Holy Encampment

By

J.M. Beatty

Rev 1:10-20 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, (11) Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. (12) And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; (13) And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. (14) His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; (15) And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. (16) And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. (17) And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: (18) I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (19) Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; (20) The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. (KJV)

We read in these verses that the stars seen in the hand of Jesus are the angels assigned to the churches. Consider with me a possibility that each local church anointed by Jesus to be His candlestick have assigned to them an angel whose function is to ensure the integrity of the ministry, and to be the angel of protection to each body. The angel assigned to each congregation would be the ANGEL OF THE LORD to that local assembly.

(Reference Scriptures: Rev 2:1,8,12,18; 3:1,7,14)

Ps 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. (KJV)

We read in this verse that the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear the Lord. This verse is profound when we meditate its truth and applications.

What is the encampment of the Lord?

Wilderness Tabernacle

The wilderness tabernacle was the encampment of the children of Israel with the holy tabernacle in the center of the encampment.

Num 2:17 Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards. (KJV)

The Tent

The Ark of the Covenant dwells in the wilderness tabernacle

Exod 25:22 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. (KJV)

The Ark of the Covenant represents the holy manifested presence of God. The glory cloud of God would commune with the high priest between the wings of the cherubim.

The Angel

Exod 14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: (KJV)

Ps 105:39 He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night. (KJV)

The angel of the Lord would encompass the encampment of Israel with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Its important to note that when the cloud move the encampment moved with it.

The description of the angel of the Lord presented in Psalm 34:7 is a symbolic portrayal of these events associated with the wilderness tabernacle.

When we read this verse in Psalm 34 we should picture the wilderness encampment with the holy presence of the Lord being in the center of the encampment. (Ex 33:14).

Its important to note that the angel of the Lord does not come down and form an encampment around us, we enter the divine encampment of the Lord and participate in its function and work.

Key of Fear

We read in our theme verse that Fear of the Lord is the principle that opens to us the holy encampment of the Lord. To Fear the Lord is much more than a vogue doctrine or a worship song; it is a divine principle that must motivate every facet of our lives.

Fear - yare' (yaw-ray'/3373); from 3372; fearing; morally, reverent: KJV-- afraid, fear (-ful).

 

yare'- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon)

fearing, reverent, afraid

"Ö Fear and love must coexist in us in order that either passion may be healthy and that we may please and rightly serve God. "The fear of the Lord" is used for the worship of God, e.g., "I will teach you the fear of the Lord" (34:11) and for the law of God (19:8-9). The "fear of Isaac" (Gen. 31:42,53) is God, whom Isaac worshiped with reverent awe. The "fear of man" is that dread of the opinions of our neighbors that makes us cowards in the performance of those duties that we fancy they do not practice (Prov. 29:25)Ö" from New Unger's Bible Dictionary)

We learn from these definitions that true godly fear is the quality of reverent worship. We read in the New Ungerís Bible Dictionary that fear and love must coexist in us in order for each passion to be healthy, that we might please and serve the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is a disciplined lifestyle that is dedicated to glories of the kingdom of God.

Tithe

Deut 14:22-23 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. (23) And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. (KJV)

We learn from these verses that the fear of the Lord is a learned truth and discipline. The tithe of our finances is used by the Lord to teach us to fear Him and obey His word.

Path of Fear

Deut 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, (KJV)

Ps 103:17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; (KJV)

True reverential fear of God will be expressed in several areas. These verses expound on the influence true fear will have on our souls.

Divine Knowledge

Prov 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (KJV)

Prov 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

There is a divine revelation that God will only give to those who fear Him. Our indifference to Godís divine revelation is our indictment to the charge that we have no fear of the Lord.

Depart From Evil (Repentance)

Prov 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. (KJV)

Prov 14:26-27 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. (27) The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (KJV)

Prov 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. (KJV)

Those who fear the Lord will hate evil and human pride. Also these Christians will take action in order that they may depart from evil. A true repentant Christian is motivated by a deep reverential fear and love.

(Reference Scriptures: Praise Ps 22:23; 111:10 Prosperity Ps 34:9 Repentance Prov 3:7)

Ministry of Deliverance

Our theme verse also teaches that those who enter the encampment of the Lord will also walk in His deliverance. Deliverance is much more than breaking Satanic power over our lives. It is the process of being delivered from the corruption of our own lust and flesh (Old Man Nature).

We understand that repentance is an absolute key to true deliverance. Those who fear the Lord will depart from evil. This action will also cause these saints to depart from the snares of death (strongholds).

Deut 23:10 If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp: (KJV)

Lev 13:46 All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be. (KJV)

We read in these verses that all who are defiled and unclean are not allowed to abide in the camp, but they must remain outside the camp until they are clean from their defilement.

Is it possible that our secret sin and hidden lives defile our hearts and frustrate the working of divine fear, resulting in our spiritual expulsion from the holy encampment of the Lord?

Moving With the Cloud

When we accept the fact that we are not the object of the encampment, but through our fear we enter spiritual encampment of the Lord, we will learn to move with the divine cloud of Godís glory and will.

Exod 40:36-38 And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: (37) But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. (38) For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. (KJV)

The cloud of God overshadowed the encampment of Israel. This fact is also important for us to understand. When the cloud of God moved the encampment also moved.

Remember; the angel of God does not encamp around us were ever we go, but we enter the encampment of the angel of the Lord and follow the divine presence of God in the holy cloud. In order to abide in the encampment of the angel of the Lord we must move with the angel when he moves in the cloud.