By Dan Luehrs
Today, there is all kinds of talk about our hidden calling or destiny while we are on earth. Such books as The Secret and other new-age books like it declare that we are the masters of our lives, and if we just name and claim it, we can have it. But is such thinking true? To a point it is, but it can run amuck very quickly, leading us off the path of life that God has called us to, instead leading us to a ditch of our own creation, only bringing more pain and sorrow in the end. Every person who has ever lived has had a desire within to be someone important or to do something great or to plainly put it, to make a name for themselves. God has put this desire of greatness in us, but the flesh wants to do its own thing right now and does not want to wait for God’s timing, so the carnal man will try anything to become important in the eye’s of man without any suffering whatsoever if possible.
If I were to tell every Christian that God has invited them to the highest seat of authority in His creation, most would not or could not believe such a thing. When I talk with some Christians about this, they don’t even know that Jesus has called them to sit with Him in His throne. Some people look at me like I fell off my rocker. Don’t argue with me about it. Jesus said it, so why not believe it?
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Revelation 3:21, kjv
You can either believe the gospel or reject it (heresy), but you will only do it to your own great loss. Most people reading this believe Jesus when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me” (John 14:6, nas). They believe Him because they know that they are sinners in need of a Savior, but that’s all they can believe because they see how bad they are and cannot see the goodness of God to not only forgive them but exult them to a place of authority in His kingdom. Know this for sure that God’s kingdom will rule over all one day whether they like it or not. And when His kingdom manifests, God is going to have people ready to rule and reign with Him that He is going to give authority to.
And he said to him, “Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, be in authority over ten cities.”
Luke 19:17–18 (nas)
I do not believe that Jesus is speaking figuratively here. Jesus now rules and reigns and is soon coming back to take over what He has purchased with His blood to give to all His prepared ones.
Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.
Daniel 7:27 (nas)
Visions of Glory
I want to share two prophetic experiences with you that have helped me understand the throne of fire and our calling into it.
In 1996, I had a vision of a preacher being set on fire. I saw him preaching in a service, and he was like a walking matchstick with arms and legs. At first just his head was on fire, then suddenly, the whole matchstick was consumed with fire. I said to the Lord, “What was that all about?” He gave me Hebrews 1:7: “I am making my ministers a flame of fire.” The Lord confirmed this vision to me through Rick Joyner’s book The Call. In the book, he speaks about how the Lord showed him that these messengers of fire are about ready to be released in the church to bring repentance so that we will be prepared for His glory.
For over ten years now, the Lord has been pouring fresh oil of His Spirit on His church, and He is about to set it on fire to burn for Him. We will not have to announce this fire. People will just come to watch us burn. This will be the baptism of fire that we have been waiting for. Jesus promised us that we would be baptized with fire, and our Father is the fire that will now consume us. He will burn all the wood and hay out of our lives. Those who are purified will do the greater works of Jesus Christ.
Jesus was baptized with fire at His baptism, and His apostles were set on fire at Pentecost. Now it’s our turn. Hallelujah! There is something coming even greater than what they had, I tell you, what I see coming is Isaiah 60:1: “Arise, shine: your light has come. And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” I get excited about this because these are the greatest days to be alive. The words arise upon you means to “shoot forth as beams of light, as the sun.” Only life can give forth life; death cannot bring forth life. When the lights are turned on, all darkness must flee. As we go forth with His glory, great healing and deliverance shall take place, and nothing shall be able to stand against Him. Now is the time when His glory is going to be revealed in the earth through His people to a dying world. “And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising” (Isaiah 60:3).
Jesus came to me as I was sitting on a dock by a lake on May 17, 2000; His presence came upon me. For about a week, I had not been able to get into His presence very well, but that night, He came powerfully. He came to me and said, “Do you want to go up higher?”
I thought, There is more?
He said, “Yes, my glory.”
Then I said, “Yes, I want this.”
He said, “Follow me.”
After this, a messenger came with a container of water.
Then Jesus said, “Cup your hands.”
