THE SEVEN ANGELS WITH THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES
"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven
angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the
wrath of GodÖand the seven angels came out of the temple, having the
seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their
breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts
gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God,
who liveth for ever and ever" (Rev. 15:1,6-7).
When our spiritual mind comprehends that God has entered into a living
covenant with all His people, then we are able to understand clearly
why God would send His seven-angels-ministry to pour out the vials
of plagues upon His people. We are living in the hour when God has
a controversy with His people because they are not keeping the
covenant! He is leading, but they are not following!
He is speaking, but they are not listening! He is
calling, but they are not responding! He has redeemed them
for a high and holy purpose, but they have other plans. They
expect to be blessed, but they are not obedient. They are living
far beneath their privileges as the people of God, they have polluted
the sanctuary, they have walked after the flesh instead of the spirit,
they have mistaken the soulical for the spiritual, and have preferred
religion over reality.
Therefore the Lord will come to His people as a refinerís fire and as
fullerís soap; He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He
shall purge the sons of Levi, and purify them as gold and silver, that
they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness (Mal. 3:1-3).
THIS IS ALSO THE MINISTRY OF THE SEVEN ANGELS AND THE SEVEN PLAGUES!
The Lord comes out of His holy place in a ministry to purge and
purify His people! This is the Lordís ministry coming out
of the midst of Godís called and chosen elect! The "seven
messengers" bespeak a mighty move of the Lord as a people goes forth
under the seven-fold anointing of the Spirit! For this ministry
they are anointed to bring Godís righteous judgments upon the Lordís
carnal people, to bring chastening and purification, to correct what is
wrong in the congregation of the Lord!
In this wonderful process of purging the miner mines the ore out of the
darkest depth. The miner has it in his mind that he will go after
the ore. Now, itís not easy to obtain the ore. The ore is in
inaccessible places, and it requires great effort and endeavor for the
miner to obtain the precious ore. The refiner then goes after the
ore. The ore doesnít go after the refiner. I have never
heard of an ore searching for a refiner! You never will. Iím
sure if the ore had feelings it would have absolutely no desire to be
refined! Itís the refiner who goes after the ore. Somebody
says, "I sought the Lord." Well, thatís how it appeared to you, my
friend, but the truth of the matter is the Lord sought you. He
sought you in the darkest depths of the flesh and the bestial system of
this world, and He brought you forth and made you His. You are ore
brought up from the depths of sin and death, yet polluted with
impurities and distracting, incompatible substances. While we
praise God for His mercy and grace so lavishly bestowed, the fact
remains that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately
wicked ó who can know it? But now, praise His name! the ore
belongs to Him. That is what happened in redemption, we became His
property, purchased by His blood. But my, what a mixture, even of
religion and carnal, fleshly, self-efforts to serve God, we have had!
So little of the gold of His nature and power has been seen
embedded there among all the earthly impurities.
The ore is now the property of the miner who mined it, but the mixture
is there. Both gold and silver are found in nature, but not in
their pure form. They come mixed with, or imbedded in, various
other kinds of rocks, minerals, and metals. No jeweler would want
to work with natural gold with bits of rock or sand in it. Nor
could such impure stuff be beaten into thin sheets, nor fashioned into
fine rings, bracelets, or necklaces. And no one likes a ring that
turns their finger green! No, gold and silver as they are found in
nature do not have, in themselves, much usefulness. In that state
they can serve no high purpose. They must first be separated from
all the impurities that naturally accompany them. And the process
for doing this is called refining.
Our lives as sons and daughters of God are like that! There is so
much that is worthwhile in us, such a precious treasure of Godís own
life within our spirit, but so much also that is worthless. There
is so much that is of God, and so much that is of self. So much
that is of the spirit, and much that is of the flesh, the carnal mind,
and the soulical religious nature. So what does the great and
eternal Miner have on His hands? He has a mixture! And that
is why there has to be the furnace of fire. That is why there must
come from the fiery presence of the divine glory the seven angels
having the seven last plagues filled with the passion of God! The
ore which Godís own people are, in that mixed, raw, unrefined state,
brings no pleasure at all to the Refiner, nor does it fulfill any useful
or high and holy purpose in His plans. Of these He says, as He
said to the seven churches of Asia, "With you I am not well pleasedÖI
have somewhat against you!"
