FROM the CANDLESTICK to the THRONE, PART 132
THE TEMPLE OPENED in HEAVEN, (continued)
BY: J. PRESTON EBY
KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
PART ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-TWO
The Tablets of the Law
The Hidden Manna
The Mercy Seat
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament.” (Rev. 11:19)
In this vision the temple of God, which is the Christ body, is opened in heaven, or in the spiritual realm. The ark of His covenant is then seen in the temple, or in and among the saints who make up the body of Christ. The work of the unfolding of the fullness of Christ in His body is a progressive work, and is set forth prophetically and progressively through the visions given us in the book of Revelation. Therefore, as John now sees the ark of God’s covenant, including the articles within it, in and among Christ’s body, this signifies that the time for that which the ark symbolizes to be fulfilled in the sons of God, is now at hand!
The temple of God is the elect of the Lord, the inChristed. The life, the power, the nature of every son of God is
Christ in you. Christ Himself is the ark; still the mystery is deeper than this glorious fact! The ark is Christ in you! You are, in union with Him, both the temple and the ark, yet it is HE who is the indwelling life and reality! The temple opened and the ark seen is the manifestation of Christ out from His body. The heavenly manna, His own incorruptible life, is within you! The tables of the law, His own divine nature, is within you! Aaron’s rod that budded, His own divine appointment and priesthood, is within you! And the glory is upon you, over the mercy seat within! Look with me into the realm of the Spirit, and you will see that the temple of God, or the Christ body, is open and revealed. Look and behold with the eyes of the Spirit, and you will also see that the ark of His covenant is among us! When the temple is opened, the Ark of the Covenant can be seen!
The temple is opened and the ark is seen by the quickening of the Spirit. Two thousand years ago the first spiritual temple and the first spiritual ark appeared among men. Just as the ark of old, this spiritual and heavenly ark had been kept hidden from human view until it appeared in sonship when the heavens were opened at the river Jordan. Jesus came into the world of flesh, and He was truly the temple and the ark of the Lord in the midst of mankind! Yet, is it not true that even He, in all His glory, could only be seen, perceived, and
known, by those who had spiritual eyes to see! When Jesus came into the world, He came as a little baby, and I want to tell you that He was no different than any other baby. There was no halo around His head! When He was laid in the manger, and the shepherds came in at the word of the heavenly hosts, baby Jesus didn’t wave at them from his manger and announce, “Hi, fellows — I was expecting you!” Oh, no! But when He was eight days old Mary and Joseph carried the child into the temple, and the old prophet Simeon took Him up in his arms, and proclaimed, “Mine eyes have seen the salvation of the Lord!” Now, how did Simeon see this? How did he see the salvation of the Lord in that weak, helpless little baby? It was by the spirit of revelation!
Long years later Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of man am?” And they answered, “Some say that Thou art John the Baptist, some say that Thou art Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” And Jesus said, “But whom say ye that I am?” And Simon Peter answered and boldly declared, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!” And Jesus answered and said unto him, “Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.” I do not hesitate to tell you that no man knew Jesus but by the Spirit of God. The Pharisees did not know Him or see who He was, for their eyes were blinded by their carnal reasoning and religious traditions. The Christ of God is seen and known only in the Spirit and by the Spirit! To this day the ark of the Lord has been hidden in the spirit realm from the view of the carnal mind, veiled by the natural reasoning of carnal minds and fleshly religious concepts of human philosophies and theologies. Jesus said that it was hidden from the worldly-wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes. Paul calls it the “mystery” hidden from ages and from generations and from before the foundation of the world.
This brings us to a most significant passage of scripture in which the prophet Isaiah proclaims, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” (Isa. 40:5) But did you know that the word “it” in that passage is in italics, indicating that it is not in the original, but is supplied by the translators. What the Hebrew actually says is, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall SEE TOGETHER!” The glory is the glory of the temple. It is the glory of the Lord! It is the glory that floods the most holy place! It is the glory upon the ark! Ah, there is yet coming an unveiling of the glory of God in His house of sons, and there shall be such a quickening of all flesh, such an opening of men’s eyes, such a revelation shed down by the Spirit, until all men everywhere shall proclaim of that which they see, “Thou art the Christ, the sons of the living God!” They shall be quickened to see the glory in the temple, upon the ark, and they shall then know and understand that God has raised up a people that is the salvation of the Lord! The temple shall be opened, and the ark shall be seen! Aren’t you glad!
