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The Mercy Seat

by Gwen R. Shaw

mercyseat

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America, It’s Time To Run To The Mercy Seat!

      If ever there has been a time when America needed the mercy of God, it is now! As a nation we have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. We have turned away from the Lord who brought our forefathers out from the nations where they suffered persecution for the Lord’s sake in their beloved home lands. Many had died as martyrs, more had been tortured, and multitudes had suffered beyond description. Our forefathers left their families and homes to follow the call of God, like Abraham long ago, to come to this new land. They sacrificed everything to leave, and even after their arrival many died of the cold, starvation, disease and by the hand of the natives.

      But they covenanted with each other, and with God, that this new land of promise would be dedicated to the Lord God.

      In time the Lord blessed us and multiplied us, and poured His grace out upon us until we became the most powerful nation in the world.

 

AMERICA, COME BACK TO GOD BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

      But what did we do with this great blessing and honour which our Lord gave us?

      We forgot Him. We turned away from Him. We even removed His LAWS OF LIFE, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, from the walls of our government buildings, and took His Holy Word, the Bible, out of the hands of our children. The judges of our land made new laws, even blasphemous laws which were totally contrary to the Holy Laws of God. The blood of our unborn babies was shed while still in their mother’s wombs. We had the same spirit of murdering our God-given children that the enemies of Israel had when they slit open the wombs of the mothers who were with child and dashed their infants against the walls. Is it any wonder that the fury of these Middle-Eastern nations has come against us? Have we not made a covenant with death by our laws which condone abortion to appease our women who cry for the freedom to murder their own?

      We look with disgust upon the pagan religions who offer their children as blood sacrifices to their heathen gods, but we “slay” our unborn on the altars of pleasure, convenience, and we demand to be unshackled from “another kid to raise.”

      God said that when His people, whom He loves, turn away from Him they will suffer terrible things. They will lose their strength to stand against the enemy. They will flee in the day of battle. He warns that one cruel, evil person will cause a thousand back-slidden soldiers to flee, and two will put ten thousand to flight. God warns what would happen when His people forsake Him, “How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold [surrendered] them to the enemy, and the LORD had shut them up [given them over to our enemy]?” (Deuteronomy 32:30).

      When we realize this, we can understand how only 19 terrorists could bring all of America, with its mighty army, its great wealth, and its powerful weapons to our knees in one hour!

      I know these are harsh words, but they are words of truth. Who will receive them? Who will agree with them? Who will repent for our nation and cry out to God to have mercy upon us in these awful days, before God turns His face away from us and we suffer even more from His anger? 

      The Lord God gave Israel the right to choose whether they wanted to obey His laws and have His blessings, or to turn away from Him and be cursed with many afflictions (Deuteronomy 28:1-58).

      BUT IF WE DO NOT OBEY HIM! “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:” (Deuteronomy 28:15). The Scripture goes on to list some of the terrible things our nation, and we as individuals, have suffered.

THE DISPENSATIONS OF THE AGES AND THE COMING GREAT TRIBULATION

      One day, as I was ministering to our staff, it was revealed to me by the Holy Spirit that the Days of Grace are coming to a close, and the Days of Mercy are now here. And oh, how we need mercy! There never has been a time when we needed it more.

      According to Bible Scholars, earth-time has been divided into what they call “dispensations.”  The Oxford Dictionary defines “dispensation” as “The ordering, or management (esp. of the world) by Providence.”

      Since the time of Christ, we have been living in the dispensation of grace, also known as “the times of the Gentiles.”

      Since the restoration of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people, and the mass exodus of Jews out of all the nations of the world back to their land, it is easy to recognise that there has been what one might term “a changing of the guard,” and the Times of the Gentiles is coming to a close. According to Bible prophecy the Great Tribulation is rushing toward us (a fact that has been made evident by the September 11 terrorist attack on N.Y.C. and the Pentagon). During the Great Tribulation the anti-christ will rule over all the world. He will be very cruel and will cause untold suffering. Because of his godless ways the wrath of God will fall upon the earth in a way man has never known since the world-flood in the time of Noah, and the terrible overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone. 

