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Kingdom of Righteousness

This is the start of my study on Hosea 2:19-20 as posted previously here: Study of Hosea 2:19-20

This subject of righteousness is enormous in its entirety and will take some time breaking it down to reveal the many aspects that it beholds. This study will barely scratch the surface, as it will not be exhaustive.  I will do my best to create small sections in relation to the different aspects of righteousness.

The Kingdom of God will be the starting point for this study.  For it was Jesus that said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His RIGHTEOUSNESS (Matt 6:33).”  There are some other similar passages from the Bible like, “Seek the LORD” and “Seek righteousness (Zeph 2:3)” and, “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD (Isa 51:1).”

The kingdom of God and righteousness go hand in hand; you cannot seek His kingdom without getting righteousness!  Not only is it mind-blowing to seek this all out, but most of all, He loves those who pursue righteousness (Prov. 15:9)!

Here is a short list of descriptions that are typically associated with an earthly kingdom but are mere reflections of the reign of Jesus’ kingdom, as you will see by the related Scriptures (These descriptions are another study within themselves, I did my best to stay on subject :)

• KING; the male ruler of an independent state, esp. one who inherits the position by right of birth: This goes without saying.  Jesus is referred to as the Lord of lords and King of kings all throughout the Bible.  The Father installs His Son, Jesus Christ the righteous, as King upon His holy mountain while giving the nations over to Him as His inheritance (Psa. 2:6-8). 
As far as being a righteous King it states in Hebrews that Jesus is directly linked to the mysterious “order of Melchizedek” which translates “my king of righteousness”.  The prophecy from Jeremiah clearly affirms the coming of our Righteous King, “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth (Jer. 23:5).”

• THRONE; used to signify sovereign power:  Righteousness is the foundation of His throne (Psa. 89:14, 97:2).” (Prov. 16:12)

• CROWN; a symbol of authorityFinally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing  (2Tim. 4:8).”

I believe that Jesus is wearing a crown of righteousness too as we are called to co-reign with Him.

• SCEPTER; a symbol of sovereignty:A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. (Psa. 45:6)”

• COMMANDMENTS/LAW; an authoritative order:For all Your commandments are righteousness (Psa. 119:172.).” (Deut. 4:8, Rom. 7:12)

 • ARMY; an extension of the king’s rule in the land by way of soldiers:There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this (Is. 9:7).”

He will use His host of heaven to help with this but most of all He will use His men and women on earth to bring forth His purposes on earth as it is in heaven.

• KINGDOM; a country, state, or territory ruled by a king: “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).”

Every earthly kingdom has or will pass away, but the kingdom of God and His righteousness is everlasting (Psa. 111:3, Psa. 112:3, Psa. 112:9, Psa. 119:142, Is. 51:6, Is. 51:8, 2Cor. 9:9). Misty Edwards has a song called Servant Of All (Relentless CD) and there is a hook that says, “It’s the inside outside upside down kingdom, where you lose to gain and die to live.”  This Kingdom has a King that made a way for ALL to freely enter into this righteousness (1Pet. 2:24) and He simply wants to have a real relationship with us today so that we may enter into His gates.

 Please let me know what you think.  I would love to hear your feedback.

In the next section I will be focusing on some of the righteous men and women found throughout the Bible.  Remember, there is no righteousness without God.

 

 

 

Study of Hosea 2:19-20

I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in loving-kindness, and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. Hosea 2:19-20

I am starting my new study on this passage.  I am going to break it down into 5 topics.

  1. Righteousness
  2. Justice
  3. Loving-kindness
  4. Compassion
  5. Faithfulness

I came across this passage and it grabbed me because it made me realize that each word description is a guide to knowing the LORD on a deeper level.  Each word carries volumes of revelation on Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I came to the conclusion that the message of righteousness and justice is rarely spoken of in the Body of Christ.  Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of His Throne and I believe that these two characteristics are something that we, as Christians, need to have a greater understanding of.  It seems like the righteousness and justice message has been lost in this generation, due to lack of understanding, fear, laziness, and deceit.

I feel like I have heard the love, compassion, and faithfulness of God taught on more heavily, but I am excited to pursue  understanding on all of these topics.  I hope you guys will enjoy this study and if you have any input I would love to hear from you.

I will be starting the study on Righteousness….

