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KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES

"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."

 

FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE


Part 68


THE THRONE

(continued)



“Immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone…” (Rev. 4:2-3).

The occupant of the throne appeared like the crystalline brightness of jasper and the fiery sardine (sardius) stone. The glory of the One sitting upon the throne is overwhelming in its impact upon the Seer. Yet, in the midst of it all, John recognizes certain truths expressed by the glory of all that he sees, and channels that truth to us by means of established oriental symbols which are to be found in the Old Testament. The first of these are referred to as the jasper and sardine stones. These were the first and the last precious stones in the breastplate of the high priest, only the sardine stone is there the first while here it is the last. The names of Benjamin and Reuben were engraven upon these two stones (Ex. 28:17-20). Benjamin means “the son of the right hand” and Reuben means “behold a son!” clearly and unmistakably connecting the throne with sonship. Thus we can conclude that God’s Christ, Head and body, God’s corporate son ready to reign in power — that is what the seer sees in his vision! The beauty and brightness of the jasper and sardine bespeak of the glory of manifest sonship. The sons of God who are coming to maturity shall be invested with the authority, power, and dominion of the throne of God, and they shall reign unto the ages of the ages.

Here is glory indescribable! The scene is one of luminous splendor! The One sitting on the throne was in appearance like unto a jasper and a sardine stone — not as to form or shape, for the idea is not one of physical appearance, but of glory and power. The scriptural representations of jasper are that it is “most precious,” crystalline, and purple in hue. The sardine, or sardius, is also described as exceedingly precious, and of a beautiful bright red or carnation color. It is capable of a particularly high and lasting polish. Uniting the qualities of tint and brilliancy belonging to the purer specimens of these precious gems, we have the appearance of flames, without their smokiness — a pure, purple, fiery, red, crystalline, flashing light!

We find this bright, fiery appearance of the Lord also described in the books of Ezekiel and Daniel. “From what had the appearance of His waist upward, I saw a lustre as it were glowing metal with the appearance of fire enclosed round about within it; and from the appearance of His waist downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about Him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (Eze. 1:27-28).

The scriptures are many which describe God and His throne as fire. “Our God is a consuming fire!” This is the aspect of God that so many fear. When Yahweh came down upon mount Sinai in a blazing, burning fire the children of Israel were frightened and refused to approach Him, sending Moses into God’s fiery presence to hear from God for them. Many today will not enter through the open door into the fiery presence of God’s throne because they fear the loss and pain it would bring to them! This fiery throne speaks of the Lord’s authority in our lives, first in us, then through us. By the power in His throne God consumes all we have and all we are in Adam, while at the same time catching us up into the brilliance of His ineffable glory where dwells divine life, immortality, wisdom, holiness, power, and authority.

The physical symbols of the great and eternal God who is spirit are fire, light, and life. Fire, as seen in the sun, is a terrible and consuming power. Yet it is the source of all life on this planet! Should you seek to enter into the sun, pain and death are the penalty. The sun will consume you! On the other hand, from this flaming source radiate all the marvels and beauties, colors, illumination, food, energy, and warmth that fill our earth. No fire means no light. No light means no life. The fire is only known and mediated to us in its eternal begetting of the light. It is the light from the fire that passes into all nature, quickening, transforming, sustaining, giving color, form, and substance to all things. This beautiful type teaches us the mystery of God with more force than any spoken word! To perform His life-giving work in creation our God, who is a consuming fire, reveals Himself in three operations: the fire must burn, the light must shine, and life must be quickened in us. These are the glorious and eternal realities emanating from the fiery presence of God and His throne! And these are the glories to be revealed through all of God’s sons who become the light and the life of the world!

THE RAINBOW AROUND THE THRONE

“And there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald” (Rev. 4:3).

There is one thing you can absolutely count on in this world — there will never be another world-wide flood! It was God who in the days of righteous Noah opened the windows of heaven and broke up the fountains of the mighty deep, sending upon the inhabitants of earth a flood to destroy the utterly wicked and perverse civilization of that time, but it was the selfsame Lord who, after the fearful flood of waters had abated, made this covenant with Noah and his seed: “And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations. I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth” (Gen. 9:9-17).

Throughout the long centuries since that fearful day, God in His great faithfulness and mercy has hung His bow of seven-fold witness in the clouds of millions of storms throughout the earth that we may know His heart of love toward all His creation. Would God that every man and woman, boy and girl, who see the rainbow when it appears in the sky would lift up their hearts in praise and thanksgiving to Him whose promises never fail and who keeps His word of salvation and redemption to every man.

