The Four Cherubim & God’s Tapestry (an introduction)
“The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.” (Rev 4:7)
“Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
try my reins and my heart”
A true heart does not seek to cover sin; it seeks the Lord to expose every wrong and crooked way. Exposure is the path to purity and the hope of salvation and freedom. The Light of Christ penetrates the heart and His eyes burn through the very soul of man. The burning consumes pride, self-seeking and the desire for pre-eminence. It removes the religious fig leaves of those who cloak themselves in garments of piety and false humility.
May our God, as a consuming fire, burn within our hearts until there be no shadows or pretense. Let there be no hidden chambers for sin to hide. He alone can heal the broken and restore righteousness and holiness. He beckons us to the fellowship of the fire; the fellowship of His Light.
The prison of pretense is deep, dark and rooted in sin and hypocrisy. The foundation of this prison is built one lie at a time. Mercy was never meant by God to excuse sin; its purpose is to cause men to come to the Light, to free them from the misery of sin. Mercy’s true triumph is in men and women finding the courage to face the light and allowing it to shine into the hidden areas of their hearts, set free by the “spirit of burning”.
“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged:
and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil”
Purity of hearts brings us freedom and the liberty to express Him through the vessel of our redeemed self. As the gem, polished and cut, shines with the luster of its own being, so Christ has called each of us to be a distinct expression of His handiwork. Come to Him, present yourself to the light and fire of all that He is that you may know true liberty.
“…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”
2 Corinthians 3:17
An individual’s liberty will be in proportion to their surrender to the indwelling Spirit of Christ.
lest any man fail of the grace of God”
In all of God’s benevolence to mankind there ought to be nothing more striking and more humbling to us than His ministration of Grace. The sheer weight of its power and wonder is incomprehensible in light of our undeserving condition. Throughout the scriptures we see this God pouring out his benefits to countless people, tribes and nations. The intended purpose of the grace given is not always fulfilled within those to whom it is given.
In his epistle to the Corinthians, Paul clearly declares this powerful truth: the grace of God requires the response of His People. We must see this high and holy truth. We are made “partakers” of the grace of God; not just recipients. Grace is always given with the intent that we grow, develop and become more like Him. Grace is a resource of God Himself; the life blood of His being. It is the pouring out of Himself upon the lost, the wayward and the aspiring child of God. In its flow men and women are transformed from their selfish, barren, fruitless and impotent living. Grace is the very power of heaven invading and empowering His Own to arise and walk in the strength of our God.
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ…”
1 Corinthians 10:1-4
We read here of the incredible grace of God given to His people. We see the rich provisions of food and water and their spiritual representations! God provided ALL that was necessary for their journey in the Wilderness and to enter into the Land of Promise. What was God’s estimation of their walk?
“But with many of them God was not well pleased:
for they were overthrown in the wilderness”
1 Corinthians 10:5
This is God’s testimony of a people who had been given grace upon grace! Why does Paul (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) write this to the Church at Corinth?
6. “Now these things were OUR examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”
1 Corinthians 10:6-10
Paul’s final exhortation concerning this powerful truth:
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:
and they are written for OUR admonition,
upon whom the ends of the world are come”
1 Corinthians 10:11
To whom is this vital truth given? To us, those “upon whom the ends of the world are come”!
It is vital that we take heed to the Word of God in our day. It is not a day for us to glory in the grace given, but to give Him glory, by allowing the grace given to work in us that which pleases Him in our daily life!
How foolish is the notion that men cannot fail the grace of God; that men cannot fall far short of God’s intention for our lives. How detrimental for His people to consider that God is pleased with such.
lest any man fail of the grace of God”
There is a diligence born out of the knowledge of the truth. Grace is given with purpose and design and the more we have received of it the more we are held accountable unto Him who is the giver of all good things.
