THROUGH EYES of FIRE SERIES #30
BY: DANIEL YORDY
AUGUST 11, 2013
GRAPES and SUPPER
We cannot see Christ in John's vision without facing the horrific awfulness that is expressed in that same vision. The church seems to contain two very different camps. On one side are those who seize upon that awfulness with gleeful condemnation, seeing the Christ of a laid-down life not at all. On the other side are those who have come up with one argument or another that allows them to eliminate John's entire vision from the Covenant, also seeing Christ not at all.
We would see Christ through every word in John's vision BECAUSE Christ is all the speaking of God. All through these series, I have presented many verses of Revelation and found Christ in incredible ways through all of them. At the same time, I have refused to use intellect to force words and phrases from John's vision onto political events in our world today completely separate from the unveiling of Christ.
But here we must face head-on that which we have carefully avoided. God talks too much! And His words in one place seem to make mince-meat out of His words in another place. It seems impossible to embrace with all our hearts anything God says without finding the need to explain why something else He says cannot mean what it says.
It is only by the great story of God, the revelation of Jesus Christ, the proving
Thus we dare not explore these most awful things in God's word, these grapes – Revelation 14, these vials – Revelation 16, and these suppers – Revelation 19, without first comprehending human reality inside of Story. And the stories that come to me at this moment are the stories of Pierre Bezhukov and of Natasha Rostova in Tolstoy's War and Peace.
Pierre Bezhukov is the wealthiest nobleman in Russia, young and appearing throughout to be of very limited brain, believing the best in everyone and gullible in every direction. Natasha Rostova is a young, beautiful, vivacious girl, no more vain than normal, yet also thoughtful and caring of others, yet knowing only the superficiality and emptiness of the top tier of Russian society and the vanity of her parents.
Central to Tolstoy's purpose is to draw a full description of the hearts of these two, very different from each other, through all the ups and downs, ins and outs of normal human life in this world, developing the psychology of their hearts in totally separate threads, along side the threads of the lives of three other main characters, Natasha's brother, Nicholas, and Prince Andrew Bolkonski and his sister Mary. Each of these five are developed as completely distinct individuals, yet their paths crisscross each others from time to time.
Pierre and Natasha live lives mostly separate from each other, though they are acquainted. They are very different from each other, with unique and good hearts. Yet for much of the story, over seven years from 1805 to 1812, they flit through the normal dead-end and shallow experiences known by those at the top of human society.
Then Tolstoy does something terrible. He throws one of the most horrific experiences in human history straight at these two, straight at their hearts. And by that horror, he brings them to a total end of all that they are, eliminates everything from them that was their “life,” breaks their hearts wide open, and then brings into those same hearts the Lord Jesus Christ, not as a momentary experience, but as the essence and meaning of their beings.
And he does so by the most realistic and profound development of the human heart in the history of human literature. And he does so in the midst of grapes and vials and suppers.
On June 24th, 1812, Napoleon led 600,000 Europeans of many nations across the frontier of Russia, carrying their own deaths against their skin, millions upon millions of lice and the pestilence of typhus. The dying began within the first weeks; yet there were sufficient numbers to reach Moscow, destroying the property and ruining the lives of almost every character in War and Peace, major and minor, before the end of the year. Fewer than 100,000 fled from Moscow in October through icy winter, leaving behind ruin and death, an abandoned city burned to the ground, and “carrying Pierre with them.” In November, Napoleon abandoned the remaining near-frozen cannibals to hurry back to his throne; some say only 10,000 crept back home, to Poland, to Germany, to Italy, and to France.
Of all the men who left Moscow in October, fleeing back across a frozen Russia, those several thousands who did manage to escape Russia in December survived by eating human flesh, the flesh of their fallen brother.
Listen, grapes of wrath, vials of horror, and suppers of human flesh are all too common all through human history, including the entire age of the church. These were Christian men committing unspeakable acts against Christian men and women, yet back home they had been regular folks, normal members of Christian societies, the Christian neighbors you know next door.
Human ignorance of human history is staggering. The brainwashed mind of today can't even remember the facts and reality of five years ago. Those who cry wildly, “No grapes for us, no vials for us, no suppers for us,” have never cracked open a history book.