The opening of the temple in heaven and the appearance of the ark speaks of reality breaking through. It is a picture, a representation and parable of the corporate man that is coming indwelt by God, with the fullness of His divine nature, with the rod of God’s authority, and with the incorruptible life of God within him. Every time the high priest saw the ark of God he saw what was coming — the spiritual man! Christ Jesus is the proto-type of this spiritual, heavenly, and divine race. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and men beheld His glory. They beheld the spiritual and heavenly reality of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord in the midst of Israel! HE was then the ark. And now, my beloved, Christ in you is the ark!
Now, within the Ark of the Covenant were three items: the tablets of the law written by the finger of God, the golden pot with the hidden manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded. All of these are important types and shadows to us. The articles that were placed in the earthly ark are not mere empty and useless articles. They are prophetic symbols of all that God is raising up within His elect in this significant hour. As the old Ark of the Covenant, upon which rested the glory of the Lord, dwelt in the most holy place in His temple, so the ark of His covenant with all mankind dwells within our hearts. Christ, the Lord of glory, has taken His throne of rule and authority in our hearts, and He has established His kingdom reign within us. If this is not your testimony it soon will be if you have truly received the call to sonship! To see the graciousness and the glory of these three contents, we must take a closer look at them as they are now applied and manifested to God’s new covenant ark, His many-membered son. As we do, we will rejoice that our Father has so magnanimously chosen us to be the bearers of His will and purpose! The ark is the ark “of the covenant,” that is, it is the repository of the covenant of the Lord! It holds the covenant. Can we not see by this that the three items in the ark represent the covenant? They embody what the covenant is. They are indeed the covenant! The ark itself is not the covenant, but the covenant is in the ark. Understand these three things by the spirit and you will know the mystery of the reality, glory, and power of the new covenant — Christ in you! Because we are “in Christ,” we have the assurance that our spiritual growth is progressing on time and according to the omnipotent purposes of our Father. At His appointed time, when the Christ is fully formed in each of us, He will tear away the veil and strip off the coverings, the temple of God will be opened in the heavens and the ark of His covenant will be
THE TABLETS OF THE LAW
The two tablets of stone containing the law of God are the first item in the ark, representing the law and word of the Lord written on the tables of our heart. That the two tablets of the law in Moses’ ark were unbroken tablets is a very significant truth indeed (Deut. 10:1-5). When Moses came down from the mount, after receiving the tablets of the law from the very hand of God, he heard a great ruckus and saw that his people had disobeyed God’s word and violated His goodness by making a golden calf, and there they were dancing naked and worshipping before it. Moses was so angered by this that he violently threw the two tablets of stone to the ground and broke them into pieces. Thus, the broken tablets represent the law of God broken, disobeyed, and violated. But the two tablets placed within the ark of the covenant were replacements for those broken tablets, and not being broken they showed that the law of God is kept, obeyed, and fulfilled by nature in all who enter into the Holiest of all. Through the processings and preparations we are all going through, the Lord is writing His law in our inward parts. The carnal mind is being replaced by the mind of Christ! And the mind of Christ gives us access by the Spirit to all that is represented in the Holiest of all!
The believers in the church systems today seem to think that all they need to do to establish a “righteous nation” is to pass more legislation based on that Old Testament law of Moses. They would legislate the morals and behavior of our nation with a view to having men ruled by the “law” of God. But they are attempting the impossible! External regulations of man are a failure! They failed first, and perhaps most miserably, in the nation of Israel! Christ is the law of the new covenant, and His law is an indwelling nature, not a rule imposed upon rebellious flesh from without. Only God can change people and bring about righteousness in mankind! And this He does by a spiritual transformation! This is the truth to be seen in the Ark of the Covenant. The law must be within, and it can only be the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus! In that glorious realm of His Spirit, all is fulfilled by the Spirit, and not by human, carnal means. A legislated law over men’s outward lives is Old Testament weak ness and failure and has nothing to do whatever with the kingdom of God, and it is not the law of God that will be ministered to creation by God’s ark people!