The Meaning

•The Meaning

 Rev. 4:9-11 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.”  (Emphasis mine)

What is the meaning of it all???  HE CREATED ALL THINGS AND BECAUSE OF HIS WILL WE EXIST AND WERE CREATED, THEREFORE HE IS OUR WORTHY LORD AND OUR GOD AND HE ALONE DESERVES ALL GLORY, HONOR, AND POWER!!!

I really do not want to dissect this passage because I believe it speaks volumes the way it is.  I would like to encourage you to read the previous verses of chapter 4 to start understanding the splendor, beauty, and glory of our Lord and our God.

Thanks for reading and partaking of my Beauty Realm Series!

 

If you really want to hear some great teaching on the Beauty Realm, check out Mike Bickle’s 8 sessions on it right HERE


Beauty Realm 4:6-8

GO TO THE BEGINNING OF THIS STUDY

* The Mysterious Ones

Revelation 4:6-8  “And in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.  The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.  And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say,

“HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.”

I love this passage because it completely magnifies the Creator of all creation!  This picture displays the worth of Christ and why He is deserving of incessant worship!  The four living creatures: lion, calf (ox), man, and eagle.  They are full of eyes and each of them has six wings; can you even picture this?  It reminds me of a scene out of The Chronicles of Narnia or something.

The passage gives us a pretty clear picture of WHAT is going on and with the similar passages from Isaiah 6:1 and Ezekiel 1:10 we get some more insight.  These magnificent burning ones are worshiping Him day and night as the One and Only Holy Lord of Hosts, Almighty; whose glory fills the entire earth!  But why are they doing this? One of my favorite Bible teachers, Stephen Venable shares,

“The Seraphim and the larger angelic host who are enraptured with ministry to Him have never had a single sin forgiven, never an ailment healed, and never a financial need met and yet their testimony is that His unending glory warrants their unending praise.” (Stephen Venable -The Worth of Christ and Incessant Worship)

Most of the time we come to Him in worship because we want Him to heal us, increase our wealth, or because we are in desperate need of forgiveness.  These amazing creatures worship Him 24/7 365 because He alone is worthy and deserves glory and praise!!!  Mike Bickle says in his book, Passion for Jesus,

“The community of God on earth is to live as the community of God lives in heaven….The church on earth is also to be a passionate, worshiping community existing to give ourselves wholly to the son of God.  The purpose of both God’s community in heaven and God’s community on earth begins and ends with worship around the throne.” (page 141)

These living beings are full of eyes because they are beholding the One that is forever full of glory.  They are receiving fresh revelation time and time again and it never gets old, they are beholding Him anew every moment!  Corey Russell says,

“God gave them all those eyes to look at Him….why don’t they stop day or night?  Because He never stops breaking in with fresh revelations.  Hitting them again and again and again, short circuiting all those eyes. Stunning them….because they have never seen Him like this before.  It doesn’t get old.  You think you could talk those seraphim out of that room? You think they get bored?  …You could strap a chain to one of them seraphim legs or wings with a 747 going the other direction and you couldn’t pull them out of there.” (Corey Russell – Gazing on Jesus)

These beings are the closest to the Throne of God, in the center and around the throne.  They are not competing for position; they are not causing division by having certain believers in heaven follow them.  There is no competition between these 4 creatures or any other angelic host in heaven, they all give glory to God.

 Why lion, 0x, man, and eagle?

Some say they show four different faces of God in redemption; as a lion (warrior with courage), calf or ox (a servant persevering in the mundane), man (dignity of relating to and ruling with God), and the eagle (soaring in the Spirit).

Adam Clarke’s commentary says:

To John is attributed the EAGLE; to Luke the OX, to Mark the LION, and to Matthew the MAN, or angel in human form.

Day and night they do not cease to say,

“HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.”

 ”This worship does not change the atmosphere in heaven it does not bring revival…nothing is going to happen because of their worship to their personal vocation or calling or ministry.” Stephen Venable

Day and night they sing and worship because He is God.  That is enough. Why do we worship God?  What are we expecting to receive back from Him?  Is giving Him glory enough?  Let us learn much from these living creatures as to why they are worshiping 24/7 before the Throne of God.  Remember what King David said?

One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD…. Psalm 27:4

I believe we could all learn how to better behold the beauty, radiance, and glory of the Lord.  There is a reason that seraphim means burning one.  We can only be burning ones if we spend time with the One that burns….“For our God is a consuming fire” Hebrews 12:9

 

Beauty Realm 4:6

*The Meeting Place

4:6 “And before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal.”

