“And I looked, and lo a Lamb stood on Mount Zion and with Him an hundred and forty and four thousand having His Father’s name written in their foreheads,” Rev. 14:1-5.
“And they sang a new song BEFORE THE THRONE (OF GOD) and before the four living creatures and before the elders (of the heavenly Sanhedrin)…” Rev. 14:3 AMP.
We are saying that the rule of God is His throne, which is Heaven resting on the Earth. What we read as FOOTSTOOL in Lamentations 2:1 is actually the same as the TEMPLE OF GOD. “…On the day of His anger, He abandoned even His temple,” GNB.
So we can see that these three things are the throne. The Earth and Jerusalem are but one thing, the realm at which God manifests His presence and holiness in an unchanging manner. This is clear enough when we read of the return of the glory of God to His temple in Jerusalem as seen by Prophet Ezekiel.
“Then the spirit took me up and brought me into the inner court; and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple (His footstool) …And the Lord said to me “son of dust, this is the place of my throne, and my footstool, where I shall remain, living among the people of Israel forever. They and their Kings will not defile my holy name any longer through adulterous worship of other gods…,” Ezek. 43:5-7 TLB.
In the contemporary English version it says, “Ezekiel… THIS TEMPLE IS MY THRONE ON EARTH, I WILL LIVE HERE AMONG THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL FOREVER.”
Again, we read when Solomon dedicated the temple he built unto God, the Lord said,
“Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there;… But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there…,” 2Chron. 6:5-6.
So you find that Heaven (throne) Earth (foolstool) and Jerusalem (city of God) are all one, located in the same place. But again, it should not be seen as that which is physical (material).
This is why the prophet Isaiah said, “Thus saith the Lord; The heaven is my Throne and the Earth is my Footstool; where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest?” (Isa. 66:1). In other words, we should not hold the holy presence of God in the Holy of Holies in a physical nation.
Therefore, Stephen while addressing the council and quoting Isaiah said, “With heaven my throne and earth my footstool what house should you build me, what place could you make for my rest? Was not all this made by my hands? You stubborn people, with your pagan hearts and pagan ears. You are always resisting the Holy Spirit (who spoke through Moses and the Holy Prophets of Old), just as your ancestors used to do… You who had the Law brought to you by angels are the very ones who have not kept it. They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him. But STEPHEN FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT gazed up into heaven and saw the glory of God (as it were on top of Mt. Zion( Exo. 24:16+) and Jesus standing at God’s right hand,” Acts 7:49-55 JB.
Now this vision of Stephen is directly connected to his transfiguration in Acts 6:15+, “…The members of the Sanhedrin all looked intently at Stephen and his face appeared to them like the face of an angel.”
This is the same reflection of God’s glory that inspired fear which Moses carried and revealed when he came down from Mount Sinai (Exo. 34:29-35; 2Cor. 3:7-18). The very manifestation of glory by Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:2; Lk. 9:29), a changed appearance into the very nature that God has intended for us ultimately.
This transfiguration is the revelation, or appearing of the Christ within. The court of the Sanhedrin here witnessed the transfiguration of Stephen as he contemplated the glory of God. We are told that at this stage Stephen saw the glory of God and Christ.
What are we saying, Stephen was right in the presence of God, while there was a literal court of the Sanhedrin before Stephen. He, in spirit, was translated into the heavenly court or throne of God. And so he was in the presence of God or before the throne, all because he was filled with the Spirit, just as it was with Apostle John on the Island of Patmos where he had the heavens opened unto him.
In his words, “…I was IN THE SPIRIT on the Lord’s day…” (Rev. 1:10). “…Behold a door was opened in heaven… And immediately I was in the spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven and one sat on the throne…,” (Rev. 4:1+).
It simply means that to be before the throne of God is to be in His presence and to have His presence wrapped around you. Elijah was on earth, but we are told he was asked to “stand before the Lord” (1Kg. 19:11). Therefore, for the 144,000 to be “BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD” (Rev. 14:3) means they are in His presence. For the word ‘before’ (enopion) in the Greek means … IN THE FACE OF, BEFORE, IN THE PRESENCE (SIGHT) OF TO.
The 144,000 could come to His presence because, “No falsehood can be charged against them; they are blameless,” Rev. 14:5 TLB. And with that we find the answer to the question, “Who may climb (ascend in the spirit into the presence of the Lord) the mountain of the Lord and enter where He lives (in His Temple, which you are) to commune with the Spirit of the Father?
Only those with pure hands and hearts who do not practice dishonesty and lying will receive God’s own goodness as their blessing from him, planted in their lives by God Himself …These are the ones who are allowed to stand before the Lord and worship the God of Jacob (Ps.24:3-6 TLB).
Therefore, to come into His presence is to come to worship and to receive from the Lord. May you be holy enough in Him to come to His presence, not only to receive but also to hear from Him (1Kings 19:11+; Job 4:8-12) in the very compartment of your being (John 4:24) where He resides, in the true temple of God.
Next will be “THE LIVING CREATURES AND TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS.”
To be continued…