As I write these words, a great joy and expectation fills my heart. I rejoice in the kingdom program that God is getting ready to unveil on the earth. With every passing day, the groan of expectation grows louder in our hearts. We long to see the coming forth of all that we have seen and heard in the heights of God’s holly mount. Yet the task of pressing forward on this journey into the fullness of our sonship to God lays before us. And though the path is not popular, though the road is marked with solitude, though there are days of adversity, though the outward manifestations tarry, our hearts need not waver. He who has called us is faithful. Those who have followed the Lord outside the camp, bearing His reproach, have come to known that His yoke is easy and His burden is light because it’s He Himself who qualifies and equips us for every step in this journey into God’s fullness.
Rest assured dear beloved, our Father is preparing to reveal a reality which eye has not seen, nor ear has heard, nor has entered into the heart of man. The time draws near when God shall do a quick work upon the earth through a remnant who have not bowed their knees to the spirit of this age. Those who have received the spirit of sonship are now hastening the coming of the day of God. Of this truth we cannot say enough; the sons of God shall come forth in the glory of the Father to redeem all of creation from the bondage of its corruption. We bear witness to this truth for we have been with Him from the beginning and have been lowered to this realm for this very purpose. There is no greater a purpose, no greater a title, no greater a status that man can bestow on us than the power and glory of our sonship to God.
Every son who is now following the Lamb wheresoever He goes, heeding His voice and walking in harmony with Him can bear witness of the brightness of His coming within. We read in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 that it is this “brightness of His coming” that destroys the lawless one. Brightness is the quality or state of giving out light. It signifies the illumination, brilliance, enlightenment, knowledge that accompanies the Lord’s coming.
It is in this spirit that Isaiah prophecies: “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you” (Isa. 60:1). We read further that nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising (Isa. 60:3). The call to arise is for the purpose of outraying the Light of the Lord. The brightness of our rising is in measure with the Lord’s rising upon us. To ‘rise’ bespeaks a coming forth, a breaking out, an appearing. In the natural, the sun ushers in each new day by its rising. And so it is with Christ Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, who arises within our inward man to ushers in this Day of the Lord. This new Day is an inward reality that brings forth an inward working, an inward development of the life, nature and mind of Christ causing us to rise and shine forth the radiance of His glory.
Let us further consider the word ‘brightness’ from our text. It is the original Greek word ‘ephiphaneia’. The word comes from a verb which means “to manifest”, “bring to light”, “to appear”. Accordingly, our text should read: “Then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord… shall destroy with the BRIGHTNESS (Ephiphaneia: manifestation) of His COMING (Parousia: presence)” (2 Thes. 2:8 YLT). The “manifestation of His presence” refers to the indwelling presence of Christ who has been present in His people but who is only later unveiled in all His strength and glory.
In this we see the difference between manifestation and presence. This is the difference between possession and appropriation. Much of our earthly walk has been an experience of Christ’s presence without His manifestation, the indwelling Spirit without the outward expression of His life, the spirit without the fruits. Presence refers to the existing reality of Christ in us. Manifestation is the visible expression, display, demonstration, disclosure of all that Christ is through us. This is the full personification and embodiment of God in a new man. We see this truth further illustrated in the book of Revelation through the opening of the spiritual temple:
“Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple.” (Rev. 11:19)
In his prophetic vision, John was seeing the temple of God, which we are, being opened to display the ark – Christ. The ark was the most valuable object in Moses’ tabernacle, both in the natural sense and its spiritual significance. On it were the mercy seat of pure gold and two cherubs of gold with outstretched wings. It was there, in the midst of the ark, that the cloud of God’s glory also manifested. But in our present reality, Christ in us is the ark. And just as the ark was placed in the innermost part of the tabernacle, Christ in us abides in the inner chambers of our spirit, albeit unseen and often hidden from plain sight. Thus the need for His unveiling – the opening of the temple.
