THROUGH EYES of FIRE SERIES #6
BY: DANIEL YORDY
LIFE from JOHN’S VISION
Many are very intrigued by the interpretation of the spiritual symbols of the prophetic and how those things apply to us in our day. I share that interest.
A reader was conversing with me concerning some of the things I shared in the last letter. Here is part of my reply. “I don’t want to turn my letter into an analysis of current events; rather, I use current events to underline the truth of Christ we need to know. So I limit what I share and make it serve the revelation of Christ – or, in this case, an understanding of the beast whom we defeat by our faith.”
Then she made this comment: “I have always thought the beast was the carnal mind and all the fruit of it is the little beasts of ‘government,’ science falsely so called, technology, and church buildings even... all by-products of man’s mind.”
Yes, everything false in this world is simply the product of the human mind, human imagination separated from Christ. But I want to give, in this letter, a careful account of how I read and apply the book of Revelation.
The function and role of the Old Testament prophet ceased with Christ. The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that today God speaks through Christ; Paul says that Christ lives in our hearts and that He lives there by faith.
The function and role of the New Testament “prophet” is an in-part ministry to an in-part church. Yet it certainly has a good and vital place in the formation of Christ inside His body.
The significant difference between the Old and the New is that now all ministry is Christ living as one member of His body blessing Christ living as another member of His body. Christ ministering to Christ. There is not an ounce of “power over” in any New Testament ministry. All of it is the normal giving and receiving of life.
I am interested only in the revelation of Jesus Christ, His apocalypse in fullness in His body, as He appears in us to prove all the will of God in this earth and to set creation free. Christ in me is the only hope of glory I have; Christ my life is my only salvation.
Through all the years, I have studied the book of Revelation way beyond any other book of the Bible. Yet now I include it only as a small part of the whole, weaving it, in fitting ways, into the larger word of Christ of which it is a part.
The largest study I did of Revelation was to take every significant word or name of something in the book through the entire rest of the Bible, writing out every verse in the Bible in which that word appears. I spent many happy months on this exercise, leaving behind me a continual trail of verse-filled notebooks.
The most significant thing I learned from that exercise is the most significant thing we must know about the vision Jesus gave to John concerning things that were “yet to come” in the experience of the church.
If you were to do a similar study, what two books of the Bible do you think you would be writing out over and over again? Very simply, the gospel and first epistle of John. That fact alone proves linguistically that the three books were written by the same writer. As an aside, the most frequent Old Testament book was Genesis, followed by Daniel, of course, and Isaiah.
What, then, is the most important thing we must know about Revelation in order to move with God in full understanding as He proves Himself through us in the overturning of the ages?
Revelation is nothing other than another form or expression of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ. There is no divorce between anything in Revelation and the salvation of Jesus in our lives. Revelation is simply another way to describe the normal Christian life.
In the early 1900’s, Cyrus Scofield, a long-time hustler, was hired by Rothschild interests in New York City to create a study of the Bible that would alter the thinking of Christians in preparation for the re-establishment of the nation of Israel. (Before then, the concept of “6 million Jews” being sacrificed for the birthing of Israel was already being widely circulated.) Scofield’s “Bible” was wildly successful, serving to create the present Christian mind that divorces the Jews and Israel from the gospel and salvation of Christ. That divorce included driving a full wedge between most of the book of Revelation and the gospel that came through Paul.
And thus many today read in Revelation only a description of “Jesus and the Jews,” a restoration of the Old Testament relationship between God and man, a relationship Paul calls “the ministry of death.”
Most who write about Revelation today use that approach. At the same time, others, rejecting that futurist and political approach, have found nothing better to do with the book than to strike it out of the Bible by one means or another.
I was still in my twenties when I came to a full end of trying to “figure out” the prophetic word in the Bible intellectually. From that time on, all I did was take it into myself by writing verses over and over as they appeared in whatever word study I was tracking down. I took into myself the words spoken by God without trying to do anything with them except to hold them in my spirit for God to unveil Himself through them someday. They were always life to me attended often with a deep pervasive groaning of the Holy Spirit in me, but never knowledge.