Yet Tolstoy, as the creator of his story, used absolute madness, ruin, and loss, to unveil Christ in the hearts of those who, by the end of the book, have become most precious to the reader.
No writer I have ever read has ever found a different way to break open the heart of the image of God than to use, in one form or another, grapes of wrath or vials of destruction or suppers on human flesh! And every author knows instinctively that no heart opened wide means no revelation of the meaning and purpose of human life.
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. – Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ...
Our hearts are the Scroll upon which God Himself is read and known by all. For our hearts to contain His heart, for our hearts to be cut wide-open so that all may freely read what is written there, requires the reality of love, the fellowship of His sufferings.
But when we say “His sufferings,” we do not mean copying Jesus in some outward form. Rather, we mean the full acknowledgment by faith that everything we are, everything we go through, is God reconciling the world through us, that we are the intercession of Christ.
Christ carries all through us.
Story alone reveals to us the great purpose inside the awfulness of the words God speaks.
I had thought to develop a bit more the characters in Tolstoy's fictional account, but instead, I will leave what I have written thus far and switch over to a true story of a 19-year-old boy who, through immense personal suffering and loss, showed the Lord Jesus Christ written upon his heart to a tribe of stone-age and violent natives in the jungles of South America.
This is the most important thing I could teach, I truly believe: the breaking open of your human heart to be the revelation of God.
And a sword shall pierce through your own heart also that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed.
Something else as well – My last letter, “They Sat on Thrones,” although it presents a picture of who we are, just like Jesus, beyond what I have seen or heard, yet it simply brings the normal reality of God to all of our thinking.
God NEVER does anything instantly and automatically. We know that in life on earth, yet we are so willing to imagine that “heaven” causes automatic and total change, or that, if all mankind is restored, it will mean that people will go from all badness to all goodness in an instant. Yet we know such a thing never happens in reality.
Yes, God moves miraculously, and our bodies will change in an instant, but those things are always built on years of God's dealings with the inner man. God begins work on His elect from the moment they are conceived in the womb. Every moment of their days, God is fashioning them, battering them, wooing them.
Consider an eighty-year-old man who has walked with God all of his life. He knows God and His ways; he rejoices in Christ his only life. In Adam's day, we are talking about an eight year old. In God's design of the human, this “old” man is not yet a teenager. In a hundred more years (180) he will be allowed to do “adult” things. This is
Life on this earth is ALL about the shaping of the human heart in the knowing of God, and everything that exists and everything that happens to us is focused on that one thing alone.
It is heart alone that judges true, a heart shaped and filled by God's heart. And heart will always walk alongside in patience, for years if needs be, until another heart is won for Christ, another heart is subdued to Him.
Those of you who read these letters know God over many years. You have endured much pain in life, many things that just went all wrong, many experiences of awfulness that you would never appoint for yourself, even as you see their value now, by hindsight. Yet now you look at all things that God has brought you through and you worship Him. You see His comfort in the dark places, His tender kindness carrying you through all, and you know that by those things you know Him as you never could otherwise. You don't understand it, but you now give thanks for those things that others would call grapes of wrath and vials of destruction and even suppers of human flesh – not as they are in themselves, but in what they have done inside your heart.
You see, now, your wide-open heart, and you read God upon it. And you know that His heart and your heart are one and that there is nothing greater in all the universe, in all of God.
Bruce Olson was a young man from Minnesota whom God sent into the jungles of Columbia in 1961 to reach an unreachable group of people, the Motilone Indians, who were as “far from” God as western Christianity could imagine. I would strongly recommend that you read his story, titled Bruchko, one of the most important missionary stories ever written.
The Motilone tolerated no whites. There was only one possible way Bruce Olson could enter their villages. He had to be raving-mad sick and dying from a terrible wound. It was his heart to reach the Motilone, so God gave him the only way in. Bruce Olson spent the next several years living among the Motilone under two constraints from the hand of God. On the one hand he had no choice but to immerse himself fully in their life and culture, to become a Motilone, forsaking all he had ever been – and that included immense and continual personal suffering. On the other hand God forbade him ever to present the gospel to these people. He could share stories about God sending Jesus, but God commanded him not to attempt to lead them to salvation.
