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Meriam's Guy

sorry I can not reply
Posted:Dec 4, 2007 5:07 am
Last Updated:Dec 5, 2007 3:29 am
3322 Views

I keep getting things in my embarq telling me of friends wanting me to join their network and it is not allowing me to accept invitations. I cant even read my emails anymore, so I know someone is messing with things again and I am not surprised.
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What is the Bible?
Posted:Dec 4, 2007 3:58 am
Last Updated:Mar 20, 2023 9:49 pm
3232 Views

It is the infallible word of God written to man through the leading of the Holy Spirit.

There is no denying that. But it also is composed of History. Every word has its place, but also the proper perspective is to understand that some of it is useful for Chronological purposes.

Example: Who begat who in the Old Testament is there for a purpose of the History so that the dots can be conected and understood. But are you going to receive much from reading who begat whoom? Not really but it does have its purpose.

The Old Covenant Law. Does it have a purpose? Well, those in the world that have not received Christ are still under that covenant, because once they receive Christ, they are no longer under that Law, because God writes moral law on the hearts of born again believers. (Jer 31:31-34)

But even though the old covenant is totally dead to born again believers (Heb 8:13), it still is a part of the history of God's relationship to man.

That Old Covenant History only included the Jewish nation. Gentiles were not included in the relationship with God. It is important to understand this when you read Old Testament. It is filled with laws that were never given to the gentiles. Paul made a big deal about this in Galatians.

In the New Testament, the New Covenant that we have does not begin until after Jesus gives atonement. Many think that it begins in Matthew chapter one. But it does not. Only after he was crucified. If it just began because he was walking the earth, then he would not have needed to give his life.

The epistles written to the churches were written to the churches to address issues and help solve problems regarding maturization. They were also showing what was going on. But to think that Paul knew that his writings was going to be part of a book used as the Christians handbook is a far stretch. It was written for the edification and correction of the churches that he was overseeing.

That is what is so dangerous about just opening the bible and the first thing we read, we think it is for us, or to think that everything is divulged right at us. Understanding the circumstances and the meanings to whoom it was written is important.

Here in the United states in 1900 only 9% of the country could read at that time.If you went back 300 years before that, what do you think that the percentage of the world was that could read, and how many bibles were available?

God has always wanted intimacy with his people. Much of the bible was not put together for hundreds of years after the writings were written.

Yes, annointed writings. But also written for those people and of which we can glean from.

Could you have a wonderful relationship with God if you had no bible to read? Many people over the centuries have had that relationship with the Father, despite not having text to read or the ability to read.

The same Holy Spirit that wrote the scriptures through men to other men; resides in all born again believers.

This is not to down play the word of God in any way. But the Bible is broken down into things such as a dead covenant, and it now is finished with a final covenant of Christ that is for all mankind and not predetermined as to who will be saved.
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What is Revelations about?
Posted:Dec 3, 2007 6:47 pm
Last Updated:Dec 12, 2007 6:57 am
3370 Views

I have to ask the question, What is this book all about? No point in plunging into the book with a preconceived idea. The only way to interpret the Scripture is exegetically and the word ‘exegetically’ means let the Bible speak out at you, the other way of doing it is eisegetically which means coming to the Bible having already decided what it is going to say, and you speak into it your own interpretation and say, ‘there, the Bible agrees with me’.

That is not the way to hear God speak. And so first of all I have to come not to the first chapter to study it, but to the whole book, and to say ‘What is the whole book about?’. I must come to that whole book as if I had never read it before, know nothing about it, and I come as a simple to sit at the feet of this Book in the Power of the Spirit and say, ‘What does it mean?’

Now the first consideration must be to remember that it is a book. This of course can be applied to every book of the Bible, it is not just miraculous words hanging in space. When the men wrote the Bible they did so in terms of the Book ‒ a book that began ‒ it began with normal, earthly, human grammar and syntax, it was written in a certain place by a certain man to certain people in a certain historical context, and until I know that I have absolutely no way of finding out what it has to say.

Supposing I wrote a letter to you, and let us suppose I wrote it from Washington DC and I mentioned just in passing certain things which had to do with the Carter administration, and in four thousand years’ time they found that letter, I think both you and I feel that we were cheated if the people 4000 years from now picked up the letter and merely read it as if it had been written four thousand years from now.

In order to understand it I would expect them to research who this chap called Malcolm Smith is. I would want them at least to find out who this person was who lived in the 1970s. They may not find out, but at least I hope they would try. And certainly I would expect them to find out what Washington is, and I would expect them to find out what "Carter Administration" means, and only then would they really be able to find out what that letter was about.

Do you appreciate what I am saying? Now, when you come to the Book of Revelation, I can’t just say, ‘Ooh, prophecy, it must be for us’. Why should it be?

I can’t say that until first of all I have gone to ask questions of it as a book. Who wrote it? To whom was it written, when was it written, why was it written, what is the historical context? And that is quite easy because it is not 4000 years ago, it is a mere 1970 years ago, which is not very long ago historically speaking.

And so when was it written? It was written approximately AD 95. That tells me a lot right there, as we shall see in a moment. Who was it written by?

It was written by John and traditionally John the Apostle He was very much alive in AD 95 even though he was a very old man. He was the very youngest of all the Apostles. When he began to follow Jesus he could have been no more than 16 or 17 and he was the very last of the Apostles, and this very old old man who had been banished to the Island of Patmos which is an Island in the Mediterranean, wrote this book after he received the Revelation from God.

He wrote it to 7 real churches which were on the mainland, over which he had been the pastor and overseer. Seven churches ‒ there were many more churches on the mainland, but these seven were very strategically placed churches, so that when they got a copy of this book, having read it themselves, they could then pass it on to those that were around them.

In most of these cases these churches stand at the head of a valley, or a pass beyond which were many other churches, and so when they had read this book, they could pass it on. And so it is a very real historical situation.

To get the book out of the clouds and bring it down to earth John wrote it from a real Devil’s island called Patmos and he wrote it to seven strategically placed churches who were going to pass it on to others.

We gather that from the verses we have just read together. John said in verse nine that he was on the island of Patmos and he goes on to say in verse 11 ‘Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis Philadelphia, Laodecia’.

