Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Revelation of Y'shua the Anointed: Chapter Four

Welcome to Thus Say the Prophets!

The Revelation of Y'shua the Anointed:
A Study into the Noahide Nazarene Way

By Ben Ruach ha Kodesh (John of AllFaith) � 9.19.09
Chapter Four

Go to the index page for: The Revelation of Y'shua the Anointed

John ascends to the Throne Room as Heaven prepares for war!

Revelation 4:1 After these things I looked and saw a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, was one saying, "Come up here, and I will show you the things which must happen after this."

When studying the biblical prophecies an important rule of thumb is that if the text makes sense literally, take it that way. Much false and incorrect doctrine (and even dogma) has been produced by the process known as "spiritualizing." This process takes the plain word of the texts and applies generally abstract, otherwise unsupportable and questionable interpretations to them. For instance, when in the next verse we see John ascending to Heaven "in the spirit" it is taught by many that he is experiencing the "Rapture of the Church." Note however that nothing here says or even implies that is happening. I discuss the non-biblical teaching of the Rapture elsewhere in some detail.

Conversely, there is much to be learned from the Holy Scriptures and this often requires careful study and at times even a bit of reading between the lines as the Spirit of HaShem leads. In the case of the Book of the Revelation therefore one with spiritual discernment may understand these things in a more metaphysical context than others. For example, one may perceive that the various experiences described in this holy teaching refers to the building up of the Sons of Light metaphorically. Which is to say that the teachings are preparing the human consciousness to receive the Light of Truth so that the Temple of God ("... which temple you are" -- I Cor. 3:17) can be established. And this "Before the silver cord is severed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher is broken at the spring, Or the wheel broken at the cistern, And the dust returns to the earth as it was, And the spirit returns to God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12:6,7) and so on. It may be grasped by those who are spiritually mature that through the various experiences recorded here specific methods of spiritual practice conducive to spiritual enlightenment are presented. I am in no way debating nor denying this! I also believe this to be the case! There are indeed layers upon layers of understanding to be gleamed from the Word of Truth...

HOWEVER... Understand this as well: The HEART of the matter, the essential teaching here, is the surface doctrine and the prophetic presentation of God's Plan of Restoration. Those who rush to embrace the more esoteric elements of such works without first understanding the primary teachings err in their endeavors and cheat themselves and others of the true significance of the teachings. Often such people egotistically deride those who do not understand these "deeper teachings." And yet they fail to realize their own spiritual poverty (Rev. 3:17) for without a solid foundation no house will long stand (Matt 7:25)! The esoteric teachings exist to empower us to stand firm as these things unfold! In THIS study therefore we are looking at the primary interpretations, the foundational teachings. Once this study is completed, should HaShem so lead, perhaps I will present a more metaphysical presentation if there is interest.

This was a rather long introduction but one I think is important to understand.

The Heavenly Court Room

Throughout the Scriptures Heaven is described in courtly terms. Often the descriptions are of thrones and royal finery. Should we take such descriptions literally? Yes! God is the Ultimate Being, the Supreme "Person" and His very existence utterly transcends human reason and conception. So whether God actually, literally, sits on a throne or not, this image works and for our purposes should be accepted literally.

A similar description and situation is given in Scripture that directly pertains to our study but is often ignored by students of the prophecies. It is found in the oldest book of the Bible:

From the World English Bible: Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God, and turned away from evil...
6 Now it happened on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Yahweh, that Satan also came among them.
7 Yahweh said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, "From going back and forth in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."
8 Yahweh said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant, Job? For there is none like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil."
9 Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing?
10 Haven`t you made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will renounce you to your face."
12 Yahweh said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power. Only on himself don't put forth your hand." So Satan went forth from the presence of Yahweh.

This contest between Job and Lucifer is the story of the human race and it is now time for the final ruling to be announced.

We continue with our reading:

2 Immediately I was in the Spirit. Behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting on the throne
3 that looked like a jasper stone and a sardius. There was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald to look at.

"Immediately I was in the Spirit."

Remember that the Bible was not written with chapters and verses. So John is telling us in a continuous flow of words that he witnessed the future-history (from his perspective) of the Seven Church periods (of chapters 2 and 3) and then he was immediately "in the spirit" transported to the divine throne room.

The Rainbow that surrounds the Throne is that of our father Noah and the planetary covenant made between he and HaShem. The Noahide Covenant and its Seven Holy Laws exist eternally between HaShem and the entire population of the planet. By including the rainbow here we are reminded of HaShem's promises of global restoration and we understand that this will be the result of the experiences John is relating.

