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Revelation Tape Eight

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1 Revelation Tape Eight on Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:54 pm

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Out of Contexts
Please don’t be offended by the redundancy of some of the statements being made as this study goes on because it’s not the intent to condemn or offend. But rather, it’s to enlighten and liberate through truths that have been overlooked for so many years. Revelation has never been about most of the things we’ve been taught it’s about. Jesus himself said it’s the traditions of men that have made the will of God to no effect.

Again, it is so important that we understand the principle of interpretation that has to do with “context”. We live in a world of media that has mastered “sound-bites”. Things that are just a minute fraction of what someone said, then they take that sound-bite and use it out of context from the rest of the conversation from which it originated, and commence to create doubt and division over a matter that originally had nothing to do with what the sound-bite is now being used for. This is how the church handles much of Scripture. We take key verses and quote them from memory to the point that eventually, the point the verse was sharing in it’s original context is so lost that the meaning becomes obsolete.

But by then, it’s too late. Our belief system is already affected by it and it’s been passed down so many times that no one questions where the original thought originated. All because it was taken out of context. If we don’t understand any Scripture, be it Genesis 1:1 or Revelation 1:1, if we don’t understand it in it’s original context, we are doomed to error. We can’t approach it on the basis of what our doctrinal disposition is. Part of the reason why I’m taking so much time in this area again is because it’s a process to relinquish the old mindset in order for the reception of the new.

Definition of Tradition
There’s nothing wrong with tradition, it’s traditionalism. Traditionalism is the dead faith of living men. Tradition is the living faith of dead men. There’s a big difference. There are some things that we’re never to change. The understanding of the road to salvation, water baptism in it’s truest meaning, the cup and bread of remembrance which in it’s truest form is also very attentive to the joy of fellowship. These types of things are unchangeable. But even then, there may be times when God wants us to change our approach to how we go about applying those things. But the topics themselves are eternal areas of importance to the maturity of the bride as a whole.

So, when we want to interpret the book of Revelation, in it’s context, the first question we must answer is, to whom is the book written to? Originally it wasn’t written to the 21st century church. It was written to the 1st century church. That isn’t a matter of opinion, it’s Scripture. John was instructed to “write these things to the seven churches which are in Asia.” John didn’t add in that it was written to 7 dispensational churches, but yet that’s what’s taught.

Dividing When We Should Be Uniting
Dispensationalists are those that divide up the time between now and the first church into seven specific timelines. Each church represents a timeframe in the messages to the seven churches. The first church being a specific time frame from the first century church to the beginning of the second message to the second church. The choosing as to where the time line would be drawn would be left up to the interpreter rather than Scripture. But as we’ll see more of in this study, the truth is just the opposite. God didn’t intend for us to divide up into seven, but to understand that the number seven represents complete maturity. It was never supposed to be divided up, but understood to be symbolic for completion as a whole.

I Am That I Am
Revelation is what it says it is. “This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ”. It doesn’t say the next 22 chapters are about an anti-Christ or the mark of the beast. Even though we will look at those things, but they aren’t the dominant thing. If my mind-set is along the lines that the book overall has to do with atomic warfare and technological breakthroughs, that concept will warp my interpretation and it will also distract me from the fact that this revelation is uplifting and equipping the church with hope and joy that we are victorious when we keep Christ at the center of our thrones.

The Word of God isn’t written to men who live and interpret everything in the natural frame of reference to their own natural mind. Because the natural mind is in emnity with God. The majority of the readers of Scripture are what you’d call of the “average” mind. We’re not above average and we’re not below. But we do have enough common sense to know what the Bible says when it says what it says.

The Meaning of Theopholis
The Book of Acts wasn’t written to a theologian, it was written to Theopholis. Theolophis means “friend of God.” He didn’t write it to a theologian, he wrote it to a Theopholis. I believe God really speaks his secrets, not to those who study “about” God but to those who pursue a relationship “with” God.

