Revelations: Chapter Seven
We finished in chapter six with verse 17 that says, "for the great day of His wrath (desire) is (now) come; and who shall be (is) able to stand?" We established that it is only Christ in you that is left. The old Adam is gone. As we begin this next chapter let me remind you to have your Bible with you as we go through these verses.
In Chapter Seven we begin with the conjunction "and" which tells us that this is a continuation of what was going on in chapter six. Remember, when John wrote Revelation, there were no separation of chapters and verses. It was one letter with a continuous flow of thought.
Verse 1: "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree."
"And after these things" literally means "amid," or during these things that just transpired in the previous chapter.
"I saw four angels" tells us that John is seeing in the spirit the complete messenger which is Christ. The number four is symbolic for complete or all. This is not only Jesus Christ, but the Corporate Son; this is Jesus plus the body of Christ.
"Standing on the four corners of the earth, hold the four winds of the earth" The four corners of the earth is all mankind, and the four winds of the earth is the fullness of the Holy Spirit within all mankind.
"That the winds should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree." Christ is in a standing position waiting to move when directed by the WORD of God. The winds are the Holy Spirit; the earth represents "flesh" in its lowest realm of the earth. The sea represents multitudes of people; and trees represent all mankind. Nothing goes on without the control of God.
Let's read what Jesus said in John 16: 7-11, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."
Verse 2: "And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,"
The east is symbolic of spiritual arising, and the Angel is a messenger of Christ. This is the unveiling "to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). This is the Apocalypse, or the unveiling of Christ in you which occurs first individually and then corporately. We must see individually that God is in control and has set this whole thing up.
The "seal" is the Spirit of God or Christ. The Spirit of God sends the word to the four angels, or the mature in Christ. Remember Genesis 1: 1-4?
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light;" and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."
God is Spirit. All creation of God is done by Spirit. God cannot be separated from His creation. "Heaven" is the realm of creation, and "earth" is the expression of heaven. "The face of the deep" is the divine expression of intelligence manifested in the earth (flesh). The face of the waters in which the Spirit of God moves upon is the act of procreation to bring forth Life, or Light. Water is our consciousness of unexpressed capacities within us. Only when the Spirit of God moves upon our mind can our innermost substance of His identity are manifested in the earthly form of His heavenly reality, even though it has always been in existence.
Going back to Rev. 7:2, it is the Christ, the WORD, within us that is speaking to the mature in Christ that was given to "hurt not the earth and the sea." This is an area where we need to be sure we do not crucify those who are not yet living by faith. There is a fine line between living a Spirit Filled Life in Christ and living with a religious spirit that brings judgment and condemnation upon others because they are not at the same level of relationship with God the Father. A son of God has the responsibility to intercede with unconditional love for others, not to destroy them. The "earth" and the "sea" can represent individuals and corporate mankind. They can also represent the "worldly" minded people, and the people who call themselves Christians, but comprehend their relationship with God through a natural understanding. They are double-minded and troubled as a storm over the ocean.
Verse 3: "Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."
When the Spirit of God speaks within our own consciousness bringing us into a heavenly understanding of the things of God, we are not to judge or condemn others with our thoughts, words, or actions. God is no respecter of persons. The earth, sea, and trees are all realms of the natural world or humanity. The earthly minded people are established with their relationship with God by their cultures, denominations, and land environment (city, country, mountains, oceans, lakes, valleys, etc.). The sea minded people are similar to the earthly, but are more open to alternative ways of thinking and understanding. Their relationship with God can be very shallow or very deep. They are affected by the changing of the tides and storms, but not destroyed, where the earthly minded people see the waters with anxiety and doom. The tree people have an earthly relationship with God that varies depending on the tree itself. Tree people are affected by the times and seasons of whether they flourish and produce fruit or wither up. All three of these realms are "under the heaven" as described in Ecclesiastes 3:1-10.
Eccl. 3: 11-15 tells us what must be sealed in each of our foreheads.
"He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world (eternity) in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God. I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past."
