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Messengers from Heaven - The Book of Revelation
Week 5, 2016
Last week we began to address the “high calling” of God in Christ, and what it takes to attain to it. We will cover this more as the message unfolds in the Book of Revelation. For now, we just need to know that there is one to make sense of the biblical prophecies we must cover.
As we covered in Revelation 4:1-4, a door stands open in heaven with a voice calling us up. When we enter, we see the One on the throne. This door is open for each of us today. It should be a daily quest to see the glory of the One who sits on the throne. As we do, we are changed into His image, becoming like Him and doing the works that He did.
Jesus walked the earth, but He saw it from the perspective of heaven with His Father’s eyes. He lived to do what He saw the Father doing. In this way, He touched earth with heaven everywhere He went. This too is our calling—to be more at home in the heavenly realm than in the natural realm and to bring heaven to earth.
There is a theological principle called “the law of first mention.” More of a principle than a law, it indicates that the first mention of something in Scripture is usually a basic revelation of its purpose. The first place in Scripture where it is revealed that God has a house, or dwelling place, is when Jacob dreamed of a ladder reaching into heaven. That is a basic revelation of the purpose of God’s house—to be the place of access to heaven.
Jacob also saw the messengers of God ascending and descending upon it. This is a profound revelation of what the house of God, the church, is called to be—the place of access to heaven in which God’s messengers ascend into the heavenly places. They then descend back to earth with evidence of heaven’s reality.
Is this not how Jesus lived? He constantly talked about the kingdom of heaven because that is what He constantly beheld. He then demonstrated the authority of the kingdom of heaven over any condition on the earth, even death.
Death is the ultimate enemy. It is the last enemy destroyed in the coming kingdom, but then death will have no place in creation under heaven. We can live in the kingdom now, with all the benefits and authority of the kingdom that we grow in as we mature in Christ Jesus. We only have true spiritual authority, or kingdom authority, to the degree that we abide in the King. He has overcome death. As we abide in Him, we are freed from the fear of death, the ultimate shackle the enemy uses to keep us bound to the temporary and the earthly.
For this reason, our main goal as we seek to understand Revelation is to see Christ, to draw closer and abide in Him so that He can express Himself through us. He is the Head, and we are the body that responds to the will of the Head. Our goal is to see with His eyes, hear with His ears, and understand with His heart, so that we become like Him.
In Revelation, much of what John saw was the harlot church, “Mystery Babylon,” and the antichrist. However, when he was carried to a high mountain, he saw the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ. So much of what we see is the result of where we are. Seeing Babylon is important and a part of our maturing, but we do not want to stay in the place where that is all we see. We want to learn the lessons and use them to go higher.
It is understandable that many want to just go to the mountaintop and skip the valley, but that is not how it works. Like Israel, we must go through a wilderness to get to the Promised Land. There are no shortcuts, but we can make the journey either shorter or longer by how we respond to the lessons we must learn. As Francis Frangipane said, “You never fail one of God’s tests. You just keep taking them until you pass.” The trials and revelation about the evil of man and the evil the church has fallen to is intended to prepare us for the great revelation and authority He wants us to walk in.
So, as we proceed we must cover some hard things. Do not run from them. Remember, we are called to be overcomers. We need to let these things reveal the things in us that must be overcome. Revelation about the antichrist is in this “revelation of Jesus Christ” because the antichrist is who we all are without Christ. It is a necessary revelation of how much we need Christ.
We all go through times of being drawn to Christ by His glory and goodness and times when we are driven to Him by the evil in the world and in ourselves. Both are part of the journey. There are seasons for each, and we will get much further if we recognize the season we’re in and embrace it, resolving that we will overcome—not be overcome. The victory comes by trusting in His cross and taking up the cross we have been called to take up daily.
This being said, the completion of our journey is a place of unfathomable glory, peace, and joy in the Spirit. That is our home—the destiny of our sojourn. Our purpose is to bring it to those still in darkness, those who desperately need a touch from heaven. You are one of the messengers called to ascend and descend upon Jacob’s ladder, who we are shown in John 1:47-50 is Jesus Christ.
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