Because the Pharisees had the key of knowledge, they were the custodians of Old Testament truth. They were scribes. They were brilliant men. But they had degraded so to the point and deteriorated their own understanding so much so that they elevated documents such as the “Mishna” which were “about” Scripture. They elevated them to the same level as Scripture. People can fall into that same ditch with modern commentaries.

We Never Heard that Before
Is this messing you up? I hope so. I hope I tell you things that you’re not accustomed to hearing. The last words of a dying church were “We never heard it that before.” That’s what the Pharisees said when Jesus manifested the Son of God. Preached the same book that they did but with power and authority, something they didn’t have, but noticed that he did. Jesus said you have heard it said . .”but I say . .” This is not a new truth, it’s a renewed truth that’s been hidden and kept. The Pharisees had the keys of knowledge and they wouldn’t let others into.

Revelation 1
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne

Significance of signified.
signified means signs and symbols. If these things we’re reading about in the opening book states that everything that is going to be written from here on out is going to be in symbolic terms, shouldn’t we then be careful when interpreting them into physical events? Now this is not to say all of Scripture should be only taken symbolically. There are portions of Scripture that should be taken literally. There’s no doubt about it. Liars will burn in the lake of fire. If we hide our sins we will not prosper . .on and on. But as you’ll see, Revelation isn’t one of them because for one, as I just stated, it says itself that it’s signed and signified. It’s symbolic. But also you’ll read where Jesus has 7 eyes and 7 horns and he’s a lamb that’s been slain and on and on. It’s all symbolic. Not for something to transpire 2,000 years later, but for those seven churches of Asia in that day.

West versus East
We are a western people and culture. This is an eastern book. So when they read about all of these things John describes, they had no trouble in relating to what was being said because it was for them, in that day and with their culture. They understood what the symbols meant. Is this to say it doesn’t apply to us today? Absolutely not. The Bible says the Word of God is a living-breathing force that is given to us for use of instruction, teaching, reproof, and so forth. That covers everything from Genesis to Revelation. It doesn’t just contain the word of God. It “is” the Word of God. The first key to this book is understanding that it is a book of symbols.

So for me to understand what it means now, I must first understand what it meant then. That first step is the most crucial because it then dictates how the interpretation of what’s written will apply to me today. Otherwise, we’re not in context, we’re in “pretext” setting ourselves up for error. We’re told chapters 4-22 have not even happened yet. This is what is taught in our Bible colleges today.

Put Yourself in the Shoes of the Reader
So, if I’m alive in the first century and I’m in one of the seven churches. And I began to read the letter that John wrote to my church. I’m thrilled because I’m getting ready to read what this Apostle is talking about. And he begins by saying “this is a revelation of Jesus Christ. Remember, I’m a first century Christian, I’m under Roman occupation and domination and powerful iron claw of the government. To be a Christian was to be an outlaw. I had to be underground or they’d tear my wife away from me and literally carve the flesh from her body until she bled to death, or worse.

Jacob’s Trouble
It’s somewhere between 70 and 90 A.D. About 30 to 50 years after Jesus walked the face of the earth. Part of the persecution is because the Jewish people stood up when Jesus was out on the patio of Pilate during the stages of his crucifixion and they said “let his blood be upon us and our children.” The Judgement that came upon them and the great Tribulation that came upon them was a result of that. This is the “Jacob’s Trouble” Daniel spoke about.

The reason he referred to Jacob is because that was his name before it was changed to Israel. Jacob means cheat. What is a cheat? Someone who profits at the expense of others through manipulation and lies. This is what the religious church of Israel had become. We’ll talk more about the Great Tribulation later on. “When they said “upon our children” that was the generation that Jesus was talking about that would experience the Great Tribulation.

The Turning Point of Chapter 4
Two times in Matthew 23, and again in Matthew 24, Jesus said “there are many of you standing right here that will see these things”. Who was he talking to? He wasn’t talking about a generation that would come 2,000 years later, he was talking about the generation that was standing right there with him as he gave that discourse. So, I’m reading this letter we call “Revelation” from John and I come to the part that says “If I will read and keep this letter, my family will be blessed and encouraged.”