There is something entrancingly wonderful about a rainbow! When by the spirit of revelation we look beyond the earthly symbol with its excellent beauty, we find God and see a truth and a glory that awakens the heart to worship at His feet. Thus did Ezekiel worship, when, caught up in the ecstasies of the Spirit, he beheld a vision of God so sublime that the heart of man has never yet been able to fathom its depths nor the tongue of man to expound its meaning. “Above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw…the appearance of fire round about…and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it I fell upon my face…” (Eze. 1:27-28).

It is interesting to note that the Greek word used for rainbow in Revelation 4:3 is iris and denotes a bow that is a complete circle. In classical Greek the word was used of any bright halo surrounding an object. Everyone knows that the iris of the eye (brought into English from the Greek) is a complete circle that wraps itself around the pupil in the center. The bow surrounding the great throne of the heavenlies is revealed as a circular bow which completely wraps itself around the throne. This is indeed wonderful! In all the world there has never been a circular bow seen in the cloud. Every rainbow beheld by the eye of man is a half-circle and if it is a full bow it connects with the earth at both sides. I’m certain that all who read these lines have heard the old myth that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Of course, as many a curious child has discovered, one can never find the end of the rainbow! Yet the rainbow ends where the earth begins. That is just the mystery of it!

Let your heart consider what I now say. The rainbow in the heavens of God’s Spirit is a complete circle simply because there is no “earth” to break it! Only the earth prevents the natural rainbow from being a circle! In like manner, is it not the earthiness of man’s carnality, fear, and unbelief that obstructs the full revelation of the glory of the Lord and the dominion of His throne in our lives? My heart greatly rejoices today in the knowledge that God is forming a people, His chosen ones, raising up within us the dominion of His throne, subduing all things in us, ending the old fleshly nature, rooting out the old carnal mind, the old Adamic will, and the old soulical emotions, consuming by His fiery presence the old worldly ways, desires, plans, ambitions, hopes, and dreams, and the old Babylonish religious spirit and ways, that Christ may be all in all to us and through us. Oh, yes! How wonderful the path of the called and chosen really is! How blessed beyond belief to know that the rainbow of the glory of the Lord shall be beheld fully encircling the throne of God within us when there is no more “earth” in our hearts to break it!

Arched above and around the throne John saw a rainbow. As I have previously pointed out, the rainbow was the sign of the covenant that God made with Noah and all the inhabitants of the world proclaiming that never again would He destroy the earth and all creatures with water. Noah is a picture of how we get out of the old world dominated by the flesh and under the curse, and how we get into the new world of the kingdom of God dominated by the spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, wherein dwelleth righteousness. The only vehicle out of the old world is not a cruise ship, but a wonderful Person who has already made the transition! The rainbow around the throne is the symbol of God’s eternal covenant of mercy and grace whereby we escape from the old world of sin and death. In order to escape we must, like Noah, “find grace in the eyes of the Lord” in the very face of judgment upon the world in which we live. To escape we must pass through the judgment in the provision of God so that we come out of the judgment in our “ark” which is Christ!

In addition to this the rainbow has seven colors. The covenant has seven levels, just as the tabernacle of Moses had seven pieces of furniture and Israel had seven feasts by which men approached unto God. The seven pieces of furniture and the seven feasts picture the seven-fold process of our complete entrance into Christ. People are at different levels, but each and every son of Adam must experientially pass through all levels in order to fully enter into the new world of Christ. When we have fully entered into the new world of Christ we shall be like Him in nature, mind, wisdom, and power and experience the fullness of His resurrection life in spirit, soul, and body! There will be no more sin or death, no more carnal mind or corruption, no more weakness or limitation, for we shall have put on the Lord Jesus Christ in all the glory of His life and victory, and even our vile bodies shall be changed and fashioned into a body like His body of glory! This new world, fully entered into, is the world of manifest sonship!

The rainbow is a display of the colors of visible light — white light. The colors are arrayed in the order of the spectrum, red at the top, followed by orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. One writer has explained that when we analyze sunlight, we find that it consists of seven visible colors which compose the solar spectrum seen in the rainbow, or in the flashing colors of a well-cut diamond or beveled glass. If we pass a shaft of sunlight through a prism of glass, we find that the different colors have different angles of refraction, and when thrown upon a surface, the prism will appear in seven colors. The fact that light can be divided into the seven basic colors from violet to red speaks of the perfection of the divine nature, for the number “seven” stands for that which is complete and perfect, and God is perfect!

As I did some research on the rainbow I discovered that scientifically a true and complete rainbow has seven colors. This is important! It fits with the whole scheme of seven throughout the Word of God and in the book of Revelation. It is interesting to note that the New Age Movement today makes much of the rainbow. Their rainbow, however, has only six colors — and six is the number of man! What a revelation this is! I have made the necessary discovery that the “inner Christ consciousness” of which New Agers speak is in fact the soul of the natural man rather than the spirit which is in-breathed and regenerated by God. Does this not powerfully explain why New Age people as a whole do not embrace the fundamentals of the gospel, but in fact reject the life-giving blood of the Lamb of God and the quickening, regenerating power of the Holy Spirit?

