The Psalm 23 Adventure, Part 47
July 7, 2017
We covered Revelation 4:1-13 as we
wrapped up last week’s Coffee Break and we need to consider the significance of
what John saw and experienced.
the first thing John sees? 24 elders
seated about the Throne of God. I’ve
shared this before but it’s been awhile so let me revisit this picture.
Revelation 7, we have our first picture of a group of 144,000 — twelve thousand
from every tribe —who are worshiping the Lord, gathered around the Throne of
Revelation 7:9-12: After this I
beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations,
and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before
the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their
hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 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 worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and
glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and
power, and might, be unto our God for ever and
you put together the picture of the four beasts with this first group of
144,000, it is clear that this is a prophetic picture of the redeemed of Israel
ministering to the Lord, fulfilling their ultimate destiny as paid for by the
Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross with His death and ultimate resurrection. What may not be clear to many is the fact
that the four beasts were representative of, and had the faces of, the four
groups of the tribes of Israel who surrounded the Tabernacle of Moses in the
won’t take time to expand on that picture other than to say that the placement
of each group of three tribes surrounding the Tabernacle was a prophecy of that
which was to come. It was a visual for
Israel for the generations to come of their ultimate destiny to replace Lucifer
and to minister to the Lord, to surround Him, to provide protection to the
Throne (remember the Hebrew phraseology used in describing “the
anointed cherub that covereth?”).
that’s only part of the picture that John sees.
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four
thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice
of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of
harpers harping with their harps: And
they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts,
and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and
forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are
virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the
first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth
was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
is different about this group of 144,000 is that this group is not that same
144,000 redeemed from Israel. (We will
talk about the significance of the number 144,000 momentarily.) This is that people redeemed from among men,
from the nations of the earth. Remember
what Paul wrote to the Romans about Israel and the “Gentiles” (the non-Jewish
nations of the world)?
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery,
lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened
to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come
in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as
it is written, There shall come out of Sion the
Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my
covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are
enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved
for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts
and calling of God are without repentance.
you seeing the picture? You have the two
groups of 144,000 — the first from the 12 tribes of Israel — and the second
from among the children of men. There
are some real significant elements to these two groups.
going to seem like I’m running down a rabbit trail, so bear with me for a
of all, the number, 144,000, is a Hebrew metaphor. As you know, every Hebrew letter has a
numerical value to it. Every Hebrew word
has a numerical value. Those values
translate into the Greek as well. In
fact, the Hebrew and Greek languages are the only two languages with
mathematical values attached to each letter and each word.
is the number 12 taken to completion in both Hebrew and Greek numerology. I don’t want to get off track here, but this
is extremely significant. The number 12,
is the number of preparation. It is the
number of government. There are several
other significant values to it, but let’s deal with the number as it relates
of all, you should know that in atomic physics, the maximum number of atoms
that can be connected in cohesive relationship is 12. If you add a 13th atom, the 12 come apart.
Jesus chose His disciples, He chose 12 — not 13 or 14 or any other number. Why?
Because 12 is the number of individuals or families that can be joined
together in a cohesive relationship.
When you add more than that, things begin to come apart,
relationship-wise. It is a principle
woven into the fabric of everything that God created.
were 12 sons of Jacob/Israel who formed the 12 tribes. It is a picture of cohesion. Huge groups and gatherings lack that, and
they lack the intimacy that goes with it.
is the number of Ekklesia. I’ve already shared this in the past, but
consider the word, Ekklesia. It was the word created by the seventy
scholars who, under the direction and mandate of Ptolemy IV, translated the Old
Testament Hebrew into Greek. There was
no companion word in the Greek language that properly matched the Hebrew,
Ya.ad, or its derivative, Mowadah. Generally translated in the OT as, “the
tabernacle of the congregation,” this word literally translates to: ”the
calling together of the betrothed by the Bridegroom.”
represented the calling together for training, for preparation, for hearing the
direction of the Spirit of the Lord as a preparation to be His People and His
representation in the earth.
we have the Greek Ekklesia, a contraction of ek, and kaleo, meaning, “called
out.” It isn’t exact, but the
fundamental concept is there.