Remember that this is all happening around the Throne of God, look back on the previous posts to keep things in perspective.

1. Sea of Glass (transparent, clear, like crystal, sparkling): This Sea of Glass laid out before the throne is the great meeting place for all His saints.  This is a sea that has a huge role in the future of every believer!

A. The mystery of this “sea” is slowly revealed to us through out the Bible and is first described by Moses in the book of Exodus (1500 BC).

  • Ex. 24:10 “And they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.”

For those of you who do not know, sapphire is the color blue.

This was the great meeting place between God and His people.  However at this time they only saw His feet as they briefly worshiped and ate  before Him.  There were 74 men present including Moses and this occurred just before he was called into the presence of God for 40 days.

B. Ezekiel describes it when he encounters a heavenly vision (600 BC).

  • Ezek. 1:22Over the head of the [combined] living creature there was the likeness of a firmament, looking like the terrible and awesome [dazzling of shining] crystal or ice stretched across the expanse of sky over their heads.” (AMP)

Ezekiel also saw a blue (sapphire) colored throne above the firmament in verse 26.

C. Then John tells of it twice in the book of Revelation (90 AD).  We really see the progression as it goes from pavement (Moses) to firmament (Ezekiel) to sea (John).  I believe John was able to describe it with more accuracy because he was able to see a fuller picture of it.

  • Rev. 4:6Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.”
  • Rev. 15:2 “And I saw, as it were, a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had come off victorious from the beast and from his image and from the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.”

 

The word sea is used over 300 times in the Bible and it is not just used to describe the oceans or bodies of water, it is used to relate to a variety of things.

I am almost certain that this Sea of Glass is very peaceful, but I do not question that it could cause one to tremble at its intensity.

In the passages below we see the differences between a calm and troubled sea.  I cannot imagine the Sea of Glass being troubled or thrashing around in the presence of One like Jesus.

  • Mark 4:39“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
  • Is. 57:20 “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”


Glass was very rare in the NT times; crystal clear glass was unheard of!  For John to use clear glass as a description spoke volumes.

Paul uses glass (or a mirror) to describe how we see things in this day.  Glass back then was dark and dim.

  • 1Cor. 13:12 “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

This passage has a whole new meaning to me.

•••

So we have a sparkling crystal-clear sapphire like Sea of Glass that is mixed with fire before the One and Only Throne of God! Not only that but the victorious saints get to stand on it!  Better yet, we get to see Jesus face to face!  Moses saw His feet and His back, but we will see Him in the fullness of ALL HIS GLORY!  Thank you Jesus!

I cannot help to think about the story of Jesus walking on water.  Of course He can walk on water, His throne is surrounded by a massive sea!  Ok so that was just my humor taking off.  But I was reminded of how Peter got distracted and took His eyes off of Jesus and it caused Him to fall into the sea.

I believe the only reason we will be standing on the Sea of Glass in victory at the end of the age is by having a fixed gaze on our King and Leader, Jesus Christ the Son of God.  We cannot look to the left or to the right, we cannot look at the crashing and swirling going on around us. We MUST keep our eyes on our beloved in order to come out as a victorious bride.

Are you ready to stand in front of the Man Christ Jesus face to face?  Are you ready to stand on the Sea of Glass before the Throne of God?

What do you want to hear from Him when you get there?  Do you want to hear what Jesus said to Peter when he fell into the sea?

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Or

“Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

I know that we all want to hear the latter!

 

Any thoughts?

Blessings!

 

 

 

 

Song of Songs: Final

My final assignment for my Song of Songs class is to grab a piece from the Shulammite’s walk that best relates to where I am at with my Beloved today and why.

We have been reading the Song of Songs in a 8 week course with the spiritual interpretation; as Mike Bickle puts it, “This is a symbolic interpretation to see the spiritual truths in our relationship with Jesus behind the natural love story.”

Finding one specific portion of the story has been rather difficult, due to the fact that I feel like I have found myself in bits and pieces throughout the entirety of this epic journey.  I may jump from here to there at times only because this year has been one like never before.  Hopefully in the end it will make sense.