I have no hesitation in telling you that the “true inner self” the New Age people have discovered within themselves is the awesome, unexplored power of the soul — the selfhood — of the ADAMIC MAN! This can easily be demonstrated. The popular emphasis among nearly all new age groups has to do with psychic powers! The word “psychic” comes directly from the Greek word psyche which means — guess what — “soul or mind.” Nothing psychic has anything to do with the spirit! All the major thrust of New Age philosophy concerns itself with psychics, psychic powers, psychic phenomena, extra sensory perception, transcendental meditation, bio-feedback, alpha-psigenics, alpha mind control, krishna consciousness, telepathy, hypnotism, psycho-analysis, psycho-therapy and a host of other soulical or mind sciences. None of these have anything to do with the Holy Spirit! And when they do delve into “spirit” realms it is always “spirits” of one kind or another from the “spirit world” and never the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD! All such activities stem from the recessed delusions of the Adamic mind or from familiar spirits out of the occult realms of darkness. I earnestly exhort every reader to seek the face of the living Lord Jesus Christ until the spirit of wisdom and discernment from God reveals to you by His Spirit the power of the living word of God which is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the deepest depths of our nature, even to the dividing line between old Adam’s soul and the quickening spirit of the living Christ in the spirit of every born-again, regenerated man.

The glory emanating from the throne of God’s power brings transforming rays of Life and Light and Love. It awakens dead and darkened worlds, and like natural light that is complete with seven colors, His emanating glory expresses the completeness of His divine attributes. Let us notice briefly these seven colors of light and see how they apply spiritually to the realities of Christ within:

RED — the color of LOVE. The ultimate manifestation of that love is when “God so loved the world, that He gave His Son.” His love went to the cross and poured out His life (blood) for all mankind. Love is forgiveness, acceptance, long suffering, gentleness, kindness, mercy, and blessing. “Whosoever loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”

ORANGE — the color of PASSION. Passion in scripture is God’s burning desire, His great and unchanging purpose to produce growth power, warmth, life, change, transformation, like the power of the natural sun.

YELLOW — the color of the DIVINE NATURE. The divine nature is the heavenly nature of true and eternal joy, gladness, purity, peace, righteousness, wisdom, and power.

GREEN — the color of LIFE. This principle of life is typified by the green grass, vegetation, shrubs, and trees. It speaks of eternal, incorruptible life with healing and creative powers.

BLUE — the color of the HEAVENLY. Blue bespeaks of that which is high and exalted, far above corruption, limitation, and darkness of earth. It points to the higher principles of truth, the mind of Christ, and the power of God in our lives.

INDIGO — the color of PRIESTHOOD. Being a deep blue with a hint of sacrificial, redeeming red, it speaks of the heavenly calling, the ministry of reconciliation, the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, through which man and God are consciously made one. The writer to the Hebrews speaks of this ministry thus: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched by the feeling our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Wherefore, holy brethren, PARTAKERS OF THE HEAVENLY CALLING (of this priesthood), consider the apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb. 4:14-16, 3:1). As every high priest must be a high priest over a house of priests (else he would not be the “high priest”), so Christ is the Head of His body, the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.

VIOLET — the color of ROYALTY. This is the color of kingly authority and dominion. Thus it is the color of sonship. “And of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom” (Heb. 1:7-8). “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 3:21; 21:7).

What this portrays is the prism of our experience in God by which the pure white of God’s unfathomable glory is filtered into our lives on different dimensions. Just as you cannot take a spacecraft and fly into the sun (and expect to survive!), so no natural man can approach unto that pure white light in which HE DWELLS. “Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto: whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.” (I Tim. 1:15-16). The words of this wonderful passage might seem to exclude us from ever reaching the throne! But such is not the case. The pure light in which He dwells is, like the sunlight, bent, broken, so that we see it in its parts and experience it progressively through all its levels of power, glory, and life. The marvelous reality of it is that having fully experienced the light that God is, in all His aspects, we come at last to that union in Him whereby the full WHITE LIGHT of His nature, wisdom, and power is perfectly blended in us and it is “no longer I but Christ that liveth in me.” The intense white light of God’s nature and glory consumes out of us all that is Adamic, so that we, our carnal mind and human identity, no longer exist. Christ dwells in that light which no man, that is, no natural man can approach unto! The natural man passes away in the fiery blaze of His glorious throne, and we stand in the light clothed in our new mind, new nature, new life, new identity which is Christ. THIS IS THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST!

