Posts Tagged ‘the ox’

Revelation Chapter 4 – Heavenly Throne

“After these things, I looked; and there before me was a door standing open in heaven; and the voice like a trumpet which I had heard speaking with me before said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things.” Instantly I was in the Spirit, and there before me in heaven stood a throne, and on the throne Someone was sitting. The One sitting there gleamed like diamonds and rubies, and a rainbow shining like emerald encircled the throne” (Revelation 4:1-3).

While the ‘door’ was shut on the foolish virgins, the door opened for the wise virgins and they went into the wedding chamber of the Bridegroom. For the community of Philadelphia, Yeshua put a ‘door’ in front of them that is open and will never shut. This ‘door’ is the pathway for entering the heavenly realm where the full unveiling of Yeshua begins.

“Let me say this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot share in the Kingdom of God, nor can something that decays share in what does not decay.  Look, I will tell you a secret — not all of us will die! But we will all be changed! It will take but a moment, the blink of an eye, at the final shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised to live forever, and we too will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

Yochanan hears a voice that sounds like a trumpet and he is “instantly in the Spirit.” This is an allusion to the ‘blink of an eye’ at the last shofar blast, when the transformation from flesh bodies to spirit bodies, takes place in a ‘moment,’ the first resurrection.

The Amplified Version uses the word ‘quickly;’ however, the Hebrew word for ‘moment’ is rega and means ‘just a moment, wait.’ The prophet Isaiah reveals more about the ‘blink of an eye.’

“Pay attention to me, my people! My nation, listen to me! For Torah will go out from me; I will calm them with my justice as a light for the peoples” (Isaiah 51:14).

The word ‘calm’ in this verse is the Hebrew argia and its root is raga or ‘rest’ or ‘break.’ It also means to ‘quiet’ as with the ‘wink of an eye’ as a parent would ‘wink’ at a child because they have a secret understanding between them. The ‘wink’ gives the child ‘rest’ in the moment. The judgment of Adonai will be through His Torah and Isra’el will be quieted with the ‘wink of His eye.’

An ‘Appointed Time’ for Everything

Many teach that the first resurrection of the dead can happen at any moment; however, there is an ‘appointed time’ for everything. The voice that sounds like the shofar reveals the ‘appointed time’ for this event ‘on the first day of the seventh month’ or Feast of Trumpets. The blast of the final shofar, the Tekiah Gadolah, will be the shofar voice that will raise the dead (1 Corinthians 15:53).

This “first day of the seventh month” is also known as Rosh Hashanah or the ‘head of the new year.’ Rosh Hashanah is used for counting the yearly reigns of the kings of Isra’el. If a king is crowned the day before Rosh Hashanah, the next day on Rosh Hashanah begins their second year of reign. If they are crowned one day after Rosh Hashanah, they have to reign the entire 12-months in order to reign one year.

Yeshua, the King of Kings, will begin his Millennial reign on Rosh Hashanah. With the sounds of shofars, he will be coronated not just the King of Isra’el, but King over the whole earth. He will sit on his throne in Jerusalem and his kingdom will be the ‘reality’ of what Yochanan sees in the heavenly realm.

The throne of Elohim, or the kise hakovod meaning the ‘seat of the glory,’ is encircled by an emerald rainbow. The emerald color suggests an all-encompassing shalom around the throne. The emerald was the third gem in the high priest’s breastplate representing the Tribe of Levi. Aharon descended from the Tribe of Levi and became the lineage for the high priest. The Levites became the priesthood that served in the Tabernacle in the wilderness; they will serve once again in the Millennial Temple.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Levi – Levi – לוי

ל Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff means ‘urge forward.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for levi: urge forward binding the finished work.

The Glory of Adonai

“I am Adonai; that is my name. I yield my glory to no one else, nor my praise to any idol” (Isaiah 42:8).

In Hebrew, hakavod means ‘the glory.’ The glory of Elohim appeared in a cloud and filled the Tabernacle in the wilderness. It completely consumed the place that Moshe could not enter until it lifted. At the bottom of Mt. Sinai, the glory of Elohim hovered as a cloud over the mountain and looked like a raging fire. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh tells Moshe that no man can look on His glory and live. Moshe begs Elohim to see His glory. As the glory of yod-hey-vav-hey passes by, Moshe stands in the crevice of the Rock and his eyes are covered by the Hand of Elohim (Exodus 33:22).

