Prophetic Rhema – BT9: Gazing at Christ with wide-open eyes is how we are transformed into His likeness
Prophetic Rhema – BT9: Wide-open eyes gazing at Christ to be transformed into His likeness
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In 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 Paul says concerning the Torah Law of conditional-favor, “Now if the ministry/service of death, engraved by gramma letters (a) on stones, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory (b), which was even then being brought to an end, will not the ministry/service of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry/service of condemnation, the ministry/service of righteousness (c) must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that has surpassed it. For if what was then being brought to an end came with glory, how much more will what is permanent have glory! Since we have such a hope, we are now very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was even then being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened.”
Paul continues: For to this very day, whenever they read the old covenant, that same veil remains un-lifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this very day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns around/converts towards (d) the Lord [Jesus], the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of/belonging to the Lord is [context: in Christian hearts & minds, their inner being], there is freedom (e). But we all, with unveiled faces, habitually, reflexively, gazing with wide-open eyes as upon yourself’s reflection in a mirror (f) upon the glory of the Lord, are being metamorphically-transformed into that same image [of Christ who is the Spirit they see within themselves] from glory to glory (g). For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” This is really eido mentally ‘seeing’ to perceive to understand/know prophetic vision that Jeremiah 31:34 God promises for His people to know Him.
Here are the many Notes from above: a) gramma alphabet and any writings created by it, b) this occurred in the Tent of Meeting where Moses spoke face-to-face with God to write with ink the many scrolls of the 5 books of the Law, c) by the Spirit because of Christ’s righteousness, d) epistrepho: context implies a ‘face-to-face’ contact with, e) in context: from the slavery to the inferior Mosaic Law of condemnation and death, f) katoptrizo: kataptron mirror + a derivative of optanomai gazing with wide-open eyes as derived from horao observing/perceiving-knowing/discerning when in the present middle/reflexive form means gazing with wide-open eyes of oneself as a reflection in a mirror, but since the object of the verb is given as “the Lord,” it is not only “of oneself” who is actually the Spirit [who is the glory of the Lord] dwelling within oneself, but also “for oneself,” that is, “for one’s own transformation!” For more about discernment – see New Covenant Ways – BT16, g) an idiom for “one level of glory to another level of glory.”
Wow, Paul is really condemning the reading of Moses, the first 5 books of the bible, the Torah Law of conditional-favor, which makes up 97.4% of the essence of the entire Old Testament (OT) – see Logos Word of God – BT5a, because only 600 verses of 23,145 refer to New Testament (NT) realities, but that is the subject of the completely different-in-kind New Covenant. Why are so many Christians enamored with the OT that “has no glory left” and “has been brought to an end?” – Ephesians 2:15.
However, Paul’s focus here is this habitual gazing/staring at Jesus’ Spirit with wide-open eyes. This is when that cocoon-to-butterfly metamorphic transformation occurs – absolutely not by staring at Moses’ face by reading his OT writings, because his face-to-face encounter with God was fading away even then, the very reason he was wearing the veil. He wasn’t wearing it just to keep people from freaking out, but to hide the fading glory – this would certainly erode his authority and their confidence in him as a leader! He had enough problems getting people to follow him as it was!
But Paul says that “glory” finally faded away long ago! It’s history! So why are we trying to “see God” by reading Moses’ writings? This path to the knowledge of God to transform us is a waste of time! It actually hardens our heart/mind/inner-being! Paul’s argument isn’t that with “the veil removed” that Christians are somehow NOW immune to this effect and should embrace Moses’ writings anyway, but I’ve heard many Christians tell me this to defend their reading of Moses – that with the Holy Spirit it’s somehow different!
But Paul has the Holy Spirit and yells, “Don’t do it!” Instead the answer to going from “glory to glory” in godly transformation is to make it a habit of staring at Jesus’ face as the Holy Spirit that dwells within them with wide-open eyes, just like people love to see themselves in a mirror! Watch people’s eyes when they see a picture of themselves – they get bigger! Although this is the only use of this complex word, the more common word optanomai is used many times elsewhere.
The Lord confirmed the context of 2 Corinthians 3:18 to me in a dream: Only when we meet with Jesus face-to-face by the means of the Spirit, will His glory transform us – and this time it won’t fade away like Moses! It’s a “permanent” ministry of glory! Reading most of the OT will just keep hiding this glory, keeping the veil of Moses in place over our hearts/minds/inner-being, keeping them calloused, precisely because most of the OT is based on the conditionally-loving favor of the old covenant’s Torah Law of conditional-favor based on obedience to 613 commandments.