The throne is referred to in scripture as the throne of His glory. What is glory? What is its shape, size, and color? Perhaps you feel that you have never seen it, you feel that it is spiritual, and therefore cannot be seen. Not so, my friend, it can be seen. How my heart thrills to see the glory! The literal meaning of the Hebrew word for glory is weight or substance; worth, dignity and honor; splendor and majesty. In the eyes of men this literal meaning frequently lent itself to the idea that a person possessing glory was laden (heavy) with the substance and honor of this world. Jacob’s flock was his “glory” (Gen. 31:1). The Assyrians’ power was their “glory” (Isa. 8:7). Joseph’s high position was his “glory” (Gen. 45:13). The Israelites thought that they were living to the glory of God by acquiring a weight of material wealth, power, and position. Today, a number of “prosperity preachers” have the very same idea! They think God is glorified in the heaping of the weight and substance of worldly possessions and earthly blessings upon His people. But the prophet Jeremiah told God’s people that they should not consider such human values their glory. Rather, they were to glory in the fact that they knew the Lord, whose glory was His kindness, justice, and righteousness!

When the word was applied to God, it was meant to bring out the weightiness of God’s attributes. All Bible dictionaries agree that “glory” is “the exhibition and display of the excellence of the subject to which it is ascribed.” Thus, in respect to God, it is the visible manifestation of His attributes — His nature, character, power, love, justice, righteousness, etc. (Jer. 9:24). The glory of God is the visible manifestation of WHAT GOD IS. The glory of God is God REVEALED, God PUT ON DISPLAY, the EMMANATION OF HIS ESSENCE, all that God is brought into demonstration on the visible plane so men can perceive what God is like. That is what men saw when they beheld the glory of God! God is love, God is light, God is truth, God is peace, God is power, God is life, God is righteousness. When God brings what He is into expression so we can either see or perceive it, we then “behold HIS GLORY.” It was with this same sense of glory that Jesus spoke about how He would bring glory to the Father. Jesus would not acquire worldly wealth, fame, power, or position. On the contrary, His life would be “heavy” with the glorious heavenly qualities of love, mercy, goodness, purity, compassion, righteousness, wisdom, and spiritual power. And that is the call and aim of every son of God. This is the rainbow around the throne!

Now Christ has given His glory to His “many brethren” — the sons of God. “And the glory which Thou gavest me I have given them” (Jn. 17:22). What a treasure! What riches! What heavenly splendor! God has called us to His kingdom and glory (Col. 2:12). We have been called to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Thes. 2:14). The Captain of our salvation was made perfect through sufferings that He might bring many sons to glory (Heb. 2:10). The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18). We are even now partakers of the glory that shall be revealed (I Pet. 5:1). Christ is coming to be glorified in His saints (II Thes. 1:10). We are called unto glory and virtue (II Pet. 1:3).

As I mentioned earlier, God’s great glory is His wonderful nature and character, the substance of His Being. Some people foolishly talk about dying and “going to glory” as if glory were a place, an astral location on a planet called heaven. But one doesn’t “go” to glory — the Bible says nothing about such a crude notion. Glory is revealed! Glory is revealed in us! Glory comes to us! Glory is given to us! Glory is not a place you go to, glory is something you become! When the glory of the Lord is fully revealed in the manifest sons of God “all flesh shall see it together.” That is the scriptural testimony about glory! If you don’t apprehend and experience God’s glory here on earth, forget about “going” somewhere to find it! As the sons of God ascend into the heavens of God’s Spirit, into the spiritual realm of His throne, the glory of God emanates through us and out from us — the rainbow around the throne! It is indeed wonderful!

Jesus Christ the firstborn Son of God is the brightness of God’s glory, the express image of His person (Heb. 1:3). That’s why in Old Testament times when the glory manifested, God covered it with a cloud. He had to protect mankind from it to keep it from obliterating them. In Jesus, however, the light of God was bent, broken, so that men beheld the light as a rainbow rather then a blinding sun. The bow is in the cloud, the Lord told Noah. Under the Old Testament economy God covered His glory with a cloud, but the people never saw the rainbow of promise. When Jesus came the rainbow appeared in the cloud! He was the promise of redemption, blessing, and life for all men!

While living here on earth our Lord was extremely kind. He picked up little children and blessed them. He healed all who were suffering with pain. While relatives were weeping over dead loved ones, He raised four of them to life again. The Saviour of all men said to the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (Jn. 8:11). His kindness made an evangelist out of the wicked woman at the well (Jn. 4:29). Because Jesus really loved the weak, helpless creatures whom He had created, He wept over them, prayed for them and taught them continually. Except those religious Pharisees, Jesus never spoke one cross word to the unconverted masses. He was very tender and kind in all His dealings with men, even the most wicked among them. He sat at meat with the rich and ungodly and never upbraided them for their sins, shortcomings, and moral failures. His approach to them was very gentle, delicate, and considerate. Surely then, we are safer in His hands than anywhere else! The things He has in store for every one of us are far greater than we could plan for ourselves!

