First I would like to thank you once again for sending me a copy of your book The Wheels of God’s Throne. I just finished reading it through a couple of days ago, although I had earlier browsed through it on your website.
I found the writing very inspiring. I could best describe it by saying it’s full of “seeds of light.” And—while much of this hasn’t taken shape in my understanding—I’m planting those seeds of light there. Hopefully the ground is fertile, and hopefully the Lord will water those seeds till they to grow into the fruit of the light, and I’ll see clearly what this chariot-Throne is all about... and even ride in it!
All this, it’s so intriguing… and so immense! It’s truly a shrinking experience to see even little glimpses of it all—this awesome holy Throne, and the One who sits upon it, and the cherubim, and the wheels. No wonder Ezekiel fell on his face when he actually saw this!
And it’s a “stretching” experience, too. I always appreciate that, unsettling as it is. But we very much need to be unsettled, and stretched: we so easily forget that the present capacity of our understanding doesn’t take in the full scope and measure of spiritual reality. We forget that what we see and know is still only in part… a very little part, actually.
I’ll just share a few thoughts that with the help of your writing are taking on a greater enlargement in my own thinking.
-- It has to be very significant that the Lord is beginning to give us at least some understanding of this great Storm, and this “chariot.” No doubt it’s because the Storm is nigh, and drawing closer, and He wants us to have confidence and assurance in a day when the hearts of those around us are failing for fear. I’m thinking of the conclusion you came to about the wheels, that they are “a representation of the working of the Spirit… as He judges…” I found this very enlightening, and helpful. Perhaps from one perspective this is very frightening, what’s about to unfold. But to me it’s very heartening that there actually is this Throne of authority that is about to be manifested. In all the painful things we go through, and see in the earth all around us more and more, how we cry for this Throne! Thy kingdom come, Lord, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Things are getting so overwhelming all around us, in our own personal circumstances as well as in the bigger picture of nations. Evil seems to be triumphing on every hand, unthinkable evil. But oh, joy! Here comes that Throne… that Chariot-Throne: we begin to hear the rumbling of the wheels of judgment rolling, turning, turning, drawing closer and closer. “Say among the heathen, the LORD reigneth… the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved… Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth…” (Ps. 96).
…I like what you said—and I picked this up the first time I browsed through your writing on the website—that this chariot Throne comes forth both for judgment and salvation. The Wheels, and the Wind, the separation on the threshing floor, bring forth both. You make the comment that, “There may be simultaneous events going on, appearing very different…” Could it be that this is the very explanation of the workings of the wheels when Ezekiel saw “a wheel in the midst of a wheel,” with one turning one way, and another turning the opposite way (if that is in fact what is happening there)?
Later as I read the hard copy of your book, I saw more clearly what John the Baptist was saying about the One who would baptize in the Holy Spirit and fire. He’s describing a great eternal threshing floor on His Mountain, with the Wind, and the Fire. That happened in a measure on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended like a rushing mighty Wind. And the Fire was there as well. In our day, our experience of this Baptism is so puny by comparison. People talk about having “the baptism,” but oh, you get a glimpse of what is coming, and… there is SO MUCH MORE of this Baptism before us in the StormWind of the Spirit that’s drawing closer! There will be Wind, and Fire, and great shakings, and the prospect of it all can be frightening. But who wants to miss out on this? For John the Baptist prophesied that the One who came after him was MIGHTIER than he… and in His Baptism He would “thoroughly purge His (threshing)floor…” THOROUGHLY… How we need that purifying in our day!
We are thankful for all that our Lord has done in our lives. But there is SO MUCH MORE. And so let us not settle for less than He wants to do, and will do. This great Eternal Storm that’s brewing is going to FULFILL His Word. “Stormy wind fulfilling His word” (Ps. 148). The great “storm of the Lord” that is even now brewing and gathering strength is going to bring to fullness the eternal purposes of God.
-- As I read your book the Lord also gave me a clearer understanding of, “Behold, He cometh with clouds…” The way I used to see that, I always saw in my mind’s eye those nice white fluffy clouds in the earthly atmosphere, and He comes (metaphorically speaking) sitting on a nice pleasant cloud like that. But no, He’s talking about that same awesome Cloud Ezekiel saw, and Daniel saw, with the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven, with POWER and great glory coming in a Cloud with a Fire infolding itself, and thunderings and lightnings coming out of it… a great StormWind, and the Lord Himself sitting upon a Throne above it all, reigning above it all.
…Which is good for us to know and remember when we are going through the storms of life: we are to be seated with Him in His Throne above the storm, and not under it.