And God is going to take this letter and give me encouragement to take a stand against the persecution of the Roman Empire. But then something happens, I turn a corner in chapter 4 and everything takes on a whole new perspective in that it just went from my surface level of understanding, into my symbolic level of understanding.

Cats and Dogs
The church believes that it is at this point that the message directly to them stops and from there on, everything that is addressed did not only not happen then, but it still hasn’t happened yet. Remember though, keep in mind, I’m still told at the beginning of the book that if I keep what’s in it and read the words of the prophecy I’m going to be blessed.

But after that, John begins talking in a total different language that we in the western culture become totally lost. It’d be the same for us if we went to a person in the jungle of Africa and tried to explain to him what a cell phone was. They don’t have a clue what one is or how it can work, but we use it as a part of our everyday life.

It’s the same here only in reverse. When we in our culture hit the symbols of the book, we get totally overwhelmed by all of the intense illustrations that appear to be there and as a result, we’ve interpreted it to fit our western culture. We are trying to preach that the eastern civilization of that day was just as confused about the writings as we are, but the reason for that is because it’s surface message isn’t for our day.

John wasn’t seeing modern-day war with super-sonic jets that fly faster than sound. Nuclear bombs that eat the skin off of you in a second’s time. An evil politician that seduces the nations into eating out of his hand until he has total control of the world. What we’ve done is we’ve westernized an eastern message. What we should have done is understood the eastern mind-set of that day and simply read what the Bible says.

5 Simple things to Remember About Revelation
It says, one, it’s a single revelation of Jesus Christ. Two, it’s written to 7 specific churches existing in a specific area in Asia. More than likely, John would be what we westerners would call, a regional supervisior over a specific part of Asia and these 7 churches were under his covering.

Three, anyone who reads this book is going to be blessed! Well, to be blessed is implying that understanding of the contents is a given. What they were about to read was going to bless them, encourage them, enlighten them. Four, they were also to “keep” the book. Keep? What’s that mean? To Hide the book?

Amplified version of Revelation 1:3
3Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who reads aloud [in the assemblies] the word of this prophecy; and blessed (happy, to be envied) are those who hear [it read] and who keep themselves true to the things which are written in it [heeding them and laying them to heart], for the time [for them to be fulfilled] is near.

Those That “Keep” This Book . . .
To keep the book is to adapt your life to what it instructs. Stay true to what it’s instructing you to do. Align yourself along with what it says. In other words, treat this book the same way you treat the other passages of Scripture. Let it be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. The way we’ve interpreted it to be is difficult to let it instruct you because we teach that basically it’s all doom and gloom to a world that has already rejected God. And the 5th thing it says is, it’s sent and signified, or given by way of signs and symbols, through the angel of the Lord.

Understanding “Then” Before Applying it “Today”
When interpreting Revelation, you HAVE to include all five of these facts to be accurate in understanding it’s meaning. If you deviate from any one of them, you set yourself up for false understanding. The reason we have so many different variances of what Revelation says is because most all who’ve taught it are trying to make it mean things it never meant. We’re trying to make it mean things now when we don’t have any understanding of what it meant then. First, let’s learn what it meant to them then. Once we get that clear, then we can apply to for us today.

Know What You’re Looking For
In the fifth chapter, we spoke earlier about the sealed book and it’s spoken about in the book of Daniel. The sealed book or scrolls, has 7 seals on it. It’s sealed within and sealed without. What are we looking for all the way through the book of Revelation? Well, that’s easy, it’s the first thing the book says, and it’s one of the 5 facts I just shared. We are looking for, Jesus revealed.

In chapter 5, John begins to weep over the fact that no one is “worthy” to break the seal and open the book. In other words, no one in heaven or on earth had the worth. What does worth have to do with opening a book? It says no “man” is worthy to open this seven-sealed book.