The Holy Spirit has taught me three things relative to the life of sonship. These three principles are expressed in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is God’s rainbow of promise around the throne. First, Jesus never condoned sin. How do I know this? Because, when the woman caught in adultery was left before Him, He spoke prophetically and redemptively into her life, saying, “Go, and sin no more.” I believe she did just that! His words were spirit and life unto her, transforming and lifting her life. Jesus did not come to condone our fallen state and sinful conduct, He came to save us from it! He didn’t come to say, “I’m O.K., you’re O.K., everybody’s O.K.” Everybody is not O.K.! Jesus was often forgiving sin and then admonishing, “Go and sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you.” He perfectly understood the law of sowing and reaping, the law of sin and death, with it’s inherent process of judgment.

Hear me now! Secondly, Jesus never condemned the sinner! Never! His testimony was that “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Though Jesus never condoned sin, He never condemned the sinner! He didn’t go around reminding men what terrible sinners they were. Most men already knew that! He didn’t counsel them about all the bad they had done or were doing. He knew what was in man, He understood that people really, within their own human strength and nature, could not help what they were! They needed compassion, love, mercy, and deliverance — not condemnation! Never, in all His years of ministry, did He ever condemn even one sinner! Jesus could do something that very few of our modern fundamentalist and evangelical preachers can do — He could preach salvation without first informing his audience about how fallen, rotten, wicked, and despicable they were, and how hot was the hell that awaited them if they didn’t repent! He didn’t say, “Repent, or you’re going to eternal hell!” On the contrary, He said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” “Repent — because I have something infinitely better prepared for you!” Isn’t it wonderful!

Sometimes people write to me and they have a son or daughter who has just announced that they are “gay”. This is so repulsive and an abhorrence to them, and they are so devastated by the news, that they don’t know how to handle it or even what their attitude should be. Sometimes the homosexual child wants to visit them and bring along their lover! The first inclination is to tell them what an abomination this is in the sight of God, and in their sight, and tell them in effect to “get lost.” They want to shut them out, cut them off, disown them. Or else they do tolerate them, but are continually offended and emotionally traumatized by the blatant life-style of their once beloved offspring.

The difficulty arises because we live still under an Old Testament mentality of that which is an abomination to God, worthy of judgment or death, and we view things as men under the law. But you see, my friend, the truth is that sin is sin, any sin IS SIN! We tend to “grade” sin according to our ideas of their perverseness. While on one level there is some truth in that, in the final analysis all sin is sin; the sins of gossip, hatred, covetousness, cursing, cheating, lying (even a little white lie), or drinking a little too much are just as deadly as the sin of adultery or homosexuality. The wages of sin is death — any sin! When it comes to the wages of sin all receive the same wages — there are no little sins that only make us sick and bigger sins that result in death. The wages of sin — any sin — is death! Because all have sinned, all have died, the apostle tells us. There is no difference. When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus He said to her accusers, “Let him that is without sin, first cast a stone.” ANY SIN would prevent them from casting a stone! All were equally guilty, regardless of the nature of their sin. To shut one kind of sinner out of our lives while receiving another kind of sinner into our friendship is utter hypocrisy! The glorious truth is that Jesus paid the debt for every sinner, we are no longer under the law that condemns, but under grace that redeems! When Jesus came the rainbow appeared in the cloud!

I say to all who face situations such as this, what you need above all else is peace from God, the ability to rest in Him, and commit your son or daughter, or whoever it is, into His almighty and loving hands once and forever. You can never condone their state of being or their conduct, but neither can you condemn them and shut them out of your life! To do so is to shut them up from the flow of God’s love, mercy, and life. We are neither called to condone or condemn — God sends His sons into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through them might be saved! Sons are not called to be condoners, nor are they called to be condemners — a true son of God can be neither! God is bringing saviours up to mount Zion! Because Jesus understood this great sonship truth, He became saviour of all and condemner of none! Jesus loved unconditionally and infinitely. All sons must so love! And it is just at this point that the work of God must be fulfilled in our lives, bringing the rest, peace, joy, and confidence to wait for God’s deliverance to be wrought out. When you love, love never fails! Pray, intercede, and love unconditionally and you will BECOME A SAVIOUR! THIS IS THE RAINBOW IN THE CLOUD! Will you be a rainbow person?

