Under His Feet

Under His Feet

24 February 2012

"And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." (Eph 1.22-23)

In the 13th chapter of The Revelation, the two powers (1) which have ever opposed God on earth, appear to range themselves at the Last hour "against the Lord and against His Anointed" who is about to be "installed...upon Zion, My holy mountain." (Ps 2.2-6)

All too often, Christians when forming their eschatology (End Times' beliefs) get carried away on a tide of horrified fascination with the dragon and his beasts. For this reason (and also for the sake of Truth itself) it is of the utmost importance to allow Revelation 10 to cast its long, powerful, and significant shadow right across chapter 13.

In essence, in chapter 10 we "see" at the eleventh hour of this Age (v7 "in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound" Mt 24.31, 1 Co 15.52, 1 Th 4.16) a "strong angel coming down out of heaven" to stand with "his right foot on the sea and his left on the land". (v2)

As I have already explained in footnote (1), in the Bible, the "earth" is a symbol of the supernatural, and the "sea" represents the world. It is of paramount importance at The End, when everything is being turned on its head and shaken, that we see clearly and understand completely that God has "put all things in subjection under (Jesus') feet"...most especially and particularly the devil and the "earth" and "sea" beasts! Hallelujah!

"He (the woman's seed) shall crush you (the serpent) on the head." (Ge 3.15)

"The serpent (dragon) you will trample down." (Ps 91.13)

"The God of peace will soon crush satan under your feet." (Ro 16.20)

I am not minimising, nor glossing over, nor taking lightly the tribulation of The Tribulation. I get it, that life is going to be rough and tough, to such an extent that "unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect (chosen ones) those days will be cut short." (Mt 24.22)

But more importantly I get the fact that (according to Revelation 13.1) the dragon is actually limited to standing "on the sand of the seashore"! Once again, when the pressure really comes on, the devil over-plays his hand. In his greed to dominate both realms (world and spirit) he ends up paddling around in the shallows...half-bakedly on the land and the sea.

Meanwhile, God's "strong and mighty" angel places his feet, which are like "pillars of fire", firmly and squarely and securely on top of both realms. And from that divinely ordained vantage point, he speaks out in God's name with the sound like a lion roaring and thunder thundering, all rolled into one!

"The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most high uttered His voice." (Ps 18.13) (2)

When there are but a few grains of sand left in this Age's hour-glass, you will need to choose who and what you look at. Feel free to become a conspiracy "expert" with ever-new and fashionable ideas about "666", "marks", "beasts" etc etc.

For myself, I intend to watch God. And when I watch Him and, in this particular instance, His mighty, ministering spirit ("sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation" Heb 1.14), I see:

1) He is "clothed with a cloud". (v1)

"Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever." (Ex 19.9)

"I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat." (Lv 16.2)

"The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud." (1 Ki 8.12)

The strong and mighty angel has not just come visiting from outer-space. He has come from the "heart" of Heaven where the glory cloud is thickest and most dense and intense. So he appears still wreathed and adorned with the very Presence of God. He is "clothed" with God Himself.

2) He has "the rainbow...upon his head." (v1)

"Behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne...and there was a rainbow around the throne." (Rev 4.2-3)

"When I bring a cloud over the earth...the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant...and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh." (Ge 9.14-15)

The End Times are going to become increasingly catastrophic for earth-dwellers. As the Lord Jesus Himself predicted, some people are actually going to suffer heart-failure "as they wait in dread of what is coming upon the world"! (Lk 21.26) But if your eyes are upon the Lord, then you will be heartened and encouraged to see that His holy emissary "wears" the sign of God's covenantal faithfulness, which will be absolutely prejudiced and weighted towards mercy...right up to and including the very final micro-second of this Salvation Age.