That the temple of God was opened in HEAVEN also signifies that is in our inner spirit man, in the spiritual realm, that the temple is opened. You will notice that in God’s kingdom program, everything comes down from heaven to nourish and renew the earth. His kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven. Whatever is loosed on our earth is what has first been loosed in our heaven (Mat. 18:18). Therefore, when the temple is opened in heaven its effects are seen and experienced upon the earth. Notice that immediately after the temple is opened and the ark is seen in the temple, John observes: “lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail” (Rev. 11:19). These are all elements that disrupt and shake the earth. They signify the dealings of God that accompanies the manifestation of His presence.
The full stature of Christ now resides in the inner or above sanctuary of our spirit, and when it is opened, Christ shall break forth to envelope our soul and body. For “He who comes from above is above all… He who comes from heaven is above all” (Joh. 3:31). Hallelujah! Every good and perfect gift is from above (Jam. 1:7). Above is not directional but bespeaks the spiritual stature and prominence of the Kingdom of Heaven.
This opening of the temple in heaven is an event that John observes more than once. In Revelation 15, we read: “And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened” (Rev. 15:5). In this instance, John observes the tabernacle of “the testimony”– the tablets (the ten commandments), which the Lord had commanded Moses to place in the ark (Exo. 25:16). This article placed in the ark is a picture of the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus written on the tablets of men’s hearts. Therefore, in the opening of the temple, what is released is the divine expression of His incorruptible life that has been inscribed on the hearts of men. In both visions of the temple, John was witnessing man’s being revealing Christ, making Him visible for all to see. This is the spiritual significance of the opening.
This act of opening is a recurring theme in the Revelation. We read of a door standing opened in heaven (Rev. 4:1), the scroll and its seven seals are opened (Rev. 5), books are opened (Rev. 10:2, 20:12), the earth is opened (Rev. 13:6), heaven is opened (Rev. 19:11). All these symbolisms are spiritual experiences that point to the progressive and manifold revelation of Jesus Christ in His corporate body.
We are now beholding within our inward man the opening of God’s temple and it is ushering the beginning of a new spiritual horizon. The unspeakable glory of Christ that is concealed within our temple is now being prepared to be revealed in all its fullness. The opening of the temple follows a number of key events in the book of Revelation. It comes after John has been caught up to the realm of the throne (the third day experience) (Rev. 4:1). It comes immediately after the two witnesses have been resurrected (the Word and the Spirit quickened within) (Rev. 11) and the seventh trumpet has been sounded (the full gospel of the Kingdom has been preached) (Rev. 11). It comes after those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name (the carnal mind), stand on the sea of glass (above the troubled sea of the bestial nature of flesh) singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb (song of reconciliation) (Rev. 15).
Each of these are momentous spiritual experiences necessary for inaugurating the opening of God’s temple and I, with every son of God scattered in every corner of the earth, attest that these experiences are now taking place in the secret place of the Most High among His elect.
The temple of God is vital to advancing God’s kingdom program. As mentioned, all that will liberate the earth comes out of the temple in heaven when it is opened. Angles are key figures that come out of the temple (Rev. 14:15,17). In Revelation 15:6, after the opening of the temple John sees that “out of the temple came the SEVEN ANGELS having the seven plagues”. The going forth of angels signifies a message, an activity, or a ministry coming from the Spirit of God. Angels are ministering spirits, messengers who are themselves the message they bear. Every time an angle appears in scripture there is a word that is released, a divine work is performed, a plan of God is set in motion.
Accordingly, we see the seven angels coming out of the temple to execute judgment for the purpose of purging and purifying. Their bowls of the wrath of God are poured on the earth (soulish realm), on the sea (the body realm of flesh), on the rivers and springs of water (religion’s streams of polluted teachings), on the sun (leading lights of the earth), on the throne of the beast (the seat of carnality), on the great river Euphrates (the carnal life-source of Babylon), and into the air (spiritual atmosphere). All these are symbolic representations of how the brightness of the Lord’s coming destroys the man of sin to inaugurate the kingdom of God until only He alone is seen in His temple.
Great is the mystery of the temple of God! Dear saint, the temple, which you are, is of great value to the Lord. It holds rich and eternal treasures. It’s our prayer that the Lord, who holds the keys of the kingdom of heaven, would open this temple so that His body on earth would display all the glory and fullness of Christ! Amen.