Now, looking back, I can see that I was waiting for the key to turn all that word right around inside of me. That key was our full union with Christ, expressed by speaking Christ our only life.
I no longer study or read the Bible as I once did. Rather, my present “Bible study” is that same word, planted deep inside of me over many years, coming back up out of my heart and flowing onto the page as I write these letters. When it went in, it went in as pieces; as it comes out, it comes out as one organic whole, as a river.
That river is the Lord Jesus Christ, the only life we are.
I cannot express how abhorrent to me is all the intellectual, political, futuristic, pastistic (all of John’s vision was fulfilled and over with in the first century), Pharisaical, literal, spiritualized, human-brain mutilation of John’s vision that exists in Christendom.
The vision of John is a Spirit Word, that Spirit Word is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is both the always-speaking-of-God and our very and only life. The purpose of John’s vision is the impartation of life, not the acquisition of knowledge.
Let me define a Spirit Word. The Word is Jesus always being spoken by the Father. That Word comes into human flesh, created of the dirt of this earth, not just as Jesus, but also as every prophet of the Old Testament and every apostle of the New as they wrote that very Word, Christ filling their hearts full, down onto paper.
The majority of people, however, read those words as the acquisition of “knowledge about.” Thus the words produce only death. But there are those who read those words in the presence of the Holy Spirit. As those words pass into us through the Holy Spirit, He transforms them into Christ in our hearts. By that same Spirit-power, those words birth and bring forth in us the very life of Christ that they are.
Here are two individuals sitting side by side reading the same line in John’s vision. To one that line is death unto death, and to the other it is life unto life. The difference is found entirely in the presence or absence of the Holy Spirit/faith union in the heart of the reader. The first relegates that word to something far away; the second makes that word to be Christ personal in them.
It’s a funny thing, but the one verse in Revelation 12 that I call the fourth most important verse in the Bible (and they overcame him) is the only verse in that chapter acceptable in modern thinking as Christian doctrine, something that we are free to make personal in our lives. All other verses in that chapter, however, are cut-off far away from us by knowledge, according to most “Christian” thought.
The text for a Spirit Word is in John 6 where Jesus said, “The flesh profits nothing, the words that I speak to you are Spirit and they are life.” By “the flesh profits nothing,” Jesus is not referring to the human body which is the temple of the Living God, holy and precious to Him, but rather the acquisition of mental knowledge.
Now, there is something in many deeper truth circles that calls itself “spirit word,” even though it is not. That is the practice of “spiritualizing” the word. “Spiritualizing” the word has become just one more intellectual approach to reading the Bible, a method of Bible interpretation. It is not life. Those who spiritualize the word see the very obvious practice of the Spirit of God to use symbols of things human or of things Old Testament to refer to realities in the heavens or in the church. All languages, all words, are symbols. For instance, think of the symbol in English – thanks – you know exactly the meaning that symbol represents. But to the French, that same meaning is symbolized by merci and to the Spanish, that same meaning is symbolized by gracia.
The Lord Jesus Christ is not an earthly “lamb.” Yet the Spirit of God uses the concept of an earthly lamb to represent, just as a word does in language, a specific meaning concerning Christ.
So, because the Holy Spirit does use things we know of in our present lives as symbols of either heavenly or Christ-in-His-church realities, the spiritualizers, then, take every word as speaking only of heavenly things. Thus, they cut Christ entirely out of any revelation in human flesh upon this earth. “Spiritualizing” the word is just one form of Gnosticism, that salvation means “go to” heaven after death. That is, everything is heaven; there is no victory of God in the earth. “Wait until you die and arise into the ‘higher life,’ that is where everything is fulfilled.”
In complete contrast, we make the word God speaks by the Holy Spirit as Christ made personal and complete in our very human weakness. God manifest in the flesh.
