In as much as the entire Bible is ultimately a spiritual book that shows how God deals individually with each of us in the creating of “man” in His own image and likeness, we could continue almost endlessly with the topic of eyes that see (into the spiritual realm) and ears that hear (what the spirit has to say). But now that we have established that spiritual eyes are able to see introspectively, even deep into the inner sanctuary of one’s own heart, let’s conclude our discussion with two visions of that holy place, one with a Before Christ (BC) view and one with an After Christ (AD) view.
We will begin in the eighth chapter of the book of Ezekiel where we are given an incredible vision, a preview “behind closed doors” of the spiritual condition within our hearts at the time just prior to the full revelation of that one spoken of in 2 Thes. 2, that man of sin, the image of jealousy, the son of perdition who sits in the temple of God (which temple you are) claiming to be god. Yes, we are talking about that same Wicked one who Christ shall destroy with the Brightness of His coming and the Spirit of His truth.
You see, the exposure (bringing to light) of that Wicked one, which is when you “see” the abomination of desolation, is all part of revelation, which is the uncovering, the unveiling, the renting of the veil “from the top down” that takes place following the crucifixion at Golgotha. That is when the true Light of understanding begins to shine, and as it does, it brings to light and exposes the wickedness that lies hidden in the darkness. Therefore as Paul writes in 2 Thes. 2, there must first be a revealing and uncovering to your newly acquired spiritual eyes of the man of sin, that abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet (let he who reads understand) standing in the holy place… where he ought not… which holy place is in the temple of God, which temple you are.
Of course “revelation”, the Light of Truth, is not seen nor can it be seen with earth-realm, image-generating eyes which are actually blinded by the true light… witness Paul when the Light from above struck. Therefore as you read these verses in Ezekiel and the illustrations your brain creates are projected on the movie screens of your mind, just know that what you are envisioning is not what is being revealed, for just like the Book of Revelation itself, what is written in this eighth chapter of Ezekiel is signified, it is metaphorical, meaning it describes things unseen by the carnal mind, things that happen within the spiritual realm, the heart realm, where only eyes that see inwardly into the kingdom can envision.
Eze 8:1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me.
The hand of the Lord GOD that is “falling upon” Ezekiel would be His right hand, the hand of revelation and enlightenment, the hand Jesus Christ sits at, as opposed to His left hand which is His hand of correction and chastisement. God uses both hands in bringing many sons to glory. We also see that the setting for this vision is “Ezekiel’s house wherein he sits”, and all that he/we will “see” in the vision will take place on the inside.
Now notice there is a time frame relative to what the Lord is about to reveal, as in “hand to”, Ezekiel. It is contained in the number 665 which comes just before 666, that renowned number found in Revelation chapter 13 where the beasts that rise up out of the sea and the earth, i.e. from the body of emotions and the carnal mind, are exposed and unveiled to us. Let’s read the last verse in Revelation 13, which is verse 18.
Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
We see wisdom tells one who has understanding to count, to enumerate, or reckon the number of the beast, and that it is the number of a man. Oh boy! Earth-realm eyes will think they get this, that they have this wisdom and understanding, and they will be looking all over the place with earth-realm eyes for an actual earth-visible man to fit their imagery, their vivid imaginations. Throughout the ages you can read of the many nominations for this position, everything from world rulers to Popes to Hitler to current political or religious figures.
Admittedly, the carnal mind of yours truly had this whole wisdom thing figured out years ago (lol) to be Satan himself in the role of the antichrist, the instead-of-Jesus, who would descend to Jerusalem at the sound of the 6th trump when we imagined he is cast out of heaven and he would come and stand in the temple I Jerusalem and deceive the whole world into believing he is the Messiah. Hey, is that vivid imagery (imagination) or what?
But I can now tell you from personal experience that when the Light of Truth from above, the Brightness of God’s Glory appears and you first hear the sound of His voice (with ears that can now hear what the Spirit has to say), you will do a complete turn about. In fact your eyes will do what is called a 180 and you will now begin to see within, into the realm of the spirit (aka the kingdom of God, which is within you – Luke 17:21) instead of always looking without (Rev. 1:10-12).
