Does God Sit on His Throne All Day?

throneWhen you think of God the Father, when you pray to Him,
you undoubtedly picture Him
sitting on His heavenly throne.
The supreme power of the universe
dispatching mighty angels from the courtroom bench!

John saw a “throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne”  (Rev. 4:2).  Daniel had a vision of  “thrones were put in place and the Ancient of Days was seated” (Dan. 7:9).

John also saw in vision four living creatures  before the throne who “do not rest day or night, saying:  ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’” (Rev. 4:8).   And when they give the Father honor, 24 Elders fall down before Him, “cast their crowns before the throne, saying:  ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (verses 4, 11).

Sure sounds like the Father ever on His throne and constant crowns tossed and praise flowing.

But, yes, for human reasons, that just doesn’t sit  well with me.  Wouldn’t that get kind of old?  Both doing it and receiving it over and over. Does the Father ever just want to get away for a little peace and quiet?  I might be off my rocker to suggest such a thing.   Spirit is different than flesh so maybe this nonstop sitting and worshiping is simply the way it is.  God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours not just in altitude (Isa. 55:8-9).

But the idea occurred to me while serving on staff at our Camp Hye Sierra teen camp this summer that the Father

Might not always be on His throne

When looking for the Camp Director, his wife, or the top leaders, they were mostly to be found—not in the office building—but out and about in the thick of the action.

They would be doing physical tasks that simply needed to be done and there was nobody else available at the moment.   Of course staff and campers would freely admit to not being angels.

Does the Father ever want to don overalls, grab some power tools and get His hands dirty to keep the universe purring?  Ever want to skate or sail on the sea of glass?  Go for an evening walk and take in the sight of one of His beautiful sunsets?

The director and leaders could always be found at mealtimes dining with staff and campers.  Jesus told the disciples that He would no longer consume Passover bread and wine until in the Kingdom (Luke 22:16).  So sounds like God beings eat.  Does the Father get served breakfast in throne?

Or are meals served as you would expect in a dining room fit for the King of kings with the finest chef in the realm?   Is the favorite dish angel food cake?  Does God like deviled eggs and could that explain why they’re always a potluck favorite?  Does heaven have a lovely park perfect for a summertime picnic of all-beef hotdogs, chips and watermelon?

Jesus promised “To him who overcomes I will “grant to

Sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev. 3:21)

Sounds a little crowded like airline seats!  Are 144,000 plus an innumerable multitude really going to squish together there?   You think you’ve got problems with your kids in the backseat!   Of course these are saints—not ones you wish would act like little versions.  They’re going to be resurrected and welcomed into Jesus Christ’s ruling family, which we celebrate Monday, Oct. 3 in the Feast of Trumpets.

The Bible actually states that Jesus does not sit on His Father’s throne all the time.  Same for His throne.  When John saw the Lamb, He was standing in the  midst of the throne and the 28 spirit beings (Rev. 5:6).

Ezek. 1 and 10 describe Jesus Christ roaring about the earth in His portable gyroscope throne.  The Old Testament describes Him as YHVH visiting Moses and Abraham, wrestling with Jacob, and leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.  Sounds like sitting on His throne would be a pitstop for Jesus!

Will overcomers who become kings, priests and judges in Christ’s Millennial administration be corralled on Christ’s throne all the time?  Jesus told the 12 disciples that they would sit on “12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28).

Isa. 30:20-21 says we will serve as teachers and appear out of the blue to humans in the Millennium to give them instant corrective guidance.   Poof and then back to a throne?

Or, does sitting on a throne mean that One is the ruler in authority regardless where He is sitting?  The camp director was just that whether in his office or about.   Isa. 66:1 says “Heaven is my throne”—not just one special majestic bench.  Maybe we don’t need to worry about how many angels can sit on the head of a pin if the third heaven is bigger than the Ponderosa.  The Father might have more room to roam than buffalo.

Will we be on our thrones mostly for special regal functions and ceremonies?  Like King Francis of France in the Ever After movie?   Dressed in full regalia on the throne for his son Henry’s wedding and for the expulsion of bad subjects but otherwise all about the palace and grounds.

Daniel saw the resurrected Jesus Christ presented to the Ancient of Days sitting on His throne, when Jesus was “given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him” (Dan. 7:13-14).

Heb. 4:16 says “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  So we haven’t got a prayer if the Father isn’t listening there?

