2 Cor. 5:4 “For we who are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up by life.”
God, in speaking to the seven churches of Asia (Rev. chapters two and three), gives us an understanding as to the cause for tribulation as well as individual testing’s within the church order. God, to these seven churches speaks of His concern, concerning His people’s spiritual condition. God expresses His desire for a purified church to come forth as a prelude to His coming, with judgment beginning in the house of the Lord. Therefore, as overcomers, God’s expressed desire continues in chapter four of Revelation, declaring the beginning of the omega of the last days that will usher in the establishing of God’s kingdom upon earth. In revealing these judgmental events we read in Rev. 4:1, “After this I [John] looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, which said, come up hither, and I will show you things which must be hereafter.”
The invitation to “come up hither”, pointing to a higher spiritual realm, though given directly to John, is now an invitation being given to all overcomers who are desirous and willing to partake of the necessary spiritual ascension to God’s throne-room order. John hears the voice as a trumpet speaking. This voice heard was the result of his looking. This word “looked”, as used in the above verse, speaks firmly of the act, “to see: implying not the mere act of looking, but the actual perception of the object.” Thus, a spiritual enlightenment that becomes real to John as perception reveals this “open door”. A door opened for John to see those things that are to come upon creation. Where was this “open door” John was seeing? Revelation reveals that it was in heaven, which is the invisible spiritual realm of God which also dwells within redeemed men. But unto those men who stay in their fallen corrupt condition, heaven cannot fully dwell or manifest. However, in the revealing of this heavenly realm, a door is open for those who desire to hear, see, and receive, therefore having the opportunity to enter.
Notice that the “first voice” being heard is as a trumpet. This trumpet sounding as a voice speaking, and when giving consideration concerning trumpets in the Old Testament, it always sounded out a prescribed call. The sound blowing among us today is a prescribed call from God as connected to war and the day of the Lord which should draw man’s full attention as it blows. Zephaniah 1:14-16, “The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hastens greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.” This sound coming forth here is speaking of preparing a people for the coming judgments; these judgments of God are for but one purpose. That purpose, to purify God’s creation from its fallen condition, its state of ruin. In considering this judgment, always remember, judgment begins in the house of the Lord.
Revelation, as it comes from God and given to receiving vessels, always has a divine purpose. As John declares, the ability to see those things God reveals can only come through the avenue of being in the spirit. Rev. 4:2, “And immediately I was in the spirit: and behold a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.” “In the spirit” points to a truth as to receiving and knowing God’s higher ways; it is only by the Holy Spirit that one receives the actual perception of what God shows. Here in Revelation that which God revealed was the throne-room of God where His fullness dwells and where man can enter by being in that same spirit, God’s heavenly dwelling place. Eph. 2:6, “He raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” This speaks of a relationship that comes from living in Christ, as He lives in us, as He sits upon His throne within man’s soul. The Christ in us speaks of a people of judgment which results in a people living in the throne-room authority of God. (Read Rev. 4:3-11).
Here, before the throne of God, we see a sea of glass which indicates the need within man for sanctification. This work of sanctification is necessary as it cleanses and enables man to stand in God’s throne-room presence and authority. Man has a need to be enlightened, to live in the spirit, while perceiving the Christ as man sees Him face to face. 2 Cor. 4:6, “For God, who commanded the light [underived and absolute] to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
This speaks of a sanctified people, cleansed by God, who are sitting down (resting) with Him in the throne-room realm of His Spirit and authority. Abiding within the throne-room speaks of change, a change from the fallen man’s sin-nature to a restoration of man’s soul into the nature of Christ. It is within the nature (soul) of man that he needs salvation. Heb. 10:39, “But we are not of them unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” This word “soul”, as used in this verse speaks of “the life of man, which can be lost or saved.” The soul manifests the character of the man through his mind, his will, his emotions and his desires.
What is the soul of man and its importance? It consists as the abiding place within man that expresses the four basic expressions of man’s nature. Speaking of man’s mind, his will, his emotions and his desires. This soul’s created purpose was and is to manifest the nature of God. The fallen man, while living with a sin nature is one that flies about with a restless mind, symbolized by an eagle. Fallen man has emotions that react as a wild animal, acting as a terrible beast and is symbolized in scripture by a wild lion. Fallen man’s will, being stubborn in all its ways, is in scripture symbolized as the stubborn oxen. Then the man, full of all manners of desires, speaks of man in his humanity, a selfish nature living continually for self. These expressions of fallen man, with a sin nature, when passing through the cross of Christ and the needed cleansing by His sacrificial blood can then become as a sea of glass, the product of a complete sanctification from self. In knowing the necessary change in a full measure, this change enables fallen man to stand before God in the throne-room having a living soul, a new nature. A Christ-like nature.