At the beginning of last year I strongly sensed that the Lord was calling me (and family) to a deeper place of intimacy.  This caused me to look at my own vineyard (heart) and my words were similar to the Shulammite when she said, “But I have not taken care of my own vineyard. (1:6)”

I had realized that I had gotten weary with running in ministry (1:4) that I had gotten off track and was no longer saying, “Draw me after you.” You could say that I was putting ministry for the Lord before intimacy and ministry with the Lord.

So, I stepped back and had a year of asking Him to sustain me and refresh me. I was surrounded by my family and was able to enjoy the fruits of a loving family. It was a good season in those regards.  However, I still felt like I could not find Him in the deeper place!

Then “the day” came at the beginning of this year.  You can read it in chapter 2:10-13. The time has arrived for pruning the vines! Yikes!  To my knowledge I feel like I followed Him when He said, “Arise and come along!” I don’t believe that I turned Him away, I hope not.  I know I have in times past. But there is a joy and an understanding that has been coming with this call.

The reason I can say I feel like I followed Him is because it has not been easy and it has pulled me completely out of my comfort zone!!! Plus this pruning has been cutting out stuff that I have asked to be removed in past seasons.  I am not saying it has been easy, but I know it is strengthening me.

After reading the song more than a few times my heart connected the most with the Shulammites cry after He beckons her from her comfort zone.

Song of Songs 2:14

“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,

In the secret place of the steep pathway,

Let me see your form,

Let me hear your voice;

For your voice is sweet,

And your form is lovely.”

Why… I have seen and heard Him in different times and seasons, some stronger than others.  But for some reason this cry to see and hear Him is stronger than ever before.  This verse is actually the bridegroom talking to the bride, but I have felt that in my stepping out I am longing to see and hear Him in the secret places.

O my dove… speaks of Jesus being the one thing. Christ being the all in all. A dove only has one mate its entire life and they also do not have peripheral vision; so their eye’s are fixed on what is before them.  I have fixed my eyes on Christ, as my one true passion.  I know without a doubt that He is my One thing.  In my walk today I am constantly reminding myself to fix my eyes on Him no matter the circumstances.

 

In the clefts of the rock… speaks of His ultimate sacrifice on the Cross.  It is in His wounds that I am even able to approach Him in all His glory!  By His stripes I am healed! It is His humility and passion towards me that allows me to say: He is my Dove, my Beloved, and my Bridegroom!

I know He conquered death and is like a roaring lion, but even John in Revelation 5:6-7 it told to “behold, the Lion” but he turns and sees a Lamb, as if slain take the scroll from the Father. I never want to forget what He did for me on the Cross. I have found myself looking closer at the sacrifice that Jesus took for me and mankind.

Just like when the Shulammite said earlier in chapter 1:13, “My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh which lies all night between my breasts.” For those of you that need an interpretation here it is.  Jesus is our beloved and a pouch of myrrh symbolizes His death, because myrrh was used for burial in those days.  So she is saying I am constantly meditating in my heart on the love Jesus’ has for me and all that He accomplished as He endured the myrrh of the Cross.

In the secret place of the steep pathway… speaks of the inner communion that we are to have with Him on the journey.  Yes, it is steep and there is a cost but the reward is greater than the cost.  Jesus was constantly in holy communion with the Father, even on His way up the steep path to the hill of Golgotha.  I too want to have this strong communion with Jesus in the secret place, even though it may not always be easy.  In this season I am longing and feeling drawn to that secret place.


Let me see your form…and your form is lovely Well I think this part speaks for itself.  Didn’t Moses say this same thing?  Lord show me Your Glory. It is because the work of the Cross that we can actually see Him in His fullness, the veil has been torn.  If I can see Him rightly, then I can see myself rightly and if I am created in His form, then I too am lovely.  Currently I have been gazing on my beloved.  There are some very powerful scriptures that describe the beauty of this Man.

Let me hear your voice, For your voice is sweet… I love hearing His voice.  I cannot live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord!  His voice gives direction and reflects emotion. At the beginning of the story the Shulammite says “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth (word)”. His Words sustain me, they bring a deep level of intimacy.  While reading about His form I am also reading His Word, the two really go hand in hand.

•••••••

So I hope that this makes sense. I know it is by His work on the Cross that I am being saved and set free.  It is not by my work or by my own efforts.  But I also know that there is that good work of laying it all down at the feet of Jesus and ministering to Him in the secret place like Mary did with her costly perfume (Mark 14:1-9).  It is here that I am finding myself asking Him, LET ME SEE YOUR FORM, LET ME HEAR YOUR VOICE; FOR YOUR VOICE IS SWEET AND YOUR FORM IS LOVELY!