As I did, the angel filled them up, and Jesus said, “Now wash your face and eyes and ears.” Then the angel filled my hands again, and Jesus said, “Now drink.”
I said, “What is this?”
He said, “My cup.”
Then I knew what this was about.
And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit, one on your right and one on your left.” But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.” “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on my right and on my left, this is not mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
Jesus therefore said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11). Many of us want to come into all that the Lord has for us, but are we willing to drink from His cup of suffering? “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Timothy 2:12).
Stanley Frodsham prophesied this word in 1965:
Understand these two things and meditate upon them solemnly: the persecution and the darkness shall be as great as the glory, in order to try and turn the elect and the anointed ones from the path the Lord has laid down for them. Many shall start, but few shall be able to finish because of the greatness of grace that shall be needed to be able to endure unto the end. Understand that the way toward the glory is fraught with great danger, and many shall fall to the right and the left; many shall camp on lesser ground.
A Throne of Fire
Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man.
Ezekiel 1:4–5 (nkjv)
For years I have asked the Lord about Ezekiel’s vision in chapter one and the experience that he had by the river Chebar. It all seemed so complicated to me, and I have never heard anyone give any explanation to the chapter that my spirit agreed with. I believe that the Lord has given me some insights into this wonderful chapter to help us understand the times that we have been called to live in.
Notice that the whirlwind was on fire, and within the fire, there were four living beings in the form of a human being. It’s not that the cloud was anything, but that the cloud carried the glory of God within it. The cloud was a shroud of sorts like a spiritual body, or as our natural body is now a shroud of the glory of God in us. Hebrews 12:1 says, “We have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us.” We, the church, the overcomers, are the cloud that the Lord of glory will appear in to all the nations of the earth. We have been invited into this great cloud of witnesses to manifest the Lord’s glory: “Behold, He is coming with [or in] the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen” (Revelation 1:7, nas). (See also Mark 14:62 and Jude 14.) Why does Jesus have to come in the cloud? To reap the harvest of the earth.
And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand. And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth; and the earth was reaped.
Revelation 14:14, 16 (nas)
An angel came to me in January 2007 and said, “One billion people are about to come into the kingdom. You must be ready.” I believe it.
We, the church, are the ministers of fire in the cloud that the Lord is coming in and through. How can anything live in fire? To put it simply: our God is a consuming fire, and we were created in His likeness, so that means that we were made to be creatures of fire also. Colossians 1:12 says, “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light [in fire].” We are to be partakers of God’s fire; this is our inheritance. You may protest and say that fire is for judgment. Please understand that hell’s fire is hot because those there are not like God with their sin, and they are experiencing God as judgment, not as a blessing. But we who know God embrace His fire. I have experienced God’s fire on many occasions, but once the fire was so hot that the person sitting next to me felt it, and we both began to just shout in glorious wonder at what we were experiencing. As Christians, His fire should be our desire.
God has other beings of fire: “And another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar” (Revelation 14:18, nas). This angel was created to be in the fire of the altar to be a minister of fire. “And of the angels He says, ‘Who makes His angels winds, and His ministers a flame of fire’” (Hebrews 1:7, nas).
Back to Ezekiel’s vision of the fiery living beings.
In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire.
Ezekiel 1:13 (nas)
The very core of their being was fire. Not that they were on fire, but that they were the fire in the cloud. The fire in them was bright, meaning to have extreme brightness or radiance as the sun. Did not Jesus say that we would shine forth as the sun? We are to arise and shine. These fiery, living beings are what I saw in my vision of the preacher being set on fire to preach the gospel in these last days. God wants to set us on fire because His throne is fire (Daniel 7:9, nas). If we are called to sit in His throne, who is a consuming fire, then we too will be beings of fire.
Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli [sapphire] in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him. As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.