All this is fun to ponder

I don’t know how God can hear all prayers.  But I do know the Father is the supreme authority of the universe and the One to go to for mercy and grace wherever He pleases to be.

Until next time,
Robert

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Where Will You Be When the Trumpets of God Blow?

feast-of-trumpetsA week from Monday, on Oct. 3,
will be the Feast of Trumpets.

This Holy Day pictures the intervention of God
in human affairs.

Seven trumpets of God will blow with global impact.
Where will you be when these trumpets blow?

The Feast of Trumpets is a solemn feast day (Psa. 81:3).  While great trumpeters like Louis Armstrong and Herb Alpert evoke pleasant thoughts of happy music, God is going to discipline His rebellious  kids as a loving Father with seven mighty angels sounding trumpets that command worldwide attention and change everything.

“For the great day of His wrath has come, and

Who is able to stand?” (Rev. 6:15) 

Actually a better response would be to drop to the knees and cry out for mercy!

But verse 15 says pretty much everybody on earth will cave-in and hide themselves “from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”

With the trumpeters poised to blow, four angels hold things up long enough to seal “the servants of our God on their foreheads” (Rev. 7:3).  Many of God’s people have been in the Place of Safety (Rev. 12:6) already.  In Rev. 3:10 God promised His faithful people “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

Here it speaks of being spared an “hour of trial.”  Isaiah 34:8 indicates the Day of the Lord is a year long.  It looks like it begins and ends on a Feast of Trumpets.

Since the big events of Revelation—the Great Tribulation, the two witnesses, the times of the Gentiles and the one world government of the Great Babylon directed by two Beasts—all last 3-1/2 years concurrently and end with the return of Jesus Christ to the earth, then the Day of the Lord with the seven trumpets begins after the first 2-1/2 years.  The misery caused by man motivated by the devil will give way to the just wrath of God!

The global, earth-wide punishment lasting a year may only seem like an hour to God but will seem like a thousand years to mankind that inflicted 6,000 years of suffering on each other!  As bad as it gets, God never gives us what we deserve.  Mercy rejoices over judgment (James 2:13).

Thank God, there will be “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues … who come out of the Great Tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9, 14).

Sadly, after this Revelation mentions only those who refuse to repent.  And it seems unbelievable, but they curse God and shake their fists at Him!

The seventh trumpet is the one we think about most when we celebrate the Feast of Trumpets because it pictures three events that are nothing less than

The turning point of human history

When the seventh trumpet blows, the 12 tribes of Israel are going to be regathered to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—in an exodus that will overshadow the famous one and make it virtually forgotten (Jer. 23:7-8).  Israel will become the model nation of God’s way for the Gentiles that they were always meant to be.

As significant as that is, perhaps the most important event ever will be the return of Jesus Christ to the earth to set up His Kingdom on earth beginning with His Millennial reign.  Armies, duped by satan to think Jesus is an alien invader, will foolishly take on the Son of God!    Big mistake even if it is mistaken identity!  Blood will flow up to horses’ bridles (Rev. 14:20) and flesh and eyes will dissolve from bones and sockets (Zech. 14:12)!

The third event involves us.  When the seventh trumpet blows, I hope you will be anywhere but gathering in Megiddo, Israel and then later in the Kidron Valley just east of Jerusalem, also called the Valley of Jehoshaphat.  If you wind up in the “the valley of decision,” then you’ve made the wrong decision!

Obviously the best place to be when the trumpets of God blow will be under God’s protection He offers His people “who follow the Lamb wherever goes” (Rev. 14:4).  Oh to be one of the ones who rise to meet Christ in the air and are changed to glorified Spirit in the first and better resurrection!

armies-of-heavenAnd it’d be a great day for a ride on a white horse with Jesus Christ and the millions of angels and “ten thousands of His saints” (Jude 14, Zech. 14:5)!

Something to think deeply about:  The riders above are “called, chosen and faithful” (Rev. 17:14).  If you are understanding this, you are being called.  So what will you choose?

Where will you be?  When the seven trumpets blow?  On Oct. 3?

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Earth Restored! At Last World Peace! What More Could God Have in Mind?

Millennium Coming soon to our battered earth!

Yet Jesus Christ and His saints will be
accomplishing a mission even more all-encompassing
during the 1,000 years of the Millennium!
Do you know what it is?  Will you be a part of it?