      We must recognise that time is moving on, and prophecy will be fulfilled on schedule. Days of great trial are drawing nigh. They cannot be averted much longer. The only thing that could possibly hold back the coming persecution and suffering would be the world-wide repentance of the nations and their turning back to the true God, culminating in a great revival and men living holy lives that have been transformed by God.

      Unless this happens we are on the brink of a One World Government, a One World economy, a One World Religion and the dictatorship of Satan through one of his “sons” who will be a faithful servant to the devil in the same way that Jesus, the Son of God was obedient to His Heavenly Father. Satan always copies everything God does. Watch for his “kingdom” to take control of the world.

      Yet, when the Lord begins to pour out His vials of wrath, as is written in the Book of Revelation, we can take comfort that our Lord God, Yahweh, is a God of Mercy, and He promises us that in the hour of wrath He will remember to be merciful to His own (Habakkuk 3:2) — if we will only run to the MERCY SEAT.

      Many times in the Bible the Lord says that He is a merciful God, and that He extends His mercy unto many generations. In fact, He promised that His mercy endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34).

      The Days of Grace last during the Times of the Gentiles, but I am comforted that even though it seems that these days of God’s grace are quickly closing, and His blessing upon our country is lifting, our God is still merciful. This is what we need to know so that we can be comforted and not fearful — even in terrible times of great affliction, times when we see the Lord allow nations more evil than ourselves to chastise us, and bring us to our knees. 

HOW CAN GOD ALLOW THOSE WHO ARE WICKED TO STRIKE US?

      You may ask, “How can God allow people more wicked than ourselves to do what they did?”

      Yes, I must confess that it is hard to understand, until we read in our Bible that the Lord punished Israel in the same way, even though He loved Israel more than any other nation in the world. They were the apple of His eye. In  Deuteronomy 28:15-68 (especially in verses 49-50) we read how God warns His beloved Israel, “The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young.”  The violent, vicious cruelty of the terrorist attacks on defenceless, innocent people, young and old, reveals the rage that must be in their hearts. One runs out of adjectives while trying to describe the recent atrocities. Many thousands of children today are orphans because of the 911 attack against America.

UNLESS THEY REPENT, THE NATION THAT GOD PERMITS TO SMITE US WILL ONE DAY BE SMITTEN BY GOD

      But their day of retribution is coming, for God Himself will punish them because they have not only raged against the American people, they have raged against the God of the American people.

      Our president, George W. Bush said, “They strike us, and then they run into their holes and hide.” But God says in 2 Kings 19:27, “I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against Me.” He punished Israel’s enemy by sending the death angel into their camp, in one night He slew 180,000 strong men of war who were holding Jerusalem under seige. If we, as a nation, will humble ourselves, confess our sins, beg for forgiveness for our sins, and change our lives, it could possibly still turn things around, and God may again give us “a space of grace” as He did the last time when we cried out to Him during the Gulf War. It all depends on us!

ALL MEN CAN ALWAYS CALL UPON GOD FOR MERCY

      But even if our nation does not repent as a whole, we as individuals, can still obtain mercy from God; for our God is very merciful, as He told Moses in the Torah (Exodus 34:5-7).

      When Moses heard these words he “bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.” (Exodus 34:5)

      We have been humbled by our enemies and those who hate us. The whole world has seen our shame and humiliation. Even now we are not secure nor safe. Why can’t we humble ourselves before our Heavenly Father, ask forgiveness of Him and seek His face?! If we humble ourselves before Him we will not have to humble ourselves before our enemies.

      Remember, our enemies are God’s enemies, for they reject Him and blaspheme against Him by their profane words of mockery and by their worship of other gods who are only idols, or representations of demons.

      But our God is so merciful that if even they repent He will forgive them and save them also.

PRAYER CAN TURN THE DEVIL’S TERRORISTS INTO GOD’S SERVANTS

      Those who persecute God’s true people are like Saul of Tarsus who, if their eyes were opened, would say with Saul (Paul) that they obtained mercy, even though they may have caused the death of many, because they thought they were doing the will of God [Allah]. Like Paul, they will be able to say, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13-14).

