Entering the 7th Day Rest
Janet Weaver Smith and George R. Smith © 3-3-16 gardenministries.org
SIÓNÉ means “God is gracious.” The English variant of this name is John (masculine) or Janet (feminine)!
Isaiah 30:18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 33:2-6 LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. 3 At the uproar of your army, the peoples flee; when you rise up, the nations scatter. 4 Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts; like a swarm of locusts people pounce on it. 5 The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness. 6 He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.
Entering the state of Spiritual Zion or Sion is to seek and find God’s face. To “find” God’s face means that we fully enter into His Living Presence. Thus, seeking and finding the face of God is equivalent to entering the Presence of God. Our God, Who is Light and lives in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16, 1 John 1:5), in His utter graciousness, has provided a way for us to be so close to Him that we are literally face to face with Him! But we have to want to be that close to Him. That is why He has asked His children to diligently seek His face. We must show desire for Him and invite Him to lead us into the processes that prepare us to fully enter into His Presence and become filled by Him in His glory.
Psalm 24:3-8 Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. 5 They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. 7 Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
The old saying, “you’re so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good,” is a lie. In fact, the more heavenly minded a believer in Christ Jesus is, the more earthly good they can do! We are living in a time when the end of this age has finally come and the millennial reign of Jesus Christ is upon us. We are in the very transition zone between the two ages.
Those who are willing are being prepared to receive the King of kings in what seems to be His 3-fold arrival. Going from glory to glory, each wave of His arrival changes overcomers to be like Him, ready to serve Him as His royal, priestly agents—or witnesses—who rule and reign with Him for all eternity. We see these waves of His arrival expressed in the Greek word, “Parousia,” which comes as the manifested Word of God that separates and purifies (Matthew 24:36-51), the “Epiphaneia,” which comes as the manifested Dawning and Shining Presence of God that glorifies (2 Timothy 1:9-10, 1 Timothy 6:14-16), and the Apokalupsis, which comes as a culmination of first two waves and manifests in overcomers in full Sonship and Resurrection Power (Romans 8:18-21, Revelation 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:7-8).
King David prophetically “saw” our day and the millennial age to come and whole-heartedly sought the Lord to fully enter into His Presence. Even under the Old Covenant, David set his sights on Zion and built the Tabernacle of David to open heaven and to keep it open. God rewarded David’s diligence to seek His face and dwell in union with Him by giving Him His Presence. Throughout history, many have sought the Lord as David did and, together with last days overcomers, we will enter into the 7th Day rest and full reward of God’s glorious Presence.
When God comes with His glory and fills us—His temple—He is fulfilling His word to own and reward the vessels who faithfully knocked on heaven’s doors, who diligently sought His face, and who asked for His Presence. Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. George was shown in a night encounter with God that the key that opens the Door that Jesus is knocking on is called, “the A.S.K. key.” We are to Ask-Seek-Knock until the door opens. This pursuit of God represents a heart of longing and desire. We are pursuing God!
Spiritual Zion (Hebrews 12:22) list of synonyms = The Temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19, Eph. 2:22) = The House (Bethel) of God (Haggai 2) = The Mountain of God (Micah 4) = The House of Prayer for all Nations (Isaiah 56:7) = The Parousia Presence of God (Matthew 24:36-51) = Open Door to Heaven (John 1:50-51, Revelation 4:1, Genesis 28:12-17) = City of Refuge (Joel 3:17, Obadiah 1:17-21) = Dwelling Place of God (Revelation 21:3, Ephesians 2:21-22) = New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2) = Married Bride & Bridegroom (Revelation 21:9-10) = Tabernacle of David (Acts 15:16-17) = Glory of God (Haggai 2:9) = Light of God (Revelation 22:1-5) = Holy of Holies (Hebrews 10:19-22) = Church of the first born (Hebrews 12:23).
Hebrews 6:17-20 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Spiritual Zion represents the state in which the overcoming believer in the Son of Man, Christ Jesus has fully followed their anchored hope in Christ through the veil of separation and going from glory to glory, has been fully conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. Spiritual Zion is the state in which an overcoming believer now has fully entered the Holy of Holies and is on heavenly ground even though still on earth. Heaven and earth have merged in these overcoming temples within whom God Himself dwells in the earth as He exists in heaven. These temples manifest the living God in His glory and act as His representatives—or witnesses in the earth, leading many to righteousness (Daniel 12:3, 2 Corinthians 4:6).