If our mind is written (sealed) with the nature and character of God we will react like God. This is what Jesus came to reveal to us. He is the firstborn of the body of Christ. "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ" (I Corinthians 2:16). Once we are sealed in our mind to understand that our true identity is being a son of God, then the earth, sea, and tree realm of our understanding will no longer exist.
"For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel." I Corinthians 4:15
"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord (Spirit of God) come (individually, then corporately in each man's heart) who both will bring to light (man's true identity in God) the hidden things of darkness (ignorance, self-reliance), and will make manifest the counsels (divine decree of the will of God, the trinity) of the hearts: and then shall EVERY MAN HAVE PRAISE OF GOD." I Corinthians 4:5
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." Ephesians 1:3-4
Verse 4: "And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."
The word "children" in this verse is the Greek word "Huios" which means mature sons of God. The Greek word "teknon" would be used if John was referring to someone born as a child. The word "Huios" distinguishes a mature relationship that is equal to the relationship that Jesus demonstrated with God as his Father while on the earth.
The number 144,000 is not a literal number of people that have the seal of God. It is symbolic of the Old Testament known by the 12 patriarchs, and the New Testament known by the 12 apostles. The number 12 represents the government of God (12 x 12 is a double witness to what God has established in earthen vessels.) It is a witness in us, that God has placed His heavenly authority and ruling power into earthly people. Again, it is not literally the patriarchs and apostles, but symbolic of the mature in Christ or FIRST FRUITS of every generation. What is the calling of the first fruits that carry a seal? Ezekiel 9:4 (Amplified) says, "And the Lord said to him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in the midst of it." Matthew 5:9 (Amplified) says, "Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous - with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God"
When we get to Rev. 14:1 we will see that the 144,000, or mature in Christ are the ones standing on Mt. Zion which is the inner court having the Father's name written in their foreheads. Their identity is the identity of the Father. Only the Father knows who these people are. The first thing God had to do is pick First Fruit which is represented by the number 144,000. The laws of nature teach us that every generation has first fruits. Jesus was the first. These people have certain attributes that we see described by the symbolism of the tribes of Israel.
The word of God is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart of man (Hebrews 4:12). God has already forgiven all sin upon the face of the earth through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He became sin in order to destroy it. The mature in Christ must see mankind through this finished work. Adam had a garden and turned it into a grave. Jesus took the grave and turned it into a garden. The work of the "head of Christ" is a done deal. What is true of the head is true of the body. However, we can only know the power of the resurrection of Christ when we identify with the power of His death.
Verse 5-8: "Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Naphtali were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zebulun were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand."
For John to be specific to include the individual names of the tribes of Israel tells us we need to know what these names mean which takes us to Genesis. Notice that the names are not listed in the order of their natural birth. Also note that the name Dan was replaced with the son of Joseph, Manasses. Dan means judgment. The judgment seat of Christ was at Calvary. It was done away with over 2000 years ago, but every man must come into the revelation of what Jesus Christ did for them in order to experience resurrection life. His death was my death and His life is my life. Today, I am a new creature in Christ, the old man is passed away (Gal. 2:20), not because of what I did but because of being in Him. God loved us first unconditionally while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). These twelve tribes represent experiences that we will go through in our relationship with God.
"Juda" - or Judah, means praise and celebration. "Thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee" (Genesis 49:8). Jesus came from the tribe of Judah. Because of what Jesus did; we can praise the Lord.
"Reuben" - Because of what Jesus did; we have a vision of the son. However, he was unstable as water. This person knows Jesus, but slips around and does things that are unfaithful to God. Those that stay in this realm of their relationship with God will be double minded and unstable in all their ways (James 1:8).
"Gad" -Because of what Jesus did; behold a troop comes that is the army of the Lord. It speaks of the body of Christ coming together as one. A company of people have been strategically placed by God to do spiritual warfare with the spirit of antichrist (mindsets, concepts, and ideas that nullify the transforming power that took place for all mankind at Calvary) for the Kingdom of God.