Worthy =
1) weighing, having weight, having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much
2) befitting, congruous, corresponding to a thing
3) of one who has merited anything worthy
a) both in a good and a bad sense

The steps to sacrificing a lamb
But then he sees a lamb. Why did he see Jesus as a lamb? Does this mean Jesus was dressed as a man wearing a lamb-skinned garment? No, again, symbols. The lamb John sees is not a man in a lamb-suit. It’s a lamb, but not just a lamb. John saw something more than a cute little white baby sheep. He saw a lamb “as it had been slain”. John saw a life-giving sacrificed lamb appear.

Do you know how they sacrifice a lamb? They don’t just throw it on the altar whole, they cut it’s throat to drain out the blood-as life is in the blood. Then they cut open the length of it’s body, from the neck, down the under-side, to the tail. They then take out all the internal organs and ceremonially wash them in water and some are laid on the alter, while others, like the stomach and intestines and such, are carried outside the city and burned.

Sacrificed Lamb Isn’t a Pretty Picture
Then they take the carcass of the animal and chop it up into smaller chunks. For example, they cut the legs off at the shoulders, perhaps cut through the ribs at the spine and lay them out as well.

Then perhaps the head is removed. When you’re through, you then have perhaps 7 or eight major pieces and then you lay that on the altar. How could John tell that this lamb was just sacrificed? How would he have known it was sacrificed unless it was blackened from the flames? Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for us yet he wasn’t laid on an altar as we understand an altar to be.

Relating it to Christ
But he was on a cross, which is also an altar, just in a different form. Was Jesus burned at the stake? No, he was tortured before he was hung. The fire the burned the sacrifice of Jesus was not a physical one, it was a spiritual fire, a fire of purification rather than destruction. See through eyes of the spirit rather than the eyes of your mind.

The picture John saw was of a sacrificed lamb, but it’s the same picture the people of Israel saw when Jesus was beaten beyond recognition and then walked by them as he carried his cross, or altar, to Galgoltha. As John the Baptist was standing in the Jordan river and saw Jesus approach, the Holy Spirit rose up within John as he declared, “Behold! The Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world!” Everyone knows and clearly understands the sacrificed lamb John saw is a symbol, which is what Revelation is made up of, but it’s a symbol of Jesus. Only he is worthy or has the worth to break open the seal.

Death, Burial, and Resurrection
That’s why we say the only way to understand Revelation is to understand the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We first have to understand what it was that Jesus brought to us. It’s not just about us understanding about what he did 2,000 years ago when he hung on a cross and he uttered seven sayings and experienced a torturous death and all the things that are involved in that. It’s understanding what it brought to us in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. John doesn’t see a man that was worthy, but he sees a lamb.

Remember this unsealed book is pictured as a scroll. We don’t understand this picture like they understood it. But the Jewish people and the Christians of that day knew what a seven sealed book symbolized. They knew it had to do with redemption. They knew, like we talked about before in another tape, that if there was a debt I owed, there were two scrolls with the details of that debt all written out. This is Old Testament history, it’s all there. The book of Jeremiah is one of the passages where this comes from if you want to look it up. (doesn’t say exactly where).

Recapping the Two Scrolls of Debt
But one scroll was signed and left open, the other was signed and sealed. It had a detail of what your debt was. You had to remain in that condition of debt while you and your family worked it off. There were only two ways you could get out of that debt. One is through a kinsman redeemer, which is the story of the book of Ruth.

The three qualifications of a kinsmen redeemer, if you remember, one of them was, he had to be worth, he had to be a near kinsman. That’s why Jesus didn’t send an angel to be the sacrifice, he had to become flesh himself. He had to take on temptation just as we have and he had to mature through trials and tribulations just as we do. He had to be related to us in order to fulfill the role of kinsman redeemer on our behalf to remove the debt of sin we had no ability to pay on our own.

