21. The Pillar of Fire
She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was caught up to God and to his throne. Revelation 12:5 “Caught up” is the pillar of fire. God not only carries us from death into life, but He also arises on high and we in Him. God can consume nothing except it be placed upon the Mercy Seat. Yet all things placed there are transformed beyond what we can understand. God is always catching us up inside Himself.
21. The Pillar of Fire
I see a terrible thing – no fear of God before their eyes. Does anyone dare to place themselves over God's woman for advantage? Certainly, there is a pastoral heart from which many give all that they have and know to God's people in sincerity of heart, however limited it might be – I'm not speaking of that.
Yet so few care about God; so few will speak only for His heart.
Yes, we can do anything we want with our Creator, with the Word that He speaks – that doesn't mean we should. But we cannot do anything we want with His woman – for He is a fire of jealousy, and He calls all things to account.
This is not about “our redemption.” We are not “getting saved.” We have been seized in the fiery determination of an omnipotent Being who is determined to prove His word true through us into this world of mockery and deceit, who is determined to bring to nothing all who speak against His word and all who play games with those who belong to Him.
When we walk together with other Christians, all of whom hold various levels of expectation and various degrees of definitions of “Christ-likeness,” the temptation coming against us to “be somebody,” to take on ourselves some measure of responsibility “for the kingdom,” can be overwhelming.
Christianity is so much more about pretending than I have ever realized; everyone demands an outward show, everyone judges by the sight of their eyes, producing endless psychosis.
Our only anchor, our only safety, is to KNOW that Christ alone is our life and that He carries us utterly. And let everything else, everything else fall away. Yet in knowing that Christ alone is our life, we also know the reckless determination by which He reveals Himself through us into all the concourses of this planet. This is not something “we do.” We are always being caught up into a consuming fire – more than that – that consuming, arising, swirling Fire would make Himself known through us.
He is Love, and He catches everything offered upon the altar up into Himself.
I am placing the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ together with the pillar of fire that consumed the sacrifice and filled the Tabernacle of God. No, Jesus did not go up like Elijah, but the truth all three pictures represent is the same.
She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was caught up to God and to his throne. Revelation 12:5
“Caught up” is the pillar of fire. God not only carries us from death into life, but He also arises on high and we in Him. God can consume nothing except it be placed upon the Mercy Seat. Yet all things placed there are transformed beyond what we can understand. God is always catching us up inside Himself.
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels. Exodus 40:34-38
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. 2 Kings 2:9-12
I have been practicing this new understanding of bringing all things that are difficult for me into the Mercy Seat of Love inside of God inside of me. I have entered a whole new place of walking with God and of the intercession of Christ, a place I had never known before. And I have seen God move, immediately and with great finesse, risking me in His light, yes, but proving Himself true. And not so much in outward demonstration, but very much inside that most difficult of arenas, the psychology of walking together with other believers in Christ.
I want to draw, in this letter, from questions precious readers have asked me in recent days. I gave them only brief replies because I saw their questions inside this tornado of fire in which we are caught. I carry all these things closely upon my heart into the Holiest of All. But I know that the answer to all questions is found only here upon the Mercy Seat and the Pillar of Fire that consumes everything found upon it.
The first question is from my sister:
Hi Daniel, I am enjoying your book (The Kingdom Rising). I will have to get more (of your books) as soon as I can. I have a question. If we see and believe and confess that Christ in and as us will throw off the curse of death, what is the Scripture referring to when it says "and they loved not their life to the death?"
First, my short answer:
As I contemplated your question, I realized that answering it will be at the core of “The Pillar of Fire.” This is a very important question. “They loved not their life unto the death” is to be understood at several different levels, but first we must see its meaning out from Jesus’ eyes. Otherwise, our seeing will be wrong. However, the Greek words are, first, clearly a form of agape – then, NOT – then, psyche, or soul/life, and thanatos, death. It is closely related to that other verse in Hebrews – with strong crying and tears unto Him who could save Him from death, and was heard – the central issue is to see it in light of this verse, “that through death, He might destroy him who held the power of death. . .” Thus, by swallowing up the curse, the curse is defeated. The word “destroy” is the word “cause to cease.”
Man defeats his enemies by hacking them to pieces without regard. God defeats his enemies by swallowing them up into life and thus winning the hearts of those involved. Always before we regarded all these things out from man’s point of view. Now we are learning to see them out from Jesus’ eyes.