This fulfilled bride now enacts the will of her Bridegroom King Jesus on earth as His agents and witnesses of Divine Love. What has always been known and experienced in heaven is now fully manifesting in the bride of Jesus Christ in the earth. The heavens will witness this change and rejoice! Then these witnesses will testify to God’s eternal goodness and love throughout His universal creation forever. The Faithful Witness Christ Jesus, bears witness to the eternal nature of God through a pure and spotless bridal company of witnesses who rule and reign in His name and authority for all of eternity.
The exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt was to ultimately lead them to Zion. Our present day exodus is taking us out of this worldly stage of incompleteness and into God’s dwelling place of fullness in Christ—fully transformed and clothed in His glory. Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear Who is to come, like David, will prophetically enter into what is yet to come and bring it into their manifested reality today.
Forerunners are expected to do this very thing! Forerunners are the manifesting carriers of what is to come. God prepares, chooses, and then sends forerunners ahead of time to lay hold of what He fully intends to bring to the masses. These forerunners are the tip of the spear whom God uses to pierce through the veil of darkness and corruption and open up zones throughout middle heaven.
These openings are spiritual gates to Zion (God’s Presence) that lay a path upon which the Lord of Glory enters, releases Himself, and blesses with His Presence. Heavenly eternal Life Himself comes to earth and earth gloriously responds and reveals His nature as though it were just now created in His goodness. Re-juvantion,
re-genesis, re-created, re-vealed, re-leased, re-newed. (Isaiah 40:5, Revelation 21:1-7)
Houses of prayer for all nations that truly host the Face or Presence of God provide a place for these gates to function and is why we are to seek His face in His holy temple.
Isaiah 56:6-7 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
2 Chronicles 7:14-15 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
Hebrews 12:22-24 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
The bulk of those Israelites who left Egypt in pursuit of the Promised Land and Zion never let go of their self-centered focus. They groaned and complained their way through the wilderness until they died—never entering God’s promises and rest. Those today who would seek and find God’s face and enter into His Presence will only do so if we quit our propensity to focus on ourselves; groaning, complaining, and whining about our unique cleansing and purifying processes.
Instead of self-pity, when the pressure of opposition lands and depressing circumstances loom, we can deliberately turn to God in worshipful love and thank Him for sending us custom-made circumstances that are especially preparing us to enter into and stand in His Presence forever. In seeking His face, we “purchase gold refined by fire” (Revelation 3:18) every time we purpose to turn and worship God with a thankful heart—in the midst of opposition, injustice, and trials.
When we consistently meditate on and believe God’s word, we are seeking and anticipating God’s face as He arrives in His Parousia Word Presence, His Epiphaneia Dawning and Shining Presence, and His Apokalupsis Sonship and Resurrection Power Presence. Believing the word of God helps us turn from our wicked ways of self-focus and complaint by focusing on His truth. Our hope for God’s fulfilled word enters beyond the veil into the Holy of Holies where Jesus stands representing us as our High Priest.
When we choose to turn to Him like this, we are remembering SIÓNÉ! We are believing that God is gracious! We are refusing to stay stuck in our own ways (which aren’t working!) by turning to God and trusting that His ways are higher and better than ours. We are processing our pain, anger, and grief honestly with God and His people and then choosing to trust rather than recycle our selfish demands that God does things our way. Whining, complaining, disobedient children are choosing unbelief and as such, are unable to enter into His rest because they do not want to. (Hebrews 4)
Each time we refuse to self-focus and instead turn and exercise faith and hope in God’s Word, the veil of darkness in middle heaven thins and one day, the veil will be torn asunder. These places experience an open heaven or Spiritual Zion, providing a path between heaven and earth for the glory of God to be released in the earth. As we press in, we are going from glory to glory and becoming more and more gracious like God is gracious. As vessels of hope in the last days, we will literally carry the glory of God to the nations and live in cities of refuge where the full Presence (or face) of God dwells. We will minister to Him in Houses of Prayer for all nations (Colossians 1:27).
Exodus 33:14-18 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” 17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
God rewarded Moses for pursuing His face and for his friendship.
John, whose name is the same as SIÓNÉ, meaning: “God is gracious,” has the last word about his own personal witness of God’s face (Revelation 22:4, 8) when he calls upon the graciousness of God and writes his closing benediction: Revelation 22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
Note: We do not believe in Replacement theology (also known as supersessionism). This theology teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan and that the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, that God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel. We believe that there are two harvests of the believing remnant. One harvest comes in the time of the Gentiles and one harvest comes in the time of God’s revelation of Jesus to literal Israel (Romans 11). The end of the age will see two great revivals: one in “spiritual Zion,” which consists of all overcoming ethnicities who believe in Jesus Christ and who constitute His church and one in “physical-literal Zion,” which occurs after “the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled,” and consists