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Tape Four

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1 Tape Four on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:19 am


It was a song book
An interesting note about how some used the book of Revelation. It is common knowledge for most that the book of Psalms is a book of songs accumulated by the priests. Many of the songs were written by David, the king of Israel then, and have been held in very high esteem. But many people are not aware that the early church often did the same with the book of Revelation. Today’s church looks at this book with either an overwhelming mystery, or as a book of doom and gloom. But for those that understood the unfolding story that all the symbols represents, it was such and encouragement to them that they used many of it’s passages as songs. It became a source for hymns. God’s Word (written or otherwise) will either open your heart, or harden your heart. Pray that hearts are opened and not hardened against what he’s saying to the churches in the Spirit.

Revelation is a book of symbols. “sent and signified”. Sent by the angel and “signified” or sent “by” symbols. Even a form of parables actually. Every image or symbol used in the book of Revelation, can be found in the Old Testament. Understanding the Old Testament pattern is the key to unlocking the book of Revelation’s mystery of symbols.

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; 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

a) a discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden;
b) Used in the NT of the utterance of OT prophets
1) of the prediction of events relating to Christ's kingdom and its speedy triumph, together with the consolations and admonitions pertaining to it, the spirit of prophecy, the divine mind, to which the prophetic faculty is due
2) of the endowment and speech of the Christian teachers called prophets
3) the gifts and utterances of these prophets, esp. of the predictions of the works of which, set apart to teach the gospel, will accomplish for the kingdom of Christ

When our culture thinks of prophecy, we assume it to mean a futuristic message. But the truth is, a prophet is simply a mouth-piece for God. This writing is not a prophecy by traditional standards, it is a written account of a message from God

The Time is At Hand
When doing a phrase-study, we find that every time it’s used in other passages, it’s to mean the event being spoken about is immediate, within days if not hours. Yes, this is prophetic in the sense that John is in the spirit when all of this is revealed to him, but remember again, the unfolding message is not established by man’s standards, so to put a literal time line on any of it like it’s a formula of the last days, is again, taking away the attention from Christ. This is a revelation of Jesus, nothing else is to be emphasized.

John the Baptist often used this same phrase in his pioneering ministry preparing the way for Jesus to come, which began during the same time John was preaching. This is really where we see this phrase come into reality. The “time is at hand” phrase actually means, the events have already begun. When John was preaching this, Jesus was already beginning his ministry. So to say Revelation hasn’t happened yet, is again, not in alignment with God’s patterns.

. . .And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father;[/i]
This is a huge key here to understanding our authority. We are not just priests, but we’re also kings. There is a message from Peter on this same thought which is where he coined the phrase “a royal priesthood”. Have you ever wondered what the symbolism was behind the crowning of the saints? Why crowns? Jesus was crowned on the cross with the curse of the mind. This is what the crown of thorns represents.

But we’re not “going” to be wearing crowns of gold, we are already wearing crowns of gold. When it says “he ‘hath’ made us kings and priests” that is not futuristically speaking, that’s past tense. We’ve been crowned. Just as he died to give us life, he wore a crown of the curse of the bottomless pit of the carnal mind so that we may have a mind that’s “renewed”. A crown of his rightesousness.

Ephesians 4:17
[i]This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

No Question about the Priestly Side
I guess I can understand why I’ve been made a priest. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and my spirit is the priest of my temple. The activities the priests carried out in the tabernacle of Moses, on to Jesus’ day, are to be correlated to the activity I’m to carry out in my own temple. The animal sacrifices, I’m to sacrifice my flesh and let the fire of heaven consume the carnality of my life and purify my heart and mind with his fire. I’m to allow myself to be baptized, or be pickled with his spirit from the inside out. I understand those things, but it’s the king that he’s made me that I never fully understood.

Matthew 24
43But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

Mat 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Editor’s Note
If you noticed at the beginning of this exchange between Jesus and the disciples, when they first brought the question up of “when will these things be?” The first response that Jesus said was for them to be careful not to be deceived. Then the entire exposition from that point on was all on the platform of this warning. Jesus was trying to instill the importance of the awareness to deception of this topic. Verse 43 is again referring to this as well. Jesus is not coming as a thief to those who are watching.

And when he physically returns, he’s not coming as a thief at all. “But that’s not what it says here! It implies that he “is” coming as a thief and we’re to be watchful and ready!” What coming to you think he’s referring to? It’s been taught that this is about the rapture, but that idea is actually the deception that Jesus was trying to warn them about. It’s not about the coming of the rapture, but it’s about the coming judgment on a nation that rejected the Messiah when he was literally standing among them.