You see, things over there, things back then, things up there, things someday, cannot ever be life to us. The only thing that can be life is Christ, every word God speaks, made personal in us. We make Christ in all fullness the center of our hearts and lives, the center of everything. All intellectual strangling of Bible verses, whether spiritualizing or naturalizing or Judaizing or Gnosticizing, keeps the Lord Jesus conveniently separate and the reader’s intellect in charge of God.
I am not the only one who reads Revelation or has read it as a Spirit Word. When I read Madam Guyon’s study in Revelation, I am reading the same approach to the word of Christ.
There is no such thing as understanding any part of Revelation without going back and forth continually between it and 1 John. If 1 John does not inform our every knowing of Christ in the vision of Patmos, then that knowing is nothing other than death and destruction. And 1 John reaches out to include the key elements of the word of Christ in John’s gospel, which walks side by side in all ways with the gospel given to Paul.
More and more I see the word of Christ through John standing side by side with the word of Christ through Paul. I see that God intends us to understand and reveal one as it walks alongside the other. The book of Revelation is simply part of that same two witnesses of Christ.
Romans 8 must be understood alongside Revelation 12, and Revelation 12 must be understood alongside Romans 8. Neither is complete without the other.
I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.Paul, exhorting the Ephesian elders, in Acts 20:27-31
Throughout his ministry, Paul was attacked, right from the start, by Jewish Christians who insisted on imposing the external legalism of the Law of Moses upon the church of Christ. Through much of what Paul wrote, his mind and heart grappled with the false gospel of Judaism, a gospel that keeps human “knowledge about” and human “application to” as the focus of everything, a gospel that keeps everyone away from the tree of life.
That false gospel, opposed so strenuously by Paul, was the gospel of “Jesus and the Jews,” the exaltation of some natural kingdom ordered by natural man upon this earth with Jesus “at the top” in a body separate from everyone, and to which all must get in line and wait to see.
Every argument in today’s church supporting the natural nation of Israel is a repudiation of the gospel of Paul and the triumph of the Judaistic gospel Paul fought so hard to destroy.
Then, 30 years later, the church of Christ carried by John in his heart suffered under open assault by the seeming opposite of Judaism – Gnosticism. Gnosticism is not defined or understood rightly by most.
Everything John wrote, in his gospel, in his epistles and in his vision, was a waging of war against Gnosticism. Just as everything Paul wrote is in the context of separating the saints of God from the Old Testament law, the Old Testament gospel, the Old Testament kingdom, so in the same way everything John wrote is in the context of separating the saints of God from the Gnostic gospel. Gnosticism won in the church, not John.
We understand Paul’s gospel as he opposes the law; we understand John’s gospel as he opposes Gnosticism. Gnosticism and Judaism are two sides of the same thing; both have triumphed utterly over the church of Christ in our day. Today’s Christianity is Gnostic (everything is for heaven after we die), not Johannine; it is Judaic (the earth is for the Jews), not Pauline.
The hatred of the dragon, the hatred of the beast, the hatred of all mankind, the hatred of everyone is focused, pitted, driven against one thing alone.
They all hate God showing up in meekness and kindness in human flesh.
The war to separate Christ from our flesh is overwhelming. The assaults intended to keep God out of planet Earth are unending.
Judaism has triumphed by requiring that anything God does upon this earth be done through the Jews only and by Old Testament precepts. Gnosticism has won by requiring that anything God does with believers in Jesus Christ be spiritual only, that all of it happens in “heaven.”
Thus most books written about the “prophetic word of Scripture” are hostile to the revelation of Jesus Christ. By saying that, I don’t mean to imply that “I am right.” I am undoubtedly wrong about many things.
But I will exalt the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and as Salvation in me and through me in all fullness right here on this earth. I have the right to do anything I want with the word God speaks; I will shout it out loud as Christ my only life, and no man can prevent me. Neither can anyone prevent God from doing what He says through me.
As I have pondered the real meaning of those things I read in Eckart Tolle, I have begun to see the heavy, heavy weights of legalism and Gnosticism as the undergirding of everything he teaches. “It’s all up to you, there is no Savior.” And – “The material earth is evil, you must escape it.”