Ezekiel 1:26–28 (nas)
What Ezekiel saw in his vision was another realm or dimension in the earth, and it is a throne with a man of fire on it. Jesus sits on the Father’s throne in fire just as He walked in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego with no harm done to Him. Within the earth, there are many different realms such as the fire world within the earth or the water world where all the creatures can live in their environment, and without it, they will die. Then there is the bug world that lives inside the earth, and there are the birds that live and soar in the skies above the earth. Then there is a world where man and other mammals live on the earth, and let us not forget the bacteria world. So we can see that there are many different earthly realms right around us. Well, my friend, so is the spirit world; there are different spiritual realms that God has created. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, nas). Notice the word heavens is plural, meaning more than one. The word heaven is just another term for the spiritual world around us that God, angels, and the redeemed saints dwell in. But also there is the dark heaven or spiritual world where the devil, demons, and the ungodly people dwell. Hell is not a physical place but rather a spiritual realm where they exist.
The Bible says that we see through a glass darkly, and I want to show you what I am seeing through my spiritual looking glass. As far as we know from Scripture, there are three realms in the spirit world (2 Corinthians 12:2). There could be seven realms in the spirit world as far as we know, but one thing is for certain, one realm is the highest: God’s throne realm. This is where all the authority over His creation is, and He has given that authority to a man (Matthew 28:18). The Father, Jesus, and the overcoming saints dwell in the highest realm together throughout eternity: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21). This is why the Scripture says that we sit in the throne and not on the throne because it is a realm and not a stationary position in the sky or on some planet where people sit on an ivory throne. That is an earthly example of true spiritual authority. Sitting on an earthly throne is an example of what true spiritual authority is. While we are on earth, we sit in heavenly places with Him, but the highest of these spiritual places is the throne realm. You are called unto this realm.
What Ezekiel saw in the spirit was the throne realm manifesting before him, and the greatest thing about this is that a man was on the throne. I believe that the man was Jesus, and we are to be one in Him to bring His kingdom to earth to rule and reign with Him. “Thy kingdom [throne, authority] come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10, nasv). In the end, God’s throne realm will dictate all that goes on in the earth throughout eternity. “Thy throne is established from of old; Thou art from everlasting” (Psalms 93:2, nas).
Four Living Creatures
And before the throne there was, as it were, a sea of glass like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.
Revelation 4:6, nas
The four living creatures in the books of Ezekiel and Revelation are found around and in the middle of the throne; they dwell in the throne of fire. The number four in Scripture means “to rule, reign, to overcome.” I believe that the four living creatures represent the overcoming sons of God because they sit in the center of the throne where we are called to be. These four living creatures are the carriers of the throne (glory) of God.
And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
Revelation 5:6–7 (nkjv)
Did you notice where Jesus is standing? Right in the middle of the throne and in the middle of the four living creatures and elders because that is where He is right now—in us. Now read very carefully the next verses, and you will see clearly that we are the living creatures, or should I say, the beings that have been swallowed up into God’s life. (See 2 Corinthians 5:4.)
Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
And they sang a new song, saying:
You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.
Revelation 5:9–10 (nkjv)
It is most certain from these verses that the living beings and twenty-four elders are redeemed saints on the throne of God, for only the redeemed of God sing a new song, for no angel has ever been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. These on the throne are the overcomers, the rulers of the earth.
I have heard of people going to heaven and seeing those who dwell in the throne, and they had no way of describing the glory of those who sat there. All that John the apostle knew was that they were full of the life of God. Both John and Ezekiel called them living creatures because they were obviously full of life, and they had no other way of describing them. Their symbolism is this: the throne is full of life, and that which has life moves like a river. The Holy Spirit moved and still moves on the earth, as does the throne of God because it has wheels and wheels represent movement: “His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire” (Daniel 7:9, nas). “To Him who rides upon the highest heavens [the throne], which are from ancient times … ” (Psalms 68:33, nas). God does not rule from a stationary throne but from one that moves with Him because His throne is His authority. God’s throne moved wherever the living creatures moved because the authority moved with them, the throne was within them. “Now as I looked at the living beings, behold, there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings, for each of the four of them” (Ezekiel 1:15, nas). They are the carriers and movers of the throne or authority of God. They were in it, and it was within them.
And whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also. Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still. And whenever those rose from the earth, the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
Ezekiel 1:19–21 (nas)
Ezekiel chapter one finishes with “Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking” (Ezekiel 1:26–28, nas). All things described in chapter one are the glory of God—the throne, the man, and the living creatures on fire, is the glory of God. The night that Jesus came to me on the lake, He told me that there was another level that He called “My glory.” I believe that the throne realm is the glory level that I am trying to write about here for I have wondered about this level for years, and now I am getting some revelation on it. Jesus said:
And the glory which Thou hast given me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as we are one; I in them [the throne], and Thou in me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love me.
His glory will make us one with Him and each other in the throne.
There are four different faces, one on each of the living beings, which represent a lion, a calf or an ox, a man, and an eagle.
And before the throne there was, as it were, a sea of glass like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within …
Revelation 4:6–8 (nas)
The four faces of the living beings are four characteristics of the overcoming sons of God; they are not some weird-looking, hideous creatures upon the throne scaring people as they pass by. No, these are four declarations of their power and authority with the Son of God on the throne. In them is manifested the attributes of the life of God who share the throne with Him. They represent the life and character of God; they are living beings full of life, power, grace, wisdom, and glory. Preston Eby wrote of these living beings in his series of articles called, “From the Candlestick to the Throne.”
Ah, precious friend of mine, if you have received the call of the overcomer to sit with HIM in His throne, then all that the four Living Creatures represent is even now being wrought out in your life, their nature becomes your nature, for naught but the nature of the Lamb and of the four Living Creatures can stand in the midst of the throne.
Then the cherubim rose up. They are the living beings that I saw by the river Chebar.
Ezekiel 10:15 (nas)
Some would argue the case about us being the living beings because Ezekiel said plainly in verse 15 that they are cherubim. The cherubim only prove my point even more because there are many types and shadows in Scripture that point to their true identity in another person or thing. For instance, Joseph, Moses, David, and others are all types of Christ in the Old Testament. The tabernacle in the wilderness and the feasts of Israel are all Old Testament shadows that point to Jesus and to New Testament truths and experiences. Colossians 2:17 says, “Things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” The substances of all shadows are summed up in Christ, or in other words, they point to Him and are fulfilled in Him.
To understand the cherubim, we must go back to the law of first use or the first time that they are used in Scripture to help us understand their function. They are first found in Genesis 3:24 as protectors of the Tree of Life: “So He drove the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Remember that life flows from the throne, and the Tree of Life is found at the throne in Revelation 22:2. So we can see that the cherubim from the beginning are found around the throne and are protectors, if you will, of the life of God. By that, I mean, they don’t protect God, but from people getting to the life of God before they come through Jesus alone.
The next time we find them in Scripture is in Exodus 25:18: “And you shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat.” Again, they are found covering or protecting—this time, the mercy seat of God, which represents the glory and the presence of God, His authority on earth. They are in and around His throne. In fact, they are woven into the fabric all around the tabernacle both inside and out: “Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet material; you shall make them with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman” (Exodus 26:1, nas). The picture of the throne in the book of Revelation is one with living creatures or cherub in and around it, just as the tabernacle in the wilderness.
Who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See, He says, ‘that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.’”
Hebrews 8:5 (nas)
We, the body of Christ, the bride, the sons of God, are the true reality of what is both in and around the throne. We are the carriers of the presence and glory of God in the earth; the cherubim were the Old Testament shadow, and the body of Christ is the reality of the shadow in and around the throne.
These are the living beings that I saw beneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; so I knew that they were cherubim.
Ezekiel 10:20 (nas)
Notice how Ezekiel says that the living beings were under God, not just under the throne alone as he describes in Ezekiel 1:26, but that God rides upon the cherubim, for they are the carriers of God’s glory. “And He rode upon a cherub and flew; and He sped upon the wings of the wind” (Psalms 18:10, nas).