Just a few sentences earlier Jesus compared it to the flood of Noah. The flood was not the removal of the godly, but it was judgment on the ungodly. It’s the same thing here, except the flood didn’t come in the form of water, it came in the form of armies, Roman soldiers to be exact. No, the deception is that the mainline church has convinced themselves to be looking for something entirely different and in the process, they have allowed themselves to be overtaken by the very thing that Jesus was warning the disciples about; deception.

We’ve deceived ourselves into thinking this is all about an event that wouldn’t take place for another 2000+ years. As a result, the bride has missed the truth that she’s already been equipped now, with all those things she’s been told will be coming at the end of time. And as a result, she has not been able to exercise her authority over the enemy because she’s in a waiting mode, instead of a mature, authoritative position of rest

But as Hebrews 12 prophesies about that final shaking of all things that were created by men and not by God, the bride is just now beginning to feel the first tremors of a great and final shaking off of all the religious rhetoric that she’s been swallowing for all these years. It’s not a matter of “if” the church will repent of it’s religious blindness, but it’s a matter of “when”.
End of Edit

This thought is right on the tail of the analogy of Jesus return as it was in the days of Noah. But he tells us that those who are in preparation to reinforce their homes, spiritually speaking here, that the enemy will not have the ability to steal anything from you. This is the same as Ephesians 6 and the armor of God. Once you’ve done all you can to prepare to stand, then stand firm. Against what? Perhaps the thief in the night! See, it’s been taught the Jesus is going to come like a thief in the night and steal away the believers and leave behind the wicked. But that’s actually opposite of what this just said.

One Taken, the Other left
First, it’s not the godly that are going to be taken, it’s the wicked that will be removed as the earth is given to the godly as an inheritance. That’s what the second coming of Jesus is all about. The first time he came was as a lamb of God. The second time will be as the Lion of Judah. When one shall be taken and the other left, the one that’s taken is not the Christian, but the sinner. The Christian is the one that’s staying. See how the leviathan infiltrates the church and distorts the truth? But secondly, when Jesus does return, it won’t be as a thief to those who have prepared themselves for his coming. He’ll only come as a thief to those who haven’t.

Kings and Priests
So, for those of us who are staying, that’s also when our ruling will begin in a whole new dimension of reality. But today, in this dimension of life, we are not waiting for our ruling to begin, we are rulers now. Understand what we just read in Revelation, “He Hath made us kings and priests.” It’s already happened. We’re rulers now! God is maturing his bride to eventually be ruler over everything. This is what is being implied with the talents, if we are faithful with a few, he’ll make us ruler over many.

But understand that this ruling isn’t just so we can exercise our power, our position as kings is much deeper than that. When we are no longer under the priesthood of Levi, or the Mosaic system, but now we’re under the priesthood of Melchisedec that Hebrews speaks of. He was the king of Salem, which is now Jerusalem, but Salem means peace. Not only are we now in a priestly lineage, but we’re in a kingly one as well.

The Reason for Being Kings and Priests
Here’s the reason why God has given us both kingly and priestly authority. The reason why it’s important we understand the order of Melchisedec priesthood that’s described in Hebrews is a priest can discern or can detect a need, but a priest doesn’t have the wherewithal or the means to meet that need. But a king on the other hand does. This is why he’s made us kings “and” priests. Not only can we discern spiritual needs in others, but we have the authority to do something about it. A priest’s responsibility was in dealing with the ministry in the temple, a king’s responsibility was over the health and direction of an entire nation. As kings and priests, we are to illuminate the glory of Jesus to the ends of the age. He is our high priest, and he is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Revelation 1
9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, (place of my killing) for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 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.

John turned . . To See!
This is interesting to note, John first heard the voice of God, but he was facing the wrong direction. Then, he didn’t turn to hear, he turned to see. Why? John’s spirit was on full alert at this point and he was fully aware that something supernatural was happening. But his mind had not yet understood the whole picture. He could hear clearly, but his vision was what needed adjusting.

John wanted more than just to hear God’s voice, he wanted to See!! And immediately, as soon as he turned, his eye’s of understanding were opened to the pure, unadulterated, image of Jesus. This is the picture of the church, the act of turning means repent. That’s what repenting is, to turn around. Not just repenting or turning “from” sin, but turning “to” Christ. To stop sinning, isn’t necessarily turning to Christ. In fact, many religious people do just that. They stop doing things because they see Scriptures says they’re not to do it, but they aren’t stopping because they’re turning to Christ, they’re stopping because the law tells them they’re not supposed to do it. There is a great difference.

