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Satisfying The Desires Of The Holy Spirit

Satisfying The Desires Of The Holy Spirit

Romans 8:5-9(NIV) - Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

The Holy Spirit is a Person who has desires. He likes certain things and doesn't like other things. He knows what He wants and does not compromise His standards. However, since He made the rules by which we live, every Christian needs to share in His desires. If you think in agreement with Him you will have life and peace but if you constantly disagree in any area, death is your portion right there. So the question that must be answered is, “How can I discover the desires of The Spirit so that I can agree with them?”

The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” The Spirit of God is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and deserving of praise. If you focus on Him and embrace the heavenly standards you will find peace even if storms surround you. Anytime you want what God wants, if you ask Him, you will have it.

Meditate on 1 Corinthians 13:1-10 and Galatians 5:22-25

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Undercover Spiritual Warfare

Undercover Spiritual Warfare

Today's blog is dedicated to Janice. She reached out to us yesterday asking for the daily messages to return. Saying we're a little busy these days is an understatement. As you should already know, we started The Body Church a few months ago. We will also be releasing a new book soon. We also have some new developments in other areas. Nonetheless, if you enjoy reading these daily devotionals let us know so we'll make sure you get them. We need to hear from you. 🙂

2 Corinthians 10:4-6(NIV) - The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

Do you know that one of the most popular spiritual warfare scriptures in the Charismatic Christian church is usually not used in its proper context? 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 is not necessarily referring to evil spiritual forces roaming the earth. It’s directed to mental strongholds on the inside of people that cause them to disobey God. This type of spiritual warfare is really a war for control of our minds. We win or lose this war by the decisions we make in response to God’s directions.

James 4:7(KJV) - Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

When a Christian submits to God’s directions he is resisting the devil by resisting his temptations. When the devil cannot influence a Christian to disobey God, the devil is powerless and has to run. Hence, spiritual warfare in this context is really pulling down disobedient mindsets with the simple decision to be obedient. Every Christian has The Spirit of Obedient Fear of The Lord so every Christian can win the war for their minds.

Meditate on James 1:12-17

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The Fruit of The Spirit

Date - Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The Body Church
Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/ Georgia Tech
1132 Techwood Dr NW, Atlanta
GA 30318

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer
11:00 AM - Worship With The Word

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

9

Ask Donnell - Why Is Dan Not Sealed By God in Revelation 7?

Ask Donnell - Why Is Dan Not Sealed By God in Revelation 7?

We received the following question from Deborah;

"Hi Donnell. I have been looking at your youtube vids "living in the last days". I have a question concerning the 144,000 that were sealed of the tribes of Israel. Manasses was sealed but the tribe of Dan was not mentioned. Is there any scripture stating why he was not mentioned? I asked this also on the youtube but I think this is the most appropriate place. Thanks."

Revelation 7:1-8(NKJV) - After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: 5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed; 6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed; 7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed; 8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

Pay close attention to Revelation 4 which states that the 144,000 came out of ALL the tribes of Israel. So why was Dan left out? Deborah, that is a good question. It wasn't until you asked it that I noticed the tribe of Dan missing from the 144,000. Since nothing's by chance, let's see what clues exist in The Bible that can help us to understand what could possibly have happened. Let's start with some background information on Dan.

Genesis 35:22-26(NKJV) - ....Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: 23 the sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; 24 the sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin; 25 the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant, were Dan and Naphtali; 26 and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, were Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Padan Aram.

Of Jacob's twelve sons, Dan was one of only two born to Rachel's maid, Bilhah. Did the nature of his birth play a factor in Revelation 7? The answer would be no because the tribe of Napthali, Dan's brother, who was also born to Bilhah is named among the 144,000. In addition, the tribes of Gad and Asher, children of Leah's maidservant were also included. Therefore, the tribe of Dan's removal from the list of Israel's tribes in Revelation 7 had nothing to do with the nature of his birth. Let's dig in some more.

Genesis 49:1-2, 16-18(NKJV) - And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days: 2 “Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, And listen to Israel your father...... “Dan shall judge his people As one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, A viper by the path, That bites the horse’s heels So that its rider shall fall backward. 18 I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!

