4. The Harmony of Heaven

 

By John Thiel

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 6:1-3 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory.

May God grant us to join with these angels as we worship Him.

In our effort to find the lessons of unity in Christ, we want to spend time exploring the unity and harmony of heaven. We have just been singing, angel voices ever singing round Thy throne of light. These angels, as we read in Isaiah are around the throne crying out, holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. Here we have a glimpse of the focal point of the thousands that surround the throne of God. They are there with one focal interest.

Matthew 18:10 …That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

The angels and the creatures of heaven are affectionately bound to one source of unity; the Father on His throne. Here we see the cherubim’s who are responsible to uphold the uplifted throne of God.

Ezekiel 10:8-17 And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their wings. And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels [was] as the colour of a beryl stone. And [as for] their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel. When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went. And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, [were] full of eyes round about, [even] the wheels that they four had. As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel. And every one had four faces: the first face [was] the face of a cherub, and the second face [was] the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. And the cherubims were lifted up. This [is] the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar. And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them. When they stood, [these] stood; and when they were lifted up, [these] lifted up themselves [also]: for the spirit of the living creature [was] in them.

Here we have a description of harmony around the throne of God.

God is acquainted with every man. Could our eyes be opened we would see that eternal justice is at work in our world. A powerful influence, not under man’s control, is working. Man may fancy that he is directing matters, but there are higher than human influences at work. The servants of God know that He is working to counteract Satan’s plans. Those who know not God cannot comprehend His movements. There is at work a wheel within a wheel. Apparently the complication of machinery is so intricate that man can see only a complete entanglement. But the divine hand, as seen by the prophet Ezekiel, is placed upon the wheels, and every part moves in complete harmony, each doing its specified work, yet with individual freedom of action (MS 13, 1898). {4BC 1161.3}

We are trying to learn the lessons of unity in Christ, and here we have these cherubim and the wheels. Those wheels have the spirit of the creature in them. There is a hand that moves under the wings of the cherubim that directs the movement of these wheels. According to what is written here, they move in complete harmony; wheels within wheels. It is the harmony of heaven. How are they moving? Each is doing its specified work yet with individual freedom of action. Each individual is free to act in harmony with the other, focusing totally upon the hand that is leading them which is none other but God’s hand.

“A number of wheels, intersecting one another, were moved by four living beings. High above all these “was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone. The wheels were so complicated in arrangement that at first sight they appeared to be in confusion; but they moved in perfect harmony. Heavenly beings, sustained and guided by the hand beneath the wings of the cherubim, were impelling these wheels; above them, upon the sapphire throne, was the Eternal One; and round about the throne a rainbow, the emblem of divine mercy. {Ed 177.3}

As the wheel like complications were under the guidance of the hand beneath the wings of the cherubim, so the complicated play of human events is under divine control. {Ed 178.1}

The work of the heavenly host is a work of perfect harmony. Each individual is doing their part in the freedom of their own mind activity working in perfect harmony. What is it that is meant when it says, the hand that guides them they follow the direction of? We recall what we have been meditating on in the past that in heaven every creature, every angel, every ministering angel, is affectionately bound with their Creator. That is the freedom of each individual. That is their choice.

So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God. It washghdf the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their Creator. {PP 35.1}

It was their joy; their personal freedom to fulfil the purpose of their Creator.

They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies. {PP 35.1}

What is it that brought about this harmony? Every single one of them was in allegiance of love to their personal God who was the same one for them all.

The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. {PP 34.3}

What produces the perfect harmony? It is the law of love being the foundation of the government of God.

God desires from all His creatures the service of love–service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service. Ibid

Each one moved harmoniously by voluntary service. Are we picking up some important kernels of the lessons of unity?