This optanomai type of staring/gazing with wide-open-eyes at Jesus is very similar to Hebrews 12:2 where it says we should be “habitually fixing our eyes (a) toward/at Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our trusting-relying-faith,” which in context means “turning our eyes away from every weight of the worldly concerns that lug us down and every sin that clings so closely to us, like wet clothes, that slow us down from running with endurance the race of trusting-relying-faith in Christ that is set before us. Jesus kept His eye on the finish line, the joy of His resurrection to come, and that helped Him get through the suffering ahead of Him. We need to keep our eye on our “blessed hope,” our glorification and eternal life with Christ! <Notes> a) aphorao for apo away/off + horao observing/perceiving-knowing/discerning = thus turning the eyes/observation away from something to another.
Optanomai vision is supernatural! The God of glory was ‘seen’ this way by Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia (a). This was like Moses ‘seeing’ of the angel in the flame of the burning bush (b). This was the way Zechariah ‘saw’ the angel of the Lord in the temple who told him that his son was to be named John (c). During Christ’s earthly ministry, Peter, James, and John ‘saw’ Jesus, Moses, and Elijah when they were transfigured on the mountain (d). Near the end of His ministry, after bleeding from the strain of Christ’s prayer before His death, an angel was ‘seen’ by the disciples this way to strengthen Him (e). <Notes> a) Acts 7:2, b) Acts 7:30, 35, c) Luke 1:11, d) Matthew 17:9; Mark 9:4; Luke 9:31, e) Luke 22:43.
Nathaniel likely ‘saw’ Jesus this way, just as Jesus predicted (a). Paul may be referring to this “seen of angels’ event (b). Before Jesus left, He said He would depart, but when He returned after His resurrection they would “see” Him this way (c). Indeed, Peter, then James, and then other apostles ‘saw’ Jesus after His resurrection (d). There was fear ‘seeing’ Jesus this way that He did acknowledge would occur (e). In fact, more than 500 hundred Christians thus ‘saw’ Jesus for 40 days after the resurrection (f). Paul even did this ‘seeing’ of Jesus on the way to Damascus years later around 35-37AD (g). <Notes> a) John 1:51, b) 1 Timothy 3:16, c) John 16:16-17, 19, 22, d) 1 Corinthians 15:5, 7; Matthew 28:7; Luke 24:34, e) Matthew 28:10; Mark 16:7, f) Acts 1:3, 13:31; 1 Corinthians 15:6, g) Acts 9:17, 26:16; 1 Corinthians 15:8.
Optanomai vision is the key way to prophetically ‘see’ in the Church. People thus ‘saw’ the tongues of fire that landed on 120 at the Day of Pentecost when they were Spirit-baptized (a). Paul stood up on that day and declared that the Church Age or Last Days started, will continue, and will finish as a result of the promised Spirit through Spirit-baptism as evident by prophecy, particularly by visions (b) and/coupled dreams (c and d), promising this to ALL those who come to the Lord, even to the end of the ages (e). There is no mention of any other way God would teach us but through this eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive type of knowledge. In fact, Paul ‘saw’ such a vision (f) of a Macedonian urging him to come there and preach (g). Such visions are throughout the NT (h). Many Gentiles who never were told about the coming Messiah through the Jews will ‘see’ and get connect-the-dots sunesis understanding through their 5 senses” but especially by the Spirit (i and j).
<Notes> a) Acts 2:3, b) horasis from horao: generally to observe with the eyes, implying attention, concern, or heed, sometimes being acquainted through experience, but often emphasizing a mental ‘seeing’ to perceive/know with a discerning or ‘weighing-in’ mind – see Revelation 4:3, 9:17; See also optanomai: gaze in awe with wide-open eyes upon used in Matthew 5:8; John 16:22; Romans 15:21; Acts 13:31; 1 John 3:2 or katoptrizo that is kataptron mirror + a derivative of optanomai = gaze in awe with wide-open eyes as in a mirror, which is used only in 1 Corinthians 3:18, c) enupnion: in-sleep vision, d) Acts 2:17-19, citing Joel 2:28, e) Acts 2:38-29, f) horama plural from horasis singular from horao: observing/perceiving-knowing/discerning, g) Acts 16:9, h) Acts 9:10, 2, 10:3, 17, 19, 11:5, 12:9, 18, i) suniemi – see Knowledge, j) Romans 15:21.