In the end, there is little difference between Tolle’s “new age” stuff, and evangelical orthodoxy. It is one more heavy weight upon the human of requirements coming by knowledge and the elimination of Christ from human flesh. Tolle’s “new mind” is the same as the old, nothing other than one more re-arranging of Adam’s dark universe.
— Christ Jesus my only life revealed in all fullness in my material flesh right here upon this earth. —
Everyone is at war with that. Everyone is determined to prevent its birthing in our lives.
John’s entire argument can be summed up in one line. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
And it can be seen in one simple action. Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel. . .
God in the flesh, Man as God revealed, on His knees before men in utter meekness of heart, performing the lowest service on earth. This is God; know Him.
Every word Paul wrote from Galatians 1:1 to Philemon 25 is to show us God revealed in human flesh. Every word John wrote from John 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 is to show us God revealed in human flesh.
And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. And the woman brought forth a male child was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Revelation 12:4-5
Yes, God uses the language of symbols in this verse, but discovering the meaning that the symbols represent does not make it a Spirit Word. It is a Spirit Word only as the Holy Spirit makes it alive as Christ Jesus personal in me, revealed in my flesh right here upon this earth, right now in this age.
The Old Testament was God’s dealings with man that preceded the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus. It was God, in a very limited way, attempting somehow to relate to mankind. But God had a very large purpose in the Old Covenant with the Jews. Mankind had chosen the tree of knowledge, the path of being like God by trying very hard to do everything that God says. Thus God gave the Law, the tree of knowledge spelled out, for the sole purpose of proving to us that NO LIFE ever comes from human knowledge and human achievement. The law cannot produce life. The problem is not the law; the problem was not the tree of knowledge. The problem is that human flesh was not made for the law; it was made for Christ. The flesh was made for union with God.
The belief that God, having birthed Christ in our hearts, would then revert back to the tree of knowledge in order to wrap up His work upon this earth is the spirit of anti-Christ. Claiming that the book of Revelation, that is, the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, is all about a reversion back to the death of the Old Testament, the death of human knowledge about God and human ability acting “like” God, is anti-Christ.
Anything to keep God from showing up in the earth as He really is.
There is nothing “Old Testament” about the book of Revelation. All of it is simply the normal Christian life. The manchild, the two witnesses, the firstfruits, the 144,000, the revelation of Christ in glory, the reaction of the things in the darkness as the lights turn on, all of it is nothing other than Christ made alive and real in the heart of the simplest believer in Jesus. John gave us three different versions of the same truth, first as the gospel narrative, second as an epistolary explanation, and third as a Spirit vision filled with symbols, many of which are borrowed from the Old Testament. All three are the same.
Yet the church, in ongoing idolatry, takes every revelation of God in weakness and deifies it, turning it into something high above, outside of themselves, something impossible, something external to worship. It is idolatry. John closed his epistle with these words, “My children, keep yourselves from idols.”
There is another significant difference between the Old Testament and the New. God, when He chose to fill man full with the uselessness of living in the tree of knowledge, the lifelessness of relating to God by the law, directed that experience to one hapless little tribe of people, the descendants of Jacob. No one else had to bear the vanity of living under the law. Thus all the symbols of God found in the Old Testament, were, at that time, used in conjunction with the natural life of Israel in the earth.
But the death and resurrection of Jesus is for all mankind. God is the Savior of all men; the propitiation is for the sins of the whole world. The invitation to eat and drink of Christ goes to every single individual upon this planet. Thus the use of symbols by the Spirit of God in the New Testament makes the same transition. Those symbols no longer apply in a limited way to those things that affected the small nation of Israel. Rather, they now apply in a large way to all mankind, both in each generation of the church in their day, and now to us in our day, in the fullness of times.
Now, I want to refer back to the thought of the reader that “the Beast” is the carnal mind. That the mind of separation from God creates the Beast, there is no question. But the symbols God uses are specific, and we can find God’s definition for every symbol He uses somewhere in the Bible.