As Jacob approached his final days he called his sons together in Genesis 49 and prophesied to them concerning what would happen in the last days. He says two interesting things that seem to contradict each other concerning his son, Dan. On one side he said that Dan would judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel but on the other, he said that Dan would become a snake in the path of people trying to pass by. Here's the first stage of the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Joshua 19:40-48(NKJV) - The seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families. 41 And the territory of their inheritance was Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir Shemesh, 42 Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Jethlah, 43 Elon, Timnah, Ekron, 44 Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, 45 Jehud, Bene Berak, Gath Rimmon, 46 Me Jarkon, and Rakkon, with the region near Joppa. 47 And the border of the children of Dan went beyond these, because the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem and took it; and they struck it with the edge of the sword, took possession of it, and dwelt in it. They called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father. 48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.

When the Children of Israel entered The Promised Land they divided it up into portions that were presented to each tribe. Dan didn't feel satisfied with their portion so they did a little extra by conquering a neighboring area called Leshem which they incorporated into their inheritance. They continued this pattern later on and that's how things changed for them. Read Judges 18 and you'll see where the Tribe of Dan went off the right path.

Judges 18:27-31(NKJV) - So they took the things Micah had made, and the priest who had belonged to him, and went to Laish, to a people quiet and secure; and they struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire. 28 There was no deliverer, because it was far from Sidon, and they had no ties with anyone. It was in the valley that belongs to Beth Rehob. So they rebuilt the city and dwelt there. 29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel. However, the name of the city formerly was Laish. 30 Then the children of Dan set up for themselves the carved image; and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. 31 So they set up for themselves Micah’s carved image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.

When the tribe of Dan conquered Micah, they took idols into the land of Laish where they settled and became idol worshippers from that day forward. This is where one dimension of the fulfillment of Jacob's prophecy of Dan being a serpent began to take shape. By opening themselves up to the devil who is described as a serpent in The Book of Revelation they became associated with a snake. They developed a reputation as idol worshippers as evidenced by a reference in Amos 8.

Amos 8:13-14(AMP) - In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. 14 Those who swear by Ashimah or the sin of Samaria and say, By the life of your god [the golden calf], O Dan! and [swear], By the life of the way of [idolatrous] Beersheba, they shall fall and rise no more.

The god of Dan was no longer the True and Living God but a mere idol. In the end that could explain why they will be left out when God seals all the tribes of Israel. They were supposed to be included with the rest of their brethren but gave themselves to idols. Hence, even though they are technically Children of Israel 12,000 of them won't get the same protection as those within the 144,000. those who would follow the example of Dan will suffer the same fate. According to the prophet Amos, they shall fall and rise no more.

Leviticus 26:1(KJV)- Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God.

Hebrews 6:4-6(NLT) - For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— 6 and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.
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The Body Church - Holy Spirit; The Person

Date - Sunday, June 1st, 2014

The Body Church
Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/ Georgia Tech
1132 Techwood Dr NW, Atlanta
GA 30318

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer
11:00 AM - Worship With The Word

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

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The Body Church: The Seven Spirits of God (Part 3)

Date - Sunday, May 25th, 2014

The Body Church
Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/ Georgia Tech
1132 Techwood Dr NW, Atlanta
GA 30318

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer
11:00 AM - Worship With The Word

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

6

Ask Donnell: Where do Demons, Fallen Angels & Nephilim fit in The Bible?

Ask Donnell: Where do Demons, Fallen Angels & Nephilim fit in The Bible?

We received the following question from Josanne;

Hi Donnell,
For sometime now I have struggled with the concepts of demons, nephiliym, fallen angels. The movie "Noah" also twists and suggests a lot and it has even used this topic as a basis for the story line. After doing some research and talking to others, I realize that this is a shared conflict. I know you are a man strictly by the Word of God. Please help with these distinctions. Also, who are the spirits attacking and possessing when the Bible clearly refers to them as being chained in hell? Can a Christian be demon possessed? Hoping you can shed some clarity on this once and for all.