Our Father in His sovereign purpose sees each of His children, but He
cannot use all that He sees. The ore is wonderful relative to its
pure precious metal content, but it is ugly and disgusting relative to
the impurities that are mingled therein. He is unable to use His
people in that condition of mixture, so He comes to them as a refinerís
fire. And immediately they wonder what is happening! What is
happening is that HE is appearing, and I might add, He is showing up in
a form that they did not expect. Yes, itís the same
Jesus, the lovely Saviour who so graciously saved us by His grace, but
He comes now, not to forgive, and bless, and thrill, and coddle, and
wink at all our childish ignorance and carnality, but He comes as a
refining fire to purify the sons of Levi! He comes now to lay the
axe to the root of every tree that bears no good fruit! It is
necessary that testings come. It is necessary that Godís people be
tried in the fire. It is the fierce heat of this oven of
Godís dealings that separates the gold from the dross. It
is the seven-fold heat that purifies the gold, and we must not be amazed
or troubled by it. The fire of God brings the separation and
purity without destroying. Isnít it wonderful!
"He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silverÖ" He
sits ó this is a process that requires time, this is something that is
important to Him, something He must patiently sit and preoccupy Himself
with, not a work to be rushed nor accomplished with one grand sweep of
His hand. To the one being refined it becomes very monotonous, for
it seems the process will never end. He SITS! From the
moment the Lordís people were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ,
the Lord has been planning and preparing to move in sovereign power to
accomplish His great work of purifying and refining what each and every
one is as His instrument in the earth. He examines the ore, ugly,
shapeless, not representative at all of that beautiful vessel He has in
mind; but there it is, just a hunk of jagged, dirty ore, with too
much alloy. He moves to change that, and under the crucible they
"The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of
earth, PURIFIED SEVEN TIMES" (Ps. 12:6). There are the seven
angels, the seven messengers ó the seven-fold word of the Lord!
This word of the Lord is not only purified by the refining fire of God,
it is also a burning word which purifies all unto whom it
is sent! Seven is the number of perfection. It reveals the
great truth that Godís own nature will be produced in the fire. He
will heat up the furnace until His people have been perfectly cleansed,
refined, and purified, nothing remaining but HIMSELF. That which
the Lord is receiving unto Himself cannot be of an inferior quality to
Himself. The gold ó ah, it is HIM. The silver ó it is of
HIM. How marvelous is the grace by which He has birthed us out of
His own Spirit ó making us "partakers of the divine nature" (II Pet.
1:4). Yet we must be "purified seven times." It is like the
grades in school, the farther along you go the harder the lessons
How long, think you, would it take a workman with a hammer and chisel to
crush the ore and extract the gold from the rocks in which it lies so
closely embedded? But if they are flung into the great furnace,
and fires fanned to torrid heat and the draught roars through the
burning mass, eventually a great glowing stream of pure and fluid metal,
from which all dross and rubbish are parted, flows into the waiting
mold. This is a parable of what God will do for His people whom He
has purchased with His own blood! At first the surface of the
melting metal may be dark and lurid ó deep orange red, over which a
flickering flame shall pass; but, as the process is pursued, the color
will become lighter, the dark fumes will pass off, and the metal shall
bear the appearance of a highly polished mirror, reflecting the
beholderís face. The process may be long and hot; BUT THE RESULT
IS SURE! Ah, no one looks forward to this refining process, but
come it must! No one will enjoy the ministry of the seven
messengers out of the temple having the seven last plagues, but meet
them they must! "Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself
for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the
washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a
glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but
that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:25-27).
I would like to tell you that the fire will get cooler, I would like to
assure you that God is going to reduce the temperature, I would like to
promise you that God will not add to the fire another reagent, I would
like to give you my word that the "plagues" poured out upon you by the
seven messengers will not really be that difficult and painful, but as
Godís minister I cannot tell you that. Everybody wants to hear
about the good, the gifts, the blessings, and glory all around.
