SILENCE BEFORE THUNDER
"And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud...And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices" (Rev 8:1, 10:1,3).
Thunder is one of the most awe-inspiring phenomena known to man. It can roll fiercely through the heavens with the deep roar of a lion and then wane into the lowing clouds, as if searching hungrily for its allusive prey. There is a thunder that comes from fiery channels of lightning streaking across the underside of its dark body of vapors, seemingly slicing it open and making a way for the earthbound rain and hail. "The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known" (Psa 77:17-19).
At times lightning bolts are never seen, other than illuminations from deep within the secret chambers of charged thunder clouds; but if one is near enough, the report of those secret conclaves can be heard.
Thunder can come as an instant clap, an ear-piercing burst that jars the heavens and shakes the earth, so much so that every living creature scurries for cover in fear. "At Thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of Thy thunder they hasted away" (Psa 104:7). Ah, the resound of thunder, the majestic voice of God, who can silence it? Many would love to, but none can. It would be just as easy to chain the wind or stay the tide as it would to shut His mouth.
There are vast resources and treasures in God's heavens, and one of them is Thunder, and notably so; for it is often used in reference to judgment, change, and restoration.
Although judgment is not pleasant to anyone who is contrary to God, it unveils and brings to pass excellent things. For instance, "In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when He shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished" (Rev 10:7). It is at the sounding of this mighty angel -- Christ who is clothed with His cloud of many members -- that causes the seven thunders to utter their voices from within their secret habitation. When the pealing thunder echoes through the heavens and sweeps over the earth, God's mystery will be finished, manifested, openly seen by all men. Such a wonder is presently hidden from the world and the church at large, but not from those to whom the heavens have opened and love is the essence of their lives. "That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the (1)full assurance of (2)understanding, to the (3)acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:2-3). Therefore, since we are in Him, wherein the mystery of God, the finished work, resides, we should know somewhat of its treasures. It is after we have known silence, and have been imbued with this pristine laurel, that the voice of the seven thunders can be uttered. Silence is a precursor to His voice, and without the sound of His voice, we are without a word to thunder.
Once the sound of His voice streaks through His cloud, the mystery of God that is already finished in Christ(4) will be manifested. Although unknown to others, being hidden since the dawn of the ages, its destiny is to be known by the elect, and it will be brought into the earth. It will not remain in the ethereal vapors of heaven forever. And we note that the finished product, the manifestation of the mystery of God, is after the Mighty Angel who is clothed with the cloud speaks, and the seven thunders and the seventh angel begin to utter their voices (Rev 10:1-7).
Seven is very significant in the economy of God. It is the most frequently used number in the Bible. The Hebrew word for seven is (5)sheba'. From it is shaba', meaning, "to be complete... to seven oneself, i.e. swear (as if by repeating a declaration seven times)" (Strong's Exh. Conc.) Seven speaks of fullness, completion, perfection. Nothing can be added to or taken from it without it becoming marred. Being a prime number makes it divisible only by itself. The word shabath is derived from shaba', and means, to cease, desist, REST, and from this word comes Shabbath, a DAY OF REST. Therefore, seven/sheba'/shabbath speaks of a completed work wherein rest is found.
It is Seven that stamps spiritual perfection and completion to the things it is connected. With time it tells of the sabbath, and marks off the week of seven days. Seven completes the colors of the spectrum and the rainbow. Seven also satisfies in music the notes of the scale, with the eighth merely being a repetition of the first.
It is said that the every cell of the human body is replaced every seven years, yet each replacement is inferior to the one it replaces. This inferiority, of course, is due to Adam's genetic code of death in all creation. Regardless of how many vitamins we take, the aging process marches ever onward; for down to the smallest atom, they are all embraced by the same genetic code.
We find shaba' in Genesis 21:31, "Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware (shaba) both of them." This oath of Abraham to Abimelech was based upon the seven ewe lambs which were set aside (vrs. 28-30). This points to the idea of satisfaction and fulness in the oath. It was the security, satisfaction, and fulness of the obligation, or completeness of the bond, which caused the same word to be used for both the number seven and an oath; and so it is written, "...an oath for confirmation is an end of all strife" (Heb. 6:16).