Josanne, this is a great question which demands special attention. I know you've been waiting a while for this answer but I've been thinking about it all along and now I'm ready to respond. First let me address the movie, Noah. Any Biblical movie produced by a proud atheist will probably be an unreliable source of Biblical information. Therefore, if you saw something in the movie that seemed strange it should not be a surprise. Unless they follow the scriptures exactly as it's written, atheists can't create movies based on The Bible without screwing something up. Anyway, let's look to the scriptures to clear up any confusion.

Ephesians 6:12(AMP) - For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

This is a very popular scripture that is used mainly to explain spiritual warfare. One of the most valuable aspects of this scripture is the ease with which Apostle Paul summarizes the power structure in the kingdom of darkness. All evil is not created equal and the scripture shows that clearly. Some have authority on a local level, others over regions and some global. In light of this understanding let's distinguish between demons, fallen angels and Nephilim. Believe me, there are differences and The Bible makes it easy to understand. I've been told and have also learned through the research of others that all evil beings are fallen angels. There is no distinction between demons and fallen angels. I want to believe that explanation because it's a tidy, simple answer. Yet, I see things presented a little different in The Bible.

Fallen Angels - Sons of God

Job 1:6(NKJV) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.

Job 38:4-7(NKJV) - “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Angels are referred to as sons of God several times in The Old Testament. Satan, who is a fallen angel, presented himself to God alongside them in Job 1:6. Additionally, they shouted for joy when God laid the earth's foundations. This is very important to remember as we take a look at the following scripture passage.

Genesis 6:1-4(NKJV) - Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

In this passage we see something very interesting. Here is a specific group of fallen angels who made a decision to have sexual relations with women. This is where the drama in Genesis takes a turn for the worst. As a result of this activity these women became pregnant and had children with supernatural abilities. Here's where I want you to focus. In order for them to have sexual relations with these women, did these fallen angels have to possess anybody to function in the earth? Think about it before you answer!

They had bodies of their own and these bodies enabled them to transition between the spirit and natural realms at will. That's actually consistent with other scriptures that describe the activity of God's angels in the earth. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:2; "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." In Genesis 19:1-11, two angels visited Lot to warn him of impending danger. These heavenly beings were able to blend in like human beings so much so that the men in Sodom and Gomorrah thought these angels were men and desired to lay hands on them. Once again, they had bodies which could operate in the physical realm. In fact, at one point they were able to physically pull Lot into the house when he was in danger outside.

Jude 6-7(NKJV) - And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Now pay even closer attention to this scripture. It explains what happened to the specific group of fallen angels who had sexual intercourse with women resulting in children who were freaks of nature. These fallen angels were chained under darkness in an anticipation of a future judgment. This passage does not address all fallen angels because one third of all the angels in heaven are fallen angels. There probably were not enough women on earth for all of these fallen angels to have one. Therefore, this passage is a reference to a "small" group of angels. So, to answer your question. Yes, there are fallen angels in chains but this is a specific group which contaminated the human race during Noah's day.

Revelation 9:14-18(AMP) - Then the sixth angel blew [his] trumpet, and from the four horns of the golden altar which stands before God I heard a solitary voice, Saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, Liberate the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. So the four angels who had been in readiness for that hour in the appointed day, month, and year were liberated to destroy a third of mankind.

Interesting scripture, isn't it? Who are these four angels bound at the great river Euphrates? If you read on, you'll realize that they're obviously fallen angels and at the sixth trumpet they will be released to bring judgment. I couldn't help but see the connection between this scripture in Revelation and Jude 6. When I first saw in Jude 6 that the fallen angels were bound in chains until the judgment of that great day my assumption was that they were the ones being judged. However, who's to say that they are not being held in chains so that they could be used as instruments of judgment? I can't find any other accounts of angels being literally bound or chained in The Bible so I don't see why these two passages can't be connected to each other.

Daniel 10:12-13(NKJV) - Then he said to me,"Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.

Fallen angels are powerful beings. One high ranking fallen angel had so much power over Persia that he was able to stop a heavenly angel from delivering the answer to Daniel's prayer for 21 days. It was so serious that Michael, one of the top ranking angels from heaven had to be dispatched to help. Therefore, in the same way that there is a hierarchy among angelic beings in God's kingdom there is a hierarchy among the spiritual beings in the kingdom of darkness.