From Jerusalem Jesus Christ will

Expand His reign worldwide

“The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9).   The polluted waters are restored, but more importantly, the corrupted religious teaching.

Of huge importance, all who live into the Millennium or are born in it will have their opportunity for salvation.   “All the ends of the earth have  seen the salvation of our God” (Psa. 98:3).   This is their time to become part of the God Family that rules the earth.  Satan has been put away (Rev. 20:1-3)—as pictured by the Day of Atonement that will be observed this year on Oct. 12—and peer pressure is godly (Jer. 31:34).

“For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isa. 2:3).  The spiritual veil that blinded humanity since Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden is lifted  (Isa. 25:7).  We’re no longer barking up the wrong tree!

Surprise!  Animal sacrifices are going to be instituted again!  Because they serve as a wonderful school teacher to point people to Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:24, Jer. 33:18, Zech. 14:21).  Losing a prized animal impresses the terrible cost of sin.  Despite all the lies that have been told, the fault was never with the law but with “them”—carnal human-nature plagued people who did not yet have His Holy Spirit to help them (Heb. 8:8).

All the nations will be like puny hills before the mountain of the Lord and “all nations shall flow to it” (Isa. 2:1-4, Micah 4:1-3).

Representatives from all nations will come up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles or they will be punished with no rain until they decide such rebellion is all wet (Zech. 14:16-19).  What if that happened today to nations when this year’s Feast comes Oct. 16-23!  If God expects even Gentiles to keep “His feasts” [Lev. 23:2] during the Millennium, what does that say about the spiritual delusion that they are only for Jews today.

So sure enough, God is consistent, all will keep the weekly Sabbaths in the Millennium (Isa. 56:6-7) —so they can be blessed for keeping them like we are today when we observe them!

A “Highway of Holiness” will connect the major powers such as Assyria (“the work of  My hands”) and Egypt (“My people”) with Israel (“my inheritance”) (Isa. 35:8, 19:22).  What a surprise to see somebody besides Israel called God’s people!

Creation restored & at peace

lion-and-lambWild animals are going to be tame so that a lion and  lamb can be  led together by a little child (Isa. 11).   Get ready for cat videos of Leo instead of Fluffy!

The real story here is that humans are going to have their wild animal-like nature changed the same way!  We will become like a little child the way God wants His children to be:  humble, trusting and open to His guidance!   That’s the cat’s meow to God!

The Millennium ends the 6,000 years of groaning for creation—as it’s “delivered from its body of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:20-22).  The trees and fields clap their hands (Psa. 96:12).  Well then, I’m guessing moose will blow their horns!

Blessings abound

The land is healed and so are the people (Isa 35:3-6).  The deserts blossom as a rose.  The lame leap like a deer, which I can really relate to joyfully as I recover from hip surgery!

Rain in due season (Lev. 26:4).  Abundant crops so that the plowman and reaper get in each other’s way (Amos 9:13-14).  A feast of food and wine (Isa. 25:6).  Is it any wonder that keeping the Feast of Tabernacles today includes  good eating—“whatever your heart desires” (Deut. 14:26)!

Plowshares will be so needed  that swords will be beaten into them in reality rather than just in statues at the United Nations, and West Points will be closed because they will learn war no more (Isa. 2:1-4).

All will become land owners (Mic. 4:4, Isa. 65:21).  The Millennium will undoubtedly begin on a Jubilee Year when all property will be restored  to the rightful owners and  debts forgiven, giving all people a clean slate and a fresh start (Lev. 25:10).

The wealth of the Gentiles is going to be properly managed so it benefits them rather than greedy powerful dictators (Isa. 60:11, 61:6) and Israel will benefit from its abundance also.

Jesus Christ will choose one language for the entire earth—free of paganism, idolatry and spite—so godly communication can occur between all people (Zeph. 3:9).

children-playingSince the purpose of human life is to become part of the Family of God, the most important blessings of the Millennium are going to be the restoration of family life.  Old folks will sit and enjoy watching children play in the streets (Zech. 8:4-5). Children will be taught God’s way, passing on to future generations (Isa. 54:13, 60:15,22).

It’s all going to be wonderful beyond imagination!  “Pleasure forevermore” (Psa. 16:11).  “Abundantly satisfied with the fullness of [God’s] house” (Psa. 36:8).  “Drinking from the river of Your pleasures.”  “The Lord commands the blessing:  “life forevermore” (Psa. 133:3)!  Thank God, His commandments are not done away!

