THOSE WHO DWELL
By Dan Luehrs
To dwell means, (to live or abide in a place).
We all have to live somewhere, where is the place of your dwelling? Your dwelling is your personal place of peace and rest where you can let it all hang out and be yourself with nobody judging you or feeling insecure about being yourself. This is the place where family and friends except you for who you are.
Sometimes I drive down the road or walk amongst large crowds and wonder where all these people come from and where are they going? We all dwell somewhere, it may be a house, apartment, or some it could just be living in their car because they are homeless. We all have a dwelling place in the natural, but I ask you in all seriousness, where is your dwelling or abiding place in the spirit realm? “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” Gal 5:25 (KJV). Just as we have a home for our natural body we also have a spiritual abiding place in God that is home, this is also where we feel very comfortable and accepted for who we are spiritually. This is what it means to live and walk in the spirit, we are dual beings while we are living on earth. We are first a spirit being that comes from God, but we also have an earthly body that we carry around here until death and hopefully we have grown spiritually into the likeness of Jesus by the time we die. This, and this alone is the whole purpose of our time and struggles on earth. It is for us to fully mature into the likeness of Jesus.
GOD IS OUR DWELLING PLACE
I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God. "They shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God. Ex 29:45-46 (NASU)
God wants to dwell with us and be in us, He through the Holy Spirit wants to make His eternal home in our heart. God the creator of the universe needs a dwelling place for His Spirit to call home. We don’t think of God needing or wanting a dwelling place, yet out of all His creation He has made the heart of man to be His eternal dwelling place. How marvelous is that? “And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them” Rev 21:3 (NASU). We are the eternal dwelling place of God! On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came into the heart of man like a mighty rushing wind, because God was excited to come into our heart so that we would know Him on a personal level and to make Him known to others that this is their destiny also.
When God comes to abide in our heart we know that we have been spiritually awakened to know the living God and to know that we are a spiritual being at heart, not just human body that will one day die and decay in the earth, but that we are an eternal spirit. As a Christian we now have become spiritually discerned to know that there is a whole other spirit world around us that controls all the under laying works of evil or good in the natural world. It is either the work of God’s Spirit or it is the work of an evil spirit, it is one or the other in any given situation that we find ourselves in. It takes a gift of the discerning of spirits to know which spirit is at work. Obviously when evil is being done we know that it is a work of the devil, yet when the Holy Spirit is at work some people think it is the work of the devil when in reality it is God at work shaking things up. This is where we must have the gift of discerning of spirit’s in operation to know whether it is of God or not. If one knows that the cup they are drinking is from the Lord it is much easier to swallow. This is why Jesus could say of the Father in John 18:11, “…The cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?" This cup was concerning His death on the cross.
WHERE IS YOUR SPIRITUAL DWELLING PLACE?
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Ps 23:6 (NKJV)
Most believers would recognize this Psalm of David, but how many of us understand that David is not talking about a tent, temple, or some other building that God lives in. Many Christians call their church building, “The House of God.” God does not make His home in some man made structure, He may visit it, but it is not His abiding place. However, God does have a house, a dwelling place which is in the heart of man, it is the eternal resting place of God. “For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: "This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.” Ps 132:13-14 (NKJV). Zion is the people of God which He makes His home in.
Now the question is, are we dwelling (abiding) in Him; is He our eternal resting place? Jesus gave us an amazing invitation in John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” Jesus welcomes us with open arms to dwell in His heart, He is our resting place. Have you found your resting place by abiding in His love no matter how you may feel about yourself at any given time? His heart is pure love, pure joy, pure peace, and all He is asking us to do is COME ABIDE in that love. Jesus loves people so much that He sends us out in to the harvest fields so that all people may come to Him and find rest for their soul. God’s purpose is just not to get people to live in heaven eternally, He wants them to live a whole abundant life in His presence every day while on earth!