At that point you will begin to have wisdom, even the wisdom to know that the “man” spoken of in Rev. 13:18 is a “spiritual” man. And now, having been purified, and made white, and tried (in the fire), you shall have the understanding of Daniel 12:10 that reveals to you that this spiritual man in Revelation 13:18 is none other than that man of sin, the abomination of desolation, even the son of perdition who sits in the holy place claiming to be God. How will you know and understand this is truly the case? Because you will have “seen” him with eyes that are now capable of seeing inwardly into the darkness of the inner chamber of your very soul, where oh horror of horrors, you will see that man of Rev. 13:18 sitting on the throne of your heart surrounded by some very ugly idolatrous creatures (figurative speaking), beasts indeed, courtesy of the imaginative creations that have risen up out of the flesh and carnal mind of man, metaphorically known as the earth and sea.
Let’s continue with Ezekiel’s vision, his revelation from the hand of the Lord GOD. Vs 2:
Eze 8:2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the color of amber.
This should remind you of the description given in Revelation 1:13-14 that is likewise a “likeness”, a signification of the spiritual elements “likened” to the Fire and Light that bring forth Purification and Revelation respectively, and NOT the description of a man. Again, our minds see imagery but that imagery signifies things unseen, meaning spiritual things. And so it is in this next verse we see that it is the Spirit that “lifts one up” to the higher realm of seeing and understanding.
Eze 8:3 And he put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.
Ezekiel has been lifted up by the spirit between the earth and heaven! You could say he’s been “air-lifted” but he hasn’t physically gone anywhere. So then spiritually speaking, seeing that there has been no change in geography, where so you suppose this place “between the earth and heaven” is?
Well, first you must understand that revelation is just not a higher level of understanding concerning doctrinal matters or interpretation of scriptures, but rather a spiritual understanding, a seeing and knowing from God concerning the nature of one’s own heart… which metaphorically is the heaven, the spiritual dimension wherein desire and will and love reside, if it be God dwells in you. Otherwise, less desirable, even abominable spirits from the old heaven and earth dwell therein. But even so, remember we talked about in the last segment that it is the Spirit of God alone who is actually able to show you, to reveal to you, the real YOU!
Eze 8:4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
Let there be no doubt that this glorious revelation comes from the God of Israel, even though it is the “seeing” and “revealing” of the wicked one, which again is a necessary first step, even the first (top) thing rent of the veil. Remember again how Paul makes it clear in 2 Thes. 2 that the day of our gathering back to Christ (and returning to the Father) will not occur until this vision is seen (fulfilled) and the true man of sin, the self-exalted one who sits in the temple of God on the very throne of your heart is exposed and revealed to you. Talk about a reality show!
Eze 8:5 Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
What we see here is that this “image of jealousy” is located before the altar, at the very entrance to the inner court of the temple of God, which temple you are. This is a great abomination indeed, even as it is the breaking of several commandments.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Yes, God is a jealous God. He is jealous for His beloved bride who is shown here in Ezekiel to be loving and worshipping (following) another’s will (spirit). Let’s continue the narrative in Ezekiel.
Eze 8:6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations. Eze 8:7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. Eze 8:8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. Eze 8:9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
Again, the carnal mind when it reads these words cannot help but create pictures, images, imagined things, even virtual panoramic movies in vivid technicolor. But you must “turn” and see differently than that which your mind’s eye sees… which is always without. Remember Ezekiel is lifted up between the earth (flesh, the carnal mind) and heaven (spiritual, the inner sanctuary of the heart). Then after being lifted up by the spirit, which means he is now in the spirit, he is instructed to lift up his eyes to the way of the north, metaphorically to the place where God sits… for He sits in the sides of the north.
Perhaps you are familiar with the “how art thou fallen” one, the self-exalted one in Isaiah 14 who aspires to ascend into heaven to sit upon the throne and be like the most High.
Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Once again the old carnal mind that creates and sees pictures and images has a scenario all played out when it reads this. But this is the “man” that has got to go, the one who has got to be cut down, cast down (from heaven, your heart), dethroned from his lofty “I will be like the most High” place where he sits in the temple claiming to be god. And the good news is, he shall be cast out of heaven (your heart), along with all his carnal messages (his angels) by one who is like God (Rev. 12:9).
So back to Ezekiel who is instructed by the Spirit of God to “go in”, into the inner sanctuary, and BEHOLD, which is to perceive, to consider, to discern! Are you able to follow this?
Guess what he saw?
Eze 8:10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about.
