Revelation 1:4 Part 2

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Video Links


Introduction

    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; (Rev1:4)
Last week we covered all of this 4th verse but these seven spirits before the throne of God. This week we will see what are these “seven spirits which are before His throne.”  After we have seen what the scriptures teach about these seven spirits, we will consider three misconceptions which, if we are not vigilant, will keep us from ever “seeing, hearing or keeping the things written therein.” Those three miconceptions are 1) The false doctrine of dispensationalism, 2) Misunderstanding what is meant by “He made Him to be sin…” and 3) Failing to see oursleves as “chief of sinners.”

What Are “The seven spirits before His throne?”

It is significant that we are told in the very same verse that there are seven churches and there are seven spirits of God. I can remember, many years ago, reading this verse and trying to figure out why the Holy Ghost was not even mentioned any where in this chapter. My conclusion, at that time was that these seven spirits were a symbol of the Holy Ghost, who I, at that time believed to be the third person of the trinity. I am not going to go into the false doctrine of the trinity, in this weeks study on this fourth verse of Revelation one. I have written a paper on the trinity, and it is posted on iswasandwillbe. com in  the essential reading section.
Suffice it, for today’s study, to point only to this verse of God’s Word:

1Co 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and [ besides the “one God of whom are all things” there is also] one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Who has an ear to hear the promises made to the churches?

Last week we demonstrated that the number seven, is used by the holy spirit, in speaking of the seven churches, to tell those “with ears to hear” that the seven  churches are reallly one whole church within all who have been given “ears to hear.” Hence we are seven times told:

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. (Ephesus)
Rev 2:11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Smyrna)
Rev 2:17  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 hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. (Pergamos)
Rev 2:26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
Rev 2:28  And I will give him the morning star.
Rev 2:29  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Thyatira)
Rev 3:5  He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Rev 3:6  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Sardis)
Rev 3:12  Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Rev 3:13  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Philadelphia)

Rev 3:21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 3:22  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Laodicea)

There are seven churches with seven promises, all made to “he that hath an ear.” It is all one church, shown by the number ‘seven’ to be the complete church with all its strengths and weaknesses.

1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is  [ the] Christ.
1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

The same is true of “the seven spirits which are before His throne.” Let us let the scriptures themselves tell us what are these “seven spirits.” We will repeat 1co12:13. Here is the Truth of what the holy spirit means by ‘seven spirits before His throne’:

1Co 6:17  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Eph 2:18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 4:4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.
Php 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

So “the seven spirits before His throne,” just like “the seven churches” of this same verse, are actually the “one spirit” with which we are all “joined,” through which we all “have access unto the Father, and by which we are all “one body.” Seven is the complete Truth . The seven spirits before Christ’s throne are nothing more or less than “the sum of God’s word.”

Psa 119:160  The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever. (ASV)

So don’t concern yourself with learning Greek or Hebrew. The scribes and Pharisees read and spoke both, and they were still as spiritually blind as a bat. Neither should you concern your self with any one translation or interlinear. Use them all and familiarize yourself with “the sum of thy word.” Above all ask God to give you eyes that see and ears that hear… the mysteries of the kingdom of God.”

Three things this revelation of Jesus Christ is not
1) It is not eschatologicl, dispensational, or outward

I mentioned last week that we must expunge from our minds the idea that the revelation of Jesus Christ is the revealing of future, end time, eschatalogical events which are all “without a man.” So long as we come to God’s word expecting to be able to know what will happen outwardly tomorrow, we will be blinded from seeing the revelation of Jesus Christ within, and the beast within will be secure on his throne within all of us. Look closely at these words of our Lord:

Mar 7:15  There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

That verse, Mar 7:15, plainly tells us that the revelation of all the problems mentioned in the seven chruches of  the revelation of Jesus Christ, in chapters 2 and 3, are “the things which defile a man.” They are all therefore “things that come out of him.” In order to “come out of him” they must first all be within. Therefore they are not eschatological or  end time problems, but they are problems which “defile the temple of God.” Here is what Christ would have us think about future, eschatalogical events:

Mat 6:34  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

“Take no thought for the morrow?” Christ would never tell us “Take no thought for the morrow…” and then turn right around and give us a whole book about eschatalogical, end time events. Here is a  verse which is so often used to justify a dispensational approach to scripture, when in reality it does no such thing.

Amo 3:7  Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

This is not a promise to let you and me know what tomorrow holds, because none of  the Old Testament prophets were “revealing God’s secret” to the people of their own day.,

1Pe 1:12  Unto whom [ the prophets] it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Jas 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Jas 4:14 is what is being dealt with when we read of “things that must shortly come to pass.” in Rev 1:1. It most assuredly is not speaking of events that happen 2000 years down the road. All the events in this book happen within the short lifetime of those who “read, and hear and keep what is written therein.” Only a person who is totally devoid of understanding the things of the spirit which are to be kept by all who read and hear the thing which are written therein, would argue that these “things which must shortly come to pass” has anything at all to do with end time eschatalogical events.