In recalling the letters to the seven churches in Asia, God gives a specific word to each church where there existed a need to overcome. What is it that man must overcome? Could it be pointing to the nature of the fallen soul and its four avenues of expression and its reaction? Concerning the mind of man, the eagle, the change comes as man’s mind ceases in desiring worldly favors and it enticements to finally desire and stand only upon the word of God. God’s word when received will stop the sinful restlessness of the mind by exchanging it for God’s rest, the mind of Christ. Psalms 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Verse 105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” This, while impossible by men in their own strength, can be accomplished as the man draws from the spiritual strength that the Holy Spirit makes available.
The second avenue of expression from man’s soul is the emotions of the man as typed by the lion, a wild beast. Emotions, as a beast in their actions, will not know peace until changed by the power of God and the blood of Jesus Christ given on the cross. Know that by establishing for themselves certain desires that only feeds the self-life, any desire to react in certain legalistic ways will always fail. Why does a law fail? Because the flesh that the law works through is weak and wars against God’s nature, therefore it promotes failure. Therefore, man’s emotions need a confession before God by asking Him to deal with any wild emotions daily until perfection comes, that is taking up the cross daily to follow Christ.
The third avenue of expression that comes from the soul is the will of man. Here we can see a change-taking place from the stubborn oxen spoken of in Ezekiel the first chapter to a humble calf as spoken of in Revelation the fourth chapter. While this change speaks of the stubbornness depicted by the oxen, note the change into the yielded calf, to now stand before the throne of God. This speaks of one who has given up his own will for the higher will of God, a dying to self-life to live unto God alone. Living in a state of humility. Matt. 26:39, “And He [Jesus] went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Fourthly, consider the man, the product of worldly influences from his birth until his rebirth. This man, with cultivated ingrained desires that have been conjured up by a perverted world, is purposed to promote for himself worldly success. From man’s genealogy, his environment, peers, education, and culture, a selfish desire becomes his motivation and with many, they finally come to know the destructive results of that life-style. Herein, God is willing to intervene and bring change, a change from what was to what can now be because of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. This cross offers a new birth, a being born again, from the earthly life-styles into the heavenlies, a new man walking in and for God, one being filled with all God’s heavenly desires.
Thus, it is time for a people, the first-fruits of God to appear as the time of harvest is now come. A nature now changed into:
- The eagle (mind) – now a flying eagle that is the first-fruit saints manifesting the mind of Christ.
- The oxen (will) – now the calf, the humble man having overcome his stubborn will to suck the milk of God’s word and mature into becoming God’s will. One totally dependent upon God.
- The lion (emotions) – no longer a wild beast but one becoming of the lion of the tribe of Judah that breaks every chain, a sitting free of those who are willing to know released from that roaring lion called Satan, the father of lies and the accuser of the brethren.
- The man (desires) – now a different man from the earth-bound man to become, along with Jesus Christ the Son of Man, the manifested sons of God, maturing unto fatherhood to establish God’s kingdom on earth.
Herein, we see the progressive growth of a fallen man, redeemed and restored to become an active member of God’s family. A many member Christ transformed from a sinner who had a sin-nature into a re-borne creation with the nature of Christ. The four beasts, the four natures of the soul, are now changed unto Christ likeness, manifesting His image. The seven lamps burning are the seven Spirits of God with all the attributes of God coming forth from the soul of the new created man. The sea of glass speaks of a people with clearness of purity, with nothing of the corrupt man remaining, nothing that carnality can touch. This stands in agreement and according to God’s purpose from the beginning of creation. 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen generation [race], a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that you should show forth the praises [virtues] of Him Who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people but are now the people of God: Which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” The phrase, “but are now the people of God” speaks of much more than just being forgiven of past sins. It speaks of a people who no longer walk according to the sin nature. These are a people, birthed into the household of God, while taking up their inheritance as the sons of God. These elect of God are those who become and establish the kingdom of God on earth.
These sons, the heirs of God, having been under tutors and governors have come to their appointed time. (Read Gal. 4:1-7). In this, the fullness of God’s time has come for His many sons to come forth and receive their adoption, the redemption of their bodies. They are now to glorify God in the fullness of His purpose, having become the visible manifestation of an invisible God. It is for the manifestation of His sons that all creation groans, waiting for God’s elect, the first-fruits to appear. Rom. 8:22-23, “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”
A life lived in iniquity is a life of bad conduct flowing from the evil desires of a fallen nature as it breaches the nature of God. In God, His sons’ no longer dwell in iniquity because the prayers of the saints and God’s fullness of time has come. Psalms 6:6-10, “I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows old because of all my enemies. Depart from me all you workers of iniquity, for the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer. Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled; let them turn back and be shamed suddenly.” The groaning is running its course and the day of His sons appearing is at hand. Therefore, let us rise and shine for the time of God’s manifesting glory has come.