If we would see a righteous society, a holy nation, a world free of crime and filled with peace and righteousness, and a creation loosed from the chains of sin and death, then a consecrated remnant must press on through the veil into the most holy place of God’s life and glory. Our spiritual growth and development is the key that will unlock the door into the future of God’s purpose on earth! The remnant must let Him write His word upon their hearts, thereby renewing their minds and enabling them to live the new-creation life of Christ. By the mind of Christ, I see a holy remnant, God’s ark of His covenant, arising in the Spirit and finding their reality in Christ within the veil. These are the hope of all creation! These are the people who are being formed in the image of God’s Son, prepared for the hour of unveiling when the temple is opened in heaven! These are the people who shall establish the kingdom of God in the earth, by the power of the Spirit of holiness, and not by the failing, faulty legislation of the laws and legalism of man. And they shall deliver the whole creation! For “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall SEE TOGETHER!”
The law of God bespeaks the nature of God! The old law of commandments portrays to us what God is like in His nature. For example, when the Lord gave the law, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” He had something infinitely greater in mind than just controlling the sexual behavior of human spouses. The behavior of those who keep that law reveals to us the nature of faithfulness that is rooted in love. God is telling us that He deeply loves us, and come what may He will be faithful to all His commitments to us and to the world and to all mankind! His spiritual law, symbolized by the external law of commandments, is now being put into our minds and written on our hearts so that we will by nature be just as loving and just as faithful to God, to His purpose in us, and to all men everywhere, regardless of how deserving they may or may not be, as He is! He changes our nature, giving us a new power of life, and the ability to live the life of the kingdom of God and manifest that life to the world. His law written on our hearts makes us new-creation people who are called to establish the new age of the kingdom of God on earth!
When one spiritualizes and internalizes the Ten Commandments, a whole new depth of meaning comes to light. Having no other gods before you means not worshipping Self. And that’s how God is! God Himself does not worship Self, for God is Love, and love is not Self-centered, but is always sacrificing and pouring out for others! “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son!” The Adamic nature always puts Self above God! In fact, the Adamic nature is very religious! It goes to church, pays tithes, tries to live a “holy” life, doesn’t smoke, curse, drink, lie, cheat, etc. It “tries” to keep the Ten Commandments and “tries” to act like what it has been told a Christian is supposed to act like. Such behavior makes it feel it is a Christian. But that is a false god! It is outwardly conforming to imposed standards, but there is no internal growth in the grace, wisdom, love, holiness, glory, nature, and power of the Lord! They fail to realize that they should focus on growing up into Him, and not on the doing or not doing
The power of the new covenant is to convert the old external law into an inner life and state of being, to so establish the spiritual essence of that law in the heart that it shall be its inmost life, so that, as naturally as we have willed and acted in our natural life, we now will and act and live to fulfill all the righteousness and purpose of our Father. That, my beloved, is why the Lord instructed Moses to put the unbroken tablets of the law into the ark! He was revealing the great truth that the law must be written by the finger of God (the Spirit) on the fleshy tables of our heart! Why does a little acorn spontaneously grow up into a mighty oak? Because the law of the oak is written in the heart of the acorn! God in all His holiness, wisdom, and power does not sit up in His heaven dishing out commandments and laws for us to obey. Oh, no! He has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts! The law (nature) of God is closer to us than the air we breathe, closer to us even than the blood coursing through our veins! His law is in the very center of the ark which we are! Yes, He has done that, so that we can say, as the firstborn Son of God did, “Thy law is within my heart; I delight to do Thy will, O God!”
THE HIDDEN MANNA
The second item in the Ark of the Covenant is the golden bowl filled with the hidden manna which came from the time in the wilderness when God fed the millions of people directly from the sky with something akin to coriander seed. Normally, if the manna was kept longer than one day it quickly corrupted, bred worms, and stank. Only on the Sabbath was the manna preserved through one extra day without corrupting. Yet, the manna placed within the golden bowl and deposited in the ark was preserved by the power of divine life and never corrupted! This, then, reveals the wonderful truth of incorruptibility — the inward nature or state of being beyond the possibility of being debased, perverted, adulterated, polluted, warped, contaminated, or prostituted. The Lord’s promise to the overcomers is, “I will give him to eat of the hidden manna.” (Rev. 2:17) The “hidden manna” is the manna from the golden bowl in the Ark of the Covenant! No spiritually enlightened person supposes that the overcomers will one day go to heaven and eat literal manna from a literal golden bowl! But all who are apprehended to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus are given to eat and eat and eat of the incorruptible bread of HIS INCORRUPTIBLE LIFE until all the death of the carnal mind and the corruption of the flesh in them has been swallowed up of His life and the day comes when in the totality of being, spirit, soul, and body, there is nothing that can be corrupted! How much more glorious this is!