Amo 3:7 is nothing more or less than the promise of the revelation of Jesus Christ. “Christ in us” is God’s secret. God’s secret is indeed being revealed, but it is being revealed, at this time, only to those given eyes to see and ears to hear “the mysteries of the kingdom of God.” Did Elijah tell Ahab what Ben Hadad was planning to do? Yes, of course he did. But was that really the point of those stories in the Old Testament? Absolutely not. All those things happened and they are written for one reason:

 1Co 10:11  Now all these things h appened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come 

Col 1:26  Even the mystery [ Greek, ‘secret’] which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Mat 13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them [“the multitudes who believed on Him”] in parables?
Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Obviously, according to both Christ, here in Mat 13:11 and throughout Paul’s epistles, including here in Col 1:26-27, and also according to God’s promise in Amo 3:7, God’s “secret” is being revealed only to God’s elect, to whom are given “eyes that see and ears that hear the mysteries of “God’s kingdom within.”

Luk 17:20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

I know we have covered this before, but when is the kingdom within and when do we keep the saying of this book?

Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished.
Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein: for the time is at hand.

It takes being blinded by Christ himself to fail to see that people are still reading these words. And it takes being blinded by Christ Himself to fail to see that it is the generation reading that experiences “all these things” and not just the generation that read these words 2000 years ago, or the generation which happens to be reading these words at the end of this age.
This is not a book about eschatology, but it is a book about the work of the kingdom of God within all who read and are given eyes to see the working of the mysteries of that inward kingdom on all down through the generations since Christ.

2) How Christ was made sin within us

Until we can see and understand how Christ was made sin, we cannot see or understand the many great sins and blasphemies which are such an integral part of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Until we know and believe that Christ “took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham, who was the seed of Adam; that He was “made of a woman, made under the law,” with all that entails, we will not understand the revelation of Jesus Christ. Until we can confess that the phrase, “come in the flesh” means both his flesh and our “same flesh,” we will never understand the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Many Christians think that “a lamb without spot” means ‘a lamb without flesh.’ Such simply is not scriptural.  Christ was not “made sin by being offered on the physical cross. Christ’s flesh was itself “not good,” or ” shapen in iniquity and concieved in sin.”

Psa 51:5  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me.

Do you disagree with that statement? Does it sound blasphemous to you to hear that Christ was not good? Are you offended to learn that Christ’s flesh was shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin? If you are then just take that up with Christ Himself who made this statement:

Luk 18:19  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

While it is Biblical to state that Christ was without sin, it is not Biblical to state that He was ‘good’ or that He was not made sin by being “made of a woman, made under the law,” Both Biblical types of being without faith, being made sin.

1Jn 4:2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Gal 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Gal 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

There is no one who denies that Christ came in the flesh but gnostics and atheists. But there are “many spirits of antichrist” who deny that Christ’s flesh was of the “same flesh and blood” of Adam through His mother. “This is that spirit of antichrist… even now already it is in the world.”
But what say the scriptures?

Rom 7:1  Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

We must die before we can live. It is a simple Biblical equation:

Joh 12:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground a nd die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Rom 7:4  Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Gal 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of t he same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Heb 2:16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

It wasn’t being hung on the cross that made Christ sin. It was being made of a woman, under the law, that made Christ to be sin.

3) We all are guilty of All

Until we see the number ‘seven’ is God’s symbol for what is complete, we will not understand that the complete church is in each of us as a complete sinner, who, like our original parents, are guilty of all the sins of all the churches. That is why it is seven times repeated:

Rev 2:7  a) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches…

Having eyes and ears is a spiritual condition, as is every word in God’s word. When God does give us inward, spiritual eyes and ears, we finally are able to see and to hear that it is you and I who have first defrauded and lain with Tamar and then wanted to burn her alive for the sin that we committed. It is you and I who have slain Uriah and have taken his wife, and then wanted to first kill “that man” ourselves and then make him restore the lamb four fold. It is you and I who have committed spiritual adultery and want a physical adulteress stoned. It is not the apostle Paul alone who is “chief of sinners. It is you and I who are “chief of sinners”; you and I are “that man.” When the prophet Nathan said to King David, “You are that man,” Nathan was talking to me. ‘That man’ is not King David or any other person on earth. “That man” is primarily you and me. We all live by every word.

Judah

Gen 38:24  And it came to pass about three months after [ Judah had lain with Tamar], that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.
Gen 38:25  When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff.
Gen 38:26  And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.