“We then, as workers together with him,
beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain”
2 Corinthians 6:1
“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee…”
“So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”. (Gen 3:24)
“He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…”
Those who would know the Love of God, must know grief and sorrow. Love makes a life vulnerable and keeps it vulnerable. Love, even in its wounding, grows stronger. Adversity, betrayal, rejection and even hatred cannot dissuade the pure Love of God from giving of itself. It is undefeatable. The more men hate, the purer Love’s motives become. It shines in the darkness because God is the source of its power and its glory. It speaks the language of tears and washes itself from the mire of bitterness in the incomprehensible streams of His grace. It can never be sullied for long.
“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned”
Song of songs 8:11
Love is helpless, yet needs no defence.
Love suffers rejection, yet ever reaches out.
Love walks in sorrow, yet lives in joy.
Love speaks truth, though seldom recognized.
Love is a fire ever burning, yet is always at rest.
Love is unconquerable, yet conquers all.
“He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love”
1 John 4:8
“The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until HE comes to whom it belongs (Shiloh*). To him will the obedience of the peoples be”
The Scepter of God has passed from Judah. He to whom it belongs has come; Jesus the Christ who now rules and reigns! It is HIS government and rule to which all the kingdoms of this world will bow.
“For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His Name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”
The long-awaited Day is upon us with the sifting of the nations and the hearts of all who dwell upon the earth (Revelation 3:10). Everyone will be subjected to these siftings for the Day of the Lord is to try all people of every kindred, nation and tongue. Jew, Gentile, Barbarian: all will be tried in the balances of God. It is by Him that all things will be determined.
This SHILOH unto whom all things belong is the Son of Man, the Son of David and a Priest after the order of Melchizedek. There is therefore now no longer Jew or Gentile**(see note below) to whom the promises belong, for the “promises of God are yeah and amen in HIM”.(2 Corinthians 1:20) These promises are only unto those who are in Him! There is salvation in none other. He is the keeper and the summation of all the covenants. He is the fulfilment of all the promises of God and through the offering of Himself all other offerings are obsolete. The Book of Hebrews boldly declares that in the loins of Abraham the Levitical and Aaronic priesthood paid homage to the greater priesthood which was to come (Hebrews 7:9-12).
“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, “king of righteousness”, and then also “king of Salem”, which means “king of peace”; without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God), remains a priest continually…”
The writer of Hebrews continues with this prophetic statement…
“Now consider how great this man was, to whom even Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth out of the best plunder They indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brothers, though these have come out of the body of Abraham, but he whose genealogy is not counted from them has accepted tithes from Abraham, and has blessed him who has the promises. But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater”!
The act of Abraham bringing tithes to this Melchizedek, and the act of Melchizedek blessing him, clearly demonstrates this transcendent Priesthood of God (not that Melchizedek was Christ, but he was a type of Him who was to come)!
David moving in the Spirit of prophecy spoke of this ONE who would come after the order of Melchizedek; (Jesus perplexed the Pharisees in asking them the meaning of this same Psalm). (Matthew 22:42-46)
“The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek”
(Read the whole Psalm for it speaks to our Day of His return and the ministrations of Judgment upon this world).
It is this One of whom it is declared:
“To Him will the obedience of the peoples* be”
The true people of God bring their obedience to Him; not with lip service or with feigned faith and empty prayers, but with willing and pure hearts. Unto Him shall the worship, the gathering and the obedience be. Anything less will be cast into the fires of God. A gospel which declares faith without obedience is not the Gospel of God. The true Gospel is to declare to the nations the Good News by which fallen man can rise from the ashes of rebellion and disobedience unto “the obedience OF Faith”!
“but has NOW been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience OF faith”
What do the prophetic writings declare? What has NOW been disclosed?
“To him will the obedience of the peoples be”
Let the Truth and the Glory of Shiloh
penetrate our hearts afresh!
*Note: Shiloh שִׁילֹה šiylōh: A masculine proper name meaning Shiloh. It is a noun meaning whose it is or he whose it is (Gen 49:10). The NIV renders it to whom it belongs; the NASB uses Shiloh with a note. The KJV translates it as Shiloh.