Then as the second qualification, he had to have the resources in order to redeem you out. Which is why Philippians 4:19 is so powerful. Because it says, God will supply all your needs . .according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. He had the where-with-all. He had the means. He was and is my kinsman redeemer. The kinsman redeemer could take that scroll that was sealed against you and break the seal of it and redeem you,

It’s an eastern culture that our western thinking has never heard of. You can’t lose your land over there, like you do over here. It’s sealed by that scroll and only a kinsman redeemer can come and break the seal of ownership to release it back to you. The only other way the seals were to be broken was on the year of Jubilee. Every 50th year and then everybody was set free and all seals were broken and redemption was experienced by all.

Perhaps this is why Daniel got so sick after seeing this same revelation. Because at the end, God told him to seal up the scroll, that it wasn’t for that time, but it was for a later time. Daniel knew only a kinsman redeemer could remove the debt of sin. Now, in chapter 6 we’re seeing the opening of the seals of the book. Even though this was a review, it is also a proverbial thumbnail.

Where we’re going and where we’ve been so far is not widely accepted. The word we feel God is beginning to share is not the normal position the church over all has taken. Many people aren’t going to be as excited about this as we are. But when we talk about things like we did about the rapture, we didn’t take anything away but we gave you more than you had to begin with.

Always Look For Jesus When Reading Scripture
The only way for me to truly understand the word of God, no matter which book, whether it’s Genesis, Malachi, or Revelation, is that I have to approach it as looking for the revelation of Jesus Christ. Always looking for Jesus. Scripture says Jesus comes in “the volume of the book.” It’s all about Jesus, we just need to see through the eyes of the cross.

The Thunder of Heaven
When John says he heard the thunder, we assume it’s a carnal thunder. The question is, where does thunder come from, heaven or earth? It comes from the heavens which implies we are looking for a spiritual dimension not an earthly one. Man isn’t teaching this, it’s coming from heaven. If you do a word study on the word Thunder throughout Scripture, you’ll realize that when thunder is referred to, it’s also dealing with judgement. Exodus 19 when Moses is giving them the law, there’s lightning and thunder. Lightning has to do with a type of teaching.

Change of Weather Implies New Lesson is Coming
Many of us Pentecostals sing about the coming of rain and how we want to just soak it up like it’s a place of nothing but refreshing. But actually, it’s the rain that causes seeds to germinate. Deuteronomy says “I will cause my doctrine to distill like rain.” So when it starts to thunder and lightening, we now that God is getting ready to teach us something.

Deut. 32:1,2
1Listen, Heavens, I have something to tell you. Attention, Earth, I've got a mouth full of words. 2My teaching, let it fall like a gentle rain, my words arrive like morning dew, Like a sprinkling rain on new grass, like spring showers on the garden.

Visions
Revelation is a book of visions. Much like Ezekiel. To our knowledge, John was never taken off the island when this revelation came to him, it was all in the form of a vision. Revelation means apocalypse in the Greek. It means to unveil. So John is sitting on the island with the same capacity for thinking that we have. Nothing more special or less special. He was human, just as we are.

Then it just “happened”. His mind’s eye saw with clarity everything opening up to his understanding. See, his mind didn’t finally achieve a level of intelligence that gave him access to this vision. If that were the case, he never would have left the scene of God’s glory. But his mind simply received the events that unfolded before him in the spirit. When the Revelation stopped, John’s mind returned to the reality of Patmos again, it wasn’t his choice to leave this state, but it was God’s grace that allowed him to see this Revelation of Jesus, it was God’s grace that ended it, but his life would never be the same.

They Are “Given” Not Self-Achieved
Some people, perhaps like what happened to John, have their whole field of vision become a movie screen and they have things unfolding before them all the time. Others may not have that type of experience at all. We may find ourselves envious that it’s not happening to us, but again, the visions and dreams given to us are just that, they are given. We can’t take them, they have to be given. Which goes on to say that we then have to be chosen. If you truly want them, pray for them. If you don’t get them, understand God is the one who chooses and he may choose not to have you operate in that particular arena.