In the Old Testament the glory was seen in the cloud, fiery, blinding glory, muted by the cloud. We see an example of this in Exodus, when God appeared to Israel at mount Sinai. “And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and the seventh day God called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel” (Ex. 24:16-17). As we search the scriptures we see that “devouring fire” again and again. The prophet Habakkah says, “God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. And His brightness was as the light; He had horns coming out of His hand: and there was the hiding of His power” (Hab. 3:3-4). According to various Bible helps the word horns in this passage refers to bright beams. One translation calls them lightning-like shafts of splendor. The Bible tells us that in these fiery, lightning-like shafts lies the hiding place of God’s power. That alone is enough to let us know that experiencing the glory is more than having a warm, “spiritual” feeling. It’s an encounter with the very nature, being, and power of God because His nature, being, and power is His glory!

The rainbow around the throne reveals the great truth that the throne is not a power of destruction, but the very power of life! While most rainbows have more than one color, this rainbow was in appearance like unto an emerald — accentuating only the color green. Webster defines emerald as: (1) A green transparent variety of beryl used as a gemstone. (2) A clear deep green color. Ireland is called “The Emerald Isle” because of the abundance of lush dark green vegetation. The green is of course the middle tone of the color spectrum (red, orange, yellow, GREEN, blue, indigo, violet). The spectrum divides the white light into its parts, as the departing rainstorm does to the sun’s light and flashes back to the human eye the complete rainbow. God is light, not in the cosmic sense but in that spiritual reality of which cosmic light is the wonderful parable. Light in its energetic principle is the secret of creation, as the LIGHT WHICH GOD IS, is the source principle of all life.

 

Green in scripture is the supreme color of LIFE! Yes, there is death to the old, but in the throne we ascend to the highest dimension of life — divine, incorruptible, immortal life. John fell as dead before the face of the One sitting on the throne — his old Adamic life, identity, nature, and mind slain by the fiery glory of God! But let your heart consider the words of this glorious One when He says to John, “Fear not. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore!” In other words, “Don’t be afraid to give up your will, John, your ways, your desires, your emotions, your plans, your hopes, your dreams, your thoughts, your carnal, human identity. Don’t be afraid, says the Lord Jesus, for I had to give them all up when I walked in the flesh. I died! BUT BEHOLD, I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE!” Therein is both the power and the promise of the throne! The consuming fire of God will absolutely destroy every vestige of the carnal mind and the flesh life. And then the rainbow of promise establishes within the covenant of divine, heavenly life and reality. Adam dies and Christ arises within us! This is the glory of sonship! This is what is happening within the life of every son of God who hears the call to “Come up hither!” Oh, no, you are not going to be raptured up to a mansion in the sky, but as you ascend in the Spirit you are being changed, transformed into the image of Christ. Oh, the wonder of it!

THE RAINBOW IN THE CLOUD

I will speak of one more thing concerning the rainbow, for my joyful spirit goes far beyond even the blessed truths we have discussed thus far. As has already been pointed out, a rainbow is an arch of beautiful colors that appears when the sun shines after a rain shower. As the light passes through the rain drops still in the air, the rays of light are bent. When this happens, the sunlight separates out into its different colors. You see a rainbow when the sun is behind you, and the rain is in front of you. The ray is refracted as it enters the rain drop, and it is separated into the various colors. Then, as it strikes the inner surface of the drop it is reflected. That is when you see the rainbow in the cloud. The marvelous reality of this beautiful type points to the truth that there must be the idea of rain or moisture connected with the throne, or would it not be self evident that there could be no rain-bow? Where there are no clouds and no rain there is no rainbow! That is the type. That is the symbol. And Revelation is a book of symbols!

Jesus used graphic language when He spoke of His appearing. To the disciples who asked what His coming would be like He said, “They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Mat. 24:30). The picture language of the Bible employs essentially all the created things of God with which we here on earth are acquainted. There are various reasons why the Holy Spirit has used so much symbolic language in the Word. I think that one of these is its unchangeableness. The meanings of words change somewhat through use and misuse. For instance, three hundred years ago the English word “let” meant to hinder or prevent; today the very same word means exactly the opposite — to allow or permit! Whatever man creates is also subject to change, but this is not true of the created things of God. Only a little more than a hundred years ago nearly everyone used oil lamps for light, today we use electricity. In the sign language of the Bible God has employed the sun, the moon, the stars, and clouds; and on earth, oceans, rivers, mountains, valleys, sheep, goats, horses, wheat, tares, fig trees, and so forth. The characteristics of these have not changed throughout the centuries, and when used in scripture to illustrate the exalted thoughts of God they should have the same meaning to us as they did to the ancients. As signs, they have a spiritual meaning and application.