But, the truth is, I have posited this verse – Rev. 12:11 - as the fourth most important verse in the Bible, yet I have never really expanded on its entire meaning – unrelated to “the world.” That’s because I could not have done so before writing my last few letters. Now, I believe I can.
We MUST change how we know God; we must, we must.
There are two ways to know Him. The first is how Christianity has known Him, by the definitions of Augustine, as One far above, far away, reaching down and rescuing us, abhorring our “dirtiness,” cleaning us up so we can be happy in heaven – if we line up – and punishing all those who don't measure up by unending torment in screams of agonizing pain without relief and without end.
By this definition of God, man defeats his enemies by hacking them to pieces without regard.
Everywhere you look in today's world, the images and practice of hacking one's enemies to pieces without regard fills the avenues and pathways of all. In video games and movies, in political expression and practice, in the glorifying of war and the men who kill.
I like watching detective shows, but I hate most of the American ones because their answer to every problem is instant violence and treating everyone with open disrespect. So I watch British mysteries because there (in most of the fictional shows at least), even the guilty are still treated with respect as humans, however fallen from glory.
This open disrespect of people is the nature of Lucifer. That same definition has been forced upon God.
We cannot see that way. We don't realize how much our seeing of God has been from that point of view. We must know Him as He is.
Here is the description of God as revealed by the only knowing of God that there is – that Path of Jesus through the Atonement.
– God always reveals Himself through weakness, swallowing up into Himself all that we are including our sin and rebellion, becoming us in our present state, limiting Himself by our weakness. Thus, carrying us inside Himself, stumbling and falling along the way, He arises out of death into life, ascending on high, and we in Him. –
We know God only as the One who fills us with all of His fullness. When we look at ourselves, all we can see is a Holy and a Mighty God in Person as the core of our being, filling all that we are. And wenever look at anything except out from His eyes, for we are always and only INSIDE of Him.
Every answer man gives is violence.
The answer of God is the VERY, VERY opposite.
God lays down His life for His enemies, transforming those same enemies into His friends.
Let me bring in these two defining verses, now, and place them at the core of the Covenant, at the very point of contact by which that Pillar of Fire touches all that is earth.
(Christ), in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears (take this cup away from Me) to Him who was able to save Him from death (thanatos), and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. Hebrews 5:7-9
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death (thanatos). Revelation 12:11
When we first engaged with the Altar of Incense, with Gethsemane, we were outside of the Holy of Holies, outside of the Veil. No pretenders will ever pass through that Veil.
And oh, Christianity is about pretending. Pretending to be like God, pretending to act like God, driven by duty and obligation, trying, trying, trying to do your “best.” Trying to obey, trying to line up, and then turning and imposing that same definition of “being like God” on all other Christians through hard accusation and assertive foreheads. And all of it, the fruit of the serpent.
No posers, playing games with God's precious people, no manipulators, finding advantage for themselves, will ever know the Holiest. Only those who care about God's heart, only those who tremble when He speaks.
Only when the incense beaten fine has become the smoke ascending to God is there an entrance through the Veil. But then, entering in as the Golden Censor, as the incense arising into God, we discover that same Altar of Incense, that same Gethsemane, has now become the Mercy Seat, and that same incense, arising by fire, has become the Holy Pillar of God.
In Gethsemane, the Blood began. In Gethsemane, the Cup transformed into Joy.
Gethsemane is the Mercy Seat.
The Mercy Seat is all about transforming this planet by rivers of living water.
The sons of God manifest are the only true evangelists. They are broken, they are kind; they weep, they lay down their lives. They do not pretend; they speak only from the heart of God. And they draw all things into the Mercy Seat, into the love of God that fills them full.
Jesus asked God to save Him from death; God answered Jesus' prayer. Yet Jesus died.
I will not “spiritualize” any word God speaks. The “Spirit of the Word” is the power of that Word, by the Spirit, to bring forth all the life that is in it inside those who hear that word by the faith of the Son of God filling them full.
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-5
“They did not love their lives to the death” is not to be found in any form of pretending to look like God. And all pretending is about the face of other people. I have seen that so strongly the last few weeks, both at Lakewood Church and closer to home. Outward appearance has nothing to do with the face of a God who carries us in weakness, stumbling with us along our way; it has everything to do with the face of other people and the expectation that we all should be trying our damn'dest to look “good,” to look “God,” on the outside.
There is one way only to abandon our sense of “self,” our psychosis, our pretending. You see, the word “lives” in Revelation 12:11 is psuche, or soul. Separate from God, it is psychosis.