I have had two prophetic experiences with the cherub that has helped me to understand their reality. The times that I saw them, I was praying with others, and the glory of the Lord was manifest in the room. The cherubim were surrounding us in a full circle like they were in the Holy of Holies. Their wings were raised and touching each other, protecting us like we were precious jewels; like the Ark of the Covenant that stood in the Holy of Holies. This is because we are more precious; His presence abides with us and is in us even as He was in the holiest place in the temple. During one of these experiences, I had one of the most powerful words I have ever spoken; the Holy Spirit spoke through me, saying, “You are carriers of my glory.” If we could just get a glimpse of this, we would stop wallowing around in this earthen clay experience of life and start seeking the things that are above and are true reality and life.
To Ride the Lightning
And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.
Ezekiel 1:14 (nas)
Do you want to ride the lightning? You will. This is what the living beings do; they are translated from one place to another by the will of God. Remember when Jesus walked through walls, walked on water, and brought the boat to land immediately in the midst of the storm, or when Philip was taken up from the eunuch?
And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch saw him no more, but went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus; and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.
Acts 8:39–40 (nas)
There will be no need for airline tickets or waiting at airports, for God’s Lightning Line will be on time all the time. I believe that we will move even faster than the speed of light to the speed of God’s thought, which will catch us up to His throne.
The Twenty-Four Elders
For months, the Lord has been speaking to me about the number twenty-four; everywhere I seemed to look I saw twenty-four. For many months before this, the Lord was speaking to me about the number four until one day, it cumulated at Moravian Falls, North Carolina. That day, I went up in the mountains, and as I was coming down, I saw a mailbox that was number forty-four. I then looked at my phone, and the time said 4:44 p.m. I then looked at the miles per tank full, and it said 444. Then what happened was really weird—my temperature gauge on my car said forty-four when it was eighty outside. I bought a mirror that day, which was forty-four dollars, and I was forty-four years old when this all happened. The number four stands for sonship in its highest order; it means to rule and reign with Jesus. God is giving me the grace to stand and not fall, to overcome, to rule and reign in my personal life and the life to come.
A few months later, I was on my way home, and the Lord spoke to me and said, “Your new number is twenty-four that you will now be seeing.” And sure enough, I began to see twenty-four everywhere. So I thought, Well, this is just the power of suggestion, or like when you buy a car, and you never really noticed that kind of car before on the road until you bought one, then they are everywhere. So I devised a plan; I will change the number to thirty-five and see how many times a day I would see it. Do you know how many times I saw thirty-five? None. So I began to seek the Lord about what twenty-four means for me. The number two is a number meaning “union,” and four is “sonship”; so it must mean “the union of the overcomers.” I did meet other Christians in the country that knew about the sons of God message, but I was still looking for more until I read Preston Eby’s revelation on the twenty-four priests in the books of 1 Chronicles and Revelation, and then I had a fuller understanding of what God was saying to me.
This great truth reveals why God placed the camp of the priests directly between Himself and the people of Israel. It should be clear to any thinking mind that the priesthood camped “round about” the tabernacle-throne corresponds precisely to the twenty-four Elders seated “round about” the throne in Revelation chapter four. I would remind the reader of the account in I Chronicles chapter twenty-four of how, under King David, the Levitical priesthood was divided into TWENTY-FOUR COURSES under the headship of TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS. The twenty-four courses or orders of the priesthood were chosen by families—according to the twenty-four grandsons of Aaron the high priest. Each course was named for one of these twenty-four grandsons and the male descendants of each grandson constituted one of the twenty-four courses throughout their generations. We are inclined to lightly pass over many profound statements of holy scripture. The priesthood was divided into twenty-four orders for this stated purpose: “This was their order for coming on duty to serve in the house of the Lord, according to the procedure ordered for them by their grandfather Aaron, as the Lord God of Israel had commanded him (1 Chronicles 24:19, AMP).
The point I wish to emphasize here is this: It took all twenty-four courses to MAKE UP THE ENTIRE PRIESTHOOD OF GOD. As the Father unfolds these truths to the inner man, we become convinced that as the four Living Creatures “in the midst of the throne” reveal the glory of KINGSHIP, so the twenty-four Elders “round about the throne” reveal the glory of PRIESTHOOD. KINGS AND PRIESTS. A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS. PRIESTS THAT SIT UPON THRONES. REIGNING PRIESTS.”