And while we praise God for His goodness and blessings day by day, I can
assure you that none of that will bring you to perfection and full
stature in Christ! Only the consuming Holy Ghost fire of
God can bring the scum to the surface of our lives, where He scoops it
off. More fire and more heat and more and more impurities rise to
the surface to be removed by His dealing hand. The process
continues hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after
month, year after year until He can look into the molten silver and see
His own image, His own reflection, His own face perfectly and clearly,
and nothing else! So long as He can look into that
furnace and not behold His own face clearly and purely and precisely and
perfectly ó the heat stays on. In the same way, as soon as one of
the angelsí plagues has finished its purifying work, another plague is
poured out. There is an intensifying scale until the word of the
Lord in us has been purified seven times!
"TAKE AWAY the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a
vessel for the silversmith" (Prov. 25:4).
This is not a moment for fine words or eloquent speech. This is an
hour for very plain speaking. The prophet Malachi asked the
burning question, "Who may abide the day of His coming? and who
shall stand when He appeareth? for HE IS LIKE A REFINERíS FIRE,
AND LIKE FULLERíS SOAP: AND HE SHALL SIT AS A REFINER AND PURIFIER OF
SILVERÖ" Indeed, who may abide ó endure ó wait for ó the day of
His coming? The vast majority of the Lordís precious people
are content in that spiritual place where they are. So many are
satisfied with the forgiveness realm, the blessing realm, the gift realm
where all is received by free grace through faith. Everything in
these elementary realms is free! There are no conditions, no
qualifications, no price ó neither is there any great attainment in God.
It is the realm of children, of babes in Christ. "Ask, and you
shall receive." To the spiritual children Jesus promised, "If ye
then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how
much more shall your heavenly Father give good things to them that ask
Him?" (Mat. 7:11). The world of little children receiving gifts
from their parents is a blessed world indeed! But spiritually it
is just that ó the world of little spiritual children. It
pains me to say it, but the truth is that even most of the ministers in
that realm are themselves just babes in Christ.
follows ó Who will wait for the day of HIS COMING, for His coming as a
REFINERíS FIRE? Ah, beloved, this is not the blessing realm!
It is something beyond the gifts, blessings, and benefits obtained by
grace through faith. In that realm you truly have been purchased
by the Lord and are His possession ó but you are but ore, mixed with
many impurities, unworked, undealt with, and of small value in the
courts of His kingdom. So now God will bring His people to the
REFINING, PURGING, CLEANSING, AND PURIFYING REALM! It is the realm
of the making ready of the bride, of qualifying for sonship, of
preparation for the kingdom, of readiness to rule and reign with Christ
as kings and priests unto God. And who shall stand ó or who can
withstand ó who can stand against it, who can escape it, who can stop or
prevent His appearing as the refining fire? No one, may I answer,
shall be able to withstand or stand against His coming when He
appeareth! The seven angels with the seven plagues are coming!
And yet, there is blessed consolation even in that, for the plagues are
the last plagues ó finishing, completing, and perfecting
the work of God in His people! The last!
Arenít you glad!
THE SEVEN VIALS GIVEN TO THE SEVEN ANGELS
"And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden
vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever" (Rev.
There is nothing in prophetic imagery more striking than this picture of
the seven angels issuing in solemn procession, from the sanctuary of
Godís manifest presence and glory. One of the four living
creatures, in the midst of the throne, signifying the spirit of sonship
authority from the throne, delivers to the seven messengers the vials
from which the passionate correction of God is to be poured out
upon the inhabitants of the earth-realm, the world of the carnal
Our translation "vials" is completely misleading to the English reader.
The word is better rendered "bowls." The present day use of the
word vial usually relates to a small, slender bottle. The word in
the Greek text is phialas and refers to a flattish and rather
shallow bowl or basin, to which a handle was attached, able to contain
liquids, and designed to either drink them from it or pour them out.