**Note: Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11, Romans 2:28-29, 3:21-31, 9:6-8, Ephesians 2:11-22, 1 Corinthians 12:13, 1John 2:2, Galatians 2:11-20, 3:14-16, 4:22-31; Hebrews 13:20; John 1:29; 5:37-40 to list but a few.
*Note: "Peoples" (Plural) To all Nations!
“My son, don’t take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives”
Every child of God will know and experience His dealings; it is the surest sign of Him setting His Love upon us. King David knew much of God’s blessings and judgments. He was inspired to declare in Psalm 23:4 “Thy Rod and Thy Staff, they comfort me”. The true in heart find as much comfort in God’s Rod of correction as they do in the Staff of His provision and protection. All God’s children know of His correction, but many do not benefit from it. It is here where disciples are distinguished from adherents. Correction has no benefit to those who ignore God’s dealings. Those who seek to know the wonder of Him appointing them to His service, will consider these things as vital to their development.
“All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby”
The peaceful fruit of righteousness is the result of being exercised by His corrections! Why would we ignore or take lightly His dealings with us? His corrections are given to make us partakers of His Life.
“Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?”
We want life, His Life, in us. His Life grows in those who are in subjection to His corrections. A stubborn and rebellious child will not bear the likeness, the wonder and the power of God in any depth. It does not negate the power of a gift of the Spirit*, but it will leave the one in whom the gift operates with a sense of emptiness and may bring them to eventual ruin.
The Path into the life of ministry and service is filled with the dealings of a loving and wise Father. In His corrections we also discover a growing into and a knowing of His Holiness.
“For they indeed (our fathers in the flesh), for a few days, punished us as seemed good to them; but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness”
Holiness is more than a gift; it is the very essence of God Himself. The only path to growing in His holiness is in our partaking of Him. God cannot give us holiness; we become holy through the medium of living and abiding in Him. He is the Holy One and it can only be real in us via relationship.
What is the fruit and benefit of His Holiness in us?
“Eagerly pursue peace and holiness with all,
without which no one will see the Lord”
The depth of an individual’s ministration will be in corresponding measure to their seeing of God.
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
that ye also may have fellowship with us”
1 John 1:3
A wise son desires
the correction of the Father.
*Note: There is a great difference between the power expressed in a gift versus the authority and power revealed in those who live, abide and walk in submission to the King of kings. This will be covered later in this writing.
“I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12
The Cross is the Path to the Empowerment of Christ
The days of apostasy in God’s house are always preceded by a people walking and ministering His truth through the power of self. Whenever man is exalted the fire of God recedes and the resulting horror is a people left to themselves. God’s enablement falls upon those upon those who remain faithful to Him. His Life, His Power and His sharp two-edged sword proceeds from those who have known (in some measure) the devastating work of the Cross to the natural abilities and resources of their own selves. The cross is reserved for those who follow Him within the context of everyday life.
“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”
1 Corinthians 1:18
Where there is no obedience there can be no Cross.
Where there is no working of the cross
there will be no true power of the Christ of the Cross
The Cross of Christ is NOT the testings and the trials of everyday life for the world knows of these same things. The Cross of Christ is that which comes to those who DO His Will. It is in the doing of His Will where His Own know and identify with Him and the resulting opposition and hatred which comes their way. It is in speaking, standing and walking out of His Will where the graces of Him are formed and the natural tendencies of self are crucified. How foolish is the notion that we can experience the workings of the Cross of Christ apart from obedience unto Christ? Paul was enabled because his life was one of faithful obedience and submission unto the will of God.
The “enablement” of the favour and ministration of Christ Himself is the only source of power in His Church. The energies of self will always leave an individual powerless, fruitless and impotent in the ministrations of Christ. Fruit is the revelation of the power of our relationship with Him…
“Every branch in me that doesn’t bear fruit, He takes away.
Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes, that it may bear more fruit”
Fruit is the undeniable result of a branch which abides and lives out of the resources of the living vine;
“Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me”