It is quite meaningful to see that the manna, like the tablets of the law, are in the ark. The ark represents Christ! It is not open manna, it is not manna on the ground, in the lowlands of the corruption of our earthiness, or of carnal man-made religion; it is not manna displayed — not something you will hear on TBN! And it is no earthly substance of vitamins, herbs, or supplements of any kind, for there is no power in any earthly substance to impart incorruptible life into our spirit, our soul, or our body! It is manna in the secret place, in the secret depths of Christ in our spirit. It is not surface and shallow, it is not for the multitudes, not even the multitudes of God’s people — not at this time. This is that which goes beyond the veil, hidden in the ark of Christ in you. Hidden manna is from heaven, truth unfolded, life imparted, enlightenment and quickening from the throne room of God! Can you not see the mystery?
Not only is the manna hidden in the golden bowl, but this bowl is hidden in the ark! “For ye are dead, and your (new) life is hid with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:3) In the wilderness the children of Israel enjoyed the manna, but the manna they enjoyed was public manna; it was manna fallen to earth before the eyes of everyone, not manna hidden in the heavens of God’s Spirit. The hidden manna is not the obvious manna that everyone else is eating, but that which is stored away in the blazing presence of God, in the ark of His covenant, in the most holy place of His glory and power. It is covenant manna! It embodies God’s covenant to give and inwork incorruptible life first within His elect — and in due time the temple will be opened, the ark will be seen, and there will be a revelation of incorruptible life for all creation! Most Christians today eat of the ordinary manna, the letter of the word, the truths of God on the level that is understandable and applicable by natural minds. They never get to the depth of truth that can only be received by the quickening of the Holy Spirit! Instead of merely believing the letter of the words of scripture, every son of God is being quickened to hear the heartbeat of the Father, to receive the words of God in and by the Spirit.
The hidden manna is Christ speaking words of spirit and life from the sanctuary of our innermost being! The showbread was exhibited on the table, it was shown forth and seen by the Lord’s priests that never passed beyond the veil, but ministered in the realms of imperfection. But the incorruptible manna is hidden in the golden bowl in the ark! Multitudes today eat of the showbread in the holy place! In gatherings, in meetings, in conventions, on radio and television, in books and magazines, they eat of the bread of life that is displayed, that all can see and hear, and be strengthened thereby. But it does not give the measure of life that the hidden manna gives! It is like the milk for babes, of which Paul wrote. The hidden manna is Christ in a deeper way, Christ in the most holy place, Christ in the inner chamber, Christ in the secret place of the most High, Christ in the heaven lies of our inner son!
The third article in the ark is the rod of Aaron. You remember the story in the Old Testament when all the elders, the leaders of the twelve tribes, questioned Moses’ choice of his brother Aaron to be high priest. In fact, these leaders were not merely challenging Moses on this issue, they were challenging God! So God said He would give a sign to them to indicate whom He had chosen for this high office. The principal elder of each tribe was to take his rod (staff) and place it with the others. They were to write the name of each elder on the rod of his tribe. Aaron’s name was written on the rod for the tribe of Levi. All the rods were taken and laid up in the most holy place, before the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord’s “sign” would be that the dry rod that belonged to the man the Lord would choose would miraculously, overnight, bring forth buds, blossom blossoms, and bear almonds! The leaders accepted this dramatic action by God. All the rods were taken into the most holy place and laid up before the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. The next day Moses went into the tabernacle and brought out all the rods from before the Lord and delivered them to the children of Israel. They looked, and gave each prince his rod. Only Aaron’s rod had brought forth buds, and blossoms, and borne almonds! All the other rods were still dead wood. Then the Lord instructed Moses to take Aaron’s rod back into the most holy place and deposit it in the ark as an everlasting testimony against the murmurings and rebellion of the people against the Lord and His servant, Moses.