Here's the main point; when The Bible speaks of fallen angels they are referred to as angels. This is a distinguishing reference because they are a very specific group of evil beings that have a very specific historical account which describes how they became evil. They participated in the rebellion in heaven and were kicked out with their leader Lucifer. Now they operate in great authority on the earth and continue to be very powerful beings whose bodies can operate in both the spiritual and natural realms. They did not lose their power, they just lost their heavenly authority. Now let's move on to demons.

Demons - Unclean Spirits

Matthew 12:43-45(NKJV) - “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

In this passage Jesus explained how unclean spirits operate. Without physical bodies of their own they can't find rest until they possess the body of a human being. It's when they possess people that they find legitimate expression in the earth. Other than the account in John 13:27 of Satan possessing Judas any other reference to the possession of a human being is usually related to an unclean spirit which we commonly refer to as demons.

We can safely assume that unclean spirits do not operate on the same level of authority as the fallen angels referenced throughout scripture. Instead of ruling the air they scavenge through dry places on earth looking for people's bodies to possess. I've heard a couple theories as to where they came from but I'll move on without sharing those. The safest assumption is that they are the lowest ranked creatures in the kingdom of darkness.

The main thing to remember is their distinction from fallen angels because of their need to possess human bodies or animals (Matthew 8:30-32) to operate in the earth. From the examples we've seen the fallen angels need so such thing. They were able to materialize in Noah's day and impregnate women without ever possessing a human body.

1 Peter 5:8-9(AMP) - Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.

Now, let's answer your question about a Christian being possessed. Is that possible? Well, let's start by defining demonic possession. In this context, we are talking about someone being under the influence of demons which would include any form of evil control which affects one's soul (mind, will and emotions). My father says that the man with experience will always beat the man with an argument. Since we cannot read someone's heart we cannot verify whether or not someone truly has given his/her heart to The Lord. However, if they've repeated the prayer of salvation we have to assume that they are saved.

So, there is room for error in our assumption of someone's Christianity. Hence, as we answer this question we have to keep that in mind. Regardless, have you ever met a Christian person possessed with a devil? I have. Many people who received deliverance from demons during church services were not unsaved. They were Christian people who opened the door to the enemy and he gladly stepped right in. That's what we've seen happen and that will always beat an argument saying it's impossible. I've seen it with my own two eyes so I know it's possible.

Ephesians 4:26-27(AMP) - When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].

James 3:16(KJV) - For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Do you want to know how Christian people open the door to the devil? They play around with the occult. They hold on to unresolved anger. They refuse to forgive. They are full of envy and strife. They mess around with drugs. These are just some of the ways people open their souls up to demonic attacks.

Nephilim - Giants

Genesis 6:4(AMP) - There were giants on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God lived with the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

Numbers 13:33 (AMP) - There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Pay close attention to the highlighted words. There were giants (Nephilim) in Noah's days and afterward. Therefore, the line of giants which came out of the illicit interaction between fallen angels and humans didn't end with the flood in Noah's day. There were more of them after the flood. How was that possible? Didn't all the giants die in the flood? Obviously they didn't. How did they infiltrate the human race again? We have no idea and we're not going to guess. All we know is that the scripture explains how the giants came about and makes it clear that they existed both in the days of Noah and afterward.

In sum, maybe demons and fallen angels are one and the same. However, that doesn't answer the question of why fallen angels have their own bodies while demons possess earthly bodies. I like tidy, simple answers but sometimes they don't work so well. There's clearly a distinction in there. I hope this helped to clear up some of the confusion.

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May 21, 2014 Posted by admin in The Body

The Spirit of Understanding - Part Two

Date - Sunday, May 18th, 2014

The Body Church
Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/ Georgia Tech
1132 Techwood Dr NW, Atlanta
GA 30318

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer
11:00 AM - Worship With The Word

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

2
May 18, 2014 Posted by admin in The Body

The Spirit Of Understanding

Date - Sunday, May 11th, 2014

The Body Church
Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/ Georgia Tech
1132 Techwood Dr NW, Atlanta
GA 30318

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer
11:00 AM - Worship With The Word

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

10
May 14, 2014 Posted by admin in Books

A Glimpse Of Worship In Heaven

A Glimpse Of Heaven

Today's blog is an excerpt from my book, Revelation Unplugged.