Very real churches and at this point in time I just want to underline that because many interpretations of Revelation already assume that they are symbolic, - and I say, why should they be? If I wrote to the church in Morristown, why should that be a symbolic name? It is not, it is a real historic place, and so we take that as it stands.

Now why was John on Patmos and what was the condition of the churches in that day? Pretty rough. John was on Patmos because he had been banished there, his crime was that he was a Christian. We know from Roman history that in 95 there was an emperor who was reigning over the Roman Empire. His name was Domitian . Domitian was a fanatic in emperor worship.

In the Roman Empire it was more or less there all of the time, depending on the emperor, but it was sort of always there; that which held the empire together was emperor worship. Now by emperor worship I mean that once a year every member of the Roman Empire would have to go down town, stand before the City Fathers raise his right hand, and say ‘Caesar (that is the Roman Emperor) is Lord, is God’, hand take a pinch of incense and drop it into the flames in front of a statue of the Caesar and there admit he’s God.

Now it depended on the emperor whether that was enforced or not. Diocletian was a fanatic ‒ he began every one of his letters, or each of the bills passed through Senate with the words, ‘Your Lord and your God Diocletian speaks’. Whenever he gave a speech he always began it by saying, ‘Thus says your Lord God Domitian ’, and when he entered a theatre, everyone had to stand and worship him and state, ‘Our Lord and Lady, our God’.

Now he had a thing about Christians, because Christians would not stand before a statue of an emperor and say He is Lord. In fact many of them would simply say, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’. That was the whole issue. Remember when the disciples went to Thessalonica ‒ that was the whole issue in the Acts. The whole thing against them was that they were preaching another King, even Jesus. That was the whole issue. Who is Lord God, the Caesar of Rome or Jesus? That was the whole issue. Some emperors could care less about it, and the Christians had an easy time. When Diocletian came, all the pressure was on, because Christians resolutely stood firm. Jesus Christ is Lord and God.

Now not all over the Roman Empire was that enforced. Again, not only did it depend upon the Emperor ‒ it depended on his officials in the far-flung empire, but you see if we trace the history of emperor worship, where did it begin? It began in Pergamum ‒ a long time ago, but it began there. You see the Roman emperors had done so much good for these uncivilized people ‒ they brought them roads, they brought them civilization, and the response of the populous was to worship the Caesar that had done it, and it was there, in the middle of those seven churches that John was overseer of that emperor worship began, instituted by the populous, and the very first temple that was ever built in honour of a Caesar, was built right there within the seven churches, becoming one of the most fanatical areas for emperor-worship Therefore when John refused to bow to the Emperor, he was banished to the Island of Patmos which is a very small rock island in the Mediterranean, and there he worked in the marble mines, hacking marble out of the rock. He was an old hand -in his eighties at least - probably on the edge of his nineties, he was hacking rock with great chains around him. The particular banishment that John had meant that he was in chains for the rest of his life, he was manacled around his wrists and around his feet, and he lived on bread and water slapped onto the ground, and he had done that for a number of years at this point of time.

On the mainland because of this refusal to bow to Caesar, many many of the Christians lost their jobs. Today we have unions. That is nothing new. Unions are as old as the Bible and the Unions of the Roman Empire always had a patron deity and over the patron deity was the emperor. When you joined the order of mechanics union ‒ I doubt whether they had one in Ephesus, but it will do, when you joined that, the patron deity shall was, shall we say, Venus ‒ now if you are going to join the union it means that whenever the Union meets you have got to worship Venus, and the worship of Venus included all manner of immorality and sexual orgies, so Christians refused to join the Union, and so were they out. Even if you got past that, you had to worship the Emperor in order to get a job. And so Christians were known on the mainland of Asia at that time as being jobless. If you were a Christian it meant you had no right to your own home. If the people in town wanted to come and take your furniture they could come and take it, the police would not stop them. You were less than a dog, you didn’t even worship the Emperor.

It is as if someone today stood and refused to pledge allegiance to the American Flag. The Emperor worship was that which drew many nations together making them one nation under the Emperor and to pledge allegiance to the Flag was the same as pledging allegiance to the Emperor as Lord and God. And the Christians would not do it and so they were called traitors, they were called third citizens, lower than slaves. If anybody wanted to take your house, let them take it, the police would not stop them. Christians were those who were bullied by everybody, thrown on the streets, lived in caves on the outskirts of the towns many times, and Christians did not have jobs, those who did have jobs lost them. Many of them lost their lives too, that was not always first on the list, but it came to that many times when they were brutally murdered because of their Christianity.

I think that it should be noted in that first verse where it says God gave this to John to show to His bond-servants. Who was this letter written to? Well, that was the historical context. In the middle of that context it was written to bond-servants. Bond-servant means a "slave out of love". I love Jesus, and I love Him to the point where I am prepared to stand up and be counted, I am His slave for ever. We have commented before on the term "Christian". If you were my slave, all you in the front row here, it would be quite a mouthful in Greek to say ‘the slaves of Malcolm’, and so you would be called the ‘Malcolmanios’; ‘anios’ on the end simply means ‘the slaves of’. Christians got the name because the pagans heard them talk about someone called Christ and they kept saying that they belonged to Him exclusively, that they were His slaves, and so they nicknamed them the ‘Christianios’. The slaves of the Christ. And if you are going to take your stand in the middle of such a historical situation as we have just described, you had better be the slaves of Jesus.

There is nowhere in the Bible, certainly, no where in this book of Revelation where you can even smell the idea of ‘Bless God I have been saved out of Hell’. They did not even think in such terms. You did not become a Christian in order to be happy when you die. There was no such thing as an appeal as ‘Would you like to go to Heaven when you die?’ Rather, would you like to become a Christian and come to Heaven with us tomorrow. To become a Christian meant probable death and it was very real, and you will notice also the word that comes here in verse 2 ‒ it talks about His angel to his Bond-servant John, so John includes himself with them, the designation of a Christian ‒ one who was totally surrendered to Jesus Christ, and then it says who bore witness, and I want you to notice that word "witness" and then it goes on ‘the testimony of Jesus Christ’.

