Rev. 4, is the passage of scripture where God’s beauty is revealed, where there is more comprehensive revelation of God’s beauty than any other place in scripture. It does not appear that way at a quick reading, but it is. This passage will take a little bit of time to understand it. Think about it, there is no subject higher than the beauty of God because the beauty and holiness of God are the same subject.
When they cried out, “Holy, holy, holy!,” actually what they were saying, in essence, was, “Transcendent beauty, transcendent beauty, transcendent beauty!” They were crying out to God’s being wholly other-than—entirely different from the rest of creation—holy. The subject of God’s beauty or holiness, there is no subject bigger than this. There is no subject that is more powerful on the human heart and destroys the kingdom of darkness more effectively than this subject. Therefore, you can imagine that there will be some resistance by the powers of darkness for us not to enter into this subject at the heart level.
The subject of the beauty of God is the subject of the holiness of God. We understand that God’s holiness is more than the fact that He is separated from sin and from things that are wrong. He is higher and separated from everything. He is infinitely superior to everything that exists. He is holy because the word holy means other-than, separated from. He is not just separated from darkness; He is separated in His glory from everything that is even created. He has an infinitely superior splendor to everything that exists. Therefore, He is transcendent, beautiful, holy in that regard. So the enemy does not want this truth to lodge in your heart or my heart. God, the way He runs His kingdom, gives on the basis of hunger. He puts these chapters before us—Rev. 4-5—we put the two together. They go together. It is like He is beckoning us. He is saying, “If you are hungry, you will go after Me.” You will not have any part of scripture that you will feast more on about the heart of God than Rev. 4-5.
Beauty and the Prayer Movement
The Holy Spirit is orchestrating a worldwide prayer movement and worship movement, obviously. We understand that. Many understand that—the revelation of how God delights in us, and the revelation of how God beautifies us is a core truth. This doctrine of God’s delight and beauty is a core truth. It is an entry point to the End-Time worship movement. Now there are many who are involved in worship teams across the earth who do not touch this subject very much, but I assure you that it is the entry point or access point for the End-Time prayer movement. It is the fuel of the fire of the End-Time worship movement—the subject of the beauty of God.
David is the one who wrote Ps. 149. He said, “The Lord takes pleasure in His people, and He takes pleasure in them.” These are aspects of God’s own beauty. David is talking about prayer in Ps. 149 if you read it in this context. It is talking about the End-Time prayer movement. Ps. 149 is about the End-Times. David proclaims, “God takes pleasure…,” he reveals the reality of God’s pleasure in His people and the reality of God beautifying His people as a central, core truth to the prayer movement in Ps. 149. That is another subject for another time, but I just wanted to reference the subject of the beauty of God with the very prominent prayer chapter Ps. 149.
Release of Beauty Prophesied
Isaiah prophesied in Isa. 4:2 that Jesus’ beauty would be revealed to God’s people in the End-Times. Isa. 4:2 says, ‘In that day,” and it is talking about in context, and you read the context and you will see the context is related to the generation in the coming of the Lord. That is what “in that day” means. The branch of the Lord was a term in the Old Testament prophets. It was used six times as a term for the Messiah—Jesus. “But in that day,” in the generation that the Lord returns, “the Messiah would be seen as beautiful and glorious by God’s people.” He will be seen in His beauty. Beloved, the beauty of God is a central issue for the people in this generation.
The revelation of God’s beauty is key to living holy, obviously. It has not been emphasized through Church history much. King David used it, but as I have studied different theological emphases and books of the great preachers throughout history, the subject of the beauty of God is rarely mentioned. Every now and then you will see a message on it in one of the old books. It is going to be a major emphasis as the Messiah is going to be revealed in His beauty in the generation that the Lord returns. The revelation of God’s beauty is the key to living holy particularly in generation that sin will be more available than any other time in history.
The Need for Beauty
Beloved, this is not an hour that we can afford to live spiritually bored. There will be so many vexing sins that so many of even God’s people will fall prey to because if they are living in spiritual boredom in another generation they might have not had the same severe results. Living in spiritual boredom is making ourselves vulnerable to Satan’s attack in an area in a time of history when he is going to release an unholy power on sin and temptation in the earth like no time in history. We have to live fascinated. If we do not live fascinated, we will end up in compromise. There will not be any middle ground.