The angels of heaven attain unto no higher knowledge than to know the will of God, and to do His will is the highest service that can engage their powers. {MB 109.1}

But in heaven, service is not rendered in the spirit of legality. When Satan rebelled against the law of Jehovah, the thought that there was a law came to the angels almost as an awakening to something unthought of. In their ministry the angels are not as servants, but as sons. There is perfect unity between them and their Creator. Obedience is to them no drudgery. Love for God makes their service a joy. So in every soul wherein Christ, the hope of glory, dwells, His words are re-echoed, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8 {MB109.2}

Harmony based on every individual admiring, adoring their Creator and by their own free response of love, following every intimation and every intricate expectation of their God. Do we want to have unity? This is the only way. This is the harmony of heaven.

Examples of This Harmony

Explore some examples of this harmony so that we can really appreciate the impact of the manifestation of these beings, these majestic beings; who are moving in perfect harmony together. Why is it that they have this harmony, and how is it manifested?

The Mentality of These Angels in Their Relationship to God

2 Chronicles 18:18 Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and [on] his left. 19 And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead?

Here God upon His throne is looking for counsel from the angels in reference to dealing with this wicked king Ahab who was a king of Israel of the northern tribes. His cup of iniquity had been filled and it was time for his destruction. He counsels with the heavenly host. What shall we do?

2 Chronicles 18:19 And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. 20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? 21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And [the LORD] said, Thou shalt entice [him], and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do [even] so. 22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.

Are you picking up the lesson? Have you ever been in a counsel together with your brethren and you thought you had a brilliant idea. You laid it out before the brethren and the chair person said; that’s okay, what is next? Somebody else has a brilliant idea, and the chair person asks for more. This is what God was doing. Then there came a lying spirit. Who was that? At this time Lucifer had access to heaven, he was a representative from this planet, just like in the story of Job.

The good angels had given God some good ideas and then came Lucifer who had caused so much trouble in heaven. God took his idea. How would you have felt? You were loyal to God and you gave God some proposal and He by-passed you completely and He listened to the lying spirit and said, you are the one, that is the right thing, that is what I want you to do.

When we read these things we don’t stop to think well enough. We want to learn the lesson of the harmonies of heaven. If God says jump, you ask, how high? If He says, I don’t want you, that is fine. If He wants this, that is fine. If it goes completely different to what I expected, that is fine. These are the harmonies of heaven. Some people don’t like that, but the angels do. The harmonies of heaven are based upon a thus saith the Lord and whatever He says, that is fine. There is no argument. That is the harmony of heaven; total submission to the directives of God’s choice.

Commanding Angels

The disciples feared for their own lives, and they all forsook Him and fled. Jesus was left alone in the hands of the murderous mob. Oh, what a triumph of Satan then! And what sadness and sorrow with the angels of God! Many companies of holy angels, each with a tall commanding angel at their head, were sent to witness the scene. They were to record every insult and cruelty imposed upon the Son of God, and to register every pang of anguish which Jesus should suffer; for the very men who joined in this dreadful scene are to see it all again in living characters. {EW 168.1}

Who was there at the scene? The angels of heaven were there with a commanding angel at the head of each team. In the harmonies of heaven there are commanding angels. Do you like the thought that at the head of each troop there was a commanding angel? Let’s see how the harmonies of heaven function under the commanding angels.

It was difficult for the angels to endure the sight. They would have delivered Jesus out of [the] hands [of His inquisitors]; but the commanding angels forbade them. . . . Jesus knew that angels were witnessing the scene of His humiliation. {TA 198.3}

Under their own free will they wanted to go and save Jesus to relieve Him, but the commanding angels said for them to stand back.

Soon after they had commenced their earnest cry, the angels, in sympathy, would have gone to their deliverance. But a tall, commanding angel suffered them not. Said he: “The will of God is not yet fulfilled. They must drink of the cup. They must be baptized with the baptism.” {1T 183.2}

This is talking about God’s people in the last days and the time of Jacob’s trouble. What did the commanding angel do and say? No don’t go and help them. Didn’t they know what God wanted? Obviously not; it was the commanding angel through which God spoke to them. This is the harmony of heaven, that everything was done according to God’s will, but through the functioning procedures of God’s direction through the channels that He has directed; the commanding angels over the others. As the others were told by the commanding angel, they submitted to the commanding angel because the commanding angel expressed to them the will of God. This is the harmony of heaven.

