by E. W. Bullinger
An excerpt from Things to Come
Vol. VI. No. 3
Our great enemy knows, better than thousands seem to know, that our strength, light, peace, and joy come from “looking off unto Jesus,” and occupation of heart with Him. Hence his one great aim is to keep us from doing this.
The SINNER he will occupy with his sins as long as he can; with the pursuit of sin, and the pleasures of sin. When quickening comes, then
The PENITENT he will occupy with his repentance, and his sorrow for sin; until he is concerned as to whether he has repented enough or aright.
The BELIEVER he will occupy with his faith, in the same way.
The SERVANT he will occupy with his service till he becomes so absorbed in it that he has no time to be occupied with Him to Whom the service is supposed to be rendered. And finally
The SAINT he will occupy with his holiness; and so absorb him with his walk, his life, and his state, before God, that he fails to learn the standing which God has given him in Christ, and loses the very power which alone can secure for him the walk which he strives to attain.
This brings us back to the secret of a holy life. It is summed up in one word: “Beholding.”
Occurs once, II Cor. 3:18: beholding as in a mirror. Cf. Eastern mirror - reflection of polished metal. Others would see the reflection on person’s face. “They become changed, and Christ - the mirror- whom they behold is reflected on and in them, and thus, without an effort, they are more and more “conformed to His image.”
Means to behold as in a theater, i.e. with interest, eagerness and delight. John 1:14: We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. Also Acts 1:11 used of those who saw him go into heaven.
Means to behold as from the Royal Box, relating to the Olympic games and great festivals. We behold him from a place of privilege. Used by Christ in John 17:24: Father... that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me.” The saints are to be “with Him” in the highest, chiefest position: and are to behold, as at a mighty festival, the display of that glory before their eyes.
Means to behold as an initiate. One who is admitted to full communion with those who possessed the knowledge of “mysteries.” Peter uses in @ Peter 1:16: We were made to be eye-witnesses (epoptai) of His majesty on the mount of Transfiguration.
Psalm 34:4: They looked unto him and were lightened. Hebrew means to direct the eye to, to look upon with deep interest, regard, respect, affection.
“We behold the Promiser, and not merely the promises; the Blesser, and not merely the blessing; “him” and not “It.”