Seven, as pertaining to fulness, can also be seen in the scriptures in conjunction with sin: An unclean spirit, upon finding the backslider empty, swept and garnished, brought back seven spirits worse than himself, and they entered him (Mat 12:45). Mary Magdalene had seven spirits cast out of her (Luke 8:2). Knowing the significance of this number, and that it was commonly used in the ancient Greek and Hebrew to express fulness, we can see that it was not speaking specifically of seven spirits in either of these two cases. With the backslider, Jesus was merely using an analogy to show the fulness of sin that would come upon Israel. The seven spirits cast out of Mary, the harlot, indicated the ultimate depth to which she had fallen, and in the midst of that unfathomable depth she was forgiven, delivered, and lifted into life by Jesus. Using her as a type of the Church, it would be speaking of her destiny in the fulness of sin, but eventually delivered. Whether referring to good or evil, holy or unholy, pure or profane, the number seven in scripture carries the thought of fulness, completion, totality, satisfaction, etc.
We see seven churches listed in the book of Revelation, and how it speaks of the birth, growth, death, of the one church and her resurrection as a whole. It deals with her shortcomings and lack as well as her complete victory and fulness in Christ. After the seven judgments of seals, trumpets, angels, etc., and the seven Spirits which minister life, new Jerusalem comes in full manifested glory from the heavenlies.
The impact of seven when applied to God's creation is profound. It ultimately brings completion/fullness/perfection to everything that sees, hears, or is touched by it.
YOU ARE COMPLETE IN HIM
We see the same complete work spoken of in Paul's letter to the Colossians. He said, "For in Him dwelleth all the (6)fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are (7)complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power" (Col 2:9-10).
Is it possible, do you suppose, for the human mind to comprehend what those two short verses are saying? I don't think so; nevertheless, as we hear their trumpets sounding, and are touched by the voice of their thunder, we are awakened and see a small fragment of the whole.
We are quick at times to say things and to declare boldly that which is not apparent. It will seem to be absolute foolishness, and it would be if we were not speaking from the throne of God. Even so, after trumpeting the word of truth, we go back home and wonder why we do not walk in the reality of what we spoke. At least, this happens to me.
Even so, does this negate the truth? Does it mean that we fabricated things from deluded minds? In no way! If there is never a word spoken from that which is full and complete in the heavens, it will certainly never become full and complete in the earth. We must speak from the finished work and shake the heavens, break the earth, and awake everything in them.
Again, we note: "For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (vrs. 9). This is unfathomable to the carnal mind. It is too far reaching for men to grasp; but in the living lightning bolts of revelation, and by the catching away into those secret chambers of our Lord, it opens with clarity to all who see and hear.
IN HIM dwells ALL THE FULNESS of the Godhead bodily. In the person of Jesus Christ, in His body as a single member, as well as the corporate body, dwells the fulness of Deity. He and we are the personification of God. It pleased God to stuff everything that He created into His Son (Col 1:19). Nothing was left out. In Him were all things made complete. We see this as an unmistakable fact in Colossians 1:16. It says, "For by (Grk. en, in) Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by (dia, through) Him, and for (eis, into) Him."
What a difference it makes when translating a couple of seemingly insignificant prepositions correctly. Rather than all things being created by Jesus, which would place them outside of Himself -- they were created IN Him. The Amplified Bible renders it very near the same way: "For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him by His service, (intervention) and in and for Him."
The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible translates the prepositions correctly, except for the last one, where the word for (eis) should be into. Notwithstanding, it is very well done: "For in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers--all things have been created through him and for him." The Emphatic Diaglott has it as in Him, through Him, and into Him.