It was in these also that the incense in the tabernacle of Moses and the
temple in Jerusalem was carried, which was the type of the scene John
beheld in spirit when he wrote, "And when He had taken the book, the
four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having
every one of them harps, and golden vials (bowls) full of odors, which
are the prayers of the saints" (Rev. 5:8). It seems very
evident to me that this very fact is teaching us the great truth that
when the work of Godís wrath or passion is complete, all the
people of the Lord will be sending up their prayers, thanksgiving, and
praises as a sweet savour, as the fragrance of incense, into the
presence of the Lord. Oh, yes!
The "plagues" poured out of the bowls bring the spirit of purification
and transformation into the lives of men. This is not an act of
judgment, that is, of punishment, as we think of it, but rather
an activity of purification! It recalls the action of the angel in
Isaiahís inaugural vision, taking a burning coal from off the altar and
touching Isaiahís lips (Isa. 6:6-7). Beholding the manifest glory
of the Lord Isaiah had cried, "Woe is me! For I am undone, because
I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of
unclean lips." But the coal placed on Isaiahís lips does not mean
Isaiahís judgment, punishment, or destruction; instead it is good news,
for the angel says, "Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity
is taken away, and thy sin purged." Purification
does not come easy! Hot coal burns, as does the
cauterization of an infected wound. Surgery might take away a part
of us in order to make us well; we may not want to lose anything, but
pain and loss may be necessary in order for us to experience actual
Most commentators, when viewing the plagues poured out into the earth,
interpret them as divine judgment or punishment.
They tell us that "plagues" bespeak wrath, torment, and destruction of
the wicked. Those who tell us this say that the seven last plagues
are the common figure of divine terribleness toward the guilty, the
final retribution upon rebellious mankind on earth. But if this be
so, why, I ask, yea, why are there such crescendos of celestial
music, such scenes of heavenly rejoicing, such positive declarations
affirming that because Godís judgments are now made manifest ALL NATIONS
SHALL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE THE LORD! And why is the sign of the
seven angels with the seven last plagues declared to be GREAT and
MARVELOUS ó WONDERFUL and AWE-INSPIRING! Why not say that the sign
of the seven angels with the seven last plagues is terrible
and frightening, or grim, dreadful, grievous,
appalling, distressing, fearsome, horrendous, monstrous, and
terrifying? But no ó the sign is great
and marvelous ó mighty and wonderful!
Furthermore, if their work is that of vengeance and destruction why do
they step forth from before the ark of the covenant ó from the very
presence of God upon the mercy-seat? And why do they
come forth in the garb of priests? And why do they come
bearing the very bowls which carry the incense which is the prayers
of the saints? My, what a shallow, confused, misguided
mind-set the teachers have who teach the book of Revelation!
With these truths fresh upon our minds let us remember that the seven
angels are commissioned to "pour out the bowls of the passion of God
upon the earth" (Rev. 16:1); and they are also the seven spirits of
God "sent forth into all the earth." Is it not clear that
the seven spirits of God sent forth into "all the earth" is but another
picture of the seven angels pouring out their vials "upon the earth"?
It is the same seven-fold administration of God affecting the
earth-realm! It is the mighty word and working of God by His
Spirit! Oh, yes, there is vengeance, wrath, passion ó but it is
directed at the carnality and error in men, not to destroy them, but to
consume the carnal mind-sets, manifestations, and works that grow out of
the fleshly and soulical nature. It destroys the religious sham of
Mystery Babylon, not consuming the people, but bringing down the
apostate system that enslaves them!
Do you long to truly affect and impact the earth-realm, my friend?
Do you want to see a mighty shaking and change in the earth? Does
your heart yearn for God to move in mighty spirit-power to bring forth
the word of God in such authority and with such illumination that it
will overwhelm all the kingdoms of the flesh and all the soulical powers
of man, bringing a glorious change and transformation? How our
heart cries out for this!