One of the rabbinical names for the Messiah, based on Daniel 7:13-14, was “The Cloud Man.” Daniel writes, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like unto the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven…” Christ, of course, is plainly identified as the “One who comes with the clouds” in the Salutation of Revelation 1:7, “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him…” Furthermore, when our Lord was adjured by the high priest to tell whether He was the Messiah or not, Jesus answered with the old equivalent of “Yes!” Then He said, “Ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Mk. 14:62).

What, then, are those clouds with which, and in which, the Christ comes? Why, bless your heart, WE ARE! The incontrovertible proof that the “clouds” in which Christ comes are in reality the sons of God in their glory is couched in the terminology of the scriptures on this subject. Note that in most places the passages in question speak of Christ coming “with clouds.” There is only one other group or plurality of objects of which it is stated that Christ comes “with” them or “in” them, and that is — the SAINTS! It is very careful to tell us that He comes “with” clouds. And it also tells us that He comes “with” His saints! “To the end He may establish your hearts…at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ W-I-T-H ALL HIS SAINTS” (I Thes. 3:13). Jude says, “And Enoch also…prophesied…saying, Behold, the Lord cometh W-I-T-H TEN THOUSANDS OF SAINTS” (Jude 14). The Amplified Bible is helpful, when it reads, “Behold, the Lord comes W-I-T-H MYRIADS OF HOLY ONES — ten thousands of His saints.” But the Interlinear reading from the Diaglott translation gives the clearest of all renderings from the Greek text, “Lo, comes Lord  I-N H OLY MYRIADS OF HIMSELF” “Myriads of HIMSELF!” All of them begotten out of His life, all of them partakers of His divine nature, conformed to His image, filled with His mind, matured in His life. Myriads of Himself, of His own kind, born of His seed, a many brethren company of sons of God. The apostle Paul once expressed the truth in this way, “When He shall come to be glorified I-N HIS SAINTS, and to be admired I-N ALL THEM that believe in that day” (II Thes. 1:10). And again we hear the testimony, “And the Lord my God shall come, and ALL THE SAINTS W-I-T-H T-H-E-E” (Zech. 14:5). John the beloved sees this same scene in wonder-filled vision and speaking in prophetical language writes: “Behold, He cometh W-I-T-H CLOUDS; and every eye shall see Him.”

The apostles Peter and Jude both tell us that false ministries are “clouds without water…carried about of winds.” A true ministry then, is a cloud with water. A true ministry has life to give, and like a cloud is willing to empty himself out in order to be a blessing to dry and thirsty souls. Jesus was a bright cloud laden with water, for “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and give His life…” (Mat. 20:28).

A cloud is made up of millions of tiny droplets of water in a big group. The clouds you see in the sky were formed when a mass of warm, moist air rose from the earth and reached a section of colder air. The invisible moisture in the air condensed and made a visible cloud, just as your breath condenses on a cold day. When a cloud becomes so heavy with droplets that it can no longer hold them, it spills over, and we have rain. “O Lord my God, Thou art very great…who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters: who maketh the cloud His chariot: He watereth the hills from His chambers” (Ps. 104:3,13). The clouds are the chambers of God containing the water of life! A cloud is full of water and water speaks to us of life. Water typifies both the Word of God and the Spirit of God (Eph. 5:26; Jn. 7:37-39). A cloud speaks to us of a vessel which contains water or contains life. Even so, God by His Spirit gives Living Water to refresh and impart life to His creation! It is the nature of a cloud to empty itself! “If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth” (Eccl. 11:3). When the cloud gets filled up, it rains. That is the nature of the clouds — rain pours out. All that God is was emptied into Jesus Christ! All that God is was poured into Him, He became a receptacle, a vehicle for all the fullness of God (Col. 1:19; 2:9). He was filled up with the life-giving properties of God! Now, all that Jesus Christ is, is being emptied into His body until we are filled with all the fullness of God — having all the life-giving properties of God! HE IS FILLING THE CLOUDS! The nature of each matured, manifest son will be to pour out that life just as God poured it into Jesus and Jesus poured it into us. That is what will deliver the creation from the bondage of corruption! Every eye shall see His glory. They shall SEE HIM IN THE CLOUDS!

If the saints be full of God they will pour Him out upon the earthly-natured, unconverted, tormented and bound, and unspiritual ones. This is the only hope of creation! This is why the whole creation still waits and groans and travails for the manifestation of the sons of God! A true ministry has life to give, and is willing to empty himself in order to be a blessing to a dry and thirsty people. Pour out his life for others — that is what Jesus did! We are called and chosen of God to empty out that same life on a larger scale on a groaning creation and break the bondage of corruption. Jesus was only one cloud, now we are many clouds! We will rain on all peoples and all nations! Life shall spring forth everywhere throughout the whole earth! All creation is awaiting with bated breath this son company of people who will be the clouds of glory! Their life-giving rain will be emptied upon a dry and cursed earth and creation itself shall be released into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. Aren’t you glad!