The Hebrew word Shekinah is related to the kavod of Elohim and means the place where the divine presence ‘dwells’ or ‘rests.’ The Shekinah is a visible manifestation of Elohim that is naturally understood or seen. Yeshua is the Skehinah –– the Divine Presence of Elohim (1 Corinthians 1:15)

In the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Testimony was a shadow of the throne of Elohim in the heavenly realm. The area between the two cherubim on the Ark was called the ‘mercy seat.’ On the ‘mercy seat,’ the blood for atonement was placed. Within the Ark were the objects of Elohim’s provision: manna, the stone tablets, and Aharon’s rod that budded. The cloud of Elohim’s glory remained over the Ark while the Israelites camped in the wilderness.

The One sitting on the throne gleamed like rubies and diamonds, some translations say jasper and carnelion. Natural rubies, known for their blood-red color, and jasper are very rare and have great value, even more than a diamond. King Solomon compares finding an Eshet Chayil, an excellent wife, to be worth far more than rubies. The ruby was the first stone on the second row of the high priest’s breastplate. On this stone was engraved the tribal name Y’hudah (Judah) which means ‘praise.’ Yeshua descended from the Tribe of Y’hudah and his ‘red blood’ cleansed the world from sin; he will return after destroying the enemies Elohim’s people wearing a garment soaked in their blood.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Judah – Y’hudahיהודה

Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.

The Hebrew Word Picture for y’hudah: the finished work reveals the binding, the pathway.

Diamonds come from carbon that is pressed and squeezed at a high temperature. The crystals have the ability to disperse light of different colors giving it an appearance of white or clarity. In Revelation 21:12, the New Jerusalem has the brilliance like that of a diamond. On the breastplate of the high priest, the third stone in the third row is believed to be a diamond. On this stone was engraved the name Gad for the Tribe of Gad which means ‘soldier’ or ‘troops.’ Yeshua will not return as the lowly ‘Lamb of Elohim,‘ but as a raised up warrior, the Commander in Chief of Adonai’s armies.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Gad – Gad – גד

Gimel – A Camel means to ‘lift up’ or ‘pride.’

Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

The Hebrew word picture for gad: to lift up the pathway.

“Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and on the thrones sat twenty-four elders dressed in white clothing and wearing gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came forth lightnings, voices and thunderings; and before the throne were seven flaming torches, which are the sevenfold Spirit of God. In front of the throne was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. (Revelation 4:4-6).

Surrounding the throne of Elohim were 24 thrones. Because 24 is a multiple of 12, it symbolizes a perfectly established government. King David created 24 divisions of Levites from the clans of Eleazer and Itamar and determined the week each clan would serve in David’s Tabernacle for worship. Each division had leader making 24 priestly leaders in the priesthood (1 Chronicles 24:7-18).

On the 24 thrones were 24 elders. In Hebrew the same word zaqen means ‘elder’ and ‘beard.’ The Jews considered a full, flowing beard a sign of honor and dignity. Though a young man may have a beard because of the Levitical command not to trim its corners, he would not be considered an ‘elder’ or ‘of greater age’ because he lacked the life experience and wisdom that comes from having a gray or even white beard (Leviticus 19:32). The 24 elders around the throne of Elohim are the elders from the Davidic priesthood who had great wisdom.

The 24 elders wear white clothing and have gold crowns. Because the Levites wore white to serve in the Tabernacle, I believe that these 24 elders are the leaders of the Levitical priesthood serving in the heavenly Tabernacle. Some suggest the 24 elders are the 12 sons of Ya’akov who became the Tribal leaders of Israel along with the 12 disciples. Though these may be plausible interpretations, the only two from either group who had any connection to the priesthood are Levi and perhaps Matthew.

Twenty-four Levite men from the Aaronic line were responsible for moving the furniture from the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place. Four carried the Ark of the Testimony, two carried the Table of Presence, 2 carried the Altar of Incense, eight carried the Altar of Sacrifice, four carried the Bronze Laver, two carried the Menorah, and two more carried all of the associated utensils.

