GNB 2.105

May 7, 2023


After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”(Revelation 4.1)


Now that the foundation is laid so we can reflect on “what must take place after this” by knowing what came before “this,” let us go further. As mighty ones of God, we have been encouraged to “put on the full armor of God” which is to protect and project the image of righteousness not as an outward garb but an inward state of being. Peel away the flesh and you would find what lies behind the exoskeleton. Just as the veil was rent upon the death of Jesus on the cross and thus exposed the Holy of Holies to the entire world (if they were looking), so would the truth be seen in us as the priesthood of all believers. Imagine, if you will, the image of Jesus on the cross. He was fully exposed to His inward existence as the flesh was torn away from His bones leaving ravaged muscle, sinew and bone. Even more than that His vital organs were exposed leaving nothing to the imagination. In comparison, the two thiefs on either side had been spared such tyrrany and died before He did. It was not until He breathed His last in that of “surrendering worship” of God that He tasted death more powerful than the bitter drink offered to Him by the Roman soldier who lifted up a sponge on the tip of his spear to Jesus’ wounded lips. I believe it was the same soldier then who pierced His side with that spear and found that He indeed had died. This evidence prevented the breaking of Jesus’ legs which would invoke death to the body. And for the Romans, that would have indicated a death to the spirit, too. Little did they know the fear of the One who can take both body and soul. If they had, then perhaps they would have been a different people. We hear from the lips of that soldier the words of affirmation, “Surely, this must have been the Son of God.” To die in such peace being right with God was seen, by the soldier, as having lived a life beyond compare. For us, His death became life for us if we would take up the cross and follow Him. The reward is to worship the Lord our God forever in His House. Thus, we are now set for “what comes next.”

Of course, “what comes next” does not necessarily mean “as in sequential order” saying first this and then that. By that I mean that after the seven churches are giving the seven “words,” then this glorious scene revealed in Revelation, chapter 4, takes place. Indeed, what happens in chapter 4 has been taking place since the the ascension of Jesus as the Christ back to the right hand of God in Heaven. It continues to happen until the day of the Glorious Appearance when Jesus will come from Heaven and return to earth. On “that day” every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It will be a truth espoused by believers and unbelievers alike because the such truth is undeniable as to the identity of Jesus. Sadly, what else is true is that not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” with their lips will do so also in their heart (and thus in the spirit and soul.) Only those who worship in spirit and in truth will see the awesome reality of what is then to come next. But, that is another part of the revelation yet to come. Suffice it to say that today we are focused on “what comes next” in the revelation to John. The context of what is about to be revealed has been established by what had already been revealed. The first level of knowledge comes in what is proposed to the seven churches and their current state of affairs. The divining line has been drawn as to what is on one side (the unrighteousness of the world and the compromised witness of the faith community living in the midst of it) and what is on the other side (the blessing, reward and affirmation of the faith community who strives to stay true to their first love having a heart burning hot for God revealed to them in Jesus as the Christ.) Now, the next level of knowledge is offered to John as to what the authentic community of faith is like operating simulataneously in the heavenly realm. In that realm there is no divining line to separate the cold/lukewarm from the hot. In that realm there is no lost vision or commitment to their first love. What is shown to John next stands in that sharp contrast to what John knows to be true “back home” in Asia Minor. I have no doubt his heart was breaking for his people in each of those communities knowing the tremendous challenges they were facing. Even more so because he himself had been taken away by Rome and put on the Isle of Patmos as a political prisoner in a place labeled for the “criminally insane.” Now, because he had proven himself to be totally “committed,” pun intended, he is granted the revelation of hope for which he longed. It began with the glory of Heaven revealed in a state of worship quite literally, using a human standard, 24/7/365 or 366 in the leap years. Of course, no such time exists in Heaven but the vision presented to John is placed in an earthly concept so that he could better grasp it and relate it. 24 elders represented 1 for each hour of the day. Of course, they responded in unison to the call of the angels and thus “a day could be as a thousand years” as easily as a twinkling of an eye. It meant timeless worship as fresh and new in each moment as it was “in their first love” state of being.

For John, it was a revelation of what was, what is and what always shall be. It was not of earth but of heaven. It was not intended just for heaven but for the Kingdom of God on earth as it was, is and will always be in Heaven. It was a witness and supporting testimony to John and through John to the seven churches of what is “coming next.” What is coming next is the glorious revelation of the King and the service of worship which is offered to Him. It is a call to assimilate such fervency as is humanly possible within the community of faith in every church for the sole purpose of our ultimate calling. What is that ultimate calling but to be “a priesthood of all believers” focused on worshipping the King of kings and Lord of lords, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace upon whose shoulders rest the weight of governance for heaven and earth both old and new. What a challenge and encouragement it must have been to the seven churches. Shouldn’t it be the same for us today? Shouldn’t it lead, guide and direct our services of worship within the “house of worship,” within our “house of residence” as well as within the house of our own bodies in which the Spirit of God exists? Hear the words of worship and let them resonate in your heart, mind, soul and spirit today with perfect harmony:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,

who was, and is, and is to come.” You are

worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory

and honor and power, for You created all

things, and by Your will they were created

   and have their being.” Amen and Amen.


You are our God and we shall be Your people in spirit and in truth. Continue to dwell among us. Let the revelation by Your Holy Spirit inspire us to greater service in a more refined identity. We do not live as ourselves for ourselves. Rather, we live in Christ as He lives in us. We declare it with all the elders and angels in Heaven, saying “Holy, holy, holy is He who was and is and is to come.” In Jesus’ name we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

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