There is another passage, John 1:1-3, where this small, yet important, preposition is found. We will look at the King James Version first: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by (dia, through) Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made." The Amplified Bible says: "In the beginning [before all time] was the Word [Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. [Isa. 9:6.] He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being." And likewise with the Diaglott, the New Revised Standard Version, and the New International Version. I have not looked at the many other translations in our library; but suffice it to say -- the heavens and the earth, and everything in them was created and made IN and THROUGH Jesus Christ. Paul summed it up when he wrote: In Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And we are complete in Him (Col 2:9-10). This is hard to visualize, but only in the natural. When we awake in the Lord's Day, in His Day of Rest, we rejoice and are glad in it.
All of God's works, everything He made was made in Christ before it was ever seen in the earth, in whom we dwell. Before a blade of grass grew, it already was, and likewise were you and me. We were here before we got here. Paul said: "...we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto (Grk. en, in) good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph 2:10). We don't want to be good works in the unseen realm alone, but in the seen as well. We want to experientially walk in them through the earth.
Our arrival in the earth was not the beginning of our existence. You see, we, who are His workmanship, were created in Christ Jesus. And do we remember when we were created in Him? At the founding of the world. It couldn't have been afterwards; for God rested from His works of this present creation. Moreover, being created in Christ Jesus was part of that which was very good works, works which were finished a long time ago.
We see from time to time the bumper sticker that says something to the effect, "God is not finished with me." From what the world sees they are right; but that which is seen is temporal and should not be classified as reality. That which they truly are is eternal, and they are just as finished as they will ever hope to be. Granted, there is a lot of inworking, changing, and outworking yet to be done; but if by the Spirit they could grasp the simple truth of in whom they were created, their lives would begin to manifest it. Rather than contending with a dead man, the old man called Adam, they would begin to live in the New Man of whom their life and existence abide. Dogmas, however, die hard.
It is much easier to separate one's state of being, in the mind, when it is believed we were created by Jesus Christ rather than in Him. If people are created by Him, we could be light years away from their creator; but if we are created in Him -- there is no separation whatsoever. We are part of His very substance. We might be alienated from Him in our minds (Col 1:21); but when that alienation goes, we become one with Him in all points, and He is one with the Father, making us all One. Jesus was created in the Father, we were created in Jesus, and if it is not yet known, it will become apparent when the Seven Thunders begin to sound.
Ephesians 3:9, as it is recorded in some of the modern translations, also makes it sound as if we were created by Jesus Christ, but, again, not so. It reads, "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ" (Eph 3:9 KJV). Even the Amplified, to keep somewhat with popular beliefs, I suppose, had to insert the words by Jesus Christ. However, the words "Jesus Christ" are omitted in the Greek.
The New Revised Standard Versions says it right, with: "And to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things" (Eph 3:9). Westcott and Hort's Greek/English Interlinear has it this way: "And should make men see how the sacred secret is administered which has from the indefinite past been hidden in God, who created all things." The New American Standard Bible renders it the same, as well as the New International Version.
Jesus is the very focal point and embodiment
for all creation, which is God's intent for the universe. It
pleased the Father for every soul to dwell in Him throughout
eternity, and we will see this explosion of reality sweeping the
heavens and the earth when the Seven Thunders utter their voices.
The sound of their voices will shake, shape, and remake the
world. The roar of the thunders will prepare all for God's Garden
of Paradise. Outside of Jesus there is nothing but darkness and
death. Being created in Him
, however, brings us to the center of all things, to Light and Life, and the sooner this becomes a reality the better.
Truly, "...in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him..." (Col 2:9-10), which, without fail, will be shown forth in due season. For it is in God's foreordained purpose for all men to see and fellowship the mystery which has been hidden since the foundation of the world (Eph 3:9-10). It has been the plan of the ages which God formed in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have freedom of speech [and very soon the expression] (Eph 3:11-12). And since this is the next thing on God's agenda, we can count on the reality of it. That reality, however, will not come until there is an open declaration in the earth by God's own sons; but lest we get ahead of ourselves, we must keep in mind -- silence comes before thunder.