You may simply not need it. There are a lot of things we ask God for that we think we need that we really don’t and so we complain that our prayers don’t get answered when in reality, they were answered, just not with the answer we were looking for. There are some things that are probably good that you’re not aware of them.

Heavenly Word Comes in Many Forms
But the point is, God speaks to you in any form he wants to. Whether it’s an all-night dream, or an open vision, or even a window, a flash of something or someone. God controls those things which enter our minds on another plain. The best we can do is ask and perhaps prepare the atmosphere for his spirit to manifest. But even then it’s not a manipulative thing that we can do which God then automatically responds to.

The reason why we think much of what John saw is strange is because we have never been properly taught on how to interpret dreams or visions. 1 Corinthians 2 speaks about us comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.

Revelation 6
1I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" 2I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest

Bow
Right away, here in verse two, we’ve been taught that this white horse is not Christ, it’s the anti-Christ. One of our reasons for saying that was that the guy on this horse is carrying a bow instead of a sword. Again we use our western understanding and assume it’s a bow and arrow, but it’s not. It’s the Greek word for “toxo” which technically means an arch, much like another bow depicted in Scripture that is evidence of a promise. The rainbow, not a bow and arrow. Huge difference. It’s the same bow that’s also around the throne.

Crowned with Thorns
The one on the white horse is not the antiChrist. This is a revelation of Jesus Christ. This is Jesus conquering with the promise. He was also given a crown and the word for crown here is the same word used when Jesus was crowned with thorns when he was crucified. That is a significant key to pointing to who the rider is. It’s Jesus. Why was a crown of thorns placed on Jesus head? It’s not just because the Roman’s were horrifyingly cruel, though they were, but you need to use Scripture to reveal true meaning to you.

Crown = Stephanos
from an apparently primary stepho (to twine or wreathe)

a) a mark of royal or (in general) exalted rank
1) the wreath or garland which was given as a prize to victors in public games
b) metaph. the eternal blessedness which will be given as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ: the crown (wreath) which is the reward of the righteousness
c) that which is an ornament and honour to one

1st Adam – 2nd Adam The Curse of the Sweat of the BrowJesus had to fulfill prophecy in having this crown on his head because the first Adam, when he was sentenced for his sin a curse was pronounced on him that from the earth, thorns and thistles would be produced and he’d have to live by the sweat of his brow. In the garden, Jesus, the second Adam, already fulfilled the sweating but not by just carnal sweat, he literally sweat blood due to the state of his heart for the sin he was about to become. And they pressed into his head the last Adam. It’s all about redemption. 1 Corinthians 15 calls Jesus the last Adam.

Curse of Thorns
He had a crown of thorns put on his head not to increase the torture, but because Jesus had to “redeem” the curse that had penetrated man’s mind. Jesus sweat his very blood as a redemptive work for the thorns in our life. Numbers and Deuteronomy speak about thorns being likened to demonic forces. A thorn put in your side. When Paul spoke of a thorn in his flesh, he wasn’t referring to being sick. Understand physical represents spiritual. Paul was dealing with demonic forces. Perhaps even people influenced by the demonic, but it was the demonic that the thorns represent.

Demonically driven
Num 33:55
But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them [shall be] pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

God told the Israelites if they don’t drive out the Canaanites from the land that they will be thorns in their flesh and pricks in their eyes. If there are certain things you don’t drive out of your life, even though you’ve accepted Christ into your heart, if you don’t drive those specific things out of your life that you know don’t belong, they too become a thorn in your flesh.

When you look up the meaning of the names of all the enemies that still lived in Canaan, the Hittites, Canaanites, Amalikites . .on and on, you’ll see their names all pertain to works of the flesh. Perhaps this is why Paul referred to his affliction as a thorn in his side.

Trading a Cursed Crown for a Redemptive One
When John sees that, he even wrote about it in John 19, when he sees that picture of Christ with the crown, it conjures up in his mind an image that Jesus has redeemed us from the effects of the carnal mind. That’s why we’ve been given a mind renewed every morning. We’ve been redeemed from the crown of the flesh with a golden crown, a crown of redemption.