Especially that word ‘witness’ and it is linked also to the word ‘testimony’. The original Greek word there that describes that, is the word ‘martyr’. Of course in our minds we have separated that. Over the years the word ‘witness’ has been degenerated. It has lost its value. There was a time when if you opened your mouth to give witness to Jesus Christ the strong chance was that you would pay for that with your life, and therefore they never separated the idea of martyr and witness. A witness was one who had a martyr mentality. Now you will need to remember that. We are going to come across that throughout this book. It is one of the themes, so let me repeat that As far as these early Christians were concerned if you are going to give witness or testimony to Jesus Christ you have a martyr mentality. That is you have already confronted that issue.

If they suddenly burst in on you and arrested you in order to martyr you, that is kill you, that would not be altogether a surprise because you had faced up to that when you had walked into the waters of baptism. When you were baptized as a Christian, you really did say ‘I am exiting this world’ -and it just could be you could have been dead before sundown. It was a martyr mentality. The way we look at it today is I give testimony to Jesus, I witness about Jesus, but there are some people in the world who are martyrs. Now there is no difference in the Greek, not in the minds of the early Christians ‒martyr is a witness, a witness could well be a martyr ‒ it is all tied in there.

Now any interpretation that we have of Revelation has to be with all those facts in mind. I think I can prove that as I go along. But I cannot, morally, honestly come to this book of Revelation and disregard that.

This book was written to people under persecution of such a degree that if they opened their mouth and confessed they were Christians they had better already have faced up to martyrdom, because that is what it took. A martyrdom of real bloodshed and death or a martyrdom which was living martyrdom, a banishment like John or loss of home or loss of job, but you could not just sing through life if you were going to be a Christian. That is the people this book was written to. Hold every one of those points in mind as we consider the interpretation.

I think it is very obvious that this book invites a lot of very fanciful soulless interpretations, and so right from the beginning we must surround ourselves with guards. Whatever we say this book means I have to be careful I am not running off with a fanciful interpretation.

Let’s face it. When I say Fanciful Interpretation, I believe that a great percentage of those persons who have produced those fanciful interpretations have done so in utmost sincerity. In the Middle Ages the Protestant Reformers saw this Book full of Roman Catholicism. I have read their writings and I do not believe that they were deliberately going off in their field.

In utmost sincerity they saw many things that were apostate to Christianity and they said 'it is in the book of Revelation'. So if you read certain interpretations of this Book you will find that they saw Napoleon, Mohammed. It is all there, it is in the Book.

If you read the interpretations of the Mark of the Beast, it is unreal how many people have come under the Mark of the Beast. Hitler, Mussolini, and we could go to the Library of Congress and bring all these books out. They were written.

Charles Price, one of the greatest Pentecostal Evangelists of the 1920s wrote a book and conclusively proved that Mussolini was found in the book of Revelation, and then he died, but as Charles Price said the day after Mussolini died he just thanked God he had sold all of the books before he died, and then offered an apology to the world that he was wrong.

And the latest I have heard is that poor Henry Kissinger is in the Book of Revelation. And so it goes on, and I am sure that each one is quite sincere in what he says, but as the years unfold we just have to drop them all one by one and say they were fanciful, they were popular, they sold a lot of books, but they were soulless, they were wrong. So as we come to this book we have to be very careful that we know the mind of the Holy Spirit.

Now the first rule which we must apply is that we must take into account the Christians it was written to. I will never understand this book until I can get at least in part inside the heads of the people it was written to. And once I can hear this book read to me through their ears, then I will be step one towards understanding it. Now just supposing, and this is only a possibility at this point, we are coming like little to this book to find out what it means, but just supposing that this whole book is either for the 1970s or maybe for the 1990s as yet totally unfulfilled Just supposing that this Book awaits a future time before it is happening.

If that is the case, then I have got to find that plainly stated to those first-century readers. They must understand that. When they read this book, having read it they will have to close it and say, we understand that there is nothing in this book for us, it awaits another 2000 years before its fulfillment, and so shelve it away. You follow what I am saying then?

Because if God wrote this book to the 1970s or to a time yet future to those 1970s and did not tell those first-century readers, then He is cheating them. Because they thought it was for them. It says, ‘Write to the Churches in Asia, Write it to them’. Suppose I wrote you a letter, really I did not tell you, but I wrote it for someone who has not been born yet.

But I pretended to write it to you, and I made great big promises to you in that letter for you, but I did not really mean them for you, it was all really a trick. It was for somebody who had not been born yet. Well that would be low, it would be cheating, unless of course I put in the letter, ‘this is not for you’. And so we will find out if that is what it says, but if it does say so it must say so very plainly, because the first people who read this book were first-century Christians.

In fact I would go so far as to say that the only way I read it is by reading it over their shoulder, right? If you have not been to one of these schools before I like would like you to nod, because I will go over it again. You see what I mean ‒ this was written to seven churches in Asia. 2000 years later I am looking over their shoulder and saying, Oh is that what it says? It was written to them, basically not to me. It was only written to me as the whole Word of God was written to me. But I will never understand it until I understand what it meant to the first receivers of the letter. We must understand that very plainly.

The second great guard that we put up in our interpretation, is that the Book promises a unique blessing to everyone who reads it. Note that verse 3, ‘Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy’. Now that is suddenly taken out of the context of the first century because it does not say "blessed are all the first century readers" So that means (a) it was written first of all for the first century but (b) anyone who reads this book will be blessed out of his skin. If a first century Christian reads this book he is going to be so blessed, I would suggest more than any other way blessed because there is no other blessing like that attached to any other book in the New Testament.

So here is a special blessing to any first-century Christian who reads that book. Secondly, anyone in 1300 or 1500 or 1900 or the year 2000 if they read this book they will be blessed with the same unique blessing because it is an open-ended blessing. Although I say (1) we must take into account the people it was written to, I say (2) we understand that the blessing is for all people at all times who will ever read the book or hear it read.

That leads me to a third statement of interpretation. I doubt very much that those first-century Christians under the persecution that they were, I don’t think they were interested in a Mao-se-Tung as the Anti-Christ. I doubt very much whether they were interested in the Common Market of Europe. You see these people were under such a persecution, they needed sustenance. They needed the comfort of the Holy Spirit. They were not people who were vaguely curious about the future, and I don’t think you could have gone to these people and said I think you are going to have a prophecy crusade.