Our Lord Jesus has taught us to pray that great sonship prayer
in which are included these magnificent words, "Thy kingdom come, Thy
will be done in earth as it is in heaven." Is it possible ó
faintly, vaguely possible for Godís will to be done in earth in the same
totality and completeness as it is done in the heavens of Godís
Spirit? In heaven the will of God is done absolutely, totally,
completely! But on earth ó you know about Osama bin Laden, you
know about Fidel Castro, the Islamic Fundamentalists, the Chinese
Communists, the gangs, pedophiles, drug lords, and godless humanists.
If you take the terrorists into account, and all the vulgar movies, the
divorce rate, the crime rate, the sexual immorality, the crooked
politicians, and the apostate religious systems ó do you still think the
will of God can be done in earth as it is in heaven? Iím going to
tell you something. Youíre dreaming, itís wishful thinking, itís a
pipe-dream; youíre whistling in the dark; youíve got your fingers
crossed hoping for the best ó unless you know which
earth the Fatherís will has to be done in first, completely!
It is significant to note that neither Luke nor Matthew records Jesus as
asking for the Fatherís will to be done ON earth, but rather, IN earth.
"In earth" does not mean the outer world of mountains, hills, valleys,
rivers, and oceans; nor yet the outer world of governments,
organizations, institutions, churches, agencies, cities, farms, and
buildings. Man himself is the earth! "The first man
is of the earth, earthyÖas is the earthy, such are they also that are
earthyÖand as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also
bear the image of the heavenly" (I Cor. 15:47-49). "But we have
this treasure in earthen vesselsÖ" (II Cor. 4:7). "Dust
thou art, and to dust thou shalt return."
My interest is not "Thy will be done in earthÖ" and earth is that which
is outside of me, farthest away from me, over which I have no control.
The cry of my heart is, "Thy will be done in this earth that I am"
with the same totality and completeness and absoluteness as it is
done in heaven. And when Godís will is done in this earth that
I am, and that earth which you are, and the
other earth that your family, friends, and neighbors are,
soon it will take care of the whole earth, within and
THE TEMPLE FILLED WITH SMOKE
"And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from
His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the
seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled" (Rev. 15:8).
From the glory and power of God came a smoke, filling the inner temple.
Smoke is frequently a symbol of the presence of the Lord in His burning
holiness. Smoke is from fire, and our God is a
consuming fire! When He came down to give the law, "Mount Sinai
was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in
fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the
whole mount quaked greatly" (Ex. 19:18). Before Isaiah was
cleansed from his sin, he saw the vision of the Lord, high and lifted
up, His train filling the temple, with the attendant seraphim veiling
their faces and their feet, crying to one another of the holiness of the
Lord of hosts (Isa. 6:1-4). Then "the posts of the door moved at
the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke."
When Aaron and his successors offered the sacrifice on the great day
of atonement, the Lord ordered that "he shall take a censer full of
burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LordÖthat the
cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the
testimony, that he die not." (Lev. 16:12-13). When the tabernacle
of Moses was raised up and dedicated, a smoky cloud of glory filled it,
and Moses was not able to enter into it because of the cloud of the
glory of the Lord (Ex. 40:34-35). When Solomon built his wonderful
temple it was large, everything was built to order,
and when they had finished it the whole nation
assembled, lifted their hands, and dedicated it to the Lord. God
honored their work by filling it with the glory cloud and it was
so filled with the smoke of His presence that no man could enter in and
the priests could not stand to minister because of it (I Kings 8:11-12).
Let us further consider the import of the cloud of Godís glory which
filled the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem. That temple was
without doubt one of the most magnificent structures ever designed and
raised up by the hands of men from the dawn of history even unto this
day. You will remember that when the building was finished they
brought the ark of the covenant and all the holy vessels from the
tabernacle of David upon mount Zion and the priests deposited them in
their proper places in the temple. Solomon then assembled the
elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, and all the people of
Israel gathered themselves unto king Solomon at the feast of
tabernacles. When every priest was in his place, and all Israel
assembled before the temple, the great choir of Levites, arrayed
in fine linen, having cymbals, harps, and lyres ó stood in the outer
court at the east end of the brazen altar, and with them 120 priests
blowing trumpets; and when the trumpeters and singers were joined in
unison, making one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord,
and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and
other instruments for song and praised the Lord ó then the house
of the Lord was filled with the glory cloud so that the priests could
not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord
filled the house of God!