Because of Pinchas (Phineas) faithfulness, Elohim made a covenant with Aharon and his descendants forever (Numbers 25:10-13). The Hebrew word olam means ‘forever, eternal, and permanently.’ The prophet Malachi states that Elohim will purify the Levites like gold and silver so they can serve Him righteously (Malachi 3:3). These 24 elders may be the result of the refined Levitical priesthood through Pinchas.

The 24 elders wear golden crowns, another part of the priestly garments. These crowns symbolize the victory, honor, and power given to these elders to rule and reign with the King of Kings in the heavenly realm.

According to the prophet Zechariah, a ‘crown’ or atarah will become a reminder in the Temple of the man who builds the Temple. He calls him a ‘Branch’ or netzer in Hebrew. From the word netzer comes the word ‘Nazareth.’ This ‘man of Nazareth’ will be a priest on the throne, bringing the counsel of shalom between the two offices of priest and king creating a royal priesthood (Zechariah 6:12-16, Exodus 19:6, 1 Peter 2:9).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Crown – atarah – עטרה

Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ and ‘understand.’

Tet – A Snake means ‘twisting.’

Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

Hey – A Windo means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for atarah: understand the twisting, highest authority revealed.

Before the throne of Elohim were seven flaming torches. They are described as being the seven-fold Spirit of Elohim. Ezekiel saw something that looked like fiery coals burning like torches around the throne of Elohim that flashed with brilliance. (Ezekiel 1:13). Isaiah says that one of the creatures he saw brought him a glowing coal taken with the tongs from the altar (Isaiah 6:13). Together the two prophets describe the Altar of Incense in the Most Holy Place.

The Altar of Incense is the place where Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aharon, offered ‘strange fire’ and immediately died (Leviticus 10:1). This Altar is where Zechariah received word that he would have a son (Luke 1:11). From this Altar, the seraphim brought a coal and touched it to Isaiah’s lips.

Seeing the throne of Elohim and the Altar of Incense prove that Yochanan stands in the heavenly Tabernacle in the presence of the glorified Yeshua.

Before the throne in heaven was a “sea of glass” that looks like crystal. The Greek word for ‘glass’ in this verse is hualos and means ‘a clear transparent stone.’ This word is used twice to describe the brilliance of the New Jerusalem and the river of life flowing from the throne of Elohim.

The word ‘sea’ is used two other times in Revelation explaining the meaning of the ‘sea.’ The Beast comes up out of the ‘sea’ or comes from one of the nations, peoples, and languages. At this time in the vision, the ‘sea’ of nations is calm and transparent. As the events in Revelation occur, the ‘sea of glass’ becomes mixed with ‘fire’ suggesting the nations, peoples, and languages are tested with fire.

“In the center, around the throne, were four living beings covered with eyes in front and behind. The first living being was like a lion, the second living being was like an ox, the third living being had a face that looked human, and the fourth living being was like a flying eagle.  Each of the four living beings had six wings and was covered with eyes inside and out; and day and night they never stop saying, “Holy, holy, holy is Adonai, God of heaven’s armies the One who was, who is and who is coming!” (Revelation 4:6-8).

Yochanan isn’t the first to witness the the worship around the throne of Elohim. The prophet Isaiah saw Elohim sitting on a high and lofty throne and the hem of his garment filled the Temple. Seraphim with six wings cried out about the holiness of Adonai-Tzva’ot –– the God of the heaven’s armies. Isaiah hears the voice of Elohim ask him, “Who will go for us?” He responds, “Send me” (Isaiah 1:1-8).

The prophet Ezekiel witnessed a windy storm approaching like a huge cloud with flashing fire, glowing with the color of amber. Inside the cloud were four living creatures that looked like human beings, but each had four faces: a human face in front, a lion’s face on the right, a bull’s face on the left, and an eagle’s face in the rear. Each had four wings, calf-like hooves that glittered like burnished bronze. They moved in whichever direction their living spirit moved using a wheel within a wheel that had eyes all around. Each being had four wings, and the sound of their wings was like ‘rushing water,’ the noise of an enormous army. When Ezekiel saw the glory of Elohim as a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, he fell on his face (Ezekiel 1:4-13).

The sound of ‘rushing water’ is the same ‘voice’ that Yochanan heard when Yeshua came to him at the beginning of the vision. Both Isaiah and Ezekiel were in the presence of Yeshua before he left the heavenly realm to become human. Each prophet had an encounter with the pre-incarnate Word.