Growing in Christ is a process, there is a constant turning as our relationship with Christ grows and becomes stronger, God puts his desires in us more and more and the “turning” becomes like a rotisserie, the fire of purification purges out the sin in us as we turn and allow ourselves to become wholly exposed to the awesome fire of the Spirit. Understanding patterns unlocks who Christ is.

Revelation 1
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.

The stars John saw, we think of them as a physical star. Remember, John is in the spirit and seeing symbolism. A star is not speaking of a physical angel. Keep in mind what an angel is, it’s a messenger. Why does Jesus choose to liken these seven messengers to stars? First of all, there are seven, which speaks of fullness and completion. Jesus is showing John the entire picture of the bride. The church, and notice where they are, they’re in his right hand. The right hand speaks of authority. The whole church has the authority, but this goes further.

When we see stars in the Scripture, they’re not angels of heaven, but they are men. They are prophets, Apostles, evangelists, teachers and preachers. Jude speaks of wandering stars, but these stars are false prophets. Worse yet, they are complainers and whiners.

10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever

16These are the "grumpers," the bellyachers, grabbing for the biggest piece of the pie, talking big, saying anything they think will get them ahead.

Truthless Teaching
Men with revelation and illumination become like “stars” giving direction. Jude also mentions men being like clouds without water. Water causes seed to germinate and take root, false teachers may make a lot of noise, but there’s no rain coming out of them. This is one of the 4 soils that rejected the seed, the one in the rock, the seed died for lack of water. (From your belly shall flow rivers of living water). Immediately after that, he then mentions the wandering stars. So, when there is a heavenly star being identified, it’s speaking of a godly prophet, apostle, etc.

Letters to Churches, Not about Us
John’s letter is written to 7 actual and real, physical churches. Many have taken the characters of these seven churches and overlaid them with a time-line and paralleled them in chronological sequence, and preach that each church is representing a specific period of time. Meaning the church of Laodecia is actually the current church of today. The reason this is an important key is because if you apply that understanding, then it shifts the focus over to us again. Which then leads us “away” from the Revelation of who Christ is. We need to stay “with” the original pattern.

The Luke-Warm Church
When we go to that 7th church we’ll find that according to that belief, it’s a luke warm church, rich and increased with goods and God is spewing us out of his mouth. The truth is, you can find that church in every period or generation between here and there. More importantly, however, is that we’d then have to throw away the fact that on the 6th a double portion of manna was made available. I’m not willing to do that. I believe we truly are in that sixth day and that a deeper understanding of who Christ is to us is so much more intimate than it has ever been.

Dispensation is the word used for this belief. Dispensationalists take everything God has ever done and try to fit it all in a limited time frame, and they put everything God had done in a box and say “everything has to happen this way”. But you can’t put God in a box. C.I. Scofield, Clarence Larkin, Darby are known men who claim themselves as dispensationalists. When teaching Revelation, traditional teaching has literally marked out a time-line map for the book of Revelation and make it appear that it’s all in chronological order. Clarence Larkin currently has a book out on this dispensational view and he states in this book that the three unclean spirits chapter 13 speaks about is the gift of tongues. Yet the traditional church has swallowed this theory as a whole lump and discretly jump over the more controversial areas like this one. But the problem is, by the end of the book, we’ve jumped so many times that the theory won’t even hold religion, let alone truth. This is just “one” area where he was off.

Eschatology, eschatological ...are words that simply has to do with a study of the end times or end events. We’ve been handed down these theories from men that don’t even believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Yet these things are accepted by all evangelical churches, along with Pentecostal. Yet again, if you don’t stay with the original pattern, you’ll find yourself in the ditch with the rest of the blind religious.

Regarding the Seven Churches
We’re not going heavily into chapters two and three as much until after he speaks to these churches. But I do want to touch on the fact that I think it’s a safe assumption to believe that there were more than likely, more than just seven churches in existence when this letter was written. And I think it’s also safe to say they had just as many short-comings as did the seven that were mentioned. Why these specific ones?

Why were there 7 churches?
Why didn’t John include Jerusalem or Antioch? Jerusalem is where the Holy Spirit poured out onto all nations or nationality groups that were in for the celebration that day, which represented over half the world. Nor did he send a letter to Antioch which was the first church where the name “Christians” first started. So and why was it seven churches, why not six? Why not eight?