When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. "What a huge harvest!" he said to his disciples. "How few workers! Matt 9:36-37 (THE MESSAGE)
Jesus clearly said that a spirit seeks rest, have you found Him as your resting place? Have you told others that they can find rest in Him? If you are living in fear, unrest, depression, or doubt, you are not dwelling/abiding in His house, for His house is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. For that is what the kingdom of God is! This is our God given dwelling place that we will have to fight for every day. It is our birthright! "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you” John 14:2 (NASU). We must see that there are MANY DWELLING PLACES in the Father? How many of these spiritual places are you seeking and dwelling in? These spiritual places include rest, joy, peace, provision, and the list could go on and on into different levels of kingdom truths. The dwelling places start at salvation of the soul, which is the beginning of our spiritual journey, to Mount Zion, which is us becoming like Jesus. This is not something we just get to explore when we die, but something here and NOW that we can enter into if we will just ask Him for it and seek Him daily.
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. Matt 11:29 (NASU)
In Him we will find daily rest for our inner man, if we will just take the time for solitude in His presence. He wants us to learn from Him if we will take the time to know Him more intimately each day by hungering for Him. There are different realms in the spirit where we can enter in and out of each day. Some of these can be evil; like anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, lust, depression and greed. The list could go on and on. We can make our daily dwelling place in one of these realms until we are consumed and eaten up inside by them or until we take on their evil nature rather than the nature and likeness of Christ, which would be the opposite of evil. But how can we tell what realm we are abiding in each day? By what we are thinking of through the day and how much we are living in peace and rest. If we are making our home in Christ we will be sensing His presence, love, and joy, but if not, our thoughts will trouble us and we will not have rest. We must learn how to enter His presence through thanksgiving and worship in the midst of our hard times, we must know how to give our burdens to God and receive His love in the midst of our enemies otherwise we will be consumed by them.
ARE YOU A HEAVEN OR EARTH DWELLER?
Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Rev 3:10 (NASU)
In the book of Revelation there are two groups of people, the earth dwellers and the heavenly dwellers. I preferably choose to be in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, which is to be spiritual, but I would be lying if I told you that I always stay in the heavenlies were we are called to be. By the grace of God we can shake all the weights of this world off because they want to hold us down to be earthly minded, rather than ascending into the realms of God where there is joy and peace. As Christian’s our calling is to bring heaven to earth and to release earth bound people to heaven! “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus” Eph 2:6 (NLT). By our birthright in Jesus we have the right to ascend into the highest realms of the kingdom of God to obtain the full revelation of Jesus from the throne to become like Him in heart, mind, and deed. This is our destiny and to fall short of this would be a colossal failure on our part.
If we dwell in heavenly places in Christ Jesus we are safe in Him, but if we are merely an earth dweller or in other words, we love the things of earth more than we love the things of God, we will falter and enter into a time of testing that is not God’s will for us. He has provided a way of escape by us ascending into the realms of God when the attacks of the enemy come. Psalms 91:1 clearly gives us deep insight of the heart of God in this matter. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” It is when we dwell, we abide! Just by us taking the time to be with Him causes us to abide in Him as our spiritual home. Jesus said, “…We will come to him (US) and make Our home with him” John 14:23 (NKJV).
I can tell you from personal experience of more than thirty years that this it is true, He has come to me and made me aware if His abiding presence. I can tell you for a fact, I am never alone because He surrounds me with His love as I go about my day. Some days more than others, but if I will just take the time to look heaven ward in my heart I can see and feel the tangible presence of God just as if I were living in a house with Him. I guess that is exactly what it is, my spiritual HOME, God!
Right now in human history, it is one of the most important times for us to ascend into the realms of God through the open heavens. We can escape the wrath of the enemy that he is pouring out upon all people and especially the church of the living God. He hates us because we shine with the glory of Jesus!
"For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time." Rev 12:12 (NASU)
This is written very clearly for us to understand, those who are in heavenly places can rejoice because the enemy cannot touch them because they are out of his realm of spiritual authority. The devil himself has been thrown out of the heavenlies and is grounded and crawls around on the earth as a snake seeking someone to devour with the words of his mouth.