We lose our psychosis, our empty life of pretending to be a god, by abandoning ourselves utterly into the Lord Jesus Christ, into the God who carries us. And I can assure you, our enemy will attempt to trick us to “be somebody” in the face of other believers. The temptation of Eve, coming through other Christians, is overwhelming.
There is only one death. If we refuse to know a self inside of us separate from the Lord Jesus Himself, no matter what accusation is hurled against us, within or without, then we know that one death.
But in knowing that one death, here is what we discover. There is no death. He is the Lamb, having been slain, alive forevermore. Death is swallowed up in victory. We see out only from His eyes, and from nowhere else.
And then we discover that our entire life is the Mercy Seat, the point by which the Pillar of Fire consumes all that is offered to Him. And thus we give ourselves with all abandon to His determination.
Let's look at the Pillar of Fire. The universe is electrical; all things are made of and powered by electricity. The sun is NOT a nuclear furnace; it is an electric arc lamp, the discharge point of a mighty band of electrical power flowing down the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy.
Everything on this earth is an electrical phenomenon. Earthquakes and volcanoes, hurricanes and tornadoes, are all electrical discharges. To understand the science of which I am speaking, spend time on this website: www.thunderbolts.info. I read their “Picture of the Day” every weekday morning.
For regular tornadoes, go here: http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2005/arch05/050330tornado-electric-discharge.htm.
For cosmic tornadoes, go here:http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060210hhtornado.htm
Regular tornadoes are among the most powerful natural forces on earth. Here is a definition from Wikipedia:
A tornado is "a violently rotating column of air, in contact with the ground, either pendant from a cumuliform cloud or underneath a cumuliform cloud, and often (but not always) visible as a funnel cloud". For a vortex to be classified as a tornado, it must be in contact with both the ground and the cloud base.
Note the phrase “it must be in contact with both the ground and the cloud base.”
The Pillar of Fire, the tornado of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the connection between earth and God. By Him, all things are consumed, drawn up in His vortex of wind into the Being of Almighty God.
We are not the earth. We are the point of that Vortex touching the earth, by which all things are transformed from death into life. (Listen, I'm not the one mixing metaphors – God is responsible for that.)
We are the Mercy Seat; we are the Ark of the Covenant; we are the earth-side point of the Pillar of Fire.
But a cosmic electrical tornado is far, far more than present weather tornadoes. The earth has not been scoured by tornadoes of cosmic electricity, probably for 3000 years. But those mighty electrical tornadoes, scouring the earth, digging canyons, raising mountains, shaping and reshaping the earth were very much known inside the history of man.
You can read about a present day cosmic tornado in the Jupiter system here:
Sometime, probably between Noah and Abraham, man on this earth stood in terror and awe as they watched, right there in the sky, as close as the moon only larger, Jupiter and Mars in cosmic battle. As they watched, a mighty, mighty thunderbolt arced out from Jupiter striking across the face of Mars, digging the deepest scar in the solar system. The carved idols of Mars, the god of war, have a deep scar carved across its face. That scar cannot be seen on Mars in its present position by the naked eye. Yet our forefathers testify that they watched it happen, right there in the sky, right before their eyes.
Cosmic tornadoes, mighty thunderbolts of electrical fire arcing out of the heavens upon the earth, are very real; they fill the annals of history and the Bible, and we could well see them, once again, scouring this planet.
They are a picture to us of the God who has seized us in His mighty grip.
The Pillar of Fire is the largest part of the Tabernacle, but we know it only in the Holy of Holies, upon the Mercy Seat.
The “Pillar of Fire” is a metaphor, a picture to us of the nature and Being of this God who always catches us up in Himself. Weather tornadoes are stupendous enough. I experienced the passage of a powerful tornado right over the top of us when I lived at the Bowens Mill community in Georgia. It was ripping mighty trees out of the ground, hurling them up high into the sky, and then slamming them down like toothpicks upon the ground. Yet as it's passage went over the flimsy trailers in which we lived, it lifted up from the ground momentarily, and not one person was harmed. The huge pine trees immediately on the other side of us did not survive.
But the Pillar of Fire seen in Exodus was far more than that; it was a cosmic thunderbolt, arcing out of the heavens, scouring the earth.
It was God, consuming all things into Himself in a sacrifice of fire.
But let's bring that picture, now, into our present lives, into the seemingly insignificant minutiae through which we pass every day.
We are the Mercy Seat; we are the tip point of that Fire touching the earth, consuming the sacrifice. By us the universe is transformed from darkness to light, from death to life.