Obviously, as the angel indicated at the beginning, sent and “signified”. Seven again, is symbolic. Perhaps the reason why Jerusalem wasn’t included in the seven letters was because this was during the same time when Rome was destroying Jerusalem. It was laying in ruin by the time these letters were circulated. There was no church in Jerusalem. The coming judgement that Jesus had warned about in Matthew 24 had already happened. But even though Jerusalem had once been the hub of religious activity. It had been the “city of God” Jerusalem, the city of peace. It became a desolate place.

Mat 23:34
Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and [some] of them ye shall kill and crucify; and [some] of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute [them] from city to city: Mat 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Mat 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not! Mat 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. Mat 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord[/i].

Shortly 40 years after this prophetic cry, a generation later, Jerusalem was left as a desolate house.

There’s a phrase that repeats itself throughout the first three chapters. “He the hath and ear, let him hear what the spirit is saying to the churches.” Notice he didn’t say ears, plural, but singular, ear. Not “he that hath and ear let him understand what’s happening in his age” those are nothing but effects, not causes. Remember from verse one, he was going to show these things of the spirit to the “bond slaves”. He that hath an ear that has been spiritually pierced by his master, let him hear the words of his master.

Outline of a Bondservant.
Adam put us into a debt of sin we could not repay. No amount of money, no amount of works would ever pay the debt of redemption we owed. But at the end of the 6th year and the beginning of the seventh, the sabbatical year, we were given the option to be free or remain a slave for life. And it’s out of a loving relationship over the course of the 6 years of slavery that we built a relationship with our master that when the day of freedom came, we chose instead to remain loyal to our master. At that point, he would then take the slave to the door of his house and with an awl, or a large nail, the bottom earlobe would be pierced through into the door and a ring, signifying eternity, a circle, no end no beginning. This ring would announce to the world that after 6 years of slavery, this person has gone beyond all the effort and struggle, past their own humanity, they don’t care anymore what’s in it for them.

We’re not just serving Christ for what we can get out of it. But now we serve Christ for what we can do for him more than what he did for us. He’s the eternal master of our soul. He that hath an ear is referring to those who have chosen to be the bondservants of Christ. Because it is only those with a deep relationship with God that secrets are given to.¬ Does this mean I have to be a scholar to understand? Absolutely not. But you do have be a person after God’s own heart. It’s your desire and action toward that desire that elevates you to the place of revelational understanding about your Lord and Savior.

Looking at a map, if you start with Ephesus and followed along through the others mentioned, it too forms a circle.

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

The Big Picture
What will really help in unlocking many of the mysteries to Revelation, as well as other Scriptures, is that we begin to look at the “big picture”. Instead of just situations we “think” are relative to what’s being said. What is the big picture? It is the removal of the old religious system that was established from Adam, but openly laid out with Moses. All of the laws, the rituals, the traditions, everything that God originally instructed Moses to build “after the pattern of the original”.

The original, that everything was patterned after is Christ. The entire layout of the tabernacle was patterned after Christ. Solomon’s temple was patterned after the tabernacle which was patterned after Christ.

Editor’s Note
I have often wondered why these seven churches were addressed in the way they were. It appears that there were many things they were doing right and yet they were made aware that there were other things they were doing wrong. It’s almost as if no matter how hard you work at your ministry, there is always something that God will notice that needs to be fixed. But over the course of the past several months, God has been leading us in a direction that’s new to us. Relationship over law. Stop reading Scripture from the standpoint of law and look at it from a life perspective.

In doing so, I went back and looked at each of these seven churches and I have found a pattern I’d never noticed before. To every church, Jesus started out his address to them by the profound statement, “I know your works”. I have been led into the understanding that our ministries are not to be our identity. It’s our relationship with Christ that’s what’s supposed to be the illuminating factor that’s protruding from our life. The churches are all diligent in their “works” or their “acts” and Jesus is pointing out the fact that their works are good, but not good enough. In fact they become our downfall more times than not due to our nature of always emphasizing the wrong thing.

God wants a church built on relationship, not on works. Not on ministry alone. Ministry is a great part of the church. It’s what makes it function, but it shouldn’t be the identity. Each of these churches, Jesus says, I “know” your works. I see your identity. You’ve put a lot of effort in these areas and you’ve made a name for yourself, a reputation for your works, but I say, your works aren’t enough, I desire your relationship. I should be your image, not your works or ministries.

1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks
Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Re 8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;v 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan.
12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges Rev 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, [even] where Satan's seat [is]: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas [was] my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; Rev 2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last [to be] more than the first.
Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

End of Note

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