      One day, when Paul was on the road to Damascus to arrest all the Christians he could find, and bring them before the religious court in Jerusalem (where they would possibly be put to death by stoning, as the Martyr St. Stephen had been), the Lord God, in His great love and mercy, stopped him with a bright Light from Heaven. For three days Saul fell down before the “MERCY SEAT” in the city of Damascus, and cried out to God for mercy. And God heard him, saved him, healed him of physical and spiritual blindness, filled him with the Holy Spirit, and called him into full time service for the Lord (Acts, chapter nine).

      All this happened because the saints were crying out to God to stop the enemy. If we will call out the intercessors we will accomplish more than all the armies of NATO combined. His mercy endures forever. He can turn our enemies into friends, and get rid of them that way. How much better! Can we love them enough to pray for them and forgive them?

      Paul loved His Saviour with so great a love that he suffered all manner of persecutions, trials, and difficulties, and ultimately died for Him. That is how our persecutors will love Him also when they see themselves as unworthy sinners for whom Christ died.

      Our Lord delights in making the persecutor into the persecuted, not to retaliate, but to show the world the power of redeeming love! He can turn the man whose heart is filled with rage and hatred into a conduit of the love of God. So marvellous is the Love of God! So great is His mercy that He is even now waiting at the MERCY SEAT for whosoever will come to Him.

WHERE DID THE MERCY SEAT
ORIGINALLY COME FROM?

      Apostle John, in his book, Revelation, had a vision of Heaven which he describes, “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ARK OF HIS TESTAMENT:” (Revelation 11:19).

      The original MERCY SEAT, the covering for the ARK OF THE COVENANT, was in Heaven. Everything that God commanded Moses to do or to make was a pattern of the Heavenly. That is why God cautioned Moses, “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount” (Exodus 25:40). The writer of Hebrews understood this when he wrote that the priestly ceremonies “serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” The writer of Hebrews confirms Exodus 25:40 when he tells how Moses was admonished by God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, “See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount” (Hebrews 8:5).

      As long as there is a MERCY SEAT in Heaven, there is a MERCY SEAT on earth. In Moses’ day, and during the Dispensation of the Law, the MERCY SEAT was a visible one in a visible Tabernacle. Now it is an invisible one, a MERCY SEAT which we can only approach through faith in the mercy and love of God.

      When Moses was in the Presence of God on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights, God instructed him in many things. One of the things God commanded Moses to do was to build a Holy Tabernacle where men could gather together to worship Him and offer up sacrifices for their sins and Praise Offerings as an expression of their gratitude to God for all the good things which He had done for them.

THE TABERNACLE
AND ITS FURNISHINGS

      The Lord gave Moses very specific instructions for the building of the Tabernacle and its furnishings.

      In the OUTER COURT there was an ALTAR FOR BURNT OFFERINGS. This is where the animals and birds were sacrificed. The second thing was a LAVER for the ceremony of washing and cleansing of the priests who had offered up the sacrifices, and in so doing had gotten blood on their hands.

      The Tabernacle itself was divided into two parts: the HOLY PLACE, and the HOLY OF HOLIES. These two rooms were divided by a heavy VEIL that hung  from the ceiling to the floor.

      There were three pieces of furniture in the HOLY PLACE: THE TABLE OF SHOW BREAD, THE CANDLESTICK (which is one of the emblems of Israel today), and the TABLE OF INCENSE, where the holy incense was burned. The bread was laid out fresh every week, and never was there a moment when there was no holy bread on the table. The seven-branch candlestick (menorah) was fed by olive oil, and never for a moment was the flame permitted to expire. The incense on the TABLE OF INCENSE constantly emitted the fragrance of the burning frankincense twenty-four hours a day.

THE HOLY OF HOLIES

      Behind the veil was the HOLY OF HOLIES, or as it is called in Exodus 26:33-34 the MOST HOLY PLACE. It was the most sacred place in all the earth because the Presence of God was there. Only one piece of furniture was inside. It was a chest-like box called THE ARK OF THE COVENANT.