The twenty-four Elders represent the whole priesthood of God, of which Jesus is the Head, our great High Priest.
This company of priests, reigning priests, are the twenty-four Elders round about the throne. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and … they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:4, 6 (nas)
Priesthood demands suffering, trial, testing, tribulation, and pressure. Sonship demands relationship with God.
John the Revelator said, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them … and they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Here you see that it is not the sons who are reigning—it is the PRIESTS. What about the sons? “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” The sons inherit, for they are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). Who, then, is destined to reign? THE SONS WHO ARE PRIESTS. Christ was a Son before He was a Priest. He was not a Priest during His years in the flesh, although He was qualifying to be one, but He was a Son. Christ in His ministry from the heavens today is not merely the Son of God. As a Son He is “heir of all things.” But to become the great High Priest and provide the priestly ministry on our behalf the Son had, as a Son, to go through the experience that was necessary to perfect Him for the understanding heart of the Priesthood. “We have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE … ” (Hebrews 4:15). “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect (for the Priesthood), He became … AN HIGH PRIEST AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK” (Hebrews 5:8–10). Ah, Jesus could have been a son without being so totally compassed with infirmity, BUT HE COULD NEVER HAVE BEEN A PRIEST WITHOUT IT.”
The sufferings that I have been through when I have tried to obey God have made me question Him on how these things can happen to me when I only am trying to obey Him. The twenty-four divisions of priests are helping me to understand how suffering has made me to be a more compassionate person to other people’s needs.
In 1995, our church experienced a true revival that changed my life and the life of many other people, but after a few months of this new move of God, some people in the church wanted to go back to “church” as it was before the move of God. The only problem was that their pastor was a changed man, and he was not going back to church as it was. What happened to me was a defining point in my life; in fact, it was the greatest event of my life. I was and still am full of the life of God, never to go back to just having church.
To make a long story short, some people began to leave the church, and then 60 percent of the people turned against me when up to that point, I had most of the people on my side helping me. But now, I was not doing as they liked, and they wanted me out so they could bring in someone that would do as they liked. Could you imagine if Moses, David, Jesus, Paul, or any of the other great leaders of the past would have done what the people wanted rather than what God wanted? Where would we be then? Lost.
The pressure came on me so great to stop praying for people in the altars so that they would not fall under the power of God. But I knew that people were being blessed and encouraged, so how could I quit? The ministry became hard and was not fun anymore, and I wanted to leave that church and find someone, anyone, who wanted what I had to give away.
One day while I was praying about my plight, I said to God, “You must have something pretty great in heaven for us that you would allow us to go through trials like this.” I was so hurt that people did not want more of God, and I would weep in the altars.
God one day said to me, “They are not rejecting you, they are rejecting me.” Most of the pressure was released from me that day because there was nothing I could do for the people but pray. Years later, I now understand a little more about our high calling unto sonship and see why we need to go through what we do because we are being qualified by our perseverance under fire. Our calling is so much higher then the human mind can comprehend. Yes, it is a calling unto sonship, but it even goes much higher than that as we have seen with the living beings and now the priests of God upon the throne.
Caught up to the Throne
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven [the spirit realm], and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things. Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven [the spirit realm], and One sitting on the throne.
Revelation 4:1–2 (nas)
The Lord not only invites John, but us to “come up here” by Him to be in heaven, or the spirit world through the open door that He has personally opened for us like a friend would do when we go to their house and they say, “Come on in.” The Lord is not only saying, “Come on in,” but “Come by me.” The Lord of glory wants us to sit in the throne by Him. What an invitation!
