Stranger in the Earth

thoughts on the way to zion

Archive for the category “The Beauty Realm”

Staring at the Tsavos

Well… I’ve recently returned from a sucessful honeymoon, during which my husband and I made it to the Field Museum in Chicago. Our one purpose: to see if the legend of the Tsavo Maneaters’ ability to strike fear into even the most stout-hearted, though long dead, was indeed true. We walked boldly up to the glass diorama, and I exclaimed “Staring contest! You and me- NOW!”, quoting my favorite Will Ferrel SNL skit. I held the gaze of the taller of the lions until bordem led me to admire the taxidermy and spout off how weird it was that both of these male lions never grew manes.

The bottom line: I ain’t scared. I’m a little disappointed, but sorry, cats- you just don’t got it anymore.

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The Appearance of the Seated One; Part 3

            And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Revelation 4:3            

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on this series on the throne room, but I will pick up where I left off. Verse 3 is where things start to get really good. First, we have a man invited into the Beauty Realm by God Himself, who is about to blatantly disclose Himself in a way that had been hinted at in previous centuries to the prophets. We find that He is seated on High with no threat of losing control.     

        John’s eyes are now fixed on a Being who is seated and the best way he can describe the Person in front of him is like two beautiful stones. It is my belief that John, even with all that he witnessed around the throne, had only a small taste of glory, but was seeing the greatest light show imaginable. Jasper is a bit of a conundrum to me, but is a semi-precious stone that is found in several colors, depending on the location it is from. Likely John was relating it to what he knew of the breastplates of the priests. What it looked like exactly is less clear. According to my meager research on the matter, it is possible that the type of Jasper John was referring to was Yellow Jasper, which is the most common color in the Middle-East, but it has also been said that ancient Jasper was more like a really clear diamond than a dull stone, though I have found no concrete sources to support this statement.  Sardius (or Sard) is easier to pin-point. Sard actually means “red” and is defined either as a deep red or orange gem. 

        Why do I find this fascinating? Ezekiel 1:26-27 says this: And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were the appearance of fire with brightness all around.            

The question is, was Ezekiel seeing the Father, or was he seeing the Son? Well, first, we know that John was seeing the Father because if we look back at Revelation 5, the Son comes to the One seated on the throne to receive the scroll. Add to this Revelation 1:13-15 and we have an interesting collage.             …and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace…                        T

        Here is a clear description of Jesus as He appears in His resurrected body. (And for the record, He is a MAN forever!- This is our cue to take a Selah and weep). Now, here is another verse to throw in the mix: Daniel 7:9, which says,           

I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him.           

What is my point? Whether Ezekiel 1 is taking about the Father or the Son, the point is, we have enough verses to come to the conclusion that the Son is just like the Father. In His resurrected state, as seen in Revelation 1, Jesus appears to John just as the Father (the Ancient of Days) appeared to Daniel in Daniel 7.  In John 17:5 I believe Jesus is referencing even their similarity of likeness as Father and Son. He says, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”             The common verse of John 17:24 has an ever deepening meaning when read along side these passages. “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” Though we never pass from humanity into divinity, we are invited into union with the Godhead! This is outrageous.

The Throne’s Occupant; Welcome to the Throne Room Part 2

Immediately I was in the Spirit and behold, a throne set in heaven and One sat on the throne.  Revelation 4:2 

Let me preface this with how vital it is that we peer into the Scriptures with more than an agenda to create an argument to combat those who would disagree. There are times when this may be appropriate, but not in the devotional setting. If the Word of God was merely a sales pitch to slap next to other religions then Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”, could be considered its slogan, but often we read the Bible from this perspective of “Christianity is the best on the market” rather than coming to the Man behind the Words in order that we may be filled with understanding to fall more in love with the Author. Psalm 119:19 says it best, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.” This is why I am a huge advocate of meditation on the Word, and Revelation 4 is one of those places where I get lost in Beauty.

Last time we were looking at the open door, which I believe to be a representative of Jesus, the only Way to the Father. This time we get to look at the Father Himself. It is mind-numbing to think that the Father was visible to a human in such a way that there were words to choose from in order to describe Him. I love to join Revelation 4:2 with Daniel 7:9-10:I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool, His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

The marriage of these two passages will blow your mind when you think of it. 100 million angels minister before this One who is seated! That’s just in His immediate presence- this is not including who knows how many who do His bidding on the earth. I find comfort here. He has all sovereignty, all knowledge and all power. O, that we would have high thoughts of God! That we would actually believe we were made in His image rather than believing Him to be the pinnacle of a hierarchy! He is transcendent, not just better than us.The best part about this is that this is the One with the voice of a trumpet who invites John into the heavenly court. He actually wanted him to experience the raw power and beauty of the Great Terror. O, but it gets better…

Welcome to the Throne Room (The Beauty Realm Part 1)

Due to a recent comment by a Sir Kevin in search of things on the “Beauty Realm”, which is better known as “Revelation 4 & 5,” I decided to see what I could do to throw some of my thoughts out there.

Revelation 4 is one of my favorite chapters in the entire Scripture. I am easily fascinated by beauty and when the Origin of beauty Himself is the one being described, I am lost for anything else. Lately I’ve been feeling somewhat caught in the doldrums of routine that I’ve hit the wall of not fixing my mind on things above (Colossians 3). So here is what I’ve got on the matter, but there’s much more to come.

Revelation 4:1 says, After these things I looked and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

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The Sound of God

Today is stormy. I thank God for thunder because it reminds me of the heavenly throne room. In Revelation 4:5 it says

And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices….

Revelation 15 goes on to talk about how the Sea of Glass before the throne of God will one day be a gathering place for the saints. One of my favorite things in the world is this Sapphire Sea, and when I think of that place, where raw power erupts to the exhilaration to all in close proximity to its electrifying surges of expression, my heart moves with the glory of it all.

This is why I love thunder. As the peels of glory break forth within the heavenly concert, I’m undone as I hear the shadow of things to come when one day I will stand before Him.

High King of heaven, when victory is won. May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall. Still be my vision, O Ruler of all!

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