The other subject is the ability to interpret God’s judgments. We can only interpret the judgments of God accurately if we understand His beauty. We understand that a beautiful God is actually removing everything that hinders love. He is beautifying His planet through His judgments because every He does is motivated by His holiness or beauty or love. Those terms are very interconnected. His judgments are removing the things that hinder love. He removes the things that hinder His beauty being manifested on the earth. Without this revelation, we will end up with a diminished view or really a jaded view of God’s judgments.
The preacher who preaches on God’s judgments without a revelation of the Bridegroom and the beauty of God, often, not always, but often preach of God’s judgments through anger rather than through a beckoning to the heart of God. There is a Bridegroom God filled with beauty who is orchestrating the End-Time judgments. There is no contradiction between Jesus the Bridegroom and Jesus the King and Jesus the Judge. There is no contradiction whatsoever in that.
Going after the Beauty of God
The study of God’s beauty takes time. It will come slowly for all of us. It is the Mt. Everest of the Body of Christ, of the kingdom of God, rather. It is the highest mountain, the most formidable mountain, the most difficult mountain for all the mountain climbers of the earth. Mt. Everest is the one to conquer. It is the one in everyone’s sight. The subject of the beauty of God, the knowledge of God is the Mt. Everest of the kingdom of God.
Even the seraphim around His throne are still overwhelmed by new discoveries of God’s beauty. For a billion, billion years, they will see new things of God’s heart and it will overwhelm them. With their wings they will cover their eyes, and they will be overwhelmed yet again. A billion years from now, we will still be overwhelmed with new discoveries of God’s beauty.
Do not be impatient with yourself if this takes time. This is the number one issue. This is the issue that the enemy does not want you to get a hold of. This is the issue that God will not give casually because it is the issue of His own heart. The enemy will resist it, but God will not give it freely. God will give this revelation on the basis of hunger. He gives us salvation for free. Most of the time God is chasing us down, He corners us, we get saved, and then we tell the story, “I was seeking for the Lord and then..” and the Lord says, “That is not how I remember it. I cornered you. I boxed you in. I gave you no way out, and you got saved.” Well, we do not get the beauty of God that way. We have to go after God, and on the basis of hunger, He will give it to us.
THE ONLY WAY FORWARD
The only way forward, and this is just a fact of life, a fact of the scripture, the only way forward is long and loving meditation on the Word. There is no other way forward in the revelation of God’s beauty except for long hours meditating on God from the Word of God. We can be saved and we can even be anointed without that, but we will never touch the deeper things of His beauty, even in this age, without long hours meditating on God from the Word of God. We will never touch the deeper things of His beauty in this age in the ultimate sense without going after this. Billions of years from now, we will still be going after His beauty in heaven, with dramtic increase, of course, but it will still be incremental, we will grow in the knowledge of God in the beauty of God forever, more and more.
God has a portion He wants to give this age. This is a generation in which His beauty will be magnified by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is going to reveal this subject to the End-Time prayer movement, to the whole Church, but it will fuel the End-Time prayer movement. It will fuel the End-Time warfare, and the whole Church will be apart of the prayer movement because only the praying church will be the only Church that survives at the end. There will be no such thing as a non-praying and a non-prophetic church in the hour of the end, in the hour that the Lord returns.
Only the praying and prophetic Church, which is synonymous, will be present and standing in victory in the very days when the Lord returns. It is not enough for prayer and fasting—long meditation on the Word. Beloved, we have to be serious about the pursuit of 100-fold obedience. I have never met anyone who has attained 100-fold obedience. I am talking about for an extended period of time where they enter into some realm other than, but I know this, we need to pursue it with an absolute earnestness. The pursuit of it is what I am talking about.
The Hungry become more Hungry
Blessed are those who Hunger! Those who are hungry for God become more hungry for God. The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. It is a principle in John 4:24-25. He says, “To the one who has, I will give him more. To the one who does not have, I will take away what he has.” The rich get richer in the Spirit. It is true. The hungry get more hungry because hunger births more hunger. I know I should not be talking about it now on a long fast. Someone is about to yell out, “I know. I know.” No, actually the good thing about fasting is that you get weaker, but you do not get hungrier.
