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The Revelation of Navi Y'shua
By John of AllFaith © 9.16.09 (last update: 10.24.2012)
Revelation 4:1-3 John Ascends to the Throne Room
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We pray to HaShem, the Holy One of Israel, to fill our hearts with wisdom and understanding as we continue this study into the Revelation of our chief rabbi, Navi Y'shua
John Ascends to the Throne Room as Heaven Prepares for War!Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a shofar talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter."
We discussed the significance of the shofar (trumpet) in our previous lesson. 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 force meanings never intended. So what happened here? Exactly what the text says: John was in prayer, he heard a voice like a shofar (loud and strong) calling him forth as an elder and prophet of the people. He left his physical form and journeyed to the Throne Room of HaShem to receive further instruction. Anything beyond this is conjecture.
Don't be confused by opinion! Understand this point well: The HEART of the matter, the essential teaching here, is the surface prophetic presentation of God's Plan of Restoration. EVERYTHING ELSE is secondary. Grasp this level first and then you may be prepared to delve into more esoteric interpretations at a later time. Going deeper is dangerous for those without this essential understanding. Often people who lack this knowledge deride those who do not understand their supposed "deeper teachings." Typically such people 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 may 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, of legal rulings and decisions. Should we take such descriptions literally? Yes! Of course we know that God is the Ultimate Being, the Supreme "Person" and that His very existence utterly transcends human reason and conception. As authentic Messianic Jews we understand that HaShem is not a Man sitting on a throne, however since the beginning Adonai has used these descriptions to help us to comprehend what is beyond us. Whether God actually, literally, sits on a throne or not, this image works and for our purposes such descriptions should be accepted literally.
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 and transcendental.
What John saw in this vision therefore was shown in terms he and we could conceive. Yochanan (John) 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 from within the confines of that structure. Is God actually a king seated on a Throne? That imagery works as well as any other 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 kings is seated upon an utterly glorious Throne. The Throne sits in the very center of all existence. All existence emanates from that Throne. Try and grasp this: "Flatten down" EVERYTHING that exists, and then picture a gigantic gloriously decorated Throne standing in the midst of it all.
Once you have this image, conceive that around the Throne there is a "mote" of pure crystal, as wide as an ocean, even wider. Above, on, in and under this vast crystal sea resides all of material existence! All the planets, all the living beings... all of creation are present within this glorious sea. And at the center is the Kissay Kodesh (the Sacred Throne of Adonai).
Surrounding this vast crystal sea is the Celestial Kingdom of Elohiym wherein dwell the angels, the cherubim, the seraphim and countless other spiritual denizens beyond conception. We're not talking fluffy gold paved clouds here (that popular analogy comes from the Roman Sun god Sol Invictus discussed previously). This vast Heavenly Kingdom of HaShem is as real as our world and yet utterly transcendent to it.
Now, because this is all just too vast to conceive, compress this awesome scene into a glorious castle throne room. This will help us gain perspective and place things in terms we can get a mental grip on.
This should give some indication of what John is attempting to describe here! The fact that HaShem's Ruach (Spirit Presence) empowered the talmid of Rebbe Y'shua to give such moving descriptions is nothing short of awe inspiring.
Of course regardless of what we might imagine in such contemplations, God is greater! But maybe this will give us a slight taste.
I hope this exercise is helpful. The point is, John has entered into the very presence of God in the spirit!
It was in just such a Holy Court room that Heylel (Lucifer) made his infamous challenge and triggered recorded history. This challenge is often overlooked by students of biblical prophecy 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 'Utz whose name was Iyov [Job]. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. ...
1:6 It happened one day that the sons of God came to serve ADONAI, and among them came the Adversary [Hebrew: Satan].
1:7 ADONAI asked the Adversary, "Where are you coming from?" The Adversary answered ADONAI, "From roaming through the earth, wandering here and there."
1:8 ADONAI asked the Adversary, "Did you notice my servant Iyov, that there's no one like him on earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and shuns evil?"
1:9 The Adversary answered ADONAI, "Is it for nothing that Iyov fears God?
1:10 You've put a protective hedge around him, his house and everything he has. You've prospered his work, and his livestock are spread out all over the land.
1:11 But if you reach out your hand and touch whatever he has, without doubt he'll curse you to your face!"
1:12 ADONAI said to the Adversary, "Here! Everything he has is in your hands, except that you are not to lay a finger on his person." Then the Adversary went out from the presence of ADONAI.
This contest between Iyov (Job) and Heylel (the Adversary) is the storyboard 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. Its message is timeless.
We now continue with our text:Revelation 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" or transported spiritually into the divine Throne Room.
The Rainbow that surrounds the Throne is the emblem of the planetary covenant made through our father Noah. The Noahide Covenant and its Seven Holy Laws exist eternally between HaShem and the entire population of the planet. This emblem is ever before the Throne of HaShem. By including the rainbow here we are reminded of HaShem's promises of global protection and eventual restoration. We understand that this will be the result of the experiences John is relating.
As explained in the previous lesson, this is not a reference to the Christian "Rapture." John's experience is completely different from that proposed 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" referenced by Paul in his oft cited verse at I Cor 15:52.
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 (at least) happening in a linear order and did not occur in 70 CE as some Christians (Seventh Day Adventist for example) teach. At this point the Seven Periods have progressed as foretold and the Nicolaitan Laodicean Church has just been 'vomited out.' John is then taken to Heaven in a vision to witness the celestial preparations for what is to come as we continue:
Continue with Chapter Four of the Revelation of Navi Y'shua
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