"Aser" - Because of what Jesus did; now I am happy. "Behold, we count them happy which endure" (James 5:11). There is an anointing revealed in our life that is likened to a thermostat. We are to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth. We are to be in control of our environment instead of letting our environment control us. We are to cover others with blessings and love even though they may be sending us negative words and actions.
"Naphtali" - means a wrestling with man giving Godly words. Our wrestling with God is over, but not everyone around us will agree with the peace of what the Holy Spirit has revealed to us. It is up to us to overcome the wrestling with the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7), being anxious for nothing (Matthew 10:19). "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).
"Manasses" is a corporate name for Manasseh which means "For God, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house" (Genesis 41; 51). It is listed as the sixth name which is the number of man. As mature sons of God we must remember that we are no longer connected to the old Adam identity. We are new creatures in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is this name that replaced the name Dan meaning judge.
Manasseh was the first born son of Joseph. Joseph was a type of Christ. He had 10 half brothers which is the number for law. He was sold by these brothers having his birthright taken from him and stripped of his inheritance. He was enslaved in the house of Potipher which represents the world. Later rejected for a crime he didn't commit and sent to prison which speaks of hell. Out of hell, he came to the throne. When his brothers came to request aid, they didn't recognize him, including his real brother Benjamin. Joseph placed a silver cup, which represents redemption in Benjamin's bag that was on his horse. He did not know that it was in his possession until Joseph revealed this wisdom.
This is a type and shadow telling us our true identity is found in the redemptive cup that was placed in our being before the foundations of the world. His suffering was our suffering. Jesus already drank the redemptive cup. The cup is empty. We must not let Babylon (religion) give us a cup that has something in it.
Joseph's heart saw things differently than his brothers; what they meant for evil, God meant for good. There was a bigger picture God had ordained that needed to take place. A first born son called Manasseh or "forgiveness of the past" came forth in the land of bondage (Egypt). Now there is no more bondage or famine. When we proclaim the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we declare our jubilee, releasing His resurrection in us, and setting us free to be sons of God.
"Simeon" - Because of what Jesus did; we can hear the Lord. When Jesus was a baby taken to the temple to be dedicated by those filled with a spirit of religion, God placed a prophet named Simeon to intercede. He took hold of the WORD (Jesus Christ) and prophesied. Along with him was a woman name Anna meaning "grace." When people
hear from the Lord, grace shows up also.
"Levi" - Because of what Jesus did; we are all joined and connected in union with God. Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are all one body with many members.
"Issachar" - Because of what Jesus did; our reward is in Him. We become a bond slave to Jesus Christ accepting that we have His mind, His identity.
"Zebulun" - Because of what Jesus did; Christ abides within us. His name means habitation or body life. The five-fold ministry is not to create another visitation of Jesus Christ, but to build a people into the habitation of God through the Holy Spirit by building on an apostolic foundation; Christ in you, the hope of Glory (Col. 1:27).
"Joseph" - Because of what Jesus did; we have the ability to be fruitful. His name means a vine going over the wall. In John 15: 5 Jesus says, "I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." Then in verse 16 He says, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
"Benjamin" - His name means "son of my right hand," who is able to attain full power and authority in God. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:12 -13).
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6:1-10:
"We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed; But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things."
When Adam was deceived, he tried to justify himself by using fig leaves as a covering. Fig leaves represent natural Israel which is symbolic of Old Testament religion. They are very small compared to using a banana leaf, but they illustrate the level of understanding mankind had concerning the things of God. For man to think he could hide from God using fig leaves shows us how far apart the relationship of the Father and son had become after the fall of man. Religion won't do the job to cover mankind. They put on a good front to point the way to God, but they don't cover their back where all the garbage comes out.
Hebrews 9: 24-28:
"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, NOW to appear in the presence of God for us (in us): Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world; but NOW once in the END OF THE WORLD hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; and as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (remember Dan has been removed from the list): So Christ WAS once offered to bear the sins of many (all); and unto them that look for him (Christ in you, the hope of glory) shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
Again, these sons represent stages of maturity in each of our lives. The number 144,000 is a spiritual number that represents the first fruits of every generation who are witnesses to the government of God.