"And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour" (Rev 8:1). The holy awe and humble reverence in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The opening of the seventh seal makes a way for the seven Spirits of God, the seven messages of God, the fullness of God to be manifested. All who see Him, first those round about His throne, and those throughout all the subdued heavens, shut their mouths at the presence of His majestic glory. Crowns are cast at His feet; for none are found worthy to wear them but Him. Mighty is He in all His splendor, and His beauty to behold is beyond compare.
There is no clamoring in this place, no vying for position, no competition or jealousy, no desire to be seen nor heard; for unless He is seen and unless He speaks, there is nothing worthy to do or of value to say.
The thunder of revelation will come with resounding overtures, this is sure; but please know -- silence is the bed where it is conceived.
Ah, silence in heaven. All the holy angels of God, the Living Creatures, and all the saints of fire in such awe that they reverently hold their peace. Not a word spoken for half a span of time.
In the presence of Deity comes the silence of our souls -- our minds, our wills, our wants, our emotions. Every particle in the heaven between our ears ceases its stirring. That is the heaven wherein there will not be a word uttered or even a thought to rise when the seventh seal, the floodgate of perfection, is opened.
There are many heavens, and a lot of them have passed away. This was when we rose above and conquered them. By our very presence they were shaken and consumed by fire, even as it was with our own when the Lord of Glory came into and reigned over them. Terrible things have raged in the heavens. In one of those lofty places there is fierce conflict; namely, "...there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels" (Rev 12:7).
Heaven is not always an abode of pleasant tranquility. War is often a common factor. Before war is waged, however, we must be so united with our Lord that we are far above all heavens (Eph 4:10). It is from there that He fills all things, subdues the enemy of the Kingdom, and then it can be said it is finished, and there will be no more war.
At times we minister from the outer-courts, not intentionally, of course, but it happens, and then there are times when we minister from the throne of God in the Holy of holies. When in the outer-courts we enjoy the praises, verbal accolades, and amens. It encourages us on. Just knowing we are touching the people helps to motivate us; but the sad point is, that which we are touching is often their natural man, that which can be stirred by "good preaching." And in turn, their amens touch our flesh. In the natural, we are creatures who like to scratch each other's backs; but it does very little, if anything, to promote the Kingdom of God or to add one measure of strength to our spiritual stature.
But what a difference when we minister from that high and Holy Place of God called the most Holy place. We neither need nor are we appeased by the sounds coming from the heavens of soulish fervor. Neither can we become one with the amens nor praises from the heavens of the outer-courts, especially from loud and disruptive religious spirits. There is no place in the Holiest of all for self-serving people, whether ministers or those being ministered to. Neither is a party spirit welcomed therein. It is an offense to the somber place of God.
When one enters the holy place and ministers from therein, he will refrain from inciting the people to worldly laughter. Although joy is one of the basic elements of the Kingdom of God, it is joy in the Holy Spirit, not joy in the spirit of drunkenness. Laughter will heal hurting souls; but the carnal wit of Adam has no place in the Holy sanctuary of God. The people may be lifted into the roar of laughter by it; however, the wine of intoxication will keep men from ministering unto the Lord. Ezekiel said that "Neither shall any priest drink wine when they enter into the inner court" (Ezek 44:21). The inner court, whether the holy place or the most Holy place, is not a place for drunkenness. It is solemn. It is serious. It is a place that demands silence from all flesh and the soulish heavens round about. When those of honor become too humorous while ministering, they can become, as it were, court jesters which are as dead flies in the apothecaries ointment. (Eccl 10:1).
Those in the solemn assemblies can only be ministered to from the throne of the Lamb. And when we leave from those gatherings, the King of kings will continue His work of bringing each soul through the heavens until they sit together with Him and above them all. Then it will be said: Blessed art thou, O land, for thy king is the Son of the Noble, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!" (Eccl 10:17).