"God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Ti 2.3-4)

"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2 Pe 3.9)

3) His face is "like the sun". (v1)

"And (Jesus) was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun." (Mt 17.2)

"His face was like the sun shining in its strength." (Rev 1.16)

This angel of the Apocalypse is neither minion nor flunky. We are having to do here with someone whose position is as close to the Seat of all power as it's possible to get. This is he who is spoken of by God during the Exodus as "My angel" (23.23)...and by the great Isaiah as "the angel of His presence"! (Is 63.9) This is not some fellow at the bottom of the revelatory "food-chain". This is a senior commander and cabinet minister of Heaven...and yet he is here "to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation".

4) His feet are "like pillars of fire". (v1)

"The Lord was going before a pillar of fire by night, that they might night." (Ex 13.21)

At The End, "the darkness" will make one final, doomed attempt to "overpower" the Light! (Jn 1.5) Thick darkness will (physically as well as spiritually) blanket great portions of the earth. But, "all sons of light and sons of day" will not be "in darkness". (1 Th 5.4-5) Our strong and mighty messenger's feet will be for all those determined to "walk in the light" (1 Jn 1.7), like unto the Exodus Cloud (in both visible and invisible realms)...blazingly brilliant and unquenchable illuminators for "the feet of those who preach and bring Good News of good things". (Ro 10.15)

5) He has "in his hand a little book which was open." (v2)

We understand this "little book" in contrast to that "big" book which John sees in Heaven "in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne". (5.1) It has writing "inside and on the back"...a complete and entire document. Its seals are broken open by the Lamb of God who alone is "worthy" for such a task because He was "slain and purchased for God with (His) blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation".

I believe that the breaking of the seven seals precipitates the unfolding of Salvation History in its entirety...both blessings and judgements. And so, I regard the "little book" as God's minute-by-minute revelatory speaking for the final few moments of the Last Hour. These are not messages which can be academically studied and carefully prepared ahead of time. So grave is this Hour, and so ultimate the issues (all of them literal matters of life-and-death) that the prophet's capacity to comprehend is by-passed, and the words of the Lord ingested just like food.

"Your words were found and I ate them." (Jer 15.16)

"Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you. Then I looked, and behold...a scroll...written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe." (Eze 2.8-10)

Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel had to ingest the Word of the Lord, before they could (in both instances) prophesy effectively into the teeth of the howling gale of violent opposition. What is going on here?

A) God's speaking to the Church and the world at The End will be a mixture of sweet and bitter (sharp); grace and chastisement; blessing and judgement. Such messages containing all of these ingredients are too difficult for many to hold together in their minds and hearts...their sensual natures prefer the taste of one or the other!

B) These messages are going to be so difficult that the authentic and faithful servant will not merely preach or prophesy...he or she, in and of themselves, will become the message; become the prophetic word. As King David was ultimately able to say, "But I am prayer!" (Ps 109.4), at The End the bona fide and valid seer will be known as that person who has become prophecy. Such lives will often be more eloquent and accurate than speech...their walk will exceed their talk!

And for those who might think that this is all very cool and fine-and-dandy...note this! The strong angel has been sent to the prophet John...making clear that we never, ever, under any circumstances presume to appoint ourselves to such a role or task. Nevertheless, John then has to choose to get up in profoundly considered and weighed obedience to "take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land". (v8) He has to tell the angel to give him the book...then he must eat it, both its sweetness and its bitterness.

God chooses His prophets. (I am sure this will come as a terrible shock to present-day prophetical fashionistas!) But then they must choose to be chosen...having properly and thoroughly gauged all of the consequences of such a life of ministry, even unto their personal dissolution and death! (Lk 14.28-30)

"For many are invited ones but few are chosen-out ones." (Mt 22.14 Wuest NT)

"Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you." (2 Pe 1.10, Rev 17.14)

(1) The "sea beast" is the manifestation of satan's contention through the nations of the world. (Rev 17.15) The "earth beast" represents the spirit world's opposition via religious movements. (1 Sa 28.13)

(2) This will be an absolutely authoritative and comprehensive revelation (Ps 29.3-9) of and from God for the Last Hour; a declaration of war (Isa 31.4-7), which nevertheless draws all who will come, to come...especially His beloved Israel. (Hos 11.10, Joel 3.16-17)