When all that happiness roams the earth, imagine the inspiring, uplifting music led by musical greats like David.   The Millennium will give people something to sing about!

Wow, all that!

But does God have much more in mind?

“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end” (Isa. 9:7).

The big mission of the 1,000 years of the Millennium is going to be to prepare the earth for the arrival of 50 to 70 billion people at the second resurrection (Rev. 20:5) to begin the Great White Throne Judgment!   Will we act now to be a part of it?

 

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Avast, Me Hearties! Better Days Be Comin’ Smartly

pirateAhoy, mateys and me beauties, Monday be
International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Pirate-talkin’ paaarrrties
be planned all across the States,
though, alas, none in Colorado!

Aarrr!  But you don’t have to
keep this under your Jolly Roger hat:
When all the talkin’ be done Monday,
it’s time to pay attention
to some better special days than e’er conceived by buccaneers!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day had its not exactly humble start in 1995 when Mark “Cap’n Slappy” Summers and John “Ol’ Chumbucket” Baur found out how sporting it be to insult each other in pirate lingo during—not a swashbuckling encounter on the high seas—but a knee-buckling one on a racquetball court.

In the yeaarr 2002 the renegade celebration took sail after some helpful publicity from famed humor columnist Dave Baarrry.

You can discover your pirate name at web sites like www.froggynet.com/cgi-bin/pirate.cgi.    Me be Francis Fearsome Man.  Would you be mixin’ me up with the Pope!   Aye, he wears a funny hat too.

All the while so many are oblivious to

Four way more important days looming on the horizon

that are absolutely life-changing:  The Feast of Trumpets Oct. 3, The Day of Atonement Oct. 12, The Feast of Tabernacles Oct. 16-23 and The Eighth Day Oct. 24.

Note I used the Bible names (Lev. 23) rather than Jewish names you see on calendars.  Claims that these days are only for Jews or Israel haven’t got  a peg leg to stand on.  They do not look back to Moses the lawgiver with traditional rituals and sayings.  They all picture the saving work of our Savior—the Lawgiver—whom Jews do not recognize.

Instead of being recent holidays conceived and pushed by two humans, these days originated from two eternal Beings—God and the Word—before the foundation of the world (John 1:1).

Forget Blackbeard and Jack Sparrow, Jesus Christ is the Cap’n of our salvation (Heb. 2:10) and it’s crunch time to learn about these pivotal  days and keep them.  Jesus was the God of the Old Testament who commanded them and He kept them when He walked the earth 33-1/2 years.  He taught the New Testament Christians to keep them as He exampled to them, and the Church of God has continued to keep them.

Instead of being annual holidays, these days are annual Holy Days.  They are God’s Feasts—“My feasts.”  The Hebrew word mo-edim means “appointments” for us to keep (Lev. 23:2).  We should show up for them!

Aye, me beauties and hearties, and why wouldn’t we?  The seven Holy Days reveal the plan of God for bringing mankind not into a ship’s crew but into the Family of God.

Human experience shows that we humans must actually keep them to understand them.   Scholars write commentaries about them but they don’t really understand them.  People who once did but quit, amazingly lose even their memory of them.  That’s why the Bible admonishes “A good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Psa. 111:10).

black-pearlGod is no pressgang—He gives free moral agency  and never forces anyone to become a member of the crew.  Thankfully, the Father is the Master Timer who be callin’ each matey at the time they are most ready to get on board and not end up walkin’ the plank.

Ahoy, this be a call for you.  A seed sown (Matt. 13).  Each of us be responsible for how we respond even as the devil connives to hide the treasure and keep a patch over our spiritual eyes.

These four Holy Days picture the turning point of history—and the time when salvation is going to be made available earth-wide and to all people who have ever lived!   The first fruits who respond now will be the crew who help Jesus Christ teach and serve them in the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment.  Aye,  aye!

It’s hard not to get excited about roamin’ the seven seas in search of the Black Pearl.  But how much better to seize your opportunity for the Pearl of Great Price (Matt. 13:46)!

Francis Fearsome  Man?   I’m more interested in the new name God is going to give me (Rev. 3:12).

If you choose to talk like a pirate Monday, it be fun no doubt.  Funny how quick we are to embrace something wacky like this holiday when there are Holy Days that pale it into insignificance!  Aye, aye!