Now, we are prone to think that when the temple was finally completed
and dedicated to God, the Lord sent His glory down from heaven. We
conceive that the Lord rained down His Spirit upon that temple, or that
the cloud of His presence descended from heaven and funneled its way
into the house and filled it with glory. The simple truth of the
matter is this: The glory of Solomonís temple was not a
descending glory! It was not a glory that came down, not a glory
that was somehow injected into the house, but rather, the glory that
filled the house was simply the breaking forth of all the
glory of God that had been built into the house!
There were the wonderful cedars of Lebanon transported from the
mountains of that land. There were the beautiful marble stones
mined from King Solomonís own mines, hewn with exactitude and fitted
together before ever they were brought to mount Moriah. All the
beams for the roof and the pillars of cedar were carved to precision and
polished, made to join each other; so that as the walls arose, no sound
of hammer or chisel was heard. The gold was the finest pure gold,
all of the ornate work was of the greatest and grandest craftsmanship.
Every board characterized within itself something of Godís own glory.
Each stone embodied within itself the beauty of the glory of the Lord.
All the fine linen, the brightly colored tapestries, the coverings of
gold, the furnishings of silver, and all that went into the building
portrayed Godís attributes, bespeaking the majesty of the God of Israel.
As each item was fitted into the structure something of Godís own glory
was set into the very fabric of the building. The greatness of
God, His nature, character, wisdom, righteousness, goodness, might, and
power ó all was represented in what the building was!
Thus it was that when the priests, the elders, the king, the musicians
and singers, and all the congregation of Israel lifted up their voice in
praise, magnifying the Lord, God didnít have to bring any glory down.
Oh, no! The glory that was builded into the house ó ERUPTED
OUT FROM THE MIDST OF THE HOUSE! The breaking forth of the
glory out of the house was the natural and unavoidable result of the
glory that had been set into the house. It simply broke out and
burst forth! I think it is time for Godís people to wake up to the
real and true purpose of God within us as His temple in the earth!
I find in these days that many of the Lordís elect are just flowing
along with the move of God, filling their heads with knowledge, gaining
a lot of revelation, learning the terminology, singing the songs,
mouthing all the right things, but without that deep and vital working
of God within which transforms the life and nature. We cherish the
hope set before us, while continuing on in our natural pursuits,
struggling with our daily issues, awaiting Godís appointed hour when all
of a sudden, boom, bang, the Lord will descend from heaven, pour out His
glory, infuse us with divine life, wisdom, and power, and in an instant
we will be transformed and step forth as the manifest sons of God,
walking the earth glowing in the dark with lightning bolts flashing from
our finger tips.
You canít deny it ó some of us have been waiting for that! Godís
got an hour, God has ordained a day, and when that time comes glory is
going to fall down out of the heavens, great things are going to
transpire, and we will be changed and filled with His glory. Let
me assure you, my beloved, thatís not how itís going to happen!
You see, God is not pouring out His glory in this day. Oh,
no! God poured out His Spirit, He shed forth His glory two
thousand years ago and the mighty working of that poured out Spirit has
been in the earth since that blessed day. So Godís work today, or
tomorrow, is not pouring out His glory ó His work today is
in-working that glory! Is not this what Paul had in mind
when he wrote, "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in
whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple
in the Lord: IN WHOM YE ALSO ARE BUILDED TOGETHER FOR AN HABITATION OF
GOD THROUGH THE SPIRIT" (Eph. 2:20-22). Ah, God is
building His holiness into that temple which we are.
He is building the glory in! He is inworking within each stone,
each board, each tapestry, each son in this glorious house the
very life, nature, wisdom, and power that HE IS. All this
marvelous work of God in our lives is triumphantly carried out by the
Holy Spirit within the temple of our body. The glory that shall be
revealed in us will not be a descending glory, it will be an ERUPTING
GLORY! It will be the "built in" glory BREAKING OUT!