For years, his Motilone friends read God only upon the heart of this young man.
Finally one day Bruce's closest friend went out hunting by himself. When he returned, he told Bruce what had happened to him, that Jesus walks the trails with the Motilone. Jesus made Himself a Motilone and revealed Himself within the Motilone ways. The ENTIRE tribe received the Lord Jesus Christ over the next few years;
Get the book, Bruchko, and read it. You will know it to be a critical understanding of Christ as us and the nature of His salvation. How is it that immense suffering reveals Christ?
Look at the three video clips that alone show God as He is to the entire universe. Every one of those three is the epitome of human suffering, inwardly and outwardly, bearing all opposition. Yet by Christ alone God shows Himself to us, by the ripping open of Jesus' heart.
The bitter cup turning to unrestrained Joy in the heart of a man, the words,
We do not walk that path of atonement save entirely inside of Jesus, yet we become just like Him. There is no more atonement; however, there is yet, fully, the unveiling of this same Jesus. There is no thought of our “obtaining” atonement, but there is every intention in God that we PROVE the atonement for all.
If the revelation of God through Jesus required the events of Friday, April 15, AD 29, what will the revelation of God through us yet require? Do we trust Him enough to walk just as Jesus walked? To walk, seeing God alone regardless of any outward appearance?
You know, Moses does sing two different songs. What if the reference to the song of Moses in Revelation 15
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”
Is this not the Song of the Lamb sung by Moses? Moses saw only Christ.
Let us wrap ourselves in these words as we walk through the grapes, through the vials, and through the suppers, in whatever form they may take as we walk through the full revelation of His salvation.
Let us walk just as Jesus walked.
“Because you have made the Lord Most High your dwelling place.”
Abide in Me and I in you. – In that day you shall know that I am in the Father and you in Me and I in you.
We can never make Him our dwelling place by any performance or doing, but only by faith, utterly sinking ourselves in all we find ourselves to be entirely into Him.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
I want to speak briefly, not as a Bible expositor, but as an amateur historian. I comprehend the history of human folly upon this planet. This generation has not departed from either that history or that folly. In complete contrast, the history of human folly rules in fullness upon the earth today.
We don't need to read the book of Revelation to know what the history of human folly means. If we were wise, the book of Revelation could teach us that human folly does not dissipate slowly, but rather it arises to its fullness. And human folly will be what it will be.
Human folly is the stage; God does not defeat it by causing it to dissipate and waft slowly away. God defeats it by allowing it to arise to its fullness and then by revealing Christ in its midst, in weakness through many, taking everyone entirely by surprise.
The Americans are the stupidest people on earth today. The same mind grips Americans that gripped the French at Crecy (1346), at Poitier (1356), and at Agincourt (1415). It is the mind that goes onto the field in all pompous glory and self-exaltation in order to prove its greatness against a small band of brigands who are worn out and hungry and simply trying to escape.
Yes, the English were pirates, murderers and thieves; they had no business in France. In all three of those debacles, the English did not “win.”
One reason only caused the French to defeat themselves in all three of those incredible battles. That one reason was their vain-glory, their self-exaltation.
Americans are convinced that pushing people around is their right because they are “good,” because they have a “covenant with God,” and because they are the “greatest nation on earth.” The thinking of Americans right now against President Putin of Russia, etc., etc., is absolute mindlessness. That “mind” is a mind that comes upon a people appointed for destruction.
It was the French who defeated themselves in the fourteenth century; it will be the Americans who defeat themselves in the twenty-first century.
But this is not the fourteenth century; it is the twenty-first. Human folly in the fourteenth century held in hand bows and swords. Human folly in the twenty-first century holds in hand nuclear weaponry and weaponized diseases and trans-human, drugged, and roboticised soldiers and wave (microwave and otherwise) weaponry and spirit control over packs of demons.