 

• If you have not read Song of Songs I would encourage you to!  I would also recommend that you go through the FREE series with Mike Bickle HERE.

••Let me know what you think.  And if you have read Song of Songs, let me know where you think you are in the story right now.

 

Blessings.

 

 

 

Beauty Realm in the Natural

I just wanted to share some photo’s from the Chile Puyehue Volcano eruptions last week. I saw some similarities to the descriptions of the throne room that we have been looking at.  The flashes of lightning and the glowing fire like red really stands out to me.  It is hard not to see Him in His creation :)

(Picture Source)

(Photo Source)

I also found some stuff on the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God found in Revelation 4:5

The number seven represents perfection and completion. So this could be a description of the fullness and perfection of the Holy Spirit.  We see the Seven Spirits of God found 3 other times in the book of Revelation: 1:4, 3:1, and 5:6.

Mike Bickles notes from his Revelation study guide says that they, “speak of the Holy Spirit in His sevenfold perfection with His many divers manifestations (Isaiah 11:2)”

 

The diverse manifestations in Isaiah 11:2

“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,

The spirit of wisdom and understanding,

The spirit of counsel and strength,

The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.”

1. The Spirit of the Lord 2. The Spirit of Wisdom 3. The Spirit of Understanding 4. The Spirit of Counsel 5. The Spirit of Strength 6. The Spirit of Knowledge 7. The Spirit of the Fear of the LORD

Hope you guys are all doing well! I am looking forward to touching on the sea of glass and the four living creatures NEXT.

START AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS BEAUTY REALM SERIES

Beauty Realm 4:5

*The Magnificent

4:5 “Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder.  And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”


1. Flashes of lightning: Hebrew’s strong Definition; Luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.)

a primitive root; to be luminous (literally and metaphorically):—x break of day, glorious, kindle, light, set on fire, shine.

You ever see a good lighting storm?  In the natural it illuminates the entire night sky.  You can’t miss a flash of lightning; it captures the attention of your eyes.  It often instills a sense of awe and wonder.

In the Old Testament we see often see lightning used in a way to describe the appearance of God.  Of course we see the entire first sentence of verse 5 in Exodus when Moses and the Israelites witnessed God descend upon Mount Sinai

  • Exodus 19:16 “So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. “
  • Job 36:30“Behold, He spreads His lightning about Him”
  • Psalm 97:4 “His lightnings lit up the world”
  • Dan. 10:6 “His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning

  • Ezek. 1:4 “As I looked, I saw a great storm coming toward me from the north, driving before it a huge cloud that flashed with lightning and shone with brilliant light. The fire inside the cloud glowed like gleaming amber.” (NLT)

Flashes of lightning were also used as a metaphor for a shining sword or spear.

EX:

  • Ezek. 21:15 “That their hearts may melt, and many fall at all their gates. I have given the glittering sword. Ah! It is made for striking like lightning, it is wrapped up in readiness for slaughter.”

In the New Testament lightning is used to give a description of the return of the Lord.

  • Matt. 24:27 “For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.”

  • Luke 17:24“For just as the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day.

 

2. Sounds (or Voices): “Sounds” carry a wide variety of possibilities.  But just as the lighting captures the eyes, sounds capture the ears.

It was in the Garden of Eden when it was said that Adam and Eve heard the sound of the LORD God. (GEN 3:8)

In the OT there are sounds of the horn, sounds of war, sounds of singing, etc..  This could be the voices or sounds of the Lord Himself.  It could also be the saints, creatures, and angels lifting up voices of praise to the Most High.

 

3. Peals of Thunder (To Roar): In the OT, thunder was often seen as a form of judgment.  Peal in the Hebrew means to tumble or to crash.

Moses brought forth thunder and hail as one of the plagues upon Egypt

  • Ex. 9:23“And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven; and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground. And the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt.”
  • Is. 29:6“From the LORD of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, With whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire.”

James and John were given the name, “Son’s of Thunder” (Boanerges) by Jesus.

The voice of God is also described with the word thunder.  Here is a great verse that has all three of the words used from verse 5.

  • Job 37:4 “After it, a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice; And He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard.