What is portrayed on the walls of your heart dear one? Well, that’s for you to know and to eventually see for yourself by the Revelation of Jesus Christ, if you haven’t already. But I will tell you honestly, that in a million years I would never have read this and said it had anything whatsoever to do with me. I mean, how could it apply to great me? Talk about a self-exalted one! Hey, I was a faithful Bible believing Christian, a keeper and teacher of the Word (law), one who pastored a large church and baptized many people, etc., etc.
But I am here to tell you from firsthand experience, that when Christ is crucified at Golgotha, the place of the skull (yours), and begins to rent the veil between earth and heaven, from the top, from your carnal mind, down to your inner heart, the light of truth will expose the abominations and idolatry, the creepy doctrines and graven images you have created in violation of Exodus 20:3-5.
Yes, it truly is a day of darkness and gloominess… for He shakes both heaven and earth. And so it is when you feel the earth (your mind) quake… an earthquake indeed, all the rocks, the very foundational stones of your belief system with be cast down and very quickly there will be not one stone standing upon another that is not thrown down. The old temple will be destroyed and the establishment of a new temple, one built without hands, will commence. That is something to look forward to.
Now let’s move to the fourth chapter of the Book of the Revelation and see if we can see what we are to see there.
Rev 4:1 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 shew thee things which must be hereafter.
When Jesus Christ opens this door (in heaven), no man can ever shut it! Hallelujah.
Now if you recall, Ezekiel also saw a door, didn’t he? And he was told to dig and go in… and what he saw was definitely not a pretty sight before the altar of God, was it?
But notice that what is seen here in Rev. 4 follows something, which is why the first words in verse one are “after this”. This is important. Why so? Well, it is only AFTER one who has the wisdom of understanding we read of in Rev. 13:18, which is to know who the “man” of sin, the son of perdition really is and where he sits. Then one can hear with ears that hear, which is to understand what the spirit has to say and from whence He says it, allowing him or her to overcome the indwelling and heart-blocking seven churchisms of idolatry in Revelation chapters two and three. Then, “after this”, the temple having now been cleansed and purified (tried by fire), one will now be able to actually SEE his or her own new heart (new heaven) where Jesus Christ now sits… for He has destroyed the man of sin, the Wicked one, the son perdition, the image of jealousy, by the brightness of His coming (2 Thes. 2:8) and the Spirit of His Truth.
So what we now read in Revelation chapter four is revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ to a person who has been to the cross and crucified with Christ and who has gone through the Judgment and Fire of Purification (baptism by fire) and has now “seen” the transfiguration where the form of a man (Jesus Christ) has been changed to the pure Light and the Spirit of Truth.
Rev 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
If you are looking up into outer space, you are using the wrong set of eyes.
Rev 4:3 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. Rev 4:4 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.
Once again, the carnal mind wants to make a scene out of this and place people, even twenty four of them with gold crowns on their heads, sitting around a throne in their white robes. But such is not what is being depicted here at all. As we learn in the very first verse of Revelation, what is written herein is “signified (sign-i-fied)”, meaning it is spiritual sign language representing “things” that are spiritual, things which He shall show you, which is this case is the condition of YOUR HEART (even the temple of the New Jerusalem) after the veil is rent and Christ now sits on the throne.
Rev 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
You will find in Rev. 5:6 that the seven spirits of God are sent forth into all the earth, which earth you are. And because you receive a new heaven first, this sending forth constitutes the action of your prayer “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (You can find these seven spirits listed in Isa. 11:2).
What a magnificent and glorious sight it is to “see”, to behold, a pure heart, even a purified heart, or as we say “a heart of gold”. What a stark contrast it is with the heart seen in Ezekiel chapter 8.
And so it is that when the Lord comes suddenly to His temple, the old heaven and earth do pass away and a new heaven and new earth are made. The first man Adam has given way to the last man Adam… and now is made “man” in the image and likeness of God.
Here is how Paul expresses it in 1 Cor. 15.
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
God breathed the breath of life into Adam (you) and he (you) became a living soul. But you would have to be born again to be made in the image and likeness of God.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
The first man is when the god of this world (of the earth), even the spirit of antichrist, the man of sin, sits in the temple of God, which is to say on the throne of your heart as we saw in Ezekiel 8.
The second man is when Jesus Christ, the Lord from heaven, sits on the throne of your heart as we saw in Rev. 4.
1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
And when we bear the image of the heavenly, the creation having been born again, born of the Spirit, then has “man” been made in the image and likeness of God… and not until. May God grant you Eyes that See and Ears that Hear.