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
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 shofar [KJV: 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 and images. Should we take such descriptions literally? Yes! Of course we know that 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.
Let me try and make this easier to grasp:
First understand that ANYTHING anyone says about the One God is at best limited. God is utterly and completely beyond all human comprehension. God is Ain Soph Aur, utterly glorious and completely transcendent.
What John saw in this vision therefore was shown in terms he could handle. He is setting a stage or painting a portrait to help us understand what he saw according to the imagery of his comprehension. To understand his vision therefore we need to work within the confines of that structure. Is God actually a king seated on a Throne? That imagery works as well as any and better than most and so throughout this study we will be working within that paradigm.
So, think of the Throne Room this way: HaShem, as the Supreme King of all existence is seated on His Throne. The Throne sits in the center of all existence. Try and grasp this: "Flatten down" EVERYTHING that exists, and then picture a gigantic gloriously decorated Throne standing in the midst.
Once you have this image, around the Throne there is a "mote" of pure crystal, as wide as an ocean. Above, on, in and under this vast crystal sea resides all of material existence! All the planets, all the living beings... all of creation.
Surrounding this vast crystal sea is the Spiritual Kingdom of God wherein live the angels, the cherubim, the seraphim and countless other spiritual denizens -- we're not talking fluffy clouds here (that popular analogy comes from the Roman Sun god Sol Invictus discussed previously). The Heavenly Kingdom of Ha Shem is as real as our world and beyond our imagining.
Now, because this is just too vast to conceive, compress this awesome scene into a glorious castle throne room.
This should give some indication of what John is attempting to describe here!
Of course God whatever we might imagine, God is greater! But maybe this will give a slight taste.
I hope this is helpful. John has entered into the very presence of God!
It was in such a Holy Court room that Lucifer that made his challenge. This challenge is often overlooked by students of prophecies but it of vital importance. This account is found in the oldest book of the 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...
1:6 Now it happened on the day when God's sons came to present themselves before Yahweh, that Satan also came among them. 1:7 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."
1:8 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."
1:9 Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? 1:10 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.
1:11 But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will renounce you to your face."
1:12 Yahweh said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power. Only on himself don't put forth your hand."
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! I encourage everyone to read this important book, now more than ever.
We continue with our reading:4:2 Immediately I was in the Spirit. Behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting on the throne 4:3 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. It is a reminder of the planetary covenant made between Noah and HaShem for all mankind. 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." John's 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 (I Cor 15:52). 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.4:4 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 cleary meaning of what was seen.
The Twelve Patriarchs
The Twelve Apostles
James ben Alphaeus
Simon the Zealot
Judas ben James
4:5 Out of the throne proceed lightnings, sounds, and thunders. There were seven lamps of fire burning before his 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:Numbers 8:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
8:2 Speak to Aaron, and tell him, When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lamp stand.
8:3 Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps of it [so as to give light] in front of the lampstand, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
8:4 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.
8:5 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
8:6 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 add 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 awareness. Much more could be said about these seven lamps but for our present purposes this will suffice.4:6 Before the throne was something like a sea of glass, similar to 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).4:7 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 was like a flying eagle. 4:8 The four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around 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!"
4:9 When the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne, to him who lives forever and ever, 4:10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever, and throw their crowns before the throne, saying, 4:11 "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, the Holy One, 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 is poetically pleasing, 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 in skies
Understand that humanity is not alone in suffering from Lucifer's rebellion. Consider this: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.
8:19 For the creation waits with eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
8:20 For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope
8:21 that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
8:22 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 will live with the lamb,
and the leopard will lie down with the young goat;
The calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf together;
and a little child will lead them.
11:7 The cow and the bear will graze.
Their young ones will lie down together.
The lion will eat straw like the ox.
11:8 The nursing child will play near a cobra's hole,
and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.
11:9 They will not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Yahweh,
as the waters cover the sea.
11:10 It will happen in that day that the nations will seek the root of Jesse, who stands as a banner of the peoples; and his resting place will be glorious. 11:11 It will happen in that day that the Lord will set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 11:12 He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
And again:Isa 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain," says Yahweh.
All of creation yearns for Earth's liberation!
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 Gentiles 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 and shared with us. Lucifer's accusation, recorded in the Book of Job, is hereby resolved and dismissed!
And the final seven years of the Times of the Gentiles has now begun!
Here Ends Chapter Four
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