Rev. 7, verse 9: "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;"
"After this" refers to after the first fruits, a great harvest came, or a multitude of people that could not be numbered. These are the ones that Abraham was told would be counted like the sand and the stars (Genesis 22: 17). Can we count the sand and the stars? NO! This is why we cannot judge anyone with our understanding of their relationship with God.
The word "all" is in this verse is connected to nations, cultures, people, family, and those that speak a different language. This verse doesn't leave anyone out. They are ALL before the throne and before the lamb covered with the righteousness of Christ which is symbolized by the white robes. They are all in the Holy of Holies; not the outer court where sacrifices were made on an altar. The first fruits will go into the Holy of Holies following Jesus Christ, then the rest of mankind "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4: 13-16).
"Palms in their hands." Palms symbolize victorious worship and praise. The hands symbolize the five-fold ministry: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher. It also symbolizes the working out of our salvation (Philippians 2:12).
Verse 10: "And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."
The words "to our" should read "Is of our God;" and the word "unto" isn't in the original language. The verse should read, "And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation is of our God which sits upon the throne and the Lamb." Both Jesus and the Father are one sitting on the throne. God is our salvation, He doesn't need salvation.
Verse 11: "And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God,"
As we stated before, angels represent messengers. Their message is: Man's kingdom is over, the Kingdom of God is here; now the mature sons of God or the corporate body of Christ are in the throne room with the Father. Falling before the throne on their faces and worshipping God shows us that the earthly identity no longer exists; only the identity of Christ prevails. The greatest form of worship is for us to be like Him. When others see us, they should see Christ. I Peter 4:11 says, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
Verse 12: "Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen."
The words "be unto our God" should read "be our God." He already possesses all things and doesn't need anything from us. The "forever and ever" means "into the age of ages." With God there is no end or beginning. Every generation is already finished with the fullness of what He created.
The "Amen" is written twice giving us a double witness of the beginning and end being all God. The word means "so be it."
Verse 13: "And one of the elders answered saying unto me, what are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?"
The word "what" should be "who." The verse is referring to mankind, but the word "what" is used because these people are still identifying with an old Adam nature, as sinners, not sons of God. Since the "old man" was removed by the blood of Jesus, the old Adam really doesn't exist, so the "elders" are asking "what are these?" Take note in the next verse that it is John who answers the elder. John is speaking to Christ within himself.
Verse 14: "And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
The word "Sir" is the word "Lord." John is having a conversation with God. The word "tribulation" comes from the Greek word "thlip'-sis" which means great pressure. This word is not referring to an end time experience of mankind that religion has prophesied will come after a rapture of the church. It is through the trials and tribulations of our life that we go from glory to glory as an overcomer. Jesus said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." The word "great" in this verse takes us to Matthew 24:21 where Jesus is telling his disciples, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be." Matthew 24 has been taught by pastors and teachers that Jesus is talking about an occurrence in the future, which after 2000 years, still has not happened. Yet, in verse 34 of this chapter He specifically says, "Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." The great tribulation happened at Calvary when the old Adam hung on the cross in the form of Jesus and died. Today, the only identity that exists is Christ in all mankind. Each of us will go through trials and tribulations in order for that identity to be manifested.
Making our robes white in blood is not possible if we see this verse as literal. The white is symbolic of the righteousness of Christ which is ours now, but we have to come to a point through trials that it is only because of the blood of Jesus. "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Gal. 2:20). Each of us will go through a revelation of understanding at God's appointed time where the Holy Spirit will make us aware that our redemption has already occurred. There is nothing for us to do to make us any more righteous because we already have the fullness of Him in us.
Verse 15: "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."
The word "therefore" is made of two Greek words, "dia touto" meaning "through this thing." When we come to the understanding of the words of Jesus when he spoke "it is finished" (John 19:30) and what that means personally we will put on our true identity as sons of God doing nothing of our own, but only that which the Father reveals to us so God alone is glorified (John 8:54).