Revelation 4:1-5(NLT) - Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spirit of God.

Jesus personally invited John to heaven. Pay close attention to His words, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” This means that the messages to the seven churches were relevant only for a period of time. In my estimate, the time for The Church to get things right is now. We had 2000 years to straighten up and it’s coming to an end. The direction of history is about to change and we’re about to see how The Book of Revelation addresses that.

I used to think that the door which opened in heaven represented The Rapture because other people told me so. It also made sense because the trumpet sounded just like Paul said it would at The Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:52. I will deal with this in detail later in the book. Nonetheless, just like the sudden change we anticipate on that glorious day, John was instantly in the Spirit. Upon entering heaven, the scene blew his mind. He saw God sitting on His throne glowing resplendently with beautiful colors like light refracting through the finest jewels. That concept might be difficult to conceive in our limited human experience but like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:12, one day it will all make sense.

Twenty four elders surrounded God on thrones of their own. The first thing he noticed was their white outfits and the gold crowns on their heads. Jesus offered the faithful saints who avoided the corruption of the dead church in Sardis the opportunity to walk with Him in white garments. He then said that all who were victorious would get the same reward. He even offered it to those saints who repented of their lukewarm attitudes in Laodicea. He also presented the persecuted saints in Smyrna the opportunity to wear The Crown of Life as a reward for their faithfulness.

I’ll flash forward a little right now just so you’ll understand the significance of John’s initial observation. When he first entered heaven there were only twenty four human beings in white around God’s throne. However, by the time he wrote Revelation 7, which took place after The Great Tribulation, take a look at what he saw. I won’t discuss it in detail until later on in the book but right now you need to see this.

Revelation 7:9-17(NLT) - After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a mighty shout, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. They sang, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.” Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. “That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will give them shelter. They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Jesus introduced Himself to Sardis as The One with the Sevenfold Spirit of God. So when John wrote in Revelation 4:5 that the Sevenfold Spirit of God burned continually before the throne whose throne do you think it is? His name is Jesus. He is the Lamb on the throne who redeemed all of those human beings in Revelation 7. They washed their robes in His blood and made them white. They made it through the toughest time of testing on the earth and as promised, received their everlasting rewards. Like Paul said in Hebrews 6:19, this promise of God’s redemption will anchor the persecuted souls of The Church during The Great Tribulation.

Worship in Heaven

Revelation 4:6-11(NLT) - In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal. In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back. The first of these living beings was like a lion; the second was like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

My goodness! My heart is overwhelmed! Do you grasp the vivid imagery of these words? The four “living beings” were created with the sole purpose of worshiping God? All day and night, throughout eternity, they pay homage to The One who sits on the throne. They have no personal plans and they never need to write God into their schedules. He is the only item on the agenda!

Since God is the King of kings, it’s not surprising that each of these beings represent the kings on the earth. The lion is the king of the jungle. The ox is the king of domesticated animals. The human is the king of all created beings. The eagle is the king of the birds. The presence of all of those eyes on their bodies definitely tickles the imagination. Why do they need so many eyes when they’re only looking in one direction?

At any rate, do you notice that the eagle is in flight? As a result we should envisage it with wings outstretched. In addition, do you notice that they call attention to God’s character before everything else? They say continually, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” Unlike most of us, their first fascination is not with His superb beauty or immeasurable power but His holiness! In their eyes, He is holy first and then He is mighty.

Since God created them that way, doesn’t that say something about His priorities? He places His character before everything else in heaven. Hence, He expects us, who were created in His image and likeness to place our character before everything else on earth. The living beings see straight through the dramatic display around His throne into God’s heart so He must be doing the same with us. Where do you place holiness in your priority list? Is it after physical beauty, power or influence? If so, then you are not reflecting the image of The One sitting on the throne in Heaven.

Once the four living beings set the tone by placing the highest focus on God’s character, the twenty four elders join in and shift the focus to His tangible attributes. They say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.” Holy is who God is but glory, honor and power is what He possesses. For that reason, we should pattern our worship after what is done in heaven. Even though we are blown away by what God does for us, we must never forget that worship begins with the inner image of who He is.

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