Indeed, even many Muslims have ‘seen’ Jesus appear to them! Jesus taught how we will indeed ‘see’ God and be “blessed, to be envied” – if we “are the pure/unmixed in heart” (a), a singularity of focus, not double-minded as James 1:8, 4:8 speak of. Again, in context Jesus is preaching to Jews under the Torah Law of conditional-favor, laying the foundation for them to turn over their trusting-relying-faith inn the Law to instead trusting-relying-faith in Jesus as their Messiah who would free them from the Law and it’s condemnation. However, the unbelieving Jews and Romans who crucified Him won’t ‘see’ Christ again (b) until it’s too late! See the Prophetic page for much more about ‘seeing’ from the Lord through revealed knowledge! <Notes> a) Matthew 5:8, b) Acts 20:25.
Optanomai vision will be glorious at the end for Christians. John the Baptist preached from Isaiah that ultimately “all mankind will ‘see’ the salvation of God” (a). For sure, everyone on the earth will ‘see’ Christ’s glorious coming on the clouds with His great army to assume control of the earth (b) and to deliver salvation only for the Christians (c). When Christians ‘see’ Him it will be glorious because Christ’s name/authority is on their foreheads (d). That’s when Christians will ‘see’ Him just as He actually is (e) and the metamorphic-transformation is completed. Only those who had trusting-relying-faith in Christ will ‘see’ zoe genuine-life after Judgment Day. Otherwise, the wrath of God remains on people (f). But it’s going to get so bad with lawlessness at the end that before Christ’s coming the surviving Christians will ‘crave’ to ‘see’ just 1 day of Christ’s return (g)! <Notes> a) Luke 3:6, b) Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27, c) Hebrews 9:38, d) Revelation 22:4, e) 1 John 3:2, f) John 3:36, g) Luke 17:22.
Optanomai vision will be terrifying at the end for non-Christians. The end will be a terrible time for many others! Terrifying signs will be ‘seen’ by the earth’s people right before Christ’s coming (a). Hebrews 12:14-15 says that “without holiness (b) no one will ‘see’ the Lord. Habitually episkopeo look-with-focus-with-real-care/interest that no one comes short of the unconditional-favor-of-grace of God.” We know that this “grace” only comes through trusting-relying-faith in Christ! At the Day of Judgment, all people will ‘see’ the Lord at the right hand/authority of God, even the Jews and Romans that crucified Christ (c) – way too late for them for they will be mourning/weeping! They will be thrown out of the kingdom when they ‘see’ their believing forefathers (d). <Notes> a) Revelations 12:1, 3, b) consecration/purification to be made holy, c) John 19:37 citing Zechariah 12:10, Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62, 24:30; Revelation 1:7, d) Luke 13:28.
The Lord showed me that this wide-open-eyed optanomai gazing, is what lovers naturally do, staring into each other’s eyes. This is how He looks at us and wants us to look at Him that way, by the means of the Spirit. This is the koinonia fellowship He desires in proseuche conversational-prayer! He has told me often about the attentiveness of the watchmen on the walls, keenly looking for their enemy with wide-open eyes especially at night. He has told me to direct this attentiveness to Him. When Jesus said “Watch in prayer,” He is saying “Be alert and observant!” When I go into my drum room to learn from the Lord, He tells me to “Carefully watch your hands and feet, because I will show you many things.” So I also use a mirror! I tell my students that a picture is worth more than a 1000 words but more like 10,000, so try to picture what you want to accomplish before setting out to do it.
As Christian musicians, why if the NT speaks so negatively about the first 5 books of the bible, the books of Moses or Law, even warning us not to read it, are we disobeying by reading and studying it? And all Jews, even the NT ones, regard the entire OT as “The Law.” Why are we glorifying that “which has faded and now has no glory at all?” Why are we treating prophetic vision as an esoteric exception for some mystics to enjoy when it was the ONLY way for normal Christians to become holy? Shouldn’t our obsession be of Jesus Christ, yet many churches preach far more from the OT than the NT – just count the references to Jesus compared other biblical figures!
Spiritual Education, Prophecy, Prophetic Rhema Word of God, Transformation does NOT come from reading 97.4% of the Old Testament that is Law-based, Transformation comes from staring at Jesus within us as the Spirit, Reading the Old Covenant Law will harden your heart, Reading the Old Covenant Law hides God’s glory from you, Fix your eyes on Jesus not readings about Him, Optanomai vision, Lovers stare into each others eyes