Hunger begets hunger. Hunger for God births greater for God if you feed it—that is the key sentence there. If you are hungry for God and you feed that hunger, the hunger gets bigger. A little depth in God makes us hungrier for more depth in God. When we touch a little bit of God and that touches our spirit, it beckons us, it calls us to go to more depth in God. That is what David meant, I mean the psalmist meant in Ps. 42 when he said, “Deep calls unto deep.” Deep beckons us to deeper things if we feed our spirit, if we feed ourselves according to the deep things that we are touching. They create a hunger for more deeper things. It will push us to the next realm of God’s depth. It catapults us forward. One depth of God launches us forward to the next realm of depth in God.
The Knowledge of God
The knowledge of God is not neutral information. It is information with power. The knowledge of God, when it touches our spirit, it pushes us forward to greater depths. It really does. It is information that has power on it if we feed our spirit with it. There is a phrase that I have used for years, “God’s river is called Desire.” That is what I call it—Desire. God’s river is a river called Desire. God’s river is powerful. The Holy Spirit is powerful, obviously. We get down sometimes, sometimes the Church wants to get down by the river and play in the river. That river has a mind of its own. That river has a power of hunger. It will get a hold of you.
It will create a hunger and a longing in you, and you will make crazy decisions from the world’s perspective. You will spend long hours pursuing things that before hunger got a hold of you, you never would have pursued. You will give away your money, you will throw away your career. You will do crazy things in your pursuit of God once this hunger gets a hold of you. It has a mind of its own.
People start off in the journey thinking that they just want to be a little bit more lively of a Christian, and they get themselves touching that river called Desire—the desire of God’s heart, the Holy Spirit, and it pulls us in if we yield to it, we end up seeking greater humility, and we seek greater abandonment and greater sacrifice. It just keeps beckoning us to more, and we want to go there. It makes sense to us, and it makes sense to some of the folks around us. It does not make sense to how we thought ten or twenty years ago, but it makes sense to us. We want to give it all to Him in a way that we had no thought of years previous.
Hunger for God
Hunger for God is painful. You need to understand that, and most of you do. Hunger for God feels good in the initial stages, “Ahh, I am just hungry for God, and I just want to have more.” Later, and I have seen this in my own life and in the reading of some of the books of the really radical abandoned saints through history and I know it through friends and observation. It starts off feeling good, but later it is painful because we become so much more aware of what we do not know or what we do not have or how shallow we are living. When we are not spiritually hungry, we think we are doing good, but when we are spiritually hungry, we are in pain at how little we have. We are completely unaware of it some years ago. Maybe some of you even some months ago.
We become aware of what we do not have in God because there is more is the idea. Our journey is not as enjoyable as it used to be. There is a season where the pain takes hold of us, and beloved, do not cut that season short. That is the blessing of God. That is not the work of the flesh or the work of the devil. That is the work of God in your spirit. “Yeah, but when I first started, I felt good. It just felt good. His presence felt good. Now it is just magnifying my darkness, my weakness, and what I do not have in Him.” Well beloved, you did not have nearly that much years ago or some months ago. It did not bother you at all. Now you are so miserable about it. That is the blessing of God. It is called, “blessed are they who mourn.”
It is—it is the gift of God working in your spirit. That cry, that pain is actually the assurance that you are on the right path, and it is the assurance that you are actually going to keep going forward. That little issue of pain goes away, and we might be surprised what God’s people would do if the gift of hunger, of mourning, of longing was not working in them. It is the assurance that you are on the right path, and it is the assurance that you are actually going to keep going forward.
What you need to be worried about is when that is gone completely. I think that as you mature in the Lord, some of those who are newer in the things of God, it becomes, it is not like there is always pain all the time. There is a paradox between the sweet release of His presence on our heart one moment one day, and then there is pain the next day. It just keeps going back and forth. It ebbs and flows. It is the north and south winds is what we say from Song of Solomon. Those years of really walking earnestly with the Lord have the pain and the delight dimension. It is not one without the other. It is both of them, and that is the paradox.