you take a look at Paul’s ministry, for example, you will see that he always
traveled with others, but the size of his entourage never exceeded 12. By the same token, when you look at the
individual Ekklesias that he refers to where he names
the people in them, that number never exceeds 12. It is a spiritual principle.
pardon my digression, but you see churches where they dote on numbers.
missed the point. The really successful
ministries — and I will point out two that I am familiar with — like Church on
the Way in Van Nuys (established by Jack Hayford) and
Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church — where these fellowships have been built around
small home ministries. Each home
ministry is an Ekklesia unto itself, but they gather
together with all of the other Ekklesias to form the
larger gathering on Sundays. It would be
rare for any of these individual home fellowships to have more than 12 families
— and as a practical matter, most of them have less.)
OK. So why have I taken you down this path? The obvious question
in the mind of many is likely to be, “What in the world does any of this have
to do with, ‘Thou anointest my head with oil’”? Bear with me, folks! We’re getting there — even if I have to take
you around a 40-acre field to show you the whole picture.
been led in the Paths of Righteousness — and here’s the key to that leading —
for His name’s sake! That is for the
sake of His onoma, His character and makeup being
formed in us so that we are restored back into His image and likeness.
what John wrote in his first general epistle to the body of Christ?
I John 3:2-3: Beloved,
now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but
we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see
him as he is. And every man that hath
this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is
change in us is a product of the Paths of Righteousness and our total obedience
and responsiveness to Him. Jesus’
anointing came after 30 years of responding to the preparation processes so
that he — as a normal man — would now become THE Son of God! Jesus’ transformation and anointing didn’t
just come for His sake, He went through all that He experienced for our sake!
remind you that we were created for Him in the first place. We were created for Father’s pleasure. We were created to bring a dimension of
praise and worship to the Throne that Lucifer was never able to bring.
not kid ourselves! What Lucifer brought
to the Throne as a part of his anointing and commissioning for praise and
worship was nothing short of spectacular.
But He had no other purpose. He
wasn’t part of the family of God, and was never made to be family in the first
place. He wasn’t made in the image and
likeness of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
He wasn’t created for God’s pleasure.
He was created for one reason, and one reason only. There was never any love between him and the
and worship take on a wholly different dimension when one adds the components
of family and intimate love. The love we
bring to the Lord brings Him a delight and pleasure that Lucifer was never able
to provide. It brings a spiritual
dimension and a sound that was missing to the Throne prior to our creation and
our replacing of Lucifer. Was he
anointed? Sure he was, but his anointing
pales by comparison to that for which we have been created.
get back to the number 12, and the spiritual panorama that goes with it, and why
this is so important for us to see with reference to the anointing.
a look at some of what John sees when he is taken in the Spirit into Heaven.
4:1-4: After this I
looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which
I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up
hither, and I will show thee things which must be
immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one
sat on the throne.
And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine
stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like
unto an emerald. And round about the
throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and
twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads
crowns of gold.
the first thing that John hears? He
hears a trumpet, a musical sound with an announcement that he was going to see
things to come. After seeing this
dazzling Throne, he then sees 24 elders seated around the Throne — not
in front of it, and not behind it, but around the
Throne! They surrounded it. Once again, I remind you that Lucifer’s
original position and function was to surround the throne.
skip down to verses 10 and 11: We sing
verse 11 periodically.
Revelation 4:10-11: The four and twenty
elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and
cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour
and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and
the 24 elders are worshipping the Lord.
They surround the Throne, and they are covering it with praise and
worship. That’s precisely what Lucifer
did before he lost both his anointing and commission – and his position in
more to cover here, and we’re not finished, so let’s pause for now and pick
this up again next week.
For those of you
who’ve been participating in our Monday night Healing Prayer Conference Call,
we just want to let you know that beginning with the month of July and
continuing until the first Monday night in October, we will be taking a break
for the summer. We’ve found during the
past three years of doing this call that participation during the summer months
drops significantly because of folks taking their vacations, and being involved
in other activities. That said, we will
resume our prayer calls on Monday night, October 2nd.
At the same time, in
case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by
conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings
available by Skype. If you wish to
participate by video on Skype, my Skype ID is regner.capener. If you miss the live voice call, you can dial
(712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in
later. The video call, of course, is not
recorded – not yet, anyway.
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
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