The heavenly beings or k’ruvim have eyes. In Hebrew, the word for ‘eyes’ is ayin and its letter picture is to ‘see and understand.’ Through these beings, Elohim sees everything; He watches over the righteous and discerns between good and evil (Psalm 11:4, Psalm 34:15, Proverbs 15:3).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Eyes – ayin’im – עיניים

א Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ and ‘understand.’

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ם Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ and ‘mighty.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for ayin’im: to see and understand the finished work of life, the finished work of the mighty.

“But Adonai’s eyes watch over those who fear him, over those who wait for his grace to rescue them from death and keep them alive in famine” (Psalm 33:18-19).

The word ayin also has a relative word, mayin, meaning ‘fountain.’ From the eyes of Adonai come the fountain of life. When a person is alive, there is a ‘light of life’ in the eye; when they pass away, that light goes out (Psalm 13:3). Eyes are also related to one’s character. Having ‘lowly eyes’ means ‘humility’ (Matthew 6:22-24, Job 22:39).

Both prophets witnessed creatures that covered their eyes with their wings – an significant sign of humility. These k’ruvim sing, “Holy, holy, holy is Adonai, God of heaven’s armies the One who was, who is and who is coming!” These heavenly creatures proclaim the holiness of Elohim. This vision is not about redemption, but the coming judgment. Even with His wrath being poured out on the whole world, Adonai’s holiness remains.

In Greek, the word ‘holy’ is agiazo and means ‘sanctified.’ The word ‘sacred’ comes from agiazo. Believers who are sanctified are called saints. Sanctification is a lifelong process of spiritual growth through obedience to the commandments of Elohim. Yeshua asks his Father to sanctify his people through the Truth (John 17:17).

In Hebrew, the word ‘holy’ is kadosh and means ‘separated,’ specifically ‘separated from whatever is ‘common.’ Adonai is not like any other god; there are no other gods before Him (Psalm 97:9). He is the One who is sits on a lofty throne. He is the One who created heaven and earth in six days, resting on the seventh and calling the day kadosh. He is the One who determines what is righteous or wicked. He is the One who decides what is ‘clean’ or ‘unclean.’ He is the only One who deserves our praise and worship. HalleluYah.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Holy – kadosh – קדוש

ק Qof – Back of the Head means ‘what is behind.’

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.

The Hebrew Word Picture for kadosh: what is behind the pathway binding chaos.

The Four Faces of the Creatures

These four creatures represent the work and prophetic vision Yeshua’s revealing. Most interpretations of their four faces include his royal lineage, his humanity, his redemption, and his divine nature.  However, these four faces were also the standards for the lead Tribes of Isra’el when the Israelites trekked through the wilderness.

The Lion

The first face is that of a lion. According to Ya’akov’s blessing to Y’hudah, the lion will hold a scepter and a ruler’s staff prophetic to his royal lineage (Genesis 49:9-10).  The lion became the symbol for the Tribe of Y’hudah when the Israelites traveled through the wilderness.  The Lion of Y’hudah, Yeshua, is the Commander of the Armies of Elohim and will return to Jerusalem wearing a robe soaked in the blood of his enemies (Revelation 19:13).  The Lion of Y’hudah  is given the ‘right’ to open the seven seals of the scroll (Revelation 5:5).

In the wilderness, the Tribe of Y’hudah  had two other tribes under his banner: Issachar and Zebulun. These three tribes would be the first line of defense against any enemies they encountered (Number 10:13-15).

The Human Face

The second face is that of a human and became the symbol for the Tribe of Reuben. Reuben was the firstfruit of Ya’akov’s flesh, his firstborn son through Leah. Re’uven means ‘son of my sight,’ for Elohim saw Leah’s misery and gave her a son. As the firstborn, Reuben became the head of the family who would receive the firstborn blessing. Unfortunately, he committed adultery with his father’s concubine and lost the firstborn blessing (Genesis 49:3-4). The firstborn blessing went from Reuben to Yosef.

In the wilderness, the Tribe of Reuben had two other tribes under their banner: Simeon and Gad. These tribes guarded the front of the Tabernacle the Israelites traveled in the wilderness (Numbers 10:18-20).