And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. Rev 13:6-8 (NASU)
We can see quite clearly in this verse as to how important it is for us to live what I call, “The Ascended Life Style” [which I have a book entitled] so that we are receiving our vision, wisdom, and grace from God daily as we still live in our earthly bodies. We the church are the tabernacle of God, THOSE WHO DWELL IN HEAVEN!
MOUNT ZION IS OUR ETERNAL DWELLING PLACE
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels. Heb 12:22 (NASU)
As stated earlier, Mount Zion is the pinnacle of the kingdom of God, we the church are there in spirit with Jesus NOW. We are not just hoping to get there, we are there according to the word! It represents the throne and authority of God. Mount Zion in the natural is the highest pike in Jerusalem where King David set his seat of government authority on. Not only that, after David brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Israel he placed a tent on top of Mount Zion and placed the Ark in it and assigned 24 hour worship, to house the presence of the Lord.
In the book of Revelation we find Jesus the Lamb of God standing on Mount Zion in the place of God’s government authority, but He is not alone, He has 144,000 with Him. “Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads” Rev 14:1 (NLT).
So, who are these 144,000? It is you, me, and every blood washed saint of God that has overcome through the blood of Jesus. How do we know this? Hebrews 12:22 tells us that we have already come there! 12 is the number of God’s government, 12x12=144. There are 12 tribes of Israel, and there are 12 Apostles that the Lord chose. Their 24 names are written on the New Jerusalem, on the gates and on the foundations of the city of who we are. This is the eternal city of God! We also see the 24 elders sitting on the throne with Jesus, with the four living creatures in the book of Revelation 4:4. These are spoken of five times in the book of Revelation.
The key thing about these 144,000 is that they have the names of the Father and the Son written on their forehead. Meaning, they have the character and the likeness of Jesus imprinted upon their hearts and minds and have become like Him in character. There is nothing higher or greater in calling and destiny given to the sons of God! We must have the attributes of these 24 names in our heart and head if we plan to rule and reign with Jesus from Mount Zion; their 24 names are written on the city of who we are, the New Jerusalem! I will write their names and give the meaning to help us understand how we need to be changed into their attribute and character just as Abraham, Jacob, and Saul had to have a name change. These names have been given to us by the grace of God and cannot be worked in us by our own fleshly works, this is all God’s grace and destiny for us, we must just receive it by faith.
The twelve tribe’s names and meanings are:
It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. Rev 21:12 (NAS)
2. Reuben = See a son, we are sons of God.
4. Levi = Unity, we are to live in unity with one another.
5. Issachar = Reward, Jesus is our reward.
6. Zebulun = Habitation, we are the dwelling place of God.
11. Joseph = Add a son, we the church are the added son.
The twelve Apostles names and meanings are:
And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Rev 21:14 (NAS)
1. Simon, who is called Peter = Rock, built on Jesus.
2. Andrew = A strong man, we are strong in Jesus.
3. James = Undermines, we are to undermine [disable] the enemy.
4. John = Grace and mercy of God.
5. Philip = Warlike, we are to run to battle!
6. Bartholomew = A son, like the son of God.
7. Thomas = Twin, to be like Jesus.
8. Matthew = Given or reward, Jesus said, My reward is with Me.
9. Alphaeus = Learned, chief, we are to be kings.
10. Thaddaeus = One who praises or confesses.
11. Simon = One who hears and obeys.
12. Paul = One who is small or little in one’s own eyes.
God please help us all to dwell and abide in this realm of Mount Zion with you, for this is the place of your authority given to us in the earth to live through Your power. To speak the truth of Who and what You have done for mankind in setting us free to serve the living God in love, joy, and peace of knowing your great deliverance from sin and death, staying filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountaintops! Shout it louder, O Jerusalem. Shout, and do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah, "Your God is coming!" Isa 40:9 (NLT)
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