The White Horse
When Revelation speaks of Jesus riding on a horse, does that mean he was literally on a big white stallion? Keep in mind, it’s a book of symbols. Some may argue that I’m going to make the whole Bible symbolic. No, I take what is literal, to be literal and what is symbolic, should be taken as symbolic. We’ve already learned from Revelation 1 that this book is all symbolic.

White speaks of purity. He sat on him with a bow and a crown. Where are these horses first mentioned? Go to the root. They’ve been seen before. Zechariah speaks about horses. He is speaking to a remnant nation. Israel had been exiled by Babylon and now, out of the several million that once had lived there, only 50,000 returned. Those are who are being addressed in Zechariah 6.

Comfortable in Exile
Babylon is a type of the religious system because it starts in Genesis 6 and even though we think it was destroyed, we see it again in Revelation. Babylon here is getting ready to fall. You know why only 50,000 Jews returned to Israel, their homeland? Because the others became too comfortable where they were in their exile and they chose to remain there instead of returning to their home land.

Zec 6:1
And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains [were] mountains of brass. Zec 6:2 In the first chariot [were] red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; Zec 6:3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. Zec 6:4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What [are] these, my lord? Zec 6:5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These [are] the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. Zec 6:6 The black horses which [are] therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. Zec 6:7 And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.
Brass = Judgement
Notice in verse one it depicts the mountains were made of brass. Remember what that symbolizes? That’s what the articles outside the tabernacle are also made of. The brazen, or brass altar and the brazen laver. Both are symbols of judgement Brass depicts judgement. So these horses we’re about to see are about to manifest God’s judgement.

4 Horses
The horses are the four spirits of heaven. When we go further into Revelation, we’re going to see the angels are standing on the four corners of the earth. These angels are holding back the wind. Wind, symbolizes the spirit, God’s glory. Acts 2:4. Remember this in Zechariah is in brass, the spirit comes in judgement. Ezekiel sees this same thing. It blew everything away. It blew all the walls the men built with tempered mortar away. So the wind we see here isn’t necessarily revival. In fact, it’s not a wind of glory, but perhaps a wind of purification. Also remember the number four in Scripture pertains to the things of the earth.

Not By Feelings, But By Faith
We often assess that if it feels good it’s the Spirit of God, if it doesn’t, it’s the spirit of hell. But are we to live according to our feelings? No, we’re to live by faith. God’s spirit isn’t always a fuzzy feeling that makes you want to jump up and holler. In fact, that may even be the exception to the rule because in more cases than not, the spirit is cleansing out the muck and sludge we’ve allowed to come in and that’s not always a pretty process, but it’s just as powerful and good. Judgement isn’t always a bad thing. It depends on what is getting judged, the good in us or the evil.

And when God judges, it’s for a purpose. His intent for us has never changed. His son is the same in our yesterdays as he will be in our tomorrows. We’re the ones that need to let him change us so that we can rest in his sameness. So Zechariah asks what the four angels are and he’s told they are the four spirits that go out over all the earth. So let’s jump back to Revelation

Rev 6:2
And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. Rev 6:3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. Rev 6:4 And there went out another horse [that was] red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. Rev 6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. Rev 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] thou hurt not the oil and the wine. Rev 6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. Rev 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth

Horses are the Same
So what are these horses? According to Zechariah, they are spirit messengers. Notice not only are there the same number of horses here as in Zechariah, but they are also the same color. These are the same horses. They are not literal horses that are 15 hands high and have a saddle on them. A horse is a symbol of strength and power. Have you ever ridden a horse? It’s like sitting on top of solid muscle. They are mighty. The intent of this message that’s coming here in Revelation is one that is mighty, powerful, it’s one of judgement, but we all need judgement in our life when it’s from God.

Rapture is Not His Pattern
For those who are of the belief that God is going to let us escape the judgement through a rapture must understand that’s not his pattern. God is going to “keep” us through his judgement and we’ll have his strength to live through the hour of trial in victory, not absence. There’s always judgement falling all around us. We’re not in agreement with the belief that this particular tribulation will be for a period of seven years. Tribulation is all around you right now.