Yeshua was the firstborn son of Elohim, the visible image of the invisible Adonai. He had flesh and blood which was beaten, bruised, and bled when he was on the cross. He is the head of the family of Elohim; he was the firstfruits of those raised from the dead (Colossians 1:18). Reuben’s banner held the human face of Isra’el’s Deliverer.

The Ox

The third face was that of an ox and became the symbol of the Tribe of Ephraim.  The ‘ox’ is the Hebrew Word Picture for alef, the first letter of the alphabet meaning ‘first strength.’ When Ya’akov was reunited with his son Yosef in Egypt, he blessed his two grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim saying that Ephraim would become a great nation (Genesis 38:17-19). Ya’akov saw angels ascending and descending the stairway in Beit-el in the tribal land of Ephraim. Ephraim was called the firstborn of Elohim (Jeremiah 31:8).   Unfortunately, Ephraim fell away from a pure worship of Adonai into paganism and is not listed in the end times’ 12 Tribes of Isra’el (Judges 17).  

The Tribe of Ephraim had two other tribes under their banner: Manasseh and Benjamim. These tribes immediately followed the Tabernacle as it traveled through the wilderness (Numbers 10:22-24).

Yeshua is the ‘first strength’ of Elohim, the alef of the ‘alef and the tav.’  He will restore Ephraim and bring him back into Isra’el  by “streams of water and smooth paths” (Jeremiah 31:8).

The Eagle

The fourth face was that of an eagle. Though the banner of Dan should be a ‘snake’ representing the ‘horned snake’ or a ‘set of scales’ from Ya’akovs blessing, it seems from the tribal standards that the eagle represents Dan’s judgment (Genesis 49:16-18). The Hebrew word for ‘judge’ is shaphat and means “to pronounce sentence by either vindicating or punishing the accused.”

“From Dan can be heard the snorting of his horses; when his stallions neigh, the whole land trembles. For they come devouring the land and all in it, the city and those who dwell there. “Yes, now I am sending snakes among you, vipers that no one can charm, and they will bite you,” says Adonai” (Jeremiah 18:16-18).

As a lone eagle flying in the mid-heavens, Dan will ‘judge’ the nations: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the people living on earth, because of the remaining blasts from the three angels who have yet to sound their shofars!” He may also be given the honor of ‘flying’ the nation of Isra’el to a place in the desert where they will be protected from the final three shofar judgments (Revelation 8:13, 12:14).

The Hebrew word for ‘devour’ is akal and means to ‘slay with a sword.’  In the words of Jeremiah, Elohim sends “snakes that will ‘bite’ and devour” the whole land.  After the land is devoured, it will be left desolate (Isaiah 1:7-8).

The Tribe of Dan had two tribes under their banner: Asher and Naftali.  These tribes made up the rear-guard tribes as the Israelites traveled through the wilderness (Numbers 10:25-27).

“And whenever the living beings give glory, honor and thanks to the One sitting on the throne, to the One who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before the One sitting on the throne, who lives forever and ever, and worship him. They throw their crowns in front of the throne and say, “You are worthy, Adonai Eloheinu, to have glory, honor and power, because you created all things — yes, because of your will they were created and came into being!” (Revelation 4:9-11).

The living beings, the four faces of the Tribes of Isra’el give glory, honor, and thankgiving to the One on the throne. The 24 elders of the Levitical priesthood fall down before the throne and worship. They place their golden crowns in front of the throne and praice the Creator who brought all things into existence.

In Exodus 3:15, the One on the throne gives His memorial name to Moshe. He calls himself Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the ‘I Am’. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is a state of being in the present, the essence of who Elohim is and an expression of His existence.  He cannot give Moshe a finite name because Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is infinite. ‘I am’ told Moshe that He can be whatever Moshe needs Him to be, whenever he needs Him to be, and wherever he needs Him.  

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh can appear as the King of Salem, a visitor with Avraham, an angel who wrestles Ya’akov, the commander of Elohim’s army, a smoking pot, a fire in a bush, a dove, a whirlwind, a Rock, a pillar of fire, a cloud or even parts of Himself – His right hand, His finger which writes, and His mighty arm which saves.  He can even become flesh in the body and person of Yeshua.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Ehyeh Asher Ehyehyod-hey-vav-hey – יהוה

י Yod – Closed Hand and means ‘finished work.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for yo-hey-vav-hey: the finished work reveals the binding, behold.

Revelation 5 – The Scroll

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