When Dick Cheney said, “Full spectrum dominance,” he meant that Americans will use every evil thing they can invent or control in order to kill and kill and kill. This is the darkness Americans worship when they say, “God bless America.”
I am not speaking of prophesy, but of present human reality. “Come out of her, My people.”
A few weeks ago a normal huge blast of electrical energy blew out from the sun, almost, but not quite, in earth's direction. Had that blast caught the earth in its path, the side of the earth facing the sun would have experienced a high degree of electrical blackout. Our life support system is entirely electrical and electronic. A total electrical shutdown means we have entered a time darker than our darkest nightmares. Few people know how to get their food out of the ground.
All the movies they make about human life after such disaster are totally unreal. Most everyone still alive will be getting their food out of the ground with endless, backbreaking labor. The ones who will not will be the masters holding death over everyone else; that is, normal human life on this planet.
The idea “God won't let that happen,” has no meaning to those who will glance at normal human history. It has happened continually through the entire church age.
You see, a normal huge electrical blast from the sun would not have bothered anyone, much, in the fourteenth century, 700 years ago. But the Black Plague did come to kill more than one third of the human race. Did that slow them down? No. The plague killed millions in-between Crecy and Poitier, in 1348-50. The entire century was dark, filled with famine and cold temperatures. But the human lust to steal and to kill only intensified.
And 700 years earlier, the AD 600's were filled with famine and earthquake, cold temperatures and destruction. And 700 years earlier, the century that preceded Christ was the same. And 700 years earlier – the same. And 700 years earlier was the destruction that came upon the whole earth during the time of the Exodus. And 700 years earlier was the flood of Noah.
We do not use the patterns of history to predict the future. We use the knowledge of history to understand the present. The human mind today is not one bit different from the human mind in every generation of human folly from Cain killing Abel until now.
The greatest enemy of America today is the American mind, Christian or otherwise, that calls this wicked nation, “good.” That self-righteous idiocy, all the while committing unspeakable acts against others, MUST fall, there is no other possibility. No one will defeat it; it will defeat itself.
Those who call America “good,” are the greatest enemies the Americans have ever faced.
Those who reveal the fear of the Almighty out from hearts broken by love are the only friends the people of this world have.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand but it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.
Moses sang these words during one of the darkest centuries of human life on this earth. I tell you what, if you were to walk down your street and see ten thousand people dropping dead all around you and you are the only one left standing, you would not find it a light or flippant thing.
I am so moved by this song of Moses right now. By an act of my will, I deliberately replace this song for the other, just as Paul also did. Psalm 91 is the Song of Moses, this song that we sing. It is the song of the Lamb. If you have memorized it already, let's do so again. If you have not, say it and say it, out loud and at the top of your lungs, until you know it inside out and upside down.
Already it reads differently to me than I knew it in the past. I see Christ our life all through this song; I see through eyes of fire.
The “reward of the wicked” is simply the necessary consequence of evil judgment, the turning back upon self the very pain self sends against others.
Let's bring this all back into the story God is writing, His story upon our hearts, that God might be read and known by all. Let me bring back in a picture we must have of exactly what God is doing, from Annie's visions.
That Holy Thing
As I entered His presence, He showed me something so impressive and frightening that I feared greatly. Although He specifically told me not to fear, even so, I could not feel completely at ease, for in almost unbearable pain and in great love, He tore open, as it were, His own spiritual form or body. Even though He had told me to look at it, I feared to and wanted to hide my eyes, for after this great tearing open of Himself I could see within. There I beheld something so terribly perfect in its holiness, that even the word perfection
The tremendous, radiant perfection – the holy glory of this beginning that He showed me – was so far beyond expression and so filled with holiness and God-life, that I felt greatly perturbed, and trembled even though He told me over and over again not to fear. It was something too high, holy and perfect to look upon.
When He said,
The time is now. We know what this “tearing open of Himself” is – Jesus walking the path of the Atonement, in whom we walked every step, revealed now through us.
God places His heart inside of ours, that by our own hearts ripped wide open, God Himself might be known by all. This is “something too high, holy and perfect to look upon.” Yet it is forever ours.
I find I must continue with the same layout of Annie visions I have shared with you before.