They weren’t interested in prophecy crusades, they might be dead tomorrow morning, certainly Dad lost his job last night because he confessed Jesus as Lord. Who is interested in an era of history that hasn’t even come yet? If God says you are going to read this book but it is all about a far distant future, then God mocks them when he says you are going to be blessed out of your skin. When I come home having been beaten up and my wounds are still bleeding, and I come home and find they have ransacked my house and I find my living in caves - who gives a fig who the Anti-Christ is? If I am going to read a book that is going to bless me, that has got to meet me in my pain, has got to meet me in my despair - as I look around and see what has happened to the Church ‒ where is it? I am the only one left! This book has got to meet me where I am at.

So whatever interpretation we find in this book it must be intensely practical to people under persecution and it must meet the man under persecution in AD 95 or in AD 1540 or in 1970, wherever we find ourselves in history God says, Here is a blessing, and He gave it under the worst situation, so wherever you find yourself above that it would give you a blessing. That is merely a principle of interpretation. Where you go from there is between you and the Holy Spirit but these things you must hold in mind.

Also when I come to any book of the Bible I must ask myself, ‘what kind of literature is this?’. If I wrote to you a novel or wrote you a book of poems you would read my novel very differently from the way you read my poems ‒ I hope ‒ because the way you read poetry you would not dream of doing with novels. When you read a book of the Bible you must ask, What kind of literature is this? The very first verse tells me. It says ‘He sent and communicated it by way of an Angel’ I don’t often disagree with the translation of the New American Standard Version but on this occasion I do ‒ the King James’ is better there, it says they sent and signified it. The original Greek word there is ‘He sent and made it known by signs and symbols’. He made it known by tokens. Signs, symbols, tokens. So He communicated it. What the New American Standard is trying to say, it was not straightforward. It was done by a certain mode of communication which was sign, symbol or token, so whatever we find in the book we shall see but as I approach the portals of this book I must understand that (1) whatever I find here it is a symbol. So I shall find cities ‒ I shall find a city called "Jerusalem" I shall find a city called "The New Jerusalem". I shall find Babylon. I shall find a river called the Great Euphrates. I will find a great lumbering beast. I will find a little woolly lamb and I will also find another lamb as it had been slain, that is full of eyes and horns. In fact the more I look at the pictures of this book the more grotesque they become. It looks like a painting of modern art. I find a woman sitting on a beast, lumbering across the desert, and she has a cup full of blood.

Now as I approach this book, I have to get one thing in my head, it tells me this is not an ordinary narrative. This is not straightforward novel form. This is a book of signs and symbols. So when I meet a city called Jerusalem, even though I do not know what it is, I know it is not Jerusalem. For a symbol is pointing away to something else. When I meet a city called Babylon I may not know what it is pointing to, but I know it is a sign, it is not the city of Babylon itself. When I see a beast in all its grotesqueness, I may not find what that beast is pointing to but let me not say it is a literal beast because I was warned to begin with it is full of signs, symbols and tokens.

What is the atmosphere of the book? That is another question you always have to ask. I suggest all of you read through this book at least fifteen to twenty times. Before I gave the first lectures on Revelation I read it through the book fifty times and memorized most of it in order to feel the atmosphere of it and to find out what is going on. Gradually as you soak your head in this book you begin to feel you are in an opera ‒ it is a cosmic opera. There is a choir and there is a lot of singing, and you feel as long as you keep inside John’s head you are sitting in the middle of a stage. It is very important to know the atmosphere ‒ you are John, and you have gone to your cave on the side of Patmos and you are looking over the Mediterranean Sea and above you is the bright dome of the sky ‒ behind you is the dark cave and you are sitting there and suddenly the whole lot explodes and you see all around you moving pictures and you begin to hear a trumpet behind you, and you turn around to see and you see something that basically is totally indescribable ‒ you see in symbolic form a picture of Jesus, and then he tells you write and you grab your pen and you begin to write as he dictates the seven letters to the seven churches. And you turn around and suddenly the whole scene changes, it is as if you have stepped into the other half of the Universe and in the middle there, over the sea, but the sea isn’t there any more. You are seeing a great big moving opera, it fills the whole sky. Talk about outdoor movies! In the very centre you see a throne, and the whole thing is in symbol pictures and then you see a Lamb appearing moving towards the throne. He takes a book and then you see one of those grotesque creatures beside the throne and they say, "Come" Then galloping across the universe comes a man on a white . He has hardly gone before another voice says, ‘Come’ and now comes a red ‒ you see it is moving all the time, the whole universe, it’s cosmic, and then when you are gasping, you wonder what is going on, it seems the whole stage goes dark and you hear a voice and it says "Of the tribe of Judah 12000 and the whole roll call of Israel 144000 and then suddenly you look again and you see a multitude that no man can number and they are all waving palm branches and they are singing. Then you hear singing ‘Worthy is the Lamb, Worthy is the Lamb’ keeps coming up right through the opera and suddenly one of the actors on stage, he was centre stage at one point but now he is sort of off-duty comes and says, ‘Come with me’ and you go trotting onto the stage and you suddenly feel under foot it is sand and you are in the desert and lumbering across in front of you is a great beast and on it sits a woman in scarlet, and you are on stage, you are part of the action. And another time he says,’ would you like to see the Lamb’s wife’?, and you suddenly feel yourself going through space going through the air, and you land on the top of a great mountain and you see coming out of the sky the great city New Jerusalem and you are given a ruler and you go and measure it. It is all part of the action. It is a cosmic stage ‒ involves the entire universe, choirs by the billion, solo pieces, angels blowing trumpets, and all the time you are John and you are writing it down as fast as you can.