As stated above, this is not a reference to the "Rapture" and his experience is completely different from that proposed by that teaching. For one thing, his body remained on Patmos. This was a vision not a literal relocation of his body as is clear from the text. Notice also that the voice he heard was "like a trumpet" it was not the "last trumpet" as defined by Paul in his oft cited verse. Again, I discuss the Rapture teachings elsewhere. The doctrine simply is not taught in the Bible.

The Voice says, "Come up here, and I will show you the things which must happen after this." This confirms that these events are thus far happening in a linear order. At this point the Seven Church periods have progressed and the Laodicean Church has just been 'vomited from God's Mouth' and John is taken to Heaven in a vision to witness the celestial preparations for what is to come.

4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones. On the thrones were twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white garments, with crowns of gold on their heads.

These Twenty Four Thrones upon which sit the Twenty Four Elders are indicative of those to whom HaShem has granted authority. They represent the Twelve Patriarchs of Israel and Twelve Apostles of Y'shua the Anointed. By the authority of these Twenty Four Elders HaShem has governed His people, both Jews and Noahides. Whether these are literal thrones upon which the literal elders will be seated may be debated (I take them literally) however this is clearly meaning of what was seen.

The Twelve Patriarchs

The Twelve Apostles

Simon Peter
James ben Alphaeus
Simon the Zealot
Judas ben James
Judas Iscariot/Matthias
5 Out of the throne proceed lightnings, sounds, and thunders. There were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

In the aftermath of the ouster of the Laodecian Nicean Church God's wrath is kindled and He summons the Twenty Four Elders before Him. This divine wrath is noted by the lightnings, sounds (or voices), and thunders. He holds the Elders accountable for their errors and for those in their charge.

The seven lamps:

From the World English Bible: Numbers 8:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
2 Speak to Aaron, and tell him, When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lamp stand.
3 Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps of it [so as to give light] in front of the lampstand, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
4 This was the work of the lampstand, beaten work of gold; to the base of it, [and] to the flowers of it, it was beaten work: according to the pattern which Yahweh had showed Moses, so he made the lampstand.
5 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
6 Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them.

Through John's vision we are witnessing the scene as it unfolds in the court room of HaShem. The seven lamps are accouterments that testify that this is the same HaShem who led His people out of Egypt and will soon establish them again and for all times. Note that the texts adds that these lamps "are the seven Spirits of God." The reference is that HaShem is all knowing and that by His Glory and Omniscience nothing escapes his Knowing. Much more could be said about these seven lamps but for our present purposes this will suffice.

6 Before the throne was something like a sea of glass, like a crystal. In the midst of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind.

This "sea of glass" signifies all of existence (compare Rev. 15:2 where the martyrs from around the world stand on this sea of glass in celebration of their victory over the Beast. We will also witness this scene again soon as the people of this sea of glass cry out for vengeance and are told to wait yet a little longer (Rev. 6:11).

7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.
8 and the four living creatures, having each one of them six wings, are full of eyes around about and within. They have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.
9 When the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne, to him who lives forever and ever,
10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever, and will throw their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 "Worthy are you, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory, the honor, and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created."

Traditionally these four living creatures have been associated with the four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John however despite the power of that image I do not believe it is correct. For one thing John does not ponder how it is that he is simultaneously present as a winged creature and as himself!

While the idea of poetically appealing, the prophet identifies these creatures himself:

    The lion: the wild animals of the Earth
    The calf: the domesticated animals of the Earth
    The man: humanity
    The flying eagle: the animals that soar the skies

Humanity is not along in suffering from the rebellion. Consider this:

From the World English Bible: Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us.
19 For the creation waits with eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
20 For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope
21 that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.

The four living creatures therefore demonstrate the toll sin has taken on the entire creation and the yearning of all existence for the coming liberation:

Isa. 11:6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the nursing infant shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an explicit sign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

And again:

Isa 65:25: The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, says the LORD

All of creation yearns for this Day!

So, here is the scene: In his visionary state John beholds HaShem seated on His Holy Throne. The Twelve Patriarchs and the Twelve Apostles are seated before Him. In His righteous wrath HaShem beholds (within the Sea of Glass) the betrayal of the Earth. This betrayal has just been finalized with the expulsion of the Laodicean Church.

And the Twenty Four Elders and the Earth itself (depicted as the four living creatures) acknowledge God's righteousness. The wrath they know is soon to be poured out upon the Earth is completely deserved!

And so the Twenty Four Elders toss their crowns, their claims to authority, to the ground before the One symbolically confessing their utter failures. Both Jews and Noahides have conclusively demonstrated their inability to rule the Earth justly and to the well being of the Earth's inhabitants. This is the scene beheld by John the Apostle. Lucifer's accusation is herein resolved!

And the final seven years of the Times of the Gentiles has now begun!


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