By bringing life and fruitfulness on Aaron’s rod of office the Lord demonstrated His divine appointment and the divine life and power of His priesthood! Authority from God comes only by divine appointment. God does not use volunteers, He only takes conscripts. The honor of being priest was not open to man’s ambition. No man could take it for himself, or assume it out of his own fancy or self-will. The priest ministers in such holy matters that only God can choose and empower him! Thus it was that Aaron was called of God to this task. He did not take it to himself; nor did Moses of his own will make him high priest. God called him to this work, and no one else could have done so. And so we read, “And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made an high priest, but He that said unto him, thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee... saith also in another place, thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb. 5:4-6)
And what was true of Aaron was also true of his sons, they also were “taken” or “called” unto the priesthood! And what is true of Christ as our great high priest, is also true of His priestly house, the body of Christ, or the sons of God — they are called of God! “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren...” (Rom. 8:28-30) “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” (Heb. 3:1) “Thou...hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:10)
A brother in Christ has written; “There is a widespread tradition among Christians that is freighted with fateful error. How often we have been told that God is looking for volunteers for His service. I wish to inform you that this is one of the biggest lies that ever sprang from the deceptive mind of Satan. God does not want volunteers. God only accepts conscripts. Search the scripture from cover to cover and you will find without one exception that every ministry from Genesis to Revelation was called and chosen of God and conscripted to do God’s bidding, and we may further add, that many of these men were chosen against their own will and in spite of their own protestations and objections. Did Moses volunteer for service? Certainly not! He argued that he was not able to speak, that the people would not listen; but he was conscripted. Did Gideon volunteer for service? No! He was conscripted, too. Can you not hear Jeremiah saying, ‘Ah, Lord God, I cannot speak, for I am a child.’ (Jer. 1:6) Did any of the apostles volunteer for service? Not one! They were all especially called and conscripted by Jesus Himself. Did Saul of Tarsus volunteer for service when he was on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christians? This was the last thing in his mind; but Jesus said, ‘He is a chosen vessel unto me to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.’
“Perhaps the greatest single curse of the centuries has been the presumptuous tradition that men and women should volunteer for the ministry of the Lord. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and nothing can be more detrimental to the true work of God than to have the church cluttered up with men and women who have themselves chosen the ministry as a vocation. They are not tried. They are not tested. They have not God’s burden upon their hearts. They have no real love for the flock; and worst of all, they have no Commission from God. Therefore, they lack His blessing and His anointing. Well did the Holy Ghost say by Jeremiah the prophet, ‘In the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from the evil of their doings.’ (Jer. 23:20-22) If you are thinking of entering the ministry, forget it and just go right on picking cotton, or whatever your hand finds to do, until He comes and conscripts you. It will be this volunteer crowd who will come at the last, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works.’ And it will be to them that the Lord will say, ‘I never knew you; depart from me ye that work iniquity (rebellion).’ God does not know nor accept the ministry of anybody except those whom He calls and commissions Himself” — The Page.
In any ministry, to receive a divine call is a matter of first importance! If such a calling was necessary for the carnal priesthood of the old order and of Christ, how much more should the ministry of this age and that of the ages to come assure themselves that they are there because of a divine call. The great apostle Paul said, “For I take no special pride in the fact that I preach the gospel. I feel compelled to do so; I should be utterly miserable if I failed to preach it. If I do this work because I choose to do so then I am entitled to a reward. But if it is no choice of mine, but a sacred responsibility put upon me, what can I expect in a way of reward?” (I Cor. 9:16-18, Phillips) It becomes clear; Paul did not volunteer his services of his own free will, so he was not entitled to any reward as such for preaching. He had no choice in the matter; he was conscripted by God and given the responsibility from above. Let it be known in this day of Babylon’s religious institutions and hirelings — God does not use volunteers in the work of His kingdom! Ministry is not something one chooses as a vocation, a profession, an easy way to earn a living. All such are HIRELINGS, and hirelings are the ministers of Babylon, and will fall with the system.
