THE PROCESS OF ILLUMINATION

By Dan Luehrs

 

Today's emerging church is pressing through the outer court and the holy place to enter into the holy of holies, to gaze upon the lover of their souls, to see the Lord of glory. For these hungry souls, seeing the glory is not enough, they want to partake of the glory of God in their hearts and carry it to the nations. God's word tell us over and over that we were created for the glory of God, "To which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess 2:14-15 NKJV). God's glory is the essence and beauty of Who He is and He is the desire of the nations. If most people could get a glimpse of Who He really is they would run after Him with all their hearts because He is so desirable.

 

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 had a vision of the different levels in the spirit world that we must pass through on our way to the top level which is the glory realm; this has helped me to understand just how we mature in our spiritual life. If we get hung up on one level because of our rebellion, pride, offences, or any other vises in us, we will have to keep going around the mountain until we pass the test. Remember, no one flunks God's tests; we just keep taking them over until we pass! A person does not become a bank CEO over night, but must go through much learning on how banking works through years of schooling and on the job training to understand it. One does not become a brain surgeon in one year; they must pass many tests in order to be qualified as a doctor. As a child must go through twelve grade levels enabling them to graduate from high school, so too must we go through spiritual levels to grow and mature spiritually. There are no shortcuts to spiritual growth. We are to grow in love with God and man as Christians through much difficulty. This is not a given to any of us, it is a process by us loving the unlovable. In order for us to grow in love, it seems that we must learn the virtue of forgiveness through our hard and difficult trials with other people. I firmly believe that until we have learned to practice the virtue of forgiveness, we cannot pass to the next level. We must learn spiritual truths from each of these levels and then go on to the next so that we will grow in Christ and reach the glory level. For us to enter this realm we will have to mature in our spirit as Jesus matured through suffering. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:12 KJV). Below is a diagram of some of the levels that we must pass through to maturity.


 

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).

 

THE WHIRLWIND

 

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 it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Eliiah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (2 Kings 2:11 NKJV).

 

"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).

 

DRAWING CLOSER TO THE FLAME

 

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.


"Having therefore, brethren, confidence in the entering into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, which [entrance into] He inaugurated for us, a road freshly slain and living, through the veil, namely, His flesh, and having a Priest, a Great One, over the house of God, let us keep on drawing near with a genuinely true heart in full assurance of faith, having had our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and having had our body washed with pure water" (Heb 10:19-22 Wuest).

 

God desires us to enter the Holy of Holies boldly and confidently through the blood and body of Jesus. He already has gone in before us so that we could follow Him through the veil of His flesh that was broken and tom. The veil into the Holy of Holies was tom in two when Jesus died upon the cross to represent the fact that when the veil of His flesh was tom we had full access into the glory of the Father. We do not have to fear the fire of God's glory unless we have unrepented sin in our life, but if we will take the time to come in we will be changed into the likeness of His glory. The Lord once appeared before me as a blazing fire and invited me to come into His fire, my flesh wanted to run the other way in fear of what might happen to me if I obeyed. But my spirit man jumped at the chance to draw closer to God in this way because it reminded me of the time when God invited Moses to come into His fire on the mountain. Moses then carried the glory of the Lord on his face to the children of Israel, but they were not able to behold it, then he had to cover his face with a veil just as the Holy of Holies was veil from the sight of the people. But now we can come in boldly and sit before Him!

 

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.

 

If we are going to access the fire of God we are going to have to draw closer to Him right now in our hearts. We are called to go from glory level to glory level in God, which is the greatest adventure any person could ever embark on. We have got to come up from mundane Christianity that is just waiting to die so that they can go to heaven, when God is calling us now to dwell in heavenly places with Him. For t

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.

 

Dan Luehrs

PO Box 341

Intercession City, FL 33848

www.churchinhispresence.org