Although unknown by most, we are experiencing this silence today in His cloud of glory. It is a strange and difficult time for some. The quiet is unsettling; for rather than being calm in His presence, they have grown accustomed to the excitement of the hour, the moving of His Spirit, the blast of His word. With others, it has been easier. They rest comfortably in the sublime glory which is enfolding them. They are enraptured by its overwhelming peace. In humble repose, they view God's works which were finished at the founding of the world. Rather than looking for what He is going to do, they see what has already been done as the Son's glory beams upon those finished works. Heaven's Holy host is taken aback by the vista of flaming glory. With bated breath, the cloud of His own saints anxiously abide in their place until the time for their thunder to break the deafening silence.
Then comes the awaited hour. The moment arrives when the seven thunders utter their voices, voices John heard resounding throughout God's high and holy realm, but was forbidden to write. Rather than making a record for others, He was told to hold his pen and seal up those heralds of truth. (Rev 10:4). We can, therefore, only speculate what he heard in our day and what will be its thundering manifestation.
This, no doubt, was akin to what Paul wrote about concerning the one who heard things that were inexpressible in human terms, things which would only become defiled when conveyed by the inquisitive mind of man. It was so foreign to the earthy that the natural tongue could say nothing to enlighten the elect.
In the presence of our Lord, when He is seen in His temple, in you and in me, what is there to say? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Unless, however, it is the hour for us to thunder the word of His earthshaking sound. Until then, we rest in utter silence. If we do not see Him high and lifted up, and He is not seen or heard -- Hush! Be still! For if you shout, holler, clamor, and run the aisles in heated fervor with hopes of raising His presence, all that will likely be raised is a dust cloud. Therefore, rest, be at peace, be still.
"...Let all the earth be silent before him" (Hab 2:20). There are no positions or places for untransformed particles of earth in His presence. Oh, but praise God! When religious demagoguery is quelled, when Babylon is fallen, and all of man's schemes are history -- the earth can, and will, stand in awesome wonder before Him. It is then that "The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet..." And then "...they break forth into singing" (Isa 14:7).
Just prior to sending this short article to the printers, we received the latest publication from J. Preston Eby, which speaks so clearly of this message. He wrote:
"A brother related the following experience. 'When I first went to Nashville, Tennessee, some friends, thinking they were doing me a favor, called me and said, 'We have tickets for the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra that's coming to town, and we want to take you as our guest.' Well, I love music, but I know nothing about it, and I can't sing it -- I always help congregational singing by keeping quiet. Frankly, I can't think of anything more boring than a whole evening of symphony! But I had to go because they were so polite and I wanted to be polite, so I accepted graciously and went along.
"'I had never been to a thing like that before, and I was impressed by what I saw. We went in, took our seats, and in a few moments the musicians began to drift out from the sides. They were in shirt sleeves for the most part, and each man went up to his instrument and started tuning it. The fellows with the fiddles too big to put under their chins sawed back and forth -- oh, it sounded terrible. The fellows with the little ones they put under their chins squeaked up and down with those. The ones with the horns -- oh my, nothing was in harmony. It was a medley of discordant, confused noise. Then after they got through with that kind of a disturbance, they all disappeared again, went out through the wings.
"' Another five minutes went by when all of a sudden the lights in the auditorium went off, the lights on the platform came on, and the musicians walked out. This time they had their coats on. My, they looked so nice. Each one came out and stood or sat at his instrument. Then there was a hush in the auditorium, a spotlight was focused on the wings, and the conductor stepped out. When he did there was thunderous applause for him. He bowed. Then he came up to the podium and picked up a thin little stick. He turned around again to the audience and bowed, then turned his back to the audience, lifted that little stick -- total silence came over the auditorium, you could have heard a pin drop -- then he brought that little stick down. And, my friend, there were goose pimples all over me. I never heard such music in all of my life. Oh, what harmony, what wonderful harmony there was!'
"I tell you today God is preparing His sons for the greatest symphony the world has ever heard, a symphony of divine wisdom, omnipotent power, and unconditional, unbounded love. The sons themselves will be the symphony! All the chords of God's nature, wisdom and power will be struck in them. At this present time, as God is fine-tuning our lives it seems as if every man is tooting his own horn, everyone is playing his own little fiddle; it sounds like everything is out of tune, a medley of discord. But as God deals in our lives, teaching us His ways, writing His laws in our hearts, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, establishing His will and transforming our beings, He is creating within each of us a chord of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus....As God by His refining fire purges out of us the trusting in our own strength, our confidence in the flesh, the inbred mentality of Babylonish religion, and the spirit of the world, what a raucous screeching is emitted from our lives!