Now, Christianity has taken Paul’s description of the “man of sin,” together with John’s description of the spirit of “anti-Christ,” and his description of “the Beast,” merged them all together into an indistinguishable glob, contrary to anything in the Bible, and fastened all of it onto one individual person separate from all others that they call, “the Antichrist.”
No!! Such an idea is not Biblical.
Paul says “the spirit of the mind.” We understand that mind is an extension of spirit. Thus the mind of Christ is the human mind breathed upon by the Spirit of Christ. In the same way the carnal mind, the mind of separation, which is imagination only, is breathed upon by a spirit. That spirit John calls “the spirit of anti-Christ.” Thus I would likely tie the concept of anti-Christ together with the concept of the carnal mind.
But the symbol of a beast is clear. God uses a beast to symbolize various national or imperial governments as they related to the nation of Israel in Old Testament times. Thus the leopard symbolized Greece and its rapid conquest of empire under Alexander. The bear symbolized Persia and its strength and solidity over centuries. And the lion symbolized Rome in its cruel tearing of everything to pieces. In the Old Testament these beasts referred to specific governments because of the dispensation of God.
But in the New Testament, God deals with all mankind, thus the one Beast, bearing all the characteristics of those earlier Beasts, refers to every human government in all the world in each generation of the church.
“Your desire will be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.” This is the curse God spoke upon Eve and upon all of her children. This is NOT God’s order, it is the curse. Jesus became the curse once for all so that we might know that we are free from it.
Yet in the fullness of times the Beast shows itself in all the fullness of its beastliness.
Now, the vision of Patmos is written for us, not just in Greek translated into English, but also in a language called the symbolic language of God. We cannot translate God’s language of symbols into English by applying those symbols to things we see upon the earth. Yet that’s what everyone tries to do. Why? I don’t understand. The symbol language God speaks through is so clearly translated for us all through the Bible including inside Revelation itself. But people try to say that “the Beast” was Nero, or “the Beast” is the European union, or “the Beast” is a single future dictator, etc., etc. Here is one of the clearest translations of God’s symbol language that there is.
The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches. Revelation 1:20
The lampstands John saw were not things in themselves, but rather symbols God used to represent the church of Jesus Christ. In the same way “seven” is a symbol meaning completion or fullness, that is, all the local churches of Christ in every generation of the church.
Every symbol found in John’s vision is defined somewhere in the Bible, and especially in the gospel of Jesus Christ. For example compare these three verses.
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy...Revelation 11:3
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32
The idea that the verse in Revelation 11 is talking about something totally different from the clear verses of the gospel, something Old Testament when God could show Himself only through separated “prophets,” is simply absurd. And so it goes through the entire vision of John.
Whatever is true of Christ in all of His glory, might, and dominion fills the heart of the least and the littlest who loves Jesus and who sings His praises in the lonely watches. You want to be one of these two witnesses? That’s so easy. Give a cup of cold water to one who is thirsty and all heaven is overwhelmed by the witness of Christ through you in the earth.
Now, the symbols God uses always refer to one of three things. They refer to the nature of reality in the heavens, in the realms of spirit, or they refer to the life of Christ in the church and our being formed into His image, or they refer to the setting, the context, in which God tells His great story. Actually, every symbol refers to how the nature of reality in the heavens shows itself either in the church or in the setting of God’s victory, that is, in the world.
Christianity tries to show that the symbols God uses refer to Jesus ALONE. Yet never do you find God doing that. Always when the symbols are defined in the Bible, they are used to refer to Christ in His church, that is, Christ made personal in us.
And yet, knowing the language of symbols, as God defines them in the Bible, cannot bring an ounce of life to anyone. Life comes only from the Word God speaks entering into faith inside our hearts and birthing in and through us Christ Jesus Himself made personal as us.
Now, part of the deceit of the false prophet (the second beast) is found in using symbols found in the Old Testament to refer to events happening today with the modern nation of Israel.
No. Everything in the Old Testament comes to us through Christ alone. Nothing in the Old Testament by-passes Christ – except as death. And everything of Christ is revealed in His church, that is, that body of believers made up first of those who were formerly Jews, to whom we who were once Gentiles have been graciously added.