Absorbing the Rain? Or Run-off.
The Bible says it rains on the just as well as the unjust. But it’s food to those who are hungry and death to those who are rejecting him. If you keep the pattern of rain, you’ll see that those people who are exposed to spiritual teaching falling them, but are not open to it become agitated and even a bit critical. The reason for this is because their ground is hardened to the water of the Word and their roots are dried up because there’s too much emphasis put on their limbs and leaves, the things that can be seen rather than the things which are hidden but support the things which aren’t.

Understanding Tribulation
We live our sheltered lives for so long we have no idea that there is judgement falling around us. Go to any 3rd world country and see for yourself the results of judgement. Why do you suppose they’re 3rd world countries? Because they have received judgement all around them and their rejection is their evidence of their dying state. I’m speaking spiritual death, not just physical.

There are also just people over there that are also dying physically, yet spiritually they are alive in Christ. But they see first hand the results of judgement around them. It’s not because we’re better, we’re just fortunate God has chosen to bless our nation. And at the same time, we need to be watchful and pray that this nation continues to be in God’s grace and mercy. But more importantly, we need to make Him our priority.

Carnal Life = Spiritual Death
In the carnal mind, this nation, our nation is blessed. But if you read Scripture, you understand that it’s harder for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven than it is for a poor person. Reason being is because there’s more to give up. But don’t ignore the fact that tribulation is now and tomorrow.

It’s all around us. We need to understand there’s a white horse loose about us right now and if we turn to the carnal life we’ll experience the spiritual death. But if we turn to the crowned one, we’ll receive the same promise given to Noah, we too can become fruitful and multiply on this earth, spiritually as well as emotionally.

Judgment is a Good Thing
Even the church today needs to break away from the perverted prosperity gospel that has duped people with the understanding that God is a proverbial bellhop. He just answers our whims and desires. Understand God is doing you a favor just allowing you to breathe the air that you breathe. God is going to do a good thing in judging us that of all those things that have competed for our attention in all forms of idolatry. You want to be judged my men or God? It’s a good thing to be judged by God than it is by man.

Severe mercy.
Sometimes that’s just what we all need. A good spiritual beating to bring life. To prune us with his mercy and cut away the dead skin from around our spiritual wounds of our hearts and minds so that healing can come in and restore us back to him in a stronger, wiser, more compassionate body of Christ.

Maggots of Healing
God uses the natural to show his power through the supernatural. Today, modern doctors actually use maggots to eat infections out of people who’ve gone through severe experiences with their bodies. We look at maggots as disgusting and germ carriers when the reality is, they help us heal by eating the dead flesh from us which removes the risk for disease to set in.

Isn’t it interesting that our modern mind-sets are so quick to avoid the very things God sends to us on purpose? We immediately become alarmists about the trumped up dangers in our minds about the very things that are sent to us on purpose with the intent to bring us redemption and deliverance.

Promise turned Curse
We’ve done the same thing to this book of Revelation. We’ve turned a blessing into a curse. We’ve preached for years and years the doom and gloom of a book that is nothing but example after example of the redemptive works Jesus has done, is doing and will continue to do in our lives.

How often we reverse the promise and make it a curse, all the while, proclaiming to all our so called anointed message of the onslaught of destructive judgement. When the reality is, it’s a judgement that will build us up, bring us closer in unity with him, lift us higher than we ever imagined. If only we stop listening to the noise of men and pay attention to the silence of the Spirit.

Jesus is coming back again, just like Scripture says he will. But first, his body is going to manifest itself through us. Not so much in the physical form that we saw him in the first time. But a corporate body that he’s calling out as we live and breathe right here and now. There are so many things that he wants to show us, if only we’d put down our weapons of warfare against each other and turn them into plowshares. Something that can plant and grow life, instead of removing it. Amen.

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