Do you know that even the Greek in which John wrote backs me up on that. You see John was essentially a Hebrew and he never really did think in Greek, he had a go at learning it, but you know, if you ever learn Spanish or French and you think in English and then interpret into Spanish it comes out awful because you didn’t think in Spanish. John thought in Hebrew and when he wrote the book he wrote it in Greek so everyone could read it. Normally when he did anything official he had a whole lot of people in Ephesus where he was the overseer and they corrected all his Greek. But here on the Island of Patmos (a) there was no one to correct him and (b) he was writing as fast as he could. The result was that the book of the Revelation written in Greek is the worst Greek of the New Testament, it is terrible Greek. It is obviously written by someone who is thinking in Hebrew but writing in Greek. It was obviously written by someone who did not have time to look at the last sentence. Whoever wrote the book of Revelation is writing it as fast as he can, following it all the time.

And so here you are, you are on a stage which is set in the centre of the Universe, and all around you action is taking place ‒ it is changing so fast you have to keep looking. I state that because as we come to this book I don’t want us to come with a magnifying glass to nitpick over every tiny detail. What appeared to John was a picture ‒ gone, picture ‒ gone. What I want to find out, what does that picture mean? I am not particularly concerned with some of the details ‒ I have read books on Revelation 9 where it talks about some creatures who had faces like men hair like women, tails like scorpions and they go into such detail ‒ the eyes of the men what did they mean? Quite frankly I don’t care what they did mean. When I look at that whole picture I can sure see what it means. The whole picture, -the details I am not too sure about,( I wonder if we were ever meant to be too sure about) we are supposed to get the picture as the cosmic opera took place across the cosmic stage.

What does the book say of itself? Because if I am going to interpret it correctly at least I should stay within what it states about itself. And it states in the very first verse, ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ’. There ‘revelation’ means unveiling. So this book is the unveiling of Jesus Christ to me. I can never look at this book or read its parts without taking it into account that this is an unveiling of Jesus, therefore it has in view all that He has done ‒ that is that He has died, and as He died He shouted ‘It is finished’ He was buried, He has risen again, He has been coronated King and He has given the Holy Spirit, and unless I take that into consideration I shall never understand the Book. This is not a revelation of His Second Coming, it is a revelation of Him. There is a big difference. It is concerning what He has done, but because it is of Him then it is of Who He now is, His now relationship to the Universe, the world of men, and it also takes in all that He has in store for the future, His second coming and eternal reign.

I believe this is the only way we can interpret those passages like in the third verse of this first chapter, also in chapter 3.11 and in a number of times in the last chapter, 22 and in those chapters and verses it states that He is coming soon, or that the time is near. That used to bother me a little bit because 2000 years ago and the end still has not come, but then when I realised it’s talking about Him, what is the greatest thing we know about Jesus Christ? It is that when He died and rose again He accomplished and finished everything that there was to do. He put away sin. He completely defeated the Devil and He rose again carrying His Church into the heavenly places. It’s finished, it’s finished, it’s finished. Revelation is built on that. If He has finished, finished and finished, then there is nothing more to do, then whatever else is to happen must be soon. Do you see what I mean by that? It is written from the backdrop of all He has done, so we are not waiting for something to be done. Those who say whatever is coming, it is so in that sense we are living in a tension, we are living in a hallelujah tension, it is done!

And yet, we are caught there between the two, but not with a despair tension, but with a glorious tension. Such has been done, but whatever else has to be is only because it has all been done, it will only be the unveiling, the making manifest of that which already is and that must be soon. And so every Christian throughout the ages lives in the soon-ness. They are not looking for this idea that there is a great battle coming between the Devil and Jesus. After 1000 years of just making it the Devil is ruining it again. No. The book of Revelation says, No, no it is finished. The battle is not coming, it is done. There is a mopping up operation, but it is done. Therefore behold I come quickly ‒ it is soon, we don’t look for some big accomplishment, it is merely making manifest of what already is ‒ it is done.

So it is the unveiling of Jesus Christ of Who He was, therefore Who He is and therefore what He shall do. In that sense it unfolds history to me in the light of the end. We don’t think of history in the light of the end. We think of history in the light of the past, or the now, whereas Revelation teaches me to interpret what is happening right now in the light of the end, therefore everything that happens today is judged not by the past nor by the present but by the end. In a game of chess ‒ the very first pawn you move in chess has the last move in view. If you have ever played chess you will appreciate that every move you make, you cannot judge that move by what it does now. You might go and sacrifice your bishop, and that is bad, but you should see what I am doing. I am moving towards the final move when I am going to get that king. So revelation says, don’t judge history by now, or don’t say ‘look at this, look at that’ rather understand that every move of history must now be judged with the end in view, so over and over again in the book of Revelation we see where Jesus Christ is in the past, understand the present in the light that He is my future, there is no more future, it is all Him. So all history is to be judged in the light of Jesus Christ.

Such an unveiling must be easy, these were not theologians, and when you are being beaten up for your faith you don’t go to a long drawn out Bible study of even 12 weeks to try and find out what it means, you need to know, so that is why it is simple. Jesus does not send a message and then make it so difficult that nobody can understand it. On the other hand, it must be so difficult that no pagan, no emperor, no police force can understand it. If they understood it, it would make it even worse for the Christians. So the code that interprets the symbols that reveals to me Jesus must be so utterly simple that the newest Christian at least has got the key, the key, and the most righteous pagan who does not have the Old Testament doesn’t know what it is talking about.

We have made it so difficult, God makes it so simple, He puts the book at the end of the Bible, gives us 66 (65) books which come before it and then fills this book with echoes and allusions to every other book of the Bible. We shall see as we go through that almost every verse of the book of Revelation has a direct or implied reference to another part of the Bible, and as you go back to that other part of the Bible, you’ve got it. The key. We have mentioned Jerusalem ‒ obviously the rest of the Bible is full of Jerusalem. Find out what Jerusalem was in the Bible, you have got the key to what is mentioned in Revelation. Babylon is mentioned from Genesis 10 right through to Malachi. You go back to Genesis 10 and to clue in at one or two other places and you know what Babylon means. You say Beasts? Well, the Old Testament is full of them. What about when there was blood in the sea, and hail from the sky? That is in the OLD TESTAMENT too. All the have to do is go back. When you go back, you have the key. What about 2 witnesses. Read Deuteronomy ‒that is the key - Deuteronomy tells you what the two witnesses are. On and on it goes, God made it so simple, He said, if you are a born again believer ‒ and in the first Century they had the Old Testament, they did not have all the New Testament that we have ‒ they had the Old Testament.. He said, if you have read the Old Testament you will know what this means. A Roman comes along and reads it and says, I knew these Christians were stupid, he doesn’t know what it means, the code is only for the initiated, those who are born again and have an Old Testament in their hands. You will see as we go through how simple that becomes.