"We all seem so different, and the Father's purposes in us appear disparate. What a motley crew the sons of God appear to be today! But you, precious friend of mine, are an instrument designed to be a channel of Life, Light, and Love. And Jesus Christ is the Master Conductor, and wants to play the strings of emotions and thoughts and desires and nature within you until you become a son indeed, and the Song of the Lord in the midst of the earth. Your life, when it is hid with Christ in God, becomes a beautiful thing; your thoughts and actions all in unison with God are running along the lines that lead to God, for they diverge not. When the hour strikes for the unveiling of God's sons, Jesus Christ the Lord is going to lift His scepter -- oh, the harmony that will sound forth from all His many brethren! Then the world shall see the fullness of Christ, which includes Christ, the Head, and Christ, the body, in all the life and glorious harmony of the Kingdom of God!
"Every knee on this globe, and in the heavens above, and in the underworld, shall bow before the majesty of the presence of the Lord as they awaken to hear the pure melodies of the harmony of God in His sons. Never again will they be satisfied with the discordant notes of this world's pleasures and programs, nor the off-beat of the world's religious systems. As they hear the pure song that flows from the heart of God in His sons, all men shall hunger and thirst to be filled with the same, the harmonious chord of the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Kingdom of God. " -- End quote.
This is a perfect picture of today -- the tooting of horns, squeaking, squawking and plucking of stringed instruments, and sawing this way and that way. Every man intent on doing his own thing, and this is alright if they are part of the orchestra; for it is the time of fine-tuning. We might not sound like much at the moment, but just wait a little while. After the silence of the Conductor's raised baton, what a sound will be heard reverberating from the Holy Cloud of Heaven!
Much of what we witness is doubtless part of the symphony that is tuning up. And some, sad to say, is the sound of people who feel they have to work up a religious fervor before the Spirit will come in, not realizing He is already in their presence. He is as much there as lightning is in the cloud before it strikes. When we attend meetings, which are not many these days, we cannot help from enduring that which has been the same for years on end. There is a lot of routine singing, clapping, loud voices, teaching, preaching, prophesying, or whatever else people do to "get in the spirit." And I say enduring, because a lot of it seems to be exactly that. It could be that they are members of the symphony, and this is part of the tuning process; but it seems that a tremendous amount is merely the sound of men being busy trying to do God's works.
I was so encouraged by what Sister Alyce McPherson said recently concerning this sort of thing. She was relating about being in a "Kingdom" meeting and so much religious nonsense was going on. She asked the Lord, "How much longer must we endure this?" An immediate answer came, saying, "As long as you remain you will have to endure it; for as long as you remain -- you give it life. When you leave, it will die."
I fear that we have for much too long been feeding and energizing untransformed earthiness in the gatherings around the world. We don't want to be rude and walk out every time we don't feel the Spirit moving, or the meeting is not going the way we think it should; but neither should we simply endure the antics of flesh and children. Frankly, kindergarten, marbles, and mud-puddles have no place in the regal halls of God's Kingdom. They may be alright in certain places, at certain times, and with certain people, depending on their level of maturity and the order of the day; but let us be serious in the holy courts. Folly should not be seen where the elders cast their crowns in humble reverence.
I must say that more than a few Kingdom ministers have become court jesters, and I have to wonder if the King is humored. Some of the people may be; but the King and His court is not. It reminds me of what Solomon wrote: "Dead flies make a perfumer's oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor" (Eccl 10:1). The Amplified makes it little more clear: "Dead flies cause the ointment of the perfumer to putrefy [and] send forth a vile odor; so does a little folly [in him who is valued for wisdom] out-weight wisdom and honor."