-- Actually I was reading in The Revelation the other day, the promise the Lord gave the church of Laodicea, that those who overcome shall sit with Him in His throne “even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne.” And I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed it before, but it’s right after this awesome promise to the Laodiceans that John is called “up hither,” and sees what is no doubt the very Throne they’re invited to sit in with the Son of God, this Throne that is “set in Heaven,” and One sitting upon it, and “lightnings and thunderings and voices” proceeding from it. “And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, four living ones full of eyes before and behind.” Obviously it’s the same Throne Daniel saw, the same one Ezekiel described, the one He saw coming out of the stormwind that came out of the north. And you mean, Lord, lukewarm Laodicean Christians are the ones who are given so high a promise as this, are actually invited to sit with Him THERE? Well, not quite: yes, the promise goes out to Laodicean Christians such as ourselves. But it’s those who OVERCOME that Laodicean condition who sit with Him there. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne…”
And if we are to be seated with Him in His Throne, how can we continue in all our own works and labours and strivings and good ideas for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God? We must abandon all that. We must cease from our own works, and get into that chariot of the Spirit with Him who sits on the Throne, and move with Him in the Spirit of Life. The only works we in the churches can be involved in are those in which we’re in harmony with that same Throne of glory, and the cherubim, and those wheels with the power of Life in them. “We, then, as workers together WITH Him…” Yet, oh, how much there is in the churches these days of the dead works and ways of man! And they are all going to have to go “under the wheel.” It’s all just chaff of the summer threshing floor to be blown away by the Wind!
-- I very much like the verse in Nahum, which I came across as I read your book. “The LORD hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” I don’t know that I fully grasp that. He has His Way in the storm…
But we find something similar in the book of Job, when Elihu said, “He sealeth up the hand of every man, that all men may know His work.” It seems to me that while Elihu is speaking, and bawling Job out just as his other three “friends” had been doing, a storm begins to gather. You get that sense by what Elihu, after a bit, starts to describe. He’s talking along, and I imagine him looking about, and off handedly he points to the distant sky as he speaks. It looks like it’s starting to cloud up in the distance. “Look unto the heavens, and behold the clouds…” (35.5). And he talks on again. But then a little further on, “For He maketh small the drops of water… which the clouds do drop…” (36.28). So it’s started now. And it gets dark. “With clouds He covereth the light” (36.32). And then there is thunder in the distance. “Hear attentively the noise of His Voice…” (37.2). And so the storm has moved up and is right on top of them now (all through Ch. 37). And then as Elihu is pontificating about it all, suddenly his words just seem to rot in his mouth, for suddenly the Lord Himself speaks to Job “out of the whirlwind.” This really stirs me. All through what he had been going through Job couldn’t find God, thought he had been abandoned by his God. But now this great Whirlwind, and here He is, in person, Job’s Salvation, speaking with him face to face.
And I believe the suffering ones among God’s people… how often we anguish, and wonder where our God is. But we are going to see this Whirlwind, and hear HIM speaking to us out of it. This Storm—it’s already on the horizon—it may be the most fearsome thing man has ever seen, as great storms even in the natural realm are. But no man can work in that kind of storm. And in the Storm of the Lord, all the works and words of man at last shall CEASE. All men will head for cover (though not all shall find it). God alone shall work… and speak! “He sealeth up the hand of every man, that all men may know HIS work.”
…And so as fearsome as it all is, we anticipate seeing this awesome display of the workings and majesty of God as he sovereignly fulfills His eternal purposes. Awesome things to anticipate! Prepare us, Lord, for your appearing!
-- When a storm hits, we better be prepared: we better get inside the house. Actually the wise will be inside before it hits. Those that put it off might just find the Door is shut on them. They waited too long. …But just what kind of refuge does the Lord have for His own in this coming Storm? A tent. Just a tent. “And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain” (Isa. 4.6). I know it seems foolish. A tent? Kind of flimsy. But this is the one and only safe refuge: the “secret place of His Tabernacle” under the shadow of His wings (the wings of the cherubim over the Mercy Seat). This is the ONLY refuge from the Storm, the only refuge for any man—in His Holy Place on the Blood-sprinkled Mercy Seat under the wings of the cherubim. And so the coming nigh of that Mercy Seat, that Throne, which is terrible judgment to some… is actually Salvation to others. “Thy chariots of salvation… Thou wentest forth for the Salvation of Thy people, even for salvation with Thine Anointed…” (Hab. 3.13).
…There is another expression of this Tabernacle, which I think we see in Scripture. We as individuals must be in that Secret Place of His Tabernacle under the shadow of His wings. There is no substitute for that. But there is also a corporate expression of this kind of relationship with Jesus. It’s a little “hut,” a few gathered together in fellowship with the Lord and with one another, a few “branches” woven together into what some would judge is a totally foolish and flimsy thing to weather a storm in. A little tabernacle… but the kind that the Lord just loves to dwell in with His own. “Abide in Me and I in you,” He calls. (And the word you here is plural.)
This kind of “dwelling” is the one refuge the Lord has in mind for His people when the established church system with all its powerful walls is utterly blown to pieces in the coming Whirlwind. Our “forecasters” have put the warnings out. Without any doubt, this Storm is on the way! In what form, we don’t know exactly: upheavals of many kinds, financial disasters, pestilences, wars, devastation, persecution… This Storm is going to hit, and there will be debris all over. But when it does hit, it’s in this little “tent” that people of God will find refuge and discover the confidence that sees them through. In this Tabernacle, this is where we need to be. We need to be abiding in HIM when He appears—and together helping one another to abide in Him… “that when He shall appear we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”
Thanks again for the inspiring writing, Greg.