And so here we have these cosmic pictures rapidly moving across this stage and those cosmic pictures are unveiling to us Jesus Christ. And they are showing us in a word things are not what they seem to be. God has unchanging decrees. He is unfolding them in and through Jesus Christ. Satan is behind the world. It doesn’t look like it, the world seems very quiet and normal but behind it all there is an evil mind that is working. Revelation unveils that and says don’t worry Jesus has already defeated Satan, hang in there. It is mopping up time, Satan is defeated before he has even started. Suddenly I discover that I am going to live for ever, if I did not know already. My eternal dimension is unveiled to me and the whole thing in relation to Who Jesus Christ is. If you read this book and study it you will discover that what you thought was a very real world out there is not such a real world at all. Behind it there is the real world, the world where Jesus Christ is the centre, the demons are under His feet and the purposes of God are achieving their end. All based on the finished work of Jesus Christ.

The outline of this book is very very simple. There are seven visions. Seven times over God in this book starts with what Jesus did at the cross, moves through with an interpretation of what is happening now because of that and ends with the grand finale of what we shall call the Second Coming. Having done that it moves back to the finished work of Christ on the Cross, moves through with an interpretation of what is happening today and ends with the grand end, with Jesus Christ returning to this world, and a whole new world beginning. Back again, start again with the finished work of Christ, moving through with yet another aspect which interprets what is going on today in the light of the cross, ends in the final judgment and the eternal reign of Jesus Christ. Seven times over it does that.

The first vision which we shall be considering in our next hour is from chapters 1- 3 which shows us Christ in the middle of His Church which in turn is in the middle of the world. The second vision is from chapter 4 through chapter 7 which portrays the Church in trial and persecution. The third vision which is chapters 8 to 11 shows that the Church is protected‒ it is triumphant, in fact God avenges the Church. Those who dare touch the Church are touched by God. The fourth vision, chapters 12 through 14 Christ in His Church opposes the Satanic trinity. The Fifth vision which is chapters 15 and 16 shows me the wrath of God which falls on those who will not repent. The sixth vision chapters 17 through 19 shows me the fall of Babylon and the destruction of all the beasts that oppose God, and the final vision chapters 20-22 shows the judgment of Satan made manifest, the eternal victory of Christ and the Church for ever and for ever and for ever. We shall cover those seven visions in 12 hours, and I believe that at the end of that time we shall know that things are not what they seem to be. The Lamb reigns. Amen!
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Revelations 13 ....and the Mark of the beast
Posted:Dec 3, 2007 12:59 am
Last Updated:Dec 3, 2007 1:09 am
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Throughout the Old Testament, it is established that the sea in all its raging is likened to the nations of the world. And it says that out from that sea came a great beast, with ten crowned horns, 7 heads full with the names of blasphemy. It had a body like a leopard, it had the feet of a bear, and it had a lion’s mouth. Read Daniel chapter 7 The Church is the body of the Holy Spirit. We are facing here world governments, the body of the Devil.

Every government in this world is included in the "seven" is fullness. The Devil uses each world government in his own unique way. Each and every world government is a part of the beast. Satan wanted to give Jesus the 8th Head. He said I will give you the Kingdoms of the world.

Who is like the beast? It couldn’t be wrong, it is so powerful. And John looked at it, and suddenly he saw it received a deadly wound. The Kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdoms of the Lord, and of His Christ. Jesus rose again from the dead, and the governments of this world received a deadly wound. The Devil seems as though he’s lost, but the deadly wound is healed, although the governments of this world are smitten at the cross, they are still here until the second coming, and then the government of this world shall be upon his shoulder.

But right now, we stand among the nations of this world and we proclaim that Jesus Christ is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. So, the big beast needs a little helper, and out of the earth came a dear little beast ‒ it looked like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon, and expressed all the authority like the first beast.

The whole of this book is about a Lamb who had been slain. Here is a lamb that has not been slain. The Devil works through a counterfeit church, that talks about Jesus the Lamb, but not the Lamb as it had been slain.

The word anti-Christ means to be over against Him, an alternative if you like. We are a lot closer to anti-Christ in the Sunday religious meetings, than we are down the pub. The religious beast and the government beast, they all work together. That is what Revelations 13 is talking about ‒ beware of the little lamb that bleats like a dragon, but is in fact linked up with the second beast of the satanic trinity. If you face the world governments, you need patience, but when you meet a lamb, you need wisdom, if there is no blood in what it says, it is a false lamb.

It says all those who follow the beast, they are given the mark of the beast, and this mark is 666. What is 6? 7 is the number of fullness, and normally it speaks of God, His fullness and perfection. 6 is certainly the number of man. The day on which man was created ‒ Day number 6. Man who never quite made it to fullness in God. We never reach God’s rest day of 7 except in Christ.

On the coins of the Roman world was the Emperor, with references to his divinity. The early Christians called this the "mark of the beast," and would not handle such coins, and so were excluded from buying and selling, unless they accepted the mark of the beast. Firstly they accepted the mark in their heads, in their thinking, and then they accepted the mark in their hand.


malcolm smith
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The Two Witnesses
Posted:Dec 3, 2007 12:52 am
Last Updated:Dec 4, 2007 3:29 am
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So what about the two witnesses: If this is a book of symbols, then obviously whatever this means, it does not mean two witnesses. Two witnesses are a symbol, an idea, and the Bible makes it very plain. Look at these two witnesses who prophecy, they are dressed in sackcloth, fire comes from their mouth, they have the power to turn water to blood, and to strike the earth with plagues. And they are called the two olive trees, two lamps that stand before the Lord of all the earth.

Now the symbolism there is so simple, in Deuteronomy it begins to talk about that, it says that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word be established. So two witnesses is a shorthand symbol, for saying a perfect and complete testimony to truth. The Church is not only a worshipping community; the Church also is the perfect witness of God to truth. You can’t touch the worshipping community, but you can touch its public witness, that is why the two witnesses are killed.