This is the Covenant we signed with God; this is the Covenant by which God wins all His desire.
I received two questions from a sister who reads these letters. The first, I will share only my response, but the second, I want to share of her email as well.
It can seem hard or even "wrong" to draw what is wrong into love inside of us. But that is what Jesus did with all the wrong of the universe. We don't repeat His doing, but rather, we draw all that God allows in our lives into that same doing of Christ inside of us. I have found for myself that is the only way things actually change for the good. And inside, I know the Lord as I never have before.
In fact, I can see that it becomes a joy to draw that which is offensive into love inside of us, for the wonder and beauty that comes out of God's incredible exchange program is unending. That love is a love of ourselves as God made us found fully in love for God. If we do not love ourselves as we find ourselves to be, we can never thrust our lives entirely into God – and that is the only place where we abandon "ourselves" with all joy. For we abandon nothing. Everything is always brand new.
And then, including that which is tormented and tormenting into that same love breaks the discordant power of evil and allows the afflicted one, not even knowing how or why, to walk free of that power.
Then, her next communication:
Daniel, I just read “Our Inheritance” and I am trembling and desire to have, know and enter into all that God has for me. God has provided many faithful ministries that have fed us over the years and yet they had a portion and they remain loved and respected. And then it seems God says to move on and along comes another ministry with something deeper or some things that must be searched out and explored. I am referring to your ministry and the unique way you have with words that are plain yet must be experienced.
I have been praying as you share of placing things into the love of God inside of God inside of us and now I am faced with a serious health issue that C___ faces. To minister to him that which helps him. Can God not heal his kidneys and give him good function? Is Jesus not able and willing?Call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.
Jesus is the Savior who is the anointed of the Father. He is the King of kings after the order of Melchizedek and the Lord of lords to whom every knee will bow in true adoration and every tongue will acclaim that He is Lord under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of Truth and The Father will be all in all. His name is called the Word of God. This is the Christ I believe in and share and receive from and desire all; to know and love. I am willing to go on this journey. R___
First, my initial reply:
R___, I have been holding these thoughts and questions before the Lord. I have no easy answer. My next letter is "The Pillar of Fire," and I see that these things are for that letter.
The question is not so much who Christ is, and is He willing, rather it is how we are to be found inside of Him. He is always ascending on high in a pillar of fire. Our desire is to find ourselves caught up always in that arising. In a sense, we want superman power in order to "fix" things for ourselves and those we love. That's one side, the other side, of course, is that God says He will do these things.
I have gone through a difficult several days. But I have done through this time what God has shown me in recent letters – I have drawn all the difficulty into love inside of God inside of me. I continue and will continue to do that, for in this practice of the Mercy Seat, I find His life and power. He transforms everything – but always from the inside out. The transformation always begins in us before it can proceed outward to others.
And I will continue to carry your thoughts and questions in my heart before the Lord. I carry your same grief and desire.
Second, I fear God. When someone shares with me that they are hearing God speak to them through what I share, all I want to do is lay my face upon the floor before the Holy. “God, cause me to be pure; cause me to speak only from Your heart.” To be found anywhere else is more terrifying than we can comprehend. God plays no games.
But now I want to re-state the Mercy Seat, as clearly as I can, as it works in our present daily lives.
When God is seen in heaven, He is seated always upon His throne. When God is seen in us, He is seen seated always upon our hearts. God fills us with all of His fullness, but the central arena of God in us, in the earth, in all creation, is the Mercy Seat. Here it is that God meets with us; here it is that all things are translated out of the old creation and into the new.
To enter the Mercy Seat is to pass between the cherubs, the mightiest creatures God ever made. No posers, no pretenders pass their piercing scrutiny, no gimmicks come near, no achievement of human ability to “do what God says.” Yet all are free to come boldly with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
There upon that Mercy Seat is Blood. That Blood began in Gethsemane, mixing with the dirt of the earth upon the Mount of Olives, upon the streets of Jerusalem, past the temple mount, staining the earth of Golgotha where Abraham offered Isaac to God. That Blood, carried mixed with the dirt of this earth by the triumphant King of Glory into the bosom of God, each drop of greater value than all creation.
And there splattered across the Mercy Seat, this same throne upon which we sit.
This is no mamby-pamby lovey-dovey filling us full, this Mercy Seat of Love in which all things are transformed. This is no “self-love” by which we love first ourselves, as God made us to be, and then by which we love all things, regardless of their present doing. No, this is the most terrible transaction in all history and in all the ages to come.