I suspect that the Jews of the early church who obeyed Moses and received Christ with all their hearts, I suspect that their children today, the Palestinian Christians, are at the root of that church held closely inside the heart of Jesus as they are being persecuted and destroyed by the Gentile Khazars who call themselves “Jews.” I suspect that how we treat the Palestinians, Christian or Muslim, is how God will deal with us as a nation.
Where is there any heart in Christendom to honor and uplift the children of those Jews in Jesus’ day who gladly received Him as they are today treated as the refuse and the off-scouring of the earth? In America, if you seek to aid these suffering people, you are a terrorist and you will be treated as such by all.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking that people belong to Jesus only if they have followed some Protestant formula. No, Jesus knows those who belong to Him, and He carries all of those to the Father, however their outward circumstances may look in this world.
What about the symbols of judgment and destruction found in John’s vision, the things that brought such horrific misuse of that vision all down through the centuries of the church, the things that cause most modern Christians to find some way or other to strike Revelation from any word of God for us today?
First, what do we NOT do with them? We never make an attempt to use those symbols to “predict the future.” Such an endeavor is mindless folly and utterly useless. No life of Christ has ever come to anyone by that practice.
The primary thing we do with them is, in knowing them (we take time to know them because we highly regard all that God speaks), we hold them in our hearts as a Word of Christ spoken by God into us. And we simply let them remain there to be brought forth out of us by God in His time and in His way.
Now, having done that, here is what I find happening. I am happily writing about some aspect of Christ my only life revealing Himself now through me into this world. As I reach for the means by which I can convey that word of Christ with clarity, sometimes a verse from John’s vision comes out of my heart where it lives and into my mind. I see, “Yeah that shows this truth of Christ so clearly.”
In that way I have brought this verse from Revelation into my letters on two different occasions. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men... hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne...” Revelation 6:15-16
The picture from the vision came in to give clarity to the truth of Christ I was sharing, NOT the other way around. That’s how it works; that’s how the Holy Spirit uses the symbols of the prophetic word to reveal Christ to us as He moves now through us in our day. We don’t take the symbols and force them upon Christ, we take the sharing of Christ and use the symbols, as the Holy Spirit draws them in, to enhance and make clear that sharing.
Now, I also understand that the universe and the solar system are entirely electrical. Today’s Picture of the Day at Thunderbolts.info is a stunning picture of a tornado in Kansas followed by a convincing argument that cosmic electricity causes tornadoes, not the other way around.
Thus any actual events foreseen by John cannot be understood by today’s so-called “scientific” thinking. And all the Christian attempts to “explain” some of these things by the ignorance of present-day cosmology is just silly.
It is a “common” occurrence for a sharp jolt of electrical power greater than the surface of the sun can discharge to come flowing down the Birkeland currents powering our galaxy. When that happens the sun (or in Noah’s day, Saturn) must split off a new planet, a binary and smaller “star,” to create a larger surface area to accommodate the extra discharge needs of that spike in the current. This new “planet” then is blown out into the solar system in an unstable orbit and with a differing charge to the present electrically stable planets. As this new body carrying a differing charge passes close to Mercury, Venus, or earth, the difference in charge results in massive sparks going from one to the other. Those massive sparks were called thunderbolts by our forefathers who saw them arcing between planets, right there as visible as the moon, many, many times.
It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if we find ourselves in such a ride again today. (I am making no predictions.) The people of this world, including most Christians, will be freaking out as their eyes show them things contrary to their received “science” and “history.” But we? We will ride with God.
Riding with God on the cherubs of heaven with the winds of the universe blowing through our hair is an adventure worth living for, an adventure big enough to excite the heart of this Guy who has us call Him Father, who fills our hearts with all of His breath-taking splendor.
But we don’t need to say “This (the present circumstance) is that, (the prophetic word spoken in the Bible)” until this is our present reality and the Holy Spirit is right now proving that through us into this earth.
Thus every word God speaks becomes Christ made alive and personal inside of us.