So shiver me timbers if you prepare to be boarded by God’s Holy Spirit and the knowledge of His wonderful Holy Days!    Repeating again like a Johnny Depp sequel, it’s crunch time to learn about them and begin keeping them.

Smartly is a good pirate word.  We be smart if we act quickly!

Until next time, when I’ll have to pay attention to the spell checker again,
Robert

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When God Seems to Ignore Your Fast

fasting change lifeIn my early years as a Christian, God responded to my fasts,
often the very day.
He knows how hard it is for a human to fast,
and I think He didn’t want me to get discouraged and give up.
In recent years, many fasts it seemed like God didn’t pay any attention.
The person wasn’t healed. The problem continued. No sign of what to do.
What’s with that?

Does it ever seem like God is ignoring yours?

Isa. 58 is the chapter about fasting. God knows what befuddles us.

“Why have we fasted, they say, and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice (verse 3)?   That’s exactly what I was asking!

But now in my 47th year as a Christian, I understand more fully that we have a personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ our Elder Brother. What’s more important is our spiritual condition and character rather than physical matters we usually fast about.

God is not a genie who must grant “yes” just because we rub the bottle instead of drink from it.  He is The Master Timer. He knows what is best for not just me—but all concerned and even those not concerned!

Jesus said if we fast to the Father, “your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matt. 6:18). That is an absolute promise to believe and claim. No matter how it seemed, God did not ignore my fasts.   But He may say “wait” or “no.”

A “no” is rare

I can think of only one case in the Bible.

God through the prophet Nathan told David that the son, born after he took Bathsheba from Uriah and then had Uriah killed, would die. David fasted for seven days because “Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me” (2 Sam. 12:22). He only stopped when the child died. God was gracious all right but also just!   David needed the punishment for the horrendous sins.   And we should consider that our Master Timer was merciful to His king because David would have probably starved to death if the child lived long enough! David accepted his punishment (Psa. 51) and went on to serve God.

Thinking back, I can’t remember an out-and-out “no” to any of my fasts other than when somebody died instead of being healed.   There is a time to die. Hopefully you are loved by enough people that somebody will be fasting for you when you die!

It’s interesting that when James 5:14 says when sick we should call for an elder of the church, God’s promise is “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up” (verse 15).   Those fasts will eventually be answered in the resurrection!

Husbands and wives, we must be right with our mates so our prayers and fasts are not hindered (1 Pet. 3:7).  Guess we should be fasting for that!

Then there’s the curse of sin.  Our sins hide His face from us (Isa. 59:2).  Actually, if we’re even  thinking of sinning, surely God will never hear (Psa. 66:19).  Overcoming sin is a good reason for fasting!

Examples of “wait”

Hannah persisted “year by year” (1 Sam. 1:7). She fasted humbly as a “maidservant” and poured her heart out. She told God specifically what she wanted and vowed to dedicate a son to Him. God said we should reason with Him (Isa. 1:18), and at the right time He gave her Samuel.

Nehemiah was so sad to hear about the walls of Jerusalem being broken down that he fasted and prayed.   It appears that Nehemiah had been asking “let Your servant prosper this day” (verse 11) “for many days” (verse 4).

Hannah and Nehemiah persisted until The Master Timer said “yes”!   Jesus gave the parable of the unjust judge and taught, “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?” (Luke 18:6). What might seem long to us might seem “speedily” to God (verse 8).   That can happen when a day is like a 1,000 years!  And God is not an unjust judge!

Anytime we fast, it is wise to study Isa. 58. It tells how to fast (verses 6-7) and how not to fast (verses 3-5). Are we really seeking God daily and delighting to know His ways? Or are we only “as [if] a nation [or person] that did righteousness?” (verse 2).

Are we trying to “make your voice heard on high”? (verse 4). Telling God what to do? Or are we humbly seeking God’s answer no matter what it is?   We want His yes, no or wait!

And though we might be fasting for healing, for financial help, for direction about a difficult decision or for other physical, material matters, what we really want is what Jehoshaphat said in faith when he directed the nation of Judah to fast:

“Our eyes are upon You” (2 Chron. 20:12)

Isa. 58:9 concurs! “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’”

If we are looking to the Father and Jesus Christ, our fast has not been in vain. God the Father has rewarded us openly. At the right time we will experience the blessings stated in verses 8-11.

Until next time,
Robert

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