The Holy of Holies in any persecuted country, is as strong today as it has ever been. But the two witnesses, the public testimony of the Church, are silenced. The scripture goes on and says they are dressed in sackcloth. The Old Testament will tell you quickly, that whenever a person repented, they always wore sackcloth. So here is a repentant Church that stands before an unrepentant world that has heard the trumpets of God.

It says fire came out of their mouth. The word of God is like fire, which consumes the enemy. That is an idea, which runs through the Old Testament. You will also find that they were able to shut the sky. Who shut the sky in the Old Testament? Elijah did. Does that mean that one of them was Elijah? No! This is a picture, that tells us that as Elijah stood in a world that had rebelled against God, and that world refused to repent ‒ as Elijah stood in the midst of that world, he was a man who was the very incarnation of repentance, and he spoke forth on behalf of God, and he was able to prove his words by works, so the Church stands in a similar world with similar power, and can prove what they say. The Church, the whole Church is an Elijah in the middle of the world.

It also tells us that they are able to turn water into blood. Who did that? Moses did. That doesn’t mean to say that the other one is Moses, it means that another way of looking at this Church, is that as Moses stood with a congregation, which only half believed him, he stood against a world government, and a world system that hated him and his God, and Moses stood there. The testimony to truth in the middle of lies, even so the Church stands, the perfect testimony to truth, in the middle of a world that is set against God. And it says these are the two olive trees that stand before God in all the earth.

That comes from Zechariah Chapter 4. It says behold a seven-branched lamp stand. Also there were two olive trees by it, one on the right side and the other on the left side. We have already talked about that seven-branched lamp stand, and that is the Church, and standing beside it is another symbol, two olive trees which stand before the Lord in all the earth. The Church in all its power and witness.

The beast is world power. And this world power puts the two witnesses to death. It describes the city where they were put to death as Sodom, What was Sodom? Sodom was all manner of sexual perversion. What was Egypt? Egypt was the great power, the government.

Elijah thought he was the only remaining public witness, God said, not at all, not at all, I still have 7000 who have not bowed the knees to Baal. No one has touched the Holy of holies and no one can. That 7,000 is another symbolic Old Testament picture 7x10x10x10. The Old Testament is full of picture numbers. Jesus also spoke in picture numbers that his listeners understood. Do you remember in Matthew chapter eighteen Peter said to Jesus, ‘If my brother sins against me shall I forgive him up to seven times.’? Jesus replied, ‘No! Not up to seven times, but seventy times seven.’

You look across the world, in persecuted countries and ask where is the Church we can’t see it? The Church is doing very well, its voice may be silenced, and the two witnesses are laying in the street. The greatest judgment that can ever come upon a country, is when the only speaking voice of God on earth has been silenced. However, God treats the Church the same way as He treated Jesus. And it says that they were raised up.

malcolm smith
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Revelations 14
Posted:Dec 3, 2007 12:43 am
Last Updated:Dec 3, 2007 6:22 pm
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malcolm smith

Chapter 14 begins with another look at the 144,000. It said the 144,000 the church, was standing on Mt Zion. Remember when David brought the Ark to that little hill called Mt Zion. From that time on the word ‘Mount Zion’ ceased to be a geographical location, and it became a sign, a word to describe a way of life. The church is seen exalting in God on Mount Zion. And the scripture says, I heard them singing.

The scripture says that when they spoke or sang, it was like the sound of loud thunder, and yet it was as beautiful as many harpists playing. What has happened? We began in Chapter 1 with the solitary Lord of the Universe, and when He spoke His voice was like many waters, but then we were introduced to the preaching of the gospel. Then all of those who were redeemed by His blood, had been drawn into such a union with Himself, that when they sing and praise, you can’t quite make up your mind, is it Him or is it them. They sing as one. One body in Christ. No one could learn the song, except the 144,000 because they worship in truth.

Remember the Altar of incense in the Tabernacle? From that altar clouds of incense were rising, which the people understood to be their praise and their worship to God. So the highest peak of Israel’s worship each day, would be when the Priest would offer the incense, and all the praise of the people would raise to God in that incense. That incense, that golden altar, was right in front of the Throne of God, the Ark of the Covenant. Now it says that all these, the 144,000 ‒ the complete Church, stood before the Throne and sang praise to God. They were the golden incense altars, in the form of people.

‘These are the ones who have not been defiled with women. They are chaste’. Do you remember all through the Old Testament, every time Israel went after another god, or they walked away from God, He said ‘you have played the , you have committed adultery’? All that this symbolic statement is saying is that the Church, the perfect Church of all ages, is as pure as a virgin. Remember what Paul says in his second letter to the Corinthian church, in chapter 10. He says that he has engaged us, as a virgin to Christ.

It says of this Company that they are the first fruits. When the Passover took place, and it was stated that the first day after the Sabbath of the Passover, was the Feast of First fruits. The priests would cut the first fruits and take it to the Temple to be used in worship. Jesus was crucified at Passover. Do you realise that as the Priests went down to cut the first fruits, Jesus rose again from the dead, and He was the first fruit.

It says that no lie was found in their mouth. The grand lie ‒ you shall be as God. That is THE lie, and when we repented, that is what we repented of. And it says they were blameless. Read Ephesians 1 ‒ it says that in Christ, because of our union with Him, we are accepted by God as though we had never sinned.

In verse 6 of this chapter, ‘another angel flew in the Heavens’ and he speaks of this angel preaching the Gospel, the eternal Gospel, calling upon men to fall before their Creator. Any person that ever goes to hell goes there pushing and shoving past the goodness, mercy and grace of God.

It goes down to verse 20, and says the winepress was trodden, and it goes on to say that the blood came out from the winepress. These are no ordinary grapes. This is blood, death, and judgment. And it says up to the horses’ bridles, up to a distance of 200 miles. 1,600 furlongs is equal to 200 miles, and 1,600 furlongs is the correct translation from the Greek. So this is where we find the symbol in the number 1,600.