A throne is standing in heaven. The word standing means “to be set or to be outstretched” in the spirit realm where God’s rule and reign is. “The Lord has established [set] His throne in the heavens; and His sovereignty rules over all” (Psalms 103:19, nas). God is now calling His church to come into the throne realm; it is open for you and me to rule and reign over our own flesh first, then to rule with Him in the kingdom. Right now, some people are caught up to the throne with Him; the question remains: will it be us, do you hear His voice calling to you, “Come up here by me”? When you hear His voice calling you, spend time with Him in His presence and let Him fill you to the brim and overflowing with Himself and with His presence on you, you will then have power to rule over self. Not only do we already sit in the heavens now, but we are also told that we can come boldly to the throne of grace each and every day. If we will come to Him and open the door of our heart, we will be caught up to be with Him, or a better phrase, raised up in Him. “And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne” (Revelation 12:5, nas). We are to arise shine, and what better place to shine forth the brightness of God’s glory but from the throne realm where He is manifest?
When Jacob saw God at the top of the ladder leading to heaven, Jacob was not told to climb the ladder to be with Him for it was not yet time because Jesus had not yet died for our sins so that we could be with Him. But now we have been invited to come up. If we desire to be raised up by Him, every rung on the ladder is another revelation of Jesus Christ within us; this is why the book of Revelation is called, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is not called, “The Revelation of the End Times.” Jesus is revealed in and through this book in us, and this is why we must pray for understanding about this book, for no other book promises us a blessing to understand it. We must not only know the truth of God in our heads but we must experience the truth in our heart because His word is truth and He is the Word of life; we are changed from glory to glory by it. But I must warn you that the Revelation of Jesus does not come easily or cheaply; in fact, they only come through trials and tribulations.
and tribulations are doorways that we enter the kingdom of God through (Acts 14:22, nas). Jesus tells us in
Revelation 3:18 “To buy from me gold refined by fire.” In other words, we are to pay
the price of following Him through the fires of life, and then we will receive
His nature through the trial. Do you remember what the gates in
the New Jerusalem are made of? One giant pearl. A pearl comes about by an
oyster having a stone (irritant) that becomes valuable. The entrance into the
kingdom is just the same—our
trials are valuable because they are paving the way and changing us.
After John the apostle opened the door of his heart to fellowship with the Master, Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine [fellowship] with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20, nas). The Lord then opened the door of His throne realm for him to come up there to be with Him. Coming up is not that we leave the planet and go somewhere else, but that we come up in the spirit realm to the level where the Lord is. Notice that Jesus says He will come into us. The King is the authority (the throne), and the King lives and abides in us, and we in Him; the kingdom is within us as is the throne; we just need to get the revelation that Jesus Christ lives within us. God wants to give us the revelation of His calling, His glory, and the power of the throne in us. Open the door of your heart, and the King of glory will come in.
God is offering us the deal of a lifetime, or should I say eternity, and by our willingness to come to Him, He will come to us and give us His glory, which is His life—the very likeness and character of God. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, niv). God wants us to have His life to the full in us. God’s glory life fills the earth, for the earth is teaming with life because God’s throne is on planet earth; His life is in the plants, trees, flowers, and in every living thing. This is why so many people say they meet with God through nature because God is in nature and they are receiving His life through the life around them. Death does not give life, but life begets life, and we as humans love the feeling we get from life. It is fine for us to feel the life of God through nature, but we must go to the source of life itself, which is Jesus Christ; otherwise, we can make an idol out of the things that we receive life from. The throne realm is the very source of life; it is the fullness of life. “There was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance” (Revelation 4:3, nas). The rainbow around the throne was not multicolor like we see on the earth, but was one solid color, and that being green. Green is the color of life, and that is what the throne is: life, and we are to be giving this life away to all that will receive it. But if we do not have His life how will others receive? Jesus promised us eternal life because it is life eternal and all who receive it will live because God is life.
A River, a City, a Throne
And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Revelation 22:1 (nas)
To understand the book of Revelation, we must realize that the book is filled with natural symbolism to help us comprehend spiritual truth and eternal reality. Many parts of the Bible do the same thing, like in John 6:53: “Jesus therefore said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.’” Do we really eat His flesh and drink His blood in the natural? No. Yet in Psalms 34:8 the Scripture says that we are to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” This “tasting” that the Word is speaking about is in our spirit man; our spirit is really who we are, and God has made it that we hunger for Him, and that which we hunger for is the throne of God because that is where the life comes from. It is God Himself that we need to live a happy and blessed life. People are looking for life in all the wrong places and things; this is why they are so devoid of true lasting life because they go from mountaintop to mountaintop. John said that he saw a river of the water of life flowing from the throne; do you really believe that there is a natural river of water flowing from the throne? Of course not; it is all typology to help us understand that true life comes from God, and a river is something we can relate to, to help us understand spiritual truth.
