In Revelation 15, the Seven Angels are given seven wounds (“pleges” in Greek), which come from the Sanctuary in Heaven and are poured out upon the days of time.
The Sanctuary was a stone building, built upon the spot where, according to Jewish tradition, God first made the human soul.
The Sanctuary in Heaven is the Body of Christ.
The Sanctuary is a piece of eternity in space and time.
You are the Sanctuary being made in the image of God.
No one could enter the Sanctuary until the seven wounds of the Seven Angels were “finished.”
At the end of the sixth day, Jesus hung on a tree in a garden and cried, “It is finished,” and the curtain in the Sanctuary ripped from the top to the bottom. To enter the Sanctuary is to enter God’s rest and to be at home in who you are.
When my children were little, they seemed to be very at home in themselves, and all their work was rest; we called it “play.”
They did everything my wife and I did, but they did it as a dance; they had fun.
They didn’t work to live. They lived and, so, worked—that is, they “played.”
They were children at home in their father’s garden.
But imagine what would’ve happened if an evil babysitter told them a lie: “Jon and Elizabeth, I have knowledge of good and bad, and from now on I will judge all you do: the roads you make in the sand, and the houses you build with blocks. And I will give you a grade, and the one with the best grade will be rewarded by your father upon his return—rewarded with life, and the other punished with death.”
If my children believed the lie, they’d begin competing with each other, attempting to take life, one from the other. Eventually, they’d hate each other and despise me. They might build roads in the sand and make houses out of blocks, but the light would go out of their eyes, the dance would go out of their step, and their hearts would be far from me. They’d become restless little beasts.
If the babysitter continued saying, “…and if you pass the test, you will earn your father’s love,” they would not only become little beasts but great little harlots. They would attempt to purchase my love with each and every deed. Attempting to purchase love, they could no longer receive love; attempting to take life, they could no longer live life—they would become the walking dead.
You might say, “That would never happen.”
But it has happened and it is happening all the time.
I often don’t feel at home in me.
If I’m sick of me, perhaps that “me” is not who I am?
Perhaps I’m not at home in me, for that “me” is a beast that I’m trying to be, or the harlot that I think I am.
The substance in the bowls of wrath comes from wounds on the body of Christ.
It is the Truth and it burns the lie.
It will burn you right down to a child at play in your Father’s garden, and yet you will know something you did not know before.
You will know “The Good.”
God is Good and His Judgment is Life—He constantly gives you His Life.
The Judgment of God burns the beast and turns you into “The Man,” (ha Adam).
It burns the harlot and transforms you into “The Bride.”
At baptism we pass through Judgment, a sea of glass mingled with fire.
In communion, we remember that Judgment and drink it: blood that’s wine and wine that’s blood, Mercy that’s wrath and wrath that’s endless Mercy.
Your life is a journey to who you are.
You’re not a beast; you’re the Body of “the Man.”
You’re not a harlot; you’re the Bride of Christ.
Once you agree with that Judgment, it no longer burns; all your work is rest; all your obedience is freedom, and you are forever at home in who you are…
And God is at home in you, His Sanctuary.
*Sermon discussion questions are available here: Discussion Questions “At Home in Who You Are”