They were crying out to each other, “More holy than the holiest holiness is ADONAI- Tzva’ot! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”Isa 6:3
The old testament is a shadow, a picture of what God wants to do in the new. It plays out in the natural, what the new is doing in the supernatural, in the spiritual. The old shows us externally, what the new does in the internal.
God in Genesis started creating by speaking. He spoke, and it was. After creating our environment, he created us in his image, and set us in the garden. The garden was set in Eden, and from Eden a river flowed through the garden and out of it into the world. The river split into four arms, going into all four directions – that is, the whole earth. Man was given the order to multiply and subdue the earth. That is, to grow the garden to encompass all creation.
Eden is the portal from the supernatural to the natural. Man was made from the natural – its hull that is – and filled with the supernatural. Just as Eden in the external, man himself is made to be a portal from the supernatural to the natural. And the means is the garden with its river, flowing from the supernatural into all the world.
We see that river again in Ezekiel 47, flowing from the Holy of Holies through the city into the world, bringing life wherever it comes. And again in Revelations 22, flowing from the throne of God through the city into all the earth.
Paul tells us that we are the temple – in the old, it’s a physical building, in the new, it’s a body of living stones, as Peter puts it. And in Revelations 21 we see that it grew to be a city. It’s the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, adorned for the marriage feast. It is us – you and me. And in that city there is no more temple, but God lives in their midst – for the whole city is his temple, the place he lives. And from his throne the river flows through the city – that is, through us. And from there into the world.
If you know your bible, you for sure remember the verse:
Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!John 7:38
When Jesus rose from the dead, Mary Magdalene was the first to see him. She thought he was the gardener – and even though she, when recognizing him, thought she was wrong, she could not have been more right. How so?
After the fall, the garden was taken away and earth turned into a graveyard. But Jesus restored the garden. He was the gardener. He restored it within us. Remember sunday school? Were you ever asked where Jesus was? First answer: in my heart. Second answer: in heaven. Now on to set theory or logic: if Jesus is in my heart, and he is in heaven, where then is heaven? At least part of heaven is in my heart. My heart thus becomes the garden, the gateway between the supernatural and the natural, so the river can flow from the supernatural, from heaven, through the garden into all the world.
So it becomes clear that the flood gates of heaven God talks about in Malachi, asking us to try him regarding our tithing, are us. When we tithe, God will open the flood gates of our hearts, of our garden within, such that the river can flow mightily from heaven through us into the world.
All this restores to us our first assignment: multiply and subdue the earth.
We are to grow our garden until it encompasses all creation.
But if this garden is internal, and the river flows from within us, why then do we look for the river of God somewhere out there? When we talk about the early and the latter rain falling again, and coming together at once, where will it rain? You guessed it: in the garden within us. And from there the water will flow as a river into the earth.
Why then do we look for the fate of the world, the future of the church and the world out there? Why do newspapers, Facebook, Twitter, TV shape our worldview and our eschatological view (view of the end times), if the source, the means, if the flow from the throne of God is within us? The signs of the times are not in Israel, Irak, scientific advancements, and their resemblance of our interpretation of poetic language in some books in the bible, be it Daniel or Revelations or others. In short: look inside, focus on God to see the signs of the times.
Isaiah spoke woe, woe, woe over just about every nation he knew, especially Judah. For five chapters it was almost his whole message. And still, in chapter 2 he showed us a wonderful picture of the future of the church. No, not rapture and salvation from this earth when things get really bad. Not coming doom and gloom. Not things getting worse and worse, darker and darker. But a world turning to the church for advice. The church will be (and in faith already is, if we only would believe it) the greatest thing on earth, the highest mountain, and all nations will come to it.
Still, most his message was woe. And then, in chapter 6, Isaiah was taken to heaven. What he might have expected, and what many of us would expect to see is an old man with thunder in one hand and a hammer in the other, full of anger and rage, speaking judgement. But what he encountered was “holy, holy, holy”. A totally different attitude, an other atmosphere that changed his life. By the way, the same happened to John in Revelations 4.
Did it change Isaiah’s life immediately? Such change is a process. As we all have, Isaiah had been imprinted with his natural view of things, with the understanding of his day, even with the perception of his natural senses. We too see the computer in front of us as more real as the promises and truths of God. Even though we need but a hammer or some fuel and a match, and the computer is history, while we need a word and God’s things are. So it was a process of unlearning and manifesting on earth what he had seen in the heavens.
Actually, it started right away. The next chapter, Isaiah starts to unveil the plan of mercy and grace God has for this world:
Therefore Adonai himselfIsa 7:14
will give you people a sign:
the young woman will become pregnant,
bear a son and name him ‘Immanu El [God is with us].
But still we see woe, woe, woe spoken, and it takes a while for the message to change. But think of chapter 53. Revealing God’s plan to give his son for us, to bear all our sickness and disease (dis-ease), so we can get into his rest.
How did that change start to come about?
Isaiah’s lips were cleansed.
It’s all about words. Just as God started the first creation, he started the new: it is finished. He declared the new creation, and it is. Just as Paul says that we are a new creation. The moment we accept the work of Christ and its necessity for us personally we become a new creation, and have a lifetime to process, to manifest it in the earth. To grow the garden from that seed. To let the river flow.
How do we grow that garden? How about doing it the same way God created it in the first place? Speak to it. Speak growth. Speak eternal truths, such as: you are fearfully and wonderfully made. In the stripes of Jesus you are healed. You are planted at the river just as cedars. Let other gardeners help you with advice, don’t do it alone. Speak those things aloud. Because:
Trust comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through a word proclaimed about the Messiah.Rom 10:17
And then do it:
Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it!Jam 1:22
Keep the word in front of you all the time, just as God told Joshua. How about writing it on post-its and place it on strategic places like mirrors, fridges, and such? And read it to yourself whenever you see it. Aloud.
W’Yomer Elohim. And God spoke. In Aramaic, it becomes: the Word of God. Just as in John:
And so the Word became flesh and took a place among us for a time; and we saw his glory– such glory as is given to an only son by his father– saw it to be true and full of grace.John 1:14
Let our words become a person. Whenever we speak the words according to God’s will, words of life, Christ manifests.
I take on the assignment afresh to grow my garden and let the river flow, speaking words of life and acting on them. Thus manifesting the Christ.