I do not hesitate to add that only those who receive the call, who come to realize within themselves that they are, beyond any shadow of doubt, apprehended unto sonship to God, will be fully processed and positioned and birthed by the dealings of the Father into the new order of the new age. Many come to this holy realization through a personal encounter with the Lord. Each son must receive the call and each must come to know the Father for himself. In order to be a king-priest after the order of Melchizedek our existence must spring from our heavenly and divine origin and not from our earthly one. The new creation life we have in Him becomes a super-charged power that lifts us above the law of sin and death and into the power of His endless life. Ah, when the temple of God is opened in heaven, the Ark of the Covenant is seen! And within that ark is Aaron’s rod that budded, revealing the great truth of the divine appointment and power of the Royal Priesthood of God!
THE MERCY SEAT
For a cover for the Ark of the Covenant Moses was commissioned to make a “mercy-seat,” a slab of solid gold, which was in fact a lid, with cherubim, one at each end facing each other, and all in one piece. The tablets of the law of the Lord, the golden bowl of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, were placed within the ark and the mercy-seat placed above it. Nothing could either enter or leave the ark without passing through the mercy-seat! This mercy-seat was also called the throne of the Lord, and it was there upon the mercy-seat, between the cherubim, that the glory of the God of Israel dwelt, and from there God communed with His people and set judgment and mercy in the midst. “And thou shalt put the mercy seat above the ark...and there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark.” (Ex. 25:21-22) “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel...Thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth.” (Ps. 80:1)
The covering of the Ark of the Covenant was the place of the judgment-of-mercy for the forgiveness of sin. It was the judgment-throne of the Invisible One, Israel’s King. It was the throne of mercy! Everything in the law of Moses and the Old Testament economy of redemption centered in that mercy-seat. All the sacrifices had to do with that mercy-seat within the veil. All the shedding of blood of offerings had to do with that one chief sprinkling of blood upon the mercy-seat. The mercy-throne was, in the arrangement of things, the center of all! The tabernacle was in the center of the camp. The most holy place was in the center of the tabernacle. The mercy-seat was in the center of the most holy place. So the mercy-throne was in the center, or midst, or centrality of everything! The mercy-throne was what the most holy place was made for! The mercy-seat was not a “seat” as we think of a seat; the old English word means the origin or center, just as you speak of “the seat of pain” or “the seat of government” as the point of origin or center of it. The mercy-seat was the place where MERCY ORIGINATED! It was the CENTER OF MERCY! This is the description of something supreme — MERCY!
The mercy-seat is an absolute picture of God’s Christ, Head and body. There is no wood in it at all. It speaks of God and all that is the nature of God as revealed in Christ! The Lord Jesus Christ is first, and foremost, the revelation of the mercy-seat. The word for mercy-seat in the Greek language is hilasterion. In the New Testament there are only four verses of scripture that use this word, and it is translated once as “mercy seat” (Heb. 9:5) and three times as “propitiation” (Rom. 3:25; I Jn. 4:10; I Jn. 2:2). In these passages our Lord Jesus Christ is said to be the “propitiation” for our sins and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world! That means that Jesus is the “mercy-seat” where the issue of our sins is dealt with. To propitiate means to appease, soothe, cause to be favorably disposed, to conciliate. There is no condemnation in propitiation! The only judgment in propitiation must be one that has an outcome that is favorable toward us! It is a MERCY-THRONE!
The only reason to approach a mercy-throne is to obtain mercy! And Jesus is the mercy-throne for the sins of
the whole world! Aren’t you glad!
If the Christ, who is our mercy-seat, the origin and center of all love and grace and life, had turned away from us, we would have at once been everlastingly finished. I do not hesitate to tell you that God has not dismantled His mercy-seat, nor shall He as long as there is one poor sinner in earth or in hell who needs it! He is not taking His Spirit out of the earth, the day of grace is not, as the preachers so ridiculously proclaim, about to end; indeed, the day of grace is barely begun! “His mercy endureth for the ages,” and none can deny that there are yet “the ages to come!” Therefore, though we have but tasted of His mercies, through vast ages yet unborn
He will continue to unfold the riches of His grace, manifesting it through His vessels of mercy, until the fullness thereof is revealed, and God becomes, finally, ALL-IN-ALL!
