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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, April 10, 2015

His cloud on our mercy seat

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God…. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Rom. 5:1,2,5).
 
Gold represents love. “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” (Rev. 3:18). Some biblical definitions of love are seen below in the context of gold and wealth.
 
Unprejudiced mercy, help, and salvation. “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:12,13).
 
Mercy, great love. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us.” (Eph. 2:4).
 
Love for the righteousness of Christ, which is love. “I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me. Riches and honour are with Me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and My revenue than choice silver.” (Prov. 8:17-19).
 
To give away and be spent. “There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.” (Prov. 13:7).
 
Goodness, forbearance, longsuffering in such great supply that it causes repentance. “Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4).
 
Eternal longing to give glory and have mercy. “And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory.” (Rom. 9:23).
 
Joy, liberality. “How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” (2Cor. 8:2).
 
Forgiveness, grace. “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Eph. 1:7).
 
Intense trove of grace and kindness. “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:7).
 
Hearts knit together. “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.” (Col. 2:2).
 
Reproach from serving the God of love. “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” (Heb 11:26).
 
Self-sacrificing love. “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Rev. 5:12).
 
A heart of meekness and quietness. “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (1Pet. 3:3,4).
 
Unfeigned love of the brethren, loving one another with drawing love, everlasting love. “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jer. 31:3). “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot…. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” (1Pet. 1:18,19,22).
 
Faith. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (1Pet. 1:7).
 
The mind as a seat of the conscience and love. “And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath He given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.” (Dan. 2:38).
 
Loving favor—grace. “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (Prov. 22:1).
 
Love to meditate on the word of God. “Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” (Ps. 119:127).
“More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” (Ps. 19:10).
“O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” (Ps. 119:97).
 
There was a lot of gold in the sanctuary because God is love. But, the ark, the table of shewbread and altar of incense were only gold plaited.
“And they shall make an ark of shittim wood…. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it….” (Ex. 25:10,11).
Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood…. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold…” (Ex. 25:23,24).
“And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it…. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold….” (Ex. 30:1,3).
 
However, the top of the ark was not gold plaited. It was solid gold, 27 inches by 45 inches by, I’ll guess, 1 inch thick. And that’s where the Lord hovered in His small cloud of divinity and glory. That was a lot of gold; but, it needed that much to be worthy of the presence of the King of love and holiness.
 
“And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.…
And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat.” (Ex. 25:17,21,22).
“I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.” (Lev. 16:2).
 
Love makes up His throne. He was the one to call His throne a mercy seat. Concrete Law undergirds His love because He must protect true love. And soft, malleable mercy covers the roughness of the concrete Law of love. His kingdom is founded on love, and from His throne of love He governs His kingdom of trust, righteousness, grace, meekness, long-suffering, quiet and easily entreated, gentle, selfless, unfeigned love.
 
“Christ was their instructor. As He had been with them in the wilderness, so He was still to be their teacher and guide. In the tabernacle and the temple His glory dwelt in the holy shekinah above the mercy seat. In their behalf He constantly manifested the riches of His love and patience.”  Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 288.
 
Another item of pure gold in the sanctuary was the breastplate for the high priest. It was of pure gold because the Lord wanted everyone in Israel to know that they were invaluable to Him, and that He carried them on His heart and mind. They dwelt in His heart, in His bosom; they were covered by His love.
 
“The breastplate of cunning work.… was foursquare; they made the breastplate double: a span was the length thereof, and a span the breadth thereof, being doubled.” (Ex. 39:8,9).
“And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.” (Ex. 28:30).
“And they made upon the breastplate chains at the ends, of wreathen work of pure gold.” (Ex. 39:15).
 
Paul clarifies that the symbolism of gold equates to faith and love. “Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love.” (1Thess. 5:8).
 
The mercy seat of the earthly tabernacle represented the heart of the Lord God. He wanted them to know Him, and, like His later use of parables, He used things that they could see to represent spiritual things that they couldn’t see. And He wants to put His heart in us.
 
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.” (Eze. 36:26,27). He wants us to have His heart of mercy, faith, and love. Pure love. When we have that nature then He can dwell in us individually.
 
“If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever…. He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him…. If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him…. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” (John 14:15,16,21,23,27).
 
“As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a Man lay down His life for His friends.” (John 15:9-13).
 
He will dwell with us through His Spirit. He will be in a cloud of holy joy and sweet-smelling incense, dwelling in our heart. This is the condition where He ultimately wants His truth and grace to bring His people. Lack of faith and continual grumbling kept the children of Israel from receiving this unsurpassable blessing. But, let us seek it out and have what the apostles had.
 
“And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own Self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” (John 17:5). The glory of God is His love and communion. This is what Jesus had every day. Even if He wasn’t transfigured every day, His mind was transfigured through communion with His Father, His God. His heart moment by moment was filled with His Father’s infinite love and patience. How could He fast from the water of life when His Father was with Him? But, the days would come when He would fast from His Father’s life—involuntarily, in Gethsemane to Golgotha. There He would taste the death of hell for every man.
 
Our hell comes from lacking the Father’s Spirit. Our torment comes from little or no communion with God and His word. But, this Jesus had without measure every day. He lived by every word that proceeded from the mouth of His Father because His Father lived in Him by His measureless Spirit. They dwelled together. In the most beautiful union, They were one. Oh, how Jesus loved His Father’s Law! It was His meditation all day long! Jesus continually wore an invisible breastplate of purest, solid gold. Upon His heart’s mercy seat the presence of His Father dwelled day and night, adulthood and infancy. No spot of sin stained the heart of Christ; therefore, there was nothing preventing God from being enthroned in His Son.
 
Jesus is our example; He is our mentor, our standard, our continuous High Priest who lives to carry us upon His heart. God wants to dwell in everyone who “hath My commandments, and keepeth them.” Then, “he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him...and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.” (John 14:21,23).
 
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” (1Tim. 1:5). If we have bowed in surrender to His Law, then we will receive the faith that brings us all the way to His mercy seat. He will justify us and legitimize our justification with a new heart—a mercy seat, the gift of God. We will have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the cloud surrounding His presence that dwells upon our mercy seat. He will have a sanctuary in which to abide.

“I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” (John 17:23).
 
“The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (Jas. 3:17).

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