With these thoughts in mind we can better understand the fact that Christ Jesus departed this earth in one cloud, yet He comes again in many clouds. The one glory has become the multiple glory. Christ the Head has reproduced His life in a many-membered body. The one cloud of His presence has become many clouds of His presence in His many brethren. Isaiah foretold of this day: “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee” (Isa. 60:1-2). The sign of the coming or the presence of the Lord has always been the shekinah or the glory cloud. It was God’s sign to Moses, to Ezekiel, to Daniel, and when our Lord comes again in fullness in a many-membered body of sons, it will be IN THE CLOUDS OF HIS PRESENCE!

From earth’s teeming millions of all ages there is a people arising in the image of Christ. We who watch the spiritual heavens are seeing a cloud as we have never seen before. We have seen inky black clouds, and clouds of snowy whiteness; clouds brightly tinted and many silver lined; clouds made brilliantly gorgeous by the afterglow of the setting sun. But we never before have seen a cloud made magnificently glorious by the blazing splendor of the Son of God! We have seen clouds charged with thunder and lighted up by flashes of lightning as those who call themselves the representatives of Christ have thundered at the world, intimidating them with words of condemnation and threats of judgment, telling all what awful sinners they are and frightening them with promises of certain hell-fire and eternal damnation. Clouds with thunder and lightning, but little rain! Not yet have we seen clouds charged with the power of omnipotence and flashing with the incorruptible radiance of the love of God in Christ! Afar off we have seen the morning clouds as they have enwrapped the distant mountain peaks and splendidly capped the hilltops. We have yet to see the clouds which shall enfold the absolute fullness of the Mighty One!

We have seen clouds driven as chariots to carry rain to the dry and thirsty fields here and there, as God has periodically visited people with revival by the moving of His Spirit. BUT NOW BRIGHT CLOUDS ARE FORMING IN THE HEAVENS OF GOD’S SPIRIT THAT WILL BE SEEN, THAT WILL BE THE CHARIOT OF HEAVEN’S KING OF GLORY WHEN HE COMES IN SONS TO REFRESH AND RESTORE AND QUICKEN ALL THINGS. What a sight it will be! Even as I pen these words droplets are forming, individual sons over all the earth, on every continent, in every nation, in every city, town, and hamlet are being filled with the spirit of sonship which is the fullness of God, and soon, my beloved, soon! these droplets will band together by the sovereign operation of God and these brilliant bands will fill the glory-flashing skies from end to end and flood the world with life and light and love. How magnificent will be the pageantry of the skies! How sublime beyond all mortal comprehension will be the flood of redeeming love, quickening power, transforming grace, the spirit of understanding, the impartation of righteousness, the breaking of the curse, the collapse of man’s vaunted kingdoms, the end of the rule of flesh, the resurrection unto life that shall spring forth in all the earth upon all peoples, bringing God’s kingdom to pass everywhere the rain doth fall!

Oh, the wonder of it! Having beheld these wonders in the Spirit, may our hearts be assured that the rain from God’s clouds of sons, refracting and reflecting the blazing Shekinah of His glorious presence and power, is what FORMS THE RAINBOW AROUND THE THRONE OF HIS RIGHTEOUS GOVERNMENT OUT OF HEAVENLY REALMS. That is the mystery. It is indeed wonderful!

A MAN IN THE RAIN

When light breaks through from the side of the skies
And finds itself caught and impaled and it dies
In the rain that descends from the dark cloud above,
A rainbow is seen, a sign of God’s love.

Oh, the colors were there in the light all along
But only the rain can bring out the song
That’s been sung by the glory around heaven’s throne:
Light’s manifold nature displayed and made known.

When the ark came to rest on Ararat’s horn
And Noah went forth into mankind’s new morn,
God’s judgment drew back with the storm on the wane
And His mercy shone forth in the sunlight’s new reign.

These two seeming foes did meet in the bow
That was set in the clouds God’s promise to show
Both to Him and to us the witness of light
That’s been caught in the rain, making peace of the fight.

Has your heart ever looked with wonder and awe
At the bow in the cloud and sensed more than you saw
In the judgment and mercy that met in the rain
And looked beyond that to the Lamb that was slain?

Look — a man just like us who lived life in our shade
And by that pure life a pure light He displayed
That shone with compassion and candor and grace
From Bethlehem’s manger to the skull’s awful place.

And there did God’s wrath and His love fully meet
Finding perfect fulfillment: a work that’s complete.
The whole spectrum of love through sorrow and pain
Was declared unto us by a man in the rain!

                    -- Thomas Worth

To be continued…                                                                                                      J. PRESTON EBY


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