4 x 4=16 16 x 10 x 10. 4 is the four corners of the world. 4 x 4 is the world and the universe. x 10=completion. x 10=completion, completion. 1,600 furlongs is telling us in the symbolic language of Revelation, that this is the universal, and complete and utter judgment of God.

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Have you ever read your contract?
Posted:Dec 2, 2007 5:26 am
Last Updated:Dec 2, 2007 1:51 pm
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Do not place New Wine in Old Wineskin's. The old wineskin's once served their purpose for the wine that was put in them.

A few years ago I had a lease with my Landlord Larry. Living in that home, I had to abide by that lease because it was a written agreement that we both agreed to. It was his terms as owner.

Now I have a lease with a new landlord Terrance. It is an agreement written by him and signed by me to go a long with his conditions of me living here.

Now should something arise that needs to be dealt with, should I ever look at the contract with Larry to use it in my circumstances with where I live now?

It would be of no use if I did. I don't live there anymore, but even more important than that, the conditions of the contract are not even under any authority anymore.

You may wonder why I say this. But we have a contract, a covenant with God if you will through the blood of Jesus.

There was an old contract with God called the Old Covenant. It only was for the Jews, and any gentile had no place in this Old Covenant.

So, can we go back to the old agreement between God and the Jewish nation and mix it with the New Covenant of Christ and expect it to be applicable to the New Covenant? I am positive the answer is a resounding No.

That does not disqualify the writings of the old covenant as having a place, because it did and it has historical value to understand what God did.

In Jer 31:31-34 It says the Old Covenant was imperfect, and a new one was being made to replace it. It also says that when the new one is in place, the Law will be cast out. But, on the hearts of all who receive Christ, God will write "moral" law. We as believers in Christ know what is right and wrong.

1 Timothy 1:9 says the Law was only given to the unrighteous to begin with.

Hebrews 8:13 says that the Old Covenant is dead.

Paul publicly chided Peter for trying to make the gentiles who were saved follow the law given to the Jews.

Paul also spoke to the galatians regarding moving from Grace in Christ back to law keeping and if we started doing that, we were responsible for all the law again.

This is why it is important to understand your Covenant in Christ. It is not a mixture of the old house writing that I used to live in with the new house writing that I now live in. Only one is applicable.

Many people for some reason think that that new Covenant that we live in started when Jesus was walking and teaching. That is impossible because in order to have that New Covenant, he had to first give his blood as an atonement for the sin of the world.

Without atonement there is no Covenant. If you study what was before he gave his life, and what is after, you will be astounded at the changes. Afterwords, you will find no one that has received Christ as savior as having a generational curse broken over them, or a demon cast out of them.

Why? because it was taken care of at the cross. Also, the very Holy Spirit of God resides in each born again believer in Christ. Blessing is our heritage in Christ. It isn't something earned. It is a gift.
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Has the Light ever become the Sun?
Posted:Nov 30, 2007 4:51 pm
Last Updated:Dec 21, 2007 4:38 am
3906 Views
Some of you will know of my story regarding Mercy and I. She is pictured here in a recent picture. We have known each other for 7 years through a Christian site.

We were just friends for 4 years. She started having feelings for me long before I knew it. She had asked God to reveal to her if it was right. She used to hear me speak of failed relationships.Finally one day she asked me why I never considered her.

I was taken back. I told her it was the age difference. I didnt realize her mom was 29 years younger than her dad. We have 25 years difference.

Strange part is once we made a decision, my heart turned towards her. I was no longer always on the look out for that mate. It was God. Well, we tried for the last two years to get Visa's to get together.

We kinda broke up a few months ago for a short time. I know we were both just worn out. She is from Nigeria. Yeah, the scam capital. I checked everything out a long time ago.

Anway we were treated badly regarding our two visa applications. I think it jaded us. We had hope, but we didnt have hope if you know what I mean.

I kept asking for God's will. For hope. I felt like I would never Love again and that I was destined to be alone forever. I had poured my heart into this. So had she.

We, had tried to talk on the phone. Her cellphone she used to have was bad.Eventually totally broke. Her Uncles is worse and would not connect.

God had spoken to us...her and then me a long time ago. The dream was fading though. She had been on webcam only twice. One I couldnt see her. The power of the internet there is much weaker than her in many cases.

The one time I saw her almost two Years ago I could see Jesus in her eyes. She always smiles and loves the Lord. How could I deserve such a beautiful person? I have no answer.

Well all these years it has been a chatbox and emails....until wednesday.........

First off Father God I give you all Glory and Praise.

Wednesday I chatted with a dear friend. She is a Pastor in Canada in her 60's. She ministers in Africa and in Nigeria from time to time. She has helped many come from there over the years and has also adopted from there. Mosty recently a 14 year old girl.

I kidded around and asked her if she would adopt Mercy and send her to me. She paused and then told me about a well known Pastor from there that she ministers with and he has a program she and many others have used.

So I contacted him. He is going to help us. He was very personable and very sincere. So that is in progress this coming week. I appreciate your prayers.

Now the other thing. This Woman Mercy that I have loved, and actually in the physical realm, there has been no sensible reasons. I am older. I live 6000 miles away and what could we ever have in common?

Well we went 7 years with just chats an emails. Now we can talk on the phone! Any suggestions for cheap ways of doing this is appreciated.

We have had such woinderful conversations. Today we talked for an hour and the Sun hit me in the face. She is so perfect for me and she feels the sqame about me. Our voices, validate everything we believed in the Spirit for years. I can not begin to thank God enough, nor even explain my joy and explosion of "I See this as God"! I saw it before, but what I saw in part and hoped for for all this time seems to be happening before my eyes. To God be Glory!!

I wish I could better explain what I feel inside, but ecstacy is the tip of the iceburg. I appreciate your prayers greatly. We need a lot of things to happen, but nothing is impossible with God!

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apology
Posted:Nov 30, 2007 5:07 am
Last Updated:Feb 11, 2009 4:38 am
3639 Views

some people from when I have been here before have tried to add me as friends. Once again someone is messing with my profile and I know who it is. They abuse their administraorship

So do not think I am ignoring you.

I got to speak clearly with Mercy for the first time on the phone yesterday in 7 years. We had a wonderful time. Prayers accepted, a lot going on.
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