      The word “ARK” here was a different word than the ark which Noah built. Noah’s “ark” is tebah in Hebrew (Strong’s #8392). It means “a box.” The word for the ARK in the Holy of Holies is arown in Hebrew (Strong’s #727) and is translated “a box, chest, coffin.” The coffin that contained the body of Joseph which the Children of Israel carried to the Promised land was called an arown.

      The Lord had given Moses the instructions how to make it in Exodus 25:10-11. It was really three boxes: a gold one on the outside, a wooden one that fit inside it, and another gold chest to fit inside the wooden one. When one looked at it, one could only see gold. The wooden part (which spoke of the humanity of Christ), was totally hidden inside and outside by gold. The gold and the wood represented Jesus’ deity and His humanity. He was all God and He was all Man. This is a mystery even for the great theologians of the Church. His name “JESUS CHRIST” also reveals this: Jesus (Joshua), His human name, and Christ, the Anointed One, shows He is Divine.

      This is not only true of Jesus Christ; it is true of every born-again, Spirit-filled believer who is in Christ. 1 John 3:1-2 says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God... Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

WHAT WAS THE MERCY SEAT?

      The Lord instructed Moses, “And thou shalt make a MERCY SEAT of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof” (Exodus 25:17).

      “And thou shalt put the MERCY SEAT upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place” (Exodus 26:34).

      The term ARK OF THE COVENANT and ARK OF THE TESTIMONY are inter-changeable. They are one and the same. The words “Testament” and “Covenant” are synonymous.

      The ARK OF THE COVENANT had a lid. It was a brick of pure gold, made to fit exactly on the top of the chest. They tell us it was about five inches thick. The value of it was immense. This is what the Lord called THE MERCY SEAT.

      The Lord instructed Moses to make two ANGELS of gold to place upon the ark, one on each end (Exodus 25:17-20).

      When God banished Adam and Eve out of Paradise after they sinned, He placed cherubim (plural) with flaming swords so that it would be impossible for man to return to Paradise in his sinful state. Now the Lord puts the type of these guardian angels (in gold) over the MERCY SEAT where man would be able to receive forgiveness through the shed blood sprinkled upon the seat. It is only when the Blood of Jesus and the Mercy of God meet, that man is forgiven all his sins and can again return to his original state where he no longer suffers the condemnation of God for his sins. That is why the Veil of the Temple was rent in twain when Jesus died. It was a sign from Heaven that the way was made open for sinful man to freely come to God to obtain forgiveness for sin.

      When the flesh of Jesus was “torn” by the lashes and the cruel crucifixion He suffered, the veil of the Temple was also torn, signifying that through His intense suffering and death we are free to enter into the Presence of God. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest [the Holy of Holies] by the Blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;” (Hebrews 10:19-20).

DWELLING IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD WE FIND MERCY

      When we are in His Presence we will find mercy because He has promised to inhabit the Holy of Holies where the MERCY SEAT is. It is also here in  His Presence where eternal, resurrection life will flow through our old dry bones. There is healing in His Presence for body, soul and spirit. Here our broken hearts are healed, our troubles melt away, our burdens fall off and the thing we fear doesn’t paralyse us any longer. Everything that seems so negative and threatening comes into its perspective in the Light of His Glory and Grace.

      His Presence sanctified the Tabernacle and brought His Glory into the camp. He promised His children, “And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my Glory.” (Exodus 29:43)

      Many who have sincerely tried to live a holy and sanctified life have gone from failure to failure, sin after sin, because they do not dwell in His Presence. They surround themselves with the wrong kind of people. They listen to the wrong kind of programs on the television and radio. They read the wrong kind of literature, and go to the wrong places. They attend a house of worship where a powerless gospel is preached, and occupy their time with the things of the world which often are not sinful, but certainly are not profitable to the soul. They do not take time to pray, read the Bible or worship. How can they be victorious over sin when they do not dwell in His Presence?

      Oh, how precious is the invitation of the Holy Spirit in these difficult times to come to the MERCY SEAT to commune with Him, find forgiveness, peace, and resurrection life. He is there at the MERCY SEAT waiting for you.