The word for "temple" is used for both the Spiritual and the literal temple of God. Our body is His temple where He resides. The literal temple is the pattern of Moses' tabernacle having an outer court (Passover), the Holy Place (Pentecost), and the Holy of Holies (Tabernacles). The Greek word for temple is "naos." It includes two parts of the temple: the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place. The outer court where sacrifices where done in the Old Testament is not mentioned. Worship is taking place in the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The veil was removed when Jesus hung on the cross from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). This symbolizes salvation descending from the heavens to our earthly realm. The word "among" should be "in" to read as, "And He that sitteth (rested, finished the work) on the throne (mercy seat of God) shall dwell among (IN) them."
I Corinthians 6:19-20, and 7:23 says, "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's…Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men." Before Calvary, the tabernacle of God was carried by men. It was a physical building which required rituals for set up and take down every time the people moved. Now (post Calvary), the tabernacle of God is carried within every man and cannot be removed.
Verse 16: "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat."
Hunger and thirst are spiritual words in this verse. John is not writing that we literally won't need any food or water anymore. These are words to point us to other Scriptures such as Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." People that have a desire to declare all of mankind as new creatures; saved from the old self through the blood of Jesus Christ, are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness to be manifested. Many times the church has interpreted righteousness as justice. This confusion has created a doctrine of freewill that Jesus never endorsed. Our salvation is a free gift from God that has no conditions attached. Whether we accept it or not, iIt still is. His will is greater than our acceptance; however, when He does bring us into an understanding and acceptance, we are brought into a relationship between our Father which otherwise can't be experienced. This relationship is our inheritance because of what Jesus Christ did for all mankind. The fact that we are created in His image after His kind as sons of God is not altered depending on whether we acknowledge this relationship (Luke 3:38).
The sun and heat refer to natural elements with a spiritual implication. Again, they are symbolic words which point us to other Scriptures. In Mark 4: 3-9, Jesus is teaching about a person sowing seeds on different terrains of the earth. The seed represents the word of God. The earth represents different mindsets or levels of maturity in people. I verse 6 He says, "But when the sun (trials and tribulations) was up, it (the seed) was scorched; and because it had no root (foundation), it withered away." Many people profess their faith in God when things go the way they want, but fall away from trusting in Him when trials and tribulations occur. Those that are drawn with passion and hunger for righteousness will go through trials. As we go through these times in our life, we will be made stronger in our faith so that we are not moved with doubt and insecurity that God is in control.
James Chapter One gives us more understanding, and I suggest reading the entire chapter, but for our purposes I have highlighted some of the verses:
Verse 2: "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." We now have the ability to arrive at a position in our lives where we don't hunger and thirst for spiritual food because it is His peace that is in control in us. This does not mean we don't continue to have fellowship with God and the body of Christ, but we are at rest in His identity where His faith and peace reign instead of our emotions.
Verse 6: "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."
Verse 8: "A double minded man is unstable in all his way"
Verse 11-12: "For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withered the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."
Verse 20: "For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God"
Verse 26-27: "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." This is unconditional love being manifested.
Not conditional love based on freewill.
Finishing up Revelation Chapter 7:
Verse 17: "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
The real peace that surpasses all our natural understanding (Phil. 4:7) comes from within us where the throne of God resides. It is the faith of God within us (Romans 3:3) that is ignited by the trials and tribulations to take us through those times in our life when our natural understanding tries to take charge. It is God that will remove the control of our emotions so that only the "Lamb," or the mind of Christ, in us (I Corinthians 2:16) will be manifested to bring unity as one body (Eph. 4:3). Trials are not about us, but about Him doing a great work in His body that we would manifest His perfection.
"And the God of peace shall bruise (crushed) Satan (the accuser of mankind) under your feet shortly" (Romans 16:20). "Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;" (Romans 3:4).
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." (Rev. 7:17).