In this place of Blood, the old ceases; it is found no more. And all things arise brand new, caught up in that fiery vortex that is God.
This Mercy Seat is our hearts. Our hearts contain the power to transform everything – by love.
When we used to think that God was like Satan, hacking His enemies to pieces without regard, torturing them in endless cries of horror, we did the same. If someone were sick, we flailed against the sickness, rebuking the demons, hacking, hacking. It didn't matter that few were ever healed, we thought we were being “like God.”
In actuality, we were practicing a Christian form of atheism. This cancer, this diabetes, this autism, this body broken from a car wreck was something that, for us, God was definitely NOT. And thus our hearts were filled with hatred, and we whacked and hacked without results.
No hatred ever approaches the Mercy Seat. Nothing can change from the old creation to the new except there.
Is God God? And does He fill all things concerning us? Look at that person with diabetes. Does God not fill them full with all of His fullness? Does God not carry them in every particular in their lives? How shall we separate any part of them from God?
At the same time, God does no evil; He does not abuse His children. The point is this – how does God transform anything from old to new, from evil to unending goodness?
The Mercy Seat: Blood: Love.
This last week I faced a small measure, again, of the most difficult thing I have faced in my life. The circumstance would, at every point in the past, including a couple of months ago, have ripped the stuffing right out of me, leaving me depressed and incapable for days. Rather, I took that thing right into Love upon the Mercy Seat inside of God filling me full. And there I held it.
As I did so, I saw the darker, stronger thing behind it, a circumstance I feared because of the debilitating hopelessness and despair it always brought into my life, and I drew that thing into Love. My love for God; His love for me. My love for myself; my love for all things. I drew that thing into Love, there upon the Blood. And it changed, caught up into the Consuming Fire whose tip I am.
The darkness became light and was no more.
Let's practice this Mercy-Seat thing. Let's do it. Let's see what God will do. Will we see bodies healed? Blind eyes opened? People raised from the dead? Will we see lives transformed? Prisons opened? Kingdoms of darkness overthrown? Will we see the earth healed? Creation set free? The glory of God covering this earth as the waters cover the sea?
I think we will. This is the Covenant; this is the determination of God.
Yes, Christ is healer, He is power, He is Savior. He does wonderful things for all who turn to Him. That is not the question. The question is, how are we just like Him?
Here is the New Covenant in its shortest expression in the Bible:
We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
The sun is an electric arc lamp. However, in actuality, the fire of the sun consists of millions upon millions of mighty pillars of fire, all swirling, scouring, consuming at once. The sun itself, apart from the electric discharge upon its surface, is most likely a gas ball, similar to Jupiter or Saturn. But as the largest object in our vicinity, it is the “lightning rod” that draws the discharge of the endless flow of charged electrons flowing through outer space.
Space is not a pure vacuum. Every several feet there is a charged electron moving through space. That is far fewer electrons than are found in a man-made vacuum on earth. However, you add up all the electrons moving through the space dominated by the sun and they are all the power needed to produce these millions upon millions of pillars of fire that turns that giant gas ball into our Sun.
Here is a link to an article on the pillars of fire that are the Sun, the solar tornadoes, then the picture.
See that pillar of fire on the right? I don't know it's size, but it could be the size of the earth. It's just one of countless millions of such pillars on the sun. From Noah's flood on, for several hundred years, maybe to Isaiah's time, those pillars of fire, just like that one, though much smaller, were not uncommon on the earth. There was a whole slough of them reported all over the planet in the BC 1400's, during the time of the Exodus.
For as the Sun arises in the east and shines to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Matthew 24:29 (altered to fit the actual words in the original)
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19
The morning star, the Sun, the Pillar of fire, the Lord Jesus Christ arises in our hearts. The sun is not one pillar of fire, but millions, and so is the body of Christ. Millions of us, each one a pillar of fire, drawing up into God all things placed upon the Mercy Seat in love in our hearts.
Drawing all things out of the kingdom of darkness, out of pain and suffering and loss, drawing them into love, carrying even our enemies inside ourselves, stumbling with them in their weakness, causing all things that must cease to cease, catching all things up brand new in the God who fills us full, arising in that same Pillar of Fire that He is into glorious liberty.
I know, God's rather weird, all this pillar of fire stuff – calling it love. But since He's God, and since He fills us full, transforming the universe through us, He is free to be exactly what He is.
For our God is a consuming fire. Let brotherly love continue. Hebrews 12:29-13:1
The day dawns, the morning star, the Pillar of Fire arises in our hearts.
The Mercy Seat. Blood.