I would be remiss if I failed to point out that all the sons of God also shall fulfill this same ministry of the mercy-seat! Growing up into Him who is the Head, coming unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, being partakers of the heavenly calling, the high calling of His priesthood, kings and priests reigning with Him upon His mercy-throne — all bespeak the same truth — we are destined to become His mercy-seat! This beautiful truth is stated so simply, yet so graphically, in Psalm 103:4 wherein we read, “Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” In the Hebrew “lovingkindness” is hhesed; “tender mercies” is rahhamim, which is equivalent in power to our English word “compassion.” This is the God of all grace placing a crown upon those who rule with Him! This is the God of love placing upon your head the insignia of anointing as one of His king-priests. “He crowns us!” the blessed Psalmist says. What is this crown, this kingly, priestly anointing, this power and authority to rule? The crown is HHESED and RAHHAMIM — LOVINGKINDNESS and TENDER MERCIES! What a crown to be crowned with; what a throne to reign from!
Think of it! God’s crown, God’s ruling authority and power! Crowned with mercy! Ruling by mercy! This is truth of unfathomed depth. What kind of a crown do you have in mind when you think of “wearing a crown” in the kingdom of God? It is my prayerful hope that these words will prove helpful in bringing many of God’s precious elect into their crown-fitting! “In mercy shall the throne be established.” (Isa. 16:5) “Mercy shall be built up forever.” (Ps. 89:2) It is when this mercy company has fully become, matured in the nature of God, then shall the completeness of the mercy-throne be revealed in the earth! The Lord Jesus is now “our” mercy-seat, and in due time God’s firstfruits are to become that mercy-seat for others — to unfold God’s transforming mercy to all!
I mentioned earlier that the mercy-throne is what the most holy place was made for. As we today are given boldness by the blood of Jesus to truly enter the most holy place not made with hands — the realm of God’s fullness — may we enter humbly with this knowledge, and in this spirit — the most holy place is prepared and ordained — for MERCY! It is made just for the mercy-seat. I do not say this critically nor harshly, but I do not hesitate to tell you that anyone who truly understands the mercy-seat will also understand that any man or woman who claims to have entered beyond the veil into the Holiest of all, but yet preaches eternal hell and damnation unto the billions of mankind who have lived and died outside of Christ, that man and that woman is truly deceived, for they neither know, nor have they seen, nor can they describe the nature of the God who sits between the cherubim upon that MERCY-SEAT! The unmerciful will never stand upon this holy ground. No place here to view any man with the thought, “Does he deserve it?” Mercy is not about what people deserve! We have not deserved it, any more than any man, not one of us had any merits to claim His favor, but it was freely given to us just the same, and from this holy station we have learned to freely give in like manner, not imputing men’s sins unto them, but revealing HIS REDEEMING MERCY.
This is oft times difficult at first for those priests-to-be who have come out of the church systems of man with a heavy hangover of condemnation and charging every man with guilt and shame. It was a sin to do this, it was a sin to do that, and God could not look upon sin, could not countenance sin, and we were so sin-conscious that we were unable to kindle any consciousness of the awesome power of HIS ABOUNDING MERCY! How we have ranted and raved and stormed at men about their sins and judgment! But it has been well said that “There
is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer; no disease that enough love will not heal; no door that enough love will not open; no gulf that enough love will not bridge; no wall that enough love will not throw down; no sin that enough love will not redeem. It makes no difference how deep-seated may be the problem, how hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangles, how grave the mistake — a sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all — if only you could love enough and love long enough you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world!” As I read those words I thought, “Now we know how God became the Almighty God!” And we also know how the sons of God become the sons of their Father which is in heaven! Oh, the wonder of it!
All who rule and reign with Christ in His kingdom rule in mercy. The throne of God is the throne of mercy! “And in mercy shall the throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth...judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.” (Isa. 16:5) In mercy shall the throne be established, saith the Lord! God has come to our lives in mercy. The only reason we are breathing today is because of His mercy. Mercy is an aspect of God’s nature that flows out to all men, for our heavenly Father causes His sun to rise upon the good and on the evil, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. Man does not know how to be so merciful! The Greek word for throne is kicce. It means the place or seat of authority. The throne of God is not a golden chair somewhere out in space, nor is it a chair in London, England nor in Jerusalem, Israel. It is the authority that is invested in the name of Jesus Christ within His elect! His name signifies His nature. The Lord is taking all the authority that is in the name or nature of Jesus Christ and He is establishing that authority and that nature in His sons and daughters as the power of life. And this throne is the throne of MERCY!