The New Life and the Angry Storm
Of late, every time He takes me unto Himself, I am made exceedingly conscious of the coming storm of persecution that is drawing ever nearer. It is already forming and developing, gathering its forces and heaping together its strength, preparing to break forth in hellish fury at a predetermined time.
This great storm of hate and fury, with its pain and bloodshed, is timed to break forth at the very same time as this high and Holy Thing that He (the Father) is bringing forth out of Himself shall be manifested upon the earth. The two things are forming in the invisible world at the same time and at the same pace. The storm of persecution and hatred shall break forth simultaneously with the coming light of this Holy Thing that He is bringing forth; which shall be manifested upon the earth in those whom He has chosen exclusively for Himself, and in whom He shall come forth in this new beginning.
God’s View of the Storm
In prayer, God lifted me up into Himself and again showed me the great storm of evil and persecution that is coming upon all the earth. For the first time He showed it to me as He sees it, and not as I have seen it through my own eyes. To Him this storm was a most beautiful and glorious working out of His perfect will, which was bringing forth great blessing and not the destruction I had hitherto seen. In spite of being such a tremendous storm, nevertheless, it was not evil at all, but was filled with goodness. Seeing the storm as God sees it took away all the horror I had felt before concerning it.
Before it had appeared tragic and evil to me, and its image had haunted my natural thoughts because of its evil portents and terrible power, darkness, destruction and pain. I now saw an entirely different image: the storm as it really is - a wonderful and powerful wave of His cleansing power and grace which is bringing forth rich blessings.
And finally this one:
His Presence Develops
God placed within His own ones something that did not fully develop in all of them. The development of this living thing only came forth into fullness in those who came into a state of His continual Presence, and who were continually dwelling in Him. This development came not by works, nor by strengths, nor by the strivings of man, but only by the continual Presence of Christ in their lives.
But only by the continual Presence of Christ in their lives.
Annie is saying that everything in John's vision and every dark and difficult thing that comes upon this earth is not evil nor is it for evil. Yes, evil things scream in the midst of that storm, but they are powerless. Rather, all of the great difficulty through which we must pass is the pure intentions of the Love that has seized us in His grip, determined to show Himself true and good through us.
Let us not argue against His ways; rather let us worship Him, that He would so honor us with His Presence revealed now through us.
In War and Peace, Pierre did not come to know his true purpose until he had walked as a prisoner amongst those condemned to death, sharing every element of their suffering and of their humanity with them. He hardly knew why he lived while all the rest with whom he had walked died. But what he did know was his own purpose, to reveal to all others that came across his path the goodness of this Christ who now lived in him.
You see, God will use this most awful part of His story, “ten thousand dropping dead all around,” in whatever form that takes, God will use our being caught in the midst of human agony and confusion, to reveal Christ through us. The opening up of the human heart to reveal what is written there comes in no other way.
Think of Bilbo Baggins, sitting there on his garden bench, puffing away at his pipe in the warm spring sun, giving “Good mornings,” to Gandalf. The truth is that silly little Bilbo really, really, really, deep down in his heart, longed for an adventure. And Gandalf knew that far better than Bilbo did.
Yet adventure must mean hardship and fear, betrayal and loss, and cold suffering. Adventure must mean Smaug the dragon waiting at the turning point of the road. Yet that adventure re-created Bilbo, making him an essential part of the salvation of Middle Earth and honored by all the great ones of the earth.
I love what Gandalf said in the movie: “Bilbo the hobbit gives me courage.”
God is giving us the desire of our hearts; He is giving us an ADVENTURE that will change us forever and by us transform the entire universe.
Let's ride in Him. Let's sing the Song of Moses, the Song of the Lamb.
You see, as we walk through the full face of human agony and suffering, their reality will draw forth all the nature and being of this One who fills us full, this One who walks always beneath, who carries all inside Himself, who bears all, who loves all, who stumbles in tender regard with the stumbling of all.
Nothing in John's vision is darkness or death, not as God sees things, not as we see through eyes of fire. All of it is the revelation of Jesus Christ, the opening up of the Scroll
Upon our hearts.