John Wesley’s Notes:

Verse 5. And out of the throne go forth lightnings—Which affect the sight. Voices—Which affect the hearing. Thunderings—Which cause the whole body to tremble. Weak men account all this terrible; but to the inhabitants of heaven it is a mere source of joy and pleasure, mixed with reverence to the Divine Majesty. Even to the saints on earth these convey light and protection; but to their enemies, terror and destruction.

 

I did not have time to touch on the seven lamps of fire aka the seven Spirits of God.  If you have any thoughts or opinions on the topic feel free to share.

 

••• I am sure we have all seen lightning and heard thunder as well as “sounds”, but I know the words that John used for this description hardly scratch the surface! Try and put yourself in this place, it is not easy, but I hope that you can at least feel the reverence that comes with standing before the Great and Mighty Throne of God.  Let us stand in awe of our God.  I encourage you to use the Beauty Realm of Revelation 4 and 5 to keep things in perspective.

King David gives another description that causes great wonderment in Psalm 97:1-6

The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; Let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
Fire goes before Him, And burns up His adversaries round about.
His lightnings lit up the world; The earth saw and trembled.
The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples have seen His glory.

 

Go to the beginning of this Beauty Realm Bible Study

Hiding in His Blessings?


They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

GENESIS 3:8

I came across this passage and it came with an interesting thought that I wanted to share with you guys.

For the first time the sound of the Lord God was not pleasing to their ears, it caused them to worry and to hide.  Did God change? NO.  The poison from the fruit had taken affect and caused mankind to be in a fallen state, it caused them to look at themselves.  It says that their eyes were opened.  God had said that this would happen if they ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  God said that they would surely die!  Was that a threat? NO.  It was a simple fact that the fruit of the tree led to sin and the wages of sin are death. It was the poison (sin) in the fruit that caused them to “fall” away, not God.  Adam and Eve’s consciousness changed and their view of God changed.  It’s like they said, ‘Oh no, God is going to be mad at us now, we better hide!’  GOD DID NOT CHANGE.  Did He know that in order to have true obedience it was necessary to have the tree of knowledge in the garden? YES.  Did them eating of the fruit throw off His whole game plan? NO. So the fall came after they disobeyed the first command from God, which we see prior to the eating of the forbidden fruit.  It was laid out pretty clear.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”

GENESIS 2:16-17

God put man in the garden, the place to encounter His presence and blessing.  God put the trees in the garden to benefit man because He saw that it was good and He caused them to grow, making them pleasing to sight and good for food. Man was put in the garden to first be with God (this was VERY GOOD) and then to cultivate and keep all that was in it.  Just a side note, Man was not created in Paradise (the Garden of Eden); man was created from the plain state of dirt and then brought into the garden (Gen 2:15, 3:23).  God blessed us from the beginning by placing us in the Garden of Eden (which was separate from the ground which man was taken from) to be with Him.

Anyways, I laid that all out to get to this point.  Instead of coming out clean and facing God and falling down in repentance, they hid themselves in the “good” things from the Lord.  They tried to hide under the trees that were actually gifts given from God for man.  Yes, I am trying to go somewhere with this…I feel like we often do this with our “spiritual gifts” that are from the Lord!  These gifts are good and right and need to be cultivated daily. But instead of coming out clean in repentance when we mess up, we hide behind or under the gifts to block us from encountering God!  We tell ourselves, I can still talk eloquently about His Word, I can still lead worship, I can still prophecy, I can still pray, I can still cast out demons or I can still raise the dead…I CAN I CAN I CAN!  The very tough word from Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23 comes to mind when pondering this.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

MATTHEW 7:21-23

Operating in His good gifts but not being in a right relationship with Him is lawlessness!   We often base the fact that we still have the “gifts” so therefore everything is all good with us and God so we don’t need to have a fresh encounter with Him because He has already approved us by the gifts.  He gave the gifts to us to help us, but He did not give them to us to replace our relationship with Him.  I’m not saying we need to beat ourselves up when we mess up, don’t get me wrong.  I just feel like it’s easier to go with the good from God instead of going to our God of the good to cultivate a relationship with Him, that is VERY GOOD.  Then out of that relationship it is good and right to cultivate and pursue His good gifts, spiritually and physically.  He loves to give good gifts in abundance, but even more so He loves being with us and desires us to be with Him.

In Kris Vallotton’s  ‘Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry’ he says,

“The gifts of the Spirit do not validate our walk with God.”