The simple truth is just this: If there is no divine glory worked into
the inner fabric of our lives, there will be no glory to break forth in
the great day of His unveiling. If the power of God, the nature of
God, the love of God, the wisdom of God, the incorruptible life of God
has not been established and raised up within us in our daily experience
and walk on this earth, then we might as well forget about any such
thing breaking out of us to deliver creation and set men free, for such
a thing will not happen.
It is the will of God that the eyes of our understanding should be
enlightened, and that we might know what hope God had when He called us.
Let us consider the Headstone of this wonderful temple of living stones.
Jesus, when He trod the pathways of earth, was the temple of God in that
day. Standing in the court of Herodís magnificent temple He
declared, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up
again" This angered the Jews, and they retorted, "It took
forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three
days!" But they did not understand that He spoke spiritually
of the temple which was His body.
Therefore, when He had risen from the dead His disciples remembered that
He had said this and they believed upon the word Jesus had spoken.
Oh, yes, Jesus was the temple ó the indwelling and incarnation of God on
It is of great importance that we see how Jesus became the temple of
God. Do you know, my beloved, what made Him the temple of God?
Was it just because the Holy Spirit without measure dwelt in Him?
Was it because it was not Him, but the Father in Him, doing the works?
How wonderful are the words of the firstborn Son of God, "If you have
seen me, you have seen the Father." Can we say that? How
many of us, sweating by the side of the freeway in the scorching
afternoon sun, our car broke down, no phone to call for help, no water
to drink, and the kids are screaming, would truthfully be able to say to
the first person who stopped, "If you have seen me, you have seen the
Father!" Let us consider with care the words the Father spoke from
heaven at the river Jordan when He declared the sonship of Jesus.
He said, "This is my beloved Son." But He didnít stop there!
There is another significant phrase connected to that wonderful sonship
declaration: "Öin whom I am well pleased!"
THIS IS MY SON! What words are these! But what made Him a
Son? It wasnít His preaching, surely, for Jesus had not yet
preached His first sermon in the synagogue of Nazareth. It wasnít
His miracles, certainly, for Jesus had not yet turned the water into
wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. It wasnít His prophetic
office, for He had never yet revealed the secrets of any manís heart.
It wasnít his casting out of devils, for not one demon spirit had fled
at His authoritative word. It wasnít the signs, wonders,
miracles, or the raising of the dead to life again, for Jesus had not
done even one of His mighty works when He came to the Jordan.
"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" was spoken of Jesus
at the end of thirty years in the carpenter shop of his father, Joseph.
This was not "my beloved Son in whom I am going to be well pleased just
as soon as His miracle ministry gets under way and He has died and risen
and ascended." Oh, no! The Father was pleased
with the Jesus of the carpenter shop, the Jesus who had heard and
learned to know His voice, the Jesus who had learned His ways, the Jesus
who submitted to His dealings, the Jesus who obeyed all that the Father
commanded Him. He was pleased with the Jesus who learned mercy,
truth, discernment, love, forgiveness, purity, holiness, wisdom,
righteous judgment, faith, and obedience in the nitty-gritty of everyday
life in the dusty streets of the far-flung Roman outpost of Nazareth.
The nature of God, the character of God, the word of God, the ways of
God, and the will of God has been meticulously inworked into His
very state of being ó and that is what made Him a Son in
whom the Father was well pleased! Surely now we can plainly see
that the glory that was manifested through the next three and a half
years of Jesusí sonship ministry was simply the breaking out,
the bursting forth of that glory which had been
inwrought and established as the inward law of His life! It was
not really a descending glory ó it was an ERUPTING GLORY!
Many of us have been anticipating the Fatherís voice announcing
our sonship. The day will surely come when again the
Father will speak out of the heavens of the Spirit, proclaiming, "These
are my beloved sons, in whom I am well pleased!" Today it is my
deep conviction that we have not yet heard that voice ó the reason we
havenít heard it is because God will never make the first declaration
until He can also make the second. God will never say, "These are
my sons," until He can say, "in whom I am well pleased!" He
is still working on us, the temple is still growing unto an holy
temple in the Lord! Can you not feel the blow of His hammer upon
you? Can you not discern the working of His chisel, the fine
instruments of His divine craftsmanship? Can you not feel the
blast of His furnace as He watches over you in the fire to see His image
Ah, sometimes we suppose that the work is almost accomplished, we
imagine that the silver in us is approaching its absolute purity.