      Remember what He said, “And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the MERCY SEAT, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 25:22). He promises to commune and communicate with us, explaining and teaching us concerning the commandments which He has given us. In His Presence is enlightenment, mental quickening, and revelation of the hidden secrets of God.

      When Moses had a problem he went to God for the answer. The Torah tells us, “And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the MERCY SEAT that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him” (Numbers 7:89). If we would take time in His Presence to hear from God, instead of running to men for advise we wouldn’t so often be led astray through wrong counsel.

      When the High Priest came into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement he had to come alone. True communion with the Father is a very personal thing. One cannot have friends tagging along. Many have devotions with the family, and that is good. But the time you spend alone with God is very important. The song writer spoke it so beautifully in the little chorus:

      Shut in with God, In the secret place,
      There in His Presence beholding His face,
      Waiting for power to run in the race;
      Oh, I long to be shut in with God!

      If you have never found the secret joy of walking in the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses, and if you have never heard His voice of cheer falling on your ear, which His love for you discloses, you have not lived!

      The Shekinah Glory cloud came down and rested over the MERCY SEAT and man came face-to-face with the Almighty.

      He is still there, waiting for you. Why don’t you come into His Presence?

THE DAY OF ATONEMENT —
THE DAY OF MERCY

      God set one day in the year apart from all other days when man was commanded to deal with his sins. That day is called, Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement.

      One of the words for MERCY in the Old Testament is kapporeth (Strong’s #3727) it comes from the root word kipur, which is translated “atonement.” This is the same word that is used for the lid of the ARK OF THE COVENANT. The name MERCY SEAT in Hebrew is kapporeth. It wasn’t the gold slab, which the Bible calls THE MERCY SEAT, that gave mercy and forgiveness to the multitudes, it was the sacrificial blood which the High Priest sprinkled on it seven times that God recognised as the offering for sin whereby He could forgive all Israel. Today it is not a church, nor a penitent’s altar, nor a priest’s prayer for us that gives us forgiveness, but the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ which was shed for the remission of our sins that atones for our sins.

      The Greek word for MERCY SEAT in Hebrews 9:5 is hilasterion (Strong’s #2435). It means “a place of expiation, an atoning, a propitiation.”

      In Romans 3:25 we read concerning Christ, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [hilasterion] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”  Did you notice that the word “propitiation” in Romans 3:25 is the exact same word used in Hebrews 9:5 when the author writes, “And over it the cherubims of Glory shadowing the MERCY SEAT [hilasterion]; of which we cannot now speak particularly.”

      By comparing these two Scriptures we understand that Jesus Christ is our present day MERCY SEAT. He is our “hilasterion”. He is our atonement for sin. The Presence and Person of the Godhead dwells in Him, and we need only come to Him to find all that our soul may ever need. He is there, in His Resurrection Power, ever ready to meet our every need.

      Christ is more mighty, more merciful, more loving, than that costly brick of gold in the Tabernacle. He is the Living Deity which the MERCY SEAT represented. And He stands even now at the Father’s right hand ready to receive all those who come to Him for mercy, for He is the TRUE MERCY SEAT, THE COVERING FOR ALL MANKIND’S SINS, IF THEY WILL ONLY COME TO HIM.

THE GREAT DAY OF ATONEMENT

      Most Bible scholars understand that the Bible Feasts of the Old Testament are symbolic of special events that have taken place in history, or will yet take place, e.g.:

      1. PASSOVER: This was fulfilled when Jesus died on the eve of Passover, and became the “Passover Lamb.”

      2. PENTECOST: This was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit was poured out in Jerusalem fifty days after Passover on the 120 believers who were gathered together seeking the Lord in the Upper Room.

      3. FEAST OF TRUMPETS: It is yet to be fulfilled when the saints are gathered home.

      4. DAY OF ATONEMENT: This too is yet to be fulfilled as Zechariah described it in Zech 12:10-14.

      5. THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES: It will be fulfilled when the Kingdom of God comes to earth.