I’ve also heard it put another way, ‘don’t let your gifting lead your heart’.

Let us get back into His presence; back to walking with Him in the garden, to the place of encounter. It is time to start taking care of our own vineyard. For why should we be like one who veils themselves (song of songs 1:6,7)? We no longer need to serve at a distance. It is time to encounter Him individually and in fellowship.  We must not be afraid of the sound of His coming; we must not be troubled. We need to let go of the fig leaves and cling to all that He is.  If we are with Him now, He will not have to ask, “Where are you?” But let us be like Isaiah saying, “Here am I!” No matter how good or bad things look or feel.

 

••••I hope whoever reads this is encouraged, I know this is for me more than anyone else, but I felt led to share it anyways.

Blessings!

 



 

Beauty Realm 4:4

START AT THE BEGINNING OF THE STUDY…

* The Marvelous

4:4 “Around the throne were twenty-four thrones and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.”

1. Thrones represent a very high position. These thrones happen to encircle the Throne of God the Most High.  Not just anybody is given this seat in heaven!  These thrones are given to those that OVERCOME! Those that follow Jesus until the end!

  • Revelation 3:21 “’He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

  • Ephesians 2:4-6 “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus

Everything that goes out from the One on the throne in heaven is witnessed by those seated in the surrounding thrones.

2. Twenty-four elders sitting are seen as representing the redeemed from the Old and New Testament being priests and ministers of the Lord in the Holy of Holies.

  • Matthew 19:28And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

  • Isaiah 61:6 But you will be called the priests of the LORD; You will be spoken of as ministers of our God.”

In the Old Testament it was only the consecrated priests that could go in and minister before the LORD.  But now because the blood of the Lamb at the end of the age ALL of the redeemed will be before the Throne of GOD in the HOLY of HOLIES ministering to Him.  Even now we have the grace to draw near to His throne.

  • Hebrew 4:16 “Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

In fact we should all be doing as John did as read previously in Rev 4:1-2 going through the “Open door”.  It is His grace and mercy that allows us to be seated around Him and to approach Him boldly, even today.

3.  The #24, “It is the number associated with the heavenly government and worship, of which the earthly form in Israel was only a copy.” http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/21.html .

4. Clothed in white garments shows the unashamed purity while sitting before the Living God.

Again these garments are given to the OVERCOMERS!

  • Revelation 3:5 “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments.”

I am curious as to why it says garments and not robes? Garment seems more like a plain article of clothing that Jesus/disciples/commoners wore in Bible times.  I know it is pure white, but it doesn’t seem like a fancy decorated piece of clothing.  The LORD made garments of skin for Adam and Eve in Eden after they sinned.

Garment: Greek, himation Hebrew, kĕthoneth (Rev 4:4, elders)

1) a garment (of any sort)

a) garments, i.e. the cloak or mantle and the tunic

2) the upper garment, the cloak or mantle

Robe: Greek, stolē Hebrew, m@`iyl (Rev 7:9, great multitude)

1) an equipment

2) an equipment in clothes, clothing

a)    spec. a loose outer garment for men extending to the feet, worn by kings, priests, and persons of rank

 

Isaiah uses both in the same sentence,

  • Isaiah 61:10 For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness

5. Golden crowns on their heads, means that they are distinguished and respected as “lords” (Rev 8:14) or priests as seen in the OT.  Expresses royalty and honor

  • Exodus 39:30 They made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and inscribed it like the engravings of a signet, “Holy to the LORD.”

We too are promised crowns!

  • Revelation 2:10 Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
  • James 1:12 “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

  • 1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”
  • 2 Timothy 4:8 “In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
  • Psalms 21:3 For You meet him with the blessings of good things; You set a crown of fine gold on his head.”

 

•••

Was it finished at the Cross, YES!  But as He was called to overcome, He is calling us to overcome! Let us cling to the Cross but let us fix our gaze on the beauty of the Lord and draw even closer to Him.  Let us walk in these promises and not be found complacent in His grace.  Remember we are more than conquerors because of the love that He poured out for us and nothing shall separate us from His love.

  • Rom 8:37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Was it enough, YES!  But He wants to co-labor with us today until His glorious return.   We cannot be content with yesterday’s faith for we are called to fight the good fight of faith until His appearing.

  • 1 Timothy 6:12-14 “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

 

Continued: Beauty Realm 4:5

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