We have been deluged by entertainment for so long, that it has become almost impossible for some ministers to keep from entertaining when they stand before a crowd. This also comes from insecurity. They fear that what they have to offer will not satisfy the people, that their message will fail to inspire them. And I know what I am talking about; for I have been there.
I do not say we have to put on some sort of Pharisaical facade with somber faces, and mope around with no joy in our lives; but we should not replace ineptness with humor. If we don't have a life-giving word from the throne, then let us sit down and be quiet! If our music and songs are merely part of our habitual way of starting a meeting -- stop it! If the specials are merely talent shows, don't do it anymore. It just could be that silence is the only thing necessary at times. Or perhaps, just perhaps, the word is to be ministered first, and then the spirit of worship and praise would sweep over the people in anointed song and thanksgiving. We can, no doubt, find a few scriptures which will support our formula for conducting meetings; but, brethren, I am here to tell you today that WE are not the conductors of these meetings, and formulas fit very awkwardly in the Kingdom of God.
There are those rare occasions when the King of Glory comes among us in His Imperial presence, with baton in hand, and not a breath can be heard. Then there are those times when we should come together in humble reverence, quiet our heavens, silence our earth, and wait for the King. If He remains obscure or silent, then perhaps we should be a little more obscure and silently go home and continue in such. And again, it could be that after the space of half an hour, the voice of thunder will be birthed, and we will be heard resounding from the clouds of heaven and raining/reigning God's glory, judgment, and restoration upon the earth. Oh, the beauty of silence when it thunders its sound!
As a capstone of this wondrous silence, in closing, let me once again share from another's anointed pen:
"Some years ago, on Easter morning, I awoke just before daybreak. I laid in bed thinking about that morning, so long ago, when the Lord had risen victoriously from the grave. Suddenly, I had a strong inclination to go to the creek's edge and wait for sunrise.
"It was light enough to safely find my way through the thicket. I walked down the deer trail to my favorite spot along the creek. As the morning sky brightened and the sun slowly rose over the hills, I was made aware of the silence. Only the sound of the flowing water could be heard. A mystical peace settled over the little valley as my spirit was drawn closer to the Creator.
"There were wild flowers blooming among moss covered rocks. Here and there blades of river grass were appearing and the trees were showing signs of spring buds. The sky glowed with shades of peach, red and orange. Even the flowing water, like a mirror, reflected the mood and beauty of the moment. Yet, most overwhelming was the silence... it seemed to overly everything with a sacred emotion. Ill always remember the silence.. .a silence that could he felt... a silence that could carry the soul away....
"The silence was broken by a church bus passing by. The folks inside were singing an Easter hymn. My heart grew heavy for a moment, for I knew that the precious people inside the bus were completely oblivious to what was happening in the little valley. They knew the song, they knew the story.. .yet they sought the Living One among the dead ones.
"By then the birds were singing their morning songs. The woodland creatures were up and moving about, and the warmth of the sun was kissing the earth. I wanted to stay forever in such an array of His handiwork; but as I left I knew that a portion of the beauty, peace and silence would always be a part of me.
"Some nights ago, if I may borrow the words of an old hymn, as I lay sleeping there came a dream so fair. If it was a dream or a vision I do not know.
"My spirit was walking in the midst of an awesome silence, a silence far greater than I had ever known. In the silence, my spirit was overtaken with a great desire to see and know. It seemed as though all that dwelled in the heavens were waiting in anticipation. The whole creation was waiting. Even the earth seemed to know that something supernatural was about to happen. Even the gates of hell stood ready.
"This was the beginning of a great miracle; a miracle which would defy the logic of man; a miracle that would shake the earth. A MIRACLE THAT WOULD OPEN THE DOORS TO IMMORTALITY!!
"Thus the dream continued: In the silence of the morning hours the Lord God sent forth an angel and a young man. The angel went to the garden where the Lord was buried. And the angel rolled the stone away from the tomb; he rolled it away for the young man. The young man entered the tomb and unwrapped the body of the Lord, folding the burial cloths and laying them aside. He then gently awakened the Lord. And the young man clothed the Lord with the glory light of God. And the Lord sat up. The young man was filled with the Holy Spirit and leaped for joy in the presence of his risen Elder Brother.