      The next great event is The Feast of Trumpets. It will immediately be followed up by The Day of Atonement. Let us study this day a little more closely. It is of great significance to Israel and all Jewish People.

      This was the ONE DAY OF THE YEAR when God forgave the entire nation of Israel. (See Leviticus 16). There is soon coming a day when once again all Israel will be forgiven all her sins. Isaiah has prophesied concerning this wonderful day, “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” (Isaiah 66:8). This will take place when all of Judaism suffers during the Great Tribulation, a time which is just around the corner.

      Before the High Priest could offer up any sacrifices he had to remove his beautiful priestly garments, wash his flesh, and put on a plain linen garment which the Lord called a “holy garment.” Only then could he begin the ceremony of the Day of Atonement, called in Hebrew “Yom Kippur”.

      FIRST: He offered up the first sacrifice of a bullock, which was a personal sacrifice for his own sins, and the sins of his own family (Leviticus 16:6). Before he could secure the redemption of his people, he had to be free of all sin himself.

      SECOND: a. He had to obtain atonement for his personal sins. He took a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERING and a hand full of sweet incense that had been beaten small, and brought it within the veil. He put the incense upon the coals of fire so that the cloud of the incense covered the MERCY SEAT. This was very important, because if the fragrance of the cloud of incense did not go before him into the Holy of Holies he would have instantly died. The Scripture says,  “...that he die not” (Leviticus 16:12-13). When the cloud of fragrance filled the Holy of Holies and covered the MERCY SEAT, it also covered him, and protected him. The fragrance is a symbol of Praises to God. When we come into the Presence of the Lord we must come with praise in our heart. The Psalmist said, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalms 100:4).

      The High Priest took the blood of the bullock which he had sacrificed, and sprinkled it with his finger upon the MERCY SEAT eastward, and in front of the MERCY SEAT seven times.

                  b. He atoned for the sins of the people. He went back out to the outer court where he slew another bullock as a sacrifice and offered the blood for the sins of all the people. He brought it within the veil and repeated the ceremony.

      No one could enter this Holy of Holies, he must be all alone. The Presence of the Lord was there.

      All of Israel had been observing ten days of self-examination, called Days of Awe. During that time they made wrongs right, paid debts they owed, sought forgiveness of those they had offended, and made things right with God and their neighbour. They waited with great anxiety for the High Priest to come out and report that all was well, and that God had forgiven Israel. He had to come out alive as proof of their forgiveness. A rope had been tied around one of his legs, just in case he had done something wrong, and God would have to smite him dead while he was in the Holy of Holies. No one else dared enter to bring out his body, for he would have died also. They had to be prepared to pull him out with the rope — just in case! When they saw him emerge from the Tabernacle they knew all was well with their souls. It was like he had risen from the dead.

      When the Lord rose from the dead, it was proof to Heaven and earth that all was well. The atonement had been completed. God had accepted the sacrifice. There is forgiveness, not only for Israel, but for all the world. All that the nations need to do is come to the MERCY SEAT!

      Come now, come just as you are. Do not say to yourself, “I'll wait until I can improve myself and become a better person.” Come with your faults, your failings, your weaknesses, your ugliness, your cheating heart.  Come with all your sins. Be honest with yourself. God knows all about you anyway. You cannot deceive Him.  You cannot hide anything from Him. He knows you better that you know yourself. He is a just God. Your sins deserve judgment. Your soul is in great danger. But if you will run to the MERCY SEAT (Jesus Christ), you will be saved. Because it is here, and here alone that the justice and judgment of God is confronted with the mercy of God. Here, and here alone is where justice and mercy meet, and mercy prevails.  (James 2:13)

      Come with your broken heart, your tears, your fears, your doubts, your insecurities, your broken dreams, your disappointments, with your loss of faith in people whom you have trusted. Come with your sickness, your weakness, your handicap, your limitations, and He will heal and strengthen you. Come to the God of Mercy. He will heal all you in body, soul and spirit. Come to Jesus; He is the true eternal MERCY SEAT.

      COME NOW, WHILE THE DOOR IS STILL OPEN! COME, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE! 

Copyright 2001 by Gwen R. Shaw