But then the great Refiner adds a chemical reagent (as it were) which
reacts with the impurities that remain in the silver and those
impurities rise to the top. The beauty is obscured. He then
rakes all those impurities out the door of the furnace. The silver
returns to it former beauty, reflecting mirror-like the flames.
Without doubt, now the process is complete! But no, the great
Refiner adds another reagent and the same thing happens all over again.
This process goes on day after day after day ó the work of God in us!
We look at one another and think we all reflect the beauty of Christ
from within. Then God casts some circumstance into our life and
suddenly the beauty of the Lord in us becomes clouded over as things
come to the surface that we were not even aware were in our hearts.
Yet ó the process is sure, and the refining will end. In
that blessed day Father will stand us up in our own Jordan and we and
all creation will witness the voice that comes from heaven ó "THESE ARE
MY BELOVED SONS, IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED!" And then shall we go
forth in the power of the emerging, erupting, exploding glory of
NO MAN COULD ENTER THE TEMPLE
"And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from
His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the
seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled" (Rev. 15:8).
Let us return to Solomonís temple for a moment. It is stated that
when the temple was complete, at the time of its dedication, the glory
of the Lord so filled the temple that not one of the priests could enter
into it to minister. There was not a man who could approach that
dazzling glory or stand within the precincts of its awesome power.
What a marvelous thing that is! Here in our text it says that no
"man" could enter into the temple because of the glory of God and His
power. That is, no man, no flesh, can minister. God is about
to move in a new and transcendental way, bringing forth His sons in the
power of His kingdom. Nothing of the flesh will enter in to
this new realm in God! It means that only a refined, pure,
perfected people will be able to stand in the fullness of His glory!
God is calling upon us to lay down our lives, that His life might be
raised up in us.
Itís not just about ministering ó itís about entering in.
"No man was able to enter into the temple, till
the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled." Men would
be able to enter the temple, the naos, the most holy place ó but
only after the final plagues have accomplished their work!
The temple, the naos, the most holy place was opened, there was
no veil, no covering of skins, nothing to keep one out ó except the
intensity of the glory of God and His power! How utterly awesome!
The most holy place is the symbol of the fullness of God, the fullness
of His glory and power, incorruptible life, divine nature, throneship,
kingship, priesthood, and manifest sonship. Will others be able to
enter into this glorious place in God? Absolutely, for we are but
the firstfruits of His redemption! God will bring many more
sons to glory and more besides that ó until HE IS ALL IN ALL! But
no man can enter this realm until the seven angels with the seven last
plagues, the seven last stripes, the seven last chastenings and
corrections have finished their work in the earth-realm, burning out all
the flesh, the carnality, the sin, and corruption, and the smoke of the
burning has cleared away. Consider this! The crystal sea
mingled with fire accomplishes this work in the firstfruits, the seven
angels with the seven last plagues accomplish the same work in rest of
the Lordís people. That is the mystery!
No man (of those upon whom the plagues were falling) could enter into
the Holy of holies, into the fullness of His presence and majesty, until
the perfecting and transforming work of the Spirit is finished in them!
When the purification is finished they will be the
bride made ready, the holy city, New Jerusalem, having the
glory of God, whose light is like unto a stone most precious, even like
a jasper stone, clear as crystal. At the time God performs this
upon His people at large, no one will be moving into a higher place in
God until the plagues have fully done their work!
Ah, yes, God is opening the door for all His people to come on up and
come on in! But it is impossible to enter into the heights of God
short of perfection! Our Father in His great mercy and wonderful
purpose is preparing just the ministry to change all His people who
today ignorantly sit in the pews of the religious systems of man ó the
ministry out of the most holy place, the ministry of the sons of the
most High, the seven messengers having the seven last plagues.
What a work that will be! That is the mystery.