The Hebrew word for throne also means “a canopy; something that is covered.” The mercy-seat in the tabernacle in the wilderness was covered by the skins and the veil of the most holy place and by the overspreading wings of the cherubim of gold. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my covered place — THE MERCY-SEAT.” It was upon the mercy-seat that the glory of the God of Israel dwelt. He is preeminently a God of mercy, who remembers mercy in time of judgment. The writer to the Hebrews says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16) This can be a reference to nothing else but the mercy-seat! The same writer to the Hebrews who speaks here of “coming boldly to the throne of grace...to obtain mercy,” is the one who also says, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus...” Oh, yes! Boldness to enter the Holiest and approach the mercy-seat to obtain mercy! God is the God of mercy.
Mercy is the ability to get into other people’s skin until you see the way they see, hear the way they hear, feel the way they feel — so that you can be touched by the feelings of their infirmities, and then act toward them the way you would wish them to act toward you in that same place! That is exactly what Jesus did for you and me! And it is what every son of mercy must attain to. God’s throne is a covered place, a canopy, the place of mercy where all sin is covered. Would you “cover” your erring brother? God “covers” His erring creation! As members of His body, we are the tabernacle of God and the ark is in us. The throne of mercy is established in our hearts. “In mercy shall the throne be established.” Where? IN US! “And He shall sit upon it.” Where? IN US! “And He shall judge.” Where? IN US! “And He shall seek justice.” Where? IN US! “And He shall accelerate
righteousness.” Where? IN US! Nothing that God’s throne is or that it represents is worth a hill of beans until it becomes reality and life in His mercy-seat company. God must reign in us and through us — in mercy!
The greatness of a man is measured by his attitude toward his enemies. 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 disease and pain. While relatives were weeping over dead loved ones, He raised four of them to life again. Four is the number of that which is worldwide or universal, signifying God’s intention to raise all men from their graves of sin and death! The Saviour of ALL said to the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more.” His kindness made an evangelist out of the licentious woman at the well in Samaria. Because Jesus really loved the weak, helpless creatures whom He had created, He wept over them, prayed for them, succored them, and taught them continually. Except those religious Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes, Jesus never spoke one cross word, nor one condemnatory word, nor one threatening word to the multitudes of people, saint or sinner. He was very tender and kind and merciful in all His dealings with men. His approach to them was very gentle, delicate, and considerate. Hanging in excruciating pain and misery upon the wretched cross He cried out for His murderers, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” Surely, then, we are safer in His hands than anywhere else! This is the Man that sits upon the throne! The things He has in store for every one of us are far greater than we could plan for ourselves.
Does God expect His sons to be either better or less than Himself? In Luke 6:35-36 we read, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be THE SONS OF THE HIGHEST; for HE IS KIND UNTO THE UNTHANKFUL AND TO THE EVIL, BE YE THEREFORE MERCIFUL, AS YOUR FATHER ALSO IS MERCIFUL.” In this instance Jesus plainly says that if we desire to be the sons of the Highest, we must be merciful as He is merciful. THE HIGHEST IS MERCIFUL TO ALL!
It is the property of God to always have mercy, and mercy triumphs over judgment. His mercy is above the heavens. It is from everlasting to everlasting. He has provided a way that the banished may always return. There can be no limits to God’s mercy. Men have limits to their mercy, but our Father has none! The mercy of God is not only mercy, it is tender mercy. It is mercy of the utmost tenderness and compassionate love and infinite kindness. It is mercy that reaches to all, to the darkest sin, and to the lowest hell. Christ Himself manifested that mercy. It is mercy without any alloy, pure, and without any restraint. It is mercy without any remembrance of the transgression. It is the blotting of it out. The record is erased. It is the casting of it into the deep sea of eternal forgetfulness. It extends through all time and into eternity. Those who would be priests of the most High must be ministers of His mercy. That is the spirit of sonship! And that is what is seen when the temple is opened in heaven and the Ark of the Covenant is unveiled, revealed, laid bare before the wondering eyes of mankind! The ark is SEEN! The top of the ark is the mercy-seat — the throne of mercy! What is seen is the Father’s divinely appointed priesthood of mercy, all the holy sons of God who reign from that glorious throne in the power of divine love and redemption! It is indeed wonderful!
To be continued...