The Harmony of the Music of Heaven

I have been shown the order, the perfect order, of heaven, and have been enraptured as I listened to the perfect music there. After coming out of vision, the singing here has sounded very harsh and discordant. I have seen companies of angels, who stood in a hollow square, everyone having a harp of gold. At the end of the harp was an instrument to turn to set the harp or change the tunes. Their fingers did not sweep over the strings carelessly, but they touched different strings to produce different sounds. There is one angel who always leads, who first touches the harp and strikes the note, then all join in the rich, perfect music of heaven. It cannot be described. It is melody, heavenly, divine, while from every countenance beams the image of Jesus, shining with glory unspeakable.

In heaven there is perfect harmony that works under the direction of a leading angel in music. This is the lesson that if we want to have harmony, this is God’s representation and example of harmony. There is order in heaven. The order is so fascinating. To some people these things appear as unnecessary in heaven.

There is perfect order and harmony in the Holy City. All the angels that are commissioned to visit the earth hold a golden card, which they present to the angels at the gates of the city as they pass in and out. Heaven is a good place. I long to be there and behold my lovely Jesus {EW 39.2}

Everyone has their place; there is the gatekeeper, maybe gatekeepers, there is a golden card by which the angels can recognise these persons have a right to enter the city.

The Spirit of the Order of Heaven

All heaven was waiting to welcome the Saviour to the celestial courts. As He ascended, He led the way, and the multitude of captives set free at His resurrection followed. The heavenly host, with shouts and acclamations of praise and celestial song, attended the joyous train. {DA 833.2-7}
As they drew near to the city of God, the challenge is given by the escorting angels,–

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors;
And the King of glory shall come in.”
Joyfully the waiting sentinels respond,–

“Who is this King of glory?”
This they say, not because they know not who He is, but because they would hear the answer of exalted praise,–

“The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
Even lift them up, ye everlasting doors;
And the King of glory shall come in.”
Again is heard the challenge, “Who is this King of glory?” for the angels never weary of hearing His name exalted. The escorting angels make reply,–

“The Lord of hosts;
He is the King of glory.” Psalm 24:7-10.
Then the portals of the city of God are opened wide, and the angelic throng sweep through the gates amid a burst of rapturous music. {DA 833.2-7}

I love it, don’t you? This is heaven; this is the harmony of heaven, a harmony that is focused upon their love and adoration of their God and Jesus Christ. They are free moral agents who follow exact order, who have commanding angels over them, who stand at the gate to open and shut the gates according to the order.

No Jealousy

Through the grace given he will overcome, and will be placed on vantage ground. In his relation to Christ he will be bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh, one with Christ in a peculiar relationship, because Christ took the humanity of man. He became subject to temptation, endangering as it were, His divine attributes. ……And those who strive earnestly to overcome are brought into a oneness with Christ that the angels in heaven can never know. {7BC 926.5}

The harmony of heaven has to do with no jealousy. The angels who have never fallen, who have been loyal to God under the most severe experiences of the fall of Lucifer and his angels, they have seen how God created Adam and Eve and how Adam and Eve and the human race have disgraced themselves. They watched their Lord and Saviour and could not save Him. Some of these people that mistreated Him and all of us have mistreated Him, those people have a relationship with Christ that is over and above theirs. Are you learning the lesson? For our harmony here on earth, we need to learn these lessons. Are they envious?

Then I saw a very great number of angels bring from the city glorious crowns–a crown for every saint, with his name written thereon. As Jesus called for the crowns, angels presented them to Him, and with His own right hand, the lovely Jesus placed the crowns on the heads of the saints. In the same manner the angels brought the harps, and Jesus presented them also to the saints. The commanding angels first struck the note, and then every voice was raised in grateful, happy praise, and every hand skillfully swept over the strings of the harp, {EW 288.1}

Were the angels jealous? What did they do? They were now serving the sinners for whom Christ died. They came with the crowns. There was not a note of discord over the events of the sinners who had been so disgraceful to their Lord and Saviour, and now they have been redeemed and they are prepared to serve. There is no note of discord.

