loves, who believe that we cannot practice righteousness just as He practiced righteousness, then it CANNOT be for them. It will not be for them. And the sadness of their unbelief is just very simply that God says, “Why do you treat Me like dirt?”
Hebrews 3:19, speaking of the children of Israel, says, “We see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Caleb and Joshua said, “We are well able to overcome it.” The other ten spies and the children of Israel with them said, “We are like grasshoppers in our own sight. Look at us, we’re just human, we are fallen sinners, saved by grace. God took pity on us and that’s all there is to it.”
They could not enter in because they refused to believe God.
There is a dividing line in the church. There is an anointing, a grace from God available. But they will never know it or experience it so long as they hold to their unbelief, their defiance of God that says that God cannot win in this earth, His word cannot be fulfilled in this age. That it all has to wait for somewhere else before it can happen. Until they believe that God can do it in us that we will walk on this earth without sin, just AS Jesus walked, that we will love, JUST AS Jesus loved, until they believe that with all of their heart, they cannot know the grace, the anointing, the power that is freely available to us.
They cannot know it. They are locked down under a cage of darkness. They think they are boxing themselves into “reality”; they do not know they are boxing God out. And He says, “Why do you keep treating Me like dirt.”
But we are not of those who do not believe or who draw back; we are those who believe unto the saving of our souls, unto the full transformation into all the fullness of Christ.
Let’s look at purification, what it means.
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear . . . And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. 1 John 4:17-21
You see how much we need that close fellowship in a community of believers. How can we love one another in this way except we walk closely together? We must place ourselves into a way of walking together in order to see this love of God come forth as God intends.
But as Jesus is right now, so are we in this world. We are filled with His love; we love, and that love casts out everything that is impure. What is it that removes the dross from inside the gold? It is the gold itself in its own reality as it is released by the fire to become a liquid and to simmer; that which is not gold, cannot, cannot, cannot stay with the gold, and out it comes.
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, 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. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works . . . Hebrews 10:19-24
By the blood of Jesus, the new and living way He has placed before us, we enter into the Holy of Holies. What is removed from our hearts is an evil conscience, the eye that sees darkness. Jesus said that if your eye is dark, your whole body is full of darkness. Paul talks about the carnal mind, but he says, “You are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit.” If we belong to Jesus we are not in the flesh.
Paul says that we have the mind of Christ. The New Covenant says that God has written His laws on my mind. I have a choice. Where will I set my eyes?
So many teachers teach God’s people to see their minds as carnal. If the eye is dark, the whole body is full of darkness. But our hearts are sprinkled from an evil conscience that is, sprinkled from an evil way of seeing.
I am not double-minded; I do not have two minds. I have the mind of Christ. My mind is the mind of Christ. I will not confess that there is in me a carnal mind. Certainly, if I turn my back on God and try to find fulfillment for myself in this world, then the Spirit of Christ is not able to move through my mind, and it will show symptoms of being carnal.
But that is not me. That is a fiction of imagination. I am just like Jesus. My mind is the mind of Christ. My eyes are set on God; my body is filled with His light. I draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith and my heart is sprinkled. It means that evil way of looking at myself as double-hearted, double-minded is gone. Gone!
And I hold fast the confession of my hope. I speak what God says I am. I have this hope that I am just like Him as I see Him as He is. And I hold fast the confession of that hope. That means I keep on speaking it! I keep on speaking it.
I am born of God. I do not fall short of His glory.
To the pure all things are pure, (If your eyes are set on God, your whole body is filled with His light) but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but even their mind and conscience are defiled. Titus 1:15-16
There are those who look at their heart and refuse to see Christ, but choose to see selfishness and deceit. They are not believing God, and nothing can be pure for them. They will struggle with the flesh all of their life and never find freedom because their eyes are in the wrong place.
I am made pure by the blood of Jesus. I am altogether clean. Old things are passed away, behold all thing are become new. I am pure. All things in me are pure, and out of that hope, I speak what God says about me. I see myself as I really am standing with God in my completed state, and I will see nothing else, I will speak nothing else. I am pure, and everything that I see is pure.
At the heart of purification is believing God. Purification is part of the renewing of our minds. It is the gold released in our lives.
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality . . . For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:15-20
I quote from The Jesus Secret, Day 109.
I flee from idolatry. I flee from sexual immorality. That is who I am. How can I be the very temple of Almighty God? How can Christ live in my heart? How can I be filled with all the fullness of God? Yet this impossible reality is true, it is true. I am God’s holy temple.
I am holy! I am holy! I am holy!
My body is holy. My strength is holy. My mind is holy. My emotions are holy. My will is holy. My heart is holy. My spirit is holy. I am holy. I belong to God, I am bought with a price, the blood of Jesus, every part of me is set aside for His use alone. I am holy! I am holy.
I flee from idolatry, from the idea that I serve my body and not the God who lives in it. I flee! I flee! I flee! I am no toughie; I do not attempt to “stick it out” in the face of temptation. Not me! No, these sick things only ever see one side of me, the backside of my heels, because I am running. I flee; I run to Jesus. Nothing can snatch me out of His hand.
I submit to God. I resist the devil and he flees from me. The devil spends all his time fleeing from me. But idolatry? The filthiness of the flesh? No, the field is theirs. They can claim it as their own as far as I am concerned, because I am the one who flees from them!
I am bought with a price: the blood of Jesus. I glorify God in my body and in my spirit, which are God’s.
The purifying of our spirit, our soul, and our body is an essential part of this glorious transformation, that the life of Jesus be revealed in our dying bodies, in our mortal flesh. For God to purify us is a privilege that no other created beings are granted. As God purifies us, we are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.
We do not look at the little bit of suffering and the dross that’s being removed. No. We keep our eyes fully on the gold, fully on the life of Jesus inside of us.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-9
At the revelation, at the unveiling of Jesus Christ.
INTO HIS IMAGE, Pt. 15 More Precious than Gold [Daniel Yordy] 2008 ~ BOOK 1