When I wrote Warfare and the Mercy Seat based on hearing a lyric as “My weapon is the mercy seat”, I knew there was more to be expressed. Before the overview of the Mercy portion gets underway, it would be good to linger a bit longer here in Warfare and the Mercy Seat – Part Two, as I share the redemptive sequence I saw that morning.
To aid you in tracking, it is helpful to refer to the Chart of Pattern of Seven in Scripture; particularly the two columns in the center – the Furniture in the Tabernacle and the Compound Names of God.
As I continued to ponder over “My weapon is the mercy seat”, I saw the items of furniture in the Tabernacle as seven stations through which our soul progresses toward the Mercy Seat. Our God who said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” is at every station, proving His character, His Name.
Every compound Name of God is a declaration of Who He is in relation to what we receive of Him.
In the portions of Prophet, Servant, Teacher, Exhorter, Giver, Ruler, and Mercy – we see side by side in the Furniture in the Tabernacle and the Compound Names of God, God’s designed order of Who He is to our spirit, soul, and body: the I Am for every need. At each station of redemption, He introduces a facet of Himself.
At this point, it is important to note that I am not addressing salvation (as outlined in Divine Someones). My message and my heart is to encourage and challenge us to embrace our design for redemptive living:
recognizing, growing, and developing the portions of our human spirit in order that our soul and body respond favorably to the indwelling life of Christ, unveiled and worked in us through the Person of the Holy Spirit
Again I refer you to the seven redemptive gifts checklists as Holy Spirit makes personal to you the application.
The above is a freely received, freely give bonus on the way to more I saw that morning about the Mercy Seat.
The Mercy Seat on the Throne of Grace
The Mercy Seat – of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, in the Temple at Jerusalem, and last on the Cross – came to reside, through Christ himself, on the throne of grace to which we, living by faith, are invited to freely come:
14 But Jesus the Son of God is our great High Priest who has gone to heaven itself to help us; therefore, let us never stop trusting him.
15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses since he had the same temptations we do, though he never once gave way to them and sinned.
16 So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16 – Living Bible (TLB)
This, the Mercy Seat on the throne of grace for help in every seasonable time of need, is the place of Rest.
Jesus is sitting down, waiting for His enemies to be humbled and made a footstool under His feet.1 It is to this place that He bids us come away with Him. Here we begin to fill up our share of His it is finished.
This is what it means to be seated with Christ in heavenly places, even as we walk out our life on this earth.
Learning how to war in the spirit from the Rest of the Mercy Seat does not compute in our thinking. But He is Jehovah-Shammah – the Lord is There. Before the battles we now face, He was there first.
This is where we engage His mercy as a weapon of His warfare, not fighting with weapons of our flesh.
The heart of the Mercy matter, we contend here at the Mercy Seat to become more than conquerors.2
Mercy that triumphs over judgment will not be prevailed over. Conquer here and Mercy gives rest.
This is where mercy and grace interlace. As The Message translation put it: ‘take the mercy, accept the help’.
If there is one thing we cannot give to others unless we have first received it for ourselves, it is mercy.3
The more often we receive God’s mercy, the more we come to love it; one of His three requirements –
What can we bring to the Lord?
Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
7 Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?
8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right (do justly), to love mercy (kindness, compassion),
and to walk humbly (circumspectly, prudently) with your God.
Micah 6:6-8 NLT (with parenthetical definitions added)
The Mercy Seat of Warfare
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
One of the hardest tests we confront is learning to look beyond the person to recognize the real enemies. Jesus exampled this principle when He rebuked Peter and told Satan to get behind him.4 It begs the question: get behind which ‘him’? I believe it was two-fold. Ordered by Jesus to get behind Him, Satan was put in his place. Relegated to the rear, not allowed to be out in front of Peter flaunting his perceived power and control.
Jesus knew He held all power and authority over Satan. The battle of the ages had not yet been waged on the Cross, but I think Jesus took great redemptive pleasure in pre-emptive reminders of why He came to earth in the first place. Peter was in training; sparing one’s self was not in God’s manual. When Peter attempted to prevent Jesus, it was not just Peter’s “foot-in-mouth” propensity, but Satan’s voice holding court.
With one righteous rebuke, Jesus set two spirits in their respective places. Peter’s received a needed alignment that day for all that was to come in his and the Church’s future. And Jesus took dominion over the evil one.
Throughout his life, Jesus fulfilled His Father’s requirements. He did what was right and acted justly. No one ever loved mercy more than He; His liberality knows no bounds. And always, He walked humbly with His Abba.
What greater place is there to learn how to war effectively in spirit and soul than with Christ at the Mercy Seat? We are too well-acquainted with wars and warfare on the human, natural plane. Such reports and evidence sap our souls and threaten the very spirit God has designed for spiritual and natural conquest. If unwilling to embrace and love mercy, there is a merciless side of judgment reserved for the uncompassionate.
Pride falls hard and humility is not readily welcomed. But there is a sacrifice that will never be turned away.
Sacrifices of Broken and Contrite Hearts
And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
One morning some years ago while preparing for work, I was listening to a radio Bible teacher. He caught my attention with the story of how he and his wife, at a difficult financial point in their marriage, filed for bankruptcy. Though it went against everything in them, they had looked for and found no other solution. It was a Mercy story in the making. Especially when he told how, standing before the judge and before their debt could be declared clear, they were required to state (confess) their financial ruin and their seeking the mercy of the court. The first of the seven stations are confession, followed by repentance – both of which are transacted at the Mercy Seat of Christ. Bankruptcy in the natural or in spirit is justly judged in God’s court.
King David’s Psalm 51 is the prayer-cry of the spiritually bankrupt. For him, it involved committing adultery with Bathsheba. In his need for mercy, he moved through all seven stations in his cry of the spirit for the sins of the soul and body. With all that was in him, he identified and interceded before His Lord – to the place of Rest.
Jesus came from the line of David, who was promised there would never fail to be one who sat on his throne.
Beloved, God’s mercy store is not depleted. He longs to forgive, and a broken and contrite heart He will not despise. We stay His forgiveness and triumphant mercy when we resist or fail to be convinced of our sin. David, not only convinced of his sin, knew he had nowhere else to go but to plead God’s mercy and grace.
Penned long ago, it remains true today: Those that truly repent of their sins, will not be ashamed to own their repentance. Where there is truth, God will give wisdom.
Learn then to take mercy with you, not only for yourself but for those who deserve it least and need it most.
1 Hebrews 10:12-13 2 Romans 8:31-39 3 James 2:12-13 4 Mark 8:31-38; Matthew 16:21-27
Click here for a printable PDF of this article: Warfare and the Mercy Seat – Part Two