Are you exercising your mind? As we stand before this great God, as we are called upon to work together with Him, as He gives different people their tasks, as He gives different people their honour, and somebody who might be more honoured than me when I have done my best and I haven’t been as honoured as much as somebody else. This is all part of the harmony of heaven, to accept it all.

No voices of contention mar the sweet and perfect peace of heaven. Its inhabitants know no sorrow, no grief, no tears. All is in perfect harmony, in perfect order and perfect bliss. . . . {LDE 296.4}
Heaven is a home where sympathy is alive in every heart, expressed in every look. Love reigns there. There are no jarring elements, no discord or contentions or war of words.–9MR 104, 105 (1882). {LDE 296.5}

Heavenly Harmony on Earth

Do you want to be there? Indeed, how we long to be there! To be there, can this harmony first exist here? Can it already and must it already exist here? To be part of the three angels’ messages, what are the people who are part of the three angels’ messages actually doing?

The angels are represented as flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming to the world a message of warning, and having a direct bearing upon the people living in the last days of this earth’s history. No one hears the voice of these angels, for they are a symbol to represent the people of God who are working in harmony with the universe of heaven. Men and women, enlightened by the Spirit of God and sanctified through the truth, proclaim the three messages in their order. {2SM 387.1}

What are the people of the three angels’ messages doing? They are working in perfect harmony here on earth with the universe of heaven. Here on earth we already are being trained to work in the harmonies of heaven. We may enjoy this heavenly harmony now, but remember what we are learning. How does it come? It is by beholding and learning the amazing mind exercises that happen upon you and me as we see them having to submit to a God who is going to give the devil first choice, having to submit to Jesus having a closer relationship with us than with them, and being absolutely contented with that.

In heaven God is all in all. There holiness reigns supreme; there is nothing to mar the perfect harmony with God. If we are indeed journeying thither, the spirit of heaven will dwell in our hearts here. {5T 745.2}

We are to take time to learn the spirit of heaven, to make the adjustments in our mind, to deal with the conflicting channels of self versus the beauty of heaven. As Lucifer was being moved upon in heaven before he totally rejected, this is our present work.

As we take note of these important lessons of heavenly submission, lessons of letting those who are in command over me have their command, those who are conducting as in a choir, we submit to them as the angels of heaven do. We are prepared to submit to order, we are touched with the childlike love of the angels. Let us open our hearts to this glorious heavenly harmony and conquer our sinful self so we can safely enter that society and not be guilty of the following:

Are you individually daily preparing that you can unite with the family of heaven? Are you quarrelsome here? Are you finding fault with your household here? If you are, you will find fault with them in heaven. Your character is being tested and proved in this life, whether you will make a peaceable subject of God’s kingdom in heaven. {HP 227.5}

Can you see the importance to learn the lessons, to put away all criticism, to put away all questioning? This is so obnoxious to so many people in this world. Do I have to do as I am told? I am a free moral agent; I can do as I choose. Yes, you are a free moral agent, everyone is free. We either want to serve the Lord and obey Him or we want to serve our own ideas. We are free to do that, but if we want harmony, the harmony of heaven, we will focus closely to make sure that my selfisms will no longer exercise themselves. If I permit them still to exercise here, I will find fault with the family in heaven. This is a reality.

I thank God for displaying to us the harmony of heaven and learning here on earth to know how we can by beholding that, make the adjustments in our mind to enter into that harmony. Responsible for my own responses. May God help us not to lose sight of the harmony of heaven that we may be there.

Amen.

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Posted on September 10, 2013, in Angels and Heaven, Learning the Lessons of Unity in Christ and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Beautiful! Well worded that it may be shared to a large ir small congregation! Even a good lesson for small group study the ways and means of heaven….

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