The real question should be: What is the life coming from the throne? I wish that I could give you a pat answer to what life is, but then I would have to tell you what God is, and I cannot do that. If I were to explain life, I would use the analogy of electricity because it is unseen and it is powerful, and the only thing John could liken life to in his day was a river of water. If we see a sparking power line down, we would call it a “live wire” because it has power flowing through it. On many occasions, I have put my hand on a person’s head, and I could feel electricity flowing from my hand into his head when they were receiving the life or power of God. Jesus said in Mark 5:30, “And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’” God’s life is the power for living life on earth that people are looking for in many other places and in things and are not finding it there because it can only be found in the person of Jesus Christ. In John 14:6, Jesus clearly said that He is life and we cannot get it any other way but through Him.
Medical science teaches us that we have an electrical system in our body that keep the heart and mind in perfect rhythm. We have got to have this electric pulse in us, or we die; and one thing I know for sure is that we can tell when life is not. When a person stops breathing, we say that he is dead; or when we go to a church service and the presence of God is not there, we say that it was dead. What we are really saying is that there was not any life there. In the beginning, God breathed the breath of life into man; life originates from God. To understand life, we must understand that God is life, it comes from Him, He does not create life because He is life, and if we want true life, we must go to Him daily. John the apostle said that life is like a river of water—this is to give us understanding that we need spiritual life like we need natural water; in order for us to be truly happy, we must drink God’s life in every day.
Life is to flow from our heart; that is where the throne is. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23, nkjv). “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34, nas). If we desire to give God’s life away to others, we must learn how to speak from our heart and not just from the head. Head knowledge brings death unto the hearers; Jesus spoke as no other man because He spoke with great authority from the heart, and all His enemies knew it. The anointing is the life of God that flows through our words; His river of life is released through us by speaking to one another from the heart. Oh, God, teach us how to speak from our heart and to give Your life away, so that others might benefit and be strengthened in You. Amen.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:2 (nas)
Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
Revelation 21:9–10 (nas)
Very clearly John sees the New Jerusalem coming down from the spirit realm into the natural realm. This city is the body and bride of Jesus Christ. John uses many analogies in this chapter to try to explain how wonderful and glorious this bride really is; when reading about the city, we must always remember that it is a body of people, not bricks and mortar. God is building a city made out of living stones: “You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5, nas). We are His tabernacle or dwelling place that He will manifest Himself through to all the people of the earth and wipe away every tear and heal all the nations, and there will be no more death. Hallelujah! This is what we are called to: to be the holy priesthood that God will minister through to all the people of the earth. What a calling, what a future, and what a hope.
In whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Ephesians 2:21–22 (nas)
Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16 (nas)
Individually we are a temple of God, but God is building something much bigger that we are a part of; it is the tabernacle of God that comes down from God to the earth—it is a city, it is a tabernacle, and it is God in His people.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them.”
Revelation 21:3 (nas)
You and I, the body of Christ, are the great tabernacle that God is building and will one day manifest Himself on the earth to change mankind. “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19, nas). The earth is waiting to be delivered from sin and death.
And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it [the city], and His bond-servants shall serve Him.
Revelation 22:3 (nas)
When John saw the river of life flowing from the throne, he was still writing about the city—the New Jerusalem. The living water was flowing from the bride where the throne of God is, God is in His people, and His throne is where He is. God’s life will flow from us as Jesus said in John 7:38: “He who believes in me, as the Scripture said, From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” Jesus is talking about His life flowing from us so that we can give it away to the nations while we rule and reign with Him on earth for His life is in us.
And they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever. And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true … ”
Revelation 22:4–6 (nas)
His word is faithful and true—believe it.