"And the Lord said to the young man; "Come and sit at the right of the sepulcher, for thou hast been chosen of the Father." The young man that had spent ages sitting at the right hand of the Lord, now sat at the right side of the sepulcher as a witness to the resurrection of his Brother, Jesus. Ah, my beloved brother-sister-sons, methinks we were all there to see the first Son-rise of countless Son-rises to come, knowing that we too, in our time and order, would brake forever the stronghold of death and the grave... freeing the Creation from the thraldom of decay. Hallelujah!
"We all know of dear Mary who walked the garden grief stricken and weeping. He spoke her name, and the garden of stones and flowers became an Eden for her enraptured soul. And Mary went forth to proclaim the truth: JESUS LIVES!!
"And God's people were sleeping....
"Oh, We know so little of the heavenly transitions and workings of the Spirit which took place in the early hours of the First Day of the Week. Even the Written Word records little of that morning.
"In the tomb, much dialogue took place between the young man and the Lord. Many things yet to come were shown to the young man, things so high and holy that they were sealed and reserved for the time of the Lily. The very tables of time were turned. New galaxies appeared and a New Order was written in the cosmos. Within the loins of the risen Lord was an entire New Creation...which is still to come. The Lord was received in the presence of the Father and crowned with many crowns by the Council of the Most High. And once again the Sons of Cod shouted for joy
"We know nothing as we ought. Perhaps we are too caught up in the whirlwind of the voices of men. Perhaps we spend too much time reading and studying and trying. There is an "inner son" within the tomb of our flesh, sitting as it were, on the right, waiting to take our grave cloths (our religious thoughts, practices, preferences...perhaps these are the most deceiving and persuading tactics of the carnal mind) and fold them and lay them aside, then clothe us with the light of God, gently awakening us to partake of the Lord's Resurrection, to carry us away into the presence of the Father.
"There is a divine silence, enriched by aloneness and suffering. A silence of the depths where spirit communes with spirit. This is, as it were, the beginning of the miracle that will open the door to immortality. The "third day" is dawning. The hour is close when we shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and our inner son shall arise triumphantly over the tomb of flesh. This is knowing Him and the power of His resurrection
"Then, my spirit was taken to another morning...the morning when the Light of God had risen forevermore. The earth and all living things had been freed from Adam's reign. All those who slept in the graves had heard the voice of the many membered Christ and had come forth. Mercy, grace and restitution, like a lovely mantle, covered all things. Time had ceased to be. The curse was gone. The house of hell was desolate. And in the light of that glorious morning stood a young man, a many membered young man, and He smiled...for His work was finished....Hallelujah!!
"Fear not, my beloved, He is the door by which we enter into the holiest of all places. Go into thy chamber, close the door, lose thyself in the silence and wait for Him to take thy spirit up higher. The inward path leads to the depths of Jesus Christ...." (Carl R. Schwing, March 31, 1995)
Elwin R. Roach
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1. full assurance: plerophoria, entire confidence. From plerophoreo, to carry out fully (in evidence), i.e. completely assure (or convince), entirely accomplish. (Strong's)
2. understanding: sunesis, a mental putting together, i.e. intelligence. (Strong's)
3. acknowledgment: epignosis, full discernment (Strong's)
4. "...In Him were created ALL things -- those in the HEAVENS, and those on the EARTH...ALL things have been created through Him and for (eis, into) Him:" (Col 1:16, Emphatic Diaglott).
5. sheba': a prime cardinal number; seven (as the sacred full one); also (adv.) seven times...by extension an indefinite number (Strong's #7651)
6. Fulness: "pleroma, (from pleroo,) repletion or completion, i.e. what fills (as contents, supplement, copiousness, multitude), or what is filled." (Strong's)
7. complete: "pleroo, to make replete, i.e. to cram, level up, to furnish, satisfy, execute, finish, verify (or coincide with a prediction)." (Strong's)