King David

2Sa 12:1  And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
2Sa 12:2  The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:
2Sa 12:3  But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
2Sa 12:4  And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
2Sa 12:5  And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, [ As] the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this [ thing] shall surely die:
2Sa 12:6  And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
2Sa 12:7  And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
2Sa 12:8  And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if [ that had been] too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

Until we see ourselves as “the rich man” before we see ourselves as “the poor man,” we will never understand what “live by every word of God means. Until we see that it is only “those who are forgiven much who love much” we will never see ourselves as “chief of sinners” and guilty of “all that is in the world.”

1Jn 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

1Ti 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Have any of these words proceeding out of the mouth of God, been words for you, or are those words just for the apostle Paul, King David, and the patriarch Judah? Again, it is only those who see themselves as being in need of much forgivness who love God most.

Luk 7:41  There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
Luk 7:42  And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
Luk 7:43  Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

In the World Wide Church Of God we saw ourselves as the Philadelphia church, one of only two churches which were not admonished for grievous sins. Our doctrine taught us that we would be taken to a “place of safety” while the Laodicean era of the church endured the great tribulation. The sins of Laodicea and the great tribulation were not words addressed to us. The Truth nevertheless was that we thought we were “rich and increased with goods and had need of nothing, while in reality we were spiritually wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”
The revelation of Jesus Christ is the summary and conclusion to all the words that have proceeded out of the mouth of God. Heaven and earth will pass away, but these words of our Lord will not pass away. We will live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.  If we can acknowledge these very basic truths then we can say with conviction that we have been given the understanding to “read and understand and keep what is written therein, and to know that the time is at hand” in every generation that reads these words and keeps the things that are written therein.

Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation [ who reads and understands] shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

There have been, down through the generations since Christ’s resurrection from the dead, many attempts to turn these seven churches into seven eras of church history. The first, the church at Ephesus, according to this dispensational approach to God’s Word, symbolizes the church in the time of the apostles, and the last church mentioned, the church of Laodicea, would supposedly symbolize the condition of the church just before Christ returns to set up his kingdom on this earth.
This ‘church era’ approach to these seven churches is but one version of the false doctrine of dispensationalism, and it fits very well with another far more common false doctrine called ‘the rapture.’  The only difference between the doctrine of the ‘secret rapture’ and the WWCG’s ‘place of safety’ is that the one takes you to an outward heaven and the other to an outward place on earth. Both accomplish their intended goal of obstructing us from “reading, understanding and keeping what is written therein.” Both of these false doctrines deny that these words are spirit, both deny that “the time is at hand and in so doing they both keep us from applying God’s spiritual words to His spiritual kingdom within.

Luk 17:20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The kingdom of God is where Christ the King dwells, and Christ dwells in His elect. The parables of the gospels and the signs and symbols of the book of Revelation, both are understood only as they are seen as applying to the cleansing of the kingdom of God within each of us who are given “eyes that see and ears that hear the mysteries of the kingdom of God.”

Heb 9:23  [ It was] therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [ the blood of calves and goats]; but the heavenly things themselves [ those who are “in Christ”] with better sacrifices than these.

Conclusion

We have demonstrated that the seven spirits before His throne are the complete spirit of God, the sum of his spiritual words, “one spirit.”
We have also seen that we are not to “take thought of the things of the morrow,” that all of God’s words are judging and burning out the wood, hay, and stubble right here and now, and have been doing so in every generation that reads and hears and keeps the saying of the prophecy of this book. We have seen that this book, like every word of God, is to be lived and kept, by all who read and hear.
Any other way of applying these words concerning the affairs of God’s  inward kingdom, which we are plainly told are to be “kept,” will relegate “the words that are written therein,” to outward events of either the past or the future. So whether a preterist or a dispensationalist, we will have overlooked or ignored the admonition that “the time is at hand… keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” When we do that then we have both “added to and taken away from the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” With this outward application, every word is applied to someone else either in the distant past or in the future. In that way the goal of the Adversary is accomplished and the focus is taken off the beast who sits on the throne of God in the inward temple of God, declaring that he is God, within.
 
And finally we have seen that those who love God most are those who see themselves as chief of sinners, guilty of all the blood of all the prophets.

Mat 23:29  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
Mat 23:30  And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
Mat 23:31  Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
Mat 23:32  Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Mat 23:33  Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
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.

Have you slain the prophets? Have you denied and crucified your Lord? Has the blood of all the prophets from Abel to Zacharias come upon you? Are you “chief of sinners?” Deny it at your own risk, but remember “He who is forgiven most loves most.”

Luk 7:41  There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
Luk 7:42  And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
Luk 7:43  Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
Luk 11:47  Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
Luk 11:48  Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.
Luk 11:49  Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and [ some] of them they shall slay and persecute:
Luk 11:50  That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
Luk 11:51  From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

“This generation” is the generation reading these words. It is you and it is I.
Next week we will cover Rev 1:5.

Rev 1:5  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,

As always